Tag Archives: pruning

Fruit Tree Pruning and Spraying

Fruit Tree Pruning & Spraying

It’s Time to Spring Into Action

Here we are, the snow is finally gone and with it the wool socks, the time has come to sharpen your trowels and come up with a game plan for spring garden season. While we are still some time away from sowing seeds and planting outside, there are a few things you can do to get a leg up on the coming season. Lets get out there and get started on what will be another great season.

 

Pruning Fruit Trees

This is a perfect time to get out there and start shaping your trees and shrubs. Beyond the esthetics there are many practical reasons to get pruning especially with your fruit trees.

  1. Proper pruning helps to increase the size and quality of your blooms, foliage and fruit by allocating plant resources.
  2. Increase the plants health by removing damaged, dead or diseased limbs.
  3. Control and direct the plants growth and get rid of any criss-crossing branches.
  4. Compensate for root loss after transplanting.
  5. Improve air circulation and light penetration. It is important to thin out dense growth periodically to increase overall health and shape.
  6. Leader management. Manage the direction and shape of growth by pruning the leading branch of the tree or shrub.
  7. Creating a focal point or landscape feature.
  8. Create more space by pruning back, or thinning out plants.
  9. Expose colorful, textured or shapely stems and bark.

These pruning basics apply to all the common fruit trees we can grow in our zone (zone 5) – apples, pears, plums and cherries.

Lime Sulphur & Horticultural Oil

After pruning apply Lime Sulphur & Horticultural Oil in combination to protect your fruit trees.

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Early spring is the perfect time to apply the combination spray to your fruit trees, before the buds break (open). Both the sulphur and oil protect your trees from a variety of insects and diseases that can damage the tree and inhibit proper fruit growth. Applying the lime sulphur & horticultural oil is easy; simply spray it on the tree’s stem and branches putting a fine layer on all surfaces. Note the oil stains so be cautious around concrete, decks, houses and clothing.

For more on Lime Sulphur & Horticultural Oil read the directions on their containers.  You can continue to use the sulphur throughout the growing season (as long as the tree isn’t in bloom – you don’t want to interfere with the bees and insects pollinating) if you see any insects or disease on your trees. However, we suggest to only use the oil in the spring before the buds open as oil on the foliage could burn when leafed out.

Proper maintenance of fruit trees will leave you with bigger and higher quality produce so a little elbow grease now will pay dividends by harvest time. Remember, gardening is fun so lets get out there and enjoy ourselves!

 

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Hedge Trimming

Hedge Trimming

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There are many different varieties of hedge but the theory remains the same. Establish your shapes and contours early on in the hedges development and maintain these same designs through its lifetime.

The majority of hedges in our area (Georgina) are cedar. Other traditional hedge types include:

  • Cedar
  • Boxwood
  • Yew
  • Flowering
  • Large Evergreens

When setting up your hedge there are a few things to keep in mind. Its better to take too little off when cutting as you can’t put it back on and cutting too deeply and gouging into the wood will create undesirable brown spots. It is better to round out the top of your hedge then to make it perfectly flat as this will help it shed snow avoiding potential shearing and broken branches.

It is imperative that the bottom of the hedge is thicker in width than the top and tapers upwards, never the other way. While your hedge can be shaped in very artistic ways it is still a living thing and has requirements, especially in terms of sunlight. A well shaped hedge allows sunlight to hit the entirety of its surface as such tapering the hedge top down is very important.

The rule of thumb is to cut twice. Cut the hedge in a way that takes off the most vigorous growth then take a rake and gently bang out the cut pieces, going up and down the hedge across its entire length. These bits will brown up in time and make your hedge look unkempt and disorderly. Following the first cut you will see a notable difference in how tight the hedge looks. To help picture what we mean by tightness consider it like given your hedge a haircut. Were looking for a neat buzz cut not a shaggy unkempt look. With a careful second cut we can safely carve this down a little bit further making the hedge tighter again still. This second cut is the stage that gives the hedge its clean crisp and professional look.

Note: hedges should be trimmed at least once a year any time after July but before freeing temperatures. Leaving the hedges for a year will leave you with a less dense product when you are finished as the plants production goes to its leaders rather than its side. Talk to Georgina Garden Centre about best practices if you desire to change the shape of your hedge.

Use string lines when setting the initial shape of the hedge to ensure its lines are straight and linear.

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Spring Clean Up Checklist

Spring Clean Up Checklist

Spring has come and it is time to get out there and get your yard ready for the coming season. A proper spring clean up will set up your lawn and garden for greater success throughout the growing season. There are a number of things you can do to get your lawn and garden ready.
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Opening your garden beds:

  1. Clean out all winter debris: driveway rocks pushed over with the snow, leaves that came down in the fall, etc
  2. Cut back the dead plant material left by your perennials
  3. Prune back the shrubs that need it
  4. Turn over and add new soil
  5. Clean up the edge of your garden with a freshly sharpened spade
  6. Add a fresh layer of natural mulch

Doing these few things will provide you a great deal more success with your garden in the months to come.

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Lawn:

  1. Aerate your lawn for better air, water and nutrient penetration and to break up heavily compacted ground. Aeration also helps to increase the lawns ability to retain water, reducing run off and erosion
  2. Fan rake the lawn to help the grass stand back up and to clean up excess thatch
  3. Topdress your lawn with new topsoil for greener more dense grass. Top-dressing also allows you to smooth out bumps or low spots in your lawn
  4. Overseed your lawn to thicken your grass, to fill bare spots and to choke out weeds
  5. Fertilize your lawn to green it up, stimulate new growth and to keep it healthy

A beautiful thick green lawn starts in the spring with the proper spring care and maintenance.

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My Hydrangea isn’t Flowering – HELP?!

A question we get asked a lot is: “Why aren’t my hydrangeas blooming?” Kathy, the host of Georgina Blooms, also gets asked this question a lot – so she asked if we’d do a show with her to teach everyone how easy it is to get your hydrangeas to bloom!

There could be many reasons such as, not enough light, too much light, not enough fertilizer, too much fertilizer, not the right fertilizer, BUT quite often it comes down to PRUNING!! – an easy fix!

How and when to prune hydrangeas. Each cultivar is slightly different so, here it is, all in one spot, easy to follow!!

 

Hydrangea arborescens

These hydrangeas form their flowers buds in the late spring to early summer.

Prune in late fall, winter or early spring. They respond well to being cut back to about 10″-12″ above the ground.

georgina garden centre features annabelle hydrangea shrubs

Cultivars:

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Hydrangea macrophylla

Big Leaf Hydrangeas typically do not require too much pruning. If you would like a tighter plant or keep it a shorter size, keep reading!

The flower buds form later in the summer for next year’s blooms. The best time to prune it is right after it blooms, from mid-July to mid-August – no later – this gives it time to set bud for next year before the winter hits. Selectively prune out any dead stems, or old non-flower producing stems.

georgina garden centre features hydrangea let's dance shrub

Cultivars:

  • Candlelight
  • City Line Mars
  • City Line Paris
  • City Line Rio
  • Bloomstruck
  • Blushing Bride
  • Endless Summer
  • Everlasting ‘Ocean’
  • Everlasting ‘Opal’
  • Everlasting ‘Harmony’
  • Everlasting ‘Garnet’
  • Everlasting ‘Revolution’
  • Forever and Ever
  • Forever Pink
  • Glowing Embers
  • Let’s Dance Rhapsody Blue
  • Let’s Dance Moonlight
  • Let’s Dance Big Easy
  • Let’s Dance Starlight
  • Let’s Dance Diva
  • Light O Day
  • Masja
  • Merritt’s Beauty
  • Nikko Blue
  • Next Generation Red Sensation
  • Next Generation Pistachio
  • Sweet ‘n Salsa
  • Tellers Blue
  • Tiny Tuff Stuff (actually a Hydrangea serrata, however, they have the same pruning techniques)
  • Tuff Stuff (actually a Hydrangea serrata, however, they have the same pruning techniques)

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Hydrangea paniculata

They bloom on new wood and are best pruned in early spring. They are very tolerant of hard pruning, in fact cutting the plant back from 1/2 to 1/3 of it’s size will result in larger flowers. They can also be pruned in the winter but why not enjoy the beauty of snow on the dried flower heads – birds love them too. Some selections, particularly Limelight, make an beautiful hedge.

Cultivars:

  • Bobo
  • Bombshell
  • Fire and Ice
  • Firelight
  • Limelight
  • Little Lamb
  • Little Lime
  • Little Quick Fire
  • Pee Gee
  • Phantom
  • Pink Diamond
  • Pinky Winky
  • Silver Dollar
  • Snow Mountain
  • Sweet Summer
  • Quick Fire
  • Unique
  • Vanilla Strawberry

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Hydrangea anomala

No need to prune – May need to train it on a tree or a wall

georgina garden centre features climbing hydrangea vines

Cultivars:

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Many of our Hydrangeas are Proven Winners…check out the pictures below to see a good selection of them and others!

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