March 26 Column: Spring Pruning

spring pruningWho’s anxious to really get going in their gardens? Boy, I sure am! Once our snow melted, it became very apparent that I’ve got a whole lot of catching up to do. In my column today, I discuss the types of spring pruning we’ll be doing and the timing of them.

Here’s a link to my column in today’s edition of The Spokesman-Review: Pruning not that difficult if you allow the plant to guide you.

With all pruning, you want to remove…

  • Dead and damaged branches.
  • Crossing branches.
  • Branches that grow through the middle of plant.

Once you’ve taken care of them, you just might be done. Or perhaps you have a little bit of tidying up to do to rein in a plant’s growth or remove problematic branches.

One of the most frustrating things I’ve seen in my yard so far — and from what I’m hearing, you’re seeing it, too — is a LOT of winter damage to my roses. So far, I’ve only pruned one since the weather is still a bit cool, but it was shocking just how many canes I had to prune off of it.

In addition, I filmed a video showing you how I take care of winter damage to arbor vitaes as well as how to prune shrub-type berries (i.e., currants, blueberries, gooseberries and jostaberries), roses, raspberries and fruit trees. Whew! And somehow, I squeezed all that into 4 1/2 minutes!

One thing I forgot to mention while talking about pruning roses is that when you’re just shortening a cane (or removing a damaged part from a cane), make your cut just above an outward-facing bud. That way, the new growth will be heading out from the plant rather than through the middle.

So here is this week’s “Everyone Can Grow A Garden!” video: