Rose feed

From a bed of around 100 hybrid rose bushes, this year again I have lost about ten plants, this after a rather poor flowering season. The bed is well covered with forest bark but which I feel is not allowing any feed to penetrate satisfactorily. I want first of all to provide a better feed than Growmore, and also to plant new rose bushes to replace those lost. What fertiliser(s) should I use for the existing bushes and what, if different, for the new ones? I have been recommended bone meal and sulphate of potash with a handful of Epsom salts to each, both old and new bushes. I would also appreciate any advice on applications.
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On Sep 22, 9:55 am, "Alistair Macdonald"

The year I dug 3 holes beside each rose plant and burried banana skin in them, my roses went crazy. I need to do it again, that was 3 years ago and they haven't done as well the last 2. I just use commercial rose food other than that, and spray for the stinkin Japanese Beetles when they attack everything!! Try the banana peels, I don't know why, but they really work. Nan in DE
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I used to grow roses--before I moved several times. Now that I am settled for a while I am going to grow them once again. I planted my first one just this year, next year I will add many more. Japanese Beetles are horrible and I spray for them also. I am going to try the banana peel next year--I never would have though about that. How did you come up with that idea?
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On Sep 23, 7:02 am, snipped-for-privacy@msu.edu wrote:

Wasn't my idea, was told by a friend to do it, and her roses were beautiful. I think it's been around a long time. Wish I could claim it!! Nan
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On Sep 22, 9:55 am, "Alistair Macdonald"

I also used Growmore.
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Alistair Macdonald wrote:

I use horse manure liberally. It is easier to come by in some places than others so if you don't have horses nearby I would suggest compost or other herbivore manures. Chemical fertiliser alone is insufficient. I work on mainly compost and manures topped off with inorganics (lime, gypsum, potash etc) where required. I am not a rose enthisiast and don't have many but they often grow 2.5 m (8ft ) in a season and all flower bountifully.
Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) provides magnesium which is important to plants but a handfull per plant seems a lot. A agronomist who teaches in the district tells me that magnesium-calcium balance is quite important for healthy soil and calcium must predominate so that by adding excess of magnesium you may actually be worse off. Do you have reason to think your soil is deficient in magnesium?
David
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On 9/22/2009 6:55 AM, Alistair Macdonald wrote:

If the bark is a mulch, fertilizers should sift at least part way through it. When you water, the fertilizers should then dissolve and be transported downward and into the soil.
If you want something with a systemic insecticide added, I use Bayer's 2-in-1. I feed my roses monthly and use Bayer for alternate feedings.
When I don't use Bayer, I use a handful of ammonium sulfate. Roses like a lot of nitrogen and they like an acidic soil. Ammonium sulfate provides both.
For the first feeding of the year, I use (in declining amounts from handful to tablespoon):     ammonium sulfate     gypsum (calcium sulfate)     iron sulfate     Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)
The gypsum not only provides calcium but also reacts chemically with the heavy clay in my garden, making the clay more granular and less pasty and allowing water to penetrate better. The magnesium in Epsom salts promotes the growth of new canes.
You will note that I don't use either bone meal or superphosphate (both being sources of phosphorus, which promotes flowers and root growth). I put a generous amount of the latter in the planting holes when I first planted my roses. This should be sufficient for at least 10 years. Phosphorus tends not to dissolve or leach through the soil. Instead, it must be placed where plant roots will find it. For older plantings, you can take some 1/4-inch rebar and poke holes 2 feet deep around the plant in a circle about 2 feet in radius. Half fill each hole with bone meal or superphosphate, and then finish filling each hole with fine compost. Bacterial action from the compost will very slowly make the phosphorus available to the plant roots.
The vigor and flowering of roses depends very much on how they are pruned. My <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_rosepruning.html is NOT a how-to guide; it describes my approach to rose pruning.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On 9/22/2009 5:53 PM, David E. Ross wrote:

I forgot to mention this: Roses like abundant moisture. No, they do not want soggy soil. But the soil should be constantly moist.
Since overhead watering promotes fungus (mildew, rust), it's best to irrigate by "flooding", allowing a hose to fill a basin around each rose. If there is a slight slope to the bed, basins can be connected so that you don't have to keep moving the hose.
Alternatives include drip irrigation or bubblers connected to your regular garden irrigation system. I use drip for my roses in front. A public garden where I'm a docent has a bubbler for each rose bush.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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I inherited a rose bed covered with large pine bark chips with weed mat under that when we moved here and it was never anything short of a disaster so I can understand what you are going through. it ook me 10 years to get rid of the weed mat and the chips and during that process I found that the only worms evident were in the rotting down pine mulch and the soil under the mat had set like conscrete and looked totally lifeless. It's a wonder any roses survived (but they mostly did).
What I use now is a rose ferliliser called 'Sudden Impact for Roses' by Neutrog and it looks like pelleted poultry poop (one of Australia's rose experts also uses this and she swears by it). Each spring I give each rose a teaspoon of Epsom Salts around the drip line. My roses have never looked healthier and they bloom well.
I never spray as I'm not in a humid climate and I have no problems with pests and fungus on my roses.
Before I found "Sudden Impact for Roses" I used pelleted chook poop, Blood and bone, hose poo or anything else I could get my hands on to improve the soil in the bed and to get some live and some biota back into the soil. Probably the thing the roses liked best of all of those was the horse poop.
I use the Sudden impact for roses at about 6 weeks intervals (when I remember).
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On Tue, 22 Sep 2009 14:55:44 +0100, "Alistair Macdonald"

Make sure the crowns are exposed properly for your climate and season. I do not mulch my roses at all, but alternate feedings of rotted cow manure and fish emulsion every two weeks and get excellent results. Roses are heavy feeders. If you have long cold winters, mounding up leaves for the winter is very good because they get some leaf mold.
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Thanks to all for the very detailed advice. I feel I could now write a book on the subject, but will resist the temptation. Alistair

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