Register with us or sign in
in Problem solving
I clear anything that could rot or go slimey, but leave a few stalks sticking up from each plant so I know where they are.
I also clear dead & dying vegetation, trying to do it as it goesw over. Otherwise in my garden the overwintering slugs & snails will have a field day come any early new shoots next Spring.
I've also got quite a lot of early bulbs in places, so need to sort things out before they start to show. I also try to add mulch as I go, but again not on top of plant crowns, just around. Mulching in Spring with the bulbs just isnt an option for me.
However in Autumn 07,10 & last year things just didnt get done at all in some places & it didnt look too bad I suppose. I know that the birds loved a lot of the taller stems remaining in 07 until about Feb 08 when I was able to start a delayed tidy up.
Depends perhaps on how tidy you are, how much time you have now & in Spring & whereabouts in UK too. Moister areas in the North & West just end up very soggy - not for us the picture of dead waving grass stems that the drier Eastern counties can have. J.
When I lived in England I used to cut everything down before winter and mulch. Now I live in Dordogne I find perennials survive the winter better if I leave everything and clear up in March, just in time for daffodils. Then I fork manure between plants.
I cut down the stuff at the back of the border (if I get round to it) and leave the stuff at the front for habitat/food through the winter. That way there's always something there but I don't have to walk on the garden when the bulbs are coming through as I can never remember where I put them. This is the theory anyway.
I like to clear up as much as possible in the autumn. I need to see the spaces ready for planting more bulbs to flower in the spring. I grow annuals such as cosmos, marigolds and lavatera, and these need to be removed. When I cut down the perennials I always leave about 6-8 inches of stalks so I can see where they are. It seems most people like to clear up in the autumn. I do as much as I can and then the weather usually stops me! I hope this is of some help.