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Listen to April rose care tips

Sac Digs Gardening's Arrington is guest on Farmer Fred's podcast

Dark red rose bloom with yellow stamens
Night Owl is one of Debbie Arrington's many roses.The master rosarian talks
April rose care with Fred Hoffman on his Green Acres podcast. (Photo: Debbie
Arrington)





So much growth! So many bugs!

April is among the most active months in the rose garden. Thankfully, the bushes are doing most of the work, pushing out leaves and their first buds of spring. They just need some fertilizer, proper irrigation and a watchful eye.

Along with that big burst of bloom comes problem pests and disease. Rapid spring growth is a magnet for aphids. Hot, dry, dusty conditions can lead to spider mite infestations. And current temperatures are just right for outbreaks of powdery mildew and blackspot.

That gave host Farmer Fred Hoffman and myself plenty to talk about when I was his most recent guest on his “Green Acres Garden Podcast with Farmer Fred.”

“Among the topics we talked about include controlling aphids, powdery mildew, spider mites and black spot; choosing the right fertilizers for your roses; tips on correct watering of roses in the ground or in containers – all great topics,” Hoffman said.

What do you do when you see aphids nibbling on rose buds? Blast them off with a strong stream of water from the hose; their soft bodies won’t survive the impact. Also effective: A few squirts of insecticidal soap.

But watch out for ants. Where there are aphids, ants often led them there. Controlling ants in the rose garden can help cut down on aphid problems, too.

Listen to the full podcast here:
https://www.buzzsprout.com/1610311/

More details: www.farmerfred.com .

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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