Fall is the time for some pruning and trimming—but not too much. Much of that debris and old growth that looks so tired and scraggly is exactly what is needed to feed and protect many of the beneficial birds, bees, and other critters during the cold winter months.
This collection of winter garden prep tips comes from dedicated organic gardeners. You can find all of the tips here.
Continued from Winter Garden Preparation: Tool Care (Tips 20-23)
Is It Time To Prune?
It would be rather tidy if there was one rule for when and how to prune everything but there’s not. It depends on the plant, your location, the time of year, and the growth stage.
You have to do your homework and check plant-by-plant, but once you know, you know. I put pruning reminders right into my Google calendar, making it easy to get the timing right each season.
Here’s some pruning tips from garden blog friends. Some of these items can be pruned in the fall, others should be put on your checklist for spring or later.
Have You Got the Right Tool for the Job?
First, this shows you which pruning tools work best for cutting, chopping, clipping, slicing, dicing, and more.
Pruning Ornamental Grasses
24. Stop! Don’t Prune That Grass (How to Prune Ornamental Grasses Right) | North Coast Gardening
“Unconventional grassy plants can’t be trimmed using generalized pruning rules. They require special timing and techniques on your part to look their best…”
25. It’s Spring: Time To Cut The Grass | Pet Scribbles
“Springtime gardening chores. One of the annual tasks I do each Spring is prune our ornamental grasses…”
26. When Should I Prune Roses? | Sensible Gardening and Living
“For some reason, the chore of pruning roses often creates feelings of anxiety with gardeners. Like anything else however the more you practice the better you will become. Your first step is to learn a few basic skills…”
27. Pruning Climbing Roses For Optimum Bloom | Flower Patch Farmhouse
“Pruning climbing roses is different than Hybrid Teas or other bush types. You can prune on them all season long to keep them in check and blooming…”
28. Pruning Roses: Beginner Tips | New House New Home New Life
“Once your roses have finished blooming, its important to get rid of the spent flowers. If you don’t, all the energy will go into the development of seeds…”
Pruning Raspberries and Blackberries
29. How To Prune Raspberries and Blackberries | The Prudent Garden
“Pruning raspberries and blackberries after the harvest is a necessity for an orderly, trouble free berry patch. I should know…”
29b. How to Transplant Raspberries | Empress of Dirt
Raspberries need sunny locations with good air circulation. You might need to move yours if they are not performing well in their current location.
Pruning Mature Trees
30. Pruning Mature Trees | Learning & Yearning
“Here in the northeast section of the United States, late winter is the perfect time of year for tree pruning. Just before bud break…”
31. Clematis 101: Easy Care Guide | Empress of Dirt
“Clematis care does not have to be complicated. This simple chart is intended to assist the new gardener who has a clematis and doesn’t know what type it is or what care it needs…”
32. How and When To Prune Hydrangea | North Coast Gardening
“Why prune? Scientific studies have shown that Hydrangeas that are pruned properly flower more than plants that are left unpruned. Pruning also encourages…”
- American Horticultural Society Pruning and Training | Amazon.com
- Pruning tools | Amazon.com
Consider getting a good pruning guide that you can refer to over and over again.
I like to browse the book first to make sure I can easily understand the diagrams: pruning is all about making the right cuts at the right time and location on the plant, using a sharp, clean pruning tool.
Also, the best tools to use will depend on what it is you are pruning. Any good reference book will show you what you need.
More Winter Garden Preparation Tips
- Mulch, Leaves, & Cover Crops | Tips 1-3
- Planting Bulbs | Tips 4-10
- Tender Plant Care | Tips 11-15
- Fall Chores Checklists | Tips 16-19
- Tool Care | Tips 20-23
- Pruning & Trimming | Tips 24-32
- Birds & Bees | Tips 33-40
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