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The Basics of Trimming Your Plants
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The Basics of Trimming Your Plants

If you've ever seen a house that had the perfect lawn or the perfect garden and then thought back to your less-than-perfect garden chances are you became just a tad bit envious."Why won't my garden grow like that?" many of us have wondered. For most gardens, the secret lies in keeping the garden properly trimmed. That means not just pulling weeds, but trimming the plants themselves. You can bet that the gardens that most grab people's attention are those that have the highest grade of soil, that are watered consistently, that have overcome the insect issue, and yes the ones where the plants are properly trimmed.

Keeping your plants trimmed offers lots of benefits. It will cause your plants to grow strong, to increase in beauty, and to bloom spectacularly long beyond its normal bloom period. Only correct trimming will help the plant to grow to true perfection. And don't worry: It won't be quite the chore that you might think. A plant will only require occasional trimming if you do it right and do it consistently.

Another benefit of trimming your plants consistently is that your entire property will look much nicer and will be a safer place to walk. This is especially true when you're trimming your larger plants. By trimming low hanging branches regularly, you lower the risk of injury to a person, plus you eliminate the possibility of the limb scraping a vehicle or blocking your vision as you try to back out into the street.

Did you know that trimming plants can actually revitalize ones  that are about to die? It's true! Many people who have plants where the blooms have already died simply "deadhem" them. As a result, the plant began to re-bloom again. On the other hand, if you neglect to trim them properly and consistently, you're actually encouraging premature death of the plant. Failure to keep them trimmed like you should will cause a plant to be stunted and to look sickly.  But this same sick-looking plant, when you just trim back the lower limbs, will dramatically and quickly improve in both health and appearance.

One more advantage of trimming: You can actually influence the direction that your plant grows by trimming it correctly. This is because, when you trim a portion of the plant, you are stopping its growth in that direction and telling it to grow in the opposite direction. So if you seek to train a plant especially a younger one to grow in a certain direction, trim it from the other side.

And finally, keeping your plants trimmed will also help to control water sprouts (these are shoots which often grow from branches and a plant trunk).

Here are some basic principles to remember when trimming plants.  How you trim will depend on the kind of plants you have. Most plants produce a new bunch of leaves and stem cells beginning in the spring and going through middle and late summer. During this time, food will become part of the plant because of a higher level of photosynthesis than at other times of the year. Then after the colder winter has come and gone and a new spring "springs" up, the sugars from these foods will be released, causing the plant to come out of hibernation.  What does this mean for trimming? It means that you'll get the best results, the healthiest blossoms, and greenest leaves if you trim in mid-summer.

So trim the plants already. Not only will you then have a garden that others will envy, but you'll have a bunch of much-happier plants on your property.

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