How to Start a Rose Garden
Most rose books recommend a 2-foot planting hole for each rose bush, but that’s not a directive that works everywhere. Where I am in Georgia and where Paul is in South Carolina, we have red clay. As Paul says, digging a 2-foot hole requires small explosives.
Paul preaches a whole-bed approach. “Prepare your entire bed,” he says. “Make sure that entire bed is full of life.”
And by life, he is referring to the soil microorganisms that flourish in healthy soil that’s been amended with compost and organic matter.
Though Paul has no irrigation system, in the first year, just to get new plants established, he hand waters. He recommends infrequent, deep watering to encourage the plants to grow deep roots. He waters in the morning so the plants have a chance to dry out in the sun and the foliage will not stay wet for a prolonged period of time, which fosters diseases. If he does water at night, he avoids getting the leaves wet.
I always avoid overhead watering to reduce any chances of fungal diseases taking hold. Pathogens really love wet foliage.
Also note that if there is a prolonged period of drought — three or four weeks without rain — then even established plants will benefit from supplemental watering.