Ok, there is a touch of smugness as i sit here, in front of the TV, with a glass of wine. I can have a weekend off as the Roses are planted......
There are several ways of buying Roses. If you're just getting a few, then you usually buy them as potted plants, which will have been grown in a field and then potted up at this time of year when the plants become dormant. If you want a larger number, or a variety that isn't grown in larger numbers, then "bare root" is the way to go
Because I want lots of each rose at a time, I've taken part in a Flowers from the Farm Bulk Buy. 15 flower farmers from the South East have joined together to get a large order, so a pallet of bare root roses turned up at the farm on Wednesday. After sorting, swapping and making sure they were wrapped against the cold wind that's been blowing, I planted the few that are being cosseted in the Polytunnel.
Our current roses are lovely, but unfortunately they do get damaged by rain while they're in bud. This summer, we've had a lot of the wet stuff, so we've decided to cover some of them up, particularly the lighter colours that get damaged easily. We've given over a 3rd of the middle poly tunnel row (underplanted with Tulips) Here's how I've planted these bare rooted roses.
Roses are grafted plants. That means the the top (Flowering) stock is cut and stuck (grafted) onto a fast growing root stock. This means that you can have a sturdy plant with lots of different coloured and scented flowers. It does mean that when planting, the grafting point (the union) needs to be above the soil level.
- Dig a deep hole,
- Ensure the roots are evenly spread in it,
- Plant so that the union is above the soil level,
- Ensure the soil is firmed in around the root system ( rather than just treading/compacting down the soil from above.
- Prune back to a bud ensuring there are no crossing stems
- Water in well.
The rest of the outside ones were also planted today in the same way, so there are now an extra 45 roses on the field. These will get a good mulch, obviously ensuring the union isn't covered, but making sure they don't get weed smothered. Next June, to October, there should be more Roses for wedding bouquets, and various orders. (finger crossed)