Many gardeners are learning as much as they can about natural approaches to caring for plants, and organic rose gardening has become quite popular among rose growers.
People have been growing roses for thousands of years, and for most of that time they’ve been doing it organically. Man-made chemicals came onto the scene only in the last century, causing many gardeners to turn their backs on traditional means of pest control and fertilizers. Luckily, many are returning to maintaining their yards organically, and there is no reason you can’t grow your roses organically as well.
In fact, maintaining an organic garden will actually add to the heath of your roses, which respond to natural methods with a longer lifespan, while the health of your pets and local wildlife is safe from harmful chemicals.
For millions of years the earth has maintained its flora and fauna quite efficiently without the aid of manmade chemicals. Trouble starts when humans begin to believe that we can do better than nature, and the natural balance of plant and animal life loses its footing. Plants absorb the nutrition and water they need through their roots, while their leaves work with sunlight to produce the energy necessary to grow and thrive. Fungus, bacteria, and other natural organisms in the soil all serve their own functions to provide nutrients naturally in a lifecycle that man can never hope to improve upon.
However, man-made pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers actually cause the destruction of organisms in the soil, interfering with the natural give-and-take that occurs between the soil and your roses. When you remove the good bacteria that works to protect the roots of your plants, harmful fungi takes over and infects your plant. Believe it or not, your roses can become dependent on man-made chemical fertilizers as well, which will eventually interrupt the plant’s ability to appropriate nutrients naturally from the soil.
Avoiding this vicious cycle is not difficult, you only need to learn organic rose gardening methods and forego chemical fertilizers and pest control products. You can still feed the soil and nurture your roses without these toxins.
If you’re just beginning to get your rose garden in good organic stead, your soil might need some assistance. Start by working compost into the soil of your new garden, or simply as a top layer or mulch to your existing garden. Starting a compost pile is easy, anyone can do it by simply adding decaying plant and grass clippings, dried leaves, animal waste, scraps from your kitchen like fruit peels and fish heads, and letting it decompose until you’re ready to use it in the rose garden. Whether you use a container to keep your compost or you keep it in a pile, it needs to be stirred regularly to keep the level of decay consistent.
Once you begin organic gardening, eliminate store-purchased pest control. Natural pest control methods allow nature to do its thing quite effectively; ladybugs and wasps eat rose invaders. Birds, snakes, frogs and lizards also serve the purpose of pest control without damaging the good insects, bacteria and fungi that your roses need to glean from nature in order to flourish. If you find a real need for pesticide, use organic or natural pesticides on your roses – very effective and non-toxic.