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Marie Iannotti

Fall Garden Clean-Up

By October 6, 2012

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I even love cleaning up the leaves and fading annuals and tidying the perennials. The more I can get done in the fall, the faster things get moving in the spring. I probably go overboard.

There are some plants that don't like being disturbed in the fall. Chrysanthemums prefer to have their foliage collapse around them, to shelter their roots and crown throughout winter. It helps to make them truly hardy mums.

Others, like campanula and perennial geraniums, were probably trimmed back earlier in the summer and don't need much more done to them until spring. Cutting back ornamental grasses seems to be a personal choice. Many gardeners like to see them standing throughout winter. Of course, much depends on how cold and windy it gets in your garden. My grasses are blown to pieces and scattered across the lawn by mid-January.

What's your preference? Do you leave your plants to seed and feed the birds or do you like things clean and tidy? Any tips for making fast work of it, either in the spring or in the fall? Before you grab your pruners, take a look at perennials to cut back in fall and the companion perennials to leave up until spring.

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