Roses Are Plants Too!

Proof Preparing The Entire Bed Works

Why you should prepare the entire bed vie amending and not just digging the proverbial 2' x 2' hole and amending only that soil.

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.

This is the rose in my main rose bed that was totally prepared and where I regularly care for the entire bed. 
This is the rose in the side bed that was not totally prepared. You can see there are far less canes and growth than on the other one. 

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!

Happy Roseing


View Comments


  1. user-7007043 06/24/2014

    I had a hard time getting my roses to grow too. Dominic from budgetplants taught me that caring for whole soil was important as well. Mine are in my second year and are already doing better than ones that have had 4+ years of growth!

  2. user-7007052 06/27/2014

    I can't even tell what is supposed to be a rose in these fuzzy pictures - sorry! You would think pictures of roses would have actual roses, or at least be a picture of one plant so you could tell which plant the rose was supposed to be. It's not close enough or clear enough to see foliage except some green plants.

    I put a rose in a raised, amended bed. it is my first rose. So far I am not good at roses, but it's not because I only amended a hole, that's for sure. But at least my rose plant has an actual rose on it and if you saw it, you would know it was a rose, with no other tall plants near it or touching it. Even I know a rose needs air flow and full sun.

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