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Learn how to prune a rose bush in under 3 minutes

Sierra Foothills Rose Society hosts popular winter workshop

Rose care workshop
During the hands-on part of a pre-pandemic Winter Rose Care Workshop, Baldo Villegas, right,  demonstrates pruning techniques. This year's free workshop will be Saturday at the Orangevale Grange. Masks are required. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Can you prune a full-size rose bush in three minutes – or less? Baldo Villegas can – and he’ll show you how.

Baldo’s super-fast pruning method is one of the highlights of Saturday’s annual Winter Rose Care Workshop, presented by the Sierra Foothills Rose Society. This year’s workshop will be held in a new location: Orangevale Grange Auditorium, 5807 Walnut Ave., Orangevale. Admission is free; no advanced registration necessary.

The new site will allow for more social distancing. To comply with pandemic precautions, participants will be required to wear face masks.

Set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 15, the workshop is designed for both new and experienced rose lovers. Learn the basics or refresh your skills.

Baldo and rose
Baldo Villegas knows roses -- and their
pests. (Photo courtesy
Sierra Foothills Rose Society)
Doors open at 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m., master rosarians will discuss proper pruning tools and their care. That’s followed by pruning principles, tips for different kinds of roses and Baldo’s speed method. His streamlined pruning tips grew out of necessity; Baldo grows more than 3,000 bushes in his Orangevale garden.

At 10 a.m., participants will get a chance at hands-on experience with groups devoted to pruning: hybrid teas and floribundas; old garden roses and polyanthas; shrubs and climbers; and miniatures and mini-floras.

At 10:45 a.m., get ideas on how to incorporate more roses into your landscape. At 11:45 a.m., Baldo – a retired state entomologist and Sacramento’s Bug Man – leads a discussion on controlling pests and disease in the rose garden with time for answering questions. Got a mystery pest? Bring a photo or, better yet, a sample inside a Ziplock-type bag.

Rose questions of all sorts will be welcomed to round out this very full workshop.

Questions? Email Linda Knowles at


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For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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