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Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

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Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

Post by shamous o'reily on 1st November 2010, 14:16

You get so much advice, and you hear about so many different methods of what to feed your Roses, how, why, when. It can be quite overwhelming to make an informed decision as to what method would prove best for me. Obviously - location and environmental, types of roses growing, in pots or in ground, soil types/richness etc all play factors. The most common method I am hearing in my talks and walks is a bit of Blood/Bone and a bit of Potash twice a year (I've also heard the B&B is good to keep the Rabbits at bay). This is one method. I would love to hear from the experts here on RT, as to what you feed and how, when (or not at all) and why.....

shamous o'reily

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Location : Mt Barker, SA
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Re: Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

Post by Admin on 1st November 2010, 17:08

I'm probably not normal (wel.. I know I'm not normal.. who'd be normal...), but I don't actually fertilise my roses with anything except manure from the chook yards and rabbit cages and mulch. I don't like to use any chemicals at all of any kind.

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Re: Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

Post by Balinbear on 1st November 2010, 20:30

We give the roses one feed of nitrophosphate a year and potash sometimes but we mainly use a product called kick along. It is your run of the mill pelletised chook manure with blood and bone and trace elements etc.

We compared it to sudden impact and found that if you used twice as much kick a long you would put almost exactly the same amount (in mass of the relevant elements etc) as Sudden Impact. A 35KG bag of kick along (= 17 kg of sudden impact) costs about $25 while a 10kg bucket of sudden impact costs about $45.

As our soil is quite acidic (some places it is PH 3.5) we have in the past feed the soil with lime but it does not appear to have changed the ph too much and the roses seem to grow ok so we have not bothered too much. I figure the soil down deeper where the roots go is more clyish and the ph may be highern there. I suspect the kick a long helps lift the ph as well.

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Re: Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

Post by shamous o'reily on 2nd November 2010, 14:24

PH 3.5.....wow.....

I have had the problem in reverse. Silly me had soil brought in to fill all the big holes dug for the roses. After my rose garden started looking like an autumn vinyard not long after comming alive with their spring growth - the panic button kicked in - and after frantically covering a gazilion books and web sites, I did a PH test on the soil I brought in......PH 9.... affraid

Solution - I applied sulpher and a little sprinkle of iron sulphate. Did one application on all roses which brought the PH down a bit, and then a second application 4wks later. PH now appears to be around 6-6.5 - which ironically is what my own own soil has turned out to be. It seemed to be what the doctor ordered, as the roses now have nice green leaves, instead of leaves showing signs of every mineral deficiency known to man.........learning as I go....... Stunned

shamous o'reily

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Re: Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

Post by Admin on 3rd November 2010, 00:39

This is the rationale behind my decision not to push my roses too hard with ferts etc..

I find that a lot of these ferts push the roses too hard and they make too much soft fresh green growth which is more susceptible to diseases. When I back them off a bit and grow them harder the growth is more balanced and the incidence of disease is reduced. Mulch deeply around roses and you will reduce the incidence of diseases because a lot of these diseases occur from the impact of rain/water on the soil flinging debris up into the leaves. If you put down a layer of mulch the impact is reduced and your roses grow more cleanly. The same effect can be had by underplanting with ground covers. I find chamomile daisies to be ideal. Roses ARE gross feeders but all of what they need can be supplied using a few things such as manures and lucerne mulch. Blood and Bone is great but it attracts my dogs who then dig up the garden to get to it. Tests done by Swanes determined that lucerne mulch contains the perfect combination of nutrients required for good healthy roses. I am lucky in that I live on red soil that is so fertile I could grow a baby in it, but still, a more natural approach often pays off in the long run even here. My soil is better in the long run and doesn't suffer such rapid and serious pH swings. It stays more uniformly moist even in summer, it supports better populations of the various decomposers and detritivores and keeps the roots cooler in summer. You need to keep in mind one simple thing with everything you do, whether it be roses, chooks, aquariums, etc and that is 'Bad things happen fast and good things happen slowly'. If you change your soil pH too quickly you are essentially putting at risk all the micro-organisms that live in the soil and not all microorganisms are bad... most are good and your plants totally depend on them. Lucerne is grown in fields that are pumped full of ferts and a lot of these ferts remain in the plant material once harvested and are released slowly into the ground to counter these problems we traditionally have wth Aussie gardens; low nutrient levels... esp. phosophorus levels. Adding too much nitrogen to soils will result in acidification over time. I've been into aquariums now for 30 years and know all too well the effect of pH on aquarium conditions.. change it too quickly and everything dies... gardens are not that much different. Animal manures are ideal for your garden and you can buy well composted cow manure from landscape supply stores for not much... something like $40 a trailer load down here. I need about 5 trailer loads to cover all my rose gardens so instead I use whatever I rake out of my chicken coops, my rabbit cages and my alpaca poop stations and slowly work my way around the property. I'm pretty much a tree hugging greenie... but I put faith in natural systems above all others and it works for me.

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Re: Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

Post by Balinbear on 3rd November 2010, 09:28

I'll be down on the weekend to steal your dirt!

Seriously though our place is probably an example of what range of soils roses will grow in. Sandy in parts (that dry dirt that water won't soak into) clay in others, deep loam in one spot and hardly any in others. PH 3.5 -5 de[pending where you test.

I agree with the natural approach though if you wanted a trailer load of cow manure up here it would costs 100,s of dollars (if you could get it). Same with lucerne. We sometimes get sweepings (still charge $5 a bag) from the local stockfood but any lucerne that comes up our way is quckly grabbed by horse owners.

We have a horse and use the manure but it takes a long time to break down when compared to cow manure. I did run some through a mucher once and got a good power but it kept clogging up the mucher unles you did it real slow.

We mulch with grass hay or sugar cane mulch which we can get in big bales though the supply is reducing as no one can afford to grow sugar up our way anymore. We are also incresing our underplantings though with 2 or so acres of garden it is taking a lot of plants. Luckily (or by choice) the plants we use can be easily propagated.

I certainly would not call myself a tree hugging greenie but I do believe in natural systems to maintain the soil.The one feed of chemical fertilisers we give our plants is at the start of spring to give them a bit of a kick start and I reakon that it is soon flushed from the system by the amount of rain we get. The chook poo etc takes a bit longer to break down so it stays in the system a bit longer.
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Re: Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

Post by shamous o'reily on 3rd November 2010, 16:39

This is great feed back. I was reading an old thread here on RT, "why are my roses dying young" I think it was called. The feed back here on this thread has me thinking about that one. Do you think all these super dooper fertilisers may cause the roses to "live hard and die fast". I supose no one can run a marothon forever without collapsing????? Zzzzzzz

Idea I have 3 x osiria (potted) currently on order due to arrive soon (first time I have ordered potted, so this will be a new experience). I think I might do an experiment with 3 different feeding methods and observe the results (yes the fert. guys have done all this already, but its a learning experience for me, and a bit of fun, not to mention a little something to share here at RT). May try a green approach on one as mentioned by Simon, and KickAlong (I hadn't heard of that product before thank you Balinbear - I've been checking it out on the net) and possibly a "Big Name Brand" Fertilizer on the 3rd Spinner

shamous o'reily

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Re: Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

Post by Balinbear on 3rd November 2010, 17:09

Shamous
Kick a Long is the brand name from the hardware where i getup here. It is also sold under a couple of other names depending where you purchase it. I think Dynamic Lifter has a similar product.
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Re: Feeding / Fertilising regimes...

Post by Admin on 3rd November 2010, 17:16

Be careful with the dynamic lifter one. I use it on my potted babies... BUT... this year for some reason it burnt off and killed a whole stack of them. It's never done this in previous years but this year my baby China seedlings objected greatlty, I killed a large 2 year old laevigata with it, and a whole stack of baby angel wings seedlings... Otherwise it's great on potted roses Rolling Eyes. Never used it in the garden. Would cost me too much to put over a few acres of roses Rolling Eyes

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