We can definitely realize that autumn has arrived. The days have been getting shorter than the nights, direction of the sun is more of an angle and the leaves are starting to fall.
Of course many of us will be thinking about winterizing, but that doesn’t need to be done till around Thanksgiving, when the bushes are more dormant and the ground is colder.
Very likely black spot will not be as much of a problem as it was during the
summer, but because of warm days and lower temperatures at night powdery mildew
can present more of a problem than it did during the summer. Most of the rosarians
who have a spray program will likely continue to spray until first frost. If you do develop powdery mildew in your garden and do not wish to use a harsh chemical, a light horticultural oil spray often will keep this fungus in check.
Permit your roses to become dormant gradually. Do not cut blooms during the
latter half of the month; nor do you need to deadhead them. Also, do not apply nitrogen
fertilizers at this time. The reason for this advice is that to do so would induce new
succulent growth, which would simply die off because of freeze. Just permit canes to
harden up before the first hard frosts arrive. Some rosarians suggest bone meal or
phosphate applications in the fall in order to harden off the roses and to store nutrients
in the canes and roots.
This month is a great month to check how your garden did over the past year.
Are there any of your roses that did not do well? Could they be helped by moving them
to another, better location? This month is a good one to transplant. Or it might just be
that you want to give it away and have room for some other rose you want to buy for
next year—you can give that one away now and prepare a spot for next year’s new
rose. Or, there may be a rose that is doing so badly that you want to throw it away. In
any case, now is the time to plan your garden for next year.
You can also take care of all your tools, check all of your fertilizers and your
chemicals, but these can be done anytime during the winter. The main thing is that if
you have any roses—and many often have roses into the first frosts—then you should
enjoy them. As we are approaching our last out of door days of the season.