How to Prepare roses for winter
Well, winter has come! How and when do we winterize our roses? This is the question on everyone’s minds. The following points are how we prepare our roses for winter: 1. Stop fertilizing six weeks prior to the first frost in your area. You can look this up on Google or in the Farmer’s Almanac. 2. Do not use slow release fertilizer from late summer on. 3. Stop deadheading roses for the six weeks prior to the first frost. Leaving spent roses on the bush over winter actually feeds the rose.4. If you follow a spray schedule, continue spraying until the first frost. This applies to both organic and synthetic sprays. If you have had issues with disease or pests, one last spray will help the rose to be healthy heading into winter. 5. Keep watering as necessary. 6. Wait to do fall pruning of long canes until after the rose shuts down. This would mean two nights of temperatures in the mid 20’s. If this has not happened yet in your area, it very well might this next week. 7. Apply winterization after two nights of 20 degrees. If this is applied too soon, it may cause fungus diseases to activate again. The reason to winterize, which may surprise some, is to keep the soil from going cold to warm and back and forth. Keeping the roots stabilized is the point. And 8. IF you have had problems with gophers, moles, voles, mice, etc., now is the time to treat the surrounding soil, tunnels, holes, etc with a pesticide. Motomco (purchased on Gemplers.com), or castor oil are two recommendations to help with this.