Garden Gab - Fall Do's and Don'ts

Fall brings a new season in the garden with a new checklist to make sure your roses are prepped for the upcoming cold. Let’s go over the dos and don’ts of caring for your roses in the fall!

First, we’re walking through the do’s.

First: Do Plant.

Fall is a great time to get your roses in the ground for multiple reasons. The temperatures are milder, it rains more frequently, and you’re able to plant while seeing the full picture of your yard.

Make sure to plant five to six weeks before the first frost to help your rose settle into its new home before the truly cold temps arrive. That will vary from zone to zone so head to our blog on average frost dates to find what works for your area.

Second: Do Continue Watering.

Although the temperatures may be dropping and rainfall is more frequent, that doesn’t mean you can skip watering your roses all together. You won’t be watering quite as frequently as you were throughout the summertime, but you should still give your roses a good soak every couple of weeks depending on your climate. Check out our blog on watering roses to learn more.

Third: Do Mulch.

Covering the base of your roses with a thick layer of mulch, leaves, woodchips, or straw will help protect them from winter’s worst. Think of it like putting a coat on your roses to keep them warm all season long.

Finally: Do Transplant Your Roses.

For the same reasons fall is a good time to plant your roses, it’s also a great time to transplant them. Maybe one of your shrub roses has outgrown its original planting spot or you’re looking to move a rose from a decorative container to the landscape.

Whatever the reason, just wait for your rose to go dormant and then you are free to replant. Check out our video on transplanting roses to learn even more.

To recap the do’s, plant in the fall, continue to water, cover your roses with mulch, and transplant them if you need to.

And now let’s go over some don’ts for fall!

First up: Don’t Fertilize.

Fertilizer promotes new growth, and that new growth is going to be very vulnerable to the colder temps of winter. A general rule of thumb is to stop fertilizing by August. Learn more about fertilizing by reading our blog on the topic.

Second: Don’t Prune.

Your roses don’t require a fall haircut to keep them looking nice. In fact, pruning them in fall can mean less blooms in the spring. Wait until you begin to see new growth in early spring and then you can begin pruning your roses. For now, you can put those pruners away!

So, forget fertilizing and pruning this fall and sit back to enjoy the hard work you’ve put in all summer long. These do’s and don’ts for fall are sure to set you up for success next spring. For more information on winter prep in the garden, head to our blog on overwintering roses.