Spring Flower Bed Cleaning
It’s that time of year again when we must brave the elements and clear out our gardens. I love spring bulbs, and there is nothing more disheartening than looking at the beautiful flowers surrounded by the collection of dead leaves and trash blown in from the neighbors over the winter. As much as I would rather sit by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate, I pull out my winter clothes and for a few minutes each day I clean up my beds and garden – at least until my fingers are frozen solid. Some days are easier than others.
There are a number of things you can do to make this process easier.
Clean your beds thoroughly in the fall. The weather is often more congenial in the fall here in Utah. If you can clean up as much as possible at that time, you have less to clean in the spring. If you have ornamental grass, cut it down in the fall. If you want to feed birds during the winter, leave the grass. Many perennials are best cut down in the fall and some require they be left until spring for winter protection. Again, if you have a wildlife garden, you will want to leave the dead flower buds. But a clean bed going into the winter makes for a much faster cleaning in the spring.
Spend a few minutes each week during the winter picking up a few things that drift into your beds during the winter. Remember, leaf cover on your beds is not always a bad thing because it protects your plants and roots against harsh weather, but too much of anything is never good.
Break it down into easily attained cleaning sessions. Force yourself to work only 15-30 minutes, 3-5 days a week instead of all day one Saturday. When it’s broken down into small attainable parts, it doesn’t feel like such a large strain on our time. I usually tell myself I have to clean just this one bed today and then I work to get it done.
Plant spring bulbs in the fall so you have something beautiful to look forward to in the spring. Bulbs always tell us spring is really close when they start coming out of the ground. My favorite are Squill and Snow Drops.
Whichever direction you take with your flower beds, keep in mind spring comes quickly in Utah and if you don’t manage to get it all done in time, you can still clean up around your beautiful blooming bulbs as we move into summer.