Tag Archive | Pruning

Pruning Raspberries and Blueberries


“We purchased many bare root raspberries and blueberries in the spring for our new garden…. Many of the raspberries bore fruit this fall.  I’m wondering how they should both be pruned this fall?  Please
advise…
Thanks
Jesse”

______________________________________________________________

 

Hi Jesse,

Thank you for the email regarding your raspberries and blueberries.

First question: do you have summer-bearing/everbearing or fall-bearing types of raspberries?

Raspberry PruningIf you have a summer-bearing and everbearing types of raspberry, you do not want to prune it in general.  The berries will be produced on canes from the previous year.  The only ones that you should think about pruning would be those that have grown up beyond the area you have designated for them, or any that are spindly or diseased.

As for fall-bearing types, you definitely want to prune them in late winter/early spring before the buds break dormancy.  Prune all canes that bore fruit last year; they won’t fruit again. These will have grayish,
peeling bark.  To force your everbearing raspberries to produce only one crop in the fall, prune back the entire raspberry bush in early spring. As the canes grow back in the summer, remove outside suckers and thin the canes to about 6 inches apart. Keep the sturdiest canes. This technique will give you a larger fall harvest and is good if you also have summer bearing raspberry bushes and you want to stagger the harvests.

As the summer goes on, you can always prune out any dead, broken or diseased canes or those that are outside your designated row area. Of course, you can prune broken, dead, diseased or infested canes at any time of the year, the sooner the better.

And one other thing:  wear thick gloves as raspberries have some serious thorns on them. And use clean, sharp tools.

As for the blueberries, spring is the best time to prune. Before domancy has broken, remove any diseased or broken wood, plus crossing branches. You want the bush to have a narrow base and a wide, open top that allows sunlight and air in.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

*************************************************************************

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

Pruning Columnar Apple Trees?


“I bought columnar apple trees a few years ago. This year they had a few branches come off the main stem. Should I prune the branches, leaving only the main stem, or are branches good to keep around for more fruit? If I should prune them, is fall the best time or should I wait until spring. Thanks.

David in Denver”

______________________________________________________


Hi David,

Thank you for contacting us in regards to your columnar apple tree. The
tree should have small branches coming off of it. These branches are called
“spurs” and are where your blossoms and fruits will form. After a spur has
produced for a few years, it will naturally die back and fall off. More
spurs will continue to grow as the tree matures and has the potential to
bear more fruit.

Columnar Apple Tree

I hope this information helps you out. If you have any other questions,
please feel free to ask.

Transplanting Canadian Climbing Roses


“When would be the best time to transplant climbing roses? I have two Canadian Climbers.Any info on this I would really appreciat. Thanks
Vada”

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Vada,

Thank you for the question regarding transplanting climbing roses.  You can try to transplant the rose, but before you do, I encourage you to take some cuttings from it just in case the bush doesn’t survive the move. Late summer or early fall is the best time for taking cuttings. Select long, firm shoots that have grown over the summer and remove the soft tips. Then cut pieces about nine inches long so there are leaf buds very close to the top and bottom of each cutting. Be sure to use a sharp knife or secateur-type pruners. Remove all the leaves except the top pair, and dip the bottom ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone. Choose a site for the nursery bed that gets plenty of light but is shaded during the hottest part of the day. Then  place them into a six-inch-deep trench in the ground. Firm the soil around the cuttings and water well. Leave the cuttings in the ground over the winter and water as needed. By the following autumn, the cuttings should be ready to transplant to their new home.

Canadian Climbing RoseNow, back to transplanting the bush. Choose a site in full sun, and improve the soil with organic matter. The best time to prune and move the bush is in late winter or early spring. This means that if you intend to take cuttings in the fall, you should wait until the following spring to move your bush. Using secateur pruners, remove all dead and unhealthy (brown or black) wood at ground level. Thin out the center of the plant to improve air circulation, and remove canes that cross each other. You can prune every cane back by one-third to a healthy outward-facing bud. Make the cuts at a 45-degree angle about one-quarter-inch above the buds.

Dig up the bush carefully, trying to preserve as much of the root system as possible. In the new location, dig a hole about two-feet deep and a foot-and-a half wide. Make a mound in the center of the hole for the roots to spread over, and set the rose so that the bud union (the swollen part at the base of the stem) is at ground level. Fill in around the roots with a mixture of soil, compost and rotted manure. Add water. After it settles, fill in the rest of the hole. Mound the soil up around the base of the plant and a few inches out from the stem, making a trough that will catch water. Pamper the plant for the first season, keeping it well-watered.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

*********************************************************************************

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Apple Tree Pollination


“Two years ago we planted two apple trees of same variety. Haven’t had any apples to date. Heard we had to plant another tree of a different variety for pollination. Is this true, and how close do they have to be planted to the other two trees we have already? Can we still prune the existing apple trees?

Thanks,

Darlene”

__________________________________________________________________

Hi Darlene,

Thanks for emailing in your questions regarding your apple trees.  My first question is: have your trees been blooming already? For being only two years old, they may not be flowering yet (and thus not producing). Most dwarfs begin flowering in 3-5 years after planting, and semi-dwarfs and standards take even longer.

It is recommended to have at least two different varieties of apple trees for successful pollination. Most apple varieties are self-unfruitful, which means their blossoms must be fertilized with the pollen of a separate variety in order to achieve good fruit set. A few varieties, are considered self-fruitful, meaning their blossoms can be fertilized with their own pollen, but even these apples produce more fruit if they are cross-pollinated by another variety. It’s important to choose varieties that have compatible pollen and bloom times. Any reputable company that is selling apple trees should have this information readily available for the varieties that they carry so you can chose which trees work best for you.

Apples also need pollinators—certain wasps, flies, and bees—to transfer pollen from one variety to the other. The apple trees must be planted within 100 feet of each other in order to help ensure that the pollinators visit both trees.

If you have only one apple tree in your yard or incompatible varieties, all is not lost. Crab apple pollen fertilizes apple blossoms. So if you have a crabapple in the vicinity that blooms concurrently with your apple tree, you’re in business. Grafting a branch of a compatible variety onto your existing tree is another option, though I recommend you hire an arborist to perform this job. You can also use an old, very effective orchardist trick: put a bouquet of crab apple branches in bloom in a 5-gallon bucket of water and place it inside the canopy of the tree. Then bees can visit the crab apple blossoms and transfer the pollen to the apple blossoms. In other words, a little can go a long way.

Pruning is SO important and it something that you should be doing regularly at the proper times of the year.  Pruning young trees encourages a strong, solid network of branches that will be the future of your tree. Pruning on mature trees maintains the shape of the tree and encourages fruit production.

The best time to prune apple trees is in late winter or very early spring when the trees are dormant and before any new growth starts.  The only growth you ever want to prune or remove during the summer months, when the tree is actively growing, is a sucker.

I hope this information helps you out. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

 

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Waxing or Waning: Gardening by the Moon


“Dear Horticulture Talk,

I have heard of people gardening by the moon. Does it really work or is it some kind of Wicca or pagan thing? Have you ever done it?

Thanks,

Carrie”

_______________________________________________

Thanks for the question, Carrie. Yes, I have used the moon cycles to plan my garden and yard work for years. It doesn’t mean that you are all about Mother Earth or anything.  Gardening by the moon phases means that you are working with nature rather than against it.

Gardening according to the phase of the Moon is a centuries old practice, practiced by ancient cultures the world over. It has been long known that the Moon has a strong effect on our planet and its’ inhabitants. Its gravitational pull guides the ocean tides as well as our own inner tides. Plants are no different, as with the sea and our bodies a plant’s water content is affected by the pull of the Moon. Same for the insect, weed, fungal, and bacterial pests that may be attacking your plants.

People long ago lived by the cycle of the Sun, Moon and the seasons. In today’s busy world many choose not to track the Moon phases and instead opt to purchase a farmer’s almanac. The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The Farmer’s Almanac both contain useful gardening sections that do all the planning for you. With these you have everything you need for growing a successful garden, flowerbed or orchard.

There are two methods of practice, one is by the Moon’s phase and the second is by the Moon’s phase as well as its placement in an astrological sign of the zodiac. I admit, I have always used the former in my garden.

The Moon’s month long cycle can be separated into two halves, the waxing and the waning. The first half of the monthly cycle is from just after the New Moon to the Full Moon. The Moon grows larger and brighter and it is this lighter half that stimulates growth in a plant. One common practice that has been used for centuries is to plant just after the New Moon as this gives the seed, plant or transplant two weeks of increasing, moonlight and gravitational influence to encourage germination and growth. Plants that flower and/or bear fruit above ground are best planted during the first quarter which is roughly a one week period from the day after the New Moon (or so) to the first quarter Moon. The first quarter to the Full Moon is the ideal time to plant brambly fruits such as blackberries, raspberries and the like. This first half is also the best time to water your plants. As the Full Moon nears harvest any juicy berries, succulent leafy greens or other veggies for their optimum water content. It is also best to harvest herbs at the Full Moon as their essential oils are strongest, fragrant flowers will have stronger scent too.

The waning Moon is the period from the day after the Full Moon to the New Moon, when the Moon grows smaller and the night skies are darker. This half of the Moon’s cycle discourages growth in plants. The third quarter, which is from just after the Full Moon to the last quarter, is the best time to plant trees, vines, as well as flowering bulbs and plants that bear fruit under ground (root vegetables). This phase of the Moon is beneficial to those plants which rely on strong root systems like trees, root vegetables and strawberries. The last quarter is best used to weed, till, thin seedlings and rid your garden of pests, take this last week to mulch your garden and get a handle on those weeds. By following this method you will find that once the garden is established you will be spending less time in the garden having to water and weed.

The second method of gardening involves planting and tending the garden according the zodiac sign that the Moon is passing through. For anyone unfamiliar with the astrological zodiac it consists of twelve signs/constellations in which the Moon passes through and spends a day or two in each sign during the lunar cycle, or month. The four elements each rule four zodiac signs. Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are considered “water signs” and are the best time to plant most seeds and plants. While Cancer is the best, above ground plants put in at the time the Moon passes through any of these three signs will yield the best results. Air sign Libra is said to be best for planting flowering plants. The Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are the second best choices for planting. Plant your root veggies when the Moon is in Capricorn or Taurus, Virgo is best left for weeding and tilling. Fire signs Leo, Sagittarius and Aries are also ideal for weeding, tilling, cleaning and ridding your garden of pests. Air sign Aquarius is good for harvesting and Gemini is also good for working the soil.

If all of this makes your head spin, then you can do what many people over the last two centuries have done. Pick up a copy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac and head to the Outdoor Planting Table section. Right there, at your fingertips, is a handy chart that tells you when to plant what. This method is also a great science experiment for you or your children. Plant two plants or seeds one at the ideal planting time and the second at a more “undesirable” time. Watch to see how these plants grow in comparison over the season. Will your plants wither and die if you plant them at the “wrong” time? Probably not. Your garden will still plug along, but you will lack the abundant harvest and lush growth that you could have had planting by the Moon.

Waxing

  • Sow plants that flower or bear fruit above ground (1st quarter)
  • Plant blackberries, raspberries and other caned plants (during 2nd quarter)
  • Water Plants
  • Feed Plants
  • Transplant
  • Nearest the Full Moon-harvest juicy fruits and greens. Herbs for optimum essential oil content, flowers for strong fragrance.

Waning

  • Sow root vegetables (3rd quarter)
  • Plant Trees and Saplings (3rd quarter)
  • Plant strawberries (3rd quarter)
  • Weed
  • Mulch
  • Thin seedlings
  • Divide plants
  • Harvest
  • Pruning
  • Hoe
  • Pest Control

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Black Spot on Roses


“I have really bad black spot Have been using Bayer Advanced Active ingredient is Tebuconazole.  I have been spraying them every night for a week now and they don’t look any better. Any suggestions? ~Jim”

___________________________________________________________________________

Hi Jim,

Thank you contacting me via email regarding the black spot (Diplocarpon rosae)
problems you have been having on your roses.  What type of roses do you
have?  If they are hybrid tea roses, they are going to take a little bit
longer to respond to treatments for black spot because they have more
‘sinks’ to put nutrients and resources into.  A nutrient source-sink for a
plant is the relocation of nutrients and resources from the part of the
plant where they are being formed (sugars in leaves) or taken up
(water/nutrients in roots) and relocated to areas where they are being used
quickly (for roses, the blossoms).  The large size of the hybrid tea rose
blossom and the fragrance both draw much from the plant and make it more
susceptible to disease.

However, do not fear.  It is not impossible to cure your plant!  You just
have to outsmart the black spot.

In summer, the high humidity and frequent rainfalls (of most areas) promote
fungal pathogen development. Nighttime temperatures between 59° and 80° F
and heavy dews or frequent showers are ideal conditions that allow the
fungus to thrive and continuously reinfect plants.

The fungicide chlorothalonil (Daconil) is effective in controlling blackspot
by killing the fungal spores that spread the disease. However, optimal
disease control with chlorothalonil requires frequent applications to
protect newly developing leaves and to replace fungicide washed off by rain.
Control of blackspot on roses, therefore, may require more than 15 fungicide
applications, at 7-10 day intervals (or more if it is particularly rainy),
during the growing season.

Recent concerns about the safety and environmental impact of frequent
fungicide use have caused homeowners to consider alternatives for control.
Baking soda in solution with horticultural oil (a light petroleum oil
labeled for control of insects) or NEEM oil, for example, has been shown to
reduce diseases on roses in your area. In addition, many people believe
that fertilizing roses with epsom salts (MgSO4) produces more vigorous tea
rose plants that are better able to handle either the chemical treatments or
more organic, natural treatments.  The rate is one cup epsom salts per
plant per month.

One note: if you do decide to go with the horticultural oil option, be
careful and use according to the label directions.  Research has shown that
using horticultural oil may damage rose foliage due to the higher
temperatures (90+) that prevail during especially warm summers in the north
or regular summers in the south. It has been suggested that applications of
the horticultural oil solutions (oil alone and in suspension with baking
soda) alternated with chlorothalonil fungicide applications avoided this
problem. Oil solutions were applied weekly but were substituted with the
fungicide when rainfall between sprays was less than 0.25 inch. Rain removed
some of the oil and reduced foliar damage.

While complete control of blackspot disease may never be attained without
the use of fungicides, proper management of rose plants will reduce the
amount of fungicide needed. This includes annual replacement of ground
cover, proper pruning and fertilization, and removal of fallen leaves.
Pruning and removal of debris is important because the fungus readily
survives in fallen leaves, buds, or infected canes. Proper fertility will
keep a plant in optimal health, which makes it less susceptible to disease.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions,
please feel free to ask.

 

*************************************************************************

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rule of Five: How to prune a Rose Tree


“I’m helping a lady who bought Full Sail Tree Rose.  I always deadhead roses back to a leaf of 5, so they will rebloom.
Looking at the Full Sail, which usually blooms in bunches of 3, if we deadhead to a leaf of 5, that is quiet a big cut.
I don’t have any hard feelings in taking the cut, but the garden owner wanted me to verify with you if that is correct with the Full Sail.  If we go to a leaf of 3-that is directly under the bloom but I don’t think she will get rebloom cutting there.
Please advise as soon as possible, as she will be out of town for 3 weeks, and I’m tending the gardens while she is gone.

Thank you so much,
Emma”

_______________________________________________________________________

Hi Emma,

Thank you for the email regarding pruning on your friend’s rose tree.  The general rule of thumb with trimming roses is the leaf of five rule.  However, depending on the age, size, and manner the tree has been cared for, it is not always possible to do this without cutting off too much.

In the event that a leaf of five leaflets cannot be found or cannot be used because there would be most of the tree cut off, then you can cut above any outward facing leaf.  The dormant buds always grow in the direction that the leaf below the cut is pointing.  Keep in mind that whenever you cut a rose bush or tree, especially when deadheading or taking roses for cut flowers, this is pruning.  And whenever you prune a rosebush, you want to direct the new growth in an outward direction.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

*************************************************************************

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.