ROSE RAMBLER 15.8.2013
Hello dear rose friends …Rain, rain, go away .. come again another day … I’m trying to heed Graham’s gardening tip from last week to go and prune the roses NOW and I seriously hate working in the rain even though I know I can go and take a hot shower afterwards … it would be my luck that I would get soaking wet, go take a shower and somebody would rock up here at the Rose Farm looking for a rose …NICE ??? NOT!!!
Let’s move right into … GRAHAM’S GARDENING TIPS …
- Compost is great to use on the garden – start right now to add your own compost around the rose bushes because it is a ’gentle’ feed and the cold soil microbes and worms LOVE compost for feed and warmth.
- If you cannot produce your own compost, there are many brands of quality compost available in 30 litre bags – clean and easy to distribute around the roses; they will reward you with bountiful healthy rose bushes and lots of flowers.
- When you place the compost around the plants, cover with a light layer of mulch which will protect the microbes when the sun starts to get hot!
Gra’s humorous episode happened recently: I drove into a car park and he said: “Did you know they now have senior’s car parks at Coles?” “No, I hardly ever go there but how would they know you’re a senior anyway?” His reply (quick as a flash): “Because somebody would have seen ya!” Needless to say, we rolled, laughing into the restaurant.
WARNING ABOUT WET FEET … ROSES HATE WET FEET … If you are at all concerned that your new roses are not performing as you would expect, or if they are starting to go ‘brown’ around the bud-union or on the green stems, get them up out of the sopping wet ground and let them grow in pots for a while! Take care of the drainage to the garden bed and re-plant the roses later when the soil has had a chance to stabilise after all this rain!
Please never leave the new bare-rooted roses in soggy soil because they will definitely perish in a boggy soil!
The newly planted rose bushes should now be producing lots of plump buds and new shoots. Some develop quicker than others, depending on variety. Provided you have all the right requirements in place, your Winter roses will be producing lots of roots and this is indicated by swollen buds and shoots. If you didn’t prune the new roses when/before they went into the ground, go around now and give them a light prune to an outward facing bud – while you’re out in the garden, get the watering can and your liquid seaweed… treat all the roses to a wash-down tonic which will encourage more roots … more roots, more shoots, more shoots, more flowers! DO IT NOW!!!
SHIFTING AN OLD ROSE … This afternoon I had a call from an inner-city gardener who (with approval from the property owners) saved four very old roses from a demolition site. He dug the roses whereas I would have asked the machine operator to dig them! Anyway, he’s got the roses in his yard but no ground to put them in …? That’s a real boy thing to do!
Moving on to the important part of our conversation … my suggestions were as follows:
- Cut every single branch to around 30cms in length
- Remove all the old/deadwood at the crown
- Cut out the oldest branches until 3-7 branches remain
- Soak the plants overnight in a trough with weak solution of liquid seaweed
- Plant tomorrow into the garden or;
- Pot into quality potting mix and locate in a sunny position
- Water lightly weekly with liquid seaweed solution
If you have an opportunity to save old roses from the demolition derby which is happening all around us, please do so with confidence … the pleasure will be immense and the satisfaction in knowing that the person who planted that rose, however many years ago, will be there in spirit, looking over your shoulder and providing all the energy to make the rose survive … believe it and it will happen!
Transplanting an old rose can and should happen whenever the situation occurs … we transplanted the entire rose garden from the Kilmore rose nursery location in February/March and not one single rose died in the process! Virginia has a beautiful rose garden as a testament of the hardiness and resilience of roses!!!
IN CLOSING … Enjoy the last weeks of Winter by rugging up and getting down and dirty in the rose garden … the weeds are coming up easily so get ahead of them NOW … when your day is done and you look out at the beautifully pruned rose garden … oh, the pleasure …!
Cheers from Diana & Graham