When my daylilies are done blooming and foliage starts to yellow and brown, I completely revitalize them by tearing out all the old foliage and spent stalks to approximately 4-6 inches above the ground. Within days new growth will quickly emerge forming a revitalized plant thus extending the bloom season. For astilbe keep the spent flowers for they supply welcomed Fall interest but remove any browned foliage to give the plant a neater appearance. Cleaning up the plant may even spark some new flowers to form. Now it is also time to remove the seed pods and browned stalks from iris and spent flower stalks from hosta and heuchera (coral bells) to redirect the energy back into the roots and foliage.
At this time I also clean up any hidden weeds and make sure that there is a good layer of mulch (about 2-4 inches) in the garden to keep the roots cool, ensure moisture retention, add organic matter and of course form a weed barrier during the remaining hot days of summer. Also plants need approximately one inch of water per week to their roots in order to survive the drought of summer. It is healthier for the plants to water deep and less often rather than every day at short intervals. Performing these few simple tasks will revitalize your garden, extend its lifetime and give you several more months of enjoyment out of your landscape!
For more information on garden maintenance you may also enjoy Fall Garden Maintenance: Pruning and Dividing Ornamental Grasses & Perennials
As Always....Happy Gardening!
Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2012. All rights reserved