Each season the Rose Society of South Australia inc. releases cultural notes, which are recommendations from the experts on how to care for your roses. As we’re getting closer to spring, it’s time to consider the next jobs which need to be completed in your rose garden. Our thanks go to Kelvin Trimper AM, RSSA Past President and Life Member for this most valuable information.
Photos are of the Rose Society’s Rose of the month – ‘Merry Maker’ floribunda by Kordes
1. Finish rose pruning – ensure you remove any leaves from the plant and as many old loose leaves from around the base of the plant as possible, as these contain damaging fungal spores and insect eggs which will create problems in spring if not dealt with now.
2. Spray the roses with a winter dormant spray. I use Winter Oil, but you can also use lime sulphur. Importantly, you must saturate the plant until the spray runs off the canes and also spray the ground around the plant. This spray will kill the “overwintering” fungal spores and harmful insect eggs. I believe this is the most important spray of the year.
3. Give the roots “a boost” with Neutrog Seamungus which conditions the soil and stimulates and supports root growth and development.
It is also ideal for establishing new plants, particularly bare-rooted roses.
4. Fertilise with Neutrog Sudden Impact for Roses when the new rose shoots are about 2 cms long. Ensure you water the fertiliser after application.
5. Mulch with Neutrog’s WhoFlungDung which is a certified organic mulch. It is a biologically activated, nutrient rich, weed free, absorbent super mulch. Apply the mulch in late winter or early spring, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
The benefits of applying mulch include:
• Weed suppression
• Reduces the amount of evaporation and watering needed
• The mulch breaks down and adds organic material into the soil
• The introduction of beneficial bacteria
• The mulch encourages earthworms that aerate the soil
• Reduces, if not eliminates, nitrogen drawdown
• Regulates soil temperature
• Helps to prevent erosion from heavy rain The results achieved from applying this mulch have been amazing. If you have not used it – trial it in your garden.
6. New roses should be planted, if this has not been done already.
7. Sit back and enjoy the spring growth and await the spring flush of roses when many varieties are at their best. (Neutrog WhoFlungDung Mulch – Photos Melanie Trimper)