The Care and Feeding of Roses
Roses for the Beauty it all
Roses are a long way from being the new kids on the block; in fact their history is considerable, prehistoric in fact. There is fossil evidence that the rose may have been around as long as 35 million years ago.
The rose or genus Rosa comprises approximately 150 species and has spread throughout the Northern hemisphere from Mexico on north to Alaska and even to northern Africa.
The first rose was likely cultivated in China around 5,000 years ago.
In the late 1700s the rose was brought from China into Europe and our modern day roses can trace their ancestors back to this period.
Roses are quick to establish themselves and will be better able to resist diseases and pests if they are planted in the right place. The rose will require six hours of sunlight per day if you want to flourish and flower.
An ideal spot for roses is an eastern exposure that receives the morning sun; avoid plating your roses where there are obstructions that create shade.
Do not plant roses near trees as this forces them into competiton for water and food. Roses require a free flow of air so make sure that they have room to breathe. Well-drained soil is best for optimal growth.
You may plant your roses anytime between early spring and early fall; however, the earlier planting time is preferable because it allows for adequate root development before the winter sets in.
The selection and availability of roses is often broader in the spring and this gives you more choice.
If you live in a region where the winters are cold and long, such as much of Canada, then here is a site that will help you select a rose for your garden.
Roses love a soil that is loamy and well-drained; one that has a pH of between 5.5 and 7.0. You can test your soil to determine its pH- garden centres often carry basic soil testing kits.
Regardless of the soil type, the addition of organic matter to your rose bed is well worth it. This will improve the bed’s, aeration, and nutrient holding capacity. Simply spread a two to four inch layer of organic matter on the soil surface.
The sources of organic matter sources include compost, rotted manure, leaf mold, peat moss, composted sewage sludge, fine grain potting bark or other source.
Then you turn the organic matter into the soil with a shovel or garden spade to a depth of 12 inches.
If you are planting a rose into an existing bed, you will dig hole approximately 15 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Then mix the three shovelfuls of organic matter with the soil removed from the hole. You use this as the backfill soil for the new plant.
A little thought before hand and regular care during the seasons will give your garden a source of beauty for many years.
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