Is it better cut back plants in the fall or spring? I live in southeast NE right on the border of zones 4 and 5. I also leave the fall leaves on my flower beds for protection against subzero temperatures. Am I doing any good or not?
Flower Garden Clean-Up
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
While many people prefer to clean up their gardens in the fall, others prefer to do so in spring. This is usually based on preference as well as your regional climate. I would say in your area, leaving some fall leaves in the beds overwinter would be a good idea, as it not only provides insulation during cold periods, but also will eventually break down in the soil.
Also, leaving growth on some of your plants may help with their continued survival over winter. All dead plants (like annuals) can be cleaned up and disposed of. Spring is often the best time for pruning chores (for most plants) but in warm areas can be done in fall as well. Here is an article that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/projects/fall-garden-clean-up.htm