A weed is a plant that you don’t want. There’s an old saying that if a weed can’t grow in a garden, no other plant will grow there either. When my roses look very healthy, my weeds are just as healthy.
At this time of the year, weeds are one of the biggest problems in the rose bed. The best way to control it is to pull it out and then mulch the bed right away so it has no time to resprout. Weed is an abhorrence in the rose garden. A garden free of weeds is a sight to behold. Roses will tolerate some of them but the most invasive ones will choke your roses. They take out the nutrients that you feed your roses. Have you noticed that weeds grow luxuriantly in your rose bed? That’s because they are sharing the meal with your roses.
Years ago, I never put mulch in the garden. I like to see the soil around the rose bushes. However, as time goes by, I found out that I never stopped weeding. You became a slave in your own garden. There was no time to sit and enjoy the garden. By the time I finished the last bed, the first bed was full of weeds again. That’s when I decided to put down mulch. I use cedar mulch and the rose beds look much better with it. Mulch also retains moisture.
How about Roundup? Roundup is an herbicide. From what I read, it does more damage to your roses than at first believed. It does not show right away but comes up later on. If you are using it in other parts of your garden, take extra precaution to avoid contact with your roses. There are cases among rosarians who use Roundup where all their roses died or began their slow death. Just a mist of the Roundup will leave a death sentence to your precious roses. So be extra careful! I also heard that it kills some plants nearby not just roses.
Hoeing is another method to control weed. For those gardeners who are environmentally conscious, this is the best method of weed control. The only problem here is that you can be too close to the rose bushes and may damage their roots. Another disadvantage is loosened soil, if too close to the rose bush, it will encourage suckers. Suckers are growth coming from the rootstock (below the graft). Also hoeing the rose bed can sometimes wake up the weed seeds that are buried under the undisturbed soil and lets them germinate.
Whatever method you use, as soon as you clean up the bed, you should mulch immediately and make it at least 3″ thick to discourage the weed from sprouting again.
Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.