Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
In areas with mild climates (like mine here in California), even though most of our garden still looks pretty good, you may notice some of the more tender annuals are long gone (see you next year coleus!), or a few perennials are already fast asleep (anyone seen your phlox lately?)
However, during the next few weeks, all of a sudden your garden will start to look very different. Adjectives like straggly, overgrown, and leggy come to mind. Even though there may still be a few leaves or flowers on your plants they’re trying to tell you they’re tired and ready for a long winter’s nap.
You may not be sure when, if or how to cut your plants back but by examining them closely you can learn to read their subtle clues. I’m not talking about those plants that have no life whatsoever left in their leaves (an obvious clue that it needs cutting back), but plants that still look fairly decent and will continue to do so throughout the winter. Those are the tricky ones to know when and how to prune.
In USDA’s milder zones (9 and up) some of the plants that most commonly confuse gardeners this time of year are penstemon, euphorbias, cuphea, leonotis, phlomis, heucheras, iberis and salvias. Even though they’re still green, they look overgrown, their stems now thick, woody and no longer supple, and their flowers are few and far between.
But an easy way to read your plant is to get down on all fours and closely examine the center of it. Scraping the old leaves and debris aside you’ll most likely notice tiny little leaves along the woody stems. That’s your plant’s way of telling you it’s too leggy and needs to be cut back. It’s also telling you not to worry that you’ll kill it, since it’ll bounce right back with the little leaves that are just waiting for the chance to grow. If you don’t cut it back, the plant will continue to expend lots of energy keeping those old leaves and flowers alive, when it could be re-directing it’s energy towards the new leaves.
So cut it back hard, a few inches from the crown, near a set of new leaves. Wait a few weeks and you’ll be surprised how quickly your bundle of ‘sticks’ fills in with new growth. Soon you’ll have a lush and tidy plant again. In warmer winters, your plant will remain this size until spring’s warm weather awakens it and it springs into action! One warning, though - if you live in a climate with cold winters don’t prune these plants in the fall as you don’t want the tender, new leaves to get zapped by a hard frost. You’ll need to wait until early spring to prune your plants.