Premier Rose Gardeners since 1951

October Rose Care

by Mary Alice Pike Posted February 15, 2024

Prepare for your New Rose Garden in the Fall

Spiced cider, moonlit hayrides, and bonfires usher us into the time of year where the air is crisp and sweet as the season's apples. Autumn weather also brings with it one last beautiful flush of roses. When you are surrounded by blooms that rival spring's first blossoms, it is difficult to imagine what the next season will bring. And even though the season is not quite over, now is the time to begin prepping your garden for next season.

So why is fall a good time to prepare your garden? Besides the fact that fall weather is perfect for working outside, it is a good idea to prepare the bed with enough time for the soil to settle over winter. By putting in a little hard work now, your yard will become a healthy, happy home for our new rose garden in the spring.

How Do I Prepare? 

Step 1 

Choose a location where the rose garden will receive at least 6 hours of full sun a day, preferably morning sun, and is away from large trees or shrubs as the roots will leech all of the nutrients your roses need to thrive. 

Step 2 

Remove sod if the area is new or clear an existing area of weeds, stumps, rocks, etc. 

Step 3 

Dig down 16 inches to turn the soil over. 

Step 4 

If the area is a brand new area for planting, add 2 bags of Witherspoon Premium Planting Mix PER BUSH. (I know it seems like a lot, but this creates a nice loamy soil) If the area has been conditioned before, you might be able to use less planting mix. If you are unable to pick up Witherspoon's Premium Planting Mix, you can use a mixture of 40lb of composted cow manure, 1 bag of soil conditioner and a 40lb bag of Permatill® for every 2 bushes. 

Step 5 

Broadcast 3 cups of Witherspoon Essentials per bush over the entire bed. If you are unable to pick up a bag of Witherspoon Essentials, use 1 cup each of Bone Meal, Lime, and Gypsum per bush. 

Step 6 

Till the bed thoroughly to incorporate the soil amendments into your existing soil. Over winter the soil will settle and your bed will be ready to welcome spring additions! 

Step 7 

Sit back with an ice cold glass of water and the new Witherspoon Rose Catalog. October is the best time to order bareroot roses for the following season. Why is that? You will not have to worry about the rose you carefully selected from the catalog being sold out and you will also be able to take advantage of the early bird discount!


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