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Roses: how do you amend your planting hole?

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trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 10, 2006
2:55 PM

Post #2987409

a good point was brought up on the Roses for Shade thread. we need a good, all-around thread for the planting of a rose, so c'mon everyone, give us your advice, your methods, your expertise...and don't forget to include what kind of ground you are working with at the onset.
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

December 10, 2006
3:34 PM

Post #2987487

I have clay soil. I dig a hole twice as wide and not quite as deep and fill hole w/ mushroom compost. Mushroom compost is the one readily avail.to me so that's why I use it. Have not lost a rose yet, they seem to love it. On newly created beds, I have topdresssed the area w/ 4-6" compost. W/ the top dressing the roses have even more nutrients available. I water the area thoroughly then put mulch around the base. I never let new roses go dry. The only time I almost lost a rose is 'cause I was neglectful w/ watering. I find fall planting is best, but have also planted in spring. No summer planting.

My two Parade minis are potted and I used compost for planting them. In the beginning they looked ratty, but this fall they have bloomed nicely.
nikki_conway
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 10, 2006
5:56 PM

Post #2987865

I started out using 1/2 of my regular soil, which is clay and rocks. They other 1/2 was compost, and a little extra peat. My hole was a couple of feet wide and deep.
I later just mixed what was in the pots with the soil, because I was trying to hurry, and get them into the ground. I used bone meal also, either in the hole, or as a dressing at some point.
I have put down gypsum around all my beds and plan to do the rest of the yard as it may change to beds at some point. Right before the cold set in I took someone's advice and dressed the roses with some potassium crystals.
I have mulch and chicken wire cages, just on new guys...mulch everywhere though.
Burlap around extreme wind areas.
We'll see????????
venu209
Jersey Shore, NJ
(Zone 7a)

December 11, 2006
12:39 AM

Post #2988708

My starting soil is sandy which is great for drainage but not very rich. I add compost and alfalfa and till it in whenever possible. I did invest in some topsoil this year for the 2 new beds in front of the house and I think I might have been better off dumping in a lot more compost and wearing out the rototiller. Time will tell on that choice. I top dress with cedar mulch or more compost. The top dressing goes on heavy, 4 to 5 inches. I noticed in another forum about the mushroom mulch and Voss mentioned it too, so I'll keep an eye out for that this spring. And we can't forget the breakfast planting. Banana peels, eggs and coffee grounds. With Voss's supplement that would be a mushroom omelet and... are our roses eating better than us?? :>)
Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 11, 2006
12:42 AM

Post #2988713

I don't amend. I dig a hole, deposit a handful of gopher poison, drop a banana peel on top of that, and plunk the rose down into the hole.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 11, 2006
12:42 AM

Post #2988714

venu, lol! i was going to ask nery about that mushroom compost. i bought some last year and it makes such a soggy mess and at the same time, repels the water. i've always heard good things about it, but didn't have luck with the brand i bought.

nery, do you backfill with any of the original soil?

lol, leave it to zuzu to have such a beautiful garden and find that it's all built on poison bananas! LOL

This message was edited Dec 10, 2006 8:44 PM
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 11, 2006
1:16 AM

Post #2988805

Zuzu: You must eat a whole bunch of bananas to have all those peels so readily available! A great source of potassium for the Roses (the banana peels not the gopher poison) .

My clay soil is just like Nikki described! Since I just planted my Roses from Merrygro today, I can tell you what I added to the planting holes. I throw in a handful of Gypsum, Cottonseed Meal, Kelp Meal, compost, and back fill with half of the original soil. Top dress with Epson Salts (is that the same thing as potassium crystals?) and shredded hardwood mulch.

Venu, our Roses are eating better than us!
venu209
Jersey Shore, NJ
(Zone 7a)

December 11, 2006
1:19 AM

Post #2988810

Zuzu, you are too funny. Didn't you have a sprig headed for the "round file" that grew when it got dropped? The rest of us are jumping through hoops to root a cutting. But, on the other hand, I have no gophers...;>)
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 11, 2006
1:28 AM

Post #2988828

I'm not home but the guy that works for me tells me that roses that I've received while I was away, appear to be topped with orchid moss. I'm not sure where they are from but have you all received roses packed with orchid moss?? He also told me that many of the roses are blooming and they smell great...
Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 11, 2006
1:47 AM

Post #2988868

Shirley, I never run out of banana peels. That's my breakfast of champions: coffee and a banana. I need the potassium as much as the roses do.

Venu, you wouldn't believe how many of my sprigs grow into roses. Sometimes I actually plant them vertically, but most of the time they're lying sideways on top of the ground and they grow anyway. It's a great help in countering the gophers. They can eat all the roots off a rose, and even the graft, but the rose usually comes back anyway. I have some roses that are 15 or 20 years old and they're still tiny little things. I think they get eaten once or twice a year and never get a chance to get big. Only two of the roses the gophers got this year are irrevocably dead. About 40 or 50 others were chomped ruthlessly and looked dead, but now they're producing new growth again.

The white rose climbing up the persimmon tree in this picture started out as pruning sprigs I dropped by accident.

Thumbnail by Zuzu
Click the image for an enlarged view.

steph_gem
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

December 11, 2006
2:11 AM

Post #2988936

zuzu you are a riot.. banana peels and gopher poisen...

I usually do all amending in the winter here. i just started. This year I am trying lama poo..
I just went and got a bunch and it was free and mixed with hay too so i am spreading it all over and mixing some coffee grounds in too re acidify my soil then i put a nice top dressing over it. Im probably going over bored but i like dirt what can say.

As for my original hole, i dig a big hole and through in some compost and gypsm and super phosate and slo po mag and plop in my roses.

This message was edited Dec 10, 2006 7:13 PM
Roselaine
North Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8a)

December 11, 2006
4:23 AM

Post #2989206

Hi...you will find out here on the south coast of Canada that we refrain from using Mush manure! Reason being, is that mushrooms are grown in a limy, limey-type soil, thus the rise in Alkalinity. Roses do well in a 6.5-7 pH more acidic medium.As far as amending soil prior to planting the rose...only some compost, steer or animal manure(not Chicken...too much ammonia content!), a handful of Rock phosphate or Bonemeal per rose NO FERTILIZER of any kind for the first year. We want to develop a good strong root network, cause without that, there won't be much of anything above the ground. and water in well! When it comes to amending the soil I use a bonemeal or Alfalfa Tea throughout the garden in the early & late summer...on top of that, about two weeks later, mulching is in progress with a Hemlock mulch we purchase at our recycling station here. The rest is just maintenance! I have never use peat moss when planting...although some gardeners swear by it!! hpy gdng, California...Elaine
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

December 11, 2006
4:01 PM

Post #2990055

yes, I do backfill w/ orig. dirt.
Track, about the mushroom compost, once I bought a couple of bags from Walmart and I had the same experience you did; it seemed to repel water. I had bought it to pot some plants and most of them died. So I have never bought it again.

Close to our 2nd home in Madisonville Co. TX, there is a mushroom grower, Monterrey Mushroom Co. Several times a year we drive there w/ our little trailer and load up. Their brochure says it is formulated w/ a mixture of wheat straw, poulty litter, urea, cotton bi-products, canadian peat moss, gypsum and lime. After mushrooms are harvested, this material is called "spent" and sold to the public for $12 a cu yd. They deliver but it is exhorbitant for a residential gardeners. Makes sense if you're a commercial grower, city landscaper, or the like.

The compost analysis is
moisture 55%
nitrogen 1.8%
phosphorus 1.1%
potassion 2.3%
calcium 13.8%
magnewsion .71%

don't exactly know what this all means, but the mixture is on the fluffy side and easy to work with. We usually let it sit for several months before actually using it. However, I have been known to use it hot with no ill effects. I also compost our leaves, neighbors grass clippings and kitchen scraps. I just do cold composting, not energetic enough to turn the pile for a hot compost effect. The cold pile takes about 3 yrs to be ready, but with 3 bins going in staggered stages I always have enough for each season. That mix is even better than the mushroom compost so I save it for my really special plants.

Zuzu, my little dog (he's a mess) loves to dig for banana peels so I can't do like you do.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 11, 2006
4:46 PM

Post #2990164

nery, how wonderful that you have that available to you. i think there is a mushroom farm close to me. i have to check it out. great tip!

he might be a mess, but he is a little doll!
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

December 11, 2006
7:52 PM

Post #2990596

At trackinsand's request, here's what I pulled from the MerryGro site...

General Planting Instructions - A Guideline
Date Posted: 06/01/2005 06:18:14 PM

Once acclimated to your home and environment your plants will be ready for transplanting into your garden or landscape. Here are some easy steps to ensure success.

1) Dig a hole twice the width and one and a half times the depth of the size of the root ball to be transplanted. Remove the plastic container surrounding the roots and discard.

2) Fill about 50% of the bottom of the hole with an equal combination of one part peat moss, one part cow manure, and one part organic top soil. Sprinkle hole with the correct quantity of an appropriate fertilizer. For roses and like shrubs, fertilizers with a balance of nutrients in the 12-4-8 range is ideal. Studies have shown that Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium in this 3 to 1 to 2 ratio is best. Look for a fertilizer with the chelated form of iron in its formulation. This will go a long way in adding to your plants success.

3) Plant the rose, shrub or perennial at a depth that has the soil surface of the root ball about 2 inches higher than surrounding ground level. The plant will sink in moderately as it settles in place.

4) Refill the balance of the planting hole with the mixture referenced above and firm the soil gently around the root system to eliminate air pockets.Water the plant thoroughly to ensure there are no air pockets surrounding the roots.

5) Cover root area using 2" of mulch. Cypress, pine bark, or eucalyptus mulches are excellent for this purpose. This will help protect the roots, control weeds and erosion, retain moisture and add a finished look to your landscape.

6) For the first 2-3 months after planting, physically check the root ball twice weekly for moisture (even after rains) to ensure a good supply of moisture. Sometimes, even after heavy rains, inadequate moisture has penetrated down to the roots. After the plant has become established, routine watering is required.

7) Routine fertilization with a 12-4-8 or similar fertilizer (every 6-8 weeks) during the growing season will ensure a constant supply of plant nutrients and great growth and health to your plants. Weekly liquid feeding of appropriate water soluble fertilizer will enhance plant performance considerably.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 11, 2006
8:43 PM

Post #2990707

yea buddy! thank you!
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 11, 2006
9:53 PM

Post #2990894

I just did a silly thing - I looked on the back of the tag and there are the planting instructions. Duh.
Cottage_Rose

(Zone 5b)

December 12, 2006
12:42 AM

Post #2991370

Well you asked...

How to plant rose by Cottage Rose:

1. Dig a hole the size of a Chevy extended cab pick up truck

2. Add the following to the planting hole...
1 cup of fish meal
1 cup blood meal (blood from Spring lambs only)
1 cup alfalfa pellets
1 cup superphosphate
1 cup bone meal tested free of mad cow disease
6 organic banana peels (chopped and diced with a sterilized knife)
1 cup garden lime
1 cup 12-12-12
1 cup potash
1 cup Osmocote
1 cup epsom salts
2 tablespoon kelp meal
5 bushel baskets of mushroom compost
1 pick-up truck load (long box) of composted Egyptian Arabian breeding stallion manure

3. Place rose on a pyramid shaped mound of soil while thinking positive thoughts and sitting in a lotus position.

4. Water with rain water collected in a chemical free barrel.

5. Re-fill planting hole with soil consisting of:
1 part sifted native soil
1 part peat from Northern Ireland
1 part rotted manure from organically fed Jersey cows from California.

6. Tamp down soil with $75. tamping tool from Smith & Hawken Ltd.

7. Cover soil with color and mold free wood chips, careful to not touch the rose.

8. Bi-Weekly spray with horticulture oil, anti-fungal and insecticide. Optional but benefical: monthy release $50. worth of imported Oriental Red Leaf Earthworms around base of rose.

9. Kneel next to rose and pray that it grows.

10. Go in the house and have a beer or two
Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 12, 2006
12:44 AM

Post #2991373

Thanks, CR. I was dying to add that. If you hadn't come along, I would have had to dig up your old thread with those instructions. I already resurrected it once while you were gone last year.
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 12, 2006
12:48 AM

Post #2991382

Cottage_Rose, you receive the Oscar, your fingers are honored with the best performance since I've been on the rose forum!! Outstanding. Can I believe a single word, lol!!!
Cottage_Rose

(Zone 5b)

December 12, 2006
12:49 AM

Post #2991384

The scary thing is some people ~really~ do that! LOL
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 12, 2006
12:55 AM

Post #2991396

Hey, that's what i love about roses, it's like a 12 step program, do what is tried and true and, ya get a just reward, sometimes. I love it, roses are fun!!! And, so are you, such an entertaining, clever post...
Roselaine
North Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8a)

December 12, 2006
1:38 AM

Post #2991530

that's a good one, Cottage! E

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 12, 2006
10:56 AM

Post #2992197

hooray! you brought this back. i've heard it was hilarious and it is...and to think that if i had read this a year ago, i would have taken you at your word! LOL
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 12, 2006
2:07 PM

Post #2992617

the heck with the rest of it. I want a pic of C_R in the lotus position sitting by that biiiig hole in the ground! /rotfl

where else can you have this much fun and get such good advice too. love you guys!
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 12, 2006
3:14 PM

Post #2992888

Geez... it's scary to think what C_R must go through to plant lotuses...
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 12, 2006
9:45 PM

Post #2993888

Do any of you use newspaper around the roses when planting??

I've read that lime should be applied to established roses in Dec. Wonder if that's the thing to do in my zone, 8a?
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 13, 2006
1:06 AM

Post #2994364

Cottage~~ I just love that post, and was so glad to see you re-post it! SO funny, and the most funny thing is, I know there are people in my Rose Society that do this much and maybe more...and although the roses are nice, not that nice...LOL :-)Debi~~ This is another of your great ideas, an interesting thread and one to put up top in the Sticky for sure...It seems to me that there are as many ways to plant a rose, as there are rose growers! I am one of those who has very heavy clay soil and I find the roses I plant in a well amended hole do much better. I used to use a combo of whatever I had on hand...good organic compost, steer manure, Zoo-Doo - mixed 50% with the clay. In the bottom of the hole I put any good organics I had: bone, blood, kelp, feather, and/or alfalfa meals, alfalfa pellets, until I discovered this product (E. B. Stone makes one as well) which contains them all in one organic mix, it goes way down at the base of the hole 1-2 cups per rose bush. The roots don't get to this mix until 6+ months of growth and it's all organic so no root-burn problems. Here is a link to the product:
http://ebstone.org/11_rose.php

I also use the following product which has a guarantee against the rose dying if used at 50-50 with your own soil. If the rose dies when planted in their rose planting mix, they replace the rose no questions asked...I have had 2 replaced by them so can tell you they back this great product up! It Contains Fir bark, composted mushroom soil, composted chicken manure, Canadian sphagnum peat moss, earthworm castings, volcanic pumice stone, bat guano, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, gypsum, oyster shell lime and dolomite lime.
http://ebstone.org/13_rose.php

I like the rule " dig a $50 hole for a $5 plant"...I read it in one of Graham Stuart Thomas' books or articles and have sworn by it since. The only 3 roses I've lost were lost due to purchasing really poor quality plants, which is why I always buy from a rose nursery these days. I have never been let down by a rose grown well by a reputable rose nursery, even when they are tiny little bands...they just tend to do well when planted well. I'd rather pay a bit more for a good rose once, than pay less and have to buy it again. I do not have good soil to start with like dear Zuzu...and do spend a good deal of effort on the initial planting...but it pays off each and every time. After the planting I do not fertilize for the first 6 months, just Messenger to keep things healthy, and good quality organic compost as a top-dressing and mulch. At about the 6 month mark the roses roots have gotten into the good organic mix at the bottom of the planting hole and really hit their stride...I usually plant in fall and winter, and as I'm in a fairly mild climate they spend the whole fall and winter growing roots, so by summer they really take off! Many of the ingredients in the planting mix encourage good, healthy root growth, thus getting those roots well down into the clay and securing the rose for life. I have had to transplant a couple of roses planted this way...and the root mass was amazing!! When I had to remove about a dozen roses that came with this house, they were sickly and beyond recovery, the roots were nothing like the ones I found on the young roses I had planted well. Even after 5 yrs in their holes the sickly roses had so much less of the good, fine, feeder roots - it explained why they could not be saved no matter what I did that 1st year...poor quality roses planted in poor soil just couldn't thrive, period.

A very good thread, can't wait to read everyones posts!! Good job Debi for thinking of it!

Jam

Thumbnail by jamie68
Click the image for an enlarged view.

SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 13, 2006
1:21 AM

Post #2994395

Jam, I love your stuff. Tell me this - I have recently planted x number roses, maybe 12, and I have about 15 or 20 to go. The first roses were planted. say, three weeks or a month ago. We've had a week of freezing weather and they have all put on new leaves, some buds. So, how longs should I wait to 'feed' them??? Do you give your established roses lime in Dec?? TIA!!

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 13, 2006
1:21 AM

Post #2994397

i think i've turned into the stickymistress! i'm obsessed with getting as much good information as possible onto that thread. this one will be in there soon.
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 13, 2006
1:42 AM

Post #2994449

tracks, good info is super. The problem is, finding the good info when it's needed - oh, yeah, that's why stickies were created...
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 13, 2006
2:02 AM

Post #2994484

debi~~ I am so glad you have such a good eye for what should go in that sticky!! It is turning into one of the best posts for a newer rose gardener to find out all kinds of good info! I would have relished something like that when i first started growing roses, and would have read, and re-read it! Thank-you for all the good work you are doing for all of us, and all those to come!

Sherry~~part one of your post - the feeding part. I don't feed mine at all, none, in winter! You want your roses to harden off what growth they have, in preperation for the long winter months. I don't know your climate, but even if they are budding or getting a few leaves, there is still a lot of cold weather coming, for most of the country at least, and the roses systems are way slowed down. I would hold off feeding until real spring is here, and know that any new leaves may well freeze and die off, but they will bud out and leaf out very quickly in spring.

As far as the lime, roses like the soil a bit on the acidic side, and I only use lime when i test the soil and find it really getting on the too acidic for good growth range. I add lime when my soil tests 5.5 or lower...but definitely not every year. We get a lot of rain in fall & winter so this can push the pH down quite a bit. But I think adding lime every year, or without a quick soil test isn't a good idea...soil tests are cheap, quick, and easy to find(any good garden center or nursery will have them)...do one from the area where your roses are growing, and only lime if needed... Unless you have really acidic soil it shouldn't be needed.

Jamie

Thumbnail by jamie68
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SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 13, 2006
2:17 AM

Post #2994525

Good info, jamie!!! Makes sense too. I find that the rose info I'm reading is general, not zone info. I have almost 'perfect' soil, it looks better than anything I've ever seen or bought. The best gardeners here add Epsom Salt in the spring and, that's about it. But, I read from the different nurseries that 'this' or 'that', should be added, most often, lime, in December. I'm making a trip to my local guru for instructions that relate to my area/zone and i appreciate you info, which has moved me to this direction. Thank you so very much!!!!!! I try too hard.
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 13, 2006
2:25 AM

Post #2994548

Oh Sherry, I do to - try to hard that is! I really want you to do a simple soil test though - they are so easy, and it will help so much. You just get some soil from a couple spots in the garden, mix with water and follow the directions on the box, super easy - only takes a couple minutes and probably costs $5-7 - and will tell you so much about what to add, or what not to worry about. If you do get one, post your results and I can help you with what to add, if anything!

And you are so very welcome...I am so happy to help!

Jam
'Eden'

Thumbnail by jamie68
Click the image for an enlarged view.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 13, 2006
2:27 AM

Post #2994554

jamie, how far down do you dig for a soil sample?
nikki_conway
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 13, 2006
2:28 AM

Post #2994560

Jamie,
Your Eden is soo beautiful!
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 13, 2006
2:39 AM

Post #2994583

debi~~ I get down a good 12-18 inches...mainly because I amend my soil so much, I have to get down a ways to get real soil. But I usually do sever samples, and include a teaspoon of soil from each 6-8 inches...the package has it's own set of instructions, but after doing the tests for several years thats what has yeilded me the best results. Let's say I'm digging a hole to plant a rose or tree/shrub, anything that takes a good sized hole. After moving the mulch/compost layer away, I take a tablespoon of soil and put it in a zip lock, 6-8 inches later another tablespoon, and so on down to 18 inches or so... If I have enough vials in the test kit I test each layer, if not I mix it all up really well, and take one sample from the mix... How's that for long answer to your short question? LOL Any other questions, please ask!

nikki~~ Thanks for the kind post! kell has this rose, and grows it better than anyone I have ever seen - she inspired me to grow this beauty! I have been really happy with it - very easy to grow and just blooms its little heart out all season!

Jam

Thumbnail by jamie68
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trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 13, 2006
3:00 AM

Post #2994624

thanks, jamie!
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 13, 2006
3:39 AM

Post #2994705

;o }
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 14, 2006
6:07 PM

Post #2998894

Jam, my coop guy tested my pH, it is 6.5, I took 5 samples. I was there for lime too and he suggested:
aglime, Agri - Pel, pelletized calcitic, agri liming material

*Balances soil pH
*Promotes root growth
*Increases fertilizer efficiency
*Minimizes effects of acid rain
*Speeds organic decomposition
*Supplies calcium
*Increases microbial activity
*Neutralizes soil acidity
*Can be applied any season

Have you used it??? If so, how were your results??

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 14, 2006
6:46 PM

Post #2998996

optimal pH conditons for roses (as taken from Foolproof Guide to Growing Roses by Field Roebuck): roses grow best in any soil with pH from 6.5-7.5, slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. nutrients are sufficiently available at these levels. roses do well enough with a pH as low as 6.0, but if the pH is outside of that range, you need to make adjustments.
Cottage_Rose

(Zone 5b)

December 15, 2006
2:36 AM

Post #3000130

Quote Grampapa: "I want a pic of C_R in the lotus position sitting by that biiiig hole in the ground! /rotfl"

Gram...I can't get into a lotus position.
The last time my legs could bend like that was when I was ummm... maybe 13! ;-)
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 16, 2006
2:05 AM

Post #3002844

Sherry~~ Good Job getting your soil tested so quickly!! One thing though - like Debi stated above - roses prefer growing in soil that's on the acidic side, so I wouldn't do a thing if my soil tested in the 6.5 range as that's just about as good as it gets for roses!! They will grow, and bloom in less acidic conditions, but most prefer about 6.2 - 6.7, though they tolerate a wide range of soil pH. If you are growing other plants that need more neutral soil, or some that need alkaline conditions then lime would do it, and the lime product you mentioned above sounds like a good one, though I haven't used it. I only add lime to my soil when it is well and truly acidic, 5.5 or lower. If I find my soil to be in the 5.6 to 6.0 range I add compost, alfalfa pellets in fall, and as the earthworms break everything down that really brings it closer to the 6.5 I try for in my rose beds. After I started thinking about this subject, with the start of this thread, I pulled out an obscene number of rose books (18 to be exact..), and almost all state that roses really like it acidic...a couple say as low as 5.5 - 5.8 for optimum growth, although most stated more like 6.0 - 6.8 for best growth though they tolerate a bit past 7.0 with bloom production not being optimal...

Probably more than you wanted to know, but after all that reading I just had to share...:-) BTW...a LOT of the Plantfiles are incorrect when it comes to the pH listed for roses, I have reported many and they get changed quickly (Admin is so on the ball!! ), so please don't let those pH entries guide you!

Let me know how it goes!

Jam

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SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 16, 2006
2:34 AM

Post #3002943

Oh, my word, your photo is beautiful, so very pretty, as are your companion plants. I will not have 'a' rose bed, my roses will be planted in random, prime spots, I think - sometimes my 'prime spots' don't materialize. I plan groupings. I've had my pH tested three or four times & it's always been the same, except for some areas that I corrected, where a contractor dug the foundation out for the house and left gravel in my flower beds, ugh. My gardening guru laughs every time I test the soil as he says my 'virgin' soil, only used for cow/horse pasture & chicken yard, 6 miles from the MS river, is close to 'perfect' - but, soil isn't the culprit in growing roses or other plants in my area - it's the bugs, mildew, mold, steamy humidity - my 'cure' is to just toss the plants that are bug, disease prone, if they don't like living here, I'll find a plant that does. I'm concerned about ants, as usual, but, at the least. I'm learning the symptoms & when I see someone not looking perky, and, I swear, it can happen like a flash - it looks great in the am and by mid afternoon it needs emergency treatment & I dig them up, and sure enough they will be covered & I work on the root ball, dig a new hole with ant free dirt & start over & it's worked every time so far. I have about 20 new roses to plant, hopefully tomorrow or the next day, I cannot wait to get them in the ground!! Thanks for your post, I so enjoy hearing about your garden!!!
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 16, 2006
2:54 AM

Post #3002980

I enjoy hearing about yours as well!! And I can not wait to see pics of all these great new roses. I envy your soil being so good to start with. I have to work so hard on mine, all the time. I can't seem to remember what roses you have gotten lately...what 20 roses are you hoping to plant soon?? I only have 4 waiting to be potted up into bigger pots:Julia's Rose, Smoky, Tom Brown, Spiced Coffee - all small but healthy bands from Vintage - one that I have waited almost 2 yrs for! I have some more on order, but no more here waiting on me...

I am reading about your ant problem with wide eyes...we have nothing like that here! I can only imagine how upsetting it must be to have a rose, or any other plant, looking a-ok in the morning, and be covered in ants including the root-ball by the afternoon. Hard thing to control, although it seems you have found a great way to deal with it! What companion plants do you plant among your roses, or what plants do you plant your roses as companions to? LOL You sound like me, not having a rose bed per say, just roses planted in among everything else. I do the same thing - no set "rose bed" as they are every where mixed in with shrubs, trees, perennials, annuals, bulbs, potted plants, rock garden plants, Japanese Maples, Brugmansias, cannas, Bananas, you get the idea...a big happy jumble my sister says... :-) Do you have any pics of your over all garden? I can't for the life of me remember it, although I know I have seen pics of it...

Happy planting!
Jam
'Pretty Lady' - the rose in the pic, not me being vain LOL

Thumbnail by jamie68
Click the image for an enlarged view.

steph_gem
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

December 16, 2006
5:10 AM

Post #3003191

What about adding coffee grounds. Becuase i have very neautral soil, i mix in some coffee grounds.

steph
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 16, 2006
5:50 AM

Post #3003216

It's a great tip steph, and one I often use myself! I get them from Starbucks by the big bag full...and man do the earthworms love them!!

Thanks for adding a wonderful method for acidifying soil, and organic too!!

Jam :-)
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 16, 2006
2:39 PM

Post #3003706

I'm getting ahead of the ants, I think, Jam, and have finally realized when they are on the warpath, the worst is when it's too dry, they seek water in the bottom of my plants, in pots or plants in the ground. This year it only happened two times and those plants survived. I have info about the roses I'm planting on my journal; however, I'm really having a difficult time getting the info in properly. The roses & their info is in Sherry's Garden Notes Dec 2006 - but I'm unable to figure out how to edit, so there are big spaces between the plants. Do you know how to work the journal options?? I'm skilled in Word Perfect & Word, Quicken and other complicated programs but the journal is a mystery. If you know an easy way to add/edit, I'd love to know the secret...thanks!!
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 16, 2006
4:27 PM

Post #3003941

Let me go check out your journal, and see if I have any ideas...
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 16, 2006
4:43 PM

Post #3003975

Sherry~~

I typed the name of your journal 4 times all different ways and no results found is all I am getting...can you check to see exactly what you are calling you journal?? Or maybe link me to it?? Thanks!

Jamie
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 16, 2006
8:24 PM

Post #3004582

Here's the link, Jamie, hope it works: http://davesgarden.com/journal/j/viewentry/115606/
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 17, 2006
2:13 AM

Post #3005275

Hi Sherry~~

I see what you mean about your journal. I want you to take a look at mine and tell me if it's anything like what you are trying for - and if it is I will try to help you get your set up the way you want...

http://davesgarden.com/journal/edit/index.php

Let me know if this is what you had in mind, or some variation on the theme... :-) It is definitely a work in process, but I work on it a bit at a time.

Hope this helps!
Jamie
Nicole Carol Miller - the best fragrance of any rose I have ever grown - period!

Thumbnail by jamie68
Click the image for an enlarged view.

nikki_conway
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 17, 2006
2:32 PM

Post #3006131

I do love her scent, and she's beautiful, and blooms often!
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 17, 2006
4:09 PM

Post #3006349

On the HMF site, is there a way or place where I can ask for a particular type rose, rather than a rose by name?? Such as 'climber, fragrant, disease tolerant, continual blooms'? Nichle Carol Miller is beautiful, is she a continual bloomer??
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 17, 2006
5:15 PM

Post #3006480

yes, there is an "Advanced search" tab that lets you search for roses under any number of characteristics...look up across the top when in the simple search by name feature...

Nicole Carol Miller is almost never without bloom. I have found that she blooms heavier about three flushes a season, but she always has something opening...I keep her dead-headed fastidiously so she can put on all the blooms possible - they are so pretty, and honestly - my garden is full of fragrant plants, but I go to her over, and over...really unique, sweet, wonderful fragrance unlike any other rose I have ever been around! Whenever I get asked for my favorite fragrant rose, I always pick this one - hands down!! And it helps that she's a mauve/lavender, my favorite! :-)

Jamie

Thumbnail by jamie68
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SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 18, 2006
12:18 AM

Post #3007333

Good heavens, Jam, thank you so much for the info on HMF site, that is amazing. I didn't make too many mistakes in my selections, but I would have not made the two I did, if I had learned earlier to use the HMF. I appreciate your taking time to 'instruct' me!!!!!

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 18, 2006
12:30 AM

Post #3007357

anybody else want to add to the planting secrets of your particular zone?
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

December 18, 2006
2:55 AM

Post #3007742

Hahaha, tracks, maybe I should wait for the 'verdict', since I planted all but 10 yesterday. Actually, I followed the directions of one of the growers, that actually addressed the soil conditions of my area. I also have master gardner pals and they came by to 'check' on me. I had Superthrive, Peter's startup, liquid, fertilizer, bone meal, my nursery guru's special blend, & Black Kow Manure (plus a bazillion other products but even before my gardening pals arrived, I had decided not to use anything else). First thing we did was dig a hole - it seems that in the particular area we dug, that I have approx 18 - 24 inches top soil, followed by sandy loam, which has occasional, small dabs of clay. My top soil is just as black as Black Kow. We did, however, mix Black Kow, my nursery mix, bone meal, and mixed all that with my own top soil. Oh, before they arrived, I had put water in my holes to make sure they would drain & they did. Before I put the rose in, I put the mixture in the hole, added water, then the plant, added more of the mixture, followed by my own soil, then, then, I watered with SuperThrive with a smidgen of Peter's startup, liquid fertilizer. Our weather conditions are great for planting, but the dense, drippy fog finds us with bugs & mildew. I will spray the ground around the roses with dormant oil. I will use lime on my established roses (4, lol) this month and consider pruning them. My pals said the only thing I didn't do, that they do, is Osmocote - I didn't do it because several have told me I shouldn't, with roses - in this area, the planting 'rule' is a $50 buck hole, quality potting soil, pepper with Osmocote, put the plant in, fill her up with soil, then water with SuperThrive & top dress with mulch/compost. I'm pretty sure the roses are okay, but I dug all the holes, planted, etc, and needless to say, I didn't have to be rocked to sleep last night, my steam bath sent me straight to sleep, with nary an ache or pain today...more than you ever wanted to know...
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 18, 2006
11:11 AM

Post #3008051

Sherry, I really like the part at the end with no aches or pains, but I don't think that will work for me ;0) but I'd rather ache from planting roses than scrubbing floors or sitting at my desk all day LOL. What is Peter's startup?

Debi, have to say again...great thread. I appreciate it with my new garden coming up. Will definitely be getting the superthrive. I hear that over and over. I think everybody understands the $50 hole concept. I am determined to bust my clay before any roses hit that new bed. Amend, amend, amend...AMEN!

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 18, 2006
2:33 PM

Post #3008375

jd kindly sent me his thoughts on drainage and i wanted to share them with this thread. i don't know how to copy and paste, so i went about it the only way i could figure. it may be a tad hard to read, but well worth the time!

Thumbnail by trackinsand
Click the image for an enlarged view.

wgnkiwi
Burlingame, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 18, 2006
3:36 PM

Post #3008505

tracks, that's a great article you posted and makes everything about my garden so clear. Now I understand why my roses and clematis are not doing well...

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 18, 2006
5:42 PM

Post #3008802

if we can help just one gardener, that's the whole purpose of these threads, imho. good luck fixing your problems.
jamie68
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 19, 2006
3:42 AM

Post #3010272

Sherry~~ You did a great job planting all those roses, and I am sure all your hard work will be well rewarded with a beautiful season of blooms, and many years of enjoyment!! I am so glad you were able to use the HelpMeFind search feature...isn't it great?? I spent several hours working with it when I first found it, and still go back to it frequently...great site that one! I read your journal, and love the roses you have chosen - so many are in my own garden, or on my list... You will have many, many pics to share next year, that's for sure!!

Good Work!
Jamie

Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

October 7, 2012
9:41 AM

Post #9298492

I don't know if anyone's still watching this thread, but it gave me the giggles all day.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

October 7, 2012
12:09 PM

Post #9298635

those were some good times back then. :-)

Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

October 7, 2012
2:04 PM

Post #9298767

I got some cuttings from another sweet DG'er to root. During Isaac, the cuttings:

Sat in my mailbox while the hurricane hit
Sat in my fridge (without power) for a week
Hung out in plastic bags with a bit of water on the paper towels while we moved
Have been knocked around by heat, thunderstorms, kids, a Basset Hound, and the new next-door-neighbors' Pygmy pig.

6 cuttings I got are still going strong, and 4 others I left with my former neighbor, a sweet older lady with gangbusters roses in her alleyway. Only a few have died but I think they must've just been sissies.

Anyway, thanks for all the laughs, next time I will make sure to do a better boogie-woogie dance next time I plant, and maybe even the sissies will see it through!
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 19, 2012
7:00 AM

Post #9309615

Pygmy pig poo might help, too! ;~) Well composted anyway...
porkpal
Richmond, TX

October 19, 2012
7:41 AM

Post #9309651

My roses get fed a fair amount of barnyard manure, including from pigs, however I don't add anything to the initial hole.

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