• Patty McHugh

“The shovel was truly a ground breaking invention.” Unknown

It’s still too early to know when we can meet again but one can always hope!

In the meantime, we’ll be working on putting together a Summer tour of Oakmont gardens. We don’t yet know what that tour will look like. Will we be able to invite people to view our gardens in person? Will the number of visitors be limited? Will appointments be required? Will a drive-by be the only option? Regardless, we are calling on you to provide us with possible garden candidates for our tour. You need not be a Garden Club member to participate. You may offer up your own garden or recommend a friend’s. All garden types and sizes are welcome. The only restriction is that it must be an Oakmont garden and maintained with love. Our last tour was very popular and we hope to make this one even better. We could all use a little pick-me-up! We need at least 5 gardens to have a successful tour. Please contact Patty McHugh (or any of our board members) with garden candidate information, email to patriciamchugh3@comcast.net, or call/text to 707-494-3289.

JANUARY IN THE GARDEN

Now is the time to dormant-prune roses. Last year in our article I recommended cutting back healthy canes to about a foot and to limit the number of canes to 3 or 5. I got some blowback from this – seems there’s all kinds of opinions out there as to the best pruning technique for roses. This was my ‘advice’ for hybrid teas and was the technique I myself have employed over the years. Suffice it to say, it is universally agreed that care should be taken to provide circulation to the rose bush (ergo, limited canes) to minimize disease. If you prefer a fuller bush, you can decide to leave as many canes as you like. Visualize the desired shape of the plant when it’s leafed out. Proceed as follows:
• Always prune to an outward facing bud. Cut out any spindly growth (smaller than a pencil) and any canes growing toward the center of the bush. Wherever you have branches that cross, prune out one of the crossing branches. Remove any diseased, damaged or dead canes. Cut back to healthy green stock any cane that shows bore damage. All cuts should be angled away from the bud (to dispel water), leaving about ¼” stem above the bud. Pruning shears should be disinfected with each cut (a spray of alcohol or Lysol will do the trick). Clean up all leaves and debris from the area around your roses – these can harbor fungal diseases such as rust, powdery mildew and black spot. Spray with a dormant spray all the canes and the area under and around the rose.
• Now that the leaves are off, this is also a good time to prune your Japanese maples. These maples look their best when are airy so prune accordingly.

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