It’s once again that time of year when we start to tidy up all those tired, spent plants that gave us their best with flowers and veggies throughout the summer.
Before you go crazy pulling wildly, save yourself time and money, and do your soil a favor too by simply cutting the above-ground portion of spent plants for composting, and leaving the root-balls to decompose in-place. Leaving the root-ball of spent plants to compost in-place promotes the development of soil structure, maintains pore space, holds moisture, and facilitates active soil biology.
Covering plant stubble with 1-2 inches of high quality compost or planting a cover crop will accelerate decomposition of the root-balls and add nutrients back to the soil for winter and spring planting.
So sharpen your shears and start clipping.