Reader's of this blog or my book Everyday Roses know that I talk a lot about soil preparation and how important it is for sake of your roses over the long haul. I've covered this in several posts in the past and here are some links to those posts if you'd like some background.
These are some of the blog posts I've done and they'll give you a good overview. However, essentially what they say is to prepare the entire bed vie amending and not just digging the proverbial 2' x 2' hole and amending only that soil.
I realize some of you may be skeptical and are also thinking it's a lot of extra work to prepare the entire bed. You are also likely wondering if, in the end, it's really worth it.
I've always known it's worth it, but now I'd like to offer a bit of proof.
Take a look at the photos below. You see two roses in it. One is in my main rose bed where I do work the entire bed as per my posts. One is in a side bed with some spirea and other plants that were planted a while ago and I did not work the entire bed. Instead I did the hole and amendment route. Mainly as I had existing plants in the bed and was pressed for time to get them in the ground.
Why do I single out these two roses?
Because they are the exact same variety, were planted at exactly the same time and were exactly the same container size going in.
They were planted about two years ago so they are coming into their third season. It's blatantly obvious from the photos which one is doing better and that's the whole point of this post. It clearly illustrates the benefits of preparing the entire bed and also of caring for the entire soil area – not just that area around the rose.
Yes, preparing an entire bed is more work up front. I won't deny that. But I think you can now see it's well worth it.
Gotta run. I need to get some of our composted horse manure on the bed where the smaller rose is!