Pruning is at the heart of every gardener. Pruning is the secret to obtaining a healthy and abundant harvest.
But how do you prune properly?
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The only way for pruning to deliver excellent results is by ensuring it is done correctly. Therefore, all gardeners need to ensure that they prune their plants correctly. Pruning wrongly can damage the entire plant.
What is pruning?
Pruning is regulating a plant’s growth while intending to obtain a healthy and abundant harvest. Typically, pruning is trimming the end of the plant from time to time to facilitate more growth.
In a plant, the branch usually ends with a terminal bud. The terminal bud on the shoot often produces harmful chemicals that slow down the plant’s growth. Trimming the terminal end helps in slowing down the production of the harmful chemical produced.
Subsequently, the plant continues to grow stronger and healthier if you prune often. The correct method of pruning often depends on the type of plant you are growing.
Is pruning complicated?
The majority of gardeners often think that pruning is hard and requires a lot of work. But pruning is a pretty straightforward process. All you have to do is use the right equipment and technique.
Best tools for pruning
You need very few types of equipment for successful pruning. Before you start pruning, always ensure you have high-quality pruning equipment. Some gardeners use gardening shears to prune. But it is advisable to use a strong pair of secateurs or hand pruners.
Both these pieces of equipment have a sharp edge to help you trim and a safety handle to prevent you from injuring yourself. When pruning larger plants with thick stems, it would be best to use a long-handled pruner. Some gardeners also use pruning knives and saws for pruning.
Knives and saws are relatively effective. But it would be best if you had special expertise when using saws and knives.
The standard method for pruning plants:
- Examine the plant: The first thing to do would be to look at the plant. Examine its size and shape. Check whether the plant has any disease and how it’s growing. Moreover, look for latent buds and avoid cutting them; these are areas with potential growth. Carefully evaluating the plant helps you trim the required part.
- Know the designated tools: As seen earlier, the pruning equipment you use is often determined by the plant’s type and size. Bigger shoots require long-handled scissors. On the other hand, smaller shoots may require standard pruning scissors. Once you determine the most suitable garden pruning tools, place them somewhere accessible.
- Get rid of the Dead Matter: Remove all dead leaves and stems. Leaving dead matter on the plant will affect the growth of the plant. Note that you should let the soil dry before watering the plant after removing dead matter.
- Make Your Cuts: Start trimming the plant. In most instances, gardening experts recommend cutting a third of the plant. Alternatively, trim the plant around the area just before the leaf node. When cutting thicker stems, start trimming from as close to the main
Importance of pruning
Surprisingly, not everyone believes in pruning. Some say that pruning affects the plant’s normal growth and makes the plant vulnerable to more diseases. But pruning is necessary because terminal buds produce chemicals that can destroy the whole plant.
Below are some of the reasons that explain the importance of pruning.
- Pruning helps the plant grow healthier and stronger. This gardening technique slows down the production of harmful chemicals from the terminal buds. In turn, this encourages healthy plant growth that enables gardeners to have a plentiful harvest.
- The majority of gardeners desire to have plants with a similar height to boost the garden’s aesthetics. Pruning enables them to keep plants at a balanced symmetry in their garden. Consequently, the garden looks neater and more appealing.
- Pruning enables shorter plants to receive sufficient sunlight. Generally, taller plants in the garden may prevent sunlight from reaching shorter plants. As a result, shorter plants do not grow healthy. When you prune, you allow light to penetrate to the smaller plants. This makes your garden fuller and healthier.
- Another advantage of pruning is that it prevents your plants from diseases. Trimming young plants from time to time makes them heal quickly from any terminal illnesses. If the end part of the plant is affected, pruning will help you get rid of it. Getting rid of dead stems and leaves during pruning safeguards the plant from pests and diseases.
How often should you prune?
As a gardener, you have to prune during the best times of the year. Failure to do so would lead to weaker plants. Gardening experts report that the best time to prune is during fall. Pruning during summer slows down the plant’s growth, while pruning during winter speeds up plant growth.
Nonetheless, the best time to prune depends on the type of plant. For example, plants with flowering buds require you to trim them immediately after their flowers are dead.
This is the only way you can attain a plentiful harvest with such plants. Additionally, some plants require pruning during spring or early fall. At the end of the day, the best time to prune depends on your requirements.
Therefore, if you are growing a wide variety of plants, take time to understand each of them. Then, you’ll know how and when to prune each plant species. Fortunately, you can find a lot of information regarding pruning online.
Get that garden pruned
All gardeners should prune their plants if they want an abundant harvest. Pruning is important since it promotes fast and healthy growth for your plants.
Generally, pruning incorporates trimming the terminal bud of the plant to facilitate new growth. Pruning properly requires you to examine the plant first, choose the right equipment, remove dead leaves/stems, and cutting less than 25% of the plant.
This process protects your plants from diseases and allows shorter plants to grow healthy. Ultimately, if you have a outdoor or indoor garden, never forget to prune your plants!