Thursday, 7 March 2013

Pruning in March

The first signs of spring are now clearly visible. Plants in the garden and on the balcony are gradually coming to life, and gardeners are keen to get down to work, as there is plenty to do this month to prepare the garden for the coming season.
  • Remove any remaining dead foliage.
  • Prune back roses from the end of March, using clean, sharp secateurs.
  • Prune bush roses back to a height of approximately 45 cm.
  • Prune standard roses above the graft union, cutting the branches down to a maximum length of 40 cm. Make the cut just above an eye (dormant bud).
  • Weeping roses can be left slightly longer.
  • Leave the main branches of climbing roses intact but cut the side branches back to the fifth eye. To rejuvenate an old climbing rose, remove one of the old main branches completely at the base of the plant.
  • Old privet hedges that need rejuvenating can be pruned now. Use a lopper for this. Leave only the strong main branches, cutting back to a length of 50 - 100 cm.
  • Cut back loose hanging ivy branches and remove any branches that have attached themselves to wooden window frames or guttering.
  • Cut late flowering clematis right back to the ground. Snails and slugs love the new shoots, so keep an eye out for them.
  • Lavender and heather can be cut back using hedge clippers, but make sure you never cut them back to the bare wood.