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How To Grow Your Van Meuwen Plants Beginning With R

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RASPBERRIES

Aftercare: Plant canes 1m apart. Only shallow planting is necessary, the upper roots just below the soil surface. Cut down the planted canes to about 30cm from the ground in March to bear fruit the following summer. At the end of autumn cut down all canes that have borne fruit to ground level. A mulch of grass in May is beneficial to the plants. Supplement by sulphate of potash 1-2oz per metre.

RED GOOSEBERRY

Aftercare: A well-drained medium loam soil provides ideal conditions for many years of cropping. Planting distance 5ft (1.5m). Cultivation consists of hoeing, applying a sulphate of potash (1oz per sq yd) during March, followed by a mulch of straw or compost in April. Established bushes will need pruning late winter.

RHODODENDIRONS

Flowering time: May to June
Height: In colours, 6-8ft (180-240cm); Dwarf and Mini, 30-40in (75-100cm);Yakushimanum, 24in (60cm)
Aftercare: These evergreen plants will thrive in full sun if the roots are kept moist. Ideally they should be planted in a well-drained sandy loam, but light soils can be enriched and heavy soil lightened by the liberal addition of peat, hop manure or leaf-mould. Plant just covering the soil ball. Give annual mulch. Pruning unnecessary, but dead head after flowering.

RIBES

Flowering time: March to May
Height: 6-8ft (180-240cm); spread, 5-7ft (150-215cm)
Aftercare: Will grow well in any fertile soil, but require an open position with good drainage. Soak the roots for 2-3 hours prior to planting. Spread the roots out carefully and plant firmly 3ft (90cm) apart. When planting is complete, water well and continue watering for a few days if the weather is dry. Remove old wood annually in May.

ROSES

Planting: Roses will grow well in any fertile soil, but they require an open position with good drainage. Soak the roots for 2-3 hours prior to planting. Dig the soil to a depth of 18 inches (45cm) mixing in a good supply of decomposed manure, compost or general fertiliser. Roses grow quickly once established so leave at least 18 inches (45cm) between bushes. Plant so that the union of the scion and stock (i.e. the point at which the rose has been budded) is slightly below the surface of the soil. Make sure that the roots are well spread out. Tread firmly as there is always a tendency for the soil to become loose through the action of frost. Retread at pruning time. When planting is complete, water well and continue to water for a few days if the weather is dry.
Aftercare: Newly planted roses should be hard pruned in the spring (i.e. Hybrid Teas to within two or three eyes, Floribundas to four eyes of the union of the rose with the root stock). In the following years pruning should be done in two stages. In the autumn remove all soft and weak growth and shorten the remaining hard wood by a third. Finalise pruning in March by cutting back to within two or three buds of the previous growth. Wherever possible remove some old wood from the crown of the of the plant.
Pruning: Head the roses back by about a third at the end of the flowering season (November). Before growth begins the following season, halve the remaining wood. Follow this simple procedure and you will be rewarded with vigorous growth and copious blooms.

CLIMBING ROSES

No pruning for at least one year after planting. Tie in the main shoots to a suitable support, arranged to cover the area required. When the required height is reached, remove tips and trim the strongest side shoots by almost one third of their length. Cut out all weak and unripe wood.

GROUND COVER ROSES

Prior to planting ensure that the site has been well dug over, a small amount of bone meal can be added and well raked in. Allow a gap of 3-4ft (90-120cm) between the roses as the following year they will grow to about 4ft in diameter.

HEDGING and STROMBOLI ROSES

Prepare soil as above. Plant 24 inches (60cm) apart. After planting, prune in spring to four eyes above the union of the rose with the root stock. Following years prune in spring to required height and shape.

MINI ROSES

Height: 12-15in (30-37cm). Ideal for borders, beds, window boxes and patio tubs. Plant in a sunny position in any well-drained soil. The addition of a light application of peat around the roots will prove beneficial. Light pruning is necessary to keep the rose from becoming 'leggy' and to retain a pleasing shape. Remove faded blooms as this helps formation of other flowers.

STANDARD - BUSH and MINI ROSES

Dig area where rose is to be planted and add a small amount of bonemeal. Make a hole larger than the roots, place a stout stake in hole so that the top is just below the head of the rose. Fill in hole and firm soil around rose and stake, ensuring they are upright. Tie rose to stake to hold secure. Pruning as Hybrid Tea roses mentioned above.

STANDARD - WEEPING

Dig area where rose is to be planted and add a small amount of bonemeal. Make a hole larger than the roots, place a stout stake in the hole so that the top is just below the head of the rose. Fill in hole and firm soil around rose and stake, ensuring they are upright. Tie rose to stake to hold secure. Ideally place a frame underneath head to assist training of rose to an even shape. Very little pruning required, only to keep in shape as required.

RUELLIA

Height: 40in (1m)
Aftercare: Needs frost protection. Grow in any fertile, humus rich, moist soil in full sun or partial shade.

RUSSIAN VINE (Polygonum)

Flowering time: July to September
Height: grows 10-15ft (300-450cm) in a year
Aftercare: Will grow in any type of soil or location. Ideal for screening unsightly garden sheds or let it ramble along fences or through trees.