The months of November and December can be an awkward time for many rosarians. While the growing season is coming to and end, the winter hibernation season has not yet begun. Some of us just don’t know what to do with ourselves or our rose bushes during this period of time.
Because your bushes are not yet in hibernation they still require some attention from you. Water continues to be a prime need, so make sure that the soil around their roots continues to remain moist. Give them a good soaking as need be, but, as always, don’t over-water.
When should you start preparing your rose garden for the onset of spring and summer? Well, if you live in an area where you can start seeing the promise of spring in late March or early April, then you’re an “early spring” rose gardener. However, if you live where March and April still brings icy rain and snow, then just keep waiting out old man winter until your turn at spring arrives and then follow the tips in this article.
Early spring is a time of great activity in the rose garden as you prepare for the beautiful buds that will be sprouting almost any day. Here’s a summary of what needs to be done in order to prepare your roses for the tough growing season that lies ahead.
If you covered your roses with dirt or mulch, your first step is to gently remove the protective materials so you can introduce your dormant bushes to the warming spring sun and rains that lie ahead.
Before beginning your spring pruning activities, cut back any dead and damaged canes that did not survive the winter. Be sure to clear away any debris and residue from around the bushes as well.
Prepare the soil to nurture your plants by adding some organic compounds. You can either buy pre-packaged organics from your favorite garden supplier, or you can mix up your own recipe using composted manure or mushroom compost, or any of the usual meal blends which can include alfalfa, cottonseed, fish or blood meal. See below for some suggestions.
Work your soil with a spade or hoe if it has become too compacted during the winter or if you notice standing water after watering your plants. Roses require well-drained soil to thrive.
After soil preparation is done you can plant any new additions to your garden including container grown roses.
Next it is time to begin your fungicide spraying regiment either immediately or, if you prefer to wait, approximately 14 days after you complete your pruning. Opinions on the best time differ. The choice is yours.
Remember to rotate through different fungicides during the year to prevent any fungi from becoming immune to any one product.
Don’t use any pesticides unless you see evidence of damage, but remember to keep a sharp eye out for aphids which are as much a sign of spring as April showers are. Hit them with a blast of water to remove them, or apply insecticide in a mister to the affected areas.
Imagine how hungry you’d be if you just woke up from a long winter hibernation! Well, your Roses are hungry too. The best way to coax them from dormancy to budding is to feed them now and every other week through the remainder of the growing season. Water well after feeding! Feed with a fertilizer balanced for Nitrogen (N), Phosphates (P2O5) and Potash (K2O). Nitrogen stimulates the growth of leaves and canes and increases the size of the bush. Phosphate stimulates the growth of roots, canes and
stems and speeds up flowering. Potash stimulates the production of top quality blooms and improves the drought and disease resistance of the plant. A good balanced fertilizer with these elements is 10-10-10.
Another popular spring fertilizer is Osmocote which is a controlled release fertilizer that releases nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium depending on soil temperature. The 18-6-12 (8 to 9 month term) formulation is recommended for this area. Osmocote is also available with trace elements added in a product with the name of Sierra 17-6-10 Plus Minors Controlled Release Fertilizer
There! Your rose garden is ready for spring, but remember your work is far from over. If spring is near then summer can’t be far behind. Read our summer article at http://www.RoseGarden-How-To.com to learn how
to prepare your roses for the coming summer heat.
A rose is a rose, is a rose, right? Actually, roses come in several distinct varieties and each has its pros and cons. Before you shop for roses for your new rose garden, you should know which types of roses there are.
If you love the way roses look climbing over an arbor, then you may want to take a close look at climbing roses. While most people call any rose that shoots up fast a climbing rose, some of these roses are actually sprawling roses. However, they all basically are roses with vigorously growing canes, small flowers that bloom profusely during the rose’s blooming season, and rather wicked thorns. As climbing roses become well established, some gardeners replace their pruning shears with a tree saw to hack these plants down to a manageable size. These roses are usually quite disease resistant.
When you plant a climbing rose, you should cut down all but three of the strongest, most powerful canes. This gives the rose plenty of energy to put into growing stronger, more vigorous vines. Tie the three canes gently into place to guide them in the direction youíd like them to grow.
If you prefer lush, fragrant blooms, you will want to take a close look at the tea rose. These roses bloom several times a year. The flowers are large, especially if you pinch off the side buds so that the center bud on each stem can get all of the nutrients and energy.
The floribunda rose blooms in groups of flowers. The flower in the middle of each group matures faster than the other flowers, so rose fanciers often pinch that flower off so that the entire group, or spray, opens at the same time.
Once flowering roses are those roses that bloom just one time each year. These roses are absolutely wonderful and are literally packed with blossoms when they do bloom, which is why they are still quite popular.
Shrub roses are incredibly hardy, thorny roses that are fairly low growing. The blossoms on these roses are rarely spectacular, but there are so many that the bushes are quite colorful, even from a distance.
Finally, you may want to consider miniature roses. These tiny roses are the perfect way to edge a garden border with color. Many of these roses are a bit delicate and susceptible to disease, but others are very hardy and grow so vigorously that, eventually, the only thing tiny about them is the size of their leaves.