Photo Courtesy of Carol Sharpe
April in the Garretts' Garden
April is an exciting time in our area. However,
this year we are all having to deal with the Covid-19 virus.
While it has certainly changed all of our normal activities, we can still
get out in the garden. In fact, it
is probably a good idea for all of us to spend some extra time in the garden as
it can be great therapy. Our advice
is to make good use of being at home by getting your garden in tip top shape.
It will make you feel better too!
April is once again an exciting time in the rose garden.
We are already looking forward to the first bloom cycle of the season in
early May. We are also looking
forward to some dryer weather after a very rainy March.
If you have not gotten all of your roses pruned, make that a top priority
to complete that ASAP. Spring
pruning is really important if you are going to have nice roses all summer long.
Also, it is not too late to spray with liquid Lime Sulfur, but you will
need to use the summer dosage rate.
you are seeing some basal breaks on your roses.
Basal breaks are the new growths that emerge from the bud union and are
the key to having a strong and vibrant bush.
We also keep a watchful eye out for any signs of dieback.
If we spot any, we prune back to a lower eye that is healthy.
weather can be a little tricky as we can have sunny days with temperatures in
the low eighties and we can also experience some cold snaps with temperatures
down in the twenties. Once your
roses have leafed out and are actively growing, keep an eye on the temperature.
If it dips to 30 or below, you may want to try covering as much of your
garden as possible. We use empty
containers which we have saved over the years.
Until we are certain that the temperature will stay above thirty, we keep
our empty containers handy just in case we need to cover plants.
in our area are susceptible to blackspot and mildew.
It is much easier to prevent disease than it is to cure it.
Therefore, if you haven’t started your spray program, do so
immediately. We recommend a routine
weekly spray program. However, many
rosarians are very successful with a biweekly spray program.
The particular fungicides you use will help determine how often you will
need to spray.
of fungicides, there are many options available.
To help you choose an appropriate product, there is a Spray Formulations
chart available elsewhere on this website. We
highly recommend that you print a copy off and use it accordingly.
is also when aphids usually show up in our rose garden.
These tiny green insects will usually appear up near the tips of the
stems on or near the buds. They are
relatively easy to eradicate with Orthene, Malathion or Bayer Rose & Flower
Insect Killer. Perhaps the
best option is to blast them off with a sharp spray of water.
Be sure and do this early enough in the day for the foliage to dry before
are considered heavy feeders and they use a lot of energy to grow and produce
that first bloom cycle. If they were
properly fertilized last season, they should have sufficient energy to produce a
nice first bloom cycle. However,
they will need some food if they are to bloom and grow well for the entire
summer. Once the soil warms up, we
like to apply a good organic fertilizer which will feed the soil which in turn
feeds the roses. There are many good
organic products out there to choose from, such as Mills Mix or RoseTone.
We also like to supplement our organics with some chemical fertilizers,
which are faster acting. Many
rosarians use an extended release fertilizer that will hopefully provide
nutrients for most of the growing season. Remember,
when applying any granular fertilizer you will need to water it in.
15 is generally considered to be the “frost free” date for the tri-state
area. So after the 15th,
and assuming the weather forecast doesn’t have another hard frost in it, you
can safely begin to plant your potted roses in the garden.
If you just got them from the nursery, be sure to gradually acclimate
them to the outdoors. We like to
begin by putting ours under our deck where they will get some morning sun only.
Over the course of a week or two, we gradually expose them to more sun
until they are ready for the garden. Remember
when planting your rose bush to keep the bud union on budded roses about 2
inches above soil level. Roses on
their own roots can be planted even with the soil level.
To remove the plants from the pots, place the pot in the hole you have
prepared to make sure the height is correct.
Next, take the pot with the plant still in it out of the hole and cut the
bottom from the pot with a knife. Place
the pot back in the hole, take your knife and cut up the entire side so you can
remove the pot without damaging any of the white feeder roots.
Backfill the hole and water well. Never
use your foot to tamp the soil around the rose, as it will compact the soil.
get more information, go to the Ask the Experts section
of this web site and send us an email.