Starting a Rose Garden - Knowledgebase Question

Efland, NC
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Question by amckoy
March 31, 2001
I would like to have a rose garden. Can you give me some advice on how to get started?

Answer from NGA
March 31, 2001
Here is a short course in starting a rose garden:

Choose a location in full sun, which roses need for optimal blooming. Prepare the soil by tilling in lots of organic matter, such as compost. There are hundreds of rose varieties, so choose something you like. Factors to consider include flower color, size of the rose bush, habit (tall-caned climbing, low-growing ground cover), and disease resistance.

Here's how to plant: Water the rose thoroughly the day before (if it's a container rose). If it's a bareroot rose, soak the roots in a bucket of water an hour before planting. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and the same depth. Set the root ball in the hole and fill around it. In warm climates the graft, a slightly raised bump on the stem a couple inches above the roots, should be planted above the soil line. In cold climates, the graft should sit an inch or two below ground level.

Water thoroughly and keep soil moist, but not wet, until root systems can establish. Layer several inches of mulch around the base of the plant.

Roses are heavy feeders. After your rose has been in the ground for a month or so, you may want to start fertilizing with a rose fertilizer, following package instructions. If you added lots of organic matter at planting time, and mulched with an organic mulch, you may need little or no supplemental fertilizer.

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