keeping rose beds free of weeds
Hello, I have several rose beds and am trying to find a low-maintenance way to keep them free of weeds. Do you have any ideas? If you think ground cover is the way to go, can you recommend any specific plants? Thanks!
Montgomery County Maryland
Basically your choice is between an organic mulch (which requires yearly application) or a ground cover. The ground cover will probably require some weeding and mulch as it spreads and forms a solid mat. Since it is more natural and contributes to a good environment, we would suggest that.
We would suggest using native ground covers, since the ideal is at least 70% natives in a landscape.
Some possibilities would be: Canadian ginger, iris reticulata, moss phlox (the common phlox available at even big box stores), green and gold, and sundrops. These are very low. There are many perennials which will form thick patches which, as long as they are not too tall, you could also use.
Refer to the excellent online publication "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping" for photos, charts (in the back) and cultural requirements.