A Hopeful Beginning: Photos from the Rose Garden

So far, the rose garden is looking pretty good. *Keeping fingers crossed*

In my first house, there were red rose bushes in every window. They were tall and well-established, and we never did any maintenance and care to them, except for occasionally watering them (though most of the time I’d forget). My wife would avidly cut some flowers to put in a vase. But it was proof that, once established roses won’t require much maintenance. I think the previous owners used the Rose Bushes as a natural security barrier!

June 2011:  Roses in the Backyard

When To Water Those Roses?

From my experience, if the leaves of your rose bushes start to turn yellow, this is a sign of overwatering. And, although roses require plenty of water, if you give them too much and let them stand in it, that is just as bad as not giving them enough.

June 2011:  Roses in the Backyard

So, the question remains… how much water to give the roses? And, how often should you water them?

1. The first criteria is soil drainage. I myself live in Southern California where the soil has a lot of clay, and this tends to retain moisture a bit too much, which prevent proper drainage. Roses don’t like standing in water for very long, so it’s best to dig a big hole that is twice as wide and 1.5 times as deep as the 5 gallon rose bush.

2. It’s important to buy the proper garden soil when it comes to roses. And, I’ve read they prefer a sandy, loamy soil that is somewhat loose and allows for drainage. I’ve been having luck with Miracle-Gro’s “moisture control” garden soil.

June 2011:  Roses in the Backyard

3. Some experts say water twice a week, while others say water once a week. You definitely have to water deeply from the soil level. And definitely avoid watering the leaves to avoid fungal diseases. I’ve been watering twice a week, but noticed a few leaves are turning yellow at this point. I think I’ll will water once a week or once every 4-5 days and see how that goes.

4. Roses require fertilizer to thrive. I’ve been using Schultz’s rose fertilizer which comes in powder form and you mix with water. And I’ve been applying that once a week according to the instructions. And I apply this after I have watered the roses.

Checking The Soil Before Watering

From all my research online regarding watering roses, the best method is probably to just stick your finger in the soil to check the soil’s moisture level. If the soil is dry 1-2 inches down, then it’s probably the right time to water again. If the top 2 inches are still wet, then hold off. As long as you are watering “deeply” every time, then it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and wait another day before watering again.

If the water is quite warm, then twice a week sounds reasonable. Other than that I’m going to try to water just once a week.

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Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

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