Scents of perfume wafting on the summer breeze, a palette of colours to delight! There are few gardening experiences that cram so much magic into a moment as when you step into a beautiful rose garden.
Sadly too many gardeners have the impression that growing roses is a struggle, poisonous spraying programs, constant and complicated fertilizer applications, and mastering the complexities of pruning.
“My secret to growing stunningly beautiful and healthy low maintenance organic roses is to do just a few basics right and you will be justly rewarded for your efforts”.
TIPS FOR GROWING STUNNING ORGANIC ROSES
POSITION: Roses thrive in direct sunlight with sufficient space for a good flow of air. This assists to dry leaves in wet and rainy conditions and discourages fungal disease like downy mildew, black spot and stem rots.
SELECT THE VARIETY FOR DESIRED EFFECT: There are 4 distinctive characteristics that will determine the look and feel of your rose plantings. Floribunda (Bush rose), Hybrid Tee (Formal structure), Climber/Creeper (Rambling rose), Ground cover (Low growing).
CONDITION THE SOIL: Preparation of the soil before you plant will determine sure success.
1. Mix topsoil with 1L of quality compost or 250ml Fertilis Earthworm Castings and 150g of Vita Grow 2:3:2(16) fertilizer, position rose, then fill planting holes with this mix.
2. Adjust the soil pH for optimum results before planting. Roses prefer a slightly acidic soil of around 5,5 to 6. If soil is very acidic add a cup of agricultural lime (Dolomitic lime) to above planting mix. In high alkaline soils use acid compost or add 50g of flowers of sulphur to planting mix.
PLANT CORRECTLY: To ensure that the rose roots are covered with 5cm of soil plant slightly below soil level and pile soil mix up to allow for soil to settle after watering the newly planted rose. Roots should not be exposed, but the stem should not be planted below the soil.
MULCH: Use a suitable mulch to retain moisture, keep soil cool and prevent weeds from germinating. Cover rose beds or the base of each rose with well weathered wood chips (not pine or eucalyptus, nor pine needles as they are too acidic), dry leaves or leaf mould, straw, or plant a mulch from Healthy Living “COVER IT” groundcover range such as Virginian stocks, allusym, pennyroyal
WATER REGULARLY: In hot dry weather water 2 to 3 times a week with a good soaking to keep the roses cooling system working. Reduce watering frequency to once a week in cold months.
FERTILIZE WITH VITA ORGANIC FERTILIZER FOR BEST RESULTS: With pruning sprinkle 150g Vita Grow 2:3:2(16) around root zone per rose to condition roots and grow a sturdy, healthy structure. After 4 months sprinkle 100g of Vita Fruit & Flower 3:1:5(18) per rose and repeat this again 4 months later.
PLANT IN VERY DENSE CLAY OR SANDY SOIL WITHOUT CONDITIONING IT FIRST: A very dense clay will result in water logged conditions leading to root diseases and rots, nor too sandy as water and nutrients will drain out causing heat and water stressed roses which are plagued by insects like red spider mite and scale.
PLANT IN DENSE SHADE OR CROWDED AREAS: Roses thrive in sunny areas but not against hot walls.
SPRAY WITH POISONS: They are as dangerous to your health as they are to the ecosystem and also polluting to the environment. Spray Biogrow natural organic control such as:
• Bioneem to deter rose and chafer beetles and general repellent of rose pests
• Pyrol against scales, bollworm, mealy bugs
• Neudosan for non-toxic, bird and ladybird friendly control of aphids and red spiders.
TOO MUCH NITROGEN: Use of high and fast Nitrogen fertilizers grow soft vulnerable leaves, which promote pest and disease in roses and discourage the formation of flowers.