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Learn pruning tips with Farmer Fred podcast

Local rose experts tackle finer points plus advice on planting new roses

Pink rose bloom
Want to have display-worthy roses? Plant them right and prune them right. Listen to Farmer Fred
Hoffman's latest podcast for tips from the experts. This is Debbie Arrington's Pink Promise rose, which she tackles in one segment of the podcast. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

How do you tackle a 12-foot rose bush? Cut it down to size first.

What about pruning tree roses? Think of them as an elevated bush.

How do you get a bare-root rose off to a healthy start? Begin with a high-quality, healthy plant with strong canes and roots.

Those are some of the finer points of pruning and rose care that local experts share during the latest “Green Acres Garden Podcast with Farmer Fred.”

“All about Roses” includes interviews with master rosarians Debbie Arrington and Charlotte Owendyk as well as rose experts at Green Acres Nursery & Supply. As a bonus, podcast host Farmer Fred Hoffman adds his own “cutting” remarks about pruning perennials, another current chore.

Debbie (of Sacramento Digs Gardening) also shares information about choosing the right tools, dressing for pruning safety (and success) and what to do if your roses are still blooming when it’s time to prune. (Among her tips: Don’t wear knits while pruning; go for denim instead.)

To illustrate techniques, Debbie prunes a gigantic Pink Promise hybrid tea that had grown as tall as the house and was still full of blooms – and leaves.

For her lesson on tree roses, Charlotte uses her Julia Child floribunda tree roses, which annually produce fountains of flowers at eye level.

The bare-root rose segment is hosted by Green Acres’ Folsom staff and features new varieties now available.

Listen for yourself:

Become a Farmer Fred podcast regular. Farmer Fred now hosts two weekly podcasts: “Garden Basics with Farmer Fred” and “Green Acres Garden Podcast with Farmer Fred.” Links to both are available 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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