Monthly Gardening Tips
The Gardening Tutor Buttons Who Needs The Gardening Tutor Button About Button Announcements Button Contact Us Button Links Button Who Needs The Gardening Tutor Button Services Button First Visit Button Before and After Button Testimonials Button About Button The Garden Shoppe Button Monthly Gardening Tips Button The Gardening Tutor Home Button

February 2018 Gardening Tips - Clematis 'Multi-Blue'
Climbing Rose (watch our YouTube video How to Prune a Climbing Rose)



    The question I hear most often this time of year is, “How do I prune my roses?” Here in the Santa Rosa area there is still time to prune your roses.

    One of the most helpful tasks you can do to keep your roses healthy is to keep the area below and around the roses clean of leaves. Diseases such as rust, powdery mildew and black spot are fungal diseases that spread easily. To remind you of why you would want to keep the area cleaned up, it may be helpful to think of this leaf debris as similar to athlete’s foot fungus. Before you prune, gently strip off all the leaves and thoroughly rake the area. Striping the leaves first will help you to clearly see which stems you are pruning.

    Different types of roses prefer different pruning but here are some general things to keep in mind. Angle your pruning cuts away from the bud so that any water from rain or humidity will run away from the bud. Prune a quarter inch above an outward facing bud (or to a bud that is going to grow in the direction you would like). Cut out any spindly growth (growth that is less than the diameter of a pencil). Prune out any growth that will be growing into the middle of the rose so that the rose bush will have good sunlight and air circulation. Good air circulation will cut down on the possibility of diseases. Also, prune out any dead, diseased, or damaged growth. Where branches cross, decide which branch to keep and prune out the other branch.

    After you prune and clean up the area, apply a 3" layer of good quality compost on top of the soil to help reduce weeds and feed your roses. Keep the compost about 6 inches from the base of the plant. When deciding on which product to use as mulch keep in mind that bark mulch can be a great place for fungal spores to hide and overwinter. Compost decomposes within months and will need to be reapplied.

    February 2018
    Gardening Checklist*
    What to SHOP for . . .
    Checkbox Bareroot - Fruit Trees, Blueberries, Cane Fruit, Strawberries, Rhubarb.
    Checkbox Early Blooming Trees - Flowering Magnolia, Lilac in bud.
    Checkbox Fragrance - Violet odorata, Daphne, Sweet Peas.
    Checkbox Veggies - Beets, Fava Beans, Carrots, Leek, Lettuce.
    Tasks to do . . .
    Checkbox Prune - Cannas, Berberis, Finish Pruning Roses. Roses: Watch The Gardening Tutor Videos How to Prune a Hybrid Tea Rose and How to Prune a Climbing Rose.
    Checkbox Divide and or Transplant - Cannas, Clump Forming Salvias.
    Checkbox Sow Seeds - February is time to sow vegetable and flower seeds indoors for planting out when danger of frost has past. Seeds of California Poppy, Flander's Poppy, Ornamental Poppy, Larkspur, Nigella and many others can still be scattered on top of soil outside. Keep the sown area clear of weeds and give them a shower if rains are infrequent.
    Checkbox Pest Management - Wild rabbits can be super destructive in the garden. Other than covering all your plants with mesh cages there's not much you can do to protect the plants rabbits want to devour or destroy. Some gardeners have had success with spreading scented soap shaving around their plants but there are down sides to this practice. Instead, here are a few plants that rabbits tend to leave alone: Geum, Buddleja, Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite', Berberis, Canna, Begonia, Trachelospermum, Helianthus, Rosemary, Dianthus, Alyssum, Acorus, Coleonema. Some plants, such as Phlomis fruticosa, may need protection with mesh while young but once big enough the rabbits may leave it alone. Spray fruit trees and roses with dormant oil or copper spray (follow package directions) Remember to spray the soil under and around the plants too. Bait for cutworms, snails, slugs, earwigs and sowbugs.
    Checkbox Spraying Roses - Be careful, if your roses have already started to sprout leaves, fungicides/insecticides can damage the young leaves. Best to use a strong spray of water to knock off aphids. If your rose is diseased wait until the new leaves harden off (mature) to spray.
    Checkbox Irrigation - Before applying a new layer of mulch check and repair drip irrigation lines.
    Free printable . . .
      Looking for a way to stay organized in your garden?
    Download this Free Printable Gardening Checklist* and you’ll be amazed how inspired you’ll feel!
    Let us know how you’re doing. You can do it!
    Remember, this printable was created as a short list of tasks with minimal information. If you would like more in-depth information,
    you can always refer back to the checklist above each month for more details.

    The Gardening Tutor January 2018 Printable

    *Colors may vary depending upon your computer screen and printer.

*For More Detailed Gardening Tips
Check Out Our Archives Below

The Gardening Tutor
Hands-on, Individualized Gardening Instruction
And Consulting
in Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, California

Hands-On Individualized Gardening Instruction and Consulting in Sonoma County