By JAMES TABABA
Pruning is the cutting and removal of plant parts to improve their appearance and shape and control their growth, flowering, or fruiting. It is a popular practice in landscaping and ornamental crops but is also an important practice in fruit trees and vegetable production. Here are four reasons why you need to prune your crops.
Improve plant health and reduce plant disease
The removal of dead and diseased plant parts helps minimize the overall health of the plant by minimizing the potential spread of diseases and pests. Furthermore, the removal of excessive leaves and branches improves the air circulation of the plant canopy, preventing further development of fungal and bacterial diseases that thrive in humid conditions.
Pruning your plants creates a dwarfing effect depending on where the branches are cut. Cutting the shoots or top portion of crops slows down vertical growth and simultaneously encourage lateral growth. This principle of pruning is important in creating bonsai plants. For landscaping, pruning plants to control plant sizes to fit certain sites.
Induce flowering and fruiting
Pruning, for some fruit-bearing shrubs and trees, encourages flowering to produce off-season fruits. Pruning enables the canopy to open up, allowing more sunlight to enter and stimulate the flower bud formation.
Improves fruit size
By cutting unproductive plant parts such as excess leaves and branches, the plants’ resources and energy will focus more on fruit development. If the main purpose of growing the plant is not for its foliage, pruning will help improve the quality and size of the fruit.