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Learn how to get a second flush from the roses in your garden with these gardening tips.
Tags:how to care for roses,banana,bloom,deadhead,earth,feed,flowers,flush,garden,gardening,plants,potassium,pots,rose,rose gardening tips,soil,stem
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If you were to ask me what is my favorite flower in the whole garden, without any hesitation, I would have to say the rose.
And here is my prized David Austin Rose bed. These bushes have had their first flush of flowers and they were fantastic. But now, I got to work hard as you will, to have to get that second flush underway as soon as possible.
And the way to do that first of all is using your freshly sharpened scissors. Do a bit of mean dead heading.
Dead heading actually tricks the rose because the rose, by producing the flower, has achieved its ambition. It has got new seeds, and then someone comes along and then chops them off.
And that is what we are going to do now. We find the dead heads and we just take off any of the dead bits here we find.
Now by dead heading—there is one there that is just about finished—you can take off the whole bit of stem as well if you like, just to tidy up the rose. And that will certainly get that rose back into flowering mode, but to get better flowers, richer colors, better scent, and longer lasting blooms. Then, it is all down to feeding.
And these roses are the hungriest plants in my garden as well, and they are looking for one thing during their flowering period, and that is potassium. They cannot get enough of it from the soil. They are dragging it from anywhere they possible can.
You can help by giving them a boost of potassium. You could get rose feed or sulfate or potassium from the garden center, but then again, we are spending money unnecessarily because you got the greatest source of potassium back in the kitchen, in the fruit bowl—bananas. Not the inside. That is the bit that I am going to eat later on. What we need is the skin.
Now, there is more potassium in a banana skin than any other fruit skin. Amazingly, when you chop it up into little bits, the rose can actually use that potassium meat as it is produced from the rotting skin. One banana skin per plant will give a boost of potassium.
I am just using a small gardening fork. If you have mulched it down like I have, rake it away and put the banana skins down. Just fork them into the top, half an inch or so of the soil, cover them back over. Within a few days, those skins would have rotten down to produce that potassium and you will see the effect almost immediately.
Now, one of the problems with roses is mildew. I see a problem and in my book, nobody—and I mean, nobody should ever have a problem with rose mildew because there has been a cure around since my granddad’s time. He gave it to me and I am going to give it to you now.
It is quite simple. One tablespoon of baking powder mixed with a quarter pint of milk, any milk will do, and you mix that up in a jug. You will find that it will get slightly thick. And then, you put it into a sprayer. Liberally spray the leaves of your roses any time of the year, preferably when they first start to leaf up in the spring.
What that does, it makes the leaf surface slightly alkalized, and no mildew spore can survive on an alkaline surface. So you have cured it, and it is natural, it is environmentally friendly, no harm to the bees or other insects, and you have got mildew-free roses for a whole season.
And the final tip for your roses is how to keep them tied up properly, because rose ties are often quite thick. Heavy things may be quite expensive. But I have got the perfect ones here. Look at these. They are strong. I have a hard time to break that. They are flexible, important for a tie. That plant must not be held too rigid against the stake because it might snap in a gale.
And also, you cannot buy them from the garden center. Sadly, these are not available, but if you go to the cycle repair shop, they will give them to you, free of charge. They are old cycle inner tubes cut into strips. They are throwing this away. It is a sin! Recycle them and use them as rose ties for your roses.
So there are some great tips for better roses this year.