We all know that gardens are great for the environment but we also especially those of us that live where it snows need to get it ready for winter.
After a hard freeze perennials will typically drop their leaves. These leaves should be cleaned up, if you have had insect problems. Many problem insects will over-winter in the garden in the form of eggs or larvae. Leaves from overhead trees should be raked as they can smother garden plants when allowed to accumulate in great depth.
In an effort to clean up your garden, don’t be in a hurry to cut off the stems and leaves of perennial flowers and summer-blooming shrubs (i.e. Butterfuly Bush, Blue Mist Spirea, Russian Sage.). Wait until mid-spring. Many plants more successfully over-winter when the stems are left on them until spring. The stems provide energy reserves for the root system and will also catch blowing snow that helps insulate the plants and provide extra moisture during winter months.