Aside from aesthetics, regular pruning increases the health of your trees, shrubs and hedges. Pruning eliminates weak, decaying and damaged parts of the plant; resources originally meant for them will then be rerouted to healthier branches, stems and leaves. The reduction in density will also accord surviving parts of the plants with larger exposure to sunlight and oxygen in the air. For perennial flowers and herbs, pruning will elicit new bloom and fruit cycles.
Beyond that, pruning is a therapeutic exercise and will generate a sense of accomplishment which will trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. This is the reason why people feel great after spending time gardening. The heightened level of activity, especially among the elderly, is also great for the body’s cardiovascular system.
Nevertheless, pruning is not a one-size-fits-all discipline. Each plant requires different intervals and techniques of pruning. As an example, while many plants benefit from pruning in the summer, a significant number will actually gain greater levels of benefit from winter pruning.
Obviously, uneven and too tall hedges in gardens require immediate attention – just like branches that invade the personal spaces of other plants and yards. However, it would be wise to learn the personal habits of each plant in your garden first before attempting to prune them. For instance, many types of plants will react badly to being prune during heatwaves.
It is also important to practice good tools hygiene to prevent the spread of fungi, parasitic organisms and other diseases. Tools such as shears, hedge trimmers and snips should be cleaned with bleach water at regular intervals to keep them clean. If your secret garden has a large infestation of insects and pests, consider using pruning paint. Tools coated with pruning paint will glaze and protect exposed stems from being burrowed by insects.
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