end of season trimming - Knowledgebase Question

Council Bluffs, Io
Question by luckyjojoiow
August 26, 2010
this is my 2nd go round with a garden. however, its been a long number of years between gardening. I can't remember what to trim and what not to trim for preparing my garden for the late fall/winter season as it approaches. i have coneflower, bee balm, hibiscus, honeysuckle, tiger grass, black susan, hollyhock, delphinium, foxglove, asiatic lilly, and bleeding heart and hosta for the most part.


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Answer from NGA
August 26, 2010

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In general, pruning encourages new growth which is something you want in the spring, but not necessarily in the fall. Any new growth that develops in late summer or early fall may not have enough time to harden off before a killing frost arrives. So, wait until after your first frost kills back the foliage on your plants and then prune your plants. The frost will signal your plants that it's time to go into dormancy so no new growth will appear until the following spring. Anything you did not remove after the first frost can be pruned off in the early spring, just as new growth begins. Hope this clarifies things for you.

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