Brown leaves, bare stems, desolate emptiness. High time for spring cleaning in the flower beds. Usually I manage the new start into spring faster than I think. As soon as the garden is ready to go in front of me – I’m well satisfied.
Winter has left its mark on the garden. Wherever I look: Brown leaves and bare stems. Every year, the same feeling comes over me at the sight: where to start, where to stop?! With a ryobi leaf blower, however, you can already put some serious pressure on and blow the leaves out of the bed. And once I get into spring cleaning, it always goes faster than I thought.
I usually start by clearing the protective foliage from perennials and bulb flowers in the flower beds. But only where a thick layer has accumulated or where I purposefully piled the leaves in the fall. I carefully pull them from the beds so the green tops get enough light and air. I don’t rake all the leaves aside, though. Because a layer of wilted leaves protects the soil and also the insects, which are still so half in hibernation.
Cutting back perennials made easy
I cut back the tall stems of buttercups, autumn anemones, phlox and other perennials nimbly with small garden shears; but the remains of perennials like catmint, cranesbill and lady’s mantle with mechanical hedge shears. I highly recommend using the hedge trimmer, especially for larger groups or borders! However, one must be careful not to injure the first green shoots and buds in the process. Of course, the dry blades of the grasses also fall victim to the shears.
Basic fertilization in the flowerbed
You can take care of your flowers in the flower beds in several ways. Spreading compost is always a good idea. The sustainable fertilizer supplies most perennials sufficiently and incidentally improves the soil quality. However, a portion of compost is often not enough for daylilies, delphiniums or autumn asters and other so-called splendor perennials – especially if they grow on sandy soils. They need an additional nitrogen fertilizer, in March and then again in June.
Alternatively, you can also distribute organic complete fertilizers from sheep wool or cattle manure. Or: buy veggie fertilizer made from molasses. I have not tried it yet. But as I write this now…I think the idea to use it on a trial basis is not so bad 🙂