It’s only a few days now until the Easter weekend and we are sure there are many garden owners bursting with anticipation about getting in the garden and giving the outdoor plants a good tidy up. One of the main tasks that you will need to carry out will be pruning your plants in preparation for the growing season ahead.
So, with that in mind, we offer you up the following advice on pruning to help you achieve the best possible job before the egg hunting begins:
• Fast-growing plants that put on more than 30cm (12in) growth in a year respond well to hard pruning.
• Slow-growing plants usually do not respond well to being pruned back hard, so avoid it unless absolutely necessary.
• Spring-flowering plants should be pruned after they have finished flowering and before they start to put on new growth. This is because the flowers grow from buds on the previous year’s growth.
• Early summer-flowering plants should be pruned in late summer, after flowering has finished. You should aim to open up the plant to allow in light and air and retain an uncluttered, balanced shape.
• Late summer-flowering plants produce flowers on growth made in the current growing season. Early spring is the best time to prune them, because it diverts the plant’s energy to existing buds and gives it time to produce new flowering shoots from the buds. Prune before growth starts and aim to form a base of strong, woody stems from which spring-flowering shoots will grow each year.
Of course if this frosty weather continues through the weekend, forget pruning and find something else to do.