Soil Preparation For Roses

With proper cultivation and the correct use of organic manures, most soils can be made to grow good roses. Like other plants they dislike waterlogging and correct drainage must be ensured. In the case of very heavy badly drained soils it is not a bad plan to bury a mass of clinkers or old brickbats 450 to 600 mm (18 in to 2 ft) down.

Fork the ground over shallowly, removing any roots of perennial weeds seen. Complete forking as early as possible so as to allow the soil to settle before planting the bushes. Organic fertilizers such as ‘meat and bone’ meal or fish manure should be worked into the top 50 mm (2 in) at 105 to 140 g/mz (3 to 4 oz per sq yd) when the surface soil is being made level, just prior to planting. In addition finely divided wood ashes, if available, at 280 g/m2 (J lb per sq yd). Further applications of such fertilizers may be given at intervals of a fortnight from the beginning of May until the beginning of June at 35 g/m2 (1 oz per sq yd) in each case on occasion.

With shallow soils it is a good plan to use roses grafted1 on to Rugosa stocks which because of their fibrous rooted I propensities are more adapted to shallow land. Further dressings of well-rotted compost or sedge peat should be applied as top dressings in May to act as a mulch. Get the preparation done early. Planting really ought to take place by the end of November in heavy land, though up till the end of December in light land.

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