How many times have you heard someone utter something along the lines of “Growing roses is hard, back-breaking work”? I’m guessing that just like me, you’ve heard it a lot of times. As a fairly lazy person, it seems safe to reason that I would probably never experience the beautiful feeling of seeing roses bloom in my garden. Well, permit me to gleefully, sorry, humbly inform you that you’re wrong. For other not-so-hardworking persons like me, allow me to guide you through 5 simple hacks to help you achieve the rose garden of your erstwhile impossible dreams.
- A good site is the right start
For your roses to thrive, the site chosen must have a fertile soil that is deep, loose, and well-drained. A shallow and compacted soil, like clay and sand, would hinder good root development. Everyone needs food, even roses, so your soil must be rich in essential nutrients. Roses don’t like their roots staying in water for long, hence, the need for good drainage. The site must also be capable of receiving 6 or more hours of direct, full and unfiltered morning sun. Roses, unlike me, love to bask in the sun.
- Pick the right rose
Most people residing in areas with wintry climates would love to have hybrid teas and floribundas in their gardens. However sweet that dream is, it is highly improbable. Why? Well, simply because different rose species are more suited to some environments and climates than others. If that rose specie you love won’t thrive in where you live, don’t bother planting it. Ask the local rosarians in your community for advice and suggestions on the right type of rose to grow in your garden.
- Plant it
This step is quite simple if you keep the following basics in mind. If your soil doesn’t meet the standard requirements stated earlier, you can improve it by making amendments. Mix humus, garden soil, compost, and bone meal together and set it aside. Now, dig a hole for each rose plant wide enough to accommodate its roots and 18-24 inches deep. Each hole should be spaced 18 inches apart. Even roses don’t like being overcrowded.
Add the prepared amended soil into the hole up to the point where you would place your plant. Shape the soil in form of a mound, then position your plant in the center of the mound. You can then fill up the hole with the remaining amended soil, ensuring that your bud union stays 2-3 inches above the ground level. Water the soil at intervals during this process and firm to remove air pockets.
- Pamper your roses
Roses are a spoiled lot. As they require an inch of water weekly, you must regularly water them. When watering, ensure you aim your spray at the lower part of the plant and not on the leaves directly. This achieves a two-fold purpose: it helps to prevent the occurrence of fungal diseases such as Black Spot and also gets rid of insects breeding on the plant’s lower parts. Organic fertilizers, such as manure, remain the safest bet. Inorganic fertilizers are fine, as long as you don’t over-fertilize. A thick layer of mulch around the base of your plant also comes in handy to prevent weed growth and retain moisture.
- Discipline them
Discipline in rose-speak simply means pruning. During summer, remove the weaker, older growth as well as sickly, dead or weak branches. Cut back tall canes to about 18-24 inches above the ground. This helps in ensuring the continuous bloom and survival of your roses.
If you follow this outlined process diligently, your blooming rose garden would be its very own reward.