CARING FOR ESTABLISHED ROSES
Try this homemade recipe for knock-your-socks-off roses:
Just before flowering gently work around the drip line of each rose:
* 1 cup alfalfa pellets (stimulates root growth)
* 2 Tbsp. magnesium sulphate or Epsom salts (magnesium assists in
* 1/4 cup rock phosphate (adds phosphorus and sweetens the soil)
When roses start to leaf out in spring spraying them with liquid seaweed
improves disease resistance.
* 1 cup alfalfa pellets
* 2 Tbsp. magnesium sulphate
Mix with 2 gallons of water. Steep for 24 hours.
Water around each rose in a watering can.
Stop feeding your roses as new growth can be injured in winter
And yes, (to the truests out there) Magnesium sulphate is not an organic compound (there is no carbon in it) but, this post is from the president of my organic gardening club and she is also the propreitor of the only organic nursery in Victoria (that I am aware of) so, based on this, I consider this to be healthy for the plant and the soil.
NOTE: The manure talk below.
It's important to know the source of what you are adding to your soil,
especially in the case of your food garden. I avoid cow and chicken
manure, unless I know the farmer uses organic practices, and has not
been feeding animals with hormone-laced feed and routinely treating them
The safest way to go is sheep, llama and horse manure, horse being the
most commonly available and probably cheapest too. This is because
generally the 'pharmaceutical' input for these animals is minimal,
therefore reducing the potential for adding unwanted chemicals to your
soil. Watch out for hay seeds in horse manure, they can sprout and be a
pain. Hogfuel, (not from treated wood), is a good mix with horse manure,
the nitrogen from the manure and carbon from the woodchips makes for
speedy decomposition and good humus formation. Usually sheep and llama
manure is unadulterated, you only get pure pellets, which is why the
cost is greater.
Mushroom manure is a rich, dark, moist mixture of wheat straw, peat
moss, cottonseed meal, gypsum, lime, and chicken litter. This
combination of ingredients is used in commercial mushroom farms to grow
mushrooms. These materials are composted for many weeks and then placed
into a huge room where it is completely sterilized and then the mushroom
growing cycle begins. Strangely enough, mushrooms will only grow in this
mixture for a very short time, usually 18 to 20 days. At this time the
compost has to be removed and a brand new batch will already have been
prepared for the next crop.
I have reservations about using mushroom manure because of the chicken
litter input and the fact that the cottonseed meal is most likely
genetically modified. Cotton, corn and soy seedmeals are all most likely
genetically modified nowadays. Organic seedmeals are the only way to be
sure that you are not contaminating your soil with gm substances.