Gardening Guru Tip of the Week – Pruning

Gardening Guru Tip of the Week – Pruning

We welcome our resident gardening guru Geoff Stebbings from www.thebikinggardener.com with his weekly tip for what we should be doing in our garden this week.

If you haven’t got round to pruning yet there is still just about time. Later pruning will do no harm but it just means that the plants may flower a little later than usual. Just how much later will depend on the weather, as with everything in the garden!

Spring is the time when everyone wants to cut things back and most plants will respond well but what exactly should you be pruning now?

March pruning is usually reserved for plants that will flower later this summer so the first group is roses. By now these will have substantial new shoots but pruning will not do any harm as long as you give them a good feed. Prune back most of last year’s shoots, back to a couple of small buds at the base. Cut out any dead stems and any that are rubbing together.

Buddleias also need pruning now. If not pruned they quickly get straggly with many flowers but in smaller clusters. You can be quite severe with them and cut them back with loppers if required.

Hydrangeas also need a little attention now but do not go mad or you won’t get many flowers this summer. All you need to do is trim back the ends of the shoots to remove the dead flowers. If the plant is old you can cut out a few old stems, pruning them near the base and thinning out the shrub. Avoid giving it a haircut or you will get few flowers.

What must be left for now are spring-flowering shrubs such as forsythias and ribes, or you will cut off the flowers. Leave these till late April.

You can find Geoff at his daily talks at the Allianz Garden Show Ireland this year which takes place at Antrim Castle Gardens from 5th – 7th May.


Catch up on Geoff’s other tips from this series:

Gardening Guru Tip of the Week – Hellebores

Gardening Guru Tip of the Week – Seed Sowing

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