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Planting Roses

The winter planting season's stock of the latest and greatest rose varieties arrives in garden centres in early June. Loads more are available via mail order and the internet. If you buy bare root roses, carefully remove the packaging, trim any damaged roots, then soak in a bucket of water while you prepare the ground.

Choose a sunny location with good air flow. Stagnant humid air is very attractive to pests and diseases. Avoid soil where roses have grown previously. Find a new planting site or dig a large hole and backfill with fresh soil.

Roses give their best in soil which holds onto its water. Provided it's sufficiently drained, a clay based soil is ideal. Any soil will be improved by digging in loads of compost. Alternatively or each rose bush you plant, add a bucket load of compost to a generous sized planting hole and mix it through with slow release fertiliser.

On very heavy soils which are poorly drained, roses will do well in raised beds filled with top quality top soil. Any planting mix must have good water holding capacity.

Plant roses so that the bud union sits just above ground level. Fill and firm the soil around the plant and water thoroughly. Trim each branch with slanting cuts just above an outward facing bud. Cover the soil after planting with a 5 to 10cm layer of organic mulch.

Suggested Products: Screened Topsoil, Living Earth Organic Compost, Garden Mixes and Mulches are available from your local Central Landscape & Garden Supplies yard - bulk and bags, pickup or delivery as well as free loan trailers

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