The Perils of Fall Pruning

When fall color starts creeping into our Georgia gardens, the landscaping bug bites hard. Your newly overseeded lawns are sprouting and fall color perennials provide a stunning array of cool-weather blooms. The next logical step is landscape maintenance. But while drainage, mulching, and dividing perennials are all fall garden projects worth completing, you should think twice before picking up those pruning shears.

pruningFall Plant Growth

Fall is the time to cultivate cool-season color and ensure the health and beauty of your garden’s spring blooms. However green your thumb may be, it’s easy to dig yourself into a hole with overzealous Atlanta lawn maintenance. Just like your grass and flowers, trees and shrubs have increased root growth during the cooling months of autumn. The leaves and limbs of your foliage are going dormant, allowing energy from the sun and nutrients from fall fertilizer to redirect below ground. The reestablishment of their root systems allows your plants to revitalize for the coming season, growing taller, stronger, and healthier limbs and blooms come spring.

Dangers of Pruning in the Fall

Fall pruning may be tempting, but ultimately it does your plants more harm than good. Pruning encourages replenishment: the production of sap and new leaves. When the temperature drops, the sap freezes and your fledgling foliage withers, weakening the plant. Even in the South, trees and flowers go dormant in the cooler months in preparation for spring. Interrupting the process may shock your warm-weather blooms, leaving them susceptible to the harshness of winter. Fungal growth also escalates in the fall, leaving newly pruned plants increasingly susceptible to disease. The best time to prune is late winter when plants are already dormant and able to withstand wounds.

For more information about Smyrna landscape design, call Bloom’n Gardens.

photo from flickr

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