Last edited: Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Soil; 1 is for roses, 2 is for lilacs,
1) Soil mix for roses
Don't plant where another rose has been. Often if you move away from its previous location by as little as one foot the insects and disease that are present in the old location can be avoided. If you must plant in the old location consider removing the old soil completely within an area several feet accross and replacing it with healthier material from another location.
When amending the soil it is best to prepare beds not holes.
Amend like for a vegetable garden. I find that I can grow really great tomatoes in my rose beds. If those tomatoes get blossom end rot many roses wont do well.
In sandy soils add lots of organic amendments and a soaker hose.
In clay soils add lots of amendments and a land drain or french drain.
Before planting water thoroughly several times allowing the water to drain each time.
2) Plants mulched with straw in a gravel sand bed and watered regularly can produce fantastic root growth.
In a clay soil we regularly plant on top of the soil. Start with a rock about the diameter of the lilacs rootball and place it under the root ball. Then build up using gravel and sand before using compost. A certain amount of gravel must be used between any soil or compost you might use and the clay soil to prevent moisture from wicking up into the rootball (and spreading rot). Its a good idea to invest in a timer and soaker hose so as not to allow the newly planted lilac to wilt. within a year the Lilac will have send special roots around the rock and down into the moist soil below (special roots for absorbing water). Other roots will grow out sideways through the gravel and compost to absorb nutrients and oxygen (these are the roots that would be damaged by wicking). Its a good idea to disguise the transition from the previous soil level to the new one with massed shrubs or a hedge planted on the incline (I use Spiraea but use something that will do well in the transition area all year long). In winter or windy weather it will also help prevent desication by breaking the force of the wind at ground level.
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