Early Spring Cleanup

Posted on: February 7, 2020 | Written By: | Comments

Mark Holsing

I have two new hellebores that I planted last spring that are sending up buds now. When should I remove last year’s growth? They’re coming up through the leaf mulch I put down in the fall and I don’t want to damage them by moving the mulch or cutting the old growth back too early. Also, I put in two autumn ferns last spring and they’ve stayed green all winter thus far. I usually cut back the dead growth from my ferns in late February or early March when I put down the first spread of compost and mulch. Do I leave the green on these and just let them fill in with newer fiddleheads, or should I cut these back like the rest?

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Doug Oster is manager and editor of Everybody Gardens with a passion for gardening and a love of sharing is experiences with other gardeners. You will also find Doug’s gardening contributions in the Tribune-Review each week. He’s an Emmy Award winning producer, television host and writer. Oster is co-host of The Organic Gardeners Radio show every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Oster’s Outstanding Documentary Emmy was awarded for Gardens of Pennsylvania, a one hour special he conceived and produced for the PBS affiliate WQED. Doug appears every Thursday morning on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today live at 9 a.m. “Gardening is fun, he says, enjoy every day spent outside tending vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.”