Whether to prune your roses now or later depends on its variety

Roses come in many different varieties, shapes and sizes. It’s important to determine what type of rose you are looking for before planting, said horticulturalist Mark Viette. Different varieties require different pruning plans.

When choosing a rosebush, “keep in mind there are now rose varieties that are easy to grow and that have less disease and pest problems,” Viette said.

snow-covered boxwood
trimming damaged boxwood

Climbing Roses

Climbing roses that have been trained up trellises should be pruned in the earlier part of spring and thinned out by no more than 20%.

Take out lengthier pieces, but leave enough long pieces to produce flowers. Then train new pieces to climb the trellis.

Shrub Roses

Shrub roses should be pruned in early spring.

“Pruning shrub roses is pretty simple, especially if you have the new disease-resistant roses,” Viette said. “They are not meant for cut flowers but they are great roses to grow for their color all season long.”

Shrub roses will get as big as you want them to get, Viette said.

Otherwise, prune shrub roses to 12 to 24 inches, and thin them out a little.

Hybrid Tea Roses

Hybrid tea roses should be pruned in the summer or fall. Trim them to 30 inches tall so they will not break open in the snow, ice or heavy winds.

In April or after the threat of winter weather is over, cut the roses back to 12 to 18 inches from the ground, keeping three to six nice canes that will produce roses.

Once hybrid tea roses start to fade, you will see a couple sets of leaves, Viette said.

To cut the roses, snip right above that last set of leaves.

“There is a bud right inside that leaf,” Viette said. “You will want to cut an eighth of an inch right above that leaf bud at a 45-degree angle, cutting away from the bud so the water sheds off in the opposite direction of where new flower bud will grow.”

Hybrid tea roses should be pruned in the summer or fall. Trim them to 30 inches tall so they will not break open in the snow, ice or heavy winds. (Click to Tweet)

Sautéed Asparagus with Lime and Tahini

This healthy recipe pairs asparagus with a flavorful sauce made with lime, garlic and sesame.

See Recipe

Asparagus is sprouting; time to set the table

Spring is here at last, and asparagus lovers will be happy to know that so, too, is their favorite vegetable.

Asparagus is one of the first locally grown vegetables to hit the stands in your neighborhood market every spring. It comes in a variety of colors, including green, white and purple.

For the freshest-tasting asparagus, look for bright green spears that have closed tips. Be sure to snap off the spears’ tough ends, or cut them if they don’t snap easily. Asparagus can be stored in the refrigerator, standing in water like a bouquet of flowers.

Asparagus is packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is a great source of fiber to keep your digestive system healthy.

Your heart benefits from eating asparagus as well. The vegetable has high levels of antioxidants and excellent anti-inflammatory effects, both of which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

This versatile vegetable easily can be added to salads, pastas and grains to boost the health factor. Serving it simply with butter or lemon is a winning side dish option, as well.

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It's no myth; using a cell phone while driving can kill

It was just a quick call. It was just a short trip. It was just a picture. It was just an email. It was just a glance. It was just a text.

No matter what you say to yourself, distracted driving is dangerous—claiming more than 3,142 lives in 2019.

Using a cell phone is a top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time.

Drivers talking on the phone—even hands–free—can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environments, including pedestrians and red lights. (Click to Tweet)

Myth vs. reality:

  • “I can multitask while driving.”
    The brain can toggle quickly between tasks but can’t do two things at the same time, like driving and talking on the phone. Driving and talking are both thinking tasks, and the brain switches between the two and slows reaction times.

  • “Talking on a cellphone is just like speaking to a passenger.”
    Passengers can be good for you, as adult passengers can help the driver and alert them to traffic problems. The person you are talking to on the phone can’t see what is going on.

  • “Speaking hands-free is safe.”
    Drivers talking on the phone—even hands-free—can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environments, including pedestrians and red lights.

  • “I only use my phone at a stop light, so it’s OK.”
    Even at stop lights it is important to remain attentive to your surroundings. A recent American Automobile Association study shows that people are distracted up to 27 seconds after they finish sending a voice text or using their phones.

  • “Voice-to-text is safe to do while driving.”
    You may not actually be looking at the phone, but it still can be distracting. Additionally, the temptation to check for autocorrect errors may move your eyes from the road to your phone.