What soil is best for planting roses?
On the whole, roses love clay, enjoy a well-balanced loam, tolerate sandy conditions but will struggle in chalk. It is therefore not recommended to use mushroom compost for roses and ericaceous plants, as it is too alkaline and chalky. Very sandy and chalky soils will need improving. Roses prefer a neutral to acid soil, a pH of around 6 – 6.5 but are very happy on the margins of this. Only a very acidic soil of low pH reading would benefit from the addition of garden lime. Likewise an alkaline soil will require improvement to raise acidy; a well-rotted farmyard manure or composts are ideal, and are always readily available. Peat performs well but as a finite resource should be avoided, and there are now some very good peat substitutes available instead.
Soil should be well dug in advance if possible, and it is at this stage that any additions can be made. A slow release feed needs to be added to soil in February and early summer.