Apart fromand fighting pests and diseases, which are discussed later, the maintenance of roses is not an onerous task. Spring Ensure that any roses loosened by the ravages of winter weather are well trodden in.
Make sure that any broken stakes, posts, trellis, etc. are replaced or repaired. Particular attention should be paid to renewing worn out sacking that is protecting the bark. This can often be done when the ground is too wet or too frosty to work.
beds should be mulched in May, when the soil has begun to warm up. A mulch is a layer, upwards of 2 in. thick, of an organic material. One of the best is well-rotted garden . Other suitable substances are moist peat, spent hops and rotted farmyard manure. Leave a small ring around the base of each rose, to avoid the risk of damage being done by the heating up of the mulch as it decomposes.
Because weeds steal the moisture and plant foods intended for the roses, their suppression is important. The principal methods of doing this are: physical methods i.e. regular hoeing; mulching and chemical methods. The two main types of chemical weedkillers are :
(1) Contact: this type of weedicide is watered on to the leaves of the weeds in spring and summer. The chemicals are absorbed and the weeds soon die.
(2) Pre-emergent: this sort interferes with the growth of theleaves and they do not emerge from the soil. It is applied in the winter.
Often during the spring, three shoots emerge from one bud centre. As soon as they are large enough to handle, the outside growths should be pinched off, and the centre one, which is u,sually the largest, should be allowed to develop.
Suckers are shoots that originate low down on the rose tree or beneath the ground. They grow from the-stock and not the scion or budded variety. If they are allowed to remain, they sap nutriment from the main . The most satisfactory way of discerning a sucker is to note from which it originated. If the shoot appears from below the union or from the root, it is a sucker and should be torn out, not cut away, at its point of origin, scraping away the soil, if it appears from below the ground. By tearing it out, the whole budding system is destroyed and there is little chance of it reappearing.
Some hybrid tea roses, instead of growing one terminal bud, develop three on a, while others grow their in clusters. Disbudding consists in removing all the side-flowering shoots, when they are just large enough to handle, leaving one terminal flowering bud. Whether this is carried out is largely a matter of personal taste. Nothing should be done if a good, massed of colour is desired, but if large perfect individual blooms, say for showing, are required, it should be carried out.
If there is to be good repeat-flowering, removing the spent blooms, as soon as they fade, is essential. Theshould be cut off at the first outward-growing with five leaflets to avoid removing too ‘Italy leaves, in which the plant produces its food.
When, the blooms and the leaves should not be wetted, because the former will become blemished and moisture on the latter will encourage fultgus diseases. The use of a perforated hose, turned upside down and interwoven among the plants avoids these possibilities.
Autumn and Winter To prevent bush roses from being whipped by winds, cut back tall stems in November to halfway.
should be sprayed, or watered, in December with 8 oz. of Bordeaux mixture mixed with 24 gals. Of water, to minimize the effects of fungus diseases.