Posts Tagged Roses

Preparing for Rose Season

We are very lucky in Southern California.  We have fantastic weather and with it are able to have an extensive rose season.  For example, this January you can plant bare-root plants like roses.  How do you prepare for roses?  Here are some ideas: iStock_000010086872XSmall

Rose planting preparations:

Make sure you’ve got a space dedicated to growing your roses.  These lovely flowers need plenty of food, so it’s best to plant them in weed-free areas where other high phosphorus eaters don’t also live.

Get your soil set up for roses.  You want a nice, loam composition.  This means it is about 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay.  If you aren’t going to be planting bare root roses this year or you are amending soil where existing plants live, try building this type of soil using organic compost.  If you are attempting to plant right away, you should dig in a good compost mix.

Set up the area you will be planting with a good watering system.  Southern California can be hot for roses.  Your roses will need plenty of water as they grow.

Plant your roses:

Planting a bare root rose is an excellent way to beautify your garden.  Here is a quick overview of planting bare root roses:

  • Soak the bare roots in a bucket of water for at least two hours and not over twelve hours.
  • Prune any roots that are broken, injured, or overlong.
  • Dig a hole about 12-18 inches deep and 2 feet wide.
  • Add compost into the hole and mix it with the soil at the bottom of the hole.
  • Place the rose into the hole and spread the roots evenly around.
  • Backfill the planting hole two thirds full.  Make sure the bud union is above the soil level.
  • Add water and allow to drain completely, then fill the hole with more soil and water again.

Find more tips on caring for your new roses here.

Here’s to bright new buds and bountiful roses this year!

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Landscape Maintenance for Fall

Fall is usually a great time to help your plants get ready for chilly weather.  Even though it’s not quite Fall yet, I wanted to start you off with a few maintenance ideas.

– Overseed your lawn: Adding extra seed to your lawn will help it recover from the summer heat.  Overseeding is described here and is best done in Fall and/or in Spring. iStock_000005983963XSmall

– Feed your roses: Fertilize your roses each time the blooms die off – and stop fertilizing about two months before the first frost.

– Clean up: Cut off anything that is dead, rake up dead leaves, trim down dead plants, and generally get your yard ship shape.

– Compost: This one has a double meaning.  You should both feed your plants with compost, and use your grass clippings, dead leaves, and yanked up plants create new compost. wooden compost bin

– Plant: Fall is always a good time to install trees and shrubs.  It might be better to wait until October/November, so the plants are more dormant, but check out plant sales and see if there’s anything you should get into the ground right away.

– Harvest: Take advantage of your Fall flowers, veggies, and fruits.  Either harvest plants in your own yard or have fun at a pumpkin patch or other pick-your-own farm.

– Pull up the weeds: Any weeds should be yanked out by the roots so they can’t establish their roots over the winter.Pulling Weeds


Here’s to a great Fall and a healthy yard!



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How to Make Your Favorite Landscape Work in Southern California

Southern California has some great native plants and is generally an excellent place to grow many warm weather and even some tropical plants.  But what if you or your loved one are from Maine, England, Alaska, or Ecuador?   How do you capture the feel of another state or country, while living in SoCal?  Here are several tips to make it work:

– Examine the climate where your ideal yard is from.  This will give you an idea of how to sort out issues like too much sun and too little water.  For example, if you want an English kitchen garden, you’ll needs plenty of water and possibly some shade for the more delicate plants.  If you are looking for a tropical feel, you will need more water and possibly a greenhouse for the plants that need that intense heat.

– See if there are replacement plants which you’d be okay with.  For example, Forget-me-nots are not particularly inclined to grow in hot weather, but you can get blue pansys, California Blue Bells,  Gracias Sage, Desert Sage, Wooly Blue Curls, and many other native wildflowers.

– Use pots.  Pots are fantastic.  They allow plants to be moved around – so if you have some plants out in the winter that should be shaded during summer, you can just move them around.

– Utilize your shade.  There are shade plants which will make your California garden feel as if it’s been transported from the old world.  Find any shady spots and plant there.  Ferns, strawberries, and other plants peaking out from under a tree or tall bush can make your yard feel like home.Wild Roses

– Find plants that do well here and in your ideal garden.  Probably the most common flower to any garden – Southern and Northern – are roses.  Roses do well in our climate as long as they have plenty of water and are properly pruned and fertilized.

Making your ideal landscape work is a matter of balance and planting the proper plants in the areas that work best for them.  This can be a tough process, and often is something a professional landscaper can give you excellent advice on.

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Enjoying Your Roses

This time of year is the time when roses are blooming and abundant.  Here are some tips on caring for your roses and keeping them healthy:

– Try an organic pest repellant: companion plant with garlic.  Generally garlic will put up little shoots and evil bugs that like to eat your roses do not like garlic shoots.  Also – later on you can harvest delicious cloves of garlic!

– If you aren’t sure how to prune your roses, consult with an expert before going ahead and lopping everything off.  A general rule of thumb at this time of year is that you can certainly cut flowers for bouquets and you can always remove anything that’s dead or dying.  Just don’t get too enthusiastic unless you know what you’re doing.

– Try to fertilize your roses with rose-specific fertilizer.  Also, roses like a lot of water, so keeping your rose garden well composted will give them some great nutrition and create soil which is more likely to keep the water in.

– Giving your roses a nice, deep drink twice a week is better than watering them shallowly over that same amount of time.

Here’s to a summer full of wonderful blooms and rose scented air!

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Springtime Rose Care

It’s springtime!  What to do with your roses?

  • It’s definitely time to start watering your roses again.
  • Even if you are not ready to prune, trim anything dead off your roses.
  • Fertalize your roses.
  • Don’t have roses? Now is a good time to plant.  Nowhere to plant, but you really want roses? Consult with your local landscaper about where to get roses installed.

Here’s to a glorious, bright spring and summer!

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Roses in the wintertime

Roses can be tricky.  Here are some ideas for the care of roses over wintertime:

  • Allow your roses a dormant period.  Stop adding fertilizer and cut down your watering this month.
  • Wait until around January to prune.
  • When pruning, make sure to cut into living tissue.
  • Keep the area around your roses clean so no bugs can lay eggs in the area.
  • Once you’ve pruned, make sure to start fertilizing.  Again, wait until January so you have a chance to give your roses a dormant period.
  • It’s a great idea to take the opportunity of this dormant period to install a sprinkler system for your roses.

Here’s to a short winter and a lovely spring!

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