Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Why Can't I Succeed With Roses?

Its time to leave Costa Rica behind and concentrate on this year’s garden, cause things are starting to become colorful here, with crocuses nearing the end of their bloom and the daffs just starting (spring is late this year).

This year I am determined to have nice roses. Last summer I was absolutely disgusted with them, or at least with most of the floribundas in my backyard. So last summer I began my quest to understand why I cannot grow roses with the same success that I have with all the other plants in my yard.

I am going to run through all my thoughts and practices, just in case something suddenly looks wrong, either to myself or a reader.

I believe the soil is very good. About 4 or 5 years ago I dug an 18” deep by 3-5’ wide trench in the sandy subsoil (yes, the lawn is growing in subsoil). I placed turf that had been removed from a friend’s yard (wonderful silty soil) upside down in the trench. Then I filled the trench with organic material, silty and sandy topsoil.

Full of expectations of a wonderful display, the next spring I moved roses into place and bought some additional plants. The results were only so-so, but it was the first year.

The next year was actually even less successful. My favorite rose Tabris sent up a couple of shoots, bloomed and then the branches sort of died. Not a blackspot problem, but the leaves got tan-colored patches that dried and dropped. Very little growth after that. The next year the plant started out with some blooms and then did the same thing again. Last summer it looked a tiny bit better.

That's it for today...


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