It is important to maintain a healthy size of all of your plants, not only so that they can be kept healthy and produce nutritious food, but also to safely maintain your Garden.
Why does pruning benefit a plant’s health?
Plants need to be pruned in order to be healthy. You should prune the plants in your Garden regularly to make sure that they are healthy and strong, and also to optimize the food that you are producing. There are 3 main reasons to prune your plant for health reasons:
- Pruning dead plant matter (leaves, stems, and roots) will keep your plant from stressing out too much. It will also stop it from spending all of its resources on trying to revive a dying leaf (or stem or root system), and teach it to spend more resources on the leaves that are already thriving.
- Pruning improves air flow, which will stop your plants from overheating and getting stressed.
- Pruning also trains a plant to be healthier, stronger, and more disease tolerant.
Why does pruning benefit your Rise Garden system?
You should also prune the plants in your Garden to make sure that all of your plants have equal access to resources (ie. water, light, fresh air, etc.). If you don’t maintain a healthy Garden, some plants could start to suffocate each other, and they could die. Remember: that when dead plant matter enters into your plumbing, it can attract mold and pests. Here are 3 main reasons to prune your plant for the sake of your Garden:
- Pruning keeps your Garden clean, which means less frequent cleaning (for both Personal Gardens and Family Gardens).
- Pruning keeps the size of your plants optimal, which allows for you to grow more plants at once.
- Pruning keeps your plants away from your LED Grow Lights and other parts of the Garden, which produce heat and burn your plants. We recommend making sure your plants are kept at least 1-2 inches away from the Grow Lights. **
**This point is particularly important, because many reports of Grow Light failures are related to plants that grow too large and interfere with the normal functioning of the Garden’s system. In some cases, this could void the warranty of your Garden.
It is also important that you correctly space out your plants in your Garden, for these same reasons. For more tips on spacing, please check out our Spacing Guide on our Help Center website.
Tips for pruning your plants
Plants need light and nutrients, so make sure that you’re giving each of your plants an equal opportunity to grow!
- Always use sharp scissors to cut leaves and branches. You don’t want to leave any rips or tears on your plants, because that can lead to disease.
- When you cut off a leaf or a section of a plant, make sure to cut as close to the base of the main stem as possible, rather than at the bottom of the leaf. If you leave a stem without a leaf, the plant will waste energy trying to send nutrients to a leaf that doesn’t exist. This could stress out your plant, or maybe even stunt its growth.
- For shorter harvest plants (30-60 days to harvest), like basil, you should only have to prune once or twice in its lifetime. For longer harvest plants (60-100 days to harvest), like tomatoes, you should prune every month to keep your plant happy and organized.
You should never prune more than 20% of your plant each time that you harvest.
Remember: that harvesting is also pruning, so don't let your veggies go to waste! Be sure to harvest your plants when they’re ready for harvesting in order to keep your Garden clean and to produce lots of food!
Which plants need to be pruned?
Coming soon! In the meantime, the top plants you should consider pruning are:
- Tomato bing plants
- Snackable red pepper plants
- Basil plants