January is also a good time to plan your summer garden, so ensure you have the most up-to-date catalogues to help inspire you.
Pruning, pruning and more pruning! All established bush and repeat flowering shrubs should receive their annual prune this month. As a general rule bush roses should be reduced down to approximately 5 to 7 buds from the base of the plant and shrub roses should be thinned out, reducing younger stems by a third and older stems cut back further.
Mulching is also good to do this time of year as it will help retain the moisture in the soil as the season begins to warm up. At the same time it will help to supress weeds.
As your established roses come out of their dormant state and spring into life, you should apply a high nitrogen fertiliser like Toprose. This feed will give your roses an extra boost of nutrients, which encourages top growth and beautiful blooms.
March also signals the end of the bare root season, so any last minute bare root planting should be completed as soon as possible.
Instant colour! Now is the best time to order your container roses as you’ll be able to enjoy them all summer long.
Pest management, the organic or insecticide route? Whichever you choose this is the time to consider introducing natural predators and parasites to your garden. Adding bug boxes to attract natural predators is a good start if you're wanting to go down the organic route. Being clever with your choice of companion plants can really help too. Planting things like Sunflowers and Nasturtiums to attract pests like aphids away from your roses can work well, whilst some plants like Marigolds (Calendula), Mint and Chives are thought to deter pests, as they don't like their scent.
Time for liquid feeding. Roses are very hungry plants so during the summer months roses should be fed every two weeks with a high potash feed like Tomorite.
Water daily, feed fortnightly and then sit back in the garden and enjoy……
Late august is usually the time you apply your last feed, to encourage the final flush of blooms.
Mildew and Rust can also start to become an issue this time of year. Hopefully, if you’ve kept a regular spraying program going you may not suffer with such diseases. However, if you do see the early signs of these diseases remove and destroy the affected plant material as this will help to reduce the spread of the disease. For further advice on how to deal with rose diseases please click here.
Light prune remaining roses in preparation for winter months - removing approximately 12 inches from the top of established plants you will help to protect them from being damaged in heavy winds during the winter months. You may ask why not prune them hard now? Well the answer is to give them added protection from frosts. Once pruned the freshly cut tips are open to the winter elements and can become damaged by frost and then suffer from dieback.
Time to organically tidy the garden! Remove diseased foliage from the plants and pick up any foliage that has dropped onto the soil. Make sure these leaves are disposed of away from your garden, as many rose diseases such as Black Spot reproduce each year from the fungal spores on the diseased leaves that are left on the plant or have fallen and over-wintered in the soil. The roses will soon be going into their dormant season; therefore, this is the ideal time to prepare the ground.
Traditionally, this is the best time to plant bare rooted roses. Superior root systems are established when roses are planed whilst the soil is still relatively warm and moist and a good root system will inevitably reward you with a first-class plant. This is also the time to transplant mature roses and replace the top two or three inches of compost of roses grown in pots. For more advice on planting roses please click here.
This is always a quiet month in the garden, therefore, it’s the perfect time to tackle tool maintenance, sharpen clippers and secateurs and check fork and spade handles for any wear and tear that may need attention.
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