|Aster hiding in the Amsonia|
There comes a time in the fall when every gardener who gardens in a climate with a true winter season with snow and ice and, well, winter, must decide. Cut down those seed heads on the perennials and grasses or leave them standing thru the winter.
The proponents of leaving the perennials alone for the winter point out that many of those seeds are food for the birds. Plus, all those perennials, even stripped of bloom and leaf, add that oft-spoken of structure to the winter garden. Oh, and not too mention, those seeds may fall to the ground and sprout into new seedlings that you can dig up and give to others or plant in bare spots somewhere else in the garden.
Those who advocate for cutting down the perennials warn that all those seeds could sprout and over run your garden. You’ll be weeding forever if you leave those perennials standing all winter, free to fling their seeds about the garden. They will tell you that some perennials, like Asters, Amsonia, Black-eyed Susans and Coneflowers, can over take a garden with their seedlings. Oh, yes, they can! I’ve seen it in my own garden. I’ve weeded them out of my own garden
What’s a gardener to do?
What a gardener needs to do is just decide for themselves and do what feels right to them.
I do a little of both, depending on my mood and the amount of time I have in the fall to do garden clean up and what type of flower it is.
The seedlings that come up from all those perennials left standing through the winter are both a blessing and a curse. Right now, they are a blessing in the August Dreams Garden border. I want those plants, which are mostly native flowers, wildflowers, to seed forth and multiple, to fill in and create the look of a prairie.
Those seedlings are a curse in Plopper’s Field. That garden is pretty full and lush already. If there are open spaces, I want to fill them in with all my impulse purchases, not the same plants I have today.
So decide for yourself. Cut ’em down or leave ’em standing. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to cutting back perennials for the winter.
|Seeds of August Dreams Garden border.|
Just be prepared to accept the consequences of your choice.