Tag: Pruning

  • Pruning Ornamental Grasses: The Ultimate Guide

    Pruning Ornamental Grasses: The Ultimate Guide

    When it comes to pruning ornamental grasses, even an ordinarily confident gardener can feel some confusion. Each type of grass has different requirements, which makes it hard because there’s not one rule of thumb which fits all. While some varieties look shaggy and sad if not whacked to the ground each January, for other types of grass this […]

  • How to Prune Evergreen Perennials: Lady’s Mantle, Hellebores and more

    For most flowering perennials, autumn’s brown foliage and obvious dieback make it clear you can prune without harm, but evergreen perennials pose a special dilemma: trim now, or hold off till spring? Turns out, there are good reasons to leave herbaceous evergreen plants standing through the winter: not only do they provide greenery (or sculptural […]

  • Review of Fiskars Quantum Hedge Shear: How Does it Compare to the PowerGear Model?

    Review of Fiskars Quantum Hedge Shear: How Does it Compare to the PowerGear Model?

    Over many years of managing a fine landscape maintenance company – one which focuses on the pruning, training, and finer work in the garden beds rather than the mow ‘n’ blow-type service so ubiquitous in the field – I’ve developed some strong loyalties to the workhorse tools which make the day’s pruning faster, more comfortable, […]

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

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

    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 or ones that have a ground-hugging habit? […]

  • Prune Your Hellebores: A Public Service Announcement

    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 […]

  • Hellebore Pruning: How-To and A Cautionary Tale

    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 […]

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

    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 […]

  • Video Review of Fiskars Powergear Hedging Shear

    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 […]

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

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

    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 […]

  • Pruning Miscanthus Grass: How to Cut Back Big Ornamental Grasses

    Pruning Miscanthus Grass: How to Cut Back Big Ornamental Grasses

    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 […]

  • Brrr! What NOT to Prune in Winter

    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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