HDGS - Grounds Maintenance by top professionals in Christchurch

When pruning in Autumn, it is important to understand the basic principles to get the most of your plants and fruits. This was a masterclass at Kingston Maurward College on Saturday 06th October, showing gardening techniques and top tips from the top professionals at the college.

Why prune?

  • Achieve a desired shape
  • Allow for an optimum area to reach sun
  • Give healthy buds a chance to thrive
  • Maximise the nutrients
  • Remove dead and diseased tissue
  • The principle of pruning

    Identify a healthy flower or leaf bud and cut right above it with a sharp tool.

    The optimal angle for pruning is done to maximise the nutrients to reach your healthy bud and allowing for maximum cicatrisation.

    Bare in mind the way the nutrients flows just below the surface of the plant. A cut too distance will result in dead matter, as the lack of a leafs to pull the nutrients will result in dead matter. A angled cut with too much surface increases the risk of infection.

    Shrub pruning strategy

    The objective when pruning shrubs is to allow the light to reach new shoots.

    Sometimes, in more stablished plants, a radical cut can make the plant look bare for a long time.

    One solution is to open up the base of the plant, taking cuts from the middle.

    Another alternative is to start your hard pruning from the back of the display, and working your way towards the front gradually, over the period of 2 or 3 year, depending on how the shrub reacts to pruning.

    Apical Dominance

    The hormones created at the tip of branches control the growth and development of the plant.

    When pruning, the lack of this hormones will make that non-specialised cells get the chance to turn into flowers, branches and leaves.

    One alternative to pruning is restricting the light to the tips of the plant generating hormones, either by covering, bending or simply removing the apexes by hand.

    For more courses like this, check the Kingston Maurward College website on https://www.kmc.ac.uk/college/