How To Prepare the Soil
When planting roses, they prefer a near neutral pH range of 5.5–7.0. On average, 6.5 is perfect for most gardens because it is slightly acidic to neutral.
If you do an accurate soil test, you can find out exactly where your pH levels currently are. Acidic soil is in essence sour soil, and can be counteracted by adding finely ground limestone, whereas sweet or alkaline soil can be treated by using sulfur.
Prior to planting, you need to make sure that you are choosing different varieties which are proven to work in your particular climate. If you are not sure on what to do, the All-America Rose Selections which were winners are the best ones to use. You can also ask your local nursery for this information.
How To Order Plants
When ordering from a mail order company, it is important that you order early, preferably in January or February, waiting no longer than March. These will be shipped usually in springtime, typically with their roots, when the plants are fully dormant and before the leaves begin to appear. They will look very similar to a bundle of sticks once they arrived. You should note that they are not dead but simply dormant.
If you want to buy container grown roses, opposed to bare root roses, you need to wait to plant them in May or June to get the best results.
Best Planting Tips
It is important for roses to get up to six hours of full sunlight every single day. Roses may become weak if they do not get enough sun, and gradually diminish in appearance. You need to make sure that they also get plenty of organic matter and not to crowd them when you are planting them.
It is recommended that you use gloves which are very sturdy to plant roses because all of them have prickly thorns. You should have a bucket or a hose ready, as well as all of your planting tools nearby ready to use. You can keep your bare root rose in water prior to planting it in the ground.
You can also cut back the roses, moving them in either the early spring or fall, but definitely not in the summer, because they may actually die from the heat. If you are getting large rose canes, you can cut them back by about two thirds, and the smaller ones with in about 12 inches or less of the ground.
Transplanting roses requires you to dig a much larger whole then you would actually believe that you need to, something that is true for most types of roses, going to about 18 inches in width so that you can add aged manure and organic matter like compost.
Those that have been doing this for quite some time recommend placing about 4 inches of gypsum wallboard, along with a 16 penny nail in the whole so that proper amounts of iron and calcium can be utilized by the roses.
Providing Them with Proper Care
How To Water Your Roses
In order to water your roses properly, you must be very diligent. It is important to soak the entire root area, especially during the hot summers, at least twice a week. Shallow sprinklings should be avoided because they will not reach the deeper roots and may actually cause fungi to grow. 90 inches of rain per year is what most roses need, so if you do not live in a rain forest, it is important to do quite a bit of watering.
More water is better, but you should never drown the roots of your roses. They do not like to sit in water, and they can actually die in the soil when it is too wet, especially during the wintertime. The soil that you use should be loose and rich, providing proper drainage. It is actually one of the worst mistakes that you can make if the water cannot properly drain.
You should also use mulch when planting roses. This can help reduce stress on the roses, encourage their growth, help you conserve water, and this can be done by adding about 4 inches of leaves, shredded bark and grass clippings at the base of your roses. This will allow you to have about an inch of space between the base stem and the mulch itself.
Ways to Feed Your Roses
It is important to water your roses, but equally important to feed them, especially throughout the blooming cycle while avoiding pesticides and fertilizers.
During April and July, you need to use a balanced granular fertilizer, either 5-10-5 or 5-10-10. You should put about 1 cup for each bush, sprinkling it around the drip line, but not around the stem.
Also in May and June, you should add an additional tablespoon of Epson salts along with the fertilizer that you are using; magnesium sulfate actually will encourage new growth toward the bottom of the bush.
How To Prune Roses
You can do this every spring, destroying all of the diseased or old plant material. You can wear elbow length gloves to protect your hands from the thorns in case you have an accident, but make sure that they are flexible enough to hold your tools. You can also use safety goggles; this will allow you to protect yourself from branches that can harm you when released.
You will want to start with pruning shears to remove the smaller growth. Loppers are long handle shears that can handle branches that are half an inch thick. You can use a small pruning saw that will also work by simply pushing and pulling it until it cuts through.
It is also necessary to deadhead regularly and also keep the beds clean. Every leaf, as you probably know, has a growth but so removing existing flower blossoms can encourage the plant to make more flowers instead of focusing its energy on making seeds. Always be sure to clear away the base of the Rose bushes with any trimmed debris which could have insects or harbor disease.
If it is late in the season, deadheading rugosas needs to stop in an attempt to help the hips form on the plants; these will be harvested, dried on screens away from the sunlight, and then stored preferably inside a container that is airtight. Deadheading of your rose plants needs to stop about four weeks before the very first hard frost so that new growth will not be encouraged, and new shoots cannot be damaged by the cold weather.
How To Winterize Roses
It is important to never prune your roses during the fall. You simply need to remove diseased canes and cut off any dead.
Six weeks before the frost hits, you need to stop fertilizing, but it is important to continue watering during autumn when it is dry to fortify the plants for the winter.
You need to add compost, mulch and mound once a few frosts have occurred, but long before the ground actually freezes. If temperatures are going to stay below freezing, you need to in circled the plant with a sturdy mesh cylinder, filled the interior with compost, pine needles, chopped leaves, or dry wood chips.
Maple leaves should not be used for mulch. Instead, you should consider using straw, compost, pine needles or even oak leaves.
To prevent overwintering of diseases, clean your rose bed thoroughly. You can also spray one last time to protect against fungus with what is called a dormant spray.
Diseases And Pests
There are some good gardening practices that you should use including removing dead leaves, as well as canes, which can help eliminate pest development. Once you find out what type of pests are showing up, you should talk your local nursery about what to do. Here are some of the other common problems that you may experience:
Deer can actually be the largest past because they love to eat roses, and by planting lavender it can deter them. You might try potpourri, especially with lavender, to discourage the wild deer from coming in. Human and dog hair can also work as well.
Final Cooking Notes
Rugosa roses have quite a few vitamins that are used for pies, syrups, jams and jellies. The petals can be placed into salads, used to decorate cakes, or you can make rosewater by distilling the leaves.