The Q&A Archives: what to do w/early blooming perennials passed blooming

Question: I need to know when to cut back the early spring blooming perennials and how far do I cut them, will they bloom again? AND what do I do to keep woodchucks away. I bought 6 coneflower and daisy plants w/ buds on a Sat by the next Thursday GONE. I thought it was deer but I had sprayed for them someone told me

Answer: Perennials should not be cut down - the first frost of the season will kill the tops back and then you can cut off the dead foliage. If you cut off the healthy foliage now, the roots may not survive the winter months. To keep your perennials looking nice, simply cut off the spent flowers and flower stalks when they have finished blooming.

As for controlling woodchucks, there's really only one way to do this humanely, and that's with fencing. You can live trap the critters, but then you need to find a place to "relocate" them, and they can be quite dangerous to handle.

To build a woodchuck fence, use strong but bendable mesh fencing and metal posts. Build a fence that stands 3 feet tall, with the following modifications to increase its effectiveness: If possible, use a 6-foot wide mesh, and bend 12 to 18" outward slightly at the bottom, then bury this in the soil. Attach the above-ground portion to the stakes to a height of about 3", then let the remainer--1 1/2 - 2 feet--extend above the posts and bend it outward as well. When the woodchuck attempts to climb over it, he'll find himself upside down and just flop back because he's so heavy!

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