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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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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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