Fall & Winter Cleanup

Your monthly gardening tip

By Kate Bryant November 16, 2010 Published in the December 2010 issue of Portland Monthly

Winter honeysuckle zogu9a

So, haven’t had time for a fall garden cleanup yet? Good. You’ll soon be glad you left those architecturally handsome, winter-interest perennials like maiden grass (Miscanthus), sea holly (Eryngium), and sedum (Hylotelephium) standing. When they get ratty in mid-February, chop them up and add them to your compost heap. On the other hand, some plants often carry disease and should be removed or pruned promptly: pestilence-prone plants include peonies, tomatoes, many roses, and trees like plum, cherry, and flowering dogwoods. Unless you have a super-hot, super-efficient compost pile, rake up the foliage and branches and chuck them into your yard-debris bin. While you’re at it, take a few minutes to tear out those pesky winter weeds. Shotweed, a.k.a. bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), is kicking off a winter growth season. Pull this ambitious little invader out now—and eat it. Shotweed makes a peppery addition to salads.

Filed under
Show Comments