Properly maintaining your landscape investment will keep your plants healthy, vigorous and provide years of enjoyment. Leaf removal, perennial and annual bed clean-up, pruning and mulching are important parts of that process.
Leaves that fall or are blown into landscaping can provide insulation around plants during the winter, but need to be removed in the early spring. Leaving them can leave your landscape looking untidy. Removing this debris in the late fall or early spring gives landscaping a neat, cared for appearance that demonstrates pride of ownership. Also, a layer of leaves left on the grass in the fall can smother the grass resulting in additional work in the spring.
Leaving foliage on ornamental grasses until the spring gives winter interest in the landscape. However, the foliage should be removed in either late fall or early spring. Perennial flowers may repeat bloom if the first flowers are removed during the growing season, and will die back to the ground at the end of each growing season. It is necessary to remove the old foliage and seed heads. Some perennials will re-seed themselves, which, if left through the winter, can create maintenance concerns when the seed germinates again the next spring.
Keeping your landscape plantings mulched will prove very beneficial to plants. Mulch will reduce weed germination and growth, which reduces maintenance. Additionally, mulch retains soil moisture during the hot and dry periods, reducing stress on the plants. It also insulates the root systems in all weather conditions. Not only does mulching benefit your plants, but it gives your property added curb appeal as well.
Pruning your landscape as it grows will maintain a natural growth habit. Pruning can be completed as part of spring and fall clean-up, depending on the type of trees and shrubs in your landscape.