Caring For Your Rose Bushes
Rose bushes and roses in gardens, ringed by thyme and supported by diverse ground covers makes for a lovely picture. Some roses however are more than others. Some love to climb, others to trail, others to spread themselves across the ground. Generally speaking you get what you pay for, though as with everything there is the exception.
If you want a rose that swings like a bird, and smells lovely as you sit watching it grow then perhaps you would like to try a climbing rose. Roses do wonderful to climb and are quite fun to watch as they grow. There are many types of roses both climbing and non-climbing and they range in price. I have to say that for the designer or professional garden that needs wonderful fragrance and bloom all year long, then the tea rose would be the one to go for – their blooms are truly magnificent.
The tea rose is a cross between the chicken of the rose species (the Rosa airflow which also is the source of many climbing rose varieties) and the tobacco rose (the Buisset rose, whose airy stems and clusters of small flowers look like a mass of cotton on a breeze). These are considered to be Tea roses as they are good hosts for the tea plant where the berries are removed. Tea roses are easy to care for and prune in the right season.
Gardeners who venture onto the rose growing world are advised to deal with the tea rosehammer by not pruning for the first two years. Generally, the advice is to prune every three years. The years immediately following a rose’s blooming are considered to be its dormancy season. Roses don’t like too much disturbance, so if you move, lightly prune or even cut back the bush for a few years. This will enable further growth without too much effort. The next time you prune give it a chance to adapt to its new environment.
For the first three years only, you can give your tea rose a lot of water, six to seven inches of water every week. This makes for nice lush foliage and keeps the soil nice and moist. If you decide to plant a newer hybrid rose, you will for instance have to cut the growth back to three inches. Don’t do this in the first years, at least not with new roses. Let it get bushy and then settle in. Also, hybrid teas do not like too much water at one time.
The ideal soil for planting your rose is a nutrient rich humus soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Here is an easy rule of thumb, if the soil is clay, then it will need more compost and finer particles. If the soil is sandy, then more peat or leaf mould is a better option. Most soil should be able to be rose grown, although admittedly not all soil can be.
Planting Your Roses
One half to one inch of the Rooted area for every inch of the height of the plant is recommended. Rose planting is not difficult if you stake where you want the plant to go and calculate the dimensions of the entire plant on the stake you buy. If you know someone who has experience in rose planting you can get advice on the best location for the rose plant. The area should have plenty of sunlight and be protected from the wind. If you want to, you can bring in a small trellis to support the growing stems. No matter what location you choose, roses will grow well.
If you decide to plant your roses en masse, a good rule of thumb is two rows of plants for every meter in height. En masse planting has a less stressful effect on the rose and allows the rose to grow with minimal interference from people and animals. Get your soil tested if you have acid soil, you can change the pH level with lime. You can also add some compost or bone meal to the soil to make it healthier.
Organic gardeners may prefer to plant throughout the year, but I choose to plant in spring and summer. My roses do not like to be continuously wet so I choose to plant them in a dry spot that is semi-shaded. The area should have good air circulation and they should be protected from late spring frosts. Grapevines prefer an area that is exposed to plenty of sun but protected from frost. Grapevines do not like cold, so plant them in early spring or in a shaded area.
The key to organic gardening is using natural fertilizers. Mulching with rich organic matter like manure is a major part of organic gardening. Herbs are also very effective fertilizers. You can use a number ofiferous herbs in your garden. Some herbs like yarrow, mint, and rosemary are annual and will not survive a long frost. So, they are basically perennials.