John White and Rosemary Maddox Master Gardner will teach us how to prune our hybrid t-roses. To begin, you'll need a set of bypass pruners, long handles loppers for branches or canes, which are bigger than your thumb. You may also need a pruning saw, 10% bleach solution which is 10 parts water + 1 part bleach., an old dog bowl for the bleach, gloves, and a low stool. Begin with the bypass pruners clipping all branches that may be crossing or too close to the main branches that you will keep. The rule for deciding is new growth over old growth. Cut all dead wood and weak limbs. Always cut above first bud from the bottom. The ideal time to prune in southern New Mexico is Valentine's Day, because it is 2 months after before the last average freeze. After pruning the bush should resemble an upturned palm with the fingers raised and slightly spread apart. Proceed to spray with dormant oil to get rid of any bugs that may have survived the previous freezes. Don't forget to use your bleach solution to sterilize your tools to keep from spreading disease. You can begin feeding after the last frost day, in Southern New Mexico is April 15th. Enjoy your flowers!
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