Pruning Shrubs and Dahlia Delights

Conrad Grol discusses sharpening pruning tools during his recent talk for the Tweed Horticultural Society.

Tweed and District Horticultural March Meeting really had its members gearing up for spring with two speakers. Conrad Grol started the evening by talking about pruning shrubs. According to Conrad shrubs should be pruned to improve their appearance both visually and artistically. Clean plants look better to the eye than shrubs filled with dead wood. Another and more important reason to prune is what Conrad calls the “3Ds”….disease, damage and dead wood.

He provided many pruning tips for the members….

•roses-cut out dead damaged wood, diseased wood, and then shape leaving 4-5 canes

•dogwood-cut back to 6 inches above ground; clean out all dead wood

•spirea-blooms on new wood; prune after blooming just under the flowers; prune the roots using a sharp spade about 18 inches out

•weigela-blooms on last year’s wood; need to be thinned out in the spring; prune roots

•potentilla-blooms on new wood; prune after flowering; does not need a lot of fertilizer

•boxwood-prune only an inch at a time to keep its shape

•forsythia-prune when flowers are done; very short window to prune; needs granular feed

•junipers-cut long tips; may not look great when you prune but will grow back next year; can prune in spring or fall

According to Conrad, sharp shears are key to successful pruning. He also reminded members that shrubs are like humans…they need food and water!

John Bagshaw

The second presenter for the evening was John Bagshaw who shared a video on Dahlias. John is the Hort Group’s “dahlia expert” as he is always offering advice and recommendations to the members who strive to grow dahlias like his…which are outstanding! The excellent video demonstrated the journey of the dahlia from the single eye of the tuber, to the beautiful plant in the summer/fall and storage techniques for winter. John has donated the video to the Library for the public to borrow.

Here’s short three minute video of dahlias in a U.K. garden for you to watch.

April Meeting:

Colin Campbell of Campbell Orchards, Belleville will discuss growing fruit trees in our area.

Don DeGenova of Tweed will share a video of his garden that was part of a gardening show, My Backyard, in an episode that focused on “Mega Garden Makeovers”.

Looking Ahead:Bus Trip to Canada Blooms and Toronto Home Show at Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto on Friday March 15, 2013. Cost $55.00. Price includes admission to both shows and motor coach. For more info call 613-478-6850.

Peterborough Garden Show at Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Rd, Peterborough. Friday April 1Sunday April 14. Cost is $6.00 per person. Members are invited to car pool on Saturday April 13. Meet at the Boldrick’s Parking lot-leaving at 8:40 am. For more information, call 613-478-6850.

David Morgan of Lee Valley Tools will speak at the Land O’Lakes Garden Club on April 11, 2013 at 7 pm. He will speak about how to irrigate your garden.

District 3 Spring AGM on April 27, 2013 in Brockville.

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