Pruning Plants and Bushes
Any overgrown, or struggling plant will benefit from a little pruning. Even
a healthy plant benefits by a trimming from time to time. It doesn't matter
whether it's a tree or a shrub, a bush, flowers, or your vegetable plants.
They all benefit by pruning and trimming.
With few exceptions, plants can be pruned anytime during the year. Pruning
makes your plant look better and feel better too! It allows the plant's "support
system" to send vital energy and nutrients a smaller area and to newer, more
vigorous growth. The result.......a lusher, healthier, and better looking
There are several reasons to prune plants:
To remove dead , weak, or unsightly branches.
To re-invigorate plant growth...new leaves and branches grow faster.
To reshape the plant into a more desirable shape.
To produce denser, bushier appearance.
To thin out growth, providing more air circulation and light.
To limit plant size.
Pruning most plants can be done almost anytime of year. In general, spring
and fall is best. Many bushes and plants get a good trimming when you, the
homeowner, gets a chance to work in the yard during the summer. And, it is
not uncommon to find an avid gardener or two walking around the yard during
a calm winter day with a pruner in hand. Are you guilty as charged....we
Note: There are a few plants that should only be pruned in the spring
right after blooming, These are generally shrubs, most notably Lilac bushes.
more on Pruning Lilacs
How and What to Prune:
Dead, dying and unsightly limbs and branches- Inspect your plants
regularly. Remove any branches or stems that fit this category right away,
and at any time of year. They are only sapping plant energy, and are unsightly
in appearance. Cut away to either a branch or stem, or to where live, healthy
Pruning Branches- Use a sharp pruner or pruning saw. Cut the branch
as close to the main stem or trunk as possible. Cut parallel to the trunk.
If the branch is big and you are using a saw, begin with a small slit from
the bottom side of the branch. Then, go to the top of the branch and begin
sawing. This will minimize the tearing of additional bark, if the branch
breaks and falls while cutting.
Thinning thick bushes and plants- Remove any thin and spindly stems
right down to the ground, or base of the plant. Remove older branches to
promote new growth, again right to the base of the plant. As a rule of thumb,
when thinning bushes, remove no more than 1/4 to 1/3 of the stems a year.
Pruning transplants- When pruning transplants, the rule of thumb is
to trim off 1/3 of the plant before you move it. After transplanting, your
plant focuses upon regrowing and repairing it's root system. The remaining
roots will have less plant to support. It will also result in a bushier plant
Proper Pruning tools:
The best pruning tools are essential in your gardening toolbelt. Pruning
tools are among the most used tools in gardening. The best pruning tools
are those that have sharp cutting edges, and are comfortable in your hands.
There is nothing worse than a dull tool, that makes your work harder, and
results in crushing, tearing, or other damage to the plant.
Here is a link to some of the best pruners on the market.
Pruning Tomato Plants
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