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Best Mix of Compost and Fertilizer for Roses

westes Zone 9b California SF Bay
7 months ago
last modified: 7 months ago

I have nursed a dying rose garden back to health over the last two years by top-covering the soil with compost. There have been steady and progressive improvements in leaf density and blossoms. I want to refresh the compost, and while I am at it I can fertilize the roses. Questions:

#1: What are the minimum fertilizers I should add to a mix? I am thinking of using 1/2 Rose Tone and 1/2 Alfalfa pellets crushed to a powder, just to boost the nitrogen. Basically my thinking is that almost any commercial rose fertilizer is fine, and I am just boosting the nitrogen by adding alfalfa, which roses appear to just love. I am taking the time to crush the alfalfa pellets to powder, because when I have tried to add pellets they harden and take years to fully dissolve.

#2: If I want to just mix the fertilizer and the compost together in a wheelbarrow and then apply the mixture as the new topsoil, what ratios of compost and fertilizer should I be mixing? I was thinking maybe 10% fertilizer, so for example:

18 scoops of compost (90% of the mix)

1 scoop of Rose Tone (5% of the mix)

1 scoop of alfalfa (5% of the mix)

What would be better ratios to use?

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