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Roses Are Plants Too!

An Early Spring In The Rose Garden

Souvenir de Madame Léonie Viennot is always the first rose to bloom in our garden.  She’s three weeks early this year!
Photo/Illustration: Paul Zimmerman Roses
Even our dogwoods are early.
Photo/Illustration: Paul Zimmerman Roses
Souvenir de Madame Léonie Viennot is always the first rose to bloom in our garden.  She’s three weeks early this year!
Photo/Illustration: Paul Zimmerman Roses
Even our dogwoods are early.
Photo/Illustration: Paul Zimmerman Roses

We are having an early spring here in the foothills of the Carolinas. The daffodils are done, the dogwoods are already out and I have rose blooms weeks ahead of normal. From what I read many of you are having the same thing occur.

I think this is going to be a terrific rose season so to help our roses be at their best let’s talk about a few things we can be doing.

Pruning. The roses came on so early and so fast this year I never got all of them pruned! The point came when I was faced with unpruned roses that were setting flower buds. Was I going to prune them, cut off all the new buds and miss the spring bloom show? Of course not! Instead I just got in there and cut out deadwood and twiggy growth. I’ll leave the full cut back, on those that need it, for right after their spring bloom flush.

Feeding. I’m starting. Our long range forecast shows no freezes in our future. Since I use organics which tend to feed slowly even if we do get one the roses will be fine. This to me is another reason not to use those chemical fertilizers that dump loads of nitrogen into the plants. Nitrogen is the first number you see on fertilizer packages and it stimulates new growth. That’s fine for later but not if there is any chance of cold weather coming.

Mulching. I’ve done most of mulching but I’m going to double check to make sure I’ve good coverage. I’m thinking this summer could be a hot one and good to have a nice thick layer down to keep the soil cool and moist.

Planting. Any unplanted roses still in pots are going into the ground ASAP. If the rapid growth rate of my established roses is an indication I want to take advantage of this long early spring to get the new ones growing quickly. Doing so will get them just that much more established by fall. Plus I’ll get to see the blooms that more quickly!

But most of all I’m going to enjoy what is a rare rose bloom for this time in our area.  Roses in early April. Who would have thought!

Happy Easter Everyone

Paul 

 

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