Don't know when, where, or how to cut your plants, shrubs, or trees? Use these pruning tips to keep everything in check, make your garden neat and tidy, and ensure proper plant health.
Pruning Tips to Keep Your Garden Clean and in Good Health
What Is Pruning?
Pruning is the process of trimming unwanted branches, stems, or leaves in a tree. It is regularly done to promote good plant health or to maintain a shrub's shape and size to encourage new growth.
Pruning Tip #1: Know Where to Cut
When cutting a tree limb, make sure you prune a bud that faces outward the tree at about 1/4 inch. Cutting outward will dictate the direction of stem growth. If you prune a branch or bulb facing inside the tree then it may face toward the tree.
Make sure you cut at a 45° angle covering the top part and avoid the branch from getting too much water when it gets wet.
Pruning Tip #2: Pinching Stem
Pinching is a way of pruning a plant where you will remove the main stem from a plant. This technique encourages branching which ensures two new stems to grow out of the pinched portion. Doing this will also force a plant to bloom to its fullest form.
When pinching a stem, do it as close to the leaf node as possible. Just be careful not to harm or injure a plant by damaging its surrounding parts.
Pruning Tip #3: Root Pruning
Root pruning encourages growth in houseplants in small containers. It somehow controls a plant's growth. Especially for those planted in smaller containers.
For overgrown houseplants, pruning its roots will help it to live longer. The technique in doing this is to remove the entire plant from the soil and locate its rootball. From there, prune its root about a quarter of an inch and remove any excess root before replanting it.
Pruning Tip #4: Pruning in Spring
The growth of a tree is commonly faster during the winter and dormant during summer. It is best to prune during late winter or early spring. By this time, there will be little to no frost at all which can cause cold damage to the plants.
When taking out heavier branches, make sure you cut it by portions and not going directly the branch collar. Doing this could hurt the tree by ripping the bark. Aside from hurting a tree, this could pose danger to your surroundings.
Pruning Tip #5: Pruning in Summer
After pruning in spring, it is important to do a second round during summer. As stated above, the growth of a tree is more active during the colder months and it is important to prepare a tree or plant during summer.
If you do this later in the season and closer to the first frost, it could potentially hurt a tree. Think of it as a fresh wound on your skin and exposing it to extreme weather can prolong healing.
Pruning Tip #6: Use the Right Pruning Equipment
Always use the right pruning equipment and exercise extreme caution especially when reaching out for high and heavy branches. Do not use DIY tools because you need to cut branches at a correct angle since the health of a shrub or tree is at hand.
You also need to be careful from cutting high branches as to not hurt or endanger the operator of the shears.
Use pruning shears for those close to the ground or easy to reach branches, looping shears for harder to reach branches, and a pole saw pruner for higher branches.
Pruning Tip #7: Pruning Cuts
Cut at a 45° angle when you're cutting a bulb to ensure maximum potential in its growth. Other techniques are pinching which is described above, heading to encourage dense growth, shearing when trying to shape a shrub, and thinning to prevent overcrowding and keeping a shrub healthy.
Pruning Tip #8: Create Shapes
You can create a lined hedge for plants or small trees that are closely planted together. You can also create shapes if you wish to add design in your garden. This is a great idea for those gardeners who practice topiary.
Lined hedges can divide your garden into different sections. If you have a rosarium, you can create a hedge to separate your roses from the rest of your garden.
Pruning Tip #9: Remove Extras
Remove undesirable growth like suckers (stems going up the soil from the roots), protruding branches, and water sprouts (shoots growing from branches and tree trunks). Also, prune out dead branches and those infested with pests. The overall growth of the tree also depends on its health and the way it is taken care of.
Pruning Tip #10: Sharpening Pruners
First of all, use protective equipment such as protective gloves and goggles to guard yourself when dealing with sharp metal. Next is to wash and soap the blades to make sure there are no debris found on the pruners. Remove any rust, if there are any, by using medium-coarse steel wool.
In sharpening, secure the pruner using a bench vise to keep it in place. Use a medium or coarse diamond hand file. File through the contour of the blade using one smooth stroke at a time from the base to the tip. Do it on both blades. File everything off when you're done.
Watch this video from Garden Tips for other gardening and pruning tips:
These pruning tips and techniques will help your plants achieve their maximum growth and health and keep your garden neat and orderly. Always keep in mind to always practice safety when handling sharp tools and when dealing with heavy branches.
Do you have other pruning tips in mind that you want to share? Leave a comment in the section provided below.
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