Prun­ing ba­sics

With spring now well un­der way, it’s your last chance to get sum­mer-bloom­ing shrubs into good shape and en­cour­age them to pro­duce plenty of new flow­er­ing shoots. David Hur­rion shows you how

Gardeners' World - - Contents -

With buds burst­ing into growth across much of the UK, you need to fin­ish prun­ing sum­mer-flow­er­ing shrubs and peren­ni­als as soon as pos­si­ble. In April’s longer, warmer days, growth can get go­ing quickly. In the far south and west of the UK, roses and many other shrubs may al­ready have 10cm of new growth. Where this is the case, be care­ful if you still need to cut back the old stems – use the tips of your se­ca­teurs to get in close to the base of new shoots with­out knock­ing them off. Mean­while, spring-flow­er­ing shrubs can be pruned once their dis­play is over. Cut the old­est, woody, flow­ered stems right down to the base. Re­move the thinnest, weak­est stems too, but leave last sea­son’s strong­est branches, which should be healthy and vig­or­ous. Forsythia, flow­er­ing cur­rant and ker­ria should be ready to prune now, while weigela, philadel­phus and deutzia are yet to bloom in most ar­eas, so won’t need prun­ing un­til late spring. Com­ing up: How to keep for­mal hedges trim

April 2018 gar­den­er­

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