How should I overwinter my garden?

I have a section of my garden that are all wildflowers - no real landscaping just wild flowers. There are a combination of annuals and perennials and some from bulbs most from seed.

So when should I weedwack them (if ever) and hope they come back? The snow starts in about 2 months and my thought was to weedwack them for over the winter and let the old plants insulate the bulbs and (hopefully) seeds. It has also been suggested that like wildflowers in the wild , I leave them alone and let nature take care of it. I’m not sure what to do.

Let them die off on their own and dump a bunch of mulch over the area–dry leaves are perfect for this. If you really feel you must weedwack, do it when everything has died off so the energy of the plant has withdrawn down to the roots and/or bulbs.

But don’t mulch too hard or cut back too far. Many pollinators and other beneficial insects overwinter in plant stems and in leaf litter.

Another reason for not cutting back drastically is that seedheads of some plants provide food in winter for birds.

Of course, you could take the tack that screw it, the garden’s for you, it’s a pain in the ass to trim back soggy dead foliage and stalks in spring, and damn the critters. :smiley:

That’s exactly what we do with our wildflower gardens.

If you have a deciduous tree that sheds leaves you really ought to leave them on the ground–not only is it good for keeping down weeds in spring and the breakdown of the leaves gives a lot of enrichment to the soil but a massive number of insects lay eggs in those leaves and they’re an important food source to the critters in your garden. Go ahead and rake them into places where they’re less in the way, but don’t bag them up or send them to the dump. Leave the leaves!

To quote Gerard Manley Hopkins, "Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet!’