One of my favorite things as a farmer is that every year we get to start over, try something new, decide to leave something behind. Sometimes it's a flower we just couldn't sell. Or grow. Sometimes it's giving it one more shot, because you just know you can do it. And sometimes, it's just throwing a dart at a wall and picking something totally out of your comfort zone.
That last one, that's the one we choose when we decided to add roses to our crop plan.
We've never grown roses, really. When I worked at a nearby plant nursery I tried to grow everything, but the deer just love the roses and I couldn't protect them. I did manage to hide two David Austins from them behind a half fence, covered in hops. Not really enough to feel like rose growers.
So, why not try something new? Right? We ordered 120 Koko Loko roses from Weeks Roses in California and took delivery at the end of February. Then we started planting. Throughout the season we kept the camera rolling so that we could bring you along to see the whole season process for our new roses. Click on the picture below to see the video.
We did have one area that was fenced tall enough to keep the deer out, and it had been being amended and planted in for about 6 seasons, so that's where we started. The soil prep was straight forward, we added a bit more compost and amended each hole with bone meal and blood meal. These beauties are the result...
After a small first flush, which we mostly dead-headed and enjoyed ourselves, the bushes pumped out two more flushes for us. The first in late July and another in the middle of September. Between flushes the plants were weeded and fed with a foliar spray of kelp/fish emulsion.
Needless to say, I'm in love. I've got roses on order and will be planting another 700 plants this spring, so check back to see all those new blooms!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!