I am new to all of this with a stupid question...

pkirkha1(7)March 5, 2007

So I am new to all this. We had our back garden planted last spring. My landscaper told me not to cut anything back in the fall - leave through winter for stuff to look at. So - now I feel stupid - when do I cut back all the dry dead stuff - now or in a few weeks - how do I take care of the plants.

Thanks for any input - I need the 101 version.

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What do you have in your garden? Grasses are ok to cut back now, as are most perennials. I don't know what you know, so be careful not to cut back shrubs unless you can id them. Can you list your plants? Some perennials may have dead leaves on them, but will clean themselves up without any help from you and should be left alone until they have new growth (foxglove, ladie's mantle, tender salvias, some caryopteris - actually a shrub).

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 3:07PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I normally cut back about 80% of my perennials after the first good hard freeze. That is normally in December but this year it was not until yesterday! A lot of things stayed green up until near Christmas and I did not get around to it. I like to leave some plants like Black Eyed Susan (rudbeckia) and Purple Cone Flower around for the birds and some plants like Sedum 'Autumn Joy' are attractive during the winter. I normally would not cut back grasses quite yet, but since I would out working in the garden yesterday I cut them back as well. Some of the younger grass clumps were looking a bit ratty after the heavy snow anyway. Some time soon I would give some of my "evergreen" perennials such as liropie and heuchera a trim.

- Brent

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 5:47PM
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Sorry just getting back to you all - crazy night last night. We are doing a bathroom remodel and we had tilers at the house until 10:00 last night! OK - I have my list of plants - most are pernnials - the shrubs I won't cut back. Thanks for any help

Spirea magic carpet
Blue oat grass
Miscanthus adagio
Heuchera Palace Purple and pink corallbell
Caratostigma plumbaginoides
coreopsis zgreb
coreopsis moonbean
Geranium biokova
astilbe - several diffent colrs
ophippogon niger
Artemosia sliver mound
Gallium - sweet woodruff
Acorus ogon - gold flag)
cheone hot lips
carex bowles golden and platyphilla
Anemone sylvestris and robustus
Senecio yellow spring flowers
Hakonechola macra - lots of this

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 9:54AM
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Spirea magic carpet - dwarf shrub, shouldn't need pruning.

Blue oat grass - cut

Miscanthus adagio - cut quickly. Mine already had new growth in center that will get cut when you chop! You need to cut grasses BEFORE the new growth in center is serious.

Heuchera Palace Purple and pink coral bell - self cleaning, cut any stalks, and just remove unsightly leaves later in spring.

Caratostigma plumbaginoides - you can leave this, new growth will cover old. Cut anything that doesn't look good. It's a ground cover, so you want the old stems to wander, they're probably rooted.

coreopsis zagreb - cut

coreopsis moonbean - cut

Geranium biokovo - leave it alone, remove visible old leaves after new growth.

astilbe - several diffent colrs - cut dead stalks

ophippogon niger - I don't have this, try combing out dead blades with fingers

Artemesia silver mound - If base is scraggly, cut back hard.

brunnera - old foliage should 'melt' into ground.

hellebores - remove only the dead leaves later. Are these blooming?

Gallium - sweet woodruff - no action

Acorus ogon - gold flag) - comb old growth out with fingers

chelone hot lips - cut stalks to ground

carex bowles golden and platyphilla - new growth will cover old, comb out old with fingers

Anemone sylvestris and robustus - cut

Senecio yellow spring flowers ??

Hakonechola macra lots of this - cut (great grass!)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 8:08PM
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Cynthia - I know I already told you this but I wanted to say thank you once again. This is great information - invaluable - thanks so much for taking the time.


Can you all believe it is snowing today - Balitmore, MD

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 11:30AM
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