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The Rose: Its General Care And Culture
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It is much more difficult to grow good roses than to grow either chrysanthemums or carnations. They are more particular as to soil and as to temperature, and more quickly affected by insects and disease. Nevertheless there is no reason why the amateur who is willing to be painstaking should not succeed with the hardier varieties. Some roses are much more easily grown than others. Plants may be grown from cuttings of the ripened wood, which should have become too hard to comply with the "snapping test" (see page 30) used for most other plants. By far the best way for the beginner, however, is to buy from the nurserymen or florist. This is especially true of the many sorts which do better when grafted on a strong growing stock. There are two ways of buying the plants: either in the dormant state, or growing, out of pots. In the first way you get the dry roots and canes (2-year olds) from the nursery as early as possible in the spring and set them in nine-inch pots to plunge outdoors, or boxes, allowing 6 x 6 to 12 inches for room if you want them for use in the house in the winter. Cut back one-half at time of planting, and after watering to bring the soil to the right degree of moisture, go very light with it until the plants begin active growth, when it is gradually increased. As with chrysanthemums, as the plants get large, fertilizers and liquid manure must be given to maintain the supply of plant food. Let the plants stay out when cold weather comes, until the leaves have dropped and then store until December or January in a cold dry place where they will not be frozen too hard or exposed to repeated thawings--a trial that few plants can survive. Bring into warmth as required. The above treatment is for plants for the house. For the greenhouse bench get plants that are growing. They should be clean and healthy, in four-or five-inch pots. They are set 12 x 12 to 12 x 16 inches apart, depending upon whether the variety is a very robust grower. The best time for setting is April to July first, according to season in which it is desired to get most bloom. As a rule early planting is the more satisfactory. One of the most important points in success with roses is to provide thorough drainage. Even when raised beds are used, as will generally be the case in small houses, wide cracks should be left every six inches or so. If the house is low, room may be saved by making a "solid" bed directly upon the ground, putting in seven or eight inches of prepared soil on top of two or three inches of clinkers, small stone or gravel. The preparation of the soil is also a matter of great importance. It should be rather "heavy," that is, with considerably more clay than average plant soil. Five parts rotted loam sod, to one to two parts rotted cow manure, is a good mixture. It should be thoroughly composted and rotted up. When filling the bench press well down and if possible give time to settle before putting in the plants. The plants should be set in firmly. Keep shaded and syringe daily in the morning until well established. Great care must be taken to guard against any sudden changes, so that it is best to give ventilation gradually and keep a close watch of temperature, which should be kept from fifty-five to fifty-eight at night in cold weather. Care should be taken to water early in the morning, that the leaves may dry off by night. At the same time it is well to keep the atmosphere as moist as possible to prevent trouble from the red spider (see page 134) which is perhaps the greatest enemy of the rose under glass. As large growth is reached, liquid manure or extra food in the form of dry fertilizer must be given, a good mixture for the latter being 1 lb. of nitrate of soda, one of sulphate of potash and ten of fine bone. Wood ashes sprinkled quite thick upon the soil and worked in are also good. As the plants grow tall, they will have to be given support by tying either to stakes or wires. It is well to pick off the first buds also, so that mature growth may be made before they begin to flower heavily. The plants should at all times be kept scrupulously clean. The roses suited for growing in pots or boxes, to be dried off and brought into heat in January or February, are the hybrid perpetuals, and the newer ramblers, Crimson, Baby White and Baby Pink. For growing in benches, as described, the teas are used. Among the best of the standard sorts of these are Bride, Perle, Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, Bridesmaid, Pres. Carnot, Meteor, Killarney. New sorts are constantly being tried, and some of these are improvements over old sorts. The catalogues give full description. For growing at a low temperature, fifty-five degrees or so, the following are good: Wootton, Papa Gontier, red; Perle, yellow; Bridesmaid, large pink; Mad. Cousin, small pink; Bride, white. The above will make a good collection for the beginner to try his or her hand with.

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