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Time is near to prune roses
Q.When should we prune roses? Can you give us some instructions on how to do it?
A. Prune your roses sometime between Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day.
Hybrid tea roses are generally pruned pretty severely in the spring. Three or four main stems are identified that emerge at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit from the base. They are cut at about 24 to 30 inches tall and everything else is removed from the plant.
Old-fashioned roses, and tough modern roses, such as “Belinda’s Dream,” Carefree Beauty (“Katy Road”), and “Knockout,” are pruned much less aggressively. Remove dead wood and stems that are invading more space than you want them to cover.
Climbing roses are usually pruned after the spring flush of blooms. Again, remove the dead wood and enough branches to keep them from taking over the landscape.
Q.We are anxious to have the lawn green-up early this year. What is the earliest we can fertilize?
A. It does not do any good to fertilize the lawn before you have mowed real grass two times.
Nitrogen fertilizer applied early only benefits the winter weeds. Early green-up results if we have warm weather earlier than normal, you fertilized last fall (Oct. 1), and there is moisture in the soil.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the San Antonio Water System’s project director of regional initiatives and special projects. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Saturdays noon to 2 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Or, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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