Sunday, February 23, 2014

My "Fairmount Red" rose has not bloomed in three years, due I feel to those last two MILD winters where I did not have to cover even basil or tomatoes. I discovered it in Denver in 1990, and made a clone for my yard there from a runner before the mowing crews nuked it. In Colorado it is a VERY cold hardy once bloomer, so I am surprised that my Tampa plant has survived at all for seven years I think. Last fall I moved it's large pot close to my north facing office wall to shade it from the fierce south sun of winter, plus to benefit whatever north winds I might get here in south Tampa. It also now gets run off from the roof. Today I gave it its first ever hard cut back...took it from well over 6 feet in that large tree pot down to 3 feet, gave it a few gallons of my "nutrient soup", 2 handfuls of Epsom salts, followed by a few gallons of rain water. Once I plant maybe a dozen glad bulbs in there I'm adding about 6 inches of mulch. Fingers crossed it blooms, in part because I miss those lovely flowers, and because I'd love to use the pollen on both 'Seagull' and "Barfield White Climber". I stuck maybe 15 cuttings in a big cookie jug with a few inches of damp coarse builder's sand on the bottom. Here, as in Denver, it is quite red ONLY when very hungry...well fed it is more of a saturated magenta. I think it can still be ordered from High Country Roses in Denver

I've done something very similar for 20 years now though I DO add purchased microbes too, like those in Primal Defense tablets for people.....all 14 were derived from healthy soil. Did wonders for my Denver and Tampa clients' roses as a one time foliar spray to inoculate the bushes and soil beneath them.