best planting medium for roses?

Clemmielover(5)July 9, 2013

Hi all!

I have gone full circle the last few weeks and have developed a rose addiction of grand dimensions.
My mother in laws half acre yard, fenced off with a few hundred feet of unsightly chain link fence in southern exposure has also cemented the cravings.

My questions today is about the soil.
What would be the ideal for roses?
When I been looking around I noticed a predominantly gritty mix and I'm thinking I didn't get my own quite the same,
the bed with the new America is right next to a leaky spout and the dirt deep down is really a heavy clay.
I dug it all out by 2x2x8 and replaced it with mushroom compost, builders sand and fine gravel.
As I learned to never use the same planting spot twice I placed the rose a few feet away.

My two nagging questions currently is if I used enough distance from the old spot, dirt replaced none the less.

And if I did enough amending of the dirt?
Is there any general guidelines for a ratio when mixing planting material for roses?

I should mention I have no intention on keeping up with spraying programs and also expect the roses to, once established, go without watering during the week.
There is 3 roses on the lot already and they bloom and go about their biz without me doing anything beside dunking a bag of Mcompost over the planting site after every flush of blooms.
I'm thinking they do so well on their own as all the amended beds are still surrounded by dense clay holding moisture under the lawn. ?
Pure speculation tou...

One more question, is there any correlation between Japanese beetle infestation and plants not properly watered?

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

All you need to do, usually, to amend the soil is to add some humus/manure (conveniently available at stores like Home Depot in bags) and mix it up with the dirt in your garden spot. There, done with that task.

And don't be leery about planting in a spot where a previous rose existed. There is no "replant" disease in America, if that is what you are concerned about.

If you don't want to spray (I assume you mean a fungicide for blackspot), then carefully select your roses. Some are blackspot magnets, others are very disease resistant (or "very healthy" as some places list them). If the roses are not very disease resistant, BS will be able to devastate your rose if you don't spray.

No, there is no correlation that I have heard of between Japanese beetles infestations and proper watering of the rose. There has, however, been some speculation that during times of drought (like many places experienced last summer), the JB grub can't get properly established in your lawn or can't manage to crawl out of the lawn when it has sufficiently developed, so that would destroy lots of JBs before they ever get to the point where they could be destroying your roses. However, maintaining your roses at drought level would not be a particularly good gardening idea--for the rose!

Any other questions? : )


    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:28PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

What is wrong with the native soil that you think roses would not grow well in it?

The best roses I have ever seen grow in the ground, in the soil that is wisely cared for with a focus on long term (decades) health. Fancy mixes are not better. They break down quickly and have the potential to turn into anerobic goo.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:16PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

What you have done will probably work out fine. Roses can be grown well in soil of just about any texture. However I agree with Hoovb that it is usually better to work with the mineral soil that you have as opposed to excavating and backfilling with organic matter. Certainly it saves a lot of work and money. But good luck and let us know how your roses are doing.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:34PM
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When I am preparing a new area for spring rose planting I do several things. First, I will add several bags of manure and shovel it in very well. Then I will just toss in lots of banana peals and potato skins and shovel it around once a week. I've found that this makes great dirt and it's pretty easy to do.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:50PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

I think the "gritty mix" was more meant for potted roses than planted-in-the-ground roses.

I can tell you what worked for me when I started new beds. First, section off the area you intend to plant with whatever edging you'll be using. Then spread some composted manure, mushroom compost, garden compost, or whatever rich organic matter you have, about 2" thick (or more, if you have enough). Grass or no grass on the ground, doesn't matter -- ignore it. If you have very heavy soil, you can also add peat moss or gypsum.

Cover the bed with cardboard -- this will keep any germinating weed seeds in the compost from being able to reach the light, and they'll die off. This will also kill any grass or weeds already growing in the area. Then top the cardboard with 2"-3" of some kind of organic mulch (the cheapest I found at Home Depot was mixed hardwood mulch). Soak it well when finished, and leave the area for two months or more before planting in it.

The best is to do this in the Autumn and leave it until Spring. If you are in an area that doesn't get a lot of rain/snow, you'll have to water the area to help the cardboard break down. You want it to last long enough to kill any plants or weeds underneath, but break apart enough to dig through at planting time.

When it's time to replenish mulch, first put an inch or more of compost or manure on top of the old mulch (plus any organic granular fertilizer or other amendments you may use) before adding new. If you continue this yearly, you'll be feeding the critters in the soil, and they'll break it down and mix it around for you.



This post was edited by AquaEyes on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 21:16

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:13PM
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thanks guys, I'm glad to hear,
I didn't use manure as I was worrying about burns etc., but I'm relieved to hear my mix is adequate as I worried it'll wasn't draining well enough. All the pots, mainly at the nurseries , was crazy gritty, almost akin to succulent mixes..

I'm a very basic gardener, I tend to water needs and basic pruning but use strictly manure and mushroom compost for fertilizing.

Last time I had a look at the new Stormy Weather she had been mowed down by the guy cutting the lawn. Since it's a mailorder plant and still young I figured it's not that big of a deal.
Any advice on how to proceed? The planting site is intact but most above ground growth is gone, I saw a few leaves at the bottom but that's it.
I'm going to make a chicken wire cage to cover her up for the rest of the summer

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 5:57PM
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