Planting Your Roses

Deciding when and where to plant your roses is easy: A sunny spot is key, because roses adore sunlight. A full day, or at least six hours of sunlight a day, is best for roses. And unless you live in a really mild climate, you need to plant your roses at the beginning of the growing season. High summer is too stressful, and fall is too late. The ground should be workable — that is, thawed and warmed up, and not soggy. And of course, you probably don't want to plant roses too close to your water faucet or anything else you use regularly, unless you don't mind dodging thorns.

Because bareroot roses are dormant plants, they can go into the ground in late winter or early spring. They should make a slower and better-paced transition into life in your garden as the season ramps up.

Plant a potted rose early in the growing season (late spring or early summer) — about the time you generally find them for sale. If your climate is cold, wait until after the last frost. But don't wait too long, simply because hot summer weather stresses a freshly transplanted plant.

Good soil is also very important. It should be rich in organic matter and drain well. If it isn't, import some good loam (rich, crumbly soil) and compost, or at least mix the existing soil half-and-half with premium soil. (See Chapter 4 for garden preparation.)

How to plant roses is a bit more complicated than when and where, but here I give you the basics.

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