Weeds are the bane of rose gardeners everywhere. (Along with Black Spot. And insects). A few days without weeding and these unwanted, insidious plants could be choking your young roses and stealing their light, or stealing nutrients from your prizewinning climbers. Regardless of whether or not your roses are winning prizes, weeds will steal necessary nutrients and water from them, as well as making your beautiful garden look messy and unkempt. And do you really want to be paying for water that a weed is using?
Common weeds in rose gardens include dandelions, crabgrass, and birdweed, although any plant that isn’t wanted in your garden is technically a weed.
Here are a few easy gardening tips to deal with weeds:
- Weed killers – Remember that most substances which will kill weeds also kill other plants. There are chemical weed killers available that can be sprayed right on a weed to kill it. Or you can try to make your own, using a recipe. You need to be careful when spraying a herbicide of any form, as they will damage your roses if they even so much as get blown onto the plant by passing wind.
- One interesting gardening tip is to cover your rose bed (except your bushes) with black plastic sheets or garbage bags. The heat from the sun will heat up anything under the plastic, and any plants under the sheets will die. (The water cells in their bodies heat up and burst, causing the top part of the plant to die). You still need to hoe the garden, to get rid of the dead weeds.
- During the summer, you can cover your rose bed with mulch. This holds the needed moisture in, while preventing weeds the opportunity and light to grow. Unfortunately, you have to remove weeds before you put the mulch onto the bed. Evenly spread a 2 – 3 inch layer over the dirt, but avoid the areas right around your rose bushes and other plants, as this will provide a haven for bugs and slugs. Mulch can be made of almost anything, from compost to torn up newspapers.
- Dig them out. For individual weeds, sometimes the only thing that will work is to get down on your hands on knees and pull the weed. There might be a neat gardening accessory that will allow you to do this standing up. A hoe would probably work for turning the dirt over and forcing the weeds up, but you will still have to pick them out of the dirt.
Weeding is necessary chore for all gardeners. Be vigilant and a few minutes each day or each week will save you from the troublesome chore weeding would become if the weeds were allowed to produce seeds. Once the weeds start producing seeds, you may have to spend hours pulling out weeds, only to find many more 2 days later.