Feed Your 2018 Flower Garden with Last Year’s Plants!

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on April 2, 2018

Now that it feels more like spring in Southern Maryland (no more snow, right???), your thoughts might be turning to your flower garden beds. Are some of your bulbs already showing their colorful heads?

Cleaning out the flower beds can be a drag, but the DIY Network has an easy solution that is less work and makes your soil richer. It’s called “chop and drop,” and it lets you use last year’s plants to feed this year’s garden.

The method lets you take advantage of the natural process that happens in local forests every year, the network says. In the woods, leaves fall and no one rakes them up. Over the course of the winter, the leaves decompose, creating a nutrient-rich substance called humus (which is very different from hummus!).

In your own Southern Maryland garden, you can mimic this process by cutting last year’s dead plants and chopping them into small pieces. (Small pieces compost faster.) Then, spread these pieces throughout your flower beds rather than bagging them up for yard waste collection.

Do your “chop and drop” before the spring rains begin, DIY Network says, and if you’re planning to mulch your flower beds, put the mulch on top of your chopped-up plants. Both the rain and the mulch will keep your little pieces in place and help them break down faster.

What tools should you use? Find out more about “chop and drop” at the DIY Network’s article.

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