Photo Courtesy of Carol Sharpe
January in the Garretts' Garden
is the time when many of us start dreaming about spring.
However, before we get to spring, we have to get through winter.
While there are not a lot of chores to be done in the rose garden, there
are a couple of things that should be addressed.
you have not already done so, now is the time to cut all of your standard bushes
back to about 4 feet high.
This will prevent the canes from whipping in the winter wind.
However, do not cut back your climbers and any of the once blooming
roses that you might have in your garden.
Cutting them back will adversely impact your spring bloom for these
possible, you should pick a nice day with no rain when the temperature is above
freezing and apply a lime sulfur dormant spray. This product is getting
rather hard to come by, but check with your favorite lawn and garden store.
We will also be offering this product through our annual rose society
products sale again this year.
Order forms will be available to our rose society members at our January
23 meeting. It
is also a good idea to apply liquid lime sulfur immediately after you spring
prune your roses in March.
Apply the spray liberally to your plants and the surrounding area.
The lime sulfur spray will help to kill any disease spores and insect
eggs that might otherwise survive the winter and attack your roses next spring.
Application of this spray is especially important if you had blackspot in
your garden during this past fall.
rosarians also like to provide additional protection by carefully placing a
thick layer of mulch around and over the bud union.
We generally just do this to all the new roses in our garden that were
planted this past season, especially if they are on fortuniana rootstock.
We recommend materials such as mushroom compost, pine bark, pine needles,
oak leaves, or loose top soil that is brought in from another part of the
extra mulch is intended to help keep the soil at a more constant temperature.
To help hold the mulch in place, we use ¼” plastic hardware cloth and
make a ring around the bush.
We then fill the ring in with our mulch material.
Our preference is pine needles.
In recent years we have also applied our winter protection to our plants
which tend to be more susceptible to winter damage.
If you have a small garden, perhaps you will want to consider mulching
all of your roses. Better
safe than sorry!
make sure your rose beds are as clean as possible.
This includes removing any of those pesky winter weeds which seem to
always come at this time of year.
You should also take time to clean up any dead leaves from your roses
that have fallen on the ground.
Many rosarians remove all of the leaves from their plants, however we do
not do this. We
feel the existing leaves will provide some protection and will come off when we
prune in March. Speaking
of pruning, we are already getting questions from folks about pruning their
roses now. Pruning
now will encourage new growth which will surely be killed by any cold weather
yet to come. We
encourage folks to wait until March to prune.
approach to providing winter protection is to spray a coating of an
antitranspirant, such as Wilt-Pruf, Wilt Stop, and Anti-Stress 2000.
These products provide a thin coating which reduces moisture loss and
helps prevent winter kill.
These products are particularly helpful when we experience extreme cold
temperatures in the low teens combined with wind.
However, to be effective, they must be applied a few days before you
expect the severe cold weather and they generally only last for about a month.
this time of year rosarians start to browse the various rose catalogs and
websites of the different suppliers.
It seems to never fail that the pictures always look
better than the actual roses.
When selecting new roses to add to your garden, we recommend that you
check with some of our local consulting rosarians to make sure the variety will
do well in our area. You
can find a list of local consulting rosarians elsewhere on this web site.
You might also consider checking out the Recommended Roses page available
on this web site. There
is also an article in our society newsletter on some of the newer rose varieties
on the market. When
possible, we strongly recommend that you purchase your new roses locally which
will allow you to see the plant before you buy it.
closing, we want to extend a special invitation for you to attend our January
23rd meeting. We have a great group of folks who enjoy meeting and sharing
their knowledge of growing this wonderful flower, the rose.
Visitors are always welcome!
Perhaps you are considering joining our club.
Some of the benefits of membership in our club include the annual
products sale and access to our quarterly newsletter.
Hope to see you at one of our meeting soon!