Harkness Advice and Rose Care

Advice And
Rose Care



After first blooming most roses form seed pods. Frequently, re-bloom is delayed by the presence of seed pods: the rose puts energy into making seeds instead of growing more flowers. To deadhead, shorten flowering branches by one third.

Water - Some rules of thumb

Roses require access to moisture but dislike flooding.

Steady, stable supply of water is better than fluctuation between extremes.

Irrigate according to weather conditions and soil quality.

Sandy soil that drains well requires frequent irrigation.

Heavy clay soils that retain moisture require occasional irrigation.

Take into account the size and vigour of plants when watering.

Irrigate during extended winter drought even if roses are not growing.

Avoid wetting foliage in the evening: fungi spores may breed in water droplets.

Fertiliser - for improved vigour and superior flowering performance

Organic matter adds fibre and nutrient. Incorporate it in soil preparation and use it to mulch.

Mulching consists of applying a layer of fibrous nutrient over the soil. When mulching, do not bury the crown of the plant. The crown should always be visible at ground level.

Manure products that include straw should only be used when the straw is completely decomposed: decomposing straw releases harmful substances as the cellulose breaks down.

Proprietary fertilisers for roses are obtainable at garden centres. Use a product intended for roses, they contain the correct trace elements. Apply fertiliser after winter pruning and after summer flowering.

Dry or granular products that are sprinkled onto the soil must be pricked in by fork or by hoe, and watered to dissolve the product, making it accessible to the rose roots.

Liquid fertilisers may act quickly as a tonic if they are taken up by the foliage ­ read the label instructions to be sure which type of product you are using.

Growth and Flowers

Growth ­ products that are proportionately high in Nitrogen (N) will encourage green growth.

­ products that are proportionately high in Potash (K) will harden growth and encourage flowering.

It can be beneficial to use a dry high Nitrogen product after pruning, followed by a high Potash liquid feed one month before flowering.

Armillatox and Jeyes Fluid

Until recently these two products have been recommended as treatment for the following purposes:

To winter-wash rose beds. The aim was to clean up over-wintering fungus spores on the soil around the roses, not to treat the roses themselves.

To disinfectant soil when replanting in old beds. This was recommended where old roses were being replaced, whether or not the soil was to be changed

Since the latest pesticide legislation, Jeyes Fluid and Armillatox have no clearance for use as garden products. It would be breaking a rule to recommend using them as soil disinfectant; also a person who used these products for purposes not defined on their labels would be breaking another rule.

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