ROSE BA­SICS

Go Gardening - - Roses -

It’s time now to plant, prune and take pre­cau­tion­ary ac­tion against pests and dis­eases. Pay­ing at­ten­tion to roses in win­ter can greatly im­prove their per­for­mance come spring and sum­mer. WHERE TO PLANT

Roses grow best with plenty of sun. They also need some air move­ment to min­imise pests and dis­eases. The best soil for roses holds plenty of mois­ture and nu­tri­ents, which means a clay-based soil can be a good thing. Soil that is too light (sandy) or very heavy (clay) can be im­proved by adding com­post.

PLANT­ING

Many of the roses sold in win­ter are known as ‘bare-root’ roses. This means they have been grown in the open ground and then dug up for win­ter plant­ing. The roots are wrapped with pro­tec­tive packing or planted into pots be­fore be­ing trans­ported to the gar­den cen­tre. Of­ten, bare­foot roses are trans­ferred to pots once they reach the gar­den cen­tre. When plant­ing bare-root roses in win­ter, re­move the wrap­ping plus any pack­ag­ing ma­te­rial sur­round­ing the roots. Soak the roots in a bucket of wa­ter for an hour or two be­fore plant­ing. When plant­ing pot grown roses in spring: care­fully re­move the con­tainer, leav­ing the new root growth as in­tact as pos­si­ble. Dig a gen­er­ous plant­ing hole large enough to fit the roots with­out forc­ing them. Add con­trolled-re­lease rose fer­tiliser or sheep pel­lets to the hole. Sit the plant in the hole so that the roots are grow­ing down­wards and the crown or bud union (the place were the shoots grow from the main stem) sits above ground level. Fill the hole with soil and tread firmly. Wa­ter thor­oughly.

PRUN­ING

July is prun­ing time for most bush roses, but wait un­til Au­gust in cold­est cli­mates. Us­ing a clean, sharp pair of se­ca­teurs, re­move dead or de­cay­ing wood, branches cross­ing over each other or crowd­ing the cen­tre of the bush. Make cuts about 5mm above an out­ward fac­ing bud. This is where the new growth will sprout in spring. Find out more about rose prun­ing at www.gog­a­r­den­ing.co.nz and be as­sured, it’s hard to kill a rose by prun­ing it!

WIN­TER CLEAN UP

Fallen rose leaves pro­vide a per­fect refuge for over­win­ter­ing pests and dis­eases, so clear­ing them away is one of the best ways you can re­duce in­fec­tion in spring. Clean up after prun­ing, then spray your roses and the ground around them with cop­per to knock fun­gal dis­eases. Hor­ti­cul­tural oil, if sprayed in late win­ter just be­fore bud break, will kill aphid and scale in­sects as they hatch from their eggs. Early win­ter spray­ing is less ef­fec­tive as the eggs are re­sis­tant to the oil.

Ap­ply­ing cop­per in win­ter sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces disease prob­lems dur­ing spring and sum­mer. Yates® Liq­uid Cop­per Fungi­cide is an easy to use cop­per based so­lu­tion for the pre­ven­tion of many dis­eases on fruit, veg­eta­bles, roses and other or­na­men­tals. Its unique for­mu­la­tion pro­vides ad­van­tages over con­ven­tional cop­per fungi­cides with ul­tra-fine par­ti­cles pro­vid­ing a dense bar­rier to disease in­fec­tion with­out leav­ing any un­sightly blue residue. Find out more at www.yates.co.nz. WIN ONE OF FIVE 200ml bot­tles. En­try de­tails be­low.

LEFT: Com­pact flori­bunda rose ‘Wil­liam PJ McCarthy’.

Clean up after prun­ing to re­move old leaves that har­bour dis­eases like blackspot.

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