Author: Surya

Spindle tree: growth & care

Spindle tree: growth & care

In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about planting and caring for spindle trees. On top of that, we will tell you whether spindle trees are poisonous and whether they are winter hardy. Spindle trees (Euonymus) are incredibly versatile. The intensely…

Watercress: growth, care & benefits

Watercress: growth, care & benefits

Watercress is full of benefits for human health and it is often used to refine and decorate dishes. Learn everything you need to know about growing watercress here. Watercress (Nasturtium), or yellowcress, is a species of aquatic herbs, which is often used to enrich certain…

Planting Raspberries – A how-to guide to a great harvest

Planting Raspberries – A how-to guide to a great harvest

Raspberries are a healthy and sweet fruit – which grows across countries all around the world. In this short guide we will give you the most important tips on how to plant and grow your own raspberries.

Raspberries (Rubus idaeus) are a true powerfood – or power fruit. Raspberries do not only contain a high level of vitamin C, they are also among the most antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in the world. They also contain so-called “ellagic acid”, a substance that is said to be anti-carcinogenic. In addition, raspberries contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Already thinking about getting your share of raspberries? So did I some time ago. And the great thing about raspberries: There are numerous different types, growing on different continents and under different climates.

Planting raspberries

After having experienced raspberries as a nice cereal add-on some time ago in Europe, I decided to see whether these can be planted by yourself (spoiler – they can).

One thing I learned at the beginning is that raspberries are self-fertile, which means that just one bush is required to produce fruit.

Of course, raspberries are outside plants and should not be planted inside. Their bushes are too large for your home – and also not the nicest thing to see. Furthermore, they are pollinated by bees, so direct access is needed.

small raspberry shrubs
The best time to plant raspberries is early spring [Shutterstock.com/Miro Novak]

Raspberries sould ideally be planted around early spring, once the ground has fully thawed out and the bushes can grow. This way, your little raspberry plants have the best chance of growing into fully-fledged raspberries bushes.
It is best to select a sunny spot for your raspberries. While they can also grow in semi-shady areas, their fruit will highly profit from access to sunlight.
Simply plant out the raspberries plants by digging a deep-enough hole, carefully plant in the roots of the bush and fill back in the soil. Do not forget to water the roots before putting them in the hole. If you are planting multiple plants, you should keep them around 50 centimetres away from each other, so that the roots will not start to fight for water and soil.

Taking care of your raspberries

Caring for your raspberries can be crucial to your success in bringing out nice bushes with great fruit.

Depending on our geographical location, watering is essential. Raspberries prefer a steady but modest inflow of water. So if you do not live in a rather rainy area where it rains at least every 10 days to a certain extent, you should water your plants every 7 to 10 days. Do not soak you plants, but water them carefully.

raspberry shrub with water drops
Watering your raspberries is essential for a good harvest [Shutterstock.com/ svetlanabalyn]

Essentially, watering has to be taken out throughout the whole season until the ground starts to freeze during the night – from planting until at least september or even late october (depending on where you are located).

In the second year, your raspberries will start to produce fruit.

Harvesting your raspberries

Your bushes will carry their first fruits over the first days of summer. The good thing is that they grow and mature as quickly as every two weeks. Which also means that a constant picking is inevitable if you do not want birds to steal your carefully grown fruits.

It is advised to harvest raspberries on sunny days as soaked fruits can get squeezed and destroyed more easily.

And now – enjoy planting your very own raspberries!

Whiteflies: how to identify, prevent & get rid of them

Whiteflies: how to identify, prevent & get rid of them

The tiny whiteflies on houseplants and in the garden can be very annoying. In this article, we reveal how to get rid of whiteflies using household remedies as well as natural methods. The term “whitefly” is a trivial name for various insects from the Aleyrodidae…

Olive trees in pots: planting, pruning & fertilising potted olive trees

Olive trees in pots: planting, pruning & fertilising potted olive trees

Olive trees in pots can help add a touch of the Mediterranean to your garden or balcony. Here, we will show you how to take care of potted olive trees and what is important for overwintering them. Olive trees (Olea europea) are used to the…

Pruning roses: expert tips on how and when is best

Pruning roses: expert tips on how and when is best

When and how to cut roses? In this article, we will show you how to prune roses correctly and what you should pay attention to when cutting back roses.

Cutting various types of roses (Rosa) is not as difficult as is often assumed. Even hobby gardeners can achieve the perfect rose cut with just a little practice. All you have to do is to be informed about the different growth habits and flowering behaviour of the rose type you are growing in your garden. In this article, we will explain in detail how to cut roses correctly. We will show you what you need to consider when pruning roses, so that your roses grow luxuriantly year after year and produce an abundance of flowers.

When to prune roses?

Roses should be pruned in spring and only if the weather is mild. In areas prone to late frosts and if roses are unprotected from cold, the first cut can be postponed until May. This is because frost can cause damage to the fresh cuttings and the new shoots.

When to cut back roses in summary:

  • Pruning: Should be done in spring (March to May), regardless of whether the rose is planted in autumn or spring.
  • Annual spring pruning: This can be done on all types of roses and is also done between March and May. How it is done depends on the growth and flowering of the rose. In the following paragraphs, we will explain in detail what this means.
  • Annual summer pruning: Summer pruning is limited to the removal of unnecessary shoots and withered flowers. When it comes to deadheading roses, i.e. the removal of withered flowers, there are some differences in how it should be done depending on the rose type.

Tip: A sufficient supply of potassium makes your roses more resistant to cold winter frosts. For example, the beauty of your roses can be strengthened with a dose of our potassium-rich fertiliser. Even during lukewarm winters, which are often followed by sudden cold spells in spring, you should cover the young, sensitive shoots with some sort of winter protection.

How to prune roses?

These basic rules should be followed when cutting roses:

  • Use sharp scissors for a smooth cut
  • Always cut above an outward pointing bud
  • Cut about 5 mm above the bud so that it is not damaged
  • To prevent diseases cut at an angle so that water can run off the wound

Tip from a professional: Roses have the so-called buds on their shoots, from which side shoots can develop. In roses these buds can be easily recognised: they form a kind of inverted “V” or a rounded base of the soon-to-be shoot.

Pruning roses when planting

Pruning roses can help promote good rooting of the plant and ensure an even balance between the underground roots and above-ground shoots. If you plant your rose plant in autumn, postpone pruning until spring. If you plant in spring, pruning can be done immediately. Here are a few small and simple rules to follow:

  • Root pruning: Shorten the roots to a length of about 20 – 30 cm below the grafting point. This stimulates the branching of the roots and the rose will grow quicker.
  • In shrub and wild roses, all shoots should be shortened by half so that they are about 40 cm long.
  • Climbing roses are cut back to 10 buds above the ground.
  • All other roses should be shortened to 3 – 5 buds above the ground.
  • You can use these rose pruning rules also when planting roses. By slightly pruning roses when planting them, you can promote healthy growth and rooting of the freshly planted rose plant.

Cutting roses in spring

Spring is the best time to prune all roses. The following three basic rules apply to all types of roses, according to which the basic pruning is carried out:

  1. Removing dead wood: Dry and withered wood is removed close to the transition to healthy wood or, if necessary, right at the base.
  2. Removing thin and diseased shoots: These rob the healthy and stronger shoots of the strength to flower. They are completely removed at the base of the plant or at their origin on a stronger shoot.
  3. Thinning out shoots that grow too densely: If the shoots are too close together, the one with the weaker growth or less favourable direction of growth should be removed. In this way, the air circulation in the rosebush can be improved, thus preventing rose diseases, such as mildew on roses.

These are the basic rules for the most primitive type of pruning. Pruning can then be also individualised to the needs of your specific plant – depending on what kind of rose you are growing to promote healthy growth and abundant blooming. This will be explained in the following.

Tip: An exception is the group of ground cover roses. These are not cut with this basic cut explained above.

We have summarised the correct pruning technique for each rose group for you:

Type of rosesPruning in spring
Heritage and old garden rosesOnly the basic pruning described above is carried out on old and heritage garden roses. If necessary, dense or rotten shoots are removed at the base.
Once flowering climbing roses and ramblers (flowering in June and July, then declining)In the case of climbing roses that bloom once, only the basic cut described above is carried out. If necessary, dense or rotten shoots can be removed at the base.
Once flowering shrub roses
(flowering in June and July, decreasing thereafter)
For once blooming shrub roses, only the basic pruning described above is carried out. If necessary, dense or rotten shoots can be removed at the base.
Wild rosesFor wild roses, only the basic cut described above is carried out. If necessary, dense or rotten shoots can be removed at the base.
More often flowering shrub roses
(flowering June - September)
In the case of more frequently flowering shrub roses, light thinning out is carried out as required by removing whole shoots. Every 4 - 5 years, older shoots should be removed directly above the ground.
Ground cover rosesGround cover roses should not be pruned annually. Every 3 - 4 years, they are trimmed to a height of about 30 cm without regard to their buds. Use a hedge trimmer to prune them.
Tree rosesThe crowns of the tree roses are cut back to 3 - 5 buds above the grafting point.
Hybrid tea rosesHybrid tea roses are pruned to 3 - 5 buds above the ground. Weakly developed shoots are cut back more thoroughly than the strongly developed ones.
English rosesDepending on the flowering habit of the English roses, they should be pruned in the same way as once or more often flowering shrub roses.
More often flowering climbing roses
(flowering June - September)
After the first flowering in spring, the side shoots growing on the long shoots are shortened to 3 - 5 buds. Only old, long and rotten shoots are removed completely at the base.
Garden bed rosesCut back to 3 - 5 buds above the ground. Weakly developed shoots can be removed. Keep the more strongly developed shoots. Extremely strong growing varieties (like 'Gloria Dei') are not cut back quite as deep (6 - 9 buds above the ground), dwarf roses are cut back thoroughly (2 - 3 buds above the ground).
Hanging or trailing rosesHanging or trailing roses are treated as once or more often flowering climbing roses, depending on their flowering behaviour.

Cutting roses in summer

No other major pruning operations are carried out in summer. What you can do is remove wilted rose flowers. Here, too, each removal should be done above the buds that point outwards. This promotes growth and further formation of flowers.

Tip: If you want to keep rose hips as a bright spot of colour in the garden or as food for the birds, you should not remove withered inflorescences from once blooming roses, as no further flowers will be formed. With roses that bloom continuously, you should not cut off the flowers in late summer, so that the rose hips can form.

cutting back roses
If you would like to enjoy some rose hip tea in the autumn, do not deadhead your roses [Shutterstock.com/OlgaPonomarenko]

Rose hips are an amazing natural source of vitamin C. If you would like to boost your immune system, you should definitely keep the withered flowers of roses on the plant and then make some tea from rose hips in autumn. You can learn more about fruit rich in vitamin C here.

Identifying side shoots on roses and removing them

In spring and summer, grafted roses – i.e. almost all garden roses – might have a side shoot growing out of their rootstock. Unnecessary side shoots, sometimes referred to as wild shoots, can be easily recognised by their smaller, lighter leaves. They also have at least seven or more leaves on a pinnate leaf, whereas grafted varieties usually have five leaves on the pinnate leaf.

Cutting roses in autumn and winter?

In autumn and winter there is not much to do in rose care. We do not recommend pruning roses in autumn or winter, mainly because this might stimulate the formation of new shoots. These young shoots would then be defenceless against the cold. However, what can be done during winter in terms of rose care is winter protection. To protect your roses from cold, cover the grafting point with a small heap of soil, mulch or with fir branches. Of course, correct fertilisation is essential to keep roses resilient in winter. To do this, use organic rose fertilisers that are rich in potassium in autumn.

If you are on a hunt for white varieties of roses to grow in your garden, this article will help you find the right fit. If you are interested in fragrant types of roses, read here.

Spider mites: how to identify, prevent & get rid of them

Spider mites: how to identify, prevent & get rid of them

Infestation with spider mites is a nightmare for every gardener. We will show how to recognise the damage and how to fight the annoying spider mites naturally and with household remedies. Every hobby gardener who has ever received unwelcome visits from spider mites knows how…

Oak processionary moth: facts, rash treatment & control

Oak processionary moth: facts, rash treatment & control

Oak processionary moth damages oak trees and can cause allergic reactions in humans. In this article, we will show you how to get rid of his moth from the garden. The fluffy brown caterpillars of the oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoea processionea L.) look quite cute…

Tigerella tomatoes: facts & tips for growing

Tigerella tomatoes: facts & tips for growing

The Tigerella tomato lives up to its name and attracts attention with its eye-catching stripes. We have compiled the best varieties of this striped tomato for you and give you tips on planting the tomato variety Tigerella.

The conspicuously striped tomato variety ‘Tigerella’ will delight you with its robust growth and deliciously tasting fruits. We introduce this beautiful stake tomato to you.

Tigerella: origin & history

The striking Tigerella tomato was introduced to the market around 1970 and is nowadays mainly cultivated by hobby gardeners. It could be descended from the famous red salad tomato ‘Ailsa Craig’, but the exact origin is unknown. The two varieties ‘Craigella’ and ‘Tangella’ are siblings of the ‘Tigerella’ and probably originated in Great Britain at the same time.

Tigerella tomato: properties & taste

Tigerella is a low-maintenance plant for greenhouse and open field use alike. From the middle of July, the green striped, medium sized round fruits ripen and get their typical orange-golden spots on the deep red skin. The Tigerella tomato tastes wonderfully fruity, but also sweet and has a mild acidity, which balances off the taste. With its delightful aroma, this variety has become a favourite stake tomato among many gardeners. Tigerella is an open-pollinated variety, which means that it can be grown again next year from its own seeds.

Our tip: The new variety ‘Tigerella Cherry’, the little sister of Tigerella, produces smaller and sweeter fruits, which are great as snacks.

Growing Tigerella tomatoes: what to pay attention to

Tigerella tomato plants feel comfortable in the pot, but also in the garden bed, and will appreciate protection from rain. The plant reaches a height of about two metres and should be supported with a rod or other type of growth aid. When planting, it is best to support your young plants with a potting soil specifically adapted to tomatoes. Tigerella should be planted as deep as possible in the soil. Remove the lowest leaves and place the plant in the planting hole or pot. By mulching and watering your tomato plants properly, you will support soil life and save a lot of water. Of course, Tigerella needs a good supply of nutrients, just like all other tomatoes. The Tigerella can be grown with two or three shoots, the rest of the side shoots are left to fall out. This way it bears on several shoots, does not grow as tall and instead becomes wider.

Tigerella tomatoes: harvest & use

The Tigerella is perfect for salads and fresh as a snack tomato, because it is firm, juicy as well as aromatic. This medium-sized tomato is also very suitable for preserving and conserving.

Pineapple tomato: how to grow the unique tomato variety

Pineapple tomato: how to grow the unique tomato variety

The variety with the unusual name is becoming increasingly popular. We are taking a closer look at the Pineapple tomato and will tell you how to plant, care for and harvest the colourful tomato. The Pineapple tomato variety is an all-time favourite among heirloom tomatoes.…