Tired of a fuzzy garden? Thinking of sprucing things up? Pruning your garden can be a very minimalistic job, or you can go to lengths with it. A successful pruning session can be very rewarding if you put in a bit of planning.
Although there is a risk of damaging your plants with the wrong techniques of pruning, to avoid such disappointment, we will walk you through how to prune, what to prune, when to prune, and what to prune with.
The first trick is to know the different varieties of plants you have in your garden. Plants need pruning based on how they act year-round and how they respond to pruning. Pruning is just as crucial as soil quality, nutrients, amount of sunshine/light, etc.
If you’re looking for a healthy and plentiful garden, we will discuss the 4 Ws of pruning below-
The 1st W: What Is Pruning?
You need some basic plant knowledge to understand what pruning is. The most basic definition of pruning would be controlling the growth of plants into a specific pattern.
Budding is the first step of pruning. There are four basic types of budding: alternate, opposite, spiral, or whorled.
Shoots (or branch) of a woody plant end in the terminal (end) bud. There are other buds positioned underneath it, and the pattern varies from one plant to the other.
The terminal bud produces a chemical that slows down the growth of other buds. If it is removed by means like breaking off or pruning, the lateral shoots quickly grow and branch out as the supply is restricted. This gives the plant a bushier look.
Severe pruning will give you fastened growth, and light pruning will give you a slower growth.
If you don’t prune your plants for a long while, a severe pruning might give you the fastest results. Although all of this sounds quite easy, it can be difficult to execute if you are not being careful.
The 2nd W: What to Prune With
You can choose to do the job by hand, with shears, or with a chainsaw. Using a chainsaw would be much more efficient because of the control it provides you. There are many different types of chainsaws like gas run, cordless, and electric. For pruning purposes, a cordless chainsaw is definitely the way to go. If you’re confused about which is best suited for you, check out battery chainsaw reviews.
But remember always safety first!
You need to be wearing high-quality protective clothing at all times while operating a chainsaw. Goggles, a hard hat and a cut-resistant pair of gloves are the three most crucial prune-wear for a session. If you want to be a little bit more cautious, use protective steel-toed boots as well.
If you pick a chainsaw as your pruning device, make sure you never raise it above your waist. They are good for overgrown or well-established shrubs. How you use your chainsaw may differ slightly depending on the shrub. For instance, forsythia should have only had older, drooping, or weak branches and discolored bark removed. If you’re dealing with lilac bushes, all older stems should be cut off. You shouldn’t prune the tip of lilacs as it ruins their shape.
The 3rd W: Why Prune?
Some people think that pruning might not be the best thing for the growth of plants as it might go against the natural growth pattern.
On top of that ornamental value, pruning can be necessary for different plants to coexist in a garden. While there are some plants that need more pruning than the others, there must also be a balanced symmetry.
There is also an argument against pruning that it might cause diseases in plants due to the cuts. The plants become susceptible to infection due to the open wounds.
What can be said against that is, when you are pruning a young plant, the recovery period is quicker. As you go on pruning and giving them your desired shape, it needs less and less pruning with time.
Pruning is not just about the shape, it is also about the healthy production of flowers and fruits. Annual cutting gets rid of the old wood and helps the young shoots to flourish.
If there is an infection, you can get rid of it by burning the diseased shoots. Prune the diseased shoots away, make a pile and put them on fire.
The 4th W: When to Prune
The best time to prune is during the dormant time. Depending on where you are from, it is usually between late fall and early spring. It is true that summer pruning slows the growth down while winter pruning stimulates growth.
To have the beautiful blossom, prune the flowering plants right after the flowers die. Some plants like grapes, birch trees, and maple trees behave the best when they are pruned in summer, spring and early fall.
Before you start your pruning sessions, make sure you know what you want and you know your plants fairly well. Discuss it with the experts, find resources online and always make sure to double-check.
Pruning might seem like a complicated and difficult task, but it is not any more complex than any other garden activities that you have to undertake as a gardener. We hope we have managed to chase the fear of pruning with our guidance, and you will only have fun in this session!