You might notice your roses are looking a tad confused at the moment - some are choosing to flower profusely, while others have folded early and headed into winter.
Although hard pruning is generally saved for the cooler winter months between July and August, there are still a few things you can do to prepare your roses for a bumper next season!
- Mulch around your roses generously - they are heavy feeders and like to be nurtured at root level over the cooler months. It’s been a tough summer for them!
- Give all your roses a good handful of compost, sheep pellets or rose fertiliser as the rain will ensure it absorbs in well
- Don’t currently have mulch on hand? Have a look at our handy tips and home remedies
- Lightly deadhead and remove any old buds with sharp secateurs to tidy things up
- You can treat any pest-infected leaves with seasonal products you may have in the shed (lime sulphurs and copper sprays), otherwise this can wait. Just be sure to remove and rake up any affected leaves from around the base of the roses and dispose of these offsite (in your normal rubbish is fine). And don’t add them to the compost!
- You can use this time to weed carefully around your roses - the sparse leaf cover means tricky thorns can be more easily avoided.
Perhaps the best advice comes from 78 year old rose connoisseur Annette Hildesheim "Talk nicely to them. Never swear at them when you get scratched. You need to apologise for getting in their way."