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15.11.2017.

Before putting the roses to bed for the winter

The Southern-type grapes, muscadines and scuppernongs, grow rangier. If side branches are present, save only those growing toward the outside of the plant, and shorten these to two or three strong buds.Bramble Fruits: Blackberries, raspberries, dewberries and all their relatives bear the best fruit on year-old shoots. Each winter consider the removal of one or two of the oldest, woodiest canes in the center of the clump and with a sharp spade remove crowded or weak new shoots. Second-year branches bear the main crop, third-year branches also bear very well, but are becoming too woody. This makes tending the brambles over summer somewhat difficult, because you have to work around the old canes while developing the new ones.

In the fall, before putting the roses to bed for the winter, pull the canes loosely together and tie them with a piece of soft cord; if you live in a very windy area, reduce the canes to about 30 inches after the leaves are dried by repeated frosts. A spring-pruned grape may bleed to death. If not, tie to prevent wind whipping over winter. Then, every year or two, during the plant's dormant period, prune out twiggy growth, overcrowded shoots and dead wood. If the new growth is overly vigorous, top it at a convenient picking height. It is a good idea to spray these cuts, if possible, with tree-wound dressing.

Blueberries: Prune these so there is about the same amount of well-spaced one, two, and three-year-old wood, nothing older. This retains the maximum number of blossom-producing buds and keeps the plant open in the center. Generally speaking, the standard grapevines are trellis-grown with a main trunk and two or four permanent lateral arms that produce carefully spaced and limited year-old

fruiting branches.

Treat shrub roses as you would any flowering bush. This year's growth bears no fruit. Fall pruning is touchy, as it may stimulate growth during winter. During the growing season immediately clip off any tendril that pulls away from the support or hangs downward. While it is young, train into a neat, well-spaced pattern.

They have a lot more vine and longer year-old fruiting canes. As flowers fade during summer, nip off overly vigorous or badly placed tendrils. If spring-bearing, remove the spent canes as the crop finishes in early summer. Some bloom best on new wood, some on older wood and some on both.

Roses: In spring, cut hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas and polyanthas back to healthy, undiscolored wood with sound pith. Early next spring as buds begin to swell, cut back to picking height; strong side shoots will break, and these will bear fruit. Retain three to five sturdy well-spaced canes and remove spindly, crowded or injured ones. Avoid summer pruning as much as possible. Vinifera (European wine grapes) vines are pruned to a stump, from which come several fruiting canes in the spring - possible

as these fruit on the current year's wood.

Grapes: Consult your County Extension Agent for specialized instructions that match local conditions.

If your plants are overbearing, you should leave the fruit-bearing canes until the end of summer to encourage that choice early-fall crop of berries. Older wood will fruit, but when old wood is present, not much vigorous new growth breaks and the plants tend to deteriorate. Do not wait until the plant is a hopeless tangle. This may mean cutting almost to the graft union (be careful not to cut below it) but keep as much healthy wood as possible. At this same time a good crop of new canes should be growing from below. After new growth is well along in early spring, prune out any dead or weak wood. You may not have the Link Clamp largest flowers possible using this method but you have a large, vigorously blooming specimen.

Garden Climbers: Honeysuckle, wisteria, trumpet vine and the like all need attention from time to time. In late winter it is advisable to prune out some of the tangle to achieve a neat appearing plant.

Clematis are a special case. During summer reach in with the clippers to nip back new basal shoots to two or three leaves. Determine if your plants are spring-bearing or overbearing. All grapes are pruned in late winter when the plants are at maximum dormancy.

Use a cane hook or a heavy knife to remove all but three to five of the strongest, best-placed ones by making a clean cut at the stump. Until midsummer, pick your roses with short stems, and when you cut a spent flower or take blooms for the house, cut to the uppermost leaf with five leaflets that points toward the outside of the bush.

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