The Q&A Archives: rose bushes

Question: how to prevent pest proof and keep them healthy thru summer. i have lots of bushes but by early summer they nearly dead looking. they come back in fall.

Answer: Healthy roses are more able to tolerate insect problems and if you see aphids, simply hose them off. To keep your roses healthy, then need at least 6 hours of direct sunshine daily, adequate water and fertilizer.

Roses need large amounts of water. Occasional watering may be necessary even where rainfall is plentiful. Watering should be done in early morning. Avoid wetting the foliage as this will promote disease problems.

Soak the soil thoroughly to a depth of 8 to 10 inches, directing a small, slow-moving stream of water around the bases of the plants. In a clay soil, this can usually be accomplished with I inch of water applied weekly. Avoid using a heavy stream, as it is usually wasteful: most of the water runs off and fails to penetrate the soil more than a few inches.

The elements most often lacking in soils of existing rose beds are nitrogen and potassium. Although the amount of fertilizer to use should be based on soil test results, you will find that most garden soils will benefit from two applications of 12-6-6 or 15-0-15 fertilizer at the rate of 2 pounds to each 100 square feet of bed, the first application coming in March and the second in July. Then in April, May, June, and August, most rose beds will require ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) at the rate of 1/2 pound to each 100 square feet of bed.

Enjoy your roses!

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