When diving into spring garden cleaning, first and foremost you’ll need a good sharp tool. Jesse recommends the simple bypass pruner for most jobs; though shears and loppers may benefit you If you’re chopping large tree branches. If you’re unsure what tool to use, swing by Farmer John’s Greenhouse and an associate for advice! Before any chopping can begin, make sure your beds are cleaned of any debris and ready to be renewed. We suggest purchasing new soil or fertilizer to re-cover any areas that were negatively affected by the cold. Fertilizer can also provide important nutrients your returning or freshly planted plants need.

To start with, shrubs can use a good shakedown to determine any deadwood or dead leaves. Make sure not to remove any new shoots or growth and reverse the process your lovely shrubs have made! If trimming, cut above the bud to create a clean symmetrical look. For flowering plants, make sure to let the flowers bloom and enjoy their time in the sun before pruning back to encourage more growth and buds. Jesse suggests cutting the flowers back after a few weeks but notes that all pruning should be done by the end of July to allow the plants to prepare for the winter.

Moving onto trees, the most important thing Jesse recommends is to never prune the ‘top leader’ or main trunk of the tree. Trees continue to grow from the bottom up, so lower branches are important to keep pruned and shaped. In the video, you can learn about crossed branches and how to remedy the crossover.

One of the most important tips discussed is the benefit of frequent, smaller pruning’s as opposed to dramatic cutbacks once a year. This is less traumatic on the plant and will result in stronger branches and buds. Additionally, Jesse suggests the use of “sucker punch” for fruit-bearing trees to reduce the ‘suckers’ that can grow around the base of the trunk. While not harmful to the tree, these ‘suckers’ can be a visual eyesore.

Following these tips and tricks will help your garden bloom into Spring! Questions or comments?

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