Gardening takes a lot of dedicated work, so it’s important to keep yourself equipped with the right tools for any job your Powell River garden might throw your way. Here are the most common and necessary types of pruners and saws to add to your gardening kit this year and how to use them properly.
Bypass pruners are going to become your new best friend in the garden, as they’re incredibly handy for light pruning, trimming, and precision cutting. These hand pruners have two curved blades, much like scissors, that bypass each other. When making cuts, line up the blades precisely with the cutting site. Make sure you keep bypass pruners sharp to avoid nasty cuts or tears to healthy plant tissue.
The blades on an anvil pruner are much different than those on bypass pruners, as they line up straight instead of curved. Anvil pruners are perfect for cutting away dead wood. However, their crushing blades can easily damage softer, live stems, and so they should never be used to cut back live growth. When using an anvil pruner, select branches between ½” to 3″ thick and press down firmly, ensuring the entire branch is completely severed before letting go.
Straight Blade Pruners
These types of pruners are perfect for making finer, more delicate cuts in your garden, like cutting fresh flowers. The sharp tips on this tool make it easy to get into tight, hard-to-reach spaces for trimming or pruning old buds and spent flowers. Don’t use this pruner type for larger stems, however! Doing so can cause improper cuts and damage healthy plant tissue.
A ratchet pruner is your go-to tool for cutting through tougher stems, and is especially useful for anyone with weaker wrist muscles. Ratchet pruners have a mechanism that allows cuts to be made in stages, giving gardeners with arthritis, or small or weak hands, more leverage for making cuts.
When a pruner won’t do the job, and chainsaws are just not your thing, there are several types of pruning saws you can try. Pruning saws have sharp metal teeth that make light work out of cutting through even the toughest branches. A pole saw is the perfect choice for higher-up jobs, while folding, non-folding, and bow saws are all versatile options for most pruning and cutting tasks.
Clean Your Tools!
No matter what pruners and other gardening tools you have in your pocket or tool shed this year, keeping them clean is crucial for their performance and the overall health of your garden! We recommend cleaning your tools before and after every use to avoid spreading pests and diseases from plant to plant. Remember also to keep your tools sharp and in good repair. Blades that are dull or rusted won’t make proper cuts, and you run the risk of damaging healthy plants while pruning.
For more solid advice about pruner types, use, and care in the Powell River area, stop by Mother Nature today!