EXTENSION CONNECTION: Late-summer landscape jobs still make a difference

Published: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 04:00 PM.

Gardeners often neglect their roses during the busy summer months, but it’s not too late to start rose care again. Here’s how to get those roses blooming for the fall.

1.Remove healthy top growth, as well as dead twigs and branches. Cut out any diseased, injured or spindly growth and shorten the main canes and lateral branches. But leave at least half the length of each main cane that’s one to three years old. It takes healthy rose bushes approximately six weeks from pruning to the beginning of a flush of flowers.

2. Follow a spray schedule to control insects and diseases. Weekly application of a fungicide is especially important. This will provide a “protective shield” over the new growth that will greatly reduce black spot and powdery mildew problems.

3. If the roses have not been recently fertilized, an application of fertilizer now will be beneficial. If granular fertilizer is used, spread it well beyond the drip line of foliage and water it in for faster action.

Now is a good time to propagate many ornamentals such as oleanders, hydrangeas and azaleas.

To produce azaleas in this manner, take tip cuttings 3 to 5 inches long with several leaves attached. Place the cuttings in a rooting medium in a shady area and keep them moist by covering them with a plastic bag or by using a mist system. Many rooting mediums can be used. The most common are sand and mixtures of peat and perlite. You may want to use a rooting hormone to hasten root growth.

Late summer and early fall is an ideal time to lift daylily clumps, divide and replant them. The objective is to get the new divisions to establish a good root system during the fall and late winter period.

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