Garden To Do List
Early spring is the time to clean the winter out of your gardens. Whether you’re planting new roses or maintaining existing ones, your garden area will need some prep work.
● Remove all leaf and limb debris that may have blown into the garden from the fall and winter. This will discourage any disease issues from dormant spores that might be hiding in last year’s plant debris.
● Give your garden a facelift by adding a fresh layer of mulch. In addition to refreshing the appearance of your beds, this will also help with weed control and water retention for the upcoming season.
● If you did not do so in the fall, prune your roses now. Using well-sharpened pruning shears, remove about one-third to one-half of top growth. Begin by removing any dead, broken, weak, or crossing canes. Then prune remaining canes, if possible pruning above an outside eye. This will create an urn shape, which gives your rose a fuller appearance and will encourage good health by keeping the center open and encouraging air flow.
● This is also the ideal time to enhance your garden palette by adding new roses to your garden. Check out our beautiful new roses for 2015 here.
What’s the difference between pruning and deadheading?
● Pruning is an annual task in which you cut your roses way back. This gives them a head start for the new growing season. By removing one-third to one-half of the top growth, including all foliage, you are redirecting the plant’s energy into the strongest canes. You’re also minimizing the chance of disease by removing any dormant spores. In warmer climates, pruning is best done in the winter. In colder climates, fall or spring is the ideal time to prune.
● Deadheading is a task that can be done throughout the growing season, if desired. It is by no means essential for the well-being of your roses. However, removing faded blooms is the best way to keep your roses looking tidy and encouraging new blooms throughout the season. Cut just above the first five-leaflet leaf. Cutting above an outside eye will encourage a fuller looking plant.
How do I prepare my new garden area?
If you are planting a new area, it is wise to turn over all the soil so it may be mixed with garden compost. Some gardeners compost their own; others purchase bulk or bagged composts from their local lawn and garden supplier. Working a 2-4" layer of organic compost in the soil with a fork or rototiller gives the soil a crumbly texture.This allows the roots to quickly spread and take in oxygen, which is essential for the health of your plant.
Some gardeners prefer to add are earthworm castings, mycorrhiza and other amendments that assist in the breakdown of the organic matter and make it easier for the plants to take in nutrients.
You can also obtain other helpful suggestions on soil amendments at your local garden center. Visit weeksroses.com for more information.