Every gardener will eventually have to use a pair of pruning shears. In the garden, regular scissors may work, but they are not suitable for heavy cutting tasks. If you want to make gardening easier and better, then you should use pruning shears for most pruning activities.
A pair of pruning shears is a must-have gardening tool for every gardener. But using it for the first time can be quite tricky. Fortunately, we have these ideas, tips and guidelines to help you.
Just like garden gloves, the first thing you need to consider when picking pruning shears is whether they fit. Determining your needs will help you decide on the right pruning shears.
1. Learn About The Different Type Of Pruners
There are two types of pruners based on the cutting mechanism. These are the anvil type and the bypass. Likewise, considering the blade design, the classic parrot beak pruner makes the third type. The popular ratchet pruner, which can cut branches up to two centimeters thick, fit into the bypass type.
2. Identify The Characteristics Of The Best Pruners
There are different designs of pruners out there, but there is one which will fit you perfectly. Besides the quality of the material, ease of handling and operating this garden tool should be considered. The blades might be sharp and thick, but if it doesn’t fit your hand perfectly then you’re in trouble. If you have large hands but a weak grip, for example, then the Ratchet pruner is great for you.
Pruning shears are very easy to use, but they are still very different from ordinary scissors in the way they operate. Especially if you are used to using regular scissors, the same way of using them may be wrong for pruning shears. Here are some tips on how to use pruning shears properly.
1. Select The Right Angle
If you're heading a dead flower or dead stem, it's as easy as cutting straight through. However, if you are cutting to propagate the plant, then a diagonal cut is ideal. Make sure to cut farther away from the node to prevent moisture from collecting and the cut portion from rotting.
2. Get The Branch All The Way In
Don't mistake your pruner for a pair of scissors. Cutting around on branches will certainly strain your hands. Grip the handle firmly yet comfortably and hold the branch all the way between the blades. Note that this tip will also protect the blades of the pruner.
As with any home and garden activity, prevention is always better than repair. Prevent accidents and extend the life of your tools by taking precautions and learning how to handle your tools. Read on for these helpful tips.
1. Wear Protective Gear
Accidents happen in gardens, so protective gear has always been important. Always wear proper work clothes when working in the garden. The friction of the pruners against the skin of your hands can be taxing. You'd better protect your hands with thick gardening gloves. When pruning, it's a good idea to wear work boots to protect your feet and safety goggles.
2. Keep Your Shears Sharp And Clean
Well-maintained pruning shears will last you long enough to save you the expense of buying gardening tools frequently in the long run.
Clean your pruning shears of any plant debris and particles stuck in crevices before and after use. This will help you operate the tool properly and avoid accidents while working.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to choose, use and maintain your garden shears, I'm sure any pruning job will no longer be a challenge for you.