Starting Your Rose Garden

PLANNING THE GARDEN

Do not plant rose shrubs too close to existing trees and other shrubs. Roses need at least six hours of full sunlight per day and close proximity to trees and shrubs may interfere with this need. If there is a choice between morning or afternoon shade, afternoon shade is more beneficial. Morning shade slows the evaporation of moisture which can cause various fungi that roses are susceptible to. Afternoon shade protects from too much heat and drying of the soil.

pH

Neutral pH is 7, the pH for pure water. A higher number indicates a more basic soil, and a lower number indicates a more acidic soil.?Roses prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. They will grow, however, in slightly alkaline soil with a pH of 7.5. A pH of 6.0 is also tolerable.

Your local garden center can help you to determine your soil type and can advise you on how to increase or decrease your pH level. To raise your pH level, you can add agricultural lime or dolomitic limestone. To decrease your pH level, you can add sulfur. Always be sure to mix your additive into the soil well, preferably with a garden tiller.

DRAINAGE

Roses will tolerate many kinds of soil, but poor drainage and lack of aeration will cause your plants to weaken and die.

If winters in your area are damp, and the springs are very wet, it is advisable to wrap your rose beds in plastic in the fall. Doing this will keep the bed dry enough for planting in the spring.

 

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