A strong urge this time of year, especially on clear, balmy days, has many gardeners wandering about their gardens with pruning shears in hand, clipping back old leaves and stems in an effort to tidy up the garden for the winter. In some cases, this clipping is good for the plants; in other cases it is not.
One rationale for clipping stems and leaves off plants is to reduce certain pest problems next season. I’ll soon be cutting down all the old asparagus stems, usually waiting until they yellow and are anyway no longer “charging” the roots with energy. Cutting them all to ground level and composting the tops reduces the number of beetles present next spring. Read more