|Neglected KnockOut roses look dreadful.|
Note the spent blooms here.
Bushes of all types respond well to pruning.
"Never grow a rose bush, the saying's true,
But treat it as a rose bush, if you do." G. Jackson, American Rose Society
I have two rainbarrels full of fresh rain and no skeeters.
This post addresses the virtues of rainwater for all plants - in short - rain is pure water with useful nitrogen for greening them up. Some other good qualities are dust in the rain bringing minerals to the plant and rain causing a change in the pH of the soil.
Gardeners may overlook the benefits from the normal actions of Creation, such as organic matter raining down on the soil and being processed into food for the creatures and plants. The old way was to clean up and throw away leaves and debris, but it is wiser to keep what is already generously provided so the soil can be enhanced naturally and without cost.
|Pope John Paul II is infallibly white,|
fragrant, and spectacular in bloom.
Why run off to Rome when you can visit
the Jackson Rose Farm?
The Problem with Rose Growers
The potted roses, purchased by most people at gardening centers, start out beautiful. I was struck by all the bright red blooms on the KnockOut roses I bought at our nearby nursery. Some places advertise KnockOut roses as "self-pruning," which is not true.
KnockOuts are easy care - more like robust, disease free, and eager to grow.
They are not self-watering, self-pruning, or self-weeding.
All roses need regular watering, from the rain, from stored rain, from stored water, or from tap water.
Weeding is almost eliminated with a thick cover of organic mulch. If weeds break through, they can be pulled or covered up with more mulch.
Pruning is not difficult or dangerous. The only way to have fresh beautiful roses on the bushes is to create bouquets for the house, friends, and others. When I cut roses for others, I look for dead wood (always present somewhere) and trouble-spots.
Watering should be addressed once a week. We have had loud but light rainstorms. We have also had sunny days with strong, drying winds. The bird baths show the power of evaporation from those winds.
I use soaker hoses for general watering of most roses, rain barrel watering where the need is greatest. A newly planted or transplanted rose will get the rainwater first.
I am now supplementing some of my favorite berry plants, to give them a good start. Watering is fun and good exercise. Sassy Sue supervises me until she gets bored with it. Then she asks to go in.
|Peace roses are very large and develop|
an attractive pink edging.
My Peace rose bushes have burst into bloom,
all at once - very startling and appealing.