By Leon Snyder
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Extra resources for Gardening in the Upper Midwest
Removing some of the older stems favors the development of young, vigorous growth and thus improves the size and quality of bloom. Pruning Tools To do a proper job of pruning, it is important to purchase tools of high quality. They cost more but last longer and enable you to do an excellent job of pruning. Hand pruning shears are of two general types: the anvil with a single cutting blade that cuts against a flat plate and the shearing type with two cutting blades. The shearing type is best for woody plants.
Coffee and tea grounds, peanut shells, and coconut fiber are also occasionally used. The advantage of organic mulches over plastic mulches is that they can be worked into the soil at the end of the growing season to improve the physical structure of the soil. For a winter mulch, clean straw and marsh hay are commonly employed. Insulating materials in roll form can also be used, but these are rather expensive. Chapter 5 Plant Pests and Their Control A good gardener must learn to recognize plant symptoms associated with insects and disease and take whatever measures are necessary to control the insects and diseases involved.
Currants and the rootstocks for dwarfing apple trees are propagated in this manner. Serpentine layering is used for vines like English ivy that trail on the ground. A stem is notched at several points on the undersurface. Soil is placed over the notched portion of the stems. Several plants are thus produced from a single stem while it is still attached to the parent plant. Air layering is often used for reproducing large houseplants like the rubber plant and dumb cane which often grow too tall for the average home.