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A Trimming Footnote

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A Trimming Footnote

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In the interest of keeping this weekly scribing by me concise, I am forced to make tough decisions about how much depth I can go into any particular topic.  Last week is a prime example.  I did talk about the importance of timing in trimming, but with little specifics.  I will attempt to rectify that situation for those of you wondering if you have screwed up or not. 


First of all, there are some items you should avoid trimming now: Spring flowering plants.  Included flowering plants; such as azaleas, forsythia, flowering quince, dogwood, garden hydrangea, (hydrangea macrophylla or big leafed hydrangea) or oriental magnolias (deciduous types) flower on the previous year’s wood.  That is the wood that is currently on these plants.  Trimming these now will not be fatal to the plants; they simply won’t flower next year, or at best, sparsely.  Trimming these now can also cause severe damage to relationships, particularly if the quince you just trimmed is the prize of your spouse; and this is the third year in a row you have done this, and I get a call from her wondering why her quince never flowers anymore, and I’m forced to rat you out. Sometimes trimming, that seems therapeutic at the time, winds up creating opportunities for therapy…I digress.


As a general rule, if you are unsure as to when to trim a flowering plant, it is best immediately after it flowers. If that plant is a fruit-bearing plant, which of course also flowers, wait until immediately after harvest of fruit.  If you’re not getting fruit, see paragraph 2, you may find your culprit. Gardening is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not argue and bicker of who trimmed what; besides, there’s always next year. 


We’re continuing to receive rain.  While it has been hot, the trend for next week looks cooler, highs only in the 80’s!  The impending arrival of August should not impair your ability to successfully plant.  Huge savings going on now on...Everything* now 20% off through closing Thursday August 6!


David Bates


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