My roses had a spectacular year in 2013. They had beautiful blooms all throughout the summer and into the fall. I confess that I didn’t prune them last year. While I’m confessing, I’d might as well add that I had no idea how to prune them. So this year I decided to figure it out. Really, Google makes learning new things so much easier.
It is funny how some things just fall into place. I was at a craft fair in December where I picked up a fabulous pair of pruning gloves, at an even more fabulous price. I love a bargain! That was the final push to prune the roses.
The leather for the hands is so soft. I love them! You can buy a pair here: http://www.bradleysthetannery.co.uk/gardening/gloves/leather-pruning-gloves
Here’s a look at the roses before I started:
They looked really bad. They should be pruned every year, during their dormant time; late fall through February for me. Here’s the hard part, I had to cut… a lot. I found it quite daunting! From what I learned on-line (via Steve McShane’s Nursery), I first cut-off any dead branches. Then I cut the branches at a 45 degree angle about 6 to 8 inches from the base of the plant. There should only be between 3 and 5 canes when finished pruning (that is the hard part!).
There was a great deal of cutting to do! I just had to think positive that it is good for the plants. :-) What a difference in how they looked after I had finished.
After pruning them, I finished clearing away all of the leaf litter. The plants had black spot this year, so it is really important that I clear everything away. I still need to add an organic fertilizer to finish this up. But for now, I’m happy with how the plants look.
There will be another post on organically treating of rose plants in early spring, before any signs of black spot appear. This will be a new adventure for me, which I am looking forward to since I really don’t like the use of harmful chemicals! But that is another blog post…
I hope you enjoyed seeing my roses again. Going through all of my photos from summer just reminds me of how quickly the seasons change. Before we know it, it will be spring again!
Happy New Year!