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    Getting your rose garden ready for winter

    Published on 30 May 2014, Friday, 11:02 PM

    Roses can be particularly affected by cooler temperatures making it important to ensure you look after these beauties so they survive the season.

    Here are some tips to help you care for your rose garden during the winter, by doing some basic DIY in your back garden.

    Stop fertilising 

    In order for your roses to thrive, you need to harden them off for the winter so they are fully dormant when those hard hitting frosts strike.

    One way to achieve this is by halting your fertilisation process around six weeks before the first frost is expected.

    If you continue to fertilise your roses will keep growing!

    Stop cutting

    As well as limiting the fertiliser, it is important you stop cutting your roses in time. This means no de-heading or flower cutting.

    This can encourage dormancy, particularly if the plant is permitted to grow 'hips'.

    Water after the frost

    Straight after the first frost, make sure you thoroughly water the soil around each plant. This can help the bush to survive once the ground begins to freeze.

    Remove leaves

    It is also important that you remove any fallen leaves and insects from the base of your plant as this can lead to over-wintering if your rose.

    Throw these in your compost if you have one.

    Add extra soil over the base

    Once the frost season has well and truly started, you will need to add mulch to your rose plants.

    If you live in Australia's more mild climates, you will only need to add around 16 - 30 cm of mulch up the canes.

    This provides enough insulation to maintain an even temperature. Roses, particularly hybrid tea roses are affected by fluctuations in temperatures, which happens when they thaw and are frozen again and then thaw and refreeze.

    The kind of mulch you should add includes leaves, compost or straw, depending on what you have lying around.

    Provide shelter

    Depending on how cold it gets, you may need to provide more protection for your plants.

    Start by placing four stakes around the mulched zone and then add a protective layer of burlap around the stakes, tying it into place with string.

    Fill in the hole on the inside with shredded dry leaves to protect your rose from harsh winds that could damage it.

    Alternatively, you can enclose smaller shrubs in cardboard cylinders and fill with shredded bark for more insulation during the cooler months.

    This is particularly important for climbers and tree roses as these are more prone to being affected by temperature changes.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.