Spring cleaning

I've been cleaning up the garden for spring. I decided last fall to leave the last of the spent perennials to overwinter for the insects and birds. As a result, we've had lots of birds all winter. Now it's time toclean it up. My goal this year is to start sheet composting in all of my garden beds. With sheet composting, the debris is placed back on the garden where it falls with the possible addition of other organic matter throughout the year.

It's been incredibly easy to clean an area. I simply cut the plant off at the ground or prune it back and then break the trimmings into small pieces. Because they've been standing all winter, most of them are brittle and easily crush with my hands into pieces. I pull weeds, knock off any dirt and throw those on the ground as well. This will all quickly disappear as the season progresses. During the growing season, I'll do the same with anything I prune off so I'm continually feeding the soil microbes and building soil.

It's so easy and there's no cleanup when I'm done clipping an area. In the past, all of the trimmings and weeds pulled had to be hauled off to the compost pile. Instead, I put away the clippers and gloves and I'm finished. So simple. I love learning new ways of caring for the garden, especially when it simplifies things and is beneficial.

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