How To Prune A Crape Myrtle Step-by-Step

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It’s that time of year… the prunage ritual!
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Homeowners pull their pruning shears out of hibernation and make their annual pilgrimage to their front and backyards for the crape myrtle prune-off! It’s a job that must be done for these colorful trees to show their stuff.

Pruned wrong… it can get ugly. Steve Bender AKA “The Grumpy Gardener” even has a contest for the bad pruning has been called “crape murder” by a local wholesale grower To help pruning correctly, Steve has put together a step by step pruning guide you can check out at the link below…

Crepe Myrtle Pruning Step-by-Step – The Daily South

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It always good to get input from several experts, so to add to Steve’s tutorial, Brent Wilson of Gardenality has a nice tutorial as well.

Brent talks about not allowing “peer pressure” from the neighbors to start pruning to early. Brent says, “the best time to trim crapes in is late winter or early spring – just prior to new growth emerging.”

He also has some nice graphics for pruning best practices. Read Brent’s tutorial at the link below…

Pruning Instructions For A Crape Myrtle Tree – From Gardenality

Many designers recommend planting on odd numbers like 1,3,5 and so on. Why not give you the same with Crape Myrtle pruning – 3 tutorials!

The folks over at Fine Gardening agree with Steve and Brent… few people prune crape myrtles correctly. Pruning correctly produces trees which are shaped gracefully and have more blooms standing upright on strong stems. Check their tutorial at the link below…

Pruning Crape Myrtles – From Fine Gardening

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What To Do This Month- August

August's lazy days are here, when even the most energetic gardener's enthusiasm is dampened by lethargy.
  • Water & Weed - Make it a point, at least, to water and weed in preparation for Autumn's cooler days and flowers.
  • fall-petunia-083114
  • Pinch Petunias - Pinch back leggy growths on petunias. A boost with a liquid fertilizer will keep them flowering profusely until frost.
  • Transplant - Plants which have finished blooming may be transplanted or divided: Japanese and bearded iris, Madonna lilies, Oriental poppies, daylilies, Virginia bluebells, Trains and Spring-flowering bulbs whose clumps need separating.
  • Sow Seeds - Sow seeds of bush beans, endive, lettuce, spinach, dwarf peas, turnips and cress for late crops.
  • Red Spider - Watch evergreens for red spider infestations. Hot, dry weather promotes the mites.
  • Harvest Herbs - Herbs may be cut and cured in a dry, airy place, without exposing to the sun, before storing for the Winter. The best time to pick them is just before the plants begin to flower, any time during the day as long as the dew has disappeared. Learn how to preserve herbs from the garden to the freezer.
  • House Plants - Water house plants with liquid fertilizer and cut back straggly shoots to induce bushy growth. New plants may also be started from cuttings. Neem oil sprays will get rid of mealy bugs, scale and white flies.
  • Wildlife - If you want the birds to come to your garden, let sunflowers, marigolds, cosmos and other Compositor, especially in out-of-the-way places, go to seed. Goldfinches and other seed-eaters will find them unerringly.