I’m still getting my flower beds ready for winter:
cutting down stalks, pulling weeds and mulching. I have plenty of hostas, but
now that we have had some hard frosts, they’re easy to clean up.
Instead of using my pruners to cut every leaf, I just grab a dozen or more leaves at once, give a tug, and they separate from the roots easily. Into the bucket or wheelbarrow they go. I am aware that many gardeners get sore hands – and even aggravate carpal tunnel conditions - during the fall clean up. Hostas don’t need to be part of that.
Just grab a handful of hosta leaves and give a tug.
If the leaves are still green, or partially green, wait a little longer. They won’t pull off like the yellow, dead ones. And the seed heads don’t pull at all. You’ll need to snip them off with your pruners, or use a serrated knife.
A serrated knife is good for cutting back tough stalks.
I find a serrated knife – something like an old steak knife – works great for cutting stems. I bought several “root knives” from Lee Valley Tools years ago, but they have stopped manufacturing them. A knife minimizes that opening and closing of pruners which I find tiring. Just wear gloves when you use one – it’s easy to nick a finger with a sharp knife.
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