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Proctor's Garden: Time to clean up for spring

As the battle between winter and summer continues, gardeners have some things to do on sunny days.

DENVER — As the battle between winter and summer continues, gardeners can finally get back outside on some sunny days. There are discoveries to make and plenty of cleanup chores.

Early-blooming bulbs can cope with snowstorms. Crocus, snow iris and snowdrops are popping up. Those on the west or south side of your house or on south-facing slopes bloom first.

All three need no care and thrive and multiply for decades. Crocus, in particular, are an important early pollen source for bees. They'll find them.

The foliage of larger bulbs — tulips, daffodils and hyacinths — are emerging in beds and borders. It's time to clean up around them and cut back perennials to let the sun in.

As you go, chop the stems into smaller pieces before you add it to the compost. These will break down faster.

Credit: Nadzeya Pakhomava - stock.adobe.com

Don't treat your garden bed like a real bed. Don't strip it. Leave the crumbling leaves to further decay and enrich your soil.

Don't mess with roses or spring-blooming shrubs and trees. It's too early to prune roses. And it's nine months too late to prune spring shrubs. You'll just be cutting off their flowers.

The only time to prune spring-blooming trees and shrubs is right after the bloom — if that's necessary, which it rarely is.

More Proctor's Garden:

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