Heirloom Roses - Growing Instructions
Nutrients That Roses Need
All the sun you can muster up (minimum of 6 hours per day), with plenty of water that will drain off readily along with a good source of -Nitrogen, Phosphorous, & Potassium - either natural sources or man-made sources. These are the building blocks to successfully growing roses!
In todays fast pace of life the most common way to fertilize roses is with what we call synthetic or man made ready fertilizers. These come in water soluble (Miracle Grow) that work immediately when mixed with water or granulated fertilizers in bags/boxes (10-10-10) that take time to dissolve in the soil; especially if it has been coated with a polymer to release nutrients slowly over the growing season (SRF). This means of fertilization works well and certainly give the roses what they need in the line of nutrients to grow if the instructions on the package are followed. What wed like to stress is that this means of fertilization with no other means does nothing to build up and keep your soil fertile & healthy and regular fertilizing is needed because of this. If you dont fertilize regularly, then your roses do not get fertilized and therefore dont get what they need to flourish!
Plants contain all 92 natural elements, but require only sixteen for growth. Thirteen of these elements are mineral elements or nutrients. There are six macronutrients and seven micronutrients. It is important to stress that most gardeners need only concern themselves with supplying quality pre-packaged fertilizers according to manufacturers instructions. This stated, gardeners should familiarize themselves with the three major nutrients identified on most fertilizer packaging...
These are the nutrients that you will see commonly identified on the fertilizer package. Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium are labeled as a sequence of three numbers (10-10-10) or (20-20-20).
Nitrogen promotes healthy vegetative, green growth. Phosphorous is vital to promote strong root growth and flower production.
Potassium makes sure all is in good working order somewhat like a vitamin. I call it the plants immune system booster as it helps the plant through stressful times such as disease/insect damage, drought and cold temperatures.
Balanced fertilizers have an equal representation of the three major nutrients, for example, 10-10-10. Fertilizers formulated for strong green growth will have a larger percentage of nitrogen. Fertilizers for evergreen trees or turf grasses will have a large percentage of nitrogen, for example, 30-10-10. Fertilizers developed for flower production normally has a high phosphorous content, for example, 10-20-10.In general, stay away from high nitrogen content fertilizers for use with roses.
How you fertilize your roses depends on what stage of the growing process your roses are at. If you are fertilizing newly planted roses you should only use bone meal or super phosphate (very small amount) in the planting hole at the time of planting. You certainly do not want to promote a lot of green growth at the expense of a good root system.
Your basic rose feeding program should start out with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10), or one with a high phosphorous content (5-10-5, 10-20-10). Even better are rose fertilizers, which include the other macro and micronutrients.
The secondary macronutrients are sulphur, calcium, and magnesium. Use of a high quality rose fertilizer will ensure that these macronutrients are made available to the roses.
Of these secondary macronutrients, magnesium is of substantial interest to the rose gardener. Magnesium sulfate, provided in the form of Epsom salts, is a time-honored secret for intensifying flower color, increasing flower production, and flushing harmful salts through the soil.
Add Epsom salts at the rate of 1/2 cup per plant
Successful rose growing is really no big secret. It boils down to the basic fact that, if you give the rose what it needs, it will flourish - dont give it what it needs, or only part of its needs, then it wont. So, the key to success is to know what your roses need and give it to them!
Remember.. A hardy rose is onlyhardy if it is healthy
Growing good roses is built upon the foundation of excellent soil preparation. This means putting plenty of organic materials to hold moisture in sandy type soils, add micronutrients as they decompose and improve the soil tilth in general. Here enters COMPOST. The beauty of compost is that it is the finest amendment you can add to your garden soil, and it is also the least expensive (with the exception of your time!).
Composting is a natural biological process, carried out under controlled conditions, which converts organic material into a stable humus-like product called compost. During the composting process, various microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, break down organic material into simpler substances. Composting is an aerobic process, meaning that the microorganisms require oxygen to do their work.
Locate the compost pile in a semi-shaded area, which is out of the way somewhere. Add layers of various organic materials (see ingredients below) until a six inch layer is created; then add with another four to six inch layer of soil, manure, or finished compost. Continue alternating layers until a 3-foot high pile is created.
The composting process can take from 1 month to 1 1/2 years depending on how much work youre willing to put into it.
To speed the process, turn the pile frequently, use lots of layers, and use as finest ground material as you can manage.
Compost is ready to be used when it is dark in color, crumbly and has an earthy smell. Sift the compost to eliminate material that has not yet finished composting, and return the unfinished material back to the compost bin or pile.
Things to make compost with...
-Lawn clippings (source of nitrogen)
-Chopped leaves (finely chopped only large leaves take a long time to break down, shredded branches, weeds (carbon source)
-Garden plants that have been hauled out or pruned or cut back.
-Kitchen waste all vegetative material (peelings, leaves, apple cores, etc.)
-Crushed eggshells, - Shredded newspaper- though not in large amounts. Remember- keeps the amount of brown materials (dead or carbon source: i.e. paper) in equal amounts with the green (living, nitrogen source: i.e. veggie peelings)
Do and Donts of composting...
The composting process works fastest when materials are in small pieces. Dense, hard things such as woody materials, turnips, thick roots etc should be made smaller or crushed before adding to the pile.
Don't add any materials in too thick of layers of any one kind. Grass clippings should be no more than 3 inches deep, leaves up to 6 inches deep (cut or chop or dry and crumble them).
The composter contents should be kept constantly moist (but not wet). If the contents are too dry, the whole process will take many months. If the contents are too wet, beneficial organisms vital to the process will drown and suffocate with no oxygen.
Turn or mix the compost every couple of weeks or each time new material is added will keep the compost pile aerated. Oxygen is crucial to the whole process. It must be available throughout all of the composting material for microorganisms to live and do their work.
Composting may be done in the winter. Continue adding materials throughout the winter months. Turn the compost heap thoroughly in the spring to reactivate.
Nitrogen is needed for successful composting. That means anything GREEN. Add grass clippings, table- scraps and or small amounts of organic fertilizer from the garden center.
Use a compost bin with a container to prevent animals from rooting around in the compost pile.
Things not to put in your compost...
Diseased or insect infected plant leaves & roots.
Most people, no matter how well intentioned they are, do not tend the compost as they should therefore the heat does not build up to the temperatures needed to kill any insects and their eggs or diseases that are on plant material - therefore- unless you know youre going to put the right amounts of carbon (brown material) and nitrogen (green material), water and turn your compost pile on a regular basis - dont put the above things into it!!
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