Rose Beds from scratch
Knowing that Roses prefer a well-drained location,
and are rather heavy feeders during blooming season,
will help you to keep them happy and spectacular.
You can build your rose bed or garden at the level of the surrounding landscape, or in raised beds or sunken beds. The elevation you choose is determined by your rainfall, soil texture and other local factors.
If you have 8" or more of nutrient-rich topsoil your task is made much easier. The site I chose was well-drained but lacked the nutrients and texture desired by roses, so on the scale of difficulty, mine was about a 10.
I planned to bury 1/4" soaker hose in the root area so I could water and feed them from below to encourage deeper root growth. I decided on a bed the length of the hoses which was 25 feet. You may have some other criteria which determines the length of your bed. I dug it about 12" deep to allow me to add adequate Super Soil.
I made it about 48" wide to accommodate three rows of Roses and allow a gloved arm to service the innermost bushes. Long Leather Welder's Gloves are a blessing when working on Rose bushes. So is a leather jacket.
Next I positioned the Soaker Hoses so they would be between rows, and then flooded the bottom with Manure Tea to put nutrients into the poor sub soil. Keep the Soaker Hose ends accessible so you can flush them out occasionally. A nail will plug the free ends to confine the water or liquid fertilizer to the root area.
I could have connected the two hoses underground in a "U" shape, but 50' of 1/4" Soaker Hose tends to starve the far end. Of course, you could also shuttle between the two "U" ends to assure more even watering.
I applied a two inch layer of Rabbit Manure, and then filled the bed with Super Soil.
If you examine the root ball, you will probably notice most of the small white rootlets are on the bottom or the sides near the bottom. This is where most of the moisture was in the pot. Be very careful not to damage these tender rootlets. It is best to sieve a 1" layer of soil through 1/4" mesh to avoid rock damage in the planting hole.
Water the potted plant by submerging it under water or Tea until the bubbles stop rising. Allow it to drain for 24 hours. This will shrink the root ball enough to allow it to be removed from the pot without clinging to the pot sides. Then place your open hand on top of the root ball and turn the container upside down.
Tap the rim of the pot on something solid to help the root ball drop down out of the pot. Then lay the horizontal root ball on your hand, and put the other hand on top of the root ball. Return the plant to its normal roots-down position and carefull set it in the center of the hole. Do not slide the root ball to reposition it in the hole. This may injure the tiny feeder roots. Set it down and leave it be. Gently add 2" of water or Tea to the hole and allow the liquid to dissipate.
Next fill in around the rootball only to the top of the roots. This may not be where the soil was in the pot. Sometimes the soil in the pot is too high or two low. Planted too deep may cause the trunk or stem to rot. Too shallow may cause the roots to dry out. Generally, the happy medium is when the root tops are covered by about 1" of soil.
An inexpensive Moisture Meter will show you when the water is adequate.