Clean up perennials. Cut back perennials and ornamental grasses using pruners or hedge shears. Cut plants back to about 3 inches to avoid damaging plant crowns, which is especially important with grasses.
Save those garden clippings on your own property. A compost pile can help you recycle spring cleanup clippings into black gold for your garden, and beneficial insects overwintering in plant debris will thank you as well.
Protect emerging plants from critters. Rabbits and deer are hungry for fresh green leaves at this time of year, so watch out for browsing on emerging growth, and be prepared to protect plants with cages or deterrent sprays.
Erin Presley is a horticulturist at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin.
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