Planning the Garden for the Next Season

(Question)

I was encouraged to finally see the asters emerging as my roses faded, and phlox sustain me. For the next season, how do I visually mark the positions of plants, so they don’t have roots damaged? I have them on a plant diagram on my spreadsheet, which I can update, but have been wondering if I’d uprooted them. Some plants are easier to track around the season, but maybe I don’t don’t know what’s distinctive about beautiful astrids (asters)? I’ve posted Symphyotrichum oblongifolium with happy visitors who I hope I didn’t disturb too much. Thank you.

 

(Answer)

Fall is our next season and it is a busy time of year for the gardener. Now is the perfect time to start tidying up before winter arrives. First, remove as many weeds as possible from your flower beds. With regard to perennials, as your plants decline in appearance they can be cut back.  If you are worried about damaging the roots of your plants in the spring, because you are not sure where they are planted, do not cut back to the ground. Leave about 8ins of stem. You can cut back the remaining stem in spring.  If the plant had a foliar disease or was infested with insects remove any leaves. You can go one step further by pushing stakes (3-4 would be adequate) into the ground around the circumference of the plant. From experience two foot  high bamboo stakes work really well. Make sure they are firmly pushed into the ground.  If you have any tender perennials you should protect them in some way – burlap, mulch, polystyrene cover etc. Follow these tips and your plants should be visible to you in the spring.