I have never heard of drift Roses here in UK so cant go into any detail about them but as for ALL type of Roses they like a rich soil with lots of added humus dug into the planting area, this allows air to get to the soil, nutrients to be taken up by the roots and it also helps to retain moisture.
No matter what type of Rose we grow, when planting into the garden soil, make sure the roots are spread out as in the pot they are growing in, they sometimes are just growing round in circles due to loss of space in the pots.
Each year I add a handful or Rose fertiliser around the root area and rake it in with a hand fork then add another 3-4 inches of Humus, well rotter animal (horse) manure is the best you can use as it is a good mulch for summer, but IF I run out of that, then a handful of shop bought chicken pellets are good too, bever overfeed Roses OR any plants for that matter all you will do is make the plant produce week tender green shoots at the expence of good roots and flowers. keep weed free and water well,
Hope this gives you some guidelines to get you started.
Good Luck. WeeNel.
YES, I planted the apricot Drift Roses last year...they are very pretty and very disease resistant too!...
After a very cold winter (zone 5 here...I didn't cover them either...just put some chopped leaves around them in late fall after a freeze), they are coming back beautifully. Just last week, when I saw some buds, I uncovered them and gave them some Osmocote, and now they are starting to leaf out..
I planted them with a Kordes rose bush...which, by the way, is also beautiful, disease resistant also, and it looks like I will have a beautiful garden with them.
I planted 2 Apricot Drifts and they are blooming like crazy. I had some trouble finding them after the Chicago Trib mentioned the Drift roses in an article. They talked about the Popcorn Drift, but I preferred the Apricot. If the way they are thriving now is an indication of how well they do, I will be very happy. Thank you.
Oh, and I also put some of our composted horse manure around all my roses...not close to the stem, but all around the drip line...I thought they were gonna kiss me!
Seriously, if you are a beginner in roses (I was 3 yrs. ago), I started out planting 2 knockouts, then the next year I planted a John Davis rose bush (I am teaching it to wrap around our picket fence), and last year the Kordes rose bush and 2 drift roses...they are so hardy, and look wonder -full...all are disease resistant and seem to thrive very will in my zone 5.
You can buy composted manure (it can be cow, chicken, or any type manure) in bags at most big box stores or an Earl May, or any garden center. Same with compost.
I live on a 21 acre horse farm, so my manure is abundant! Out back of the barn, I take the manure fresh, dump some grass clippings on top, and any plant that is not diseased, more manure, more clippings, maybe some chopped leaves, and then let the rain rain on it for about 12-18 months and 'wa-la' composted manure!
All of my plants love it...I also use it when ever I plant a new plant in the ground...I just take a good shovel full and mix it in with the dirt, and plant the plant...
Keanl I know If you live in town or city you cant always get to any horse owners or stables BUT, look up places like riding stables or riding facilities, also stick a postcard in any store notice board asking for free Rotted HORSE manure, no matter where we are we always find any place that has horses then they are only too glad to get rid of the stack of droppings they have to deal with on a daily basis,
If you can find somewhere who wants to dump a load, maybe they will drop it off for you, a small fee or next time they are close to where you live,
Do you know anyone with a trailer to attach to back of car or a small truck, they can take you to the places but remember to take spade, gloves, large plastic bags so you dont ruin there transport, there's lots of ways to get the stuff but like you said, WHERE is the problem, once you find this gardeners gold, you have a steady flow of the stuff,.
The type your looking for is NOT fresh droppings, you want stuff that's been stored in a heap for a while until there are NO strong smells, (there's always a slight smell as you would expect but NOT like freshly laid poo) when you pick up a handful, it should feel like good quality dark coloured compost you can but from the store but, the difference is, the rotted manure is full of goodness that will add air to your garden soil making it easy to manage / dig, it helps hold onto moisture longer to allow the plants take up the water before it drains away it helps keep the roots cool and it adds nutrients to the soil that ALL plants need.
the difference between chicken pellets, composted cow etc that you buy, is there is no bulk to it so the pelleted manures, (I use when really stuck) is like a handful of to a square yard, the horse manure from the stables is bulk, you would maybe want a 6 inch layer per yard and dig this into the soil so this breaks up the soil to get all the additives the soil needs as mentioned above.
I have known some gardeners who have cried with joy when a gift of a trailer load of this manure has arrived, it is often seen here as a raffle prize at some horticultural shows so please don't let anyone tell you there is better stuff on the market, there are alternatives from stores but I promise, they are NOT the same and if you need a lot of the store products, it's costly and you still need composted humus to break up the soil no matter what type of soil you have, that's the beauty of the manure, you cant add toooooo much but you can over do all the shop products and their is a warning on these goods too. The manure from horses who are grazers, and eat straw / hay / oats ect are all natural products and the above is allowed to break down and is well rotted is the best humus of all, any weed seeds are killed by the heat as it rots so don't worry about that either.
Well that's my praises for natural additives for your soil and I sure hope you can find a way to get your hands on it.
Have a great time gardening and good luck. WeeNel.