Feeding Roses – 3 Top Tips to a Well Balanced Diet
Feeding Roses – Top Tips
Roses are strong-growing plants, making a heavy demand on the food reserves of the. A regular programme of manuring for feeding must be followed, and it must take the form of a properly balanced diet.
Bulky Organic Manures
Natural manure, such as dung from a farmyard or stable, should not be used in a fresh state, but must be stored until the straw is well rotted and the manure has lost its pungent smell. As a rule, one large barrow load of manure to 12 square metres of bed is an ample dressing and the best time to apply this is immediately after. It is best spread as a mulch over the surface of the beds.
Properly made, peat and leaf-mould are useful substitutes if dung is not available. Although their nutrient properties are nothing like so great, they are of equal value in increasing the humus content of the soil and their deficiency in actual food can be made good by means of fertilisers.
Only in a few cases, where the more fortunate gardeners are on highly fertile soils, will natural manures be available in sufficient quantity to provide enrichment great enough to promote and maintain sturdy growth. The great majority of soils will require, in addition, a dressing of a fertiliser of a long lasting nature, such as bonemeal, or better still, meat and bonemeal which provides nitrogen as well as phosphates, two of the most essential rose foods.
This fertiliser will surrender its feeding properties little by little over a period of two years or more, and may be used at rates of four to six ounces per square metre according to the estimated need of the soil, and can be applied early, in February or even, if it is more convenient, in September.
Application of quick acting fertilisers prepared with super-phosphate of lime, sulphate of ammonia, sulphate of potash and similar inorganic chemicals should be left until after pruning and further small top dressings can be given at intervals of three or four weeks during the spring and summer. While rose enthusiasts have many varied home-made formulas which each claims is best, much time is taken in their preparation and mixing. It is really better to use a proprietary fertiliser, either a general fertiliser or one specially blended for feeding roses. In either case, the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the rate of application should be followed.