Part 2 – Plants living in their own debris aka mulching in place

Spring has finally arrived in the Chicagoland area, at least for a short time, as yesterday we had snow!   I was able, however, to take advantage of the warm weather and start my spring clean-up.  You might remember from last year’s post that in my own beds we ‘mulched in place’, meaning the plant debris was left on the ground to decompose and mulch.  As the results were great last fall we thought we’d do the same thing this spring.

This time the clean-up took about 2 1/2 – 3 hours, mainly due to the large perennial/shrubs/grassed that needed cutting back, still much better than in years past.  Large stems and smaller branches were left as they were until I’d had a chance to live with the look for awhile.  After 3-4 days, I removed them!  I was happy with the leaf litter and left it, although it is a different look than we suburbanites are used to.  To me, everything else just looked messy and took away from being able to easily see what is beginning to grow.

What I learned was, do what works for you!