Clip remaining dead stems from last year's growth. If rabbits attack your garden in spring, leave 3- to 4-inch stem stubs to protect new growth.
Cut back ornamental grasses before their new growth starts. For large clumps, gather stems into a bundle with a bungee cord and cut with electric hedge clippers.
Wait to divide spring bloomers following their flower show. Otherwise, they won't bloom this year.
Divide bearded iris in late summer. Aim to have divisions in the ground by Labor Day.
Divide peonies in early fall -- if at all. The main reason to divide these is because plants aren't growing well, you want to increase your patch, the growing spot has become too shady, or you're sharing divisions with a friend. Otherwise, the rule of thumb is that peonies need divided every 150 years.
Dig and divide perennials that flower in summer or fall. If you're unsure if you need to divide, ask yourself these questions:
Are clumps too big for the space they're occupying?
Has flower number dwindled over the last growing season (or two)?
Does the clump have a dead spot in the middle surrounded by a ring of growth?
Do you want more plants of that type?
Continued on page 3: What to Do Now