Winter washing fruit trees and roses
Winter washing of roses and fruit trees is a horticultural practice to remove any residue, such as dust, debris, and disease-carrying organisms, from the foliage and stems. This helps to prevent fungal diseases, promote healthy growth and prepare the plants for the next growing season. It is usually done in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. The technique involves using a spray of water or a dilute solution of soap and water to gently wash the plants.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to winter wash roses and fruit trees:
- Choose a sunny day when temperatures are above freezing.
- Fill a bucket or watering can with a mixture of lukewarm water and a mild soap solution (e.g. dish soap).
- Begin at the top of the plant and work downwards, using a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the foliage and stems.
- Spray the entire plant thoroughly with the soap solution, making sure to get the solution into the nooks and crannies where debris and pests may hide.
- Rinse the plant thoroughly with a hose or bucket of clean water to remove any soap residue.
- Repeat the process on all the other plants in the garden.
- After winter washing, it’s important to allow the plants to completely dry out before the temperature drops again or before new growth begins.
Note: Be sure to avoid winter washing on extremely cold days or if the plant is in full bloom.