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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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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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