Weston's Baytree Garden Centre is giving pruning tips to keep your roses blooming
Growing up as a child the dark evenings following the changing of the clocks meant one thing, Christmas and therefore time to get the Argos catalogue out. For anyone reading this under the age of 16, a catalogue is something we used to have in the olden days, and that brings me nicely onto what to do in the garden this week. Whilst technology, new gardening techniques and plant developments has helped gardeners, the basic fundamentals of gardening hasn’t changed in hundreds of years and pruning roses is one of them.
Sadly this week the deluge of rain made doing anything in the garden very difficult but not impossible. My garden looks like a scene from a battlefield following all this rain. Now apart from collecting the fallen leaves on my lawn and paths my main goal this week was to prune my roses.
At this time of the year it is clear to see that the weather conditions are worsening, the wind strength is increasing and as a consequence your roses are running the risk of having their roots rocked loose in the soil. Once the roots have become loose, water is then able to collect around the roots, when that water freezes it can kill the plant. So to avoid that risk it’s best to prune your roses back by a third to a half of their height.
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Pruning your roses back in this way as mentioned above reduces the risk of ‘Wind Rock’ and because the plant is more open it will also encourage a greater flow of air around the stems which helps prevent diseases getting a foot hold within the plant.
With a pair of sharp secateurs cut the plant stems reducing the plants overall height. When you’re cutting, cut these stems on a diagonal, this will allow water to run off the exposed stem and not collect on top of it.
It’s not always possible, but when you’re cutting your roses back try to ensure that the centre of the rose plant is exposed. You only want the stems you have left to be facing outwards and not into the centre of the plant as discussed earlier. Whilst you’re working you way down through the plant make sure you cut out and remove any dead or diseased growth. Don’t be too fussy with the pruning now as come February /March we’ll prune the roses properly.
I have to admit that I’d picked a bad time to prune my roses as half way through the heavens opened and, because I like to finish a job once I’ve started it, I stubbornly refused to head indoors.Even after I had managed to peel my water proofs off my soggy body, my fingers were sodden and the Rich Tea biscuit that I’d planned to dunk into my celebratory cup of tea gave up the ghost before reaching the mug. That said just enough broke off and fell into my tea which imparted a sweet taste but gave my tea an unusual gritty texture.
I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned here, I’m just not sure yet what it is.