Friday, April 14, 2006

Struggling With Roses (part 3)

Two summers ago I started to fastidiously fertilize my roses. Previously I had used the slow-release fertilizer but since I understand it requires heat to release the nutrients, I figured there might be a problem with the plant not getting nutrients first thing in the spring and so last spring I scattered a handful of rose food around each plant (admittedly it was cheap rose food) and scratched it in. Fed them in mid-April, late May and mid July. I now reserve the slow release only for the Explorer roses (cause evidently they don’t like the fast-acting fertilizers).

So last year I figured I may have solved my problem by fertilizing early. Did it work? NO. But to be fair, there were a couple that looked pretty good.

I also read that roses like slightly acid soil. Mine is 7.0, so I scattered a little sulphur around each plant. Note to self: Do not add manure. It is alkaline.

I also scratched in coffee grounds and mulched with shredded leaves (love my mulching lawn mower!). I set up a nice system with soaker hoses.

So the plants had water, nutrients, mulch and sunshine. Were they happy? NO. What elusive element was/is missing?

I love the internet and I love to research, so I visited the GardenWeb forum on roses. I lurked for hours. The result was that I decided I must have the wrong plants. The pictures displayed there by rose fanatics left me breathless (though I hate it when they post gorgeous pictures of roses blooming in their gardens when there is still snow on the ground here!). I must have some of those plants!! And if people in colder climates than mine could rant and rave about their grand displays of roses, why can’t I!!!!

So I planned for many hours (I hate to admit how many) which roses would work best, and what to plant them next to and how to incorporate more of these beauties. Last fall I placed an order for 12 roses with Pickering, feeling confident that it was just a matter of choosing the right plants.


Post a Comment

<< Home