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All about Roses, Rose Bushes, and Their Care.

Composting Will Help Your Rose Bushes

One of the very best soil amendments to use for rose bushes—or any other plant in your garden—is compost. Using compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity. Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils retain water. Adding compost improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants. The organic matter provided in compost provides food for microorganisms, which keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition.

And the best thing is this: you can easily make it in your own backyard! Most recycling centers and garden centers sell compost bins, or you can make your own with wooden pallets and/or chicken wire. If you decide to spend money on a bin you may wish to consider a rotating barrel-type composter. They are a little more expensive, but well worth the effort they save. If you want the absolutely most simple method, just start an uncontained pile in a quiet corner.

To make your own compost, simply take any kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps and any other “greens” you have on hand, such as seaweed or garden cuttings—but not cuttings from your roses, which do not compost well. Throw them in your bin with an equal amount of “browns” (dried leaves, straw, or even newspaper). Forget about them for a few weeks, then turn the pile over with a pitchfork or, if you have a barrel composter, turn the barrel. Continue to add scraps over time. From time to time you’ll want to check the moisture level in your compost. It should feel about as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Depending on your container and turning method, in a matter of weeks or months you will have compost! It will look more or less like loamy, light brown dirt. Sprinkle it lightly over the area containing your rosebush’s roots, or mix it with the soil when first planting a bush. Your roses will love you for it… and you’ll love the roses that your compost helps produce. Happy Growing!


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