NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Your flowers may no longer be blooming, but it’s not quite time to forget all about your garden.

Gardener extraordinaire Colleen Plimpton, who wrote “Mentors in the Garden of Life” reminds us of the importance of the fall cleanup.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Pat Farnack with Colleen Plimpton

“Cleanup in the fall is essential for a healthy garden,” Plimpton told WCBS 880 anchor Pat Farnack. “When you pick up and cut down all those dead leaves and the perennials that need to be cut down, that way we’re getting rid of any bugs that might be in the garden. So, when we discard that, we discard some problems.”

"Mentors in the Garden of Life" by Colleen Plimpton

Do you rake off all that mulch from your beds?

Plimpton says, “Not at all. The only thing is to make sure that the mulch is not covering the crowns of the plants because you don’t want them to smother. They do need to breathe, even in the winter time, even under the snow. But, I think a good covering of mulch is essential to keep the soil temperature even and, also, to help those micronutrients. You know the freeze-thaw action in the winter time, it helps the micronutrients that are in the mulch get into the soil.”

Plimpton is also a big fan of compost.

LINK: Colleen Plimpton’s Web Site