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Techniques for Pruning, Shearing, and Garden Equipment Maintenance for a Beautiful Garden

Maintaining a beautiful garden is an art that involves more than just planting and watering. Pruning and shearing are essential practices that not only promote healthy plant growth but also contribute to the overall aesthetics of your garden.

Understanding the correct techniques for pruning and shearing can lead to controlled regrowth and create a seriously cool-looking outdoor space. In this blog, we’ll explore the art of pruning to encourage healthy growth and shaping shrubs for an attractive and sharp-looking garden.

Additionally, we’ll discuss the role of shearing in maintaining a neat and organised outdoor space. Lastly, we’ll provide a quick guide to maintaining your garden equipment, ensuring longevity and smooth operation.

The Art of Pruning

Pruning is a horticultural practice that involves selectively removing certain parts of a plant, such as branches or buds. When done correctly, pruning stimulates new growth, improves airflow, and enhances the plant’s overall health and appearance. Here are some essential techniques for successful pruning:

Timing is Key: Pruning at the right time is crucial for the health of your plants. Different plants have varying pruning requirements, and it’s essential to research and understand the specific needs of each species in your garden. Here are a couple of popular trees and plants that require a little snip to look snap!

– Roses: From late July until mid-August is the optimal time to prune your roses. Check out our Bypass Pruner & Rose De-Thorner Combo Kit here. Got any passionate rose growers or rosarians in your life? This kit makes for a thoughtful gift too!

– In August prune back the following autumn- and winter-flowering shrubs with our Folding Saw And Hedge Shear Combo Kit as soon as they have finished flowering: poinsettia, plumbago, tecoma, hypericums, heliotropes, solanums, canary creeper, golden shower and buddleia.


– Raspberries and gooseberries: This depends on their growth, but with these tasty treats you can aim for mid-August pruning, too. Try our delicate yet durable Topiary Shears for this job!

– Fruit trees are best pruned in July, just as the South African winter winds start to blow in. Trees tend to demand a little more elbow grease and a multi-tool approach. Therefore, we recommend looking at our Panga to tame any excessive overgrowth on trees like a bougainvillea; a Bypass Lopper 695mm for those precise branch cuttings, and if the job requires a more extreme approach to elimination, it’s always worth having a quality Bow Saw and Fibreglass Handle Axe (or if you prefer a classic wooden option)


For beginners to cutting and pruning, we recommend that you definitely look at the classic 3-Piece Garden Set to get you started. This also makes for a great gift for any garden lover, any time of the year!

Selective Pruning: Focus on removing dead, damaged, or diseased branches first. Next, target overcrowded or crossing branches to improve airflow and light penetration.

Encourage New Growth: To promote regrowth and fuller plants, make clean cuts just above a healthy bud or node. Avoid leaving stubs, as they can become entry points for pests and diseases.

Shaping Shrubs: Pruning can be an excellent way to shape shrubs and create visually appealing designs in your garden. Trim shrubs from the top down, cutting back to outward-facing buds to encourage a more open and natural shape. This may take some practise, so don’t be afraid to take your time and give your garden a few passes. Remember, you can always cut more, but you cannot stick what you’ve already pruned back on the plant!

Pruning Tools: Always use sharp and clean pruning tools to make precise cuts. Dull or dirty tools can cause damage to the plant and lead to infections.


Shearing for a Neat Garden

While pruning focuses on selective cuts to enhance plant health and growth, shearing involves trimming the outer layer of plants to maintain a neat appearance. Shearing is commonly used for hedges and formal garden structures. Here are some top Garden Master tips for shearing:

Regular Maintenance: Shear your plants regularly, ideally during their growing season, to maintain a tidy appearance and encourage dense growth.

Invest in Quality Shears: Use sharp and well-maintained shears to achieve clean cuts and prevent plant damage.

Patience is Key: Take your time while shearing and step back occasionally to assess the shape and symmetry of the plant. Precision is essential to achieve a professional-looking result. And no don’t worry, no one is expecting you to cut a perfect replica of your dog or a mid-air jumping dolphin – that’s a bit… much. Just keep snipping and assessing and you will learn as you go. Shearing is like cutting hair, no matter what happens, it can grow back (with some TLC), and you can just try again!

Avoid Over-Shearing: While it’s essential to keep your plants in shape, avoid over-shearing, as it can stress the plant and inhibit healthy growth.


A Quick Guide to Equipment Maintenance

Properly maintaining your garden equipment is essential to ensure its longevity and smooth operation. Here’s a quick guide to keeping your Garden Master cutting tools in tip-top shape:

Clean Regularly: After each use, clean your cutting tools thoroughly to remove sap, dirt, and debris. Use a mild detergent and water, then dry them completely to prevent rust.

Sharpen Blades: Keep the blades of your pruning shears and shearing tools sharp to make clean cuts that won’t harm the plants.

Lubrication: Apply lubricating oil to the moving parts of your cutting tools to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.

Store Properly: Store your gardening equipment in a dry and protected area to prevent exposure to moisture and harsh elements. Nothing splits a wooden handle faster than the sun and rain taking turns on it.

Pruning and shearing are artful techniques that can transform your garden into a stunning and organised outdoor space. By understanding the right methods for pruning, you can encourage regrowth and create visually appealing designs with your shrubs.

Regular shearing will help maintain a neat garden and showcase the beauty of your plants. Moreover, by properly maintaining your garden equipment, you can ensure their durability and smooth operation, making your gardening tasks a breeze.

Put these techniques into practice, and you’ll witness your garden flourish and thrive, becoming a true Garden Masterpiece of nature’s beauty. So, roll up your sleeves, grab those shears, and embark on a journey to create your garden oasis! Happy gardening!

Remember, for all your pruning, shearing, and garden equipment needs, visit Makro, Game or your nearest Builders Warehouse for top-quality Garden Master tools and expert advice on cultivating your dream garden. Becoming a Garden Master is just a trip to the shops away.