tru2pru
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Location: Virginia

I've never worked with Roses before....HELP!

As an anniversary present earlier this week, my husband gave me a Jackson and Perkins grandiflora rose bush (well, it's more like a twig, so I have had to use my imagination :) ). I am hopefully planting it (and 4 other grandifloras that I picked out) in a couple days and I want to make sure that I don't do anything wrong in the process. The plot that I am tilling up is on a SW facing wall of my house. It gets full sun from around 11am until dusk. This used to be my husbands family farm corn/produce field, so I know it is good soil, consisting of dark, rich soil and sand. It will be 18' long and 5' 6" deep (although it could be made deeper if necessary). I have found so much information online, much of which is contradicting. My main questions are How far away from the house should I plant them, How far apart from each other should I plant them, and should I "cage" them with the top portion of a tomato cage in order to supply support for the heavy bunches it will produce? Some useful information is that the box says that they grow between 4-5 feet. Thanks in advance for your help.
Celeste

Student Nurse by day, Supermom by night!

tru2pru
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Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:14 am
Location: Virginia

update

Ok, so I have read all of the articles about planting and growing roses. My father in law alkos tilled up the area where i am going to plant them. I am still confused about how far apart they should be. and how far away from the house they should be :? Does the measurements on the box mean growth in height or circumfrence (or both)? HELP! I need to get these i nthe ground this weekend because they are starting to get little green sprouts (teeny tiny, but there).
Celeste

Student Nurse by day, Supermom by night!

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I'm sure there are other more qualified people to answer your question, but I'll give a few pointers. They may not be the specific numbers you're looking for however.

Roses need good air circulation because they tend to get fungal disease alike black spot and powdery mildew. So you'll want to leave sufficient room.
The 4~5 feet probably indicates height.

The SW wall -- is this an end wall of the house or a side wall with an overhead eave and gutter? An end wall will get rain to the base of the wall but a side wall will usually remain somewhat drier. This may influence your decision on how close to plant.

You'll want to leave sufficient room so the thorny canes won't be rubbing up against the wall. You can control this in part by pruning. The rose will also self adjust, in part, because it will tend to grow TOWARDS the light (outward) unless you house is white.

Especially since this is a Grandiflora, meant to be showcased, and not a landscape hedge-type rose, If you have more than one, you'll want to leave sufficient room in between for air circulation (i.e. branches shouldn't overlap/rub against each other). Usually tree and shrub drip line (tip of branch) circle radius is calculated by taking the height and dividing by half -- Or, not to over-complicate things, the height=spacing.

For the fungal issues, I highly recommend spraying your shrubs with 10% milk solution (I call it that but it's actually 1 part milk mixed in 8~10 part water. The bacteria that like milk is highly effective in preventing and outcompeting Powdery Mildew and Black Spot fungi. It also supplies a calcium boost. If you search the forum, you'll see numerous mention of it and may locate some links to scientific articles that has been mentioned as well. I use it to spray my fruit trees, vegetables, strawberries, and my solitary rose bush. :wink: The time to start spraying is when the summer humid season starts, BEFORE any sign of disease appears. Once a week should suffice.

There is a famous story of a head gardener at one of New York's botanical gardens who buried the skin from daily snack banana under favorite rose shrubs. Banana skin provides potassium and other useful nutrients.

tru2pru
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Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:14 am
Location: Virginia

Thanks for the information. I got them in the ground today and I'm crossing my fingers that they all survive. Thanks for the info on the fungal issues. We don't use milk in my house due to casien allergies, but I could probably get a small container and mix it up for this use. my biggest concern is japanese beetles. They're EVERYWHERE in the summer! I was thinking about bird houses/feeders to draw the birds to the area, but I'm not sure if that will be enough to take care of them.
Celeste

Student Nurse by day, Supermom by night!

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