Singing birds, early sunrise, and a smile on our face. Spring is FINALLY, arriving! As your plants begin to wake up from their winter dormancy and start producing new growth, now is a great time to help prepare them for a vigorous growing season. Pruning can help shape plants, promote healthy growth, and increase their overall productivity. Here are six tips for pruning your garden this spring!
1. Wait until the last frost has passed.
Before pruning, it’s crucial to make sure that the last frost has passed.Because we are located inplanting zone 5, this typically occurs between late April and early May. Pruning before the last frost cancause newgrowth to emerge prematurely, which canthenbe damaged by the frost.
2. Prune dead and damaged branches.
The first step in pruning is to remove any dead or damaged branches. These branches can be easilyidentified as they are dry and brittle and may have a different color or texture than healthy branches.Pruning these branches can prevent them from attracting pests and diseases and can also promotehealthy new growth. A simple trick to this is a dead stem will quickly snap off, while a living, butdormant branch will bend a bit before snapping. You can often see green just on the inside of the barkor towards the center of the branch as well.
3. Shape your plants.
Pruning can be used to shape your plants and keep them looking neat and tidy. This is especially important for plants that grow rapidly or have a sprawling growth habit. To shape your plants, identify the branches that are growing in the wrong direction or are too long, and prune them back to the desired length or angle. We tend to design and build ina simplistic and clean manner, we want to accent your beautiful home, not hide it. Keeping your shrubs and grasses in a neat and tidy manner keeps the focus on the home will offering color and symmetry that is pleasing to the eye.
4. Encourage new growth.
Pruning can also be used to encourage new growth and increase plant productivity. This is especially important for fruit trees and bushes, as pruning can increase fruit production and improve fruit quality.To encourage new growth, prune the tips of the branches, which can stimulate the growth of lateralbranches and increase overall productivity.
5. Use the right tools.
To make pruning easier and more efficient, it’s essential to use the right tools. Handpruners and loppers are excellent for pruning small branches, while pruning saws can be used for largerbranches. Make sure your tools are sharp and clean to prevent damaging the plant and spreadingdiseases.
6. Don’t over-prune.
While pruning is essential for maintaining healthy plants, it’s important not to over-prune. Over-pruningcan weaken the plant and reduce its overall productivity. A good rule of thumb is to never remove morethan one-third of the plant’s total foliage in a single pruning session.
In conclusion, spring pruning is an essential part of being the studious caretaker of your plants. After all they are a living organism, ever changing and adapting. But they still need our help to maintain a healthy growth rate. Remember to look at your plant care guide for plant specific requirements, if you have questions–don’t hesitate to reach out!