Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Summer is here!  With the temperature hovering into the 90s, there are several things we ought to do to keep our roses happy during the dog days of summer.  The roses are suffering from extreme heat and so does the rosarian who takes care of them.   With the searing heat, you have to learn how to slow down.  Drink a lot of water while working in the garden.   Take a break every so often.  Wear protective gear like hat, long sleeves and sunscreen. Try to work early in the garden before the sun is up or late in the afternoon when it is cooler.
Water, water, water - Roses needs at least 2" of water every week especially during the hot dry summer days.  So when the rain stops, water them deeply.  Following the town ordinance of water conservation, instead of running the sprinkler for two hours, run it for 1 hour.  You can do overhead watering when it is extremely hot and no rain is in sight but not in the late afternoon.  When you want to be in an air-conditioned room and feel like doing nothing, your rose feels the same way.  They don’t want any work. All they need is water, possibly a cold shower. 
Fertilization - do not overdo it in the summer. More roses suffer from overfertilization in the summer than from too little. When you water your garden, the water releases the nutrients that are already in your rosebeds. Sometimes you see the leaves of your roses wilting and start to turn yellow. We have this notion that if we give them more food, they will come back to life. Wrong! Giving them more fertilizer can make the matter worse. They could have excessive fertilizer to begin with and not enough water. Too much fertilizer without enough moisture in the soil is deadly to your plant. You will get fertilizer burns. If in doubt, water, water and more water especially in a very hot weather.  Do not fertilize when the temperature is in the 90’s.
Mulching - Rosebeds with 2" or 3" of mulch do not need as much water as the beds without mulch.  Mulch is an important thing our garden needs during the summer months.  There are all kinds of material we can use as mulch - pine bark nuggets, pine needles, cocoa hulls, hay, shredded oak leaves, seaweeds, cedar mulch, or cocoa mulch.  I find out that shredded cedar mulch is much better mulch than pine bark.  I don't recommend cocoa hulls if you have a dog.  They smell great and dogs love it but it is not good for them.  There is evidence that it can be harmful to dogs.  One report said that a dog died because the dog ate so much cocoa mulch.  You know chocolate is bad for dogs and chocolate comes from cocoa beans. 
The rose beds look much better with mulch and the mulch also helps the roses retains moisture in the soil during the dry, hot spell.  However, mulch takes up nitrogen when it decays to feed the bacteria.  Take a pH reading. Low pH means the soil is nitrogen starved so add lime to correct the situation.  Mulch also keeps the roots cool and keeps weeds under control.
Weeding is an essential aspect of gardening. At the height of the summer heat, the weeds are growing at a rapid pace. You must control it, otherwise they take over. I don’t use herbicide so I’m constantly weeding. 
Spraying – If you are spraying, discontinue the spray program while the temperature is on the 90's.  You’ll burn the leaves.  When the temperature cools down, you can resume your spray program every 7-10 days.  Spray early in the morning or early evening. 
Roses are easy plants to grow contrary to popular belief. Why do you think Roses have been around for millions of years?  All they need are food, water and sunlight.  Just like you and me.
Here at Rose Gardening World, we’ll educate you about the Rose - our National Floral Emblem and the state flower of several states.  Welcome to the World of Rose Gardening or Rose Gardening World where Rose Gardening Tips, Rose Growing Advice, Planting a Rose Garden, Rose Descriptions, Where to Buy Roses, Where to see Rose Gardens, Rose Culture, Rose History, Rose Events, Rose Verses are all here in one place.  

We are constantly updating our contents so visit Rose Gardening World often.  We want to help you grow Beautiful Roses and we welcome comments.  Take time and smell the roses.  Happy Rose Gardening!

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