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Using Harvest Shears

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Harvest ShearsTrimming your flowers can help them stay healthy and beautiful. Investing in a good pair of harvest shears can make your gardening easier and help you achieve good results.

Before you buy a pair of harvest shears, try them out to make sure they are comfortable. Hold the handles open in your hand. They should not extend past the reach of your fingertips. You might be able to save money by ordering shears online or from a catalog, but try out a pair in a gardening center first to make sure you get ones that are comfortable.

Buy the best quality harvest shears that you can afford. Quality shears will last many years if you keep them clean when they are not being used. Cheap shears may cost less now, but they are more likely to break and need to be replaced.

Deadheading can help you have a more attractive and vibrant garden. When flowers die, they form seeds, which can spread throughout the garden and lead to more flowers than you want. You will then need to pull them out of the ground. Cutting off the flowers before they form seeds can save you this work. Many perennials stop blooming after they form seeds, but removing dying flowers can make the plant continue to bloom. To deadhead, cut off the dead flowers at the first leaves or flower buds.

Many gardeners disbud dahlias, chrysanthemums, peonies, and carnations to make them grow bigger. Cut off all but one or two buds on each stem.

If you want to keep your perennials short and dense, you can pinch or shear them a couple of times early in the growing season. Using shears is quicker and easier than pinching. When the plant is a foot tall, cut or pinch off the top four inches in the spring and again in the mid-summer. Each stem you cut will grow several stems, resulting in a large number of smaller flowers. Gardeners typically pinch or shear asters and chrysanthemums.

To preserve a plant's appearance and make it grow better, some gardeners recommend that you "cut it back hard." This means to reduce the plant's height by one third to one half.

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