Spring clean-up

Asked March 17, 2020, 8:03 AM EDT

Is it too early to cut back the dried stems on my perennials? I don't want to harm the bugs/bees that may have made a home in them over the winter. Thank you! Cathy~

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

Hi Cathy and thanks for the question.

Have no concern about cutting back your perennials now (mid-Minnesota March). In fact, now is the ideal time to do this! You’ve reminded me of a task that I need to attend to. There should not be any bees or beneficial pollinators that over wintered in them. However just two cautionary points.

When you cut things down, remove as much of the plant debris as possible. It is possible that some fungal spores may be present on the foliage that you will not want visiting your gardens this season.

Secondly, composing things would be the best solution however you could just dispose of them in trash bags. In doing all of this, be mindful of new shoots that may be coming up. This really is a task that requires hands and knees effort – something that is posing more and more of a challenge to me.

Best of luck!!