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Mega Gardening

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42. Gardening With Roses

Roses have a wonderful fragrance and are the ultimate flower when it comes to romance. Roses are also easy to grow although for many years they were thought of as being a plant that required extra TLC. I have many roses throughout my garden, many colors and sizes too add to my gardens. For the best production, I have found that my roses need their individual space. They do not do well competing with other plants for room. Find a level space that drains well and preferably offers a southern exposure where the morning sun and afternoon shade reach.

Some of the more popular rose bushes are:

Grandifloras – This is a cross between the Hybrid and Floribundas and is perfect cut flowers. Some only produce one bloom per stem while others cluster.

Shrub Roses – Wonderful low growing hedge type shrubs that produce hardy roses. Very low maintenance.

Climbing Roses – Perfect for a trellis or fence, these can grow up to 20 feet tall and produce beautiful, hardy roses.

Miniature Roses – This is an upright, climbing miniature rose that can be grown indoors or outdoors.

Hybrid Tea – The most popular, these produce large fragrant flowers perfect for bouquets. These need to be protected from the cold.

Floribundas – These are colorful and bloom in the fall. These are naturally resistant to diseases and are wonderful when mixed with perennials.

Patio Trees – These are ideal for small spaces such as apartment patios. They produce a wonderful variety of colors.

For a wonderful appearance, if you plant roses in groups plant them in odd numbers. Another effect is by staggering them throughout. This provides a nice soft look.

Before you put the roses in the ground, you need to first prepare the ground. Remove the soil approximately 20 inches wide and 24 inches deep. Then add in organic matter to the soil that you just removed. You may or may not need to add lime. Remove the bushes from the container and prune the tops leaving about 10 inches. Remove any dead areas and gently place in the hole, filling it back up with the soil mixture making sure it’s firmly patted down and the rose bush is standing straight.

Next, you need to water and add some fertilizer. If you have chosen climbing bushes, ensure they have protective stands in the ground or a fence or trellis to hold them upright. About one week after planting, you will give the rose bushes their first feeding of rose food. Then after the feeding, apply about 5 inches of mulch around the base of the bush to help retain moisture.

During the first three to four weeks, newly planted roses will need to be watered frequently. After that, water about once a week. Water only in the morning or early afternoon as standing water not dried by the sun can actually aid in spreading disease. When winter comes, add more mulch, bracing the base to provide protection to the roots during the cold months.

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