Apply fertilizer, mulch to rose beds as spring arrives

Local weather and soil remain warm so it probably seems like spring to your roses, which I’m betting have continued their growing cycle even though it is March.

In a new rose garden, or with newly pruned roses that haven’t sprouted new growth, remove all debris, apply lime sulfur dormant spray according to the package direction, and then thoroughly wet all canes and the surrounding soil. For roses that have sprouted, be more careful in your application and be sure to follow the “growing season instructions” on the label.

Given that your roses are about as bare as they’re going to be for the rest of the year, take time now to inspect and make any necessary repairs to the irrigation system. Drip systems are the most efficient and they avoid problems of above-ground sprayer and sprinklers which waste water (especially important during our serious drought) and can foster molds, mildews and rust. Make sure your irrigation system is in good working order; for example, make sure all the emitters are delivering the expected amount of water and that there are no leaks.

If you completed your rose pruning last month you are probably seeing tender, new, red-coppery growth – a pleasing result for rose aficionados. Now would be the time to sprinkle

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