When to cut back plants?


addy1

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I saw a lot of mantis, but very few yellow jackets YEAH!
 
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I live in Western New York and we've had a very unusual warm fall. I take my cues from the water lilies and the weather. I cut everything back 2 weeks ago when the leaves started falling and I could see the lilies going dormant and stop blooming. I cut back the water lilies and drop them into the pond. It is A LOT easier to skim up the leaves without the water lily foliage getting in the way. This week the nights will be in the 20's and 30's so I did it just in time. I leave a bubbler flowing all winter for oxygen.
 
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I found a nest when in 4th grade…took it to class for our nature display. No one knew what it was…came in one morning and it had hatched…baby praying mantis all over the classroom!
 

addy1

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My hubby did the same thing. A ton of babies come out of a nest!
 
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brokensword

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My hubby did the same thing. A ton of babies come out of a nest!
this sounds an awfully lot like womansplaining to me...grumble, mutter, glare...!:cool::p


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I tend to leave a lot of my plants standing over winter - if they aren't something that will drop and collapse into the pond, they stay until spring. I like the way they look covered with snow, and they help catch leaves that might otherwise blow into the pond. In spring they're easy to just pull out the dead stuff as the new growth gets started.
 

addy1

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I leave the parrots feather it turns brown looks gross then in spring, it come back gang busters.
 

brokensword

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I leave the parrots feather it turns brown looks gross then in spring, it come back gang busters.
wish MY parrot's feather would act the same; since putting up my winter tent, I now have a CHANCE it might comeback as evidenced from one sprig that did just that last winter. Still, very hard to understand why it's classified as invasive in MI when it never survived by my pond all those years. And it'll struggle in my basement setup but usually I get some to 'start again'.

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addy1

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when it never survived by my pond all those years. And it'll struggle in my basement setup but usually I get some to 'start again'.
I can give you a lot in the spring, 4 different kinds, once it starts to grow. Just holler....................
 

brokensword

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I can give you a lot in the spring, 4 different kinds, once it starts to grow. Just holler....................
okie dokie, roger wilco and out! Ifn mine doesn't sprout back up, I'll be a hollerin'!



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I've read it's actually best to wait until early spring to cut plants back as there might be beneficial insects that have laid eggs to overwinter on the stems. What do you guys think?
 

brokensword

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I've read it's actually best to wait until early spring to cut plants back as there might be beneficial insects that have laid eggs to overwinter on the stems. What do you guys think?
I can see the logic but faced with that loss and working with slimy, wet, mushy dead plants...well, I'd rather work in the fall with better conditions. Did toooooo many spring cleanups early in my career and when compared to doing fall cleanups, it's a no-brainer. I figure, there's more than enough bugs in the world already and the fish are getting fed (by me!) not to mention they have lots of algae to graze on...our ponds are not the only bug egg-laying sources around, ya know?


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I can see the logic but faced with that loss and working with slimy, wet, mushy dead plants...well, I'd rather work in the fall with better conditions. Did toooooo many spring cleanups early in my career and when compared to doing fall cleanups, it's a no-brainer. I figure, there's more than enough bugs in the world already and the fish are getting fed (by me!) not to mention they have lots of algae to graze on...our ponds are not the only bug egg-laying sources around, ya know?


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Oh, I was thinking more above water level, like bog plants and marginals.
 

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