The idea of “pruning” sends many people running out of the garden!! What do you prune? When do you prune it? How do you prune it? What kind of pruner do you use????
Here is a very plain-language simple look at pruning for Early Spring…remember…this is for Early Spring…
What do you prune?
> Deciduous shrubs and trees (remember the “D” in deciduous can trigger your memory that deciduous plants “die back” in spring…thanks to my 5th grade science teacher for the memory trick:) )
> All perennials
> All ornamental grasses
How do you prune it?
> For shape, prune shrubs accordingly
> To encourage new growth, prune shrubs back 1/3…in other words…prune it back to 2/3 of the size it is now
> To encourage better health or tame an overgrown shrub…use “hard cut” pruning method. In other words do the opposite as above…Cut back 2/3…leaving the shrub 1/3 of the size it is now
What kind of pruner do you use????
Electric Hedge Trimmer: To make the job on grasses very easy and make me feel very, very powerful
And lastly…before you have a funeral for your shrub consider
that this guy is still alive…(although living in my shadow – HA!) This is cut back hard…very hard…but there is still life in there because the stems are pliable and fleshy. I trimmed (note: with my anvil pruner) the dead branches.
The finger test is always a good test with deciduous shrubs…if you can break it off…it’s a dead branch…if it bends…there’s still hope!!! I will first root stimulate, then fertilize, water, and of course…pray!
PS…feel free to leave your questions or tips in the comments…we can all learn from each other…
And of course…come in to see us or visit www.thegreenthumbers.com