Most of our snow has just recently melted. I have some tulips just starting to come through now. My flower beds are still covered with leaves from the Fall. When should I be removing them? Because we still get cold nights I am guessing I should wait? I want to get things cleaned up now that I can actually see my flower beds but I don't want to remove the mulch too soon either. When do you know it is time to clean up? Thanks in advance.
Zone 4 here - need advice
You don't need to remove the leaves at all... no one removes the fall leaves in nature. And, as chances are you are not growing anything that is not hardy in your zone anyway, you could remove the mulch at any time you like, if that's your preference for whatever reasons.
I leave my leaves and watch for the white mould. If the leaves are too soggy I give them a light stir to ensure that they are not moulding underneath. I'm not sure if that is the correct procedure but I have found when I let the mould grow I loose plants that are coming from underneath.
Can anyone else wade in on that issue?
Most of my leaf cover happens in my front yard, which is the part-sun area & west facing. There are tall houses & mature poplars, etc. & very large evergreens that surround us, so it takes a while for the front beds to dry out. I agree with Ann & watching for mold. Personally, I like to clean off the beds. I guess working in the leaves into the soil would be good if they were shredded......could do that if I can get DH to bring out the leaf shredder (a little heavy for me), but I think it's too wet here yet. Forecast is for some wet stuff.
I always leave the leaves on the gardens too. I find they help keep the moisture in. Also, I have noticed more worms, closer to the surface, in beds with lots of leaves. They will break down eventually on their own.
I remove and compost some leaves as they can be over a foot thick in some places. The rest I dig in as I work in the beds.