Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Roses are Red

Many people believe that roses are a great deal of work but this does not need to be the case. The rose gardener can enjoy abundant blooms by simply following some basic instructions.

Site Selection Roses require at least six hours of direct sunshine daily. Be certain to avoid roof overhangs and the roots of large trees that will compete with your roses for water and nutrients.

Planting the Rose Always plant your roses in a soil rich in organic matter. For best results dig a hole three times the size of the root mass and twice as deep. Discard one third of the existing soil and add additional organic matter such as composted manure and/or peat moss. Add one cup of Rose-Tone to the improved soil mixture and mix thoroughly. Refill the soil in the hole to the point that the new rose plant's bud union will be slightly below finished grade (1/2 inch). Be certain to spread the roots throughout the entire hole and backfill with improved soil until the hole is 3/4 full. Water well and allow to drain to settle the new soil. Add the balance of the soil mixture and water again for final settling. Add two inches of mulch to finish the planting.

Feeding Roses require regular feeding for optimum results. Rose-Tone by Espoma is a complex blend of organic ingredients that feed slowly to provide all major, minor, and trace elements roses need to thrive. Begin feeding with Rose-Tone in the spring when the bush first leafs out. Continue your Rose-Tone applications once each month. Discontinue feeding in the late summer.

Watering Few growers can rely on rainfall to maintain their roses. Water two to three times each week preferably with a soaker hose. At each watering you want the soil to be thoroughly soaked to a depth of at least 12 inches. Try not to allow water to splash onto the foliage as this can cause disease problems.

Pests and Diseases The best defense against pests and diseases is properly caring for your roses. If you do encounter problems, consult the experts for assistance.

Pruning Almost all roses require pruning for optimum performance. In the spring, Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras roses should be cut back dramatically leaving only the four strongest canes approximately 8" to 12" long. Throughout the season prune to remove weak, diseased, or crossing shoots or canes.

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