Greetings from Coastal California!
Depending on your context you may be working too hard. Are your landscape aesthetic needs making you cringe at an over grown garden? I get it! I know that feeling to want to have a beautiful looking landscape and that itch to get out there and clean up any plant that looks like its dying back or suffering.
But wait! Those dead looking plants may actually be provided something more valuable than your perfect aesthetic. Letting plants go through their full life cycle and being allowed to set seed honors one of the most powerful acts of nature. Most plants want to propagate themselves and readily drop thousands of seeds too do just that. By harvesting those seeds and dispersing them we can allow natural cycles to proliferate with less human inputs.
I live in a mild temperate climate and thus we can even seed with the fall/winter rain and grow edible crops, habitat, and soil building plants with zero irrigation. All that with low labor by utilizing broadcast or “let it drop” seeding.
But what about “invasive” plants? Good question. The more in touch you are with your garden the better you can make smart decisions about what you let seed and what you cut back before the seeding cycle takes place. In fact, cutting back fast growing opportunistic plants you don’t want before they flower and seed, is an effective way to control those plants.
For the plants you love though…watch what happens when you let them express their full multigenerational potential! Sometimes it pays off to sacrifice aesthetic for function and let nature do her thing!
Please share your comments/thoughts below, I’d love to hear from you.