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Many gardeners have always longed to work with roses, but held back, fearful that roses are difficult to grow and best left to the gardening company experts. In fact, however, there are many varieties of roses that are perfect for the beginning gardener.
Roses are nothing to be afraid of, so if you"ve always wanted to add the beauty of roses to your garden, it is time to get started. While roses certainly are special plants, the care they need is much the same as the care needs of any other type of plant. In order to thrive in the home garden, roses will need sufficient water, plenty of sunlight and plenty of good nutrients. Simply providing these simple needs will help you grow a rose garden you can be proud of. It is important, of course, to get those roses off to a good start, and that means preparing a healthy bed.
The successful rose bed should start with a light and well-drained soil with a depth of at least two feet. The pH level should be carefully adjusted until it is between 6.0 and 6.5, ideal for growing roses. In addition, the rose bed should be placed in a part of the landscape that gets a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight every day. Four hours of sunlight is the absolute minimum; five or six hours a day is even better.
Buying your roses is an important decision as well, and it is important to choose roses from a quality, reputable garden center or plant nursery stores. The quality of the roses you plant will be reflected in the quality of the blooms you get, so use care and select only the healthiest roses for your garden.
When you purchase your roses, they will come as either packaged, or container roses, or as bare root roses. Bare root roses will be supplied with some sort of root protection to keep the soil moist. These roses should not be purchased until you are ready to plant, and they should be planted while still in their dormant period.
The best time to plant bare-root roses, depending on the climate, will be between late winter and early spring. When planting bare-root roses, it is important to wait until the frozen ground has had a chance to thaw.
The planting procedures for bare root roses are as follows:
1. Soak the roots of the roses in water overnight the evening before they are to be planted.
2. Dig a hole that is wider and deeper than the root ball, then make a mound of earth at the bottom of the hole.
3. Carefully set the bare root roses on the mount of soil, and spread the roots around the mount evenly.
4. Make sure that the bud union is even with the ground.
5. Cover the roots carefully with loose soil, then press on it lightly. Continue to add additional soil until the hole is half full. After the hole is half full, add water, being careful to allow the water to soak in.
6. Finally, fill the rest of the hole with soil, and you are finished.
If you are planting container roses while they are still dormant, the procedure is the same as for bare root roses. If, however, the dormancy period has ended, follow these steps to get your container roses off to a great start.
1. If the rose is showing new leaves and flowers, it is no longer in its dormant period. Begin the planting by cutting away the bottom of the container, and making several openings on each side as well. This will provide Lunrestricted access to the roots.
2. Dig a hole that is wider and deeper than the root ball, and create the same type of soil mound as you would when planting bare root roses.
3. Carefully remove the roses from the container, disturbing the roots as little as possible. Spread the roots carefully around the mound of soil.
4. Make sure that the bud union is the same level as the surrounding ground. Fill the hole with soil and water, using the same procedure outlined for planting bare-root roses After the roses are in the ground, it is important to care for them properly, including proper mulching, watering and pruning.
Roses should be mulched to help them retain moisture, to prevent dramatic temperature changes from harming the plants and to control weeds. Always use a good quality mulch when mulching your roses. The staff at your local nursery or garden center should be able to recommend a good brand for your rose garden.