Green Fingers: A rose by any other name

James Vaughaun

Reporter:

James Vaughaun

Email:

news@limerickleader.ie

Green Fingers: A rose by any other name

JUNE is the month when roses remind us again of the reason we plant them. With the beautiful varieties of colours and with heady fragrance its easy to understand why. We only have a couple of roses in our garden and always had the plan to get more. This article may help you to care for your rose bushes or, indeed, how to plant new ones.

Caring for Roses

Caring for rose bushes is important to their overall health and vigour, especially when it comes to watering. I have read that this May was the driest since 1850! Roses require at least one watering weekly throughout their growing season, beginning in spring or following spring planting. While overhead watering is suitable before the onset of new growth, it is often better to water these plants at the soil line using soaker hoses or similar means. Rose bushes are very susceptible to fungal diseases, such as black spot and powdery mildew, especially when their foliage is kept too wet. Watering around the soil level helps prevent these diseases.

Fertilizer for roses should also be applied in spring, following the label instructions carefully. However, with the addition of well-rotted horse manure each spring, this is usually adequate. Mulching your rose bush will help retain moisture and may also offer some winter protection. We mulch our roses with shop-bought bark mulch.

Post Planting After Care

Roses are hungry plants. They are prolific flowering plants and use up a lot of energy to maintain flowering. The energy expenditure needs to be replenished with suitable feeding. A feed either granular or liquid should be high in nitrogen, phosphates and potash (NPK). Granular feeds can be applied in Springtime and repeated in May and June. Liquid feed can be applied following the Springtime granular feed, but at more frequent intervals (say twice monthly).

Pruning is another aspect to consider when caring for rose bushes. This often takes place before leaf buds appear in spring. Make cuts about 1/4 inch above the bud eyes and prune out any twiggy, damaged, crossing or unhealthy branches.

With roses you can be quite tough when pruning, they will re-grow. Starting your own rose garden and knowing how to take care of roses shouldn’t be intimidating. In fact, it’s easier than you might think.

Just give them what they need and before you know it, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful blooms.

Buying your Roses

We previously bought a rose bush at a gardening event held in Limericks Milk Market last summer. Both my wife and I recalled how beautiful and plentiful the flowers appeared on it. We decided to travel to the same supplier- JustRoses- in Woodview, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick since the garden centers have reopened. We spoke to the owners, Alan and Josie and got some helpful tips on how best to look after our roses. Alan really has exhaustive knowledge on all aspects of rose cultivation. Alan and Josie have a fantastic display of roses and the most difficult thing for us was deciding which ones to bring home. Alan can be contacted on: 087 4185511.

Contact James : james.vaughan1020@gmail.com