Ready for Spring

Is it spring yet?

I’m not complaining, mind you. We are having a real winter (for us) with lots of wonderful rain and enough chill hours so our fruit trees might even produce some fruit for us this year!

This winter I have been taking full advantage of classes offered by our local nursery. Thank you, Walter Andersen’s.

Walter

I took two classes in January that have already made a big difference in our yard: Rose pruning and deciduous fruit tree care.

The rose class taught me that I’m supposed to make my rose bushes go dormant, starting in October. Ummm, no. I love that I had big beautiful blooms in January.

Roses

But that doesn’t mean that I am completely disregarding the advice. Right after the class I went home and if there weren’t any blooms on a rose bush, I trimmed it down.

Roses After

I gave myself two more weeks to enjoy the flowers before hacking down the others.

But the class wasn’t only about rose pruning. It was also about care and feeding of the plants. Confession: I have been a negligent rose parent. I never fed them and I kept them in a state of dehydration. Now I know better. The rains have taken care of watering for a month now, and I now have a plan for giving my beauties enough water when it’s up to me again. I also have the food that they have been craving, and they’ve already had their first serving.

Our fruit trees are juveniles. Last year this time they were bare root. We have decided we wanted to keep the trees short so none of the fruit goes to waste, so we knew we wanted to heavily prune them each year. The problem was I didn’t know how. Now I do!

I learned all about not crossing the streams  branches and making the cuts right above nubs going in the direction I want branches to go. I also took down the height on a couple to encourage them to become more bushy. Now it is a case of wait and see what happens.

Trees

Even since all the bushes and trees got their winter hair cuts, they have started with new growth already. I think they liked the attention.

What skills has everyone else been learning this winter?

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