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Garden Maintenance - Pinching, Deadheading and Cutting Back


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Garden Maintenance: Deadheading - Buds
Garden Maintenance - Pinching, Deadheading and Cutting Back

Planting a garden is half the battle. From the day your garden is planted, it will require maintenance to keep your flowers blooming and looking good all summer long. In the following pages, we'll take a look at some of the routine garden maintenance chores you should become familiar with.

Most flowers benefit from having their spent flowers removed. This is called deadheading. Flowers that repeat bloom will often do so only if the old, dying flowers are removed. If they remain on the plant, they will go to seed and stop producing flowers. Even many flowers that bloom only once per season benefit from deadheading, because the plant puts its energy into strengthening itself instead of producing seed. Some exceptions to this rule are plants like Astilbe or ornamental grasses, that bloom only once, but continue to look attractive with their drying seedheads.

Above is an example of a Centaurea montana that is having just its spent buds removed. Centaurea montana will set more buds along the stem, so the entire flowering stem is not removed until all the buds have bloomed and faded. A good pair of garden pruners will make a nice, clean cut.

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