Pruning

Stop! Don’t Prune That Grass (How to Prune Ornamental Grasses Right)

January 28, 2014 2 comments
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(Article originally appeared in Fine Gardening Magazine) Most of us know what to do with our big grasses that go dormant each winter: Grab a bungee cord, tie the grass up, and use an electric hedge trimmer to buzz the column of foliage to the ground. But what about those tricky grasses that are evergreen […]

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Prune Your Hellebores: A Public Service Announcement

August 14, 2011 3 comments
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Lenten roses, Helleborus orientalis, are gorgeous in winter. They’re gorgeous in spring, too. But if you don’t deadhead them once they’re done blooming, they stop being gorgeous and start looking ratty. Then, they turn into spawning hellcats, dropping masses of seeds that sprout into masses of tiny, slow-growing, hard-to-remove seedlings that, yes, could theoretically turn […]

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Hellebore Pruning: How-To and A Cautionary Tale

February 18, 2011 17 comments
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There are two schools of thought on pruning Lenten rose, or Helleborus orientalis. One side says to prune off the old foliage to the very base just as the Hellebore is starting to flower. The bloom spikes start coming up in the center of the plant, and the old foliage lays down obediently: If you […]

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Fiskars PowerGear Pruning Shear: Rolling Handle Pruners That Don’t Kill Your Pocketbook

February 9, 2011 25 comments
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One of my most popular posts has been a Hand Pruner Showdown in which I compared and contrasted Felcos, Coronas, and Bahcos. One of the first comments on that post was a Fiskars fan, saying essentially – “OMG! Try the Fiskars pruners – they’re inexpensive AND ergonomic”. And so they are! Now that I’ve tried […]

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Video Review of Fiskars Powergear Hedging Shear

February 20, 2010 11 comments
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If you’ve hung around North Coast Gardening for any length of time, you know that I’m a sucker for tools that do multiple jobs well. This hedging shear is my go-to tool for cutting back perennials in fall and winter, pruning ornamental grasses and sword ferns in winter, and deadheading heathers and other plants that […]

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Your Gardening Body: How to Prune Trees Without Strain or Pain

February 7, 2010 2 comments
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Anne Asher, a movement specialist from The MOVE! Blog, answers questions about how professional or passionate gardeners can reduce the strain that comes from repetitive gardening tasks. Check out her new product – great for winter time – called Clear the Blear. Here’s this month’s installment: When pruning apple and other trees in January, I […]

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Pruning Miscanthus Grass: How to Cut Back Big Ornamental Grasses

January 27, 2010 10 comments
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Ready to prune your Miscanthus Grass? This is the time of year to do it! Ornamental grasses start shedding little grass bits everywhere in January, and with every windy storm they become increasingly messy until in early March you have a bunch of grass sticks still upright and grass leaves piled up everywhere in your […]

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Brrr! What NOT to Prune in Winter

January 17, 2010 7 comments
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Right now it’s major big time pruning season here in Northern Cali. I’m cutting back hardy perennials, roses, fruit and other dormant trees and ornamental grasses. But there are a few things I’m leaving alone for the time being. A lot of my favorite plants are frost-tender and can be killed by a stern frost […]

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Video Review of the Fiskars Pruning Stik, My Favorite Pole Pruner

December 12, 2009 11 comments
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Lightweight’s the name of the game for this pole pruner. I’ve been using these Fiskars Pruning Stiks for many years in my landscaping business and have not yet broken or had to retire one. Many pole pruners fail because they try to do too much – they have a saw, a lopper, they extend, and […]

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How to Prune Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Video Tutorial)

November 30, 2009 21 comments
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Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is a true garden classic, especially paired with ornamental grasses, lavenders and colorful sages. It’s particularly great because during the summer when everything else is blooming, its greenish-white buds are getting bigger and bigger, creating a subtly beautiful show, then as everything else slows for the fall, ‘Autumn Joy’ bursts into bloom […]

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