Taking us to Chelsea in 2007.
Live images from Chelsea on May 21st at 8pm.
Please tell your friends. No one else will.
Written by Wally Richards.Gardening Articles for week
ending 9th JUNE 2007
ROSES IN JUNE
In my Book, ‘Wally’s Down to Earth Gardening Guide’ the first chapter
is dedicated to roses as they would appear to be the most favorite plant
of gardeners, in New Zealand.
Roses as we all know are a deciduous plant and in winter they shed their
leaves and have a nice rest till the advent of spring. With the weather
being so mild to date, our friends the roses, are still in leaf with some
flowers on a few plants. The longer this situation continues, reduces
the rest period before next spring and can effect their possible
potential in the coming season.
Wet, cold weather along with a few hard frosts does wonders in cleaning
up problems of pests and diseases that the previous season saw. Plus we
all need our rest to be able to preform at our best.
The question arises, ‘What should we do with our roses at this time?’
We could just leave them and hope that winter will do the job for us sometime
before we need to prune in July/August period. Alternatively we can help
force them into having a rest now by cutting all the canes of our bush
and standard roses back to half. At the same time we might as well remove
any dead, diseased or spindly canes. Then we can do one of two things;
spray the reduced canes with Lime Sulphur to burn off any remaining foliage
and assist in wiping out any disease spores or pests harboring on the
canes. (In other words we are doing what a few hard frosts would do.)
This would be a good spray to use if you have had a fair bit of disease
problems through the season.
The alternative for those that have not had too much in the way of problems,
is to spray the canes with Liquid Copper.
We all want to have the best looking roses, free of diseases and pests
and if we do the right thing by working with the natural forces of Nature
it becomes a relatively simple task.
Insect pests such as aphids and scale prefer nitrogen rich sappy growth
so avoid using rose fertilisers and Nitrophoska and your pest problems
will lessen. Instead use natural products such as blood & bone, compost,
dolomite and sheep manure pellets.
By not using these man made fertilisers will also greatly reduce your
Aphids will still appear on your roses in the spring but a simple natural
spray of Key Pyrethrum and Neem Tree Oil will give you safe control.
Diseases that may have been on your roses this past season will have released
spores which are harboring in the soil waiting for spring.
Here is a simple way to reduce their numbers in the soil. Place newspaper
on the soil about 5-6 sheets thick and wet them down. Cover the paper
with compost about 2 cm thick. What you have done is created a feeding
ground for worms who just love wet newspaper. As worms move through the
soil they take the soil into their bodies along with the disease spores
and effectively kill the spores.
You have also created a environment for microbes to thrive in the soil
along with beneficial fungi.
The greater the populations of these tiny creatures and web strands, the
healthier your soil and plants will be.
To aid the soil life action for can drench the soil/ compost/newspaper
a couple of times over the next few months with a combination of Mycorrcin
and Magic Botanical Liquid.(MBL) These two products feed the soil life
and clean up harmful residues in the soil.
Now having achieved a healthier soil do not ruin it by applying Rose fertiliser
or Nitrophoska as these products are acidic and harm both worms and soil
life. Also avoid using any chemical weed killers near your roses including
If you have in the past season been using man made fertilisers then you
need to apply Rapid Lime around your roses to sweeten the soil (otherwise
the worms will not come near)
The more worms you have in your soil the healthier the soil and plants
will be. If you have low or no worm populations you have a problem that
needs to be rectified.
After your final pruning at winter’s end you can further enhance the health
of your roses by applying all the minerals that they would like in their
diet. The once a year application of Ocean Solids and Simalith will achieve
this. In spring the new growths on our roses are very healthy and we should
do all that we can to maintain this healthy aspect. A 2 to 4 weekly spray
over the foliage and soil of MBL and Mycorrcin will greatly assist.
The reason that the foliage is so healthy is because the soil food web
has been able to grow and expand and we need to protect this fragile life.
The avoidance of chemicals is a must and also one needs to consider what
is coming out of your tap. Chlorine is used to kill microbes in our drinking
water and it will also knock back the beneficial soil life. During winter
and spring with ample rainfall we have no need to water and everything
is healthier as a result. Once the soil moisture levels drop out comes
the hose and everything changes. I came to realise this last season, so
to overcome the problem I placed suitable filters on my outside taps to
remove the chlorine. This made a big difference to all my plants and gardens
in fact the water was just about as good as rain. (not quite as rain has
other benefits lost to tap water)
New Season Roses are now starting to come into
garden centres and many will pick out a few new specimens to add to their
If you buy a rose that is potted up in a bag in a mix to keep the roots
moist then you only have to ensure that the mix is kept moist till you
plant out. Bare rooted roses should be ‘heeled in’ till you are ready
to plant out. (Heeled in means digging a hole and temporarily planting
them in a group)
The most important aspect in planting new roses is to place them in a
spot where they are going to get plenty of sunlight. The less sun the
poorer the flowering and the more scraggly the rose.
The first season should be devoted to obtaining as much foliage as possible
without being concerned with the number or size of the flowers. The reason
is, the more leaves, the quicker the establishment.
To obtain ample leaves make some liquid animal manure and give the roses
a drink of this every 2-3 weeks diluted down 1:10. Chicken manure is best
but any other manure will also do.
If you are planing a rose in a new bed or in a new spot away from existing
roses here is another little tip.
Place half to a full spade of dirt, from an existing rose bed into
the base of the planting hole.
The soil will have the right beneficial fungi that works in conjunction
with roses to assist their ability to feed and gather moisture. You have,
taken away the delay period that would happen for the beneficial fungi
and the new rose to establish a relationship. Planting in an existing
rose bed already has the right fungi in action. (If you haven't killed
it with chemicals)
In the first season, two other points should be remembered. Roses need
ample water to establish and the soil should never be allowed to dry out,
but don't overwater. Once established roses can handle a drought very
well by going dormant. Secondly if cutting any flowers off a new rose
do not take much or any of the stem that has leaves on it. Leaves means
energy from the sun for faster and better establishment.
If you have any roses that you wish to move, wait till the soil moistens
up with the winter rains then cut the canes back to half, then lift and
Then you treat the moved rose as if it was a new rose you are just planting.
One last tip do not cut or prune your roses on a cool/cold, moist day
as silver leaf disease can enter the wounds. Always wait for a sunny drier
Problems ring me at 0800 466 464 (Palmerston North 3570606)
Web site www.gardenews.co.nz
Garden Pages and News at www.gardenews.co.nz
Shar Pei pages at www.sharpei.co.nz
out the Event Calendar. If you want your activity included, just let us
know. Thank you.