Roses - Getting Started
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Rosarians dream of perfection in performance of their roses. Much time, labor and money is involved in planning our rose gardens - future gardens and revitalizing our present ones.
Many people buy a new rose bush, put it in a freshly prepared hole and it goes down hill in a year or two. You are ready to dig it out and try another rose, only to repeat the same scenario again. To solve this dilemma, it could be the soil pH. Almost everything we add to our rose beds tend to lower the soil pH. It only takes a couple of years for our soil pH to get out of balance unless we do something about it.
Have you had a soil analysis recently? Roses do best
in soil of pH 6.5 to 6.8. If you are in doubt about your soil, now
is a good time to get it analyzed. Dig down in the rose bed about
inches with a trowel or shovel (be careful not to damage rose
roots). Go through the rose bed four to six different areas - both
ends of the rose bed, both sides of the bed and a couple of other areas in
the rose bed. Mix the dry soil and place in a plastic bag.
Arrange to bring the sample to your local
extension office for analysis.
of the Rose Bed
No Wet Feet
Bare Root Roses
Before planting, soak the entire bare root rose(s) in water for 24 hours in order to add moisture to the roots and canes.
eight ounces of phosphorus at the
bottom of the hole before planting the rose bush. Phosphorus
promotes root growth. Once you have added phosphorus, build a small
cone of dirt in the hole - plant the bare root rose over the cone so the
roots are spread out. The union bud or graft union should be planted
an inch below the soil line. This protects the bush during our cold
winters. Water the new bush thoroughly. Then continue to add
soil in the hole and also cover with soil the entire bare root rose.
This protects the canes from rapid drying due to wind, etc... Continue to leave soil around the bush until you
notice leaves appearing from the soil. At that time you can gently
remove soil with your hand or a small stream of water from the garden
hose. Be careful that you do not break off any new growth on the
Once you have cut back the old canes, make a shallow trench around each rose bush with a trowel or your hand. Apply 8 ounce cup of 13-13-13 granular fertilizer to each plant. Water in fertilizer thoroughly. When you are through, go back and water again. Your objective is to see that the fertilizer has dissolved and worked down toward the root area. When you are finished watering, go back and cover up the shallow trench with your hand. Fertilization of roses is a must to encourage production of large, vigorous basal canes. These are the new canes that are formed at the base of the union bud. If a cane from the rootstock appears, this is called a "sucker" and has much smaller leaves. The cane should be broken off at the union bud as soon as you see it.
For best long-term results, use one fungicide every week for three weeks of each month. Then use another fungicide on the fourth or last week of each month.
When you notice insect damage on the leaves or blooms of your roses, add an insecticide to your weekly spray program - usually the first part of May. The fungicide and insecticide can be added in the same container and sprayed together. As always, carefully read directions on your chemical containers.
Roses should be watered or have moisture in the soil before spraying. If the soil is too dry you could burn the rose leaves.
Another useful trick is to add one tablespoon per gallon of a soluble fertilizer referred to as foliar fertilizer to the mix. When you have the fungicide, insecticide, water soluble fertilizer in the tank sprayer, add one squirt per gallon of an inexpensive detergent in the sprayer and shake well before spraying. The detergent acts as a spreader sticker. Spray under and on top of all the rose leaves. If you have spray left over do not spray roses again. Instead spray your perennials such as phlox, zinnias or lilac shrubs. Do not save spray to use the following week. Clean sprayer after every use. **Do not spray rugosa roses.**
Rose growing pays big dividends in beauty and satisfaction to the grower. It seems like hard work but it is well worth it.
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