Temecula Valley Rose Society
Rose Care Corner, February 2007By Frank Brines - Consulting Rosarian
F undamentals: If you haven't pruned and cleaned up around your roses, there's still time to do so! See the January newsletter for tips. Don't forget to clean up around the plants and to scratch in 2 Tbs of Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salt) around each plant. Spray each pruned rose and the ground under it with a dormant spray. There hasn't been any rain this winter so be sure to give your roses some water! Finally, add several inches of good composted mulch.
If you've had a good feeding program (especially with organic products), there will be enough nutrients available for this burst of new growth without a feeding at this time. When new growth is about an inch long (probably around mid to late February), you can begin your regular fertilizing schedule. Many fertilizers need warm soil to be most effective.
February is still a good time to plant new roses. Allow enough space for the mature plant. When planting potted roses, dig the hole twice the size of the pot; for bare root roses, dig the hole 18" wide and 14" deep. Here are a few recent recommendations from the San Diego Rose Society newsletter:
- Remove about 2 gallons of soil and replace with Canadian peat moss or a similar compost or organic material, mixing with the soil to use as backfill.
- At the bottom of the hole sprinkle 1 cup of super phosphate and half cup of sulfate of potash and cover with a small amount of backfill; this helps the plant develop stronger roots.
- Add enough soil (packing it down) so the bud union will be several inches above the final soil level.
- Fill the hole half way, then insert the hose end into the loose soil and wet it thoroughly.
- Adjust the plant's orientation and depth if necessary, then fill and firm the rest of the backfill.
- Water slowly to allow thorough and uniform moistening of the soil.
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