Saturday, April 15, 2006

Rose Frustration - part 4

Visiting the rose forum a couple of weeks ago, looking for fertilizer suggestions, I started to think that my soil is probably missing some micronutrient. I have heard that around here the sheep must be vaccinated with zinc because our soil is deficient in it. So luckily we have a store in this tiny town that I live in (population 4500) that sells all kinds of bulk goodies. So I bought the following ingredients which I expect/hope will be irresistible to roses:

rock phosphate – for phosphorus
kelp meal – for micronutrients and potash (1-0-2)
Epsom salts – for magnesium
blood meal – for nitrogen
bone meal – for phosphorus
gypsum - a combination of sulphur, and calcium; sulphur for lowering pH, calcium is an important macronutrient
greensand – for micronutrients and potash

Made up a bucket of 1 part of each plus a tiny bit of fritted trace elements. Unfortunately my store did not have fish meal but I also bought a big bag of alfalfa pellets, which is good for nitrogen and something that helps with basal branching on roses. Also added some some compost activator (I had noted that it is in the mix sold by a famous rosarian). Mice were getting into it so I might as well use it.

So armed with a bucket of alfalfa pellets, a bucket of the delicious mix, and a bucket of transplanting solution (10-52-10) I headed out to start moving roses around. One other thing I had learned in my research was that roses could be planted a little closer together than I had done mine. So I am rearranging my beds to allow for lots more roses, planted about 24” apart. NOW I should have a colorful display.


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