JANUARY Make sure your roses are well mulched and are given good deep watering so they do not dry out in the hot weather, especially if going on holidays. Keep the spent blooms trimmed off by cutting with short stems to encourage new bushy growth.
If high temperatures are forecast, water a day or two beforehand so plant can be well hydrated to cope with the heat.
FEBRUARY To bring on the autumn display lightly trim all over the bush in mid-February by cutting off finished flowers with a short stem.
Fertilise with Neutrog’s ‘Rapid Raiser’ or ‘Rose food’ according to instructions. Continue to water deeply once a week.
MARCH Good quality autumn blooms usually commence late this month.
Aphids often appear and should be checked. Squirting a jet of water on the colony to break them up. Predators will soon control the pests so don’t use insecticides which kill the good insects also the bad.
Send away for new season catalogues.
APRIL The best autumn display is this month. Prune winter flowering varieties now (Lorraine Lee and Nancy Hayward). Easy to remember is around Easter or Anzac Day.
Time to select new roses for future planting. Order while they are flowering to help with your choice. Prepare the soil for new beds.
Black-spot, mildew or rust may appear following dewy nights and warm days. Treat with ‘Eco Oil’, or ‘Mancozeb’.
MAY Good blooms can continue well into the month. Don’t let Black-spot or Mildew get out of hand or will be harder to control next spring.
JUNE Plants are going dormant with leaves changing colour to autumn shades and begin to drop, with occasional flowers.
Planting time for new plants. Pruning may commence in late June.
JULY Work month. Pruning time in most districts. In frosty districts delay pruning until now.
Rake up cuttings and leaves and dispose of them. Spray thoroughly with ‘Liquid Copper’, or ‘Copper oxy-chloride’ followed by ‘White oil’ or ‘Pest Oil’
AUGUST Bare-rooted plants can still be planted this month. If using organic fertiliser can be applied later this month.
SEPTEMBER This is the main fertilising for the year. Bushes should be in full spring growth.
‘Mildew’ or ‘Black-spot’ may appear. Watch for aphids on growing shoots.
Mulch the rose bed to retail moisture and smother weeds – use Pea-straw, Lucerne Hay, Wood or bark chips, seaweed, deciduous leaves or similar organic material.
OCTOBER Main flush of spring blooms will commence later in the month.
Species and Heritage roses bloom at various times throughout October and November.
DECEMBER Continue steady watering. Watch out for ‘Spider Mites’ during hot, dry weather – to discourage them wet the foliage and surrounding soil occasionally.