Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida
Sherry, I hope you don't mind. I started this thread for you and others based on your following post:
Posted by sherryocala 9A Florida (My Page) on Fri, Dec 30, 11 at 12:53
Chris, I hadn't read about the "barren area starvation method", but that's basically what I've done. My front garden is almost surrounded by pavement with weed-cloth covered graveled areas in the middle, and the beds are amended to the extreme (more than 50% soil replacement) and very fertile. The back garden has no pavement nearby but lots of gravel and similarly amended beds. I also don't like the look of fort-grafted roses. I only have one left - Mrs B R Cant. Like you said, if a gardener has only sand and doesn't want or can't go the total excavation/amend route, grafted makes sense. The problem is availability and then expense.
My other concern/doubt/question is the ground below my amended beds. My roses are old enough for their roots to have penetrated into that horrible, compacted, limey, cement-like native ground (Ocala has lots of limestone geology, making it excellent horse country but not so good for roses if you happen to have calcareous soil), and a few roses are suffering chlorosis and thin foliage. I may resort to lifting them, re amending the area and replanting. The organics don't seem to "flow down" sufficiently to alter the original ground. I don't know if nematodes are present in my area or if their habit is to come up from the bottom even if surrounded as you describe with starvation areas. It would be easier to assess the nematode situation if I didn't have the crappy native cement-like sand to complicate the issue. Growing roses well in Florida is certainly doable but definitely not easy. Determination, passion and a strong back (the gardener's or someone else's) are definitely required. But then, of course, people are plopping Knock Outs into the ground all over the place. I wonder what they will be looking like in a few years.
Thanks for commenting about this. I have kind of felt alone in what I have done. You explained it well.