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Too early to clear old planting material

HortusHortus Posts: 43

I do not cut back the old stems of any of my plants in the autumn as they make great winter habitats for over wintering insects.

Now that the weather is starting to improve I am tempted to start cutting back all of last years dry, brown stems. These are golden rod, Japanese anemones, acanthus, fennel etc.  

Do you think that I am being rather hasty or is it a good time to clear to allow some fresh air to circulate amongst the new growth.

I am in Surrey if that makes any difference


  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,680

    Perfectly good time to start tidying the borders.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • I'm in Norfolk and I cut mine back a couple of days ago ... similar plants to yours - fairly tough individuals ... however I'm not going to cut back the salvias, penstemons, echinaceas etc just yet. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • HortusHortus Posts: 43

    Great thank you.

    I am getting itchy feet and need to get out in the garden after all these months and burn off a few of the winter calories!

    That's tomorrow sorted.

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