I like to call early spring the pruning season. Now’s the perfect time to get your roses pruned and primed to look good for the coming summer season. Today Southern Gardening is in my home garden and I’m going to demonstrate how to prune my roses growing in 25-gallon containers. Before you make that first cut you’ve got to use the right tools. I always recommend using sharp tools, as a clean pruning cut will heal faster than a jagged cut. For pruning roses I’ll use my bypass hand pruners and maybe my loppers. And don’t forget the heavy gloves and long sleeves because those thorns are sharp! I’m going to start removing any dead wood cutting at the base of the rose. My next step is to remove any branches crossing or rubbing to open the center up. Now I’m going to start pruning the remaining branches. Pruning cuts should be made ½ inch above a new bud that’s outward facing as the new branch will grow in that direction away from the center of the plant. This will keep the center open, improve air circulation which helps reduce disease. Now’s the perfect time to clean the clutter from around the base as pests can over winter there and help prevent foliar diseases. I’m going to try something different this year, instead of using fresh mulch I’m going to use these coir mats to keep the weeds down and tidy up the containers. My roses are now ready to produce beautiful blooms this year. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.