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Everything will be coming up roses

By Spalding Today Columnist

While January, for many, is not their favourite month of the year, it does provide a few opportunities for getting work done in the garden.

I will admit it’s not the peak of the gardening season when jobs are plentiful but because the ground is cold and most plants are dormant, it is the best time for planting your bare root roses, trees and bare root shrubs.

By planting out your bare root plants now, it will allow the plant to establish itself just as the soil slowly begins to warm. By the time we get to Easter, your plants will have established strong and healthy root systems.

What you are in fact doing is working in harmony with Mother Nature by planting now. Just make sure though that you don’t plant anything whilst the ground is frosty.

For this week though, I’ll just concentrate on bare root roses.

This may well sound like I’m teaching you to suck eggs but the most important thing to remember is to source your plants from a quality supplier and grower.

At Baytree, we’ve been growing roses for more than 45 years and we are proud of the quality of the roses we supply. Plus, by buying your roses from a reputable grower such as ourselves, you know you’ll always have expert advice on hand whenever you need it. Right, sermon over!

To begin with, pop your bare root roses in a bucket of water for about 30 minutes to allow the roots to get really hydrated before you plant them in the soil.

Use a fork to dig over the soil where you intend to plant and remove any stones or weeds as you go.

Now using a spade dig a hole about 40cm wide by 50-60cm deep and add a good dollop of farmyard manure to the base of the hole. (Farmyard manure is available from all garden centres, including Baytree).

Here comes the science bit...hold your rose over the hole you have just dug and sprinkle some Mycorrhizal Fungi over the roots. This really helps the roots to establish themselves in the soil.

Next, spread the roots out carefully and place your rose into the hole, make sure that the graft union - which is the bit between the roots and the green stems - is below the top of the hole by about two inches.

Back-fill the hole and lightly firm the rose into position with your foot - this will also remove any air pockets in the soil.

Finish the whole procedure by watering the rose in, followed by a cup of tea. (Please note, the tea is not for the plant).

On a separate note, just remember that food is becoming scarce for our feathered friends at this time of year, so please put out some high energy fat balls in addition to seeds and mealworms for them.


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