Rose Calendar

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The rose calendar is for the South Puget Sound area of Washington State - Olympia area, Thurston County, specifically.  It should be pretty applicable to most of western Washington State as well as Vancouver Island and the Vancouver, BC area.  Western Oregon is warmer and drier, but much the same. Eastern Washington and Oregon are very different - cold-winter deserts instead of temperate rainforests.  This calendar won't work at all east of the Cascade Mountains, south of Eureka CA, or north of Juneau AK.

 

Jan | Feb | March | April | May | June
July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec
 

JANUARY

  1. Make certain winter protection remains in place and has not washed away from rain.
  2. This is a good time to test your soils for nutrient deficiency and pH.

FEBRUARY

  1. Prepare beds for planting.
  2. Purchase bareroot rose plants from garden centers as soon as they arrive. Plant them immediately and cover them with soil (completely cover the crown -- cover with about 8" of soil or compost so they don't dry out) for about a month before slowly uncovering them.
  3. Prune climbers towards the end of the month. Remove dead and twiggy growth. (See also Pruning Roses.)

MARCH

  1. Remove winter protection.
  2. Conduct spring pruning. Remove any dead, diseased, or twiggy canes. Cut canes back to undamaged wood (pith should be apple green). Prune to an outside bud except for cultivars which tend to sprawl, in which case prune to inside buds. (See also Pruning Roses.)
  3. Plant new bareroot roses before March ends.
  4. Clean up the rose beds, rake up winter debris, pull weeds while they are small.
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APRIL

  1. Begin fungicide spray program when first foliage appears.
  2. A soil test, such as those available at nurseries, will give you an idea of what nutrients your garden will need this year.
  3. Make first fertilizer application when roses have about 4" of new growth. A high nitrogen fertilizer (e.g. 20-5-5) in early spring will help replenish nitrogen leached from the soil by winter rains.
  4. Admire new growth and start dreaming of the rose show trophy table.

MAY

  1. Be alert for insect pests. Remove them by hand when they appear. Spray only if hand-picking no longer can control the outbreak.
  2. Continue fungicide sprays, remember to alternate chemicals to avoid fungicide resistance.
  3. Make second fertilizer application.  Either a balanced rose fertilizer, or a general-purpose fertilizer, will be fine.
  4. Apply alfalfa tea.
  5. Watch the weather and water when necessary.  Roses need about 1" of water per week.
  6. Replenish mulch once soil has warmed up and roses are actively growing.

JUNE

  1. This is the main month for rose shows. Get your bushes groomed.
  2. Apply new mulch if needed.
  3. Continue spray program.
  4. Make third fertilizer application.
  5. Deadhead bloomed-out canes fairly low on plant to stimulate basal breaks.
  6. Start to water consistently as soon as spring rains let up. Roses will forgive many things, but won't forgive lack of water.

JULY

  1. Increase watering; occasionally wash off foliage as temperature heats up.
  2. This is the last month to apply conventional fertilizers.
  3. Continue low deadheading as blossoms fade.
  4. Pay attention to watering as the temperature heats up.

AUGUST

  1. Watering begins to become critical. Water deeply two or three times a week during hot dry weather.
  2. Be alert for spider mites. Wash them off with water or control them with miticide.
  3. Continue fungicide spray program.
  4. Canes should now be deadheaded higher on the plant to avoid stimulating basal breaks, which may not harden in time for winter.
  5. Order new roses from catalogs for next year - many growers sell out of the best varieties before August ends.

SEPTEMBER

  1. Continue watering program until fall rains begin.
  2. Continue insect and disease control.
  3. Be vigilant in your campaign against spider mites.
  4. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work from all year; September is a great month in the rose garden.

OCTOBER

  1. The winter rains have usually started and watering can cease.
  2. Spraying for diseases or insects can also cease.
  3. Make garden improvement plans.
  4. Lime garden if soil test indicates pH is below about 6.0.
  5. Toward the end of the month, allow spent blooms to remain on bushes to promote dormancy.
  6. Apply organic fertilizers and composts for next spring's growth.  Roses love chicken manure, mushroom compost, or blood meal.

NOVEMBER

  1. Plant new bareroot roses if you prefer fall transplanting, and if you can find new bushes.
  2. Prepare bushes for winter by:
    • cutting tall bushes back to about 2' above the ground to lessen wind damage,
    • removing and discarding all leaves,
    • removing and cleaning up debris in rose beds,
    • dormant spraying bushes before applying winter protection, and
    • applying winter protection, such as mounding the bushes 6 to 8 inches with soil or mulch
  3. Don't forget to winterize your irrigation system too, by insulating valves and draining lines.  Remove hoses from faucets, and put away for the winter.  Even frost-proof faucets can be damaged if the hose remains attached.

DECEMBER

  1. Stay out of the garden and enjoy your free time, knowing your roses are safely put to bed.
  2. Read some good rose books and spend time in front of the fireplace dreaming over rose catalogs.
  3. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

THE ARMCHAIR SHOPPER

The photos are stunning, the colors sublime
The various plants look Number 1 Prime:
Fragrants, Old English, exclusive rose trees,
Moderns, Rugosas, new Hybrid Teas.

Too early to tell if my roses have died,
The mulch still around them, tips brown and dried,
I'm bewitched by the pictures of Pink Grootendorst,
Alfred de Dalmas, City of York
.

There are people to visit in rose catalogs:
Robin Hood, Handel, Don Juan, Goldilocks,
Princesse de Monaco, Empress Josephine,
Dolly Parton, Mister Lincoln, Roger Lambelin.


Places of note abound in the names:
Tuscany, Mojave, Granada, Dublin Bay,
Nevada, Saratoga, Holy Toledo,
Camelot, Oklahoma, Over the Rainbow.


With winter's withdrawal, my thoughts turn to blooms.
I dream of bouquets rich in flower perfumes:
Sparrieshoop, Keepsake, La France, Nancy Hall,
Friendship, Tiffany, Baby Betsy McCall.


The pages are wrinkled from all the perusal,
Comparing old favorites with the new or unusual:
Commandant Beaurepaire, Henry Nevard,
Tour de Malakoff, Ferdinand Pichard
.

My corolla is boggled, my center confused
By trimming selections down to a few.
The floriferous choices are too many to call;
Enough of this pruning, I'll order them all.

By Susan Moon
Published in the "Rose Herald,"
Tri-City Rose Society, Washington State USA

 

?/font> 2008,  The Olympia Rose Society . This page last modified:  Saturday, November 12, 2011