Soil Samples - What's Beneath Your Feet?
In the long run there are only two things that are always touching your rose bushes, soil and air.If that air happens to be relatively dry and 75 degrees your bushes will thrive. On the other hand, if that air is 95 degrees with 95% humidity your bushes will struggle. The same is true for soil. Healthy soil is the foundation for your bushes and it can mean the difference between thriving and barely surviving. Soil is the only thing that delivers nutrients to your rose bushes which makes it the most important factor in growing beautiful roses.
Soil chemistry is extremely complicated and there are a lot of factors that go into healthy soil. As with most things simple is better so we will concentrate on the big factors.
pH- it is important to know the pH of your soil. For roses you want the pH to be between 6.0 and 6.5. pH will affect how nutrients are made available to your rose bush. Proper pH will let your bushes get the most out of the nutrients in the soil and the fertilizer that you put down. Use the Digital Soil pH Meter to check your soil throughout the growing season.
Nutrients- we ask a lot from our roses. They are always growing new roses for us to cut and enjoy. All of that growth takes a lot food and roses are definitely heavy feeders. A good base of lots of cow manure when you plant your rose bush is extremely important. Composted cow manure delivers a large variety of nutrients to your rose bushes over several years. It is well worth it to spend a little more at the beginning to give your plants the nutrients they need for years to come.
Fertilizer- fertilizer is the main course for your roses. The N-P-K delivered by fertilizers allows your bushes to continue to thrive and bloom. Whether you use Witherspoon Premium Rose Fertilizer or an organic option it is important to remember that the fertilizer is delivering nutrients to the soil and the soil is delivering them to the plant. Sandy soils don't hold on to nutrients like clay based soils do so you may have to increase your fertilizing regimen for those types of soils. If you are not receiving a lot of rain, make sure that your irrigation system is set up in a way that will help the fertilizer deliver the nutrients to the soil.
Texture- roses like to stretch. They want to spread their feeder roots as far as possible to find every bit of nutrition they can. If not preparing a full bed for your roses, it is important to dig a wide hole and diligently prepare the soil. In this case sandier soils have an advantage because the roots easily move through the soil. On the other hand, compacted clay soil does not grow happy roses. When planting roses, we recommend planting with our Witherspoon Premium Planting Mix. Whether you have sandy or clay soil, Witherspoon Premium Planting Mix is great product to use. It is a mixture of cow manure, soil conditioner, and PermaTill (a product that helps keep clay soils from compacting).
Our roses offer us so much joy. If they are not happy in their soil, they are unable to get up and go find a better spot. They depend on us to prepare and maintain their growing environment for them. Spend a little extra time and money to properly prepare the soil when you plant your rose bush, check it each month, and it will thank you for years to come with bountiful bouquets of beautiful blooms.