A Year in My Rose Garden
January/February. On those few nice winter days we get, work on my ramblers and climbers. Remove old canes that are woody and flowered out, and rearrange the remaining canes on their structures to make room for new basal canes in the coming season. Evaluate once-blooming Old Garden Roses, reducing their height by up to one-half, and removing bloomed-out canes, if necessary.
March. Prune repeat-blooming roses when the forsythia is blooming. Pull winter weeds, reapply mulch, test irrigation system.
"Portland from Glendora"
April. Begin fungicide spray program as soon as roses leaf out, for best success at blackspot prevention. Mix fungicide according to label directions, and spray at the recommended interval. (I use Bayer Advanced Disease Control every 14 days) Fertilize roses as soon as the soil warms and the roses are growing vigorously.
May. Enjoy the roses, because there are new ones every day! Continue fungicide spray program. Remember to water the roses if there hasn’t been sufficient rain. Modern roses will benefit from an application of organic fertilizer toward the end of the month.
The Rose Field
June. Most of the roses should be blooming really well this month. Japanese Beetles will arrive at the end of the month, just as the roses are finishing their first flush of bloom. (I hand pick beetles, or just ignore them)
"Arcata Pink Globe"
July/August. Modern roses are usually resting in the heat of summer. Chinas, Teas, and Polyanthas continue their show. Be sure the roses are getting enough water. Pull weeds, or spray herbicide, as necessary. Spray fungicide every two weeks.
September. Enjoy the beginning of the fall flush of flowers. Apply organic fertilizer. Continue fungicide spray program.
October. Fall flush continues, especially for the Polyanthas. I usually need one last fungicide application in the middle of the month.
November. The roses are beginning to sleep for the winter, as temperatures cool and daylight gets shorter. I don’t winter-protect my roses, but you can mound mulch or soil at the base of more-tender roses after a couple of hard freezes.
December. Enjoy the Holidays, and dream of the rose season to come. The cycle starts over again in January.