April 27, 2021
With more than 90 roses in the yard (yes, I am obsessed). Here are my go-to tips on growing, caring for and harvesting the most beautiful blooms on the block.
1. Roses are expensive, so I take special care to get them started off right in the garden. My mentor and rosarian Pat Omweg taught me roses perform best in sandy enriched soil, so when you plant them dig a big hole, and add equal parts a mixture of peat moss, sand and chicken manure to the base and all around the root ball this will set up your roses for success.
2. After you plant the rose cover with a 2 inch blanket of your favorite mulch. The mulch will seal in moisture and deter weeds.
3. Create a strong cane for your roses by disbudding the smaller buds on every single stem. Simply pull off the buds that are just beneath the top bud. (It seems so counterintuitive, you know?) This is especially important with David Austin roses it helps maintain that big cabbage look so indicative of the rose style.
4. There are a few things you should keep in mind when cutting roses for bouquets:
Photograph of cut roses by Gemma and Andy Ingalls. All other images by Valerie Rice