Time to prune roses
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.