Roses – in winter

Gardening Tips

By Lisa Walmsley

  • Roses – in winter image

As I write this we have just had a massive weekend of rain. Ive measured 125mls or 5inches in the old scale and that is the most amount of rain we have had for a really long time. The Yass River has burst its banks and oozed its way across the flats creeping closer to our garden with the ever increasing falls of rain.

In the meantime, the madness of our world continues around us all and we try to manage in some parts of our lives to continue to be normal.

Rose pruning and maintenance must go on and it’s almost cathartic to carry on regardless.

Hopefully you have all or at least most of your roses and fruit trees pruned, but sometimes you need to move one or two that are in the wrong place or too big for their position. While the rose is dormant in the winter, it is the best time to move them, but there are a few tricks.

When moving an established rose that has been growing well for a few years: Make sure you prune the rose first, and prune it back to about 20 to 30 cms from ground level.

  1. Dig a big soil ‘root ball’ around the plant taking as much of the soil attached to the roots as you can.
  2. Any roots that are damaged or extra long can be trimmed back hard.
  3. Dig a nice big hole, don’t ‘jam’ the rose in a tight spot. Leave lots of room around the root ball to back fill the hole with fresh soil and organic matter. Always make sure the soil that you backfill the hole with has plenty of manure and compost soil added to it. This will ensure the rose has the best possible chance of ‘firing’ quickly in the spring.

When the season turns and starts to warm up and the leaves start to unfurl from their dormant buds, take time to give your transplanted roses a little more attention. Make sure they get extra water, this will encourage root development. I also like to use kelp to stimulate root growth and another product called plant starter that helps heal any transplant injury and also stimulate growth.

Staking your transplanted roses is also a good idea to prevent them falling over before they get established.

Make sure to mulch your transplanted roses, this will help keep the soil moist and suppress the weeds as the plant gets established.

Can you believe we are in the last month of winter and the mere thought of warmer months and sunny days reminds me that we will soon have glorious roses in our gardens again soon.

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