It appears from the comments I am receiving on the previous post: Pruning Roses is a rather hot topic. So, this follow up post on rose care, will hopefully, provide as much interest and needed information to you as Pruning Roses did. The roses at Fairview are mostly all Knockouts, with some carpet roses tossed in for good measure. To keep these beauties in perpetual bloom I feed them for the first time as they break bud in the spring. Bud break is when the new growth first emerges in early spring, you will notice small red buds, this is the perfect time to give your roses the first feeding, feed again after the first flush, and lastly here in western Connecticut I give the final application in early August (you want to feed your roses for the last time about two months before the first frost). There are countless rose fertilizers, I have found after many years of trying different types, that the ones that works best for the conditions at Fairview are fertilizers with the composition of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a ratio of 8-12-4. I wont bore you with what does what, but suffice it to say the middle number provides nutrients for increased flower production. Therefore, if you have a heavy feeder, such as roses and dahlias, you want a plant food with a higher middle number apposed to a balanced 10-10-10, okay enough said on that topic.
Even though the Knockout series boasts no need for deadheading (removing spent flowers to the next leaf node) I continually deadhead them. If you do not want to deadhead, DON’T, you will still have flushes of roses throughout the growing season. However, if you deadhead, the Knockout series will provide you with almost nonstop roses from spring through fall. If you decide not to continually deadhead your roses, you can prune mid-season and end of season to provide the ever important hygiene that will provide you with healthy roses for years to come. One of the most important things you can do for your roses is to remove any diseased or unattractive foliage from the plants AS WELL AS raking up any foliage or flower petals that have fallen from the shrubs to the ground below. I make sure to do this garden task each time I feed my roses at the very least. Usually after heavy rains I deadhead and give a quick rake under the roses to keep the pests and disease at a minimum. The below pictures, show the before and after pruning and clean up. The first picture shows leaves and flower petals on the ground, the second shows a closeup of yellow leaves and finally the third picture shows what you want your roses to look like when your done.
Most importantly, have fun in your garden!!!