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Reconditioning old rose gardens



It is inadvisable to attempt to rejuvenate the whole of a large garden at the one time. It is better to do it bed by bed, spreading the program over several years. Then a bed should be cleared after either the spring or autumn blooming, and lightly dug. Allow this to fallow for a few weeks. Then double-trench to a depth of about eighteen inches and again leave it rough for a couple of weeks. Give a good dressing of bone-meal, and stir it well into the soil by several turnings to the depth of the spade.

The process should have taken about six or seven weeks by this time. If the roses were removed in late spring, it will now be about 20th to 25th December. Dahlias and annuals may be planted; they will do the soil a great deal of good and provide autumn flowers. When discarded they should be stored in the compost heap, spread over beds, or dug into the ground; any vegetable matter is invaluable. Do not dig them into the bed that is being reconditioned. If the roses were retained for the autumn blooming the schedule will be the same from late May onwards as from late December onwards in the former instance.


In early June, a dressing of compost, cow manure, or strawy stable manure should be spread to a depth of two to three inches if that quantity can be obtained. Do not dig it in until weeds have grown to a height of six to eight inches.


All through the winter all the ash from wood fires and the incinerator should be carefully stored under cover to avoid its becoming wet. Much of its valuable content is very soluble, and wetting causes it to be lost. Coal ash or coke ash is useless. Nothing should be burnt in the incinerator if it can be composted.


In early spring the ashes must be spread over the bed as evenly as possible. A further light dressing of bone-meal may be applied simultaneously. The bed should be turned several times to assure a good even mixing. Then the surface must be carefully levelled and a leguminous crop sown broadcast or in rows six to eight inches apart. All legumes have the ability to absorb atmospheric nitrogen and store it in root nodules. This is not done by any other family of plants. The best legumes for our purpose are lupins and red clover, the latter being probably the better. Maize is favoured as a green crop by many growers.


In autumn the red clover crop should be dug in and the ground left in a rough state until mid June. It would be of great benefit to repeat the whole process for another year, but very good results will be obtained if the bed is left to lie for a few weeks while the clover disintegrates and the soil is then dug again twice before about i oth July. Replanting with roses could be done in late July. You can find  info about all plants and their growing with plant identification app review, free on itunes.

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Copyright 2020 [Howard Payne]

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