In Part 1 of this series we talked about using time release fertilizers to feed the roses. In Part 2 we talked about using compost and mulch to feed the soil, which in turn helps the roses take up nutrients.
In Part 3 we are going to talk about using a product that is probably as old as life itself. Seaweed.
Liquid Seaweed when applied as a foliar spray to roses does wonders. I’ve used it for years and always with great results. The foliage turns a darker green, the colors on the blooms becomes more intense and the canes seem hardier. And overall the plants seem happier.
Now, I’m not a scientist and so cannot launch into long explanations citing elements from the periodic table as to why it works so well. But, I do know from reading and talking to others that liquid seaweed is rich in potassium, minerals and trace elements and even contains some growth hormones. And it is very good at making these available to the plant.
And I know with my own eyes over years and thousands of roses of using it how well it works.
How often you apply it can depend on the particular kind, but as long as you are dong Parts 1 and 2, I think once a month is plenty. You can actually do without it and just do Parts 1 and 2 but if you don’t mind a little extra work I think you will be pleased with the results.
I use it as a foliar spray and that works fine for me. If you have soil you are trying to build up you can do it as a drench every now and then and you’ll see some nice results quickly.
The other advantage to using seaweed is that, when used as a foliar spray, it seems to also help in disease resistance. It builds up the foliage in a way that makes it more resistant to pathogens such as blackspot and mildew.
To purchase it I would first try your local Independent Garden Center. If you strike out there try on line. I use a product called Eco-Boost from Circle Organics in North Carolina. I even use it on my vegetables!
And that is your total Simple Fertilizing Of Roses Program. To review.
Part 1 is using a time release organic fertilizer in spring and again at the end of the summer. Be sure the one at the end of summer won’t be feeding well into fall so the roses can harden off and shut down.
Part 2 is to regularly add compost and then a layer of hardwood mulch to your rose beds. Don’t take out the old mulch just let it become compost and build up your soil like a forest floor
Part 3 is what we just talked about. Using Liquid Seaweed once a month or so to give your roses just that little extra kick.