Caring for Your Roses
Fritz Creek Gardens worked to bring you a wide variety of outstanding hardy roses that will survive and thrive in Alaska. Our rose offerings are selected to be environmentally friendly, low maintenance, have long bloom times and sport a wide variety of growth habits to fit most situations. Growing roses isn't as difficult as their reputations may suggest. Here are some steps to help you get the most out of our hardy rose selections.
Dig your hole twice as wide as the root ball and depending on whether you want it to spread or grow upward, up to 6 inches deep. Planting the bud union 6 inches deep will minimize suckering. A good plan for climbers, as you want the growth to go up, not spread out. Generally speaking, 2 to 4 inches is safe for all roses.
The Formula: Try this formula when you plant: 1 shovel manure, 1 shovel peat, 3 shovels garden soil. Throw in a couple of handfuls of phosphorus bone meal and mix well. Line the bottom of the hole with this great mixture, making a mound. Knock the rose from it pot, massage the roots carefully and drape the roots over the mound. Fill the hole and water thoroughly. Watering as you fill the hole sometimes is easier. We put a thin layer of bark mulch under our roses to keep water from splashing up on the rose leaves that can lead to black spot and mildew. It also helps to keep weeds down.
These hardy roses will survive with little or no assistance from us. However, if you choose, you may give your roses a boost by following this general guide:
Compost: A manure compost is always appreciated. Spraying your rose with a mixture of 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 tablespoon insecticide soap and 1 gallon of warm water will clean up any winter lingering "stuff" and ward off future diseases, even though disease is rare in our roses.
Pruning: Doing no pruning is okay, but again you can "pretty" up the plants in the spring. Fall pruning before the rose is dormant may lead to sprouting in the fall and that's not good. Early spring, do the "3D pruning." By this we mean "dead, diseased and diagonal" — all obvious conditions. The stems should all be facing outwards in a vase shape. If they overlap (diagonal) crossways, prune that stem to the ground. If pruning back for shape or disease issues, try to prune back to 1/4 inch above an outfacing bud at about 12 inches from the base.
Water regularly and monthly and give your roses a drink of tea manure. Deadheading thwarts disease and leads to better bloom results but isn't necessary. Quit fertilizing in August so the rose can start getting ready for winter.
Fritz Creek Gardens