The Q&A Archives: Rose bed prep

Question: All clay soil here. How deep should my bed be to add compost, sand & rose garden soil? Location is Lansing Michigan.Are Double knock out Roses the way to go?

Answer: Soil preparation is the key to healthy roses. Good drainage is critical, because roses do not like wet feet, meaning the soil should drain properly. The best way to accomplish this is the build up the bed about 8-12 inches so that you're gardening in a raised bed. However, if the soil in your new rose bed drains adequately, till or dig the soil to a depth of at least 1 foot and thoroughly in 6-8 inches of compost and a cup or two of alfalfa meal, and bone meal, according to package instructions. Water the bed deeply, and let it settle for a few days then plant your roses. Knock Out Roses are the hardiest, most disease resistant roses around. Good choice!

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