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Rose Gardening Article

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The Best Soil Conditions for Roses

from: Lawn and Garden Magic

Smart gardeners know that soil is one of the most important aspects of any garden, and a rose garden is no acception. If you're just getting your rose garden started you must understand that it's imperitive to have the proper soil mix so your roses don't get off to a poor start. In fact, without the right soil mix, there's a chance that all the roses in your garden won't get through the initial growing season.

Here's 5 important steps you'll need to tak so your rose garden has an optimal soil condition:

1. Tilling

Start by tilling the ground where you'll be planting your roses to enable the dirt to circulate and let in the air. Once this is accomplished it's easy to understand why tilling the ground where youll be planting rose bushes is beneficial. Tilling will also allow you to find any objects might be in the ground that could interfere with growth. There should be as little stress experienced by your new rose plants as you can manage so they have time get used to their new environment.

2. Choose Your Spot

Rose plant should be planted where they'll get a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. With not enough light, the soil could end get too wet. At the same time, avoid an area with soil that is too dry or where water can run off it too quickly.

It's alwasy a good idea to do pH test for this area of your garden. A pH test helps determine how healthy the ground is where you've going to plant. The pH of your soil follows a scale going from 0 to 14. The midpoing, 7. is neutral soil on the scale. Acid soils (or "sour" soils) have a pH of less than 7 and alkaline soils (or "sweet" soils) are higher than 7. Plants can't usually tolerate any soil with an extreme pH level. You can pick up a kits at your local garden center that will measure the pH level of your soil.

3. Inorganic Material

Your soil must have a good balance of organic and inorganic materials. Inorganic materials include sand, silt and clay. Loam is this mixture of sand, silt and clay that is about the same amount. The proportions must be equal, otherwise the air circulation and ability to retain moisture in the soil can be affected. Drainage, is critical, along with air circulation. Air can't move as freely in the soil, but the roots of plants require oxygen so they can properly absorb the nutrients and water. You must make sure the loam is as balanced as possible and not packed too tight so the air can reach the plants, thus providing them with all the oxygen required to grow and thrive.

4. Organic Material

The world is filled with both living and dead organic components. Living organic materials include fungi, bacteria and roots. Dead organic matter might be important as well since dead organic matter decomposes, thus releasing important nutrients into the soil. Always make sure you're replenishing this dead organic material into the soil and that it's always decaying. How much and how often you use pesticides will likely effect on how often you should add more dead organic material into your soil.

5. Drainage

Proper drainage is a must for any rose bush to really thrive. It's a good idea that before planting your roses, you determine whether the water drains out of the ground too slowly or too quickly. Do a quick test by digging a hole about a foot deep and filling it with water. All the water should be absorbed into the ground within 15 minutes. If it requires less than 15 minutes, adjust the mix so it retains more water. If it requires longer than 15 minutes to be absorbed, you'll have to do something to improve the drainage. Altering the drainage an be accomplised by adding more organic matter to the soil which will increase the retentiveness of that location.


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