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- Placement - two factors really matter. One is sunlight. Morning sun is best, so the East is very good for roses. The second is viewing and access. The closer they are to viewing, the better. Just outside the backdoor works well for this group and they have some shade, so they will not cook on the hottest days. Water is easily available, too.
- Soaking - I have two barrels of rainwater for immersing them two hours or more. Judging by how hot the box was, the roses had a good sauna and could use the moisture before planting. The canes need it just as much as the roots. If rainwater is in short supply, stored water in a big barrel or garbage can is good. The chlorine evaporates out in a day or two.
- Digging the holes. If the area is tough to dig, soak it well the night before but not the day of. Digging in sloppy mud is not an experience to repeat.
- I use a tripod box to measure how far apart I plant the roses. If they are parallel to a fence, I stretch out a line to keep the holes parallel. Otherwise a little bit of irregularity is not a problem as they grow. They are roses, not soldiers.
- If I dig into sod, I keep the lumps for upside-down placement in the hole. They decompose quickly and enrich the soil, packed with roots, worms, and soil microbes. A sod lump also stabilizes the new rose in its place.
- Rose roots can be pruned and often are. The real growth comes after planting. I prune broken ones and long ones that make planting awkward.
- Plant the rose on a pyramid of soil at the bottom of the opening. Pack it with some firmness, but not jumping up and down on the spot. Compacted soil is not good.
- After planting, two steps are important. Soak the soil into place, ideally with rainwater. Prune each cane to spur growth. I soaked the most dried out roses I have ever seen and pruned the dreadful looking canes - and they grew faster than all previous full-priced roses.
- Once planted - water roses daily for two weeks - especially the canes. Watering at the base is not enough at this stage. I often give the roses a shower and wash down the entire plant, long after planting. However, at this stage cane hydration is essential.
- Mulching can be done or completed later. This is true rose feeding. The first layer is newspapers. I open a section of the newspaper and spread it out. If it is breezy, I soak them first. Wood mulch goes on top the newspapers to hold them down and complete the weed barrier, earthworm and fungus paradise.
- Look for the red-to-green leaves to pop out, some earlier, some later. Rainwater on lagging roses is a good idea. So is pruning another inch off the canes, especially canes that look woody, dead, or harmed at the tips. Water is never going to pass through dead areas so there can be no growth or flowers there until the pruning is done.
- Red wiggler earthworms will do the best in converting the mulch into rose food, tunneling, mixing, and fertilizing.
- Inorganic fertilizer. The chemical fertilizers drive away earthworms and harm the soil microbes that feed rose roots.
- Pesticides. Spraying for pests will kill all the beneficial insects (ladybugs, flower flies, ichneumon wasps), harm the earthworms, and keep birds away - no food. Give the beneficials time and opportunity to eat their favorite foods.
- Neglect. Roses are NOT a lot of work. They do require an appreciation of God's Creation and their needs. Continuous care means pruning - that is - cutting roses off for enjoyment, plus removing deadwood and blackspot. Watering may be necessary at times.
|Rove beetles kill the bad guys, so do not kill them with pesticides.|
|The Jackson Rose Gardens|
use Creation principles to have a constant display
of beautiful flowers with little expense and labor.