Summer Pruning

The first weekend of August is a decent time to do some summer pruning. The fruit trees are not really at the point where they need it yet -- summer pruning is to control size rather than shape, and only the quince has gained any substantial size so far. But the roses were definitely getting out of control. So last weekend I took an hour and chopped them in half. Stupidly, I did not wear gloves, so I ended up all scratched up, but the roses look really good now, and I have a nice little pile of branches.

Compost bin full of cuttings

Summer pruning roses is really hard: you end up cutting off branches with loads of buds on them. But it's for the best, and the roses were really overgrown. Four of them had been blown over by our evening winds, and had to be staked up; this is much easier when they are not six feet tall.

One of the things that became really clear when I was working on them was that I have a lot of work to do on the front beds. Bermuda grass has grown back, and most of the California poppies are done for the season. Fortunately, after a brief flurry of activity down south this weekend, I will be living at home until January, so there will be lots of opportunities for gardening.

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posted by ayse on 08/11/06