Forum home Plants

Autumn vs Spring

Wrigs21Wrigs21 Posts: 194
edited October 2021 in Plants
Afternoon all 

Interested to know what others do in the autumn and spring in terms of getting ready for next year? I know I need to make a number of changes but a little wary about making those until spring. Are there certain perennials that prefer an autumn chop?  

I keep seeing pictures of peoples gardens still looking good where as mine is looking rather sorry for itself! 

Posts

  • I try to move things that need moving in autumn because you never know here when there'll be a drought all spring/summer. There are things I wait to move though - anything that likes free draining soil, and grasses, wait until early spring.

    I cut back stuff that looks a mess, but any perennials that can stay upright wait until spring. 
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,080
    There's not really a rule, I don't think. If you cut things back the garden will look tidier and the smallest flowers, winter flowering shrubs, small early spring bulbs, etc, will be more visible, so in, say, a small, sheltered town garden, that may be wise. But leaving plants to die naturally gives cover and food for insects, birds and other creatures in the winter months and also provides some frost protection to roots and crowns of more tender plants. In a colder spot this is worth putting up with a rather shaggy garden. The only plants I cut back apart from the earlier flowering ones such as oriental poppies and some early geraniums, (which I cut back in summer and have regrown new leaves now), are rangy shrubs like buddleia, which I'll cut the long new growth by a third or so, so the plant isn't being rocked by the wind, which can damage the roots. Then I cut them back 'properly' in spring when it gets lighter and the plant starts thinking about putting on new growth. I do something similar with penstemon, although I'm not quite sure why. probably read it in a book sometime
    Gardening on the edge of Exmoor, in Devon

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • Wrigs21Wrigs21 Posts: 194
    Thanks both. The grasses still look good but some of the perennials such as the monarda and agastache is looking dire. Didn’t know if I cut it back hard and we have a cold winter if it would make it through
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,864
    I used to " put the garden to bed " every Autumn, but now tend to leave it until Spring. 
    However, I'm always aware of bulbs coming up in spring and trampling on stuff. 
    I might try to get some mulching done in Autumn, so if I miss the boat in Spring,when it's often very wet,  there's something there.
    Devon.
  • Wrigs21 said:
    Thanks both. The grasses still look good but some of the perennials such as the monarda and agastache is looking dire. Didn’t know if I cut it back hard and we have a cold winter if it would make it through
    For some more tender things a bit of top growth left provides some protection, but you can still have a tidy, just leave a bit of stem 🙂
Sign In or Register to comment.