With our ongoing Covid lockdowns, more people are spending time in their gardens and we are finding a lot of gardeners wanting to know a lot more detail about looking after their plants or getting the best out of the garden. I never would have imagined I would have been debating the merits of different plant mulches with some of my friends a year ago!
Mark, a friend of mine who has grown roses for a while as a passing interest, has really thrown himself into looking after his plants and now has inspired his neighbours who are planting roses themselves. I am not a rose grower so I have asked Mark to give me his spring tips on how he looks after his roses.
Mark explained that August is an important time to prepare your roses for spring growth and that enviable beautiful flower display, so he puts a lot of time and effort into doing the prep work now.
First off, prepare the soil around the roses by breaking up the soil to aerate the roots, after this is complete put a layer of well-rotted manure/compost around the base of the plant making sure it’s not touching the rose stem. He then adds some slow release fertiliser and covers the lot with lucerne mulch approximately 50-75mm deep.
Water it well and then water weekly about 10l each plant. Once it gets warmer round Oct/Nov water at least twice a week. (10l per plant).
As the roses really start growing new leaves from now on, it’s time to check on the pruning and Mark nips of any buds that are pointing inwards towards the centre of the plant. Besides giving a better display this allows for better air movement in the coming humid months and helps in controlling fungus and black spot. Start checking for aphids early and remove by hand.