Consulting Rosarian Tip for October

February Tasks  Article by Barbara Kemp, Master Rosarian

The arctic temperatures in January gave our roses a huge shock! What a freezing experience with extreme cold temperatures and snowstorms! Morning temperatures
were -14, -12 up to zero as the high for several days. Fortunately, before all the cold
weather started, my roses received an additional three inches of mulch to their existing protection.

Winter Protection: If you applied winter protection that was insufficient for the
arctic temperatures, more mulch can always be added. I also applied strips of burlap that I wrapped around the mound of soil
and mulch. Then I laced more burlap strips between rose canes
to serve as a windbreak as shown in the picture. Plastic containers and Styrofoam rose cones were applied for added warmth
and protection to delicate roses. Rose collars are another option
that can be filled with mulch or oak leaves and can be purchased
at garden centers.

Water: January snowstorms brought some moisture to our roses. If snow is still lying on top of the mulch, this is a good indicator that there is adequate water. As the soil becomes workable, check the
soil around roses using a moisture meter. It can be easily pushed through the mulch and soil without disturbing winter protection to give a reading from dry to moist to wet. If daytime temperatures remain above 45 degrees for several days and the soil is dry and workable, deep water.

Are your new rose beds completed for 2024?
Are your rose beds still in the planning stage. Our booklet, Growing Roses in Colorado will be helpful in planning
your new rose beds. There are chapters on site selection, types of roses, planting and more. Roses can be purchased
as bareroot roses, potted roses, or you can transplant roses from your yard. The best time for planting and transplanting is early in the season when the ground becomes workable.

• Roses love full sun for at least six hours a day; eastern exposure is better than hot, intense
afternoon sun.

• Good drainage; roses do not like wet feet. If the drainage is poor, raised beds are another option.

• It is always a good practice to have a soil test before amending soil. Colorado State University provides excellent
information that includes soil deficiencies and recommendations.

• If the rose has a graft union, the graft should be planted two to four inches below soil level. When planting an
own root rose, place the branching point one to two inches below soil level.

• Keep a list of roses and map of your rose gardens. Consider labeling roses; Kincaid plant markers are excellent.
Their information can be found in the ARS Magazine.