Did you see our tips for what you needed to do in the garden in April and felt a little overwhelmed?  Maybe you aren’t quite sure how to do your pruning or fertilizing.  If you need a little help, keep reading.  You will find some helpful tips and resources in this week’s post.

Pruning Basics:

April is a great time to prune your shrubs.  Due to the longer winter this year, some of your shrubs and trees might have flowered later rather than sooner this year.  Pruning is great because it can force new growth which produces a healthier shrub and it allows you to control more of the appearance and shape.

  • Wait until AFTER your shrubs have flowered to prune them.
  • For shrubs that you want to keep or create a particular shape, you may want to use a hedge trimmer.
  • For shrubs that you just want to trim down, a good pruner (or even a good pair of scissors for thinner branches) will work just fine.  Make sure your blades are sharp.  If you don’t have a good pair of pruners, consider a pair like this one.
  • Prune the three D’s–branches that are dead, damaged or diseased.
  • If bushes have gotten too thick, trim some branches on the interior structure that will to allow more room for the plant to “breathe”.
  • Don’t prune more than one-third of the shrub.  Remember that the faster and larger a shrub grows, the more you can prune it to your desired shape.

There are a lot of resources online that give more information about pruning.  One of our favorites is:

NC State’s Cooperative Extension Service

You can find a lot of information that includes everything you need to know about pruning.

Fertilizing Basics:

April is also a perfect time to fertilize your shrubs.  We often neglect fertilizing, but plants are living things and need to be fed!  Every one in a while, they require more than just sun and water.  At our Garden Center, we have some excellent options for fertilizing.  Regardless of what you are fertilizing, we have a fertilizer that is best for your plants.

A fertilizer we recommend for shrubs is one of our Bio-Tone fertilizers: Plant Tone

If you have evergreens, holly, azaleas or hydrangeas, Holly Tone is an excellent choice.

If you are overwhelmed and we lost you in paragraph 2, keep in mind we have an excellent Lawn Maintenance division that can help you with ALL of your lawn care needs.  Our annual maintenance program allows us to maintain your property year round so you can enjoy the fruits of our labor instead.