Time to prune roses

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NEWS - with Mandi Mc­Don­ald ("3%&/*/( 41&$*"-*45

Win­ter has well and truly set­tled in with some good frosts and a lit­tle bit of rain. Rug up and head out to your garden to prune your roses. It is that time of year again. Most roses have dropped their leaves by now, so it is the per­fect time to give them a good hard prune and tidy up in prepa­ra­tion for spring. One of the most im­por­tant things is to have the right equip­ment. A good pair of sharp se­ca­teurs - you want nice clean cuts - and a prun­ing saw - very handy for larger branches. Gloves are also a good idea if you don’t want thorns catch­ing you. The pur­pose of prun­ing the roses back rea­son­ably hard is to al­low lots of lovely fresh growth come spring so you have more flow­ers. If there are any leaves still on re­move th­ese so you can see and ac­cess the frame­work of your rose bet­ter. If your roses have grown rather large over sum­mer you can start by cut­ting back a fair bit of the length of the stem. Af­ter that open up the cen­tre, you are ba­si­cally cre­at­ing a vase shape. Cut off any branches that are dam­aged or cross­ing over each other. It is im­por­tant to cut to a bud that is go­ing to grow the di­rec­tion you want the branch. Never cut back so hard that you go be­low the graft. Once you have fin­ished prun­ing clean up all the stems and leaves from the ground (leav­ing th­ese only en­cour­ages fun­gal dis­eases to harbour there over win­ter). Spray with a cop­per based spray or lime sulphur to help pre­vent black spot and pow­dery mildew. All you have to do now is wait for those lovely new shoots and give them a feed early spring when they re­ally start to get go­ing. Happy gar­den­ing.

◆ BLOOM­ING LOVELY: Now is the time to prune your roses to en­sure beau­ti­ful flow­er­ing this spring.

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