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In the Garden by Peter Josephy

In the Garden by Peter Josephy , April 21,1971 Williams Lake Tribune

Its the time of year again, when nurseries, garden centres and various stores are offering roses and other shrubs for sale. Roses have been very reasonably priced in store outlets, sometimes less than $1.00 each. At these prices some gardeners feel they can afford to buy new roses every year, rather than going to the trouble protecting the old ones.

Then these inexpensive packaged roses leave their place of origin, in most cases California, they are probably in perfect shape. Like with other perishable commodities, trouble an easily develop when the product is not stored right. Roses and other plants simply will not stay dormant for more than a few days in 70 degrees temperatures .Now, when we purchase these roses with sprouts up to 6 long and plant them out, these sprouts invariably succumb. This does not mean that this rose will die, though many do, but it is certainly set back considerably. With our short season this must be avoided, if we want to enjoy these roses by, lets say, July.

Planting time varies greatly from season to season here in the Cariboo. A minimum soil temperature of 40 degrees F. is necessary for any root action to take place, and many of these packaged roses are planted too early. Many nurseries start roses in containers. These can be set out anytime during spring or summer. Often a month of growth is gained by planting these started roses.

Since roses are heavy feeders, they should be planted in rich, well fertilized soil. Always make sure, that the rose is well watered in, after planting, preferably with a starter solution containing root stimulants as well as major and minor plant nutrients. Up-Start and 20-20-20 are excellent. Prune the canes back to 8 before planting.

If it is desired to keep this rose over to the next season, plant your rose deep, the bud union at least 3 below soil surface. If possible, try to purchase roses which have been grafted on their own roots, as these are hardier.

After the rose is planted, it should be protected by covering it with wet burlap for one to two weeks, when the buds will break. This applies to bare root roses only.

Tea roses should always be planted in groups of three or more. If just one specimen shrub is required, it is best to plant a shrub rose.

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