Brian Kidd: It's been a good year for the roses
Roses are wonderful this year and it's a good idea to tend them properly and regularly, in particular to prune faded blooms.
Dead-heading means taking off the old flowers and composting the petals. Never drop them on the soil. This causes early attacks of black spot and mildew.
A spray of Multirose will kill pests and is the first line of defence against fungus problems.
Do this after the sun has set. It will prevent beneficial insects being harmed and stop damage to the blooms.
You will have read in previous articles that Bordeaux mixture and Roseclear 3 or 4 should also be used each fortnight in turn for disease control.
Bordeaux mixture has been withdrawn, but you will find green drums of copper mixture at your garden centre. Use the strength recommended for controlling potato blight and always spray late in the evening. Why? The sun will not scorch leaves and beneficial insects will not be harmed.
Climbing roses? Treat them the same way. Remove dead flowers and the hybrid tea varieties will keep on flowering. If dead blooms are left on they will produce hips with seeds and the rose will put all its effort into nurturing these not producing more flowers.
There are two main types of ramblers. The first is the Dorothy Perkins type. These produce clusters of blooms just once. They flower for three weeks.
The stems on which the flowers came should be cut down to the base and new stems tied in, preferably in half hoops so the tips bend towards the soil. This guarantees blooms all along the stems next year as long as they are fed Vita Q4 fertiliser as soon as they are pruned.
The second type are the Albertines which are traditionally pruned in autumn. But if stems which flower only once are cut right back to the main stem when blooms have faded, it’s possible to tie in new rapidly-growing branches. This gives us the chance to again tie new shoots into half hoops so the tips of each nod towards the ground. This simple trick means tying in the branches regularly but will transform a rambler into a mass of blooms next year as long as they are given that feed.
Climbing roses will produce flowers if dead blooms are cut off. Train branches so the tips are tied so they face the ground. Feed them fish, blood and bone watered in afterwards. Lightly fork the soil before applying the fertiliser.
Have you lovingly tended a prized plot? Our popular annual Bloomin’ Marvellous gardening competition is open for entries – and we’d love to see pictures of your garden.
All you have to do is take a good quality photo and send it to us.
Remember, our judge Brian Kidd bases his decisions for the 10 finalists solely on your photos, so make sure you capture your garden’s best features.
First prize is £100 in vouchers from Garsons garden centre, Titchfield, with second prize £50 and third £25.
Post your photos to Bloomin’ Marvellous, c/o Ellie Pilmoor, The News, 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Western Road, PO6 3EN or e-mail them to [email protected]
Include your full name, daytime telephone number and address with the photographs or e-mails you send to us. Unfortunately we’re not able to return posted prints.