yardwork

  1. Tips for the New Gardener

    Photo by Yutaka Seki on Foter.com / CC BY

    No doubt about it, gardening is hot. People are discovering again why gardening is so gratifying. There is no denying the workplace is a busy and competitive environment, so it is nice to change gears when you get home. Many are re-discovering that gardening is extremely therapeutic - you can get outside, put your phone on the counter, check on your plants, and maybe give them a drink. 

    If you have never gardened before, watch out … you just might catch the bug.

    A garden does not have to be a huge, rectangular plot of vegetables way out in the back corner of your yard. Today’s gardens are in pots, raised beds, mixed in with annuals, perennials and even within your landscape. Plants in an “edible landscape” - why not? 

    Before you get started, check how much sun exposure there is in the area that you would like to grow flowers, herbs, or vegetables. The amount of sun will dictate the plants that can be grown successfully. Start small and keep it simple. 

    Do

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  2. Young Peach Tree Pruning Tips

    Prune peach trees in early spring for the largest fruit

    Gardeners often fall into one of two categories: either they LOVE pruning time every year ("It's cathartic!") or they HATE pruning time every year ("I think that tree can wait till next year.").

    Unfortunately, it is part of the deal when you plant fruit trees. All fruit trees, but especially peach trees, need some coddling when it comes to pruning time. 

    Confused about how to prune a peach tree? Want to get the largest fruit possible? Read on!

    Pruning Young Peach Trees

    Your goal is to open up the tree so that the sun can reach the fruit. This is iimportant to good fruit color, and allows air to circulate which helps avoid pests and diseases.

    Too much shade on the lower branches can kill the growing peach twigs in one season and after a while, no fruiting wood will grow in the lower part of the tree.

    Step by Step How-Tos on Pruning

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  3. Pruning Hibiscus

    Pruning Hibiscus

    Pruning hibiscus is not normally needed for the hardy hibiscus. Actually, these plants are herbaceous perennials, meaning their tops die down to the ground each winter, but new shoots will come roaring back into lush growth when soils warm the following spring. Because the tops die down each year, pruning is generally limited to controlling plant size when it gets too large for its area.

    Pruning the dead material back in the fall is recommended. Prune the dead material back to about 8 to 12 inches. Then, apply a thick layer of mulch over the plant roots, 8 to 12 inches, to keep plant roots from freezing.

    In the spring, remove the mulch and prune the remaining dead plant material to ground level. The tropical hibiscus can be pruned in the spring. The time to prune depends on where you live and the weather you expect. The main precaution is not to prune so that the tender new growth is emerging during a time when frost is likely. This guideline dictates that most pruning

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  4. Pruning Forsythia

    Forsythia flower cut

    Pruning forsythia provides great benefits to the forsythia plant. Many times forsythia is pruned for cut flowers. Pruning a forsythia plant also helps keep the plant to a bushier growth habit. Pruning forsythia also promoters better flowering. A frequently asked question is, "When is the best time for pruning forsythia?" Pruning in December or January provides branches for forcing.  If some pruning is done when the plant is in bloom it again provides cut flowers for use in indoor arrangements. Additional pruning after flowering encourages better branching and the potential for more flowers in future years.

    Pruning forsythia after flowering is the most widely used method. Cut out about one-third of the old woody growth.  This encourages new young growth, which will supply the next season's flowers. Experts advise that you should be looking for new growth that develops quickly in whip-like form.  If the whip like branches are not trimmed or trained it will ruin the shape of your pl

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  5. Pruning Cherry Trees

    dead cherry tree branch

    One of the primary problems faced by gardeners when growing cherry trees is that they do not understand how to prune a cherry tree properly.  Pruning cherry trees plays an important role in ensuring proper growth and fruit production. Before growing one, any gardener must fully understand how to prune a cherry tree properly.

    Before understanding how to prune a cherry tree, it is important to know how cherry trees grow. Cherry trees are central leader trees.  This means that there is one main upright trunk, called the leader. All branches will sprout and grow out of this.

    A properly pruned cherry tree should have a scaffold shape. This means that there are branches circling the tree, perpendicular to the leader, and there should be an area of about two feet between the levels to allow for light to reach the lower leaves and fruit.  Pruning cherry trees should be done in the late winter, encouraging the plant to grow more during the growing season.  The first level of bran

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  6. Pruning Rose Of Sharon

    Rose of Sharon

    Rose of Sharon blooms later than most shrubs.  Satin rose and other Rose of Sharon, produce beautiful saucer size blossoms beginning in the summer and continuing until fall.   Pruning rose of sharon each spring will produce fewer flowers, but they will be much larger.  If you give it an occasional pruning, it will produce an array of smaller blooms that will cover the entire shrub.

    This shrub can be trained through pruning in late winter, and that way it is easy to give it a desired shape and size.  This shrub may also be trained as a single trunk tree or espalier (training a plant to grow on a trellis or in a small area). Rose of Sharon, such as Freedom, can be used in an area where space is lim

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