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Tidying up the Garden

August 25th, 2016

While I used to drag my feet when the time came to cut back perennial herbs, I no longer do. Now I’m happy to tidy up the garden and add lots of organic matter to my compost piles. If you’ve ever let a self seeding plant go to seed, you’ll know how important it is to cut things back before they set seed. Cutting back perennial herbs is a lot like decluttering in the house. It cleans things up, keeps them tidy, and makes the garden look larger.
pruning perennial herbs 1
It can be really difficult to cut them back when there are still a few blooms on the plants, but now’s the time to do it. If you wait much longer the plant won’t have enough time to bloom again before the days get short and cold.
pruning perennial herbs 3
pruning perennial herbs 2
There will be an empty space for a week or two, but the plants quickly regrow filling out the space with lush foliage. Many herbs will even bloom again before frost providing much needed food for pollinators. Not all perennials need cutting back, many blooming plants like peonies just need deadheading. Herbs in particular benefit from a hard pruning towards the end of bloom.

Do you cut back your herbs for rebloom?

3 Comments to “Tidying up the Garden”
  1. Nebraska Dave on August 25, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Susy, I really should start growing some herbs. As I continue to expand my garden the space for such things will be available. Then I would have to look for ways to use the herbs. That would be a bad thing, would it?

    It is time to start tidying up the garden for the Winter rest. There’s a lot to do in mine before the first snow. The work in the garden shifts from havest and preservation to cleanup. We have been getting rain at least a couple times a week. Some storms have carried flash flooding rain but not in my area. The last one was a few miles North of me.

    Have a great herbs tidying day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  2. sarah on August 26, 2016 at 12:07 am

    How do you know what to prune and how much? I have some huge perennial herbs that I probably should have pruned but I didn’t know I was supposed to.

    Reply to sarah's comment

  3. Mike Anderson on September 1, 2016 at 3:08 am

    Hello susy, you are absolutely right cutting back perennial herbs is a lot like decluttering in the house. Tidying up the garden is also necessary, thanks for sharing such useful ways to maintain it.

    Reply to Mike Anderson's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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