Overwintering Roses Like Shrubs. A Tip From A Reader!comments (0) December 13th, 2012 in blogs
Over the last few weeks we've been talking about winter rose protection and a few things you can do to help your roses come through it with little harm. We discussed it's the cold winds that do more damage than cold temperatures. Because of this, many northern gardeners build elaborate cages or use rose cones to totally cover their roses during winter. This certainly works, but it's a lot of work to cover and then in spring uncover all those roses.
Shirley Thompson emailed me this very elegant solution. I like it because it's easy - something that fits right into my philosophy that roses should not be difficult. I also like it because in the process of doing this you also are adding compost and organic matter to the soil.
I've included Shirley's photos above and they are pretty self-explanatory. Essentially what Shirley does is this:
in late or early winter when the ground is frozen, she rakes away last year's mulch from each rose and forms a ring around it about 2' in diamater. The size may vary depending on how large the rose is or if it's a group of roses. That mounded mulch ring forms a well and into this Shirley shovels about 10"-12" of compost to form a mound around the base of the rose. That's right, she completely covers the base of the rose. This keeps the base of the plant protected from the winter winds.
For more tender roses or ones that are still young and need a little extra protection, she makes a simple cage out of plastic fencing. She cuts 12" high strips - each one long enough to wrap around the mulch ring. She holds them in place with a bamboo stake. Then, when she hears a pariculary bad storm is coming she fills the cages with leaves. Presto, instant insulation now and more compost later!
In spring, when winter danger is past, Shirley simply spreads out the mulch, compost, old leaves and covers them with fresh mulch. Whatever cages were needed are simply popped out of the ground and the leaves spread out. The cages can be rolled up to await next winter.
This simple approach protects the most important part a rose, which is the base. The use of compost and leaves adds nutrients to the soil in spring. It also means you don't have to haul it all out of the garden come spring.
Shirley also sent me a very nice PDF with more detail. I've uploaded it to my own website and you can read that by clicking on the link below.
Thanks to Shirley for sending me this. She is in the process of developing a local Garden Design/Renovation business for her area and with simple solutions like that I have no doubt she'll be very successful. Thanks Shirley!
posted in: winter care
Everyone loves roses. If you always wanted to add roses to your garden but were too intimidated by their diva reputation, Roses Are Plants, Too is the blog for you.
Paul Zimmerman has grown thousands of roses for over 15 years and for ten of those years in a sustainable manner. His common-sense approach shows you how to integrate garden roses into your landscape by looking at them as nothing more than flowering shrubs, all the while encouraging you to trust your own "Gardener's Instincts" in the care of these beautiful plants.
You will learn how to prune and train climbing roses, and how to get the most "ka-bloom" out of your shrub, David Austin and Knockout rose bushes. You'll get tips on growing roses organically and trimming them all season to keep their shape. You'll discover the difference between own-root and grafted roses, and more. Much of the instruction will be via videos that Paul produces himself!
Paul Zimmerman ran a rose care company in Los Angeles before moving to South Carolina to start Ashdown Roses. Now he focuses on rose education and teaching via Paul Zimmerman Roses. He lectures, gives workshops, and judges rose trials around the world, and it is this experience he brings to this blog.
Whether you are new to roses or an experienced grower, Paul will open your garden to the vast diversity our national flower offers.
If you have questions about roses and rose care or would like to share your own experiences please visit our Roses Are Plants, Too discussion forum.
To inquire about Paul's workshops and lectures, email him at email@example.com.
See More Products