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Preparing ground for new Roses

Hi Everyone. 
I have just had two 25 foot laurels removed from the front garden. They were about 6 foot in depth and heaven only knows how old they were. The stumps have been ground out.
We want to plant roses in the area they were in.
Any tips for how to prepare the soil?  It's  a space about 20 foot long, with a 4 foot   high brick wall at the back of it and lawn in the front. It's south west facing. I am planning to cover the area with  weed barrier  until  we plant the roses in the autumn, but I imagine the soil will be rather lacking in nutrients considering the size of the trees and the length of time they have been there. Any thoughts?


  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,845
    Depends how much you want to spend and how much trouble you are prepared to go to, as is usually the case with gardening.
    20 foot isn't too long, I could handle that, so what I would be doing was buying in several bags of composted manure, along with several bags of multi purpose compost - no need for the expensive types... and just fork it all into the top soil [I've never found double digging to be necessary, and it's not my thing to do]...

    I wouldn't bother with weed barriers, as I like to see what weeds come up in case I need to extricate those, and also a lot can be just hoe'd off and incorporated...

    If you have any old bits of lawn turf, these make excellent material for lightly chopping and adding to the mix, especially if they have plantain roots in them [mycorrhizae]..

    Just plant your roses in autumn, as you will... I have found the addition of mycorrhizal fungi sprinkled in with the roots, beneficial in these situations, but that's another expense..

    East Anglia, England
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,029
    I am not sure 6 months or so is enough for a weed barrier - I put a heavy duty one over an area for a year or so and when I took it up the white wormy shoots of perennial weeds were still there ready to spring to life again. If it were me, I would dig it over, mix in loads of compost and manure (how much you need also depends on the type of soil you have - if it’s heavy clay think of a number and double it and add grit too) and leave it be. That way, as Marlorena says, you can see what comes up. Perennial weed seeds that have been buried for years under the trees and their canopy you can then deal with as they emerge rather than disturbing them when you dig your planting holes and having to dig them out around the roses.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Any reason why you are waiting until autumn to plant your roses?
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Thanks everyone.  Looks like some digging coming my way. I take your point about the weed membrane - was hoping to save myself some work, but perhaps its best to see what comes up and remove it as and when.
    We were waiting until autumn as we were going for bare root roses, and  thought we'd need at least that length of time to get some nutrients into the soil!
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    I took out the old roses in my border, dug in about 4 bags of manure and 8 bags of compost, and then planted the new roses. Border was slightly longer than yours. All in the space of a few hours. And planted 150+ tulip bulbs at the same time. 
    I would say crack on with it. No point in digging in manure now and waiting until the autumn to plant. All the goodness will have been leached out of it by the rain before then. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,029
    A few hours to do all that Hogweed? Blimey, best up my game! I suppose it depends where you live and how much rain you are likely to get and also whether the manure is fresh from the horses ars.  er I mean well rotted or not  :)

    If you are waiting for the bare root season because it’s cheaper (a considerable factor if you are buying for a whole border) then have a look at - I bought 5 David Austin and 5 Rosa Rugosas from them and including postage the whole lot came to 59 euros. Their DA’s are growing faster than those ordered direct from DA and planted a few weeks earlier.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Ars Botanica, Nollie?
  • ohhhh Nollie, sounds very tempting...!! Thanks for that..  Am aiming for DA but, as with life,  its budget dependant....
    Hogweed.... Wow.... Just shifting 8 bags of manure is making my eyes water....150 bulbs......  Bowing down in awe and feeling a bit feeble...ok, a lot feeble!!
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    OK. It was maybe nearer 3 hours than 2! I had already lined the bags up against the fence so after the old roses came out, all I had to do was lift the bags over the fence, spread it all out and dig iit in. I would describe my soil as black loam so relatively easy to dig. I expect you will find lots of roots in yours so the digging part will take longer. 
    So roughly an hour to dig the old ones out, an hour to dig over and an hour to plant. I knew exactly in my head where each plant was to go so no faffing about. And then plant the tulips in lots of ten using the spade to scoop out trenches in between the roses.  
    And the roses are coming along a treat now and the tulips just starting to come out - hot pinks and oranges with the odd dark purple. Fantastic! Well worth the effort. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • 3 hours makes it a bit better.....but not much!!!!   still feeling a bit of a weed....if you get what I mean!!

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