Temecula Valley Rose Society
Rose Care Corner, December 2006By Frank Brines - Consulting Rosarian
December 2006 has been unseasonably dry, and warm, so continue to water your roses enough to keep soil moist, NOT WET. Remove blossom petals as the flowers mature but leave the rose hips to send the message to the plant it is time to rest. If you want to fertilize again use a fertilizer very low in nitrogen as nitrogen would signal to the plant that it's time for Spring growth. Phosphorous and potassium are safe to apply, as they help develop root systems for better resistance to stresses and bloom production.
If you are thinking of buying some new roses or replacing ones that haven't performed to your expectations, now is the time to make those decisions and look through the catalogues to make your new choices. I suggest you dig any holes for planting now before any rains come and make the ground too wet for digging. The soil can also be augmented with additives and set aside, covered and protected from the weather with a tarp. This will make planting faster and easier when your new plants arrive.
Keep the ground clean of any rose debris to eliminate the carry-over of any diseases that may have invaded your garden this past year. Buy any supplies that have run low or are no longer in your cabinet. Especially important is the dormant spray needed to use after pruning in January.
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