Spring can sometimes be a very short season in Greyton, when hot weather and drying out winds suddenly arrive.
July is the best time to prune in Greyton, unless it is very cold and then this can be delayed to early August. All depends on how ready you want your roses to be for the Greyton Rose Fair. The purpose of pruning is to stimulate growth and produce flowers. Pay particular attention at this time of year to roses, fruit trees, hydrangeas, evergreen plants (citrus, camellias) and bougainvillea and other plants that need shaping.
Brief Guidelines to pruning
- Pruning is usually done in mid-July to encourage new growth, remove dead or diseased wood, to improve air and light movement in the centre of the plant and to improve the shape of the plant.
- Use a good pair of sharp secateurs. For the thick branches use long-handled loppers.
- Remove damaged or diseased branches as well as weak and spindly twigs.
- Prune to open up the centre of the plant. The cut should be a clean one, at a 45 ̊ angle, above a bud that is facing outward.
- Remove suckers that have grown below the graft union.
- Seal with Steriseal and spray the plant and the surrounding soil with lime sulphur
- Most Hybrid tea and Floribunda roses are pruned like this so the blooms will develop on new wood. Exceptions to this are:
- Ramblers and Climbers which are pruned to remove damage and dead wood and to shape the plant and keep the size manageable. Ramblers can be pruned straight after flowering if required.
- Modern Shrub roses which need one third of the older branches to be removed.
- Miniature roses which just need to be shaped.
Feed all the pruned plants with a general fertiliser, water them well and renew the layer of mulch around them.
Moss can be very dangerous on pathways or garden steps in rainy weather. Kill it off with boiling water, copper sulphate or moss killer, or blast it off with a pressure spray.
Water azaleas, camellias and magnolias regularly or they will drop their flower buds.
Do not forget to keep spring bulbs moist and to feed them with bulb fertiliser.
Take care to stake plants and check and replace ties. Ties can do a lot of damage to plant tissue if they become too tight. Prune back ornamental grasses that have become brown.
Good herbs to grow in winter are thyme, origananum, chervil, parsley, sage, hyssop and yarrow. Also plant peas, onion seedlings, beans, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
After reshaping old beds, fill them with osteospermums, pelargoniums, lavenders and gazanias.