No. 1: Pruning perennials and grasses
Gone are the days of brutally cutting back grasses and perennials before winter, leaving behind a sad, empty garden. This is because they give structure to the garden even when withered, provide shelter for insects over the winter and their seed heads simply look too beautiful with a little snow on them. It also means that the garden retains some of its charm, even in the cold season.
While you could still make things comfortable in autumn and let the garden be the garden, towards the end of February/beginning of March (depending on where you are) it's time for some spring cleaning – the new garden year begins!
Everything should be cut back before the plants shoot up dramatically. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging the young shoots.
The best thing to do would be to collect the cuttings in one place in the garden until April and to shred them later. This gives nesting insects the opportunity to start the spring in calm. The cuttings, preferably not including any seeds or weeds, can then be processed into mulch using a shredder.
What kind of mulch can be used for what?
Depending on what exactly you're shredding, you can use the resulting mulch for various different applications:
- Coarser mulch from larger tree prunings can be used to protect plants from the cold or to keep walkways clean. It also protects the soil from drying out and reduces weeds.
- Shredded stems and leaves make good fertiliser for beds.
For shredding, we use the electric blade shredder GC-KS 2540 CB from Einhell. Thanks to the practical collection box, which is located directly beneath the shredder, distribution is even easier. It holds up to 55 litres of shredded material.
If you want the shredded material to rot optimally on the compost, a roller shredder is also recommended, such as the electric silent shredder GC-RS 60 CB. This squeezes the branch, in a sense, which breaks up the fibres. This accelerates the decomposition process.
Ideally, you should also make sure that beds have been cleared of any weeds before mulching. If you're feeling industrious and manage to remove weeds in February or March, you'll usually reap the benefits of this all year round.