Wanting six months of colour, great picking and good scent? Terra Viva Owner Peter Worsp tells us why you should look no further than roses.
Don’t be fooled by the rose ‘experts’ who tell you that roses are ‘needy’ when it comes to care and attention – they’re actually very hardy and their ‘needs’ are easily met.
They say that roses respond to three things – water, feeding, and an occasional spray, but if you’re only going to do one of those, make it water every time.
The old adage ‘Don’t do as I say, do as I do’ certainly applies to my gardening. I’m finally following the instructions I hear myself giving to customers – and achieving the results.
Avoid overhead watering where possible to keep the foliage dry and lessen the chance of fungal disease.
A hose trickling at the base of the plant for 20 minutes gives the ideal good deep watering. It’s almost impossible to over-water roses.
Producing so many flowers makes roses hungry and, just like us with food, a little and often suits best.
Feeding in September, November, January and March gives consistency and, with plenty of water, you will be rewarded with roses all season.
An occasional dose of Seaweed Tonic promotes good plant health and assists the plants to maximise the uptake of fertiliser.
Summer pruning is just as important as winter pruning and it’s very straightforward.
When all the flowers on a stem have finished, take off the stem 15mm above the joint of five outward-facing leaves and the stem.
This doesn’t have to be the first set of five leaves – go as far down the stem as you reasonably can because the lower part of the stem will push out the strongest growth.
Strong re-growth = strong flowering.
Spreading compost around roses improves fertility, soil texture, aeration and moisture retention.
When planting roses, leave enough of the ‘trunk’ at the bottom to allow for future composting without burying the graft.
Giving roses a bit of ‘breathing space’ allows for good air movement which lessens the chance of fungal disease.
Good watering and feeding encourage new growth which is always healthy, while roses without adequate water and food get stressed and open themselves up to pests and diseases – just like people under stress.
An occasional spray, including the underside of leaves, wards off any problems and the recommendation is to alternate sprays to prevent any resistance building up.
Super Shield is a good combo to deal with both insect pests and any diseases; alternate with a combo of Mavrik insecticide and Fungus Fighter for diseases.
Kiwicare Organic Super Sulphur is great way to combat mildew and rust.
If any (or all!) of the above makes no sense, then just give us a call or drop in and we can give full clarification!