When we lived in the apartment, we had a great container garden on our porch. I grew tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants really well. We went up to New York for a vacation and, since we were still very new in town and didn’t trust anyone enough to come in our apartment to water the plants, I just left them to fend for themselves. They actually did really well, all things considered.
We moved from the apartment to a house last year and Pete built me a grow box. We also still had a small container garden because I ran out of space in the grow box. The majority of our plants did really well, but our oregano was the exception. It did so well that it actually lived through the winter without me taking care of it at all. It’s the Chuck Norris of our garden (I’d call it the cockroach, but at the end of the world, Chuck Norris will outlive the cockroaches).
A lot of why our plants do so well is because I prune them. So, if you want yours to do well, you have to know how to prune your garden.
How To Prune Your Garden
Look at your plants.
This tomato plant is from our apartment container garden. The top of the plant is green and healthy, but the bottom needed to be pruned. So how do you know what to pull and what to keep? Easy. The plant tells you how to prune your garden.
Check out the stems of the leaves in question. The stems that need to be pruned are yellow and snap off easily from the base of the plant. If you try to bend the stem and it doesn’t snap, leave it there.
Our plant had a lot of stems to pull. So we pulled off all the dead ones.
After you prune the stems, look at the healthy stems and see if there are any leaves that you can pull off individually.
We had quite a few of those too. Dispose of the old leaves and stems and your plant will get healthier. In addition, you can also use plant food to keep it healthy.
Pruning is such a simple gardening task, so you might overlook it. But you need to do it. If not, the dead parts will drain the nutrients and ruin the entire plant. Your plant will be wasting its energy on the dead leaves, taking away from what it can give the healthy parts and the fruit.
And this mentality goes for herbs too. With herbs, they may bloom. It’s so pretty. Almost overnight, our oregano bloomed beautiful flowers where I had picked oregano for dinner. The way I picked it, I pulled the top leaves off from the stem and left it bare. Flowers started blooming at the tops of the bare steps with some (very) small oregano leaves growing beneath. But the majority was the blooms. And I left them because they were really pretty. But it was killing our oregano production. It had almost stalled completely. So, despite the beauty, I pruned the oregano buy cutting the blooms and leaving about 4 to 6 inches of each stem.
And actually, that’s how you’re supposed to harvest oregano. Instead of pulling off only certain leaves, you are supposed to cut the whole stem back to about 4 to 6 inches. It’ll grow back.
Don’t worry about that bundle of blooms going to waste. I’m actually drying it on the counter right now.
Do you garden? Leave your best gardening tips in the comments. That way, we can all learn from each other!