Are there any OGRs for the South that don't BS at all and don't require spraying? Do rugosas fit this category or any others? There are some areas where it is tough to have access for spraying.
Jean in Nashville grows teas, chinas, and noisettes without spraying. You need to get a list from her, because your blackspot pressure would be similar. Your location might be slightly colder in winter, though.
Most of the once blooming gallicas and albas are OK without spray or irrigation throughout the eastern half of the country. Rugosas, polyanthas, hybrid musks, and ramblers are not technically OGR, but many of them have good resistance. You might do OK with Souv. de la Malmaison and sports, which are very rewarding and partially resistant, compared to other bourbons.
There are many healthy OGR' out there.
Do gallicas and rugosas do okay in alkaline soil?
Rugosas do NOT do well in alkaline soil. They will be constantly chlorotic, and won't grow well.
Multifloras aren't real happy in alkaline conditions, either.
(Who has very alkaline conditions)
Boo Hoo, Jeri. Any other options for no spray bushes? I am wondering what you grow with your conditions. I don't want to fight nature.
Is it all that alkaline in Kentucky (and what is a sox fan doing there)?
Not sure how our soil conditions compare (though I do have quite a bit of clay here), but rugosas seem to be doing well for me (no spray).
Am looking forward to trying out a number of albas, gallicas, hybrid musks (ok-bourbons (wouldn't that be appropriate for Kentucky?) and hybrid teas, too).
Yes, I was surprised. I'd not have thought Kentucky was generally very alkaline. What is the pH???
We need to find you some folks who are IN KY.
7.7. We sit on limestone. I do belong to the local RS but more of them grow HTs and Floribundas. I have found one person who grows OGRs too and he is slated to come by some time soon. I know he grows some chinas but I am not sure what else...
So -- What is your biggest disease problem (other than chlorosis)?
If you have that problem, you should probably avoid rugosas and multifloras as much as possible. And it would be a good idea to do a pH test, so you know where you stand. (You want to test the pH of your water, too.)
I find that most of the Teas and Chinas tolerate my alkaline conditions just fine, so there's a start for you. Most Hybrid Musks don't seem troubled by it, either. So those might be a good place for you to look. Oh, and my Noisettes are not troubled by it, either.
Hybrid Perpetuals are more troubled by it, as are most Bourbons, in my experience.
redsox i find it very surprising that you would have alkaline soil in ky. are you sure you don't mean acidic?
Alkaline soil in KY is rare. You must be sitting on a pile o' serious limestone rock. I have a list of roses I grow here in Nashville without spraying. I have not updated recently, but it's pretty solid here. You may be enough farther north that some of these will be very tender for you. I am in a solid 7a/b climate here.
This list is of roses that are resistant to blackspot here. Some of these are seasonally prone to cercospora. My definition of blackspot resistance means that a rose will not lose more than 30% of its leaves to blackspot without spraying.
Â Cl. Clotilde Soupert
Â Cl. Cecile Brunner
Â Clotilde Soupert
Â La Marne
Â Gourmet Popcorn
Â Mrs. R.M. Finch
Â Perle dÂOr
Â Phyllis Bide
Â Excellenz von Schubert
Â Darlow's Enigma
Â Gardindirektor Otto von Linne
Â Carefree Delight
Â Earth Song
Â Pearl Meidiland
Â Carefree Sunshine
Â BelindaÂs Dream
Â Carefree beauty a/k/a/ Katy Road Pink
Â Winter Sunset
Â Prairie Sunrise
Â Knock Out
Â Alberic Barbier
Â Francois Juranville
Â Aviateur Bleuriot
Â Alexander Girault
Â Ayrshire Queen
Â Paul Transon
Â Emily Gray
Â Francois Guillot
Â Pink Pet/Caldwell Pink
Â Le Vesuve
Â Comtesse du Cayla
Â BermudaÂs Kathleen
Â Cramoisi Superieur
Â Little White Pet
Â Blush Noisette
Â Souv de Mme. LÂAdvocat
Â Narrow Water
Â Jaune Desprez
Â Reve dÂOr
Â Duchesse dÂAuerstadt
Â Alister Stella Gray
Â ChampneyÂs Pink Cluster
Â William Allen Richardson
Â Secret Garden Musk
Â Lady Hillingdon
Â Maman Cochet
Â Duchesse de Brabant
Â Baronne Henriette de Snoy
Â Georgetown Lemon White Tea
Â William R. Smith
Â Rosette Delizy
Â Comtesse Festestics
Â Souv. de Pierre Notting
Â Rock Hill Peach Tea
Â La Sylphide
Â Le Pactole
Â Jean Bach Sisley
Â Clementina Carbonieri
Â Etoile de Lyon
Â Mme. Maurin
Â Alliance Franco-Russe
Â Mrs. Dudley Cross
Â Monsieur Tillier
Â Mme. Joseph Schwartz
Â Georgetown Tea
Â Isabella Sprunt
Â Mrs. B.R. Cant
Â Lorraine Lee
Â J.E. Murphy's Pink Tea
Â Angel Camp Tea
Â Puerto Rico
Â Mme. Antoine Rebe
Â Mme. Berkeley
Â Marie van Houtte
Â Triomphe de Luxembourg
Â Rhodologue Jules Graveraux
Â SmithÂs Parish
Â Cels Multiflora
Â HumeÂs Blush
Â Souv. dÂun Ami
Â Miss Caroline
Â Thomasville Old Gold
Â Duke of York
Â Niles Cochet
Â Mme. Antoine Marie
Â Mme. Lombard
Â Irene Bonnet
Â Mme. Camille
Â Paul Nabonnand
Â Mme. de la Sombreuil
Â Isabelle Nabonnand
Â Eva de Grossouvre
Â Red Radiance
Â Careless Love
Â Maman Lyly
Â Lady Ursula
Â Clair Matin
Â Cl. Lady Waterlow
Â Autumn Sunset
Â New Dawn
Â Strawberry Ice a/k/a Bordure Rose
Â Souv. de la Malmaison
Â Mystic Beauty
Â Kronprincessin Viktoria
Â Souv. de St. Anne a/k/a Miss Abbot
Jean gave you a GREAT list. I'd eliminate Excellenz von Schubert and Gartendirektor Otto Linne -- theres a lot of Multiflora goin' on there. GOL was never happy here and is gone. EvS grows here like mad, and is disease-free, but I have to ammend like mad to bring down the pH -- or have white leaves. --Grin--
"Georgetown Lemon-White Tea" is an alternate study name for "Manchester Guardian Angel." Give that LOTS of room.
You can have LOTS of fun deciding which of these to start with.
I can add a few names to the list. I am on the southeast coast in SC, AKA Blackspot Heaven!
lessee,did she list:
Mrs. R.G. Finch
Beauty of Rosemawr
Outta the Blue
Baronness Henriette de Snoy
These are the ones in my no-spray Darwinian Rose Garden who stay the cleanest. (Sorry if I repeated any on her list... she is the one who advised ME also!!)
Jean, that is a fabulous list, thank you.
Jeri, the biggest problem so far beyond the pH is just BS. But all of my roses are new this year and next year I'm adding 1 Bourbon, 1 China and 1 HP. Of course those are the classes I like best, the ones you said are trouble Jeri.
Before we moved in we did a Radon test and the score was 19. I guess this is attributable to the fact that the whole area sits on limestone. I most certainly did not mean acidic. I wish! I will have to work with what I have. Sigh.
Jeri, I have Exzellenz von Schubert, Mrs. Doreen Pike and Therese Bugnet. I've noticed that Doreen is starting to go yellow and Therese a little also. You mentioned amending the soil. Could you please advise me on what I should be doing? I hope I'm not being inappropriate by asking about this on this thread.
all of my roses are new this year and next year I'm adding 1 Bourbon, 1 China and 1 HP. Of course those are the classes I like best, the ones you said are trouble Jeri.
*** But you'll never know if they are a problem for YOU until you try them. Just because they don't work for me doesn't mean they might not work for you. YOU have other factors -- such as winter chill -- in your favor.
Plan maturity is also a factor. Most roses resist disease and other problems better as they mature.
Jeri, When you say Otto has a lot of multiflora going on, do you mean he might harbor RRD mites more than others? Otherwise, I can't imagine why that would be a problem.
I don't have a faint clue how that might affect their susceptibility to RRD -- we have not as yet seen a lot of RRD out here in California.
My comment referred to the performance of Multiflora derivatives in alkaline conditions.
Purple-ish roses with a high % of multiflora genes tend to have chlorosis problems in alkaline environments.
If you don't have alkaline conditions, that would not be an issue for you -- But redsox (like me) gardens in alkaline conditions.
I do not think having a lot of multilflora in its ancestry makes a rose any more susceptible to RRD. It's just the canary in the mine. I have seen RRD hit pretty much everything. I think multiflora gets the rap just because we have so much of it growing wild that is being infected just by virtue of how much is out there. If we had Tiffany growing wild everywhere it would be just as infected. Multiflora has the double whammy of being big as well and I think climbing roses are more susceptible just by virtue of their size and the wind currents they create that allow mites to fall. Ann has a great analysis on that that makes all the sense in the world.
Hi, I am EXTREMELY new to growing roses. Can I ask you all what RRD is? BS, I know, is Blackspot.
Hi Tosca --
RRD is Rose Rosette Disease -- a truly horrible disease, carried by a microscopic mite. It operates somewhat as Fuchsia Gall Mite operates in fuchsias. But it's worse.
We have not -- YET -- seen much RRD here in Southern California. Perhaps the long stretches of desert have guarded us.
But that's not foolproof. It HAS been found in CA, and doubtless will be again.
Coastal Ventura County, SoCalif
You could call down to the Antique Rose Emporium and ask if they have any other suggestions for roses that they know will tolerate alkalinity. Where they are isn't too bad, but the soil around Austin is VERY basic, and since the rose rustlers program goes and finds roses that have thrived with total and complete neglect, they might have some other possibilities.
I'm near DC, which has a similar climate to Tennessee, and pretty much perfect BS conditions since our humidity runs close to 90 percent all summer. I can add the following as good bets on the BS front:
I don't spray at all, and do have some total disasters, like Mme Isaac, which I put up with because of the fragrance. I just chop her back when she looks too ugly.
Thank you very much, Jean and pagan. That is a very helpful and thorough list.
Thanks for a great thread, redsox. Brandy
Jean was a great help to me when I was getting started. I still ask her advice on occasion (that means when I find a spot to cram another rose in to ;o) ) I won't spray and I never baby my roses. Here is a list of roses that have done exceptionally well for me despite my inattention.
Currently I grow the following roses:
1. Abraham Darby (some BS but I am ok with it...he is worth it)
2. Belindas Dream
3. Blush Noisette *
5. Carefree Beauty ***
6. Carefree Sunshine (3)
7. Christopher Marlowe (new to me this year)
8. Chrysler Imperial *
9. Cinderella ***
* = I ADORE this rose
** = YOU should also have this rose
*** = I would NEVER be without this rose. Everyone should have at least one of these!
Don't know if it could handle your winters, but spraying the china rose "Spice" (Hume's Blush Tea-scented china) would be a waste of good fungicide.
Thanks Jean and Jeri.
Thank you, ronda. I just ordered Playboy, Lafter, and Lady Hillingdon. Brandy
I do spray but there was a time this summer when I didn't and many of the roses listed above did defoliate. Here's a list of what I have that is listed above and how they did during their summer neglect.
Perle d' Or - did just fine as far as I can remember.
Cramoisi Superieur - about 80% defoliation. A usual bloom machine, it stopped blooming and still hasn't gotten back in the groove or gotten all of its leaves back.
Alister Stella Gray - didn't completely defoliate, but it was around 80%
Lamarque - 100% defoliation. I've seen it in the Earthkind brigade and just don't understand it. It always has BS, even with my normal spray program, but 100% defoliation is just ridiculous.
Lady Hillingdon - around 50%. Still bloomed, though, just looked bad.
Duchesse de Brabant - around 50%. Blooms decreased dramatically from past years.
Etoile de Lyon - during the BS event, I didn't see BS on this one and it held all of it's foliage. But after I started spraying again, this one dropped 50%. Lots of my Austins did that, too. It's like it took them a really long time to defoliate but once they did then they went whole hog.
Isabella Sprunt - I call this my 'canary rose'. It's my canary in the coal mine. This is the 1st rose to BS in my garden and it lets me know to spray before all the HTs get it. Ironically, though, it only defoliated to 50% when many of the HTs went down to nothing.
Puerto Rico - Lost about 70%. It is still leaf -less, even after 8 weeks of spraying.
Safrano - Another one of those delayed reaction roses. No leaf drop until after spraying resumed, then it lost most of them and stopped blooming. Isn't quick to leaf back out, either, it's still at 50%.
Rubens - Did OK, I guess, but I hate this rose so much that it could drop dead and I don't think I would notice.
Kronprincessin Viktoria - This rose is quick to show BS, but doesn't really defoliate.
Iceberg - Has BS right now, even after 8 weeks of spraying.
Buff Beauty - A disaster. 90% defoliation and no refoliation once I started spraying. Looks so bad that Autumnshowers laughed at it when she visited!
Abraham Darby - Didn't defoliate for a long time, but then it was around 70%. My theory with Austins is that as long as you spray every once in a while (like once a month) then they are completely healthy. That's been the case with all of mine.
I'm not trying to be negative about any of these roses. Some of them are my favorites.
redsox - BTW my daughter is a Bostonian and I'm a native New Englander - so you better back up that handle with some serious red sox spirit! - OK back to the roses.
As a recent transplant to KY (4 years now), I've learned a lot about the soil, weather and general "quirks" of this part of the country. I too believed that the limestone beneath the soil would render the soil alkaline, but it is not so. Our "undisturbed" soil is acidic, even in the underlying karst topography of south central KY - with its sinkholes and caves. I'm not sure where in KY you are but it is best to take several soil samples to your local Extension office for testing. Our particular site was abandoned farmland which was being taken over by woodland. It was important for us to test all areas where we wished to plant, including around the house foundation, by the woodland edge, and the outlying field. The pH values varied from 5.5 to 7.0. We have several sinkholes on our land signifying underground limestone caverns. Most of the stones we unearth are of early calcareous rock, almost spherical concretions, with lots of fossilized remains from an ancient sea. And yet this foundation of alkaline rock has almost no influence on the soil above.
Fast forward to the roses - being a transplant from NE, I've been experimenting myself, with the help of the lovely people on this forum of course - and found really no "bad" roses. I have to qualify that statement as I too never spray with any pesticides or fungicides. And as all good folks above have said - every garden, every place, is unique - even the same rose planted in your own garden may be a dud in one location, and a winner in another, or one clone of one rose may be stellar, while another withers. So take all advice with a grain of salt, and garner wisdom through your own experiences.
That said, I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest some that have done well for me, with a minimal amount of BS, in the past 4 years. (Be advised that Japanese beetles are rampant here - sometimes it's best to find roses that bloom once in spring, once in fall - forget about summer!) Note that not all are OGRs.
Marie van Houtte
Rhodologue Jules Graveraux
Mme Jules Graveraux
Souvenir d'un Ami
Souvenir de la Malmaison
The Generous Gardener
all of the KOs
Granted, some of these will get some BS, but not enough, in my opinion, to distract from the overall beauty of the rose. The polys, in particular can be a bit fussy - MP and MD lose about half their foliage but bloom so darn often its easy to forgive them for it. Clotilde S. tends to ball and mildew early in the season but the awesome fragrance and multitudes of bloom it rewards you with is more than adequate. I keep mine in a large pot on the deck where I can wheel it out when it's not at its best.
With this season's drought and early freeze I got a bit discouraged on gardening altogether. But so many of the roses came back happily, even if the spring show was a no show, and I was happy to see them survive. The lesson is that there is no magic bullet to gardening - I keep my most BS prone roses (with the most gorgeous blooms) in back of my "facer" plants - aka - the Knockouts - so I can still see their exquisite blooms atop the dense, and very healthy foliage of their KO neighbors. In fact I would never be without Buff Beauty or Sally Holmes but they can get a bit leggy late in the summer. Solution? A KO or two, or perhaps some polys in front to face it down - or even a dense planting of perennials. I've decided that Blushing KO is my favorite, it blends so well with the OGRs and has that lovely bluish-green foliage that contrasts nicely with the darker greens of many OGRs.
There are so many other roses I love and recommend, (gosh, I forgot to talk about the rugosas) but hopefully I've given you a start - there aren't that many GW posters from KY I've discovered.
It seems that you and I have similar tastes in roses as well as similarities in gardening philosophy.I'd like to suggest a few more roses that I think you might like based on your current list...if that's okay...
White Cap....similar to Awakening (to me) but in white
Alistar Stella Gray
Comtes du Cayla
Those are some great choices - I've grown Felicia and White Cap before. I had to SP Felicia this year, it just didn't thrive and I gave it a full 3 years. It was always the first to blackspot in my garden. I loved it's beautiful and fragrant blooms though. I'm determined to try again in a new spot with a new plant. I hadn't thought of White Cap, which I had growing on an old iron fence when I lived in Indiana. I remember it being very vigorous and healthy, alas no scent to speak of and only a once bloomer for me but it was located in partial shade. I am looking for a partner for Awakening which I have located on the end of a pergola. I'd like to fill in the gap between what seems to be Awakening's spring and fall flushes. I had clematis to help with that but I pulled out the Goldflame honeysuckle and want to replace it with another good climber which will complement Awakening. I've looked at Parade and been tempted for years now, I'm just not sure the color will compliment Awakening if they bloom together. Perhaps Paul Transon or Alister Stella Gray??? It would be nice to have more fragrance than Awakening gives me - I have to stick my nose down in the bloom to get any hint of perfume.
I don't know why I've never grown Clair Matin, the first time I saw it in Mike Lowe's garden I was impressed by how floriferous it was. I guess then I was more interested in fat sumptuous double and quartered blooms. I've been tempted by Teasing Georgia although it's had mixed reviews here - mostly how stingy it is with its blooms.
I rely on Jean's list too - even though I am probably a half a zone colder than she is. I lost my Reve d'Or and a climbing Devoniensis last winter so I keep my more tender teas, chinas and noisettes close to the house, a lot of them are in pots. I envy the exhaustive list of teas she grows, I am determined to try a few new ones each year.
Of the lists above, the ones mentioned that I cannot count on for BS resistance are Buff Beauty, Maggie, Felicia, and Cl. Pinkie. Each suffer at least 50% defoliation for me every summer.
Linrose, I did have my soil tested before I planted anything here and it was very alkaline. My mistake was in just amending around the plants, as opposed to the entire bed. I guess this is what one poster referred to as the bathtub effect?
I saw that you are from Vermont, here about 4 years and also love purple roses, as I do. Do you live in Louisville or a more rural location?
If you want to hear my Red Sox "qualifications" I would be glad to submit them. :-)
Weird that your soil is alkaline, did you test around your home's foundation wall? Sometimes leaching from a concrete foundation can cause a bit of an alkaline reaction. Or possibly the previous owners of the house used a lot of lime thinking that you need to do that every year no matter what your soil conditions. If the land was farmed in the recent past that could be a reason also.
Anyway, I've used the "hole" method as well as full bed treatment. I've read on this forum and the soils forum pretty much everything you would ever want to know about the subject (and I was a Plant and Soil Science major in college!) from no amendments at all to complete excavation and replacement of native soils. From my experience, there is no one right way. I have roses planted practically in construction rubble, to the finest gourmet soils on the planet. One of my rose borders was done in the "hole" (or bathtub) method, and those roses planted 3 years ago are over my head and healthy as can be. Sometimes, especially in this year of drought, that can be a benefit (I'm not always the most reliable waterer). But I always make sure to use at least 1/2 of the native soil in the backfill - which around here is a silt clay loam. The organics I add to the holes tend to disappear quickly so I just top off the beds every year with whatever I have on hand, usually lots of chopped leaves that I composted the previous fall (the worms love this), and some finished compost from the bin. And I always add an organic mulch every year to the entire bed - you'd be surprised how much this helps even the undisturbed soil around the "bathtubs". Sometimes it's pine fines or bark, sometimes leaves I get from the university that collects them each fall from the city, or my own if I'm not using them on a new bed (I sheet compost new areas that I want to plant) whatever I can get as inexpensively as possible.
Yup, I'm a New Englander, and whenever I see pictures of snow, or on TV or a movie, I get a bit misty! Then I remember negotiating the sheets of ice on the road, the power outages and sleeping in front of the woodstove with candles, not being able to get to the grocery store for days because our road was 10 miles out on dirt and the plows came to us last. Ah, the good ol' days. Still, I guess they were.
Purple and orange roses were my new lark for last season. I had a "themed" garden - a mixed border with roses, perennials and annuals - no other colors other than purple and orange allowed. Well that failed miserably - some plants were not the color advertised (of course nobody here is surprised at that), some failed to thrive, some perished, some took over! And so I have evolved from my original intent and brought in mauve, magenta, yellow, blue, violet, and basically any variation on orange and purple with mixed results. But I'm happier now because it's not so forced - gardens take on their own personality, and I'm just the lowly gardener and caretaker. And there have been happy unsuspected moments - like my Salvia 'Black and Blue' which came back for me so miraculously even after the Easter freeze and now I have a haven for hummingbirds, right off my deck where I can watch them at close range. I couldn't have planned it any better. Two of the purple roses I planted perished, one (Wild Blue Yonder) because it got eaten by the huge 8 foot cannas that shaded it out, and the other (Ebb Tide) because it was weak and just withered. Veilchenblau took over its bed like an octopus so I moved it to where it can still associate with its more restrained neighbors, but can climb the cedar tree nearby if it wants to eat anything else. And I became enamored of Reine des Violettes so I had to get 2 of those - they went in this spring.
I am in rural KY, southcentral close to Bowling Green. The land of caves, caverns, and Corvettes! As far as your Red Sox qualifications - I'm gonna give you a pass on that one, anyone who loves the Sox is OK in my book, qualifications or not! (or maybe you just love to wear red socks???) HA!
Redsox, you can grow good roses in bathtubs. I have a couple of them. Most exhibitors plant that way. It's just that amending the bed to a moderate depth is so much less work, and it should lead to a bigger root zone and more self-sufficient plants. Bathtubs are probably more prone to salt buildup over time, and there are circumstances where bathtubs can create drainage problems in a rainy season, especially if there is any slope above.
My paternal grandparents had a farm south of Bowling Green, near Franklin. It was limestone country, but the soil wasn't alkaline. I remember a scrap of conversation from my childhood about liming. I wondered when Redsox's soil test came back whether the plot had been the object of some heavy handed gardening in the past. Phosphorus, potassium, and calcium were excessive.
Man I love talking dirt! It can get quite contentious however, especially on the soil forum. We have a calcareous soil, soil formed largely by the weathering of calcareous rocks and fossil shell beds. But the overlying soil is acidic. Note that so much of this area was farmed for a long time, thus what michaelg says is very true. And those calcareous rocks and fossils - hmmm, that sounds a lot like calcium and magnesium carbonates - alkaline! Anyhoo, for a really good read (if you are a soil nerd like me!) check out the soil survey info from the USDA, most of all KY (and the rest of the country) is online now. It'll either work you up into a fanatical soil frenzy or put you to sleep, one or the other.
Redsox, we grow horses here in Ocala about as good as Kentucky, apparently due to the limestone under the soil. I didn't know that related to gardening until I tried to grow azaleas and other acid-lovers in the native ground around my new house. I was always digging up white rocks. Never saw a rock before in Florida. The first season my azaleas were ugly and all the plants were at a standstill, not dying but not living much either. Then it dawned on me that those white rocks must be the limestone that the horses like and also alkaline. Since then (a year) I've been using cottonseed meal which acidifies the soil and pine straw and ground pine bark. My PH was at 7.0 pretty much everywhere I stuck in the meter. I haven't tested lately, but the azaleas are green and fat. I have mostly Chinas in the ground now and teas. They seem to be OK.
BTW, Louis Philippe, Spice, Natchitoches Noisette, Belinda's Dream all could not care less about BS. Not a problem.
If your soil really is 7.7, would raised beds be an option. I couldn't find much that liked a PH that high. I was VERY discouraged when I found out about the limestone & high PH. If you're using organic methods, do some checking about which amendments to use. There are mineral sources that do the same thing but one will raise the PH and another won't. I can't remember what they were, not being a soil major. Reading all that stuff last January was a major brain stretch. Soft rock phosphate is better than hard rock phosphate, I think. My memory's not what it used to be so I better end this before I really say something dumb. Look it up. Hope it turns out good for you.
I'd always thought pretty good stretches of Kentucky was alkaline since it's supposed to be good for horses. I can't add much than already is here about roses to try, but as Jeri says, Rugosas are not especially fond of Alkaline conditions. They tolerate neutral to very slight alkalinity OK, however (which is what we have here, and all the rugosas grow just fine at our place, suckering like mad).
That's exactly what I do but I never put a name to it!
We've got no nutrients in the soil (a sand layer on top and then red clay about 1' down) plus the soil is 4.5 pH, so I just take it all out and put compost in the hole.
Works so amazingly well that none of y'all would believe it. I've seen roses grow 8x8 in one season.
Over the last few years there have been a couple of good local racehorses. What the paper says, is that the abundance of lime in the soil produces grass that is relatively high in calcium which helps foals build bone mass. Makes sense.
Adjusting to the alkaline soil was much harder for me than moving up 2 zones. Mostly because it came out of left field, and it isn't something there is a lot of local wisdom about. The usual reaction from a local garden center employee is total disbelief, and the unspoken assumption that I must be liming in my sleep. The brief list of people who have reassured me about my sanity includes Soil & Water, the local water softener guy, and a new local boutique nursery. I happened to mention my pH to one of the owners and he had to tell me all about their acetic acid injector to the fertilizer system. He just had to share with someone who understood.
The biggest difficulty is that most US flora is generalized to be either moist/acidic or dry/alkaline. There are very few resources like William Cullina's wildflower book that seem to understand that there is enough alkaline-neutral soil in the eastern US to support a reasonable selection of plants that prefer a limy soil and a lot of rainfall. There is a lot more information on pH preferences from English sources, and I've gotten some valuable hints from lists of recommended plants for chalk. The lists have to be cross-referenced for hardiness, but that is doable.
I have asked for Jean's list, and this was a link on it. I am activating it also so I can have some time to read both posts.
love this thread! thanks for bumping it up harborrose. I wasnt on the forum when it originally was written. I just wish it catered more to acidic soil than alkaline...but beggers cant be choosers :)
Thanks for bumping this up, Harborrose. It's very useful to me.
Harborrose, thank you so much for taking them time to dig up these threads!
I think my stalking must be pretty good--of the 10 roses varieties I purchased this year 9 are on her list!