Garden Cleanup Tips Zones 5 & 6

Cool dry days are perfect for pulling up expired annuals, clipping back spent perennials, and generally clearing away plant litter. It’s also a good time to assess the performance of your plantings and decide what changes you’d like to make. I’ve found that planting the same type of annuals in a spot every year is a mistake. They never do well for me the second year. It’s better to vary plantings: begonias one year, petunias the next, and another favorite stellar performer the following year.

There are a few perennials I leave untouched until late winter. Some, like hydrangeas, add winter interest to the garden as they look lovely with a dusting of snow. The seeds of others such as Echinacea, or purple cone flower, provide food for birds late in the year. Lavender is a tender plant that will survive winters best if left untrimmed until just before it begins sending out new growth the following year. I generally clip back clematis on a warm day in late winter, as well.

One more thing – don’t forget to add a few more flowering bulbs to your garden.

If you have any garden tips, for whichever area you call home, I’d love to hear them.

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