Sunday, March 31, 2013

Creating Garden Stakes: April Program

These beautiful garden stakes were
created by zinniadesignstc and
are available on etsy.
April's Garden Club program will be a little something different this month -- we are creating ceramic garden stakes. These stakes will be used to raise money for future Garden Club activities.

This will be a nice departure from the wonderful presentations we have had lately, and a great opportunity to socialize and get to know each other, especially all of our newer members. It will also be an opportunity for everyone to participate in a fund-raising project.

Check out the Pinterest Board we've created to gather ideas (feel free to pin other ideas there as well). And bring any tools you think might be helpful in creating our designs.

See you Tuesday, April 2 at 6pm for the meeting, and 7pm for creating the garden stakes.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Pruning Roses

By Suzanne K.
Every time I see President’s Day on the calendar I think about roses. I was taught that in the Pacific Northwest, mid-February is the time to prune roses. It has always worked well for me.

Whatever day you choose, you should pick a time when you feel that the danger of hard frost is over. Roses will sustain more damage during freezing weather if they have been pruned. You can look at the buds on the stems, and if they are beginning to swell, it’s probably a good time.

My roses are either the Floribunda or Tea varieties. I like to prune them into the traditional vase shape because it allows for good air circulation (less disease), easy pruning during summer, and I like the appearance.

Start by pruning out any dead (black, brown, shriveled up) canes. Prune close to the base of the cane or, if only part of the cane is dead, prune just above a bud, preferably a bud facing the outside of the plant.

Most roses are grafted onto root stock. If you see suckers growing out of the root stock or out of the ground, prune those off. Dig around the ones coming out of the ground, and try to sever them from the main root.

Now you will be pruning on the healthy canes that will give you your beautiful stems and flowers. Depending on the size of the plant, I usually prune to six or eight main stems. If you prune out some of the main stems, pick the older ones to eliminate. You can make the remaining stems anywhere from 12 to 48 inches tall, depending on the stem diameter and your personal preference. Thicker stems can be left longer. Prune them with a diagonal cut just above an outward facing bud. Prune off branches that head into the interior of the plant or criss-cross each other.

It is a good ideas to sprinkle a nice helping of rose fertilizer (with alfalfa meal) around the base of your plant and dig it in. Repeat the fertilizer application every 4 to 6 weeks. This really helps with abundant flower production and creates a healthy, vibrant plant that is much less susceptible to disease.

Now enjoy your beautiful flowers!