Tips for Growing EarthKind Roses
By Don Suderman
For these roses to be as carefree as promised, it is crucial that they receive the following basic care:
Be planted in locations where they receive direct sunlight for eight hours or more each day. Have good air movement over their leaves (i.e. do not plant in enclosed areas like courtyards or small backyards which are ringed by 8 foot fences).
No overhead irrigation during the evening hours or at night.
Roses really respond to well-drained soils. Thus, here are the bed preparation recommendations for the 2 major soil types:
Sandy and Loam soils – incorporate 3-6 inches of organic matter such as compost.
Clay soils – Incorporate 3 inches of organic matter (e.g. compost) and 3 inches of expanded shale. Plant on raised beds that are at least 4-6 inches above the surrounding soil.
Roses also like high levels of fertility, especially nitrogen. Thus, they need to be fertilized in March, June and lightly in late August.
Base your selection of fertilizer analysis on the results of a soil test. For the March and June feedings, utilize fertilizers in which at least half of the nitrogen is in the slow release or slowing available form. In late August, apply fertilizers in which the nitrogen is readily available.
Regardless of soil type, roses need to be protected year round with a layer of organic mulch (e.g. cypress bark, tree leaves) 3-4 inches thick. In areas of the states plagued by salty irrigation water, it is very important to drip irrigate roses. Salt water applied to the leaves can burn the foliage badly.