How to start a successful organic rose garden

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Start a successful organic rose garden this growing season with this how-to information.  Learning how to plan and start a successful organic garden can be the most simple and beautiful goal you set to achieve this year. Growing your own roses will provide beauty, food, and pure magic to your garden and you can watch it grow and evolve over the years.

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The trend to go organic with everything we eat and purchase has increased dramatically over the past few years. Combine that trend with a sluggish economy, and it has produced a new generation of gardeners. Gardeners who want to be totally organic, as well as beginning gardeners who want to grow flowers. vegetables and fruits in an organic garden but are unsure of how to start. This article will give the basic how-to's for starting organic rose and success secrets that even veteran organic gardeners can use.

Why should you plant an organic rose garden?

Here on frolic and fare, you can find endless rose recipes. From rose fire cider for medicinal healing, to rose brownies for a rich, fudgy luxurious treat, and even rose hydrosol for your all natural skincare, roses have many uses in and around your home. We adore using roses in food, cocktails, and the best way to ensure you are using safe, food grade roses is the plant them yourself. Roses that you buy from the grocery store as beautiful, but should not be used in your culinary creations, as they are often sprayed with pesticides. After visiting several rose gardens around the world and being completely inspired and in awe of their beauty, I decided I never wanted to be without one in my home.

how to Choose The Right Location for your organic rose garden

Roses need proper sunlight, soil and moisture, just like any plant in order to thrive. Choose a location in your landscape that will receive at least 10 hours of sunlight a day, and that may be protected from harsh wind. Take a good look and observe your yard to understand the light. Spots that get most morning sun are ideal as it will evaporate moisture from dew and help keep the plant healthy and free of fungus. 

For an anti fungal spray for your plants to keep your garden organic, visit this post here.


Test The Garden Soil

Testing the garden soil lets a gardener know what to amend the soil with to make it the optimum growing medium for plants. Roses prefer a rich, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic (pH between 6.0 – 6.5). An inexpensive soil testing kit can be purchased at any garden supply center or take a soil sample to the local county extension office for testing.

Soil Amendment And Preparation for an organic rose garden

Roses are very tolerant of different soil conditions, but will thrive in garden soil that is improved with ample amounts of organic matter, such as compost.

Amend the garden soil by adding whatever the soil test revealed is lacking and till in those amendments plus organic matter into the garden soil to the depth of at least 12 inches.

Adding organic matter to the garden soil can change even the poorest soil into nutrient-rich garden soil that will organically nourish garden plants and help prevent garden pest infestation without the use of chemicals.

Organic garden supplies for soil amendment can be made at home, like compost and ashes from wood heaters, or can be purchased from a garden supply center. Organic matter will reduce the need to water excessively by slowing the evaporation rate, therefore also reducing fungus based plant disease.

I believe every home needs to be composting. Visit my simple guide on composting here!

Watering your roses:

Roses flourish when grown in well draining soils with plenty of moisture. This is why you will need to carefully examine them and take notes in your garden journalto be sure your roses have avoided fungus.

Plan to water your roses heavily two times a week, ideally on bright and sunny mornings, as opposed to light waterings every day of the week. This will encourage root strength. This will give the foliage time to dry out before evening, preventing disease.


rose companion planting for successful organic gardening

Companion planting will help grow a healthy, pest-free organic garden without using chemicals. When talking about plants and their companion, it simply simply means each plant provides a service that another plant species needs.

For example, when oregano is planted near tomato plants, the oregano adds flavor to the developing tomatoes and keeps pests away. Corn and beans make good organic garden companion plants. Marigolds and nasturtiums help keep garden pests away and add nitrogen to garden soil and make perfect companion plants to almost all garden vegetables.

When considering rose companions, remember to plant rose companions at least 1 foot away from your roses so that you do not disturb their roots. 

There are many potential companions for a rose garden, but here are my favorite flowers that I've successfully used in my garden:

Fragrant flowers. I have an entire post on the best fragrant flowers to plant for beautiful summer bouquets. 

Scented Geranium: Highly fragrant and aromatic plants make wonderful rose companions help ward off pests like beetles and aphids. My favorite scent in the world is a combination of rose + geranium.

Lavender: Also highly fragrant, and are beautiful grown in front of lavender in the right garden space. The bottom of rose bushes can be quite sparse, and lavender can help hide the sparse spots. This is how we use our English lavender in our garden.

Lantana: Lantana is a beautiful, low maintance flower that enjoys the same conditions as roses.

Marigold: Another beautiful edible plant flower that's beautiful in tea, but importantly, as a companion - they are effective at repelling pests. Marigolds would be a perfect addition to your tea garden.


Garden Maintenance and pruning practices

Once the organic garden is growing, regular maintenance will be needed to prevent problems. There are simple ways to maintain any garden. Be sure you're regularly pulling weeds, and are picking off insects before they have a chance to lay eggs.

Add a couple of inches of organic mulch on the garden soil surface to keep weeds at bay. Mulch will also conserve garden soil moisture. Organic mulch can be compost, shredded leaves, grass clipping, or newspaper.

Insects can be removed from garden plants by hand-picking or with a blast of water from the garden hose. I also recommend this power house organic spray with essential oils that keeps our roses free from fungus.

Feeding and watering your organic garden can be done in one step by making compost tea or cow manure tea. How do you make garden tea? Add a small scoop of compost or cow manure to a bucket of rainwater. Then, allow to steep overnight, then use the tea to feed and water the organic garden.

Keeping a garden journal

Once you’ve selected your site, record how well your garden does and how you can improve things in the coming years of cultivation. Keeping notes will help you become a better gardener and understand what helped your roses and your garden flourish.

Tools for the rose garden


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