Fall Garden Clean-up
Cleaning up the garden this time of year is about a lot more than just making it look tidier. If you'll do just a few extra things along the way as you clean things up, it can make a big impact on your garden next year.
For instance, just a few weeks ago, this morning glory was spectacular, now that it's spent, I'm making sure as I take it down that many of the seed fall to the ground, so they'll come up next year. I do this with many plants in my garden throughout the year that are hearty volunteers, like larkspur, celosia and globe amaryth.
Now there are some things you don't want to come back in your garden, like diseases and pests. If you find problem areas like this, remove them. This even goes for the leaves of your roses that are afflicted with black spot. As you remove diseased materials, don't throw them in your compost bin. This will help keep you from spreading the problem around your garden next year. Now if you're using pruners on infected materials, you might want to clean them by dipping them in a household disinfectant.
When I cut back many of my perennials such as peonies and lilies, I mark them so I'll know where they are in the early spring. By adding a generous layer of mulch to certain parts of my garden, I can keep winter weeds down and sometimes even defy the critics by bringing something through that normally doesn't winter over, like this begonia. The leaves of perennials, like these hostas, will be the perfect addition to some really rich compost for next year's garden.
From the garden, I'm Allen Smith.
P. Allen Smith Gardens
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