Deciding to plant your own rose garden will certainly provide you with many hours of joy but be prepared because it will also take some good old-fashioned hard work and effort. For rose lovers, however, that will be a small price to pay once they see the gorgeous, fragrant flowers springing to life.
Before you decide on the kind of roses you want to grow, you need to select a site. Pick an open space with no other shrubs or trees and make sure it gets plenty of sun and drains well. A location that gets morning sun and shade in the afternoon is preferred but choose a location that received a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sun for best flower production.
Now, what kind of roses do you want in your garden? There are a number of varieties, including floribundas, shrubs, hybrid tea roses, grandifloras, tree roses, miniatures, climbers and patio trees. All would be spectacular additions to any garden.
Make sure you prepare the soil for planting – and because roses are pretty picky when it comes to that you might want to have your soil tested or at least prepared in a way that you are giving them the start and fertile soil conditions they will thrive on. Once that’s done, you’ll know exactly what needs to be added to the soil in order to give your roses the best possible growing opportunity. Generally roses are heavy feeders and do well with soils high in organic value. A organic soil additive can be used to prepare individual holes for each rose or one can also prepare an entire rose bed by incorporating and tilling organic matter into the entire area. The former works well as long as prepare a larger enough hole for each in the approximate range of 18-24” wide for each. When excavating for each roses planting pit, prepare the backfill with a mixture of at least ½ supplemented organic soil additive such as Daddy Pete’s Cow Manure and amend with a good well balanced granular Rose fertilizer.
Before planting, you may want to prune the tops, leaving 8 to 12 inches. Many roses that you acquire from a garden center will be prepped and pruned and are ready to plant. If roses you acquire are tall or lanky, we’d suggest you prune down to 12-18” in height. What little loss you experience in size, you’ll quickly regain. You might also need to clip the tips of the roots at least half an inch, which will make them grow a little faster. Once they’re in the ground, mold a mound of mulch or soil around the stems, which helps prevent damage from the wind or cold weather.
Once the roses are planted, apply Fertilome root stimulator, then add a granular Rose fertilizer two weeks later. When they begin growing, you can remove the mound of mulch and soil around the plant. Make sure you feed them monthly with rose food or composted manure.
After the first feeding, add mulch (three to six inch layer), which helps keeps the plant moist. When the weather turns cold in winter, add more mulch, particularly around the base of the plant.
It’s crucial to water newly planted roses often during the first month and then every week to 10 days after that. Try to keep water off the leaves and always water your plants in the morning. Also don’t forget to protect them against pests and disease with a natural fungicide.