Viewing post #257568 by chelle
For several years we tried to grow roses with styrofoam rose covers, they never bloomed after the first winter. Personally I'd steer you clear of those!
There are a few other steps you can take that will give much better results. These are just my observations and opinions after years of struggle.
1) Put your last dose of nitrogen containing fertilizer around your rose bushes no later than the end of July. Never put nitrogen containing fertilizer on them after this date because the new growth won't have a chance to harden off before winter, thus weakening the entire plant.
2)Don't cut back your roses after this date either, it stimulates the plant into new growth, which you don't want heading into winter. You want the plant to go dormant as soon as possible.
3) After the first freeze, when you're pretty sure the plant is dormant, mound up good soil up to 12 inches high around the entire plant. I use topsoil with 1/3 humus mixed in it.
4) I'm not entirely sure that everyone would need to do this but for those of us who have roses in very windswept areas I add a burlap cover. I use two wooden stakes planted at either side of the plant, drape the burlap over, wrap it along the stakes, and then use a staple gun to fasten it to the stakes.
5) If you have Forsythia, or know where some is close to you, use its bloom time as a guide as to when to start removing 1/2 of the extra soil around the base of your plants and trim out the deadwood.
A) Helpful hint: You can put compost around your roses anytime. Natural fertilizers like these don't activate and break down until warmer conditions are nigh. So they are only available to the plant when the rose would be in active growth.
B) During the growing season watch for signs of ill health or bug problems and try to correct as soon as possible. A rose that is suffering from these will have less energy to sustain itself over the winter.
Here is a pix of the oh, so ugly shrouds on the roses.
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