Great roses begin with good soil!
Does your soil have adequate nutrient levels and the proper pH? Find out by taking a soil sample. You can test the soil in a new bed before planting, or from an existing rose bed.
All fertilization programs start with a soil test for pH and base fertility. The pH of the soil needs to be between 6.0 and 6.5 for optimal availability of nutrients from the soil. Soils in the Kansas City area generally have a pH above 7.0. The pH can be lowered with the addition of soil sulfur, or raised with an application of lime. Our region’s soils generally contain adequate amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen is usually needed because rain and irrigation leaches it out of the soil. The soil test results will guide you in adjusting the pH and supplementing your soil with the correct nutrients. ► Also See Rose Fertilization Tips
You need 2 cups of soil from the planting area(s) to be tested. Remove the mulch and use a trowel to scoop out soil starting at the surface and digging about 6 inches down. Dig several holes from various places in the bed, put all this soil together in a clean bucket, stir it up, then collect two cups of this mixture to be your sample.
Put the soil in a zip-top baggie or clean plastic container and take it to your local Extension office. You will be asked fill out a form with information on your garden and the type of plants you are growing. It may be free, or there may be a small fee depending on the number of nutrients you would like to test.
In a couple of weeks, you'll receive the results of the soil analysis and recommendations for improving your soil.
Extension offices in the Kansas City Metro area where you can take your soil for testing: