Deadheading along with spraying for Black Spot continue to be the two main tasks during the height of Summer months. The word 'Dead-heading is a bad description of what needs to be done. It is not just a case of trimming off the dead flowers but
the need not only to stimulate the production of new flowers but also with light pruning to keep the bush in a reasonable state. It is important to note that new growth will come from the uppermost bud that has been left. The best rule-of-thumb is to remove
the dead shoot as though it was still being picked for the vase so that a length of 6 inches or so is removed.
There may be a need to tie some of the long new canes(often called 'water shoots') to a bamboo cane to stop them being broken off. Some
growers actually cut the water shoots in half before they flower, allowing them to harden off and support new growth on the bush. Spray for fungous disease at least every 2 weeks.
Make sure there is sufficient water available. Drippers,
especially those that can be adjusted, are best. Turned on 2-3 times a week during dry spells and delivering to each bush about 4 litres of water, will keep roses active and producing new flowers. Alternatively, give each bush 2-3 buckets of water each week
when there is no rain.
In February, prepare for a good display at Easter. Count back about 55 days from Easter, trim the bushes all over, apply Sudden Inmpact and give each bush a thorough soaking. As the new growth appears spray for Blackspot,
Downey Mildew and Aphids if necessary. At Easter the garden should be full of beautiful roses. Just before the buds open, the application of a liquid fertiliser should improve both the flower size and colour.