The Rewards Roses
October is ‘Roses’ month where the rewards of your winter pruning, spraying and feeding are now coming into fruition. Now in October with your bushes in full rich new green, lush and healthy growth, the buds and blooms are only a moment away.
As the new growth began to appear in August and September, so did those pesky aphids. They seem to have extrasensory perception for the new spring sap as it moves into the swelling spring buds. A good solution for this mini-invasion is to use one of the many systemic solutions such as Koinor or Complete 350SC. One application to the soil for the roots to absorb, will give months of protection against aphids.
Keep up the spraying to prevent black spot and mildews. These two fungus diseases will proliferate where moisture in the soil or on the leaves remains for too long. If possible, water the leaves as little as possible, rather deeply soak the soil. If sprinklers are used, water early to allow the leaves to dry out before the evenings.
To produce all those beautiful blooms on those long stems and in large numbers requires a fair bit of energy and food. Use an organic fertilizer such as 3.1.5 or 5.1.5 every four to six weeks through the growing and flowering season. A regular feed will keep your bushes in bud all the way through summer.
What to do with all these many flowers? Pick them of course. Remember, however, that when you cut off the flowering stems you are also removing many the leaves from the plant. These many leaves are needed by the bush to regenerate new stems and buds. This will take a fair bit of time and will need more feeding, extra water and added maintenance. So, when picking stems from the plants, rather than all at once, pick fewer more often and your plant will keep a cycle of fresh blooms into late summer.
The mulch used over the winter months should have broken down sufficiently by now, work back into the soil to improve the organic content. Put on a fresh a layer of summer mulch to keep your soil moisture from evaporating on hot days. You will then have the added benefit of being able to cut down on the watering and lessen the chances of fungal diseases.
Roses are a joy and an extremely rewarding plant variety. With little, but regular TLC and maintenance you will have bushes in your garden giving colour, perfume and living gifts throughout all summer.