Archive for October, 2015

October CR Report

by Karen Ernsberger

We’ve been experiencing high temperatures but the forecast is for some rain on the 18th?? While in southern California I’ve seen more rain then we’ve had since December! Remember to water well and never let the soil dry out even if it’s going to rain or it is cold out. I have roses that I’m hoping will survive as just sticks, they haven’t had a leaf since July, but the stems are still green and flexible.

It is a good idea to stop fertilizing roses in the Fall. If you fertilize, you can get a flush of new growth — just when the plant should be winding down and preparing for winter pruning. Left alone, (stop deadheading), some roses will bring a different kind of beauty in fall: brilliantly colored hips. The formation of hips signals the rose to slow growth.

Do you need to move a rose bush, or transplant a rose from one spot to another for some other reason? Perhaps you are rescuing a rose that would be harmed by a building or landscaping project, or gophers! If so, here are some techniques. Note that the normal time of year to transplant roses in this region is December to February, before growth starts, but we can’t always choose. This can be done for any roses you want to remove from your garden and gift to someone else.

1. If possible, prepare the planting hole or have a pot ready in advance. Dig a hole two to three times as wide as the root ball, but only as deep. This will give the plant lots of easy-to-navigate space to extend its roots horizontally. However, digging a hole too deep can cause the plant to settle too much. Fill hole half-full with water and let it soak in. You want to make sure the surrounding soil is moist, too. For pot planting fill the pot about 2/3rds full with soil and water, this will help compact the soil and ensure there aren’t any big air pockets that will be below the rose bush.

2. Dig up as large a rootball as you can manage, or when transferring to a larger pot place the plant in a container or wrap it in a tarp. It’s important that the delicate feeder roots don’t dry out. Trim foliage to make a compact plant. Trim any extra long roots. Water the plant thoroughly. You want the rootball to be completely moist. If you won’t be planting it right away, store it in a cool, shady spot. I use 15 gallon buckets filled with water to water thoroughly. If the rose has no roots left from gopher damage, I have successfully left them in a bucket of water for a few months and roots have grown back!

3. Set the plant in the new hole (or pot)so it sits at the same height or just slightly higher than it was in its original location. Refill the hole halfway, incorporating up to 25 percent compost into the backfill soil. Water thoroughly. Fill in the rest of the hole with soil, then form a donut-shaped berm at the outer edges of the hole, to hold water.

4. Water to fill the berm two more times to thoroughly saturate the refilled soil. Water each day over the next several days.

5. Provide shade from noon until dusk for one week or until leaves stay perked up all day long.

6. Water the plant 1 to 3 times weekly, if nature doesn’t provide, and observe the plant daily for signs of wilting or insect or disease problems. Add an organic mulch, such as compost, to help hold in moisture, keeping the mulch a few inches from the rose canes.

Enjoy your roses!