Monday, September 3, 2012

Calling All Deadheads...This Week's Gardening Chores

No, there's no Dead concert going on. I'm talking about cutting off spent rose blossoms. They look dead, hence the term "deadheading." 

Here's a bush perfect for this .  To deadhead, find the first set of leaves under the dead blossom with at least 5 leaflets. You can go a little lower too, if you'd keep the shape desired, etc. Cut on a angle just above those leaves.

When there are multiple deadheads on a stem, I like to cut low enough so I can get all of them in one cut.

Why deadhead? First, it makes the bush look cleaner and nicer. Second, dead blossoms left on the plant tend to turn into seed pods (rose hips) that inhibit more blossoms from forming on the bush. When you deadhead, you cut off the hormones that tell the plant to shut down flower then sprout from the junction of the leaflet and stem where you cut.

Being early September, this will be the last deadheading of the season. This is pretty much the same for most of the continental United States. Along with the final deadheading, we feed our roses one more time with fertilizer. 

Now, we'll just let the roses be for the rest of the year. No cutting, no feeding (continue to water as needed, though). Those rose hips that develop will help nourish the plant for the cold weather to come.

Other chores going on for the Cheapskate this weekend:

Mowing the lawn
Fertilizing the garden
Checking spray patterns on the sprinklers and drip emitters

Copyright 2012 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

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