Time to Prune those roses and Fruit Trees?

andy Lopez, aka: The Invisible Gardener
Time to Prune those roses and Fruit Trees?
Summary: 
Time to Prune those roses and Fruit Trees?

Time to Prune those roses and Fruit Trees?

I want to tell everyone that reads my column here and in other places, that for those of you that know my wife Susan, that she died on Dec 26th.

We are living in exciting times. The world around us is changing very rapidly. The damage we have done to our planet and are still doing cannot be imagined. The results are piling up. This doesn’t look good for any of us. Not for animals, birds, even insects. I don’t like to sound like an alarmist or some whacked out (fill in the blank), I’m just saying that we have done a terrible job of gardening the earth. It can still be fixed. Not that hard. It will take time though, Lots of time and lots of luck to get it cleaned up and back on an excellent course — both of which we may not have.

But we must live from day to day. Now is what matters?

So now is the time to prune those roses of yours as well as to prune the fruit trees.

Let's start with roses.

All roses need to be pruned back, some more then others depending on variety and location and type. For our purpose, I talk about local roses and what they need now. Climbing roses require a different running; then, your stand-alone rose bush.

Between now and mid-Feb, it would be an excellent time to prune the roses. If you have experience with pruning, then you go ahead and nice the best pruning you can. No experience? Then any good gardener can do that for you. The techniques vary from person to person. Over the years, I tell folks to go lightly on the pruning. Prune back to the old growth and not more. Please take into account how the branches interact with each other so each branch will have maximum light. Some roses naturally grow big, in which case you probably will be pruning it back over the year. Many roses love a proper pruning right away. They bloom, and if fed correctly, they will produce more flowers.

It is essential to clean your tools between plants. This will prevent diseases from spreading from one plant to another. Try using H2O3 to clean them with. Use 2%. Very useful and not as bad on your clothing as bleach is.

Once you have pruned the roses, you should treat the roses by spraying them with compost tea. Compost tea is easy to make. Now you can even go to your local nursery and ask them if they have any compost tea bags for sale. I know that our local hardware store has lots of organic products, and one of them is compost tea bags in a little box. You can make your own if you make compost. If you don’t make compost, then you can buy compost and add a small amount to a pantyhose and tie into a small ball and tie up in 5-gallon clean water. Then after about a few hours, pour the tea into a spraying unit. You can buy various types of spraying units depending on how much you want to spend. You can also get a unit that hooks up to the hot pipe. Just make sure it has enough pressure.

There are other things that you should be spraying your roses now. I would make mineral tea. You can use Sea90 or Superseaweed to provide you with the trace minerals. There are many mineral products available now, so it is easy to get. I would do the mineral sprays once a week, alternating with the compost tea spray. You can even use the two together.

It is also essential to do soil treatment around the base of the roses. You can make a mix of rock dust and any organic rose fertilizer with microbes. That would make an excellent starter for your roses to give them a significant flower season.

It would be best if you sprayed the roses once a month with this mix. If you had any disease before like a fungus or powdery mildew, then you should include one cup of milk per 5 gallons of clean water. I would not mix the compost tea with the milk, but you can combine the sea90 or Superseaweed with the milk. You should use the organic fertilizer mixed with rock dust to fertilize your roses once a month. Use 1 cup per rose. Pour along well and water in. Use compost and apply an acid mulch like Dr. Earth Planting mix.

If you have fruit trees, this is a good time to do the pruning. You only prune fruit trees for fruit production and not for just looks ate size. When pruning think about how much light each branch and each fruit will get. Try to maximize the light. Thin out where too many branches meet. Give space in-between each fruit. Better to have nice sized fruit than a lot of smaller fruit. The same goes for fruit trees about cleaning your tools to avoid spreading diseases.

When you prune anything, you must think about what you are doing and what will happen if you prune it wrong. Wrong pruning will stop a fruit tree or roses from having bloom or fruit. It might affect it for years, so think before you prune. Best to do small pruning every year than one big one every few years. Just remember that it takes until the next season before you know if your pruning went well and if you messed up then no fruit.

It would be best if you were spraying with compost tea and Sea90 mixed or Superseaweed mixed in. It would be best if you also sprayed once a week with a milk solution. Use 10% milk in clean water. Milk is calcium-rich, and plants need this to produce abundant fruit. Happy New Year, everyone!

 

Any questions? Email me at andylopez@invisiblegardener.com

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener