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A Time For Everything in Your Rose Garden
A Calendar of Rose Care For Coastal Northern California

By Master Rosarian Patricia HamiltonFor the dedicated rose lovers who want their gardens to really excel, growing roses is truly a year round occupation. There's more to it that just planting a bush and enjoying the blooms. You have to know the proper time to prune, to fertilize, to plant new bushes, to let the roses go dormant. In this article, master rosarian Pat Hamilton gives you a month by month calendar to grow beautiful roses in Humboldt County.

January - A time for new beginnings

If you want to plant new roses this is a good time to do so as their roots will have time to get established before the growing season, water well to remove any air pockets near the roots. Protect the bud union with mulch to prevent drying out. If you spray apply a dormant spray before new growth begins. Start pruning your established roses, clean up your debris as well as old leaves and weeds.

January - A Time For New Beginnings

February - A time of preparation

Finish pruning if you are still working on it. If it has not rained enough to keep the ground damp, water. Add a half cup of Epsom salts around the base of each bush also add about two cups of alfalfa pellets (no molasses) to the soil around each bush; you don’t need to dig it in.

February - A Time of Preparation

March - A time for maintenance

Continue weeding as they can really grow at this time of year and get ahead of you. Check your water systems and make needed repairs. If you use organic fertilizers get them around your roses as it takes awhile for it to become available to the rose. If the ground has started to warmup you can use a balanced fertilizer at this time. If you spray start your regular spray program.

March - A Time For Maintenance

April - A time for growth

Thumb prune your new growth that is growing where you don’t want it (crossing, middle of bush, too thick etc.) continue watering, spraying and weeding. If you need to get a bush growing better give it a gallon of alfalfa tea.

April - A Time for Growth

May - A time for rewards

Walk through your garden and enjoy your roses that are starting to bloom and keep a look out for caterpillars that can strip a plant, pick them off and squish them. Keep an eye out for aphids and leaf hoppers, if you find them take appropriate action. You can hand pick or spray, your choice.

May - a Time for Rewards

June - A time of beauty

This is the month our roses are usually at their best! Water, weed, deadhead and enjoy. Toward the end of June prune old garden roses after they complete their annual blooming cycle.

June - A Time of Beauty

July & August - A time for appreciation

Keep up your watering. If you spray your roses, make sure to water well before spraying to prevent leaf burn. Keep you garden cleaned up, do your deadheading and weeding. Feed your plants with fish emulsion or what ever you choose that is balanced. Pick bouquets for friends and family.

July & August - A Time For Appreciation

September - A time for cultivation

Water, a lot of times we get drippy fog but if it does not add up to an inch of water in a week it can look damp but be dry. Keep up your spray program. If you want to fertilize now use a fertilizer that has a low nitrogen number as you do not want to stimulate top growth this late in the season. We should still have good flowers now but new buds at this time may not bloom before the rains set in. This a good time to cultivate rose beds.

September - A Time For Cultivation

October - A time for analysis

Check pH of soil and add soil amendments like chelated iron, lime and bone meal at this time so the rain will wash it in. Take note of the roses that didn’t preform well and decide if you want to keep, move or shovel prune.

October - A Time for Analysis

November - A time for hibernation

Stop all fertilizing; let plants go dormant. Do not trim off spent blooms; let hips develop. Check health of plants and start planning for next year.

November - A Time for Hibernation

December - A time to build

Bare root plants may be available at nurseries for planting. Check the rose catalogs for roses you may want to plant if you can find them order now. It is a good time to relocate any plants within your garden and shovel prune.

December - A Time to Build


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