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by David Salman

'Earth Song'
cold hardy shrub rose is known for its lightly fragrant double pink flowers and disease-free foliage. It is grown on its own roots for increased cold hardiness.

With the short growing season of Northern New Mexico, Katherine O’ Brien, our nursery manager prefers planting potted roses rather than bare-root roses. With a mature root system, container roses will be well established in the garden by the time the ground freezes in the fall. Planting roses is as easy as planting other container shrubs, but certain steps need to be followed for the best results.

Ideally, dig a deep hole and amend the soil heavily. O’Brien suggests using Soil Mender Compost and make a mixture of 1/3 compost to 2/3 soil. Then add SuperThrive, Superphosphate, Greensand and Yum Yum throughout the hole. “You want to give new roses a rich environment so the roots will have something to eat,” she says.

Set the plant in the hole so the graft is just above the soil line.

“Then you want to make a nice well around it,” says O’Brien, “so you can give a good quantity of water at a time.” After the rose bush is planted, mulch the area to protect from sun, heat, cold and retain moisture. Pecan mulch is good.

After transplanting, apply a root stimulator with Liquid Sea Weed. Apply again in two weeks. Feed with Liquid Sea Weed the first growing season and in mid-August feed with Yum Yum Mix. The following spring feed with Mills Magic Rose Food.

Frequent watering is required. For sandy soil, every other day. Heavier soils, twice a week.

O’Brien says the best time to plant roses is in May and June so they can get established before winter.

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