Late Winter Fertilizing

alameda/zone 8February 15, 2014

We are having our first warm days of winter after bitter temperatures. We generally don't have temps in the 30's after this time, and the extended weather report shows milder temps for the rest of the month. I have a lot of roses in pots, bands and others I purchased from Chamblees last fall that I plan to get in the ground in the next month [bands will stay potted as they don't have enough growth]. I am wondering if it would be of any help to the roses, once they start unfurling their leaf buds and looking like they want to grow, to lightly fertilize with some fish emulsion or some other type of fertilizer to sort of kick start them. I have already sprinkled some Rose Tone in the pots but know this wont do any good until the soil warms up. Feb. 14 is our pruning date, so plan to start that this weekend. Don't want to be overzealous or overanxious but wanted to get opinions......thanks!!

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Hello Judith,
The man at Chamblee's said that fertilizing now was fine. He recommended long acting Osmocote Plus, He also said you only have to use it twice a year. I wonder if anyone else has used this before?


    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 6:54PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Judith, I think it's more or less OK to add any type of organics at any time. So the Rose Tone was probably OK and fish emulsion is too. As for chemical fertilizers, I would hold off until you are absolutely certain any new growth that fertilizer may push now will not be frozen off. And in this whacked out winter I'm not sure you can be yet. Besides that, as you've said, if the soil isn't warm enough it could just be a waste of time and money. I know you're eager (I sure am and I have months to wait yet) but I think some patience and caution with this winter is in order.

I use the time release Osmocote all the time. It's worked fine for me. I've used lots of other brands too because I usually get what ever is cheapest or on sale when I need to buy more. Just read the directions carefully and follow them faithfully!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:09PM
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