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See how to prune a rose in three minutes or less

Master rosarian Baldo Villegas leads a free rose
care workshop including his speed pruning method.
(Photo: Courtesy Sierra Foothills Rose Society)
Baldo Villegas leads winter rose care workshop indoors

Don’t have time to prune? It only takes a few minutes to finish a rose bush.

Baldo Villegas will show you how. This master rosarian can prune a full-size bush in three minutes – or less.

Villegas leads a free winter rose care workshop Saturday, Jan. 12, at Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Drive, Roseville. Presented by the Sierra Foothills Rose Society, the indoor workshop starts at 8:30 a.m. and wraps up at 1:30 p.m. following a chili cookoff. The public is welcome.

Villegas perfected his speed-pruning method out of necessity. He maintains more than 3,000 rose bushes at his Orangevale home.

Sacramento’s beloved Bug Man, Villegas is a retired state entomologist and knows every rose pest and problem seen in California. He’ll share his advice on how to grow healthier, happier roses.

In addition, longtime rosarians will offer their pruning expertise. There will be plenty of hands-on opportunities for newcomers, too. Bring gloves, bypass pruners and loppers. Free sharpening will be available. (Donations welcome.)

The day’s schedule covers a broad range. Following morning refreshments, the program gets underway with a 9 a.m. discussion of pruning tools and care. At 9:15, Villegas and others share their pruning tips by type of rose; not all bushes are pruned alike. That’s also when he’ll demonstrate his three-minute method.

At 10 a.m., the workshop will break down into smaller groups to tackle potted roses, ranging from miniatures and hybrid teas to floribundas and polyanthas. At this rose workshop, all the pruning is done indoors, usually on tables; there’s no stooping in cold, wet rose beds. After pruning, most of those roses will be awarded to attendees in a raffle.

At 10:45, “Roses in the Landscape” shows the many ways roses can be incorporated into Sacramento area gardens. Then, Villegas will lead a question and answer session on controlling disease and pests in the garden. Chili is served at 12:30 p.m.

For more details: or .

- Debbie Arrington


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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