Spring Cleanup Begins

Today I cut back the dead plant material in the Sidewalk Border. It’s been another exceptionally busy spring at work and I’ve hired the same landscapers for this year who did the cleanup last season. However, I’m not sure when they’re coming and I was getting itchy fingers. There will still be work for them when they show up, I’m sure.

March 19`a, 2017
Sidewalk Border spring cleanup underway

I actually discovered that my pole clipper makes for a very handy spring cleanup tool for dead herbaceous material. Just set the clipper at not quite parallel to the ground, and you can cut stems with a lot less bending and the accompanying moaning and groaning. Actually, I found that just waving the head of the pole clipper just above the ground would snap off a majority of the stems.

For the grasses, I sit on my little garden bench and grab handfuls of stems. Then I cut them with my handy secateurs. Works much better than the pruning shears.

Later that same afternoon. 

I pretty much finished the Sidewalk Border without a murmur of protest from my back. I’ve piled all the plant debris on the lawn, waiting for the landscapers to come with their shredder.

I’ve already pruned the Roses and cut back the Clematis. If the landscapers don’t come by next weekend, I’ll cut back the Driveway Border myself, I think.

It felt very satisfying to get the season’s cleanup underway. Are you doing the same, or is the cleanup already behind you?

58 Comments on “Spring Cleanup Begins”

  1. Oh yeah. Today I cut back the dead branches on the Virginia Sweetspires and the wild asters, then got busy pulling out the dead ornamental grasses plus made a big bag full of weeds. Interesting bench you have. Have been pricing them online.

  2. I’ve already done all the borders; all that’s left is the slope and that is, of course, the most difficult and the most full of weeds! It is a great feeling when the garden looks ready to face spring. this weekend lots of people came to see the tulips so it was good the garden looked tidy.

  3. Well done for leaving the border until spring! I never understand people cutting their borders back in autumn – so many riches lost to them and to wildlife. I’m pleased that your back survived the exertion. I have started here – slowly – just half a border at a time. Then once it is cut back I have a great idea of adding a plant from another border and I get sidetracked with dividing and replanting. I may be finished by summer… then again….

  4. Unfortunately I still have close to a foot of snow on the ground in northern Connecticut. In addition to the usual spring cleanup I’m itching to start building some new gardens so that snow can’t melt fast enough!

  5. This may just be an excuse for procrastinating but I am hearing that these stems (especially od natives) contain eggs and larvae of moths and butterflies. They shouldn’t be destroyed until “green up.” Anyone else know anything about it?
    Also, on ornamental grasses I find cleanup goes easier if I tie them up before cutting them.

  6. I enraged my back shoveling snow last week so in a way I’m glad there is still feet of snow covering the entire landscape. That way I don’t feel guilty that I can’t go out and dig in right now with the spring cleanup. I’m sure you feel quite satisfied with all the tidying up you have accomplished. Thanks for the pole clipper tip. I can definitely use that. 🙂

  7. It’s a gruesome job but so rewarding when done! Looks like spring Jason. Yes, I managed to get mine done in two stages by the beginning of the month, although I should really have waited. But those crocuses were impatient and once the bulbs start showing it is hard to get on the beds to work without crushing them!

  8. Oh, the cleanup is still ahead – our weather just turned yesterday so I was out there today but tomorrow, we are back below freezing. I do want to make a head start this year as it seems every year I leave it much too late and once new growth gets going, it REALLY gets going.

  9. It’s good you’ve made a start, and I suppose it takes the pressure off knowing the landscapers will arrive at some point. I think I’ll follow your lead one of these years as our weather makes it impossible to get out and do much….endless rain and wind.xxx

  10. Isn’t it a great feeling to get that first bit of cleanup started and see the first flowers opening to the spring sun? I’m determined to get out there today in between rain and gloom and brush some snow aside to trim a hellebore or two back. The rest are still all buried but I think I can get to two or three at least. We’re past the spring equinox, it must be done!

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