Pruning – the one job many of us shy away from in the garden. But, like it or not, it has to be done. And done properly. Plants and hedges that are pruned regularly and correctly are not only beautiful. They can also provide very effective borders and boundary lines, landscape features and even food and shelter for small birds and animals in your garden. Nobody likes leggy, woody, untidy-looking shrubs and bushes. So, if your plants are crying out for a good haircut, it’s time to grab your tools and head outdoors.
But wait! Before you go hacking into anything something and cutting off branches here, there and everywhere, it pays to be sure you know what you are doing. Careless and incorrect pruning methods could unduly stress your plants and, at the very least, cause serious and long-term damage. When done properly, pruning promotes healthy growth and resistance to pests and diseases.
We’ve put together a list of our 6 top tips to help you in your gardening. General garden maintenance isn’t too difficult with a bit guidance and a bit of TLC.
Once you’ve decided which shrubs and bushes are going to be doctored, Google each individual plant and spend a few minutes reading up about any specific pruning needs it may have. A small amount of time spent researching could save you a world of pain down the track…
Choose the right tools
Every dollar spent on pruning tools for your garden is a worthwhile investment, so purchase the best your money will buy. Some hand pruners (or secateurs), a pruning saw, loppers and hand shears will pretty much cover everything you need. Make sure they are sharp enough to make a neat, clean cut. If you are intending to prune large trees you may need to borrow, hire or buy a chainsaw.
Pick your time
Plants are living things and must be treated with respect. That’s why you need to pick your time to prune: some are best trimmed immediately after flowering, some during the cooler months while they are dormant, and some can tolerate a tidy-up at any time.
Begin by removing any damaged or dead branches. Ensure that you make your cuts at a 45° angle – this will prevent water from pooling in the cuts, where it could invite fungi or rot.
- Use your eyes
Cast an eye over the bush that’s undergoing surgery – how much of it actually needs to be removed? Using a technique known as ‘heading back’ (whereby you remove the stem just above a lateral bud) continue to bring the bush back into the desired shape. Be sure to step back and assess your progress regularly – you don’t want to over-stress your shrubs and bushes by removing unnecessary foliage.
- Avoid the V
Left to themselves, most plants grow in a natural V-shape. The result is that the lower branches are shaded and grow less foliage than those at the top. If you are pruning hedges, begin trimming at the bottom and work upwards to promote healthy and even growth over the entire bush.
At Greener Lawns, we understand that pruning can be one of the more intimidating chores of gardening, general upkeep is usually required when trying to keep your lawn and garden tidy. And that’s where we can help! Call us today on 1800 473 363 and ask for more expert tips on trimming up your bushes and shrubs.