The autumn months of September and October are when roses perform at their peak. After faithfully following proper rose procedures up to this point, now — at last — you should begin to reap the rewards of full, vibrant, glorious blooms.
Your work isn’t quite done yet, however. Although autumn is the best growing time, it’s also the time you must prepare your rose bushes for winter coming onslaught.
Producing those beautiful blooms you are so proud of is hard work — for your rose bushes, too. They need a lot of water to fuel the flowering process. Continue to water them deeply, as often as needed to maintain growth. Watering daily is okay if you are showing them off, just be careful and observe closely so that you do not over-do the watering process. You want beautiful blooms, not drowned roots.
Continue using water-soluble compost through the end of September. Consider a commercial bloom-boosting fertilizer. The large number in the middle of the formulation is your cue — nitogen, PHOSPHORUS, potasium (potash).
Black spot and mildew are dangerous because conditions for their growth are ideal, so keep up with a vigorous spraying program through the end of October. Stop all fertilizing by the end of October, to let your roses begin the hibernation process.
You can continue to cut rose bouquets through October without causing any harm to the bushes. To encourage rose hips to form, just remove the petals of the dead roses.
Fall just happens to be the right time to start planning next year’s garden. Order new flower catalogues for your research during the dark and dreary months of winter. This is my favourite part — all fun and no work. To get your best selections possible, place your new roses order early. Rose growers know when the best time is to ship new bushes to your climate zone.