PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you have lots of browned bits of leftover plants in your garden beds, it’s time to clean up.

When I first started gardening, I found it very confusing what parts of dying perennials to take away in the fall. So, I just left most things alone in the autumn and tidied it up in the spring.

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The great thing about doing it now, is that it’s easy to tell what part to take away – everything that died back from last year’s plant is brown, tan, broken off already or snaps right off in your hand. Plus, things are starting to sprout, so as you pull away the dead stuff, you’ll see green stubs shooting up from one plant, rubbery buds on others and vines springing back to life with green leaves.

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So, clear away the debris and rake off leaves that piled up and might smother young sprouts so that sunshine can reach the soil. It’s a great first chore for the season, gives you a chance to see how everything in your garden is doing and say hello to your plants after a long winter.

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Reported By Phran Novelli, KYW Newsradio