The heat of summer might be nice for kids to splash in the pool, but it can wreak havoc on your garden roses if you don't know how to keep them nice and fresh.
Looking after your flowers means they'll be around year after year and you'll be able to enjoy fresh cut flowers indoors or blooming ones outside.
1. Fertilize. Using the right fertilizer is key, look for one formulated for roses. Also, be sure not to fertilize after August 15th or your roses will bloom too late in the season and be killed by the early frosts.
2. Prune. Do your pruning early in the season to allow for more blooms throughout the summer months. Snipping old flower heads and leaving five leaves below is the best way to do this. Pruning will cause the bush to grow quickly over the summer months.
3. Water. In the heat of summer, your roses will need more water than usual. A heavy watering in the morning is excellent and a light misting at night will help keep those flowers dewy fresh. Never water during the day, when droplets can concentrate the sunlight and cause the leaves and flowers to burn.
4. Soil. Having the right soil will allow the water to reach the roots of your bushes and will draw the roots down. This is why a heavy watering is good, it establishes a deep root system which means the roses will be drawing water even when the top layer of soil is dry. Look for soft, loamy soil mixed with a bit of sand for drainage.
5. Planting. To ensure that your new roses have the best chance at surviving summer, dig a 12 inch hole and fill it with compost and bonemeal. It's a good idea to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole, as well, to encourage deep roots.
6. Light. The majority of roses love sunlight and are quite happy with direct sunlight for 6 or so hours a day. However, it's important to note that there are some hybrids that need shade, so check with your nursery to be sure you are planting your roses in the right place.
7. Spacing. Roses need room to breathe, so don't crowd them into your flower bed. Allow for plenty of room for air to circulate around them and they will stay cooler and fresher during even the hottest parts of the day.
8. Spray. Unfortunately, all that warm weather is great for pests, too, so you'll probably need to spray your roses with a repellant of some sort (home made or commercial) to keep these hungry critters at bay.
9. Mulch. Pile a little mulch around the base of your roses to hold in water and keep the roots cool. This is a very simple task that can be done throughout the summer as the mulch is dispersed.
10. Hose. Using the right hose is important. You want one that is flexible enough you can snake it between plants and water the roots.
Roses aren't as finicky as many people think, especially these days, but they do need some special care for those hot summer months. Taking the care needed to keep the plants fresh and cool will result in healthier roses and fresher blooms throughout the summer, so you can enjoy your flowers all year long.
Healthy roses during the summer can provide a myriad of opportunities. It really isn't that difficult to look after roses if you follow the ten tips given above.
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