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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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April 17, 2010

First Bud of 2010

This morning while I was taking Chloe out to go potty, I caught site of my first rose bud of the season.  I'm not sure what type of rose bush this is but it always buds first and produces the most beautiful, large pink roses....which are also very fragrant.

We have six rose bushes total in our yard that have been established since the completion of our house, eight years ago.  I should say they were planted eight years ago. 

We fertilize them every year with manure that Dominic brings up with the tractor from the manure pile kept down on the ranch.  The roses are on automatic watering and during the summer months are watered once or twice a day for a short time. 

They grow beautifully.

Until the deer get hungry for a snack.

Oh yes, the deer...

For the first five years of the roses living here, our yard was not fully enclosed.  So every night at around 2 a.m. the deer would come in for a middle of the night feast.

We now have fencing around the perimeter of our yard and an electric gate that helps keep the deer out.  It's not 100% deer proof but helps immensely.  Last summer I caught a few fawns in the yard that I witnessed jumping through sheep fencing (a 5" x 5" square.)  They are cute little buggers but boy, can they do some damage.

But for now, I'm enjoying the first rose bud of the season............

How to care for rose bushes

I found some basic step by step instructions on caring for rose bushes on-line at
eHow has so much more information on roses such as; watering, deadheading, bare-root, reproducing, diseases, etc.

Step 1
Choose a mostly sunny location to plant your rosebushes. Some shade is OK, but roses do best in full sun. If your rose bushes are in full shade most of the day, you'll need to transplant them to a sunny spot.

Step 2
Prepare a rich, loose soil mix for your rosebushes. Roses require plenty of food and nutrients. Work your soil, adding in well-composted organic matter, manure and mineral fertilizer. Combine this with the native soil and dig out a large hole for your rosebush, refilling it with the soil mixture as you plant the bushes.

Step 3
Mulch your rose bushes with a natural form of mulch, such as wood chips. This keeps weeds away and helps protect their roots. Mulching also keeps the soil warm and moist instead of hot and dry in the summer.

Step 4
Prune your rose bushes after the buds begin to swell in the spring, pruning just past the new buds. A good pruning will encourage new growth, remove dead matter and help give the plant the shape you want.

Step 5
Fertilize your rose bushes with specially formulated rose fertilizer or mineral plant supplements. Roses like fertilizer and will do well with the added boost to the soil.

Step 6
Water your rose bushes regularly, but make sure the soil drains well. Roses don't like to live in a swamp. Water them daily while they are becoming established, and several times a week in hot, dry spells.

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