Organic Rose Gardening – What Is It
The term organic seems to be everywhere these days, from the vegetables in the produce aisle to the cereal we eat in the morning. There are many definitions and ideas about what truly makes something organic, but in rose gardening and gardening in general it’s pretty simple. Organic gardening is rooted in the concept of feeding the soil and strengthening your plants naturally so that the plants will flourish without the need for chemical fertilizer or pesticides. On a more philosophical level, organic gardeners try to learn about and work with nature rather than control it with heavy-duty chemical fertilizers.
There are several ways to incorporate organic ideas into your rose garden, starting even before you put a plant in the ground. Most experts agree that careful conditioning of soil is vital to the eventual success and health of your rose garden. You should begin by digging up the existing soil, to a depth of about one foot, reserving that soil for later. Add compost, peat moss or manure to this layer and then dig again, this time mixing the soil with the additive. Adding this organic material will get your roses off to a good start.
Now, you can add some bone meal into the top layer of dirt, replace the first foot of soil and begin your planting.
Mulch will be a great friend to your rose plants and help your keep all the natural nutrients in the soil. In the summer it will keep weeds away and help to keep the moisture level of your plants consistent. For this benefit, add mulch to your regular care shortly before the first bloom appears. In winter, careful mulching will protect your roses from a dangerous cycle of freezing and thawing, causing the plant to shift underground, damaging the root system. By reinforcing the plant with several inches of soil and covering that soil with mulch, you will protect the plant’s root system from the harsh conditions of winter and you will see a healthy plant emerge in the spring.
Keeping your soil adequately moist and feeding it regularly with compost or other organic matter, such as peat moss will ensure healthy plants, but what about garden bugs and other pests? With organic gardening, there is an acceptance that bugs are just part of nature, and thus, part of any garden. Your local garden store will have organic solutions to pest problems available if you really can’t stand a certain pest that has found your roses irresistible.
Another popular concept of organic gardening is companion planting. These plants, in addition to adding beauty and variety to your garden, serve the purpose of keeping pests away from your roses. Garlic and onions make wonderful companion plants to your rose bushes and add to the diversity of your garden.
Finally, selecting rose varieties that are indigenous to your area will reduce the need for artificial fertilizers, and produce the best results in your garden. You can find just about any color or size rose plant in a variety well suited to your climate and soil. These plants will be well suited to your landscape and should need only basic care to thrive.
Organic gardening, and organic rose gardening in particular can be very rewarding and surprisingly simple to achieve.