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Frequently Asked Questions

What does (PBR) after a variety stand for?

These are varieties that are grown under licence, a fee is often paid per label to the holder of the PBR.

Unauthorised commercial propagation or any sale, conditioning, export, import or stocking of propagating material of this variety is an infringement under the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994.

Spraying roses

Seeing such healthy foliage on your roses at this time of year it is very easy to ignore the need to spray for black-spot, people tend to have a perception that `the rose looks healthy to me`. We have to realise that spraying roses with preventative sprays like Kendon Triforine is the only sure guard against blackspot , powdery mildew and rust. Spring and Autumn is the worst time of the year for these fungus problems and in severe cases people can just give up putting the roses down as just too hard to grow.

Regular spraying with Triforine is needed at 7-10 day intervals to keep your roses looking at their peak throughout the whole season. If a spraying routine is not followed roses can quickly develop unhealthy leaves riddled with black spot and mildew. This will dramatically slow down the rose’s re-shooting process and as a result the next flush of roses.

So no matter where you are in Australia, after you have pruned your roses back and the new shoots reach around 10cm in length – start spraying Triforine.

Mix up your batches of Triforine in a separate container rather than your trusty all purpose spray container that may have been used for weed sprays. Every week we see disheartened customers arrive at our nursery with weed killer damage to their roses.The story is always the same as people explain just how well they cleaned the container with hot soapy water before spraying Triforine with it. You really must have a container clearly labeled for your weed killer and one for your rose spray.

Weed spray damage on roses

Before you use any type of weed killer, you have to understand just exactly how they work. You will then know if you risk damaging other plants in your garden. If you use a weed killer of any type in between plants in your garden, there is every chance that you have already done some sort of damage. It may well be the reason why some plants have already died. Many commonly used weed killers are systemic type sprays which means that if any spray touches the leaves it travels through the sap stream of the whole plant.

Exposure to even small amounts of spray can start to ‘starve’ a plant, with increased contact the plant will look sicker and there is every chance it will eventually die.

If you insist on killing of weeds with weed spray in the garden, here is a tip. Empty the contents of weed killer into a specially marked plastic container and apply the weed killer carefully with a paint brush. This way there is no wind drift and you can easily isolate weeds that need the application. Spraying weeds with weed killers in the garden has not been talked about enough we feel and if anybody would like to add a story about what happened in their garden, feel free to e-mail us here.

We think that the best way to tackle weeds is to simply mulch every year. When you do you also get the double benefits of saving water and improving soil. If you do get the odd weed

Weed Spray Damage once the mulch has been applied it will pull out much easier because of the cool and damp conditions underneath the surface.

Can I plant potted roses during the summer months?

Yes you certainly can. The secret is to keep as much potting mix together as you can. Don't tease out the root system and give them a good drink once they go in. The plants are much happier and safer in the ground than sitting in the pots.

When do I need to get my order in for the bare rooted season?

Our order books never close, you can place an order for that coming winter at anytime. The earlier you put your order in the better chance you will have of getting what you are after. Once we get closer to winter we are already selling out of certain varieties. Place your orders early to avoid disappointment.

How do I prepare my garden beds for planting?

Talking to people everyday at the nursery here has raised some interesting points on what is the best preparation to put in place before planting out your bare rooted roses in winter. Choosing the right soil is the key point in getting a good drought tolerant garden started. This only applies if you really need to bring more soil into an area which lacks good top soil. It is really very simple. Get top soil that is not sandy loam mix. Really, the more sand in a mix, the worse it is. The best soil is straight mountain soil with no additives. Years ago, that's all you could buy, over the time supplies have introduced sand and pine bark into soil to expand stock and cut costs. Using a straight mountain soil will retain moisture much better than a sandy loam mix.

I see to many people going to far too much effort and completely digging out what they believe to be ‘bad’ clay soil and dumping in a sandy loam mix, then wonder why plants die or do very poorly. When this is done, the water just sits at the bottom, the clay acts like a dam not letting go of water yet still looking dry at the top. Being so wet at the bottom simply rots the roots out. Most people that put very little effort into preparation actually get far better results. We have to remember that roses are tough and don’t need TLC at time of planting. I see programs on TV with people making a massive hole, dumping in a bag of rotted compost and manure, staking it then spreading the roots evenly over a cute little mound - none of that is necessary at all!

For starters, rule number one is no fertiliser or compost around roots. This is the biggest problem causing losses of bare rooted roses. It keeps too much water around roots and the roots don’t spread. Just plant them straight into the soil and top dress with a good organic fertiliser, then water it in and walk away. This procedure should not take longer than 30 seconds per rose, once area is ready. You should not have to water again until the hotter weather and soil starts to dry out.

How often do I need to water my roses?

This is as simple as mulching. Pea straw, sugar cane mulch, leaf and bark mulch and the list goes on. The main thing is, that if water is applied through compensated drippers, it will be far better than using mist sprayers. Misting sprayers just wet the top and can take over an hour to penetrate through an inch of mulch. Lets face it - its not the mulch your trying to keep wet (even though it has a nice visual effect), its the plants that need the water!

I have seen many people frustrated that plants are drying out and say they had been watering everyday but when I ask them to move the mulch away from the plants and see how dry it is, they are always surprised that it is still dry under there. The key is to get a good dripper system under that mulch. It does not matter if the mulch gets bone dry. That's the whole point of mulching. If you have a hose with a trigger nozzle, point it at the base of the plants when watering. Don't spray the mulch. It is about effective as watering a concrete driveway.

We have a few people coming into the nursery with roses that are getting completely black on their stems in certain parts of the garden. This is caused by the hot water in garden hoses or the hot water in black poly dripper pipe laying on top of the mulch when it should have been buried under the mulch. It is simply boiling hot and it scorches the roses. Just be aware of it as a lot of people send pics or bring in samples of burning from hot water.

Bury those dripper tubes and make sure that if your garden is on a timer that it comes on after 10pm. The water then gets a chance to cool down and roses can then draw up all the water over a longer period. Keeping foliage healthy with Triforine is very important. If they get mildew or blackspot on these hot days, the stems can also burn because there is no foliage protecting the base of the rose. Burning of the base only happens when roses drop their leaves and direct sunlight scorches stems. Without leaves, your roses will increase in temperature and the sapflow begins to slow down or stop. As the water begins to heat up, burning marks appear in leaves and stems. (This is not common but we need to make you all aware of the risk).

If you know that there is a 35c day coming up, don't dehead your roses. Even if they really need doing, just wait until the first cooler day. The way to keep those leaves healthy is to spray them with Kendon Triforine. 15ml per litre and remember to use a container that has not had any weed killer in it. This is the best way to keep black spot and mildew at bay. Just remember that roses don't need a lot of water. They are one of the most drought tolerant plants in the garden and they love the heat. So long as you keep a little water up to them, fertilise in September,December and February, you will be truly rewarded!

Melbourne's largest range of standard and potted roses.


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