Guest Author - Charity Armstrong
Fall is the perfect time for rose gardeners to plan their spring rose bed changes. Once winter has arrived and the yard is covered with snow the flowerbed gaps and trouble spots fade from our minds as plans for the holidays take over. Before you stop thinking about your rose beds and head indoors to peruse your gardening catalogs, take time to review what currently isnít working in your rose garden.
One great way to perk up a struggling rose garden is to shovel prune any of your difficult to grow, disease ridden roses and replace them with disease resistant reliable performers. There are roses of all sizes and shapes that require absolutely no spraying and only sun, water and fertilizer to look their best. Some examples to consider would be any of the roses designated as Earth Kind by Texas A&M, all of the Knock Out brand roses and most antique or Old World style roses; such as the Lady Banks rose. By replacing your most finicky hybrid teas with low maintenance roses you can increase your gardenís beauty as well as your time to enjoy the garden itself.
Another issue you could be dealing with is a lack of full sun in your rose beds. Most roses are properly planted in an area that offers full sun. However many begin receiving partial shade years down the road as a tree, shrub or other large perennial grows and begins to shade your rose. Roses are never happy unless they are receiving at least 6 hours of full sun each day. Fall and spring are the perfect times to either relocate your rose to a full sun area or to move the troublesome tree, shrub or large perennial to a more appropriate spot in the garden.
If you have either empty or overcrowded areas in the garden make a note of them now. Place a small flag or maker in a bare spot in your rose bed. It will be easier to identify the area in question once many of your plants have died back for the winter. If an area of your rose bed is overcrowded draw a small diagram of the overcrowded plants placement. This will enable you to better visualize their location once winter has arrived, and plan for their rearrangement. Fall and spring are the times to either add a new plant or to relocate some roses that were planted to closely in a previous season. If youíre unable to add a new rose to an empty spot or relocate your crowded roses this fall, youíll appreciate being able to better visualize plant placement come spring.
Fall can seem a slow time in the garden. We all need time to reflect on the previous year and to plan for the next. Before you head indoors for winter a small amount of planning will ensure your garden is what you desire for next spring.