The Q&A Archives: Cover Crops For Rose Bed

Question: I have a large central rose garden and it looks pretty barren after January pruning - is there something I could sow or plant in the fall to camouflage the rose canes till they leaf out in the spring?

Answer: There are a number of cover crops you can plant, but they should be turned under in the spring - something that might not be practical in a rose bed, with all those established root systems. Have you considered a mulch material like straw or leaves? Not very pretty, but functional; they'll keep the weeds down and help prevent erosion. You can rake the material up in the spring and use it in your compost pile, or scatter it around in your tree wells. You can plant fava beans in the fall. The plants are tall and rangy so you'll get a wild, unkempt look in your rose bed, but they're easy to pull in the spring.

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