For a successful start in rose gardening, select either Earthkind™ or other low maintenance roses that do well in the Collin County area and purchase only potted plants. A recommended list of various varieties can be seen in the next article.
The ideal planting time here is from mid-February to early April. The earlier the better, since the roots will be more established to handle the stress of the summer heat. Roses can be successfully planted in the Fall, but selections in area nurseries are limited at that time.
Choose a location having at least 6 hours of direct sunlight where the soil drains well or build a raised bed to improve garden drainage. The location should be where there is also good air circulation.
To plant a single rose (i.e. hybrid tea, shrub, floribunda, or climber), first remove all the grass and weeds in a 2' x 2' area. Then dig a hole about 20" in diameter to a depth about 12-16". (For a miniature rose, prepare a 12" x 12" area instead to a depth of 8". ) Where the native soil is black gumbo -- like most of this area -- mix in 3" of expanded shale and at least 3" of composted organic material with the removed soil. Now replace most of the enhanced soil in the hole until the planting area is about 3-4" above the previous garden grade. (In sandy soil, use 6" of compost since expanded shale is not needed for drainage.) While the rose is still in its container, soak it in a second container containing 4-6" of water for 20 minutes. Prepare a hole in the center of the mix for the plant. Following the soak, cut away or remove the container, even if it is one of the bio-degradable fiber type, while minimizing disturbing the soil around the roots. Place the rose in the prepared hole with its top surface even with the mix. Tamp the soil around the plant and then grade the soil away so that water drains away from the plant. To finalize the planting, thoroughly water the overall planting area and then cover with a 3" layer of hardwood mulch. Do not fertilize at this time. After the first blooms fertilize lightly and water in.
If more roses are to be added to the garden, use a tiller to prepare the overall gardening area. Roses should be planted on at least a 36" - 60" spacing unless they are miniatures. Those can be planted on a reduced spacing of 12 - 18". The spacing is determined by the expected size of the mature plants and allowing a 1 ft. clearance between them. There shouldn't be any overlap. Roses need good air circulation around them to minimize fungal diseases.
Earthkind™and low maintenance roses normally do not need to be sprayed for insects or diseases. Most modern roses, however, need to be sprayed every 7-10 days during the springtime or anytime during the growing season when there is a prolonged period of rain and cooler temperatures with a fungicide to control blackspot and/or powdery mildew.
Insects usually can be controlled by directing a water spray from a hose at them. This will blast them off the leaves and buds. Most rosarians find this adequate. In the early growing season, this may need to be repeated every 3-5 days since insects seem to know when new rose growth has occurred.
Most roses do not continually bloom throughout the growing season. Usually, they bloom in cycles with a repeat bloom every 4-6 weeks. To encourage new growth remove the old blooms (this is called deadheading) by removing the dead bud and a portion of its stem down to 1/4 inch above a 5 leaflet leaf.
Roses need a deep watering weekly during the growing season. Each watering should be equivalent to a 1" rain. Never allow the soil to completely dry out in any season. In the hot summer months here, twice a week watering is required. Maintaining three inches of hardwood mulch will help reduce watering, fertilizing and weeding. Avoid water on the leaves in the evening since it might lead to blackspot unless the night time low temperature remains above 80 degrees.
From mid to late February of each year, most roses should be pruned by removing from one-third to one-half of their height and also shaped to have a balanced appearance. Tea roses should be minimally pruned -- just shaped each year. For all roses, remove all dead canes, along with any old canes that have lost their vigor and canes that rub adjacent ones. Open the rose's center to improve air circulation because this minimizes fungal diseases. Climbers should only be cut back after the Spring blooms. These varieties are pruned by removing the entire length of an old cane back to the bud union in the case of a grafted plant or to the ground in the case of an own-root plant. Around 6-8 canes should remain after pruning. Both bush and climber roses usually need to be shaped during the growing season. With the exception of the tea and climber varieties, roses should be pruned by one-third in early September. This will stimulate them for further growth in the cooler Fall weather and reward you with large blooms in October and November.
For established roses, fertilize in early March and again in early September with a slow release fertilizer. Avoid fertilizers high in phosphorus since our soil contains adequate levels of it. Either chemical or organic fertilizers can be used. But, one should note that the salt content of chemical fertilizers impacts the productivity of the soil over time since it kills the micro-organisms which nourish the plant. When a chemical fertilizer is used, the area around a plant needs to be watered both before and after applying the fertilizer to avoid burning the roots. During the summer months, a water soluble fertilizer should be sprayed on the leaves every two - three weeks to provide nutrients to combat the summer stress.
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|Marie Daly||Monsieur Tillier||Mutabilis||New Dawn|
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