This is the second in a 12-part series of monthly rose gardening tips. Here’s January‘s.
February is the month when most gardeners are ready for winter to be over already. “Did the groundhog see its shadow?” “Do we have 6 more months of winter?” “Is it time to start seeds indoors yet?”
Whether your growing season is about to begin or still several weeks off, never fear! There are lots of things you can do in the rose garden to prepare your planting sites and gear up for a gorgeous season!
Cold-Climate (Zones 2-4):
- Prune Existing Roses: If you didn’t prune your roses in the fall, this is a good time to get out and do that before new growth begins.
- Spray Neem Oil: Once the snow has melted and the ground is exposed, it is a good time to apply a dormant soil to your roses and the surrounding soil. Neem oil-based formulas are particularly effective at preventing both fungal diseases and pest infestations.
- Buy New Roses: On those days when the weather is still too cold to work outside, this is the perfect chance to order new roses for the coming season!
Moderate-Climate (Zones 5-7):
- Finish Pruning: It is important to prune your roses before new growth is fully underway. Prune early enough and the shrub will happily accept its new architecture and grow in the directions you want it too; prune too late and you will be fighting against new growth.
- Amend Soil (with Rose Tone): Organic fertilizer is not only better for the environment, but it breaks down over time, gradually releasing its nutrients over the coming months. A generous helping of specially-formulated Rose Tone now will pay dividends for the rest of the season.
- Remove winter protection as the ground thaws: If you protected your tender roses with cones, layers of mulch, and/or mounded soil, you should begin to remove this material as the weather warms up. Don’t remove all the mulch/soil at once, though–take it off a little at a time to make sure that you’ve still got protection from any surprise frosts.
Hot-Climate (Zones 8-10):
Finish Pruning, Planting, and Mulching: It is best to plant bareroot roses as early as possible so that they can get established while the weather is still cool. After planting it is always a good idea to add some mulch, just to keep the weeds from getting a foothold.
- Apply Systemic Rose & Flower Care: These granules enhance your roses’ natural defenses from the inside out . Systemic is great because it not only fertilizes but also helps prevent pest and disease problems. Re-apply every 2 months.
- Apply Dynamite Slow-Release Fertilizer: Start your fertilizer regimen off with a slow-release formula specifically designed for roses, like Dynamite.
What are you doing in the rose garden this month? Leave a comment and tell us!