Monty Don shares what plants to ‘prune now’ to ‘encourage new, healthy growth’

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Sharing advice in his latest blog post, gardening expert Monty Don shared top tips on what to prune this month. Pruning involves the selective removal of certain parts of a plant to facilitate better growth. It is often easy to do but gardeners must know what to prune, and when, in order to allow them to thrive. Monty wrote: “June is unequivocally summer yet has the freshness and inner glow of spring. Nothing is jaded. Nothing has yet been taken for granted.

“The days are long and light with dawn just after 4am in the morning, and the light remaining until well after 10pm at night.

“The weather is varied, and this is England after all, but somehow that does not matter. Even the rainy, grey days are beautiful.”

There are lots of jobs to be done around the garden in June, including pruning certain plants like wisteria.

Monty also said gardeners should use this month to prune early flowering shrubs.

He wrote: “Wisteria produces its flowers on new growth, which in turn emerges from spurs off the main shoots.

“When they have finished flowering (for most of us that is around the middle of June), it is the best time to prune all this year’s new shoots back to a spur, leaving no more than about six inches of growth.

“In the process the whole plant can be tidied, trained and tied in so that there are no loose, trailing shoots.

“If there is any doubt about how hard to prune, err on the side of cutting too lightly and then in the new year, when the foliage has all died back, you can prune again, reducing each side shoot to just two or three inches.”

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There are many benefits of pruning including improving the plants or trees structure as well as encouraging new, healthy growth.

Shrubs such as Philadelphus, Amelanchier, Deutzia, Weigelia and Rubus should all be pruned now, according to Monty.

He wrote: “[They] all produce their flowers on shoots grown the previous summer so prune now.

“This will give the new growth plenty of time to ripen before winter and thus bear maximum flowers next spring.

“Mature shrubs should be pruned hard, cutting back most of the flowering stems to a healthy new shoot and taking the oldest growth, but no more than a third or quarter of the plant, right back to the base so it is completely renewed every three or four years.

“A very overgrown shrub should be renewed in this gradual manner too.

“Young shrubs should have the weakest growth cut back with the remainder pruned just to shape and size.

“Weed, water and mulch with compost after pruning is done and take semi-ripe cuttings from healthy, straight non-flowering pruned stems.”

According to Monty, gardeners should also pay particular attention to the weeds growing in their gardens.

June is a month when weeds “really kick into action” and they can grow anywhere, including vegetable plots.

Monty wrote: “Nothing beats a hoe for this.

“The secret of effective hoeing is to always do it in dry weather and preferably in the morning so that the weeds will cut cleanly from the soil and then dry out and die during the day.

“They can then be raked up in the afternoon and taken to the compost heap.”

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