If you haven't already taken care of your fall yardwork, the forecast for the next few days looks great to head outside and check this one off your to-do list. I know this isn't everyone's idea of a fun time. However, the great news is that while there are a few items you should tend to now, most can wait until springtime.
Truth be told, I enjoy working in the yard and find it quite relaxing. However, with two teenage boys in the house, I seem to always get stuck doing the laundry while the boys end up tending to the lawn.
Below you will find some notes on a few things you will want to get cleaned up before we settle into our LONG winter.
Peonies are one of my favorites and taking care of them now will ensure BEAUTIFUL flowers in the Spring.
Before the snow comes, cut your peonies down to the ground.
Cut back foliage in late summer or early fall when they turn brown.
First, grab the dead leaves around the outer base and gently pull, they will come right off. Then rake your fingers through the plant and remove the rest of the dead leaves. Now prune the green leaves down. If you notice any stiff brown stems (that look like straws) pull those out, they should come out easily.
Once your hostas are done for the year or after a frost (you will know because they will look sad with little to no green remaining) it is time to cut them back. Leave just a few inches above the ground and tidy up the ground around it so it is nice and clean.
OTHER THINGS TO PRUNE IN THE FALL
Dead limbs on trees: If you know it’s dead, get it down before winter arrives.
Shrub roses: While it is best to tackle rose pruning in early spring when plants are dormant, if you have large or overgrown shrub rose bushes you can prune up to 2 to 4 inches of canes to help protect the plant. Wait to prune until after several hard freezes or you risk triggering new growth.
Perennials with disease issues: This list includes bearded iris, hollyhocks and any plants with a powdery mildew problem, like peony and garden phlox. Cut stems back to 2 to 4 inches and destroy (don’t compost) the prunings.
Suckers: Some plants send up shoots around the base of the original plant. With suckering shrubs, one plant can eventually form a colony. Remove suckers whenever you spot them, cutting them as close to the base as possible.
PLANTS TO LEAVE ALONE IN THE FALL
Sedum (except mine this year since they were destroyed by the tornadoes)
Weigela (prune after they have finished blooming)
Lilacs. Prune after the flowers have faded. Lilacs set next season's buds almost immediately, if you prune too late you will sacrifice next year's flowers
If these names for flowers/plants were like reading something in a foreign language, post a picture and I will do my best to walk you through how to best care for the plant.
*If you have any questions about a plant that is not listed, leave me a comment. If I don't know, let me do the research!!
Here for you, Lisa