Planning the Garden for the Next Season*


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.


Fall is our next season and it is a busy time of year for the gardener. Now is the perfect time to start preparing your garden for winter. 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 at least 8 inches of stem. 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.

In fact, you don’t need to cut back your perennials at all.  The stems and leaves of your plants will provide winter protection for the plants.  In addition, many beneficial insects overwinter in and on the dead leaves and hollow stems of your perennials. You can cut back the remaining stems in spring.  If the plant had a foliar disease or was infested with insects, it is best to remove and dispose of any leaves in the fall.