by Ben Matus
A couple of weeks of really outstanding
weather is behind us. This day is gray and chilly. But,
the forsythias are in full, gorgeous bloom. Daffodils
have been up for a while now. I’ve mowed once already
and sprayed for black spot. More glorious spring weather
is predicted for next week. Weather wise, it’s time to
prune. Calendar wise, not so much.
So, to prune or not to prune? That is the
question. Or… Aye, and that’s the rub! Decisions,
decisions, decisions. Past bad judgment argues it both
ways. I remember well late March and early April
freezes that destroyed tender new growth as well as
whole plants. However, I also remember early springs
where I waited and the job was so much harder due to all
of the new growth one had to work through.
I think I’ll split the difference and
start toward the end of the month if the weather holds
and the long range forecast is favorable. Our three
Knock Outs are already well leafed out, so we’ll get
them first, I think. Then we’ll get the other shrubs. If
for no other reason than that they seem to be hardier
plants than the grafted hybrids. Hopefully a late freeze
won’t damage them so much, should it happen.
We have found a young lady that would
like to learn to grow roses. She is going to help us out
in a sort of paid internship. She’ll be doing most of
the pruning. It will probably be best to start in the
back beds for her to begin to learn. That way by the
time she gets into the courtyard she’ll have a better
handle on the process.
Some of our best roses are in the
courtyard, still. Perhaps we can count on some of them
being ready for our rose show if we prune them a little
later. All ya’ll know that we don’t exhibit, but we will
be bringing a few to jam in a vase and help fill the
Here’s to no late freezes and beautiful
roses this season for all of us. Happy spring!