Many plants will thrive in the colder months, but will wilt away as the sun begins to come out and the irrigation systems are turned back on. The end of a growing season is therefore the perfect opportunity to clear up and clear out. Think of it as a spring clean for your garden, out with the old and in with the new.
With many pests and diseases surviving on dead plant material, failing to remove your unseasonal plants can cause significant damage to your garden. Read on to find why it’s time to prune you losses, and cull your unseasonal garden plants.
Identify your Perennials
A perennial plant is any plant that lives more than two years. They grow back seasonally from roots that remain dormant in the soil over winter, but then grow back as the warmer weather heats up. These plants can be distinguished from annual plants, which live for one growing season, before they produce seeds and die.
It is therefore important to distinguish between your perennials and annuals, before you go crazy with the garden shears. Cut back your perennials in the colder months, ensuring that their roots remain intact to flourish in the next season. Annual plants however, will need to be completely removed, to avoid any nasty pests feeding on the dead leaves. To effectively remove any annual plants or seasonal vegetables, you need to dig deep. This means removing the entire plant, including the roots.
If you are undergoing a garden revamp to remove unseasonal plants, it is important to first remove any perennials to ensure that they are not damaged in the process. If you remove perennials in the correct way during your pruning, you will ensure that they will survive and thrive again during the warmer months.
To remove existing perennials cut a circle around the base of a plant with a sharp spade. You should then be able to lift the roots up and out of the soil. When you have removed the perennial from the soil, place them in a shady area. They will survive here for a few days while you carry out the removal of your unseasonal plants.
When They Just Won’t Budge!
There will always be that one unwanted plant in your garden, that just will not budge. Many stubborn unseasonal plants will find a way to barricade themselves in to your garden, must to your dismay. The following are a few simple tips to try, if your unseasonal plants are not going quietly.
- Smothering: If your unwanted plant is holding its ground, it may be time to cut your losses and simply plant over the top if it. There are a number of ground cover plants that are excellent for smothering other plant varieties, completing obscuring them from view.
- Bleach Water: Mix up a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 2 or 3 cups of water. Be careful to spray this mix only on the offending plant, to avoid it damaging the rest of your garden.
- Cider Vinegar: Cider Vinegar is the less toxic version of bleach water, for those who are concerned about damaging the remainder of their garden with bleach. Pouring the vinegar close to the root should help kill the plant, making it easier to remove.
Before you start removing or cutting down your unseasonal plants, it is important to first take pictures of your garden. If you liked the way your garden looked in season, or are hoping to avoid planting mistakes you made in the future, your pictures can act as a road map for the next time you commence planting. Taking pictures of the location of each plant, also helps you avoid injuring dormant perennials.
Protect from Pests
When removing unseasonal plants it is important to also remove any debris or weeds in the surroundings. Removing unseasonal plants is the most effective method of protecting your garden against nasty pests and insects. Removing dead plants, weeds and leaf debris dramatically reduces the risk of your garden being overthrown by nasty critters.
Removing your unseasonal plants can be a time consuming task, but it is essential in order for your garden to thrive in the peak seasons!
by Hubert Dwight