Q. My rose bush is still in flower. When do I need to prune it as I don’t want to kill the flowers but I know I need to prune it soon. Should I wait till it’s finished flowering?
A. I have started cutting back my roses now. I like to get them all tidy and ready for spring next year. So start off by cutting dead growth, old woody growth, branches that are crossing into each other. Another simple tip is to cut them down to a foot above the ground (crown) and try to prune with the buds showing on the outside. Remember to use sharp secateurs. Come spring, apply a rose feed to the ground near the roots.
Q. Help! My clematis has taken over my wall!! As the winter approaches I know I need to cut it back but I'm not sure when or how low to cut it as I don’t want to kill it.
A. Clematis plants are very tolerant to a bit of pruning. Some you can cut to 1ft off the ground and it will regrow next year. But I advise to cut this with shears. Cut back to 4’’ away from the wall (hard prune in the autumn) and prune out the old growth, prune back to the main leader stems then come spring fresh new growth will appear.
Q. I bought a chilli plant in the summer and planted it in my garden. I've had a few white flowers on it, so I think it's doing well, but do I bring it in for the winter or will it survive the cold season outside?
A. I recommend that you bring it in or put it in a greenhouse and put a breathable fleece round it. Come spring, give it a general feed to help it for the year ahead. Hopefully it should do you proud and produce your chillies.