This Fall, going to cut back spent plants

schoolhouse_gwMarch 14, 2012

Even if they are still green, when October comes, they get cut back. I was always the one who said the leaves and dead stalks protected the flowers over winter and I loved how they looked in winter snows; but when I see the mess out there this Spring (well, near Spring) I'm singing another tune. My Mom always has me help cut her stuff back way early in the Fall and I hate snipping off those green things; but..maybe it's just that the work is a little more taxing to me. ha. It would be so nice to just sit back and wait for them all to grow again. I know I said I was done for the day, but I went back out and cut as much back as I could without disturbing the new growth. Suppose to rain tomorrow.

Sorry just needed to vent to fellow gardeners. :) I feel better now.

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What do you cut back? I don't trim much of anything and they seem to fall off, on their own. Of course, a few feet of snow might help that along :)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:02PM
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In late fall I always cut back my raspberries, peonies, bleeding heart, and bush clover. The daylilies, clematis and Endless Summer hydrangea I leave until spring. No pruning of roses until late spring after I can tell how much winter damage there was. I guess I do most cutting back in spring too now that I think about it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:11PM
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I let the dead stalks of Phlox and Anemone until Spring to cut down, and also the peonies. Also cut back the butterfly bush and my bush clover in Spring. The daylilies I cut back in the Fall but there are usually still lots of dead daylily leaves in Spring to clean up. Also the geraniums that bloom right up until frost in the Fall normally don't get tidied up until Spring when new growth is coming on. I think I just run out of gas come late October.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:26PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I go back and forth between fall and spring for when I cut back. Sometimes it just depends on how I "feel" any particular fall if I decide to cut back or leave it until spring.

Cutting back in fall is great because the garden looks tidy and there's less work in the spring. BUT, I find that there is an immense amount of plant material to cut back in the fall and it takes a very long time to get the job done.

Cutting back in spring is an extra chore, but I do find that so much of the plant material has withered away I can get the job done very quickly and I don't have to haul off as much plant material over and over and over, like in fall.

Most years I do a bit of a 50/50 so that I don't have too much to do in spring but it's not overwhelming in fall.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 6:29PM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

I cut back in fall. It is a lot of work, but I prefer the look over dead stuff everywhere. What I have been doing the last few years, while I'm still able is changing a lot of my perennials over to flowering shrubs and evergreen perennials. I figure a few more years they'll be pretty good size and I can eliminate even more perennials. I will of course keep my daylilies, hosta, iris and a few others, just not as much as I had before. I'm hoping to have the last added plants in this year and just wait for them to grow to size.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 7:14PM
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ripley529(z7a IL)

I do some of both fall and spring. I cut back more this past fall and the plants seemed to have made it just fine and the spring cleanup has gone alot quicker.
This spring I'm eliminating some of my tall grasses. I usually end up cutting some back with hand pruners or my husband cuts them down with a chainsaw. Going to replace those with less labor intensive shrubs or flowers.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 8:56AM
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