Starting a New Rosé Bed in Southern California (inland region)

by Sheryl
(Simi Valley, CA)

My name is Sheryl and I am wanting to start a new rosé bed. My soil is hard clay, alkaline.

I know that I need to amend the soil as well as make sure the sprinkler system can water the plants well.
I have no idea what to do. . I have read many things but I'm still unsure about what to do.

Can you tell me how deep I need to dig? And do I need to dig it out by hand?

Are there any small tillers that can help with the job that won't ruin my sprinkler system?

Do I make the soil 1/3 the original clay, add 1/3 sand, and 1/3 peat moss?

Do I also need to add sulphur to adjust the Ph?

How about bone meal, and manure also? How much?

I have never tried to grow roses in California before. I am from the East Coast. Please help!

Thank you
Sheryl Chapman

Hello Sheryl,
I recommend you make it a raised bed, about a foot high.

This will help with drainage.

Since you have alkaline clay soil, you should improve the soil adding 50% organic compost, and 30% sand.

By the way, overhead sprinklers are not a good way to water roses.
You will never be able to deep water your roses using sprinklers.

And the sprinklers will make it easy for fungus diseases to infect your roses.

Since you live in Simi Valley, which I am familiar with, I live in Los Angeles, you should only plant roses that can take the heat.

So check out my page about growing roses in Arizona for rose varieties that will be suitable for your area.

Also my page about planting a rose garden is a Must read for you.

It's a long page so take notes about the amendments I recommend, and how to properly prepare your soil.

Do not use a tiller. They turn your soil into powder.
Use a garden fork to work the soil. I know it's hard work. But it's well worth it.

You might want to hire it out. I have done that.
Thanks for visiting my site about rose gardening.

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