Grab your spot now before we sell out for your preferred weekend (which might be Mother’s Day, just sayin’). We are taking reservations on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 am - 4 pm, on the hour.
Nursery Roses for Sale this Summer
If you hadn’t guessed, I am so utterly and completely head over heels in love with roses. This year, I am trying something new, and that is buying roses as liners. Liners are flat trays with baby starter plants grown from cuttings, in this case, 32 roses per tray. I have purchased 12 varieties of roses, one variety per tray.
My goals with this new project are to:
- Learn how to raise roses to maturity in a greenhouse
- Grow around 200 roses for resale this year
- Plant out another 150 to add to our you pick field
- Finally put our hoop house to good use
- Get some first hand experience with own root roses grown from cuttings
I will have these roses for sale hopefully later this summer, in 3 months or so. In the meantime, take a look at the varieties I am trying. I have pictures of them all at the end of this blog post and newsletter.
So Many Little Fruitlets in the Orchard - Go Kill Them!
And now for a brief detour from roses for a fruit tree PSA: thin your fruit!
This somewhat dry spring has been disappointing for lack of rainfall accumulation, but OMG, does it make for some good weather for stone fruit set. Our peaches, plums, nectarines and even apricots are loaded! As thrilling as it is to see so many tiny little fruits appearing on branches, now comes the next big orchard task, thinning the fruit to produce a bigger, better and healthier harvest. I have already been thinning peaches, and I should really get started on some of the pears in the next week or so.
This thinning task can be hard to do, for it is literally killing most of those precious little fruits to ensure the health and size of your harvest. Never fear, I wrote a long guide to fruit thinning a few years ago, for you to read and use in your own home orchard. Check it out.
Give Your Garden Roses Some Spring Love
For those of you growing roses at home, now is a great time to give them a little extra pampering for the season to come. If you haven’t pruned them yet, definitely do a quick clean up of any dead, diseased or damaged growth from last year, remove sad looking leaves, cut down any really tall canes by half and deadhead if needed.
Next up, feed them, for roses are hungry for nutrients. Here in our rose field, I try to feed them monthly, to encourage repeat blooming. I was surprised and delighted to learn a few years ago that alfalfa is a great rose food. I buy organic alfalfa pellets intended as rabbit feed, and use a cup or so for each rose bush in the early spring when new growth is beginning to show, or later. Read more about why alfalfa is such a great food here.
New Rose Varieties
One of the common misconceptions about roses is that they are hard to grow. Though historically roses were often disease prone, modern breeders have worked hard to create disease resistant, reblooming, fragrant varieties, which are mostly what I grow.
This is a good article describing some of the modern rose breeders from around the world.
I tend to select these modern roses for my own field and nursery, with an emphasis on fragrance and old fashioned forms. These are the varieties I will be growing in the hoop house this year, all from Star Roses.
Apricot Candy - Upright, 5–5½' h x 2–3' w
Deelish - Very Upright, 6–6½' h x 3' w
Moonlight Romatica - Upright, Bushy, Up to 6½' h
Princess Charlene de Monaco - Upright, Bushy, 5–5½' h x 2–3' w
Sweet Mademoiselle - Upright, Up to 5' h
Michelangelo - Upright, Tall, 5' h x 3' w
Earth Angel Parfuma - Bushy, 5' h x 4' w
Eternal Flame - Upright, Tall, 4–5' h x 2–3' w
Oh Happy Day Eleganza - Upright, 4–5' h x 3–3½' w
Pink Traviata - Upright, Tall, 3–4' h x 4–5' w
Summer Romance Parfuma - Upright, 4' h x 3' w
Bolero - Bushy 3–4' h x 2–3' w
Rio Samba - Upright 5–6' h x 3–4' w
Love And Peace - Upright, Medium, 4–6' h x 2–3' w