It’s the time of year for final clean-up chores in your garden

If you haven’t already cleaned up your garden and tools by now, try to get them done before the end of the year. Doing this now will save you a lot of time and headache in the spring!

In terms of the garden, if there are any annuals, including vegetables, that have gone past their prime and are looking pretty bad, remove them from the garden and compost if possible.

In the perennial garden, I tend to only remove those plants that just look bad and leave anything that still looks good.

I truly believe that too many people clean out their perennial gardens too early and miss some of the best of fall color.

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR: 10 must-see holiday light displays close to home

For instance, hostas look incredible when they turn a golden yellow. Siberian iris also have a wonderful yellow-gold color later in the fall. I had a perennial begonia that had the coolest seed heads!

These are the little things that make the garden even more powerful in terms of enjoyment.

Cutting everything back all in one swoop is a lot easier and gets the job done. I understand this from a commercial perspective. Landscape contractors can’t afford to go back to a site over and over to get it ready for winter. It’s efficient and makes sense to get it done in one visit.

Homeowners, on the other hand, can spread their work out. In fact, I am at the point in life now where I try to do a little bit at a time rather than all at once.

How to participate in’s Best of 2017

Roses should be trimmed just a little in the fall to prevent any breakage and wind damage. You can cut them back to their spring height if you wish, but you will likely have to cut again if there is winter damage.

The thought is just do it one time in the early spring before new growth begins.

Covering roses with rose cones or mulching them to protect them from winter damage isn’t done as much as it used to be done.

I find many gardeners just leave the roses alone until next spring, particularly if they have the shrub roses which tend to make it easily through the winter.

Other chores include gathering hoses and draining them and storing them where they won’t be exposed to freezing temperatures.

Clean, sharpen and oil all of your tools, including lawnmower, pruners, and shovels.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

State leaders cite 16 ‘challenges’ in Dayton schools that need work
State leaders cite 16 ‘challenges’ in Dayton schools that need work

With potential state takeover one year away, Ohio Department of Education officials on Tuesday told Dayton Public Schools they need to improve in leadership, curriculum, hiring and other areas. A team of ODE officials gave the school board a long “district review” presentation — which was not on Tuesday’s meeting agenda &mdash...
A colorful story: Welcome to Leslie’s house
A colorful story: Welcome to Leslie’s house

The minute you meet Leslie, your heart is happy. She is one of those people who radiates sunshine. So when I found out Anne, one of our designers, was going to be working with Leslie to help her bring all that light and love to her interior design, I couldn’t wait to see what this talented team would come up with. Like Leslie, the story of her...
Choose natural fixture colors to match your environment
Choose natural fixture colors to match your environment

Q: Dear Ed, my husband and I are lucky to retire in a small house in a seaside community. We plan to remodel the kitchen and wanted to ask about kitchen decorating choices to blend in with our surroundings. Can you please give us some ocean-inspired kitchen ideas? — Dottie, Rhode Island A: It’s a good practice to include a little of your...
Bee Colorful flower mix reminds us why triadic harmony is so stunning
Bee Colorful flower mix reminds us why triadic harmony is so stunning

Bee Colorful flower mix is so vibrant in color it’s as if a color artist was involved in its design. Which always seems to be the case when gardeners use triadic harmony; it simply looks harmonious. Bee Colorful is a new mix from Suntory of Japan. This mix, no doubt, will attract those pollinating visitors but also will garner wows from your...
Try these 7 tips for affordable artwork
Try these 7 tips for affordable artwork

Artwork doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive. Designers use a number of tricks to create interesting and original artwork without breaking the bank. Here are seven tips for adding artwork to your decor on a budget. 1. Mix and match. Whether using frames and prints of different shapes and sizes or placing two mismatched pieces of art...
More Stories