I find that hybrids and T-roses do not do well in this climate (Bucks County, PA) because of the high humidity in this region. An alternative is to plant shrub roses which bloom all summer, require relatively less maintenance, and are disease resistant. Shrub roses come in many colors so they’re easy to match any garden design. Another alternative is climbing roses.
As the season progresses, be sure to prune your roses to increase their flowering. In the spring, let shrub roses come to bloom, and then prune them. Let them come to full bloom again and prune them again in June. Then start dead heading. With T-roses and hybrids, cut them in the spring, let them come to full bloom, and then start dead heading them. The more flowers you cut, the more will bloom.
Roses are heavy feeders. They should be fed once a week. Be sure not to over feed them. You may feed them a slow, time release granulate, liquid fertilizer or a combination of the two. Liquid fertilizer is like a shot of orange juice: it goes right to the system and perks them up. Be protective of your roses. Mother and smother them. Enhance the soil with peat moss, humus and compost.
With weather conditions becoming increasingly volatile, roses are becoming less capable of protecting themselves. Just like people, high stress conditions make roses disease prone. Last year a combination of heavy rain in the spring followed by draught in the summer lead to the spread of Black Leaf Disease. To stop the spread of Black Leaf Disease, pick off the leaves infected with black spots or it will spread to the rest of the bush and other flowers in the bed.
Another threat to the beauty and health of your roses are aphids and beetles. An eco-friendly solution to pesky predators is to introduce lady bugs to your roses to keep the environment in balance.
Get ready for perennials and annuals! Start to plan color, texture, and garden design schemes. Mid-May is the time to start planting. If the weather is too cold, start your seeds inside in small pots and then transfer them outside when the weather is consistently warmer. Remember to mix annuals and perennials in your plans to ensure blooming all spring and summer!
Need some help with your Bucks County garden design? Stone Creek Landscaping can install any type of garden design including: Victorian, English, cottage, bulb, herb, kitchen and Japanese. Contact us today!