Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

November, 2003
Regional Report

Mulch Rose Beds

Cool-season weeds are already up and growing. With winter just around the corner, now is a good time to replenish mulch in the rose beds. This will smother weeds and protect the soil over the winter season.

Relocating Roses

If you have a rose bush that did not grow well due to lack of sunlight, you can transplant it now. Tie branches up with cord or twine to make handling easier. Dig the bush, taking care not to knock all the soil off the roots. Slide a tarp under the root ball and use the tarp to move it to its new location. Reset the bush at the same depth and water it in well. By moving it now, it will have plenty of time to reestablish before next summer arrives.

Plant Container-Grown Roses

Bare-root roses are not dug and sold until late winter, but container-grown roses are available year-round. Fall is a good time to plant them in the south. Firm the soil around the root balls and water them in well. Wait until late winter to begin fertilizing the plants.

Tie Up Climbing Roses

Climbing roses bloom best when they are oriented in horizontal directions. Weave the long shoots back and forth horizontally across the trellis to minimize the amount you have to prune off later. Many climbers only bloom in spring and as such should not be pruned until after they bloom.

Dry Rose Petals for Potpourri

This is the last call for those rose blooms before winter. Collect petals and spread them on a screen in a warm, dry area. They will dry in a few days and then can be stored in a paper sack until you are ready to use them in making potpourri. Most petal colors dry well, except for white ones, which tend to turn a drab brown color.


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