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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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For week of Nov. 26:

Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!

* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.

* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.

* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.

* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

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