Fall is a time for reflection. Time seems to slow down. Even the clock falls back. This autumn in Illinois the leaves took on reflective hues that seemed to dance and play in a slow waltz as the inevitable drift toward winter. The whole process of fall color is fairly well understood, yet so complex the reason for it is less clear.
Suddenly this year as the days got cooler,
vibrant colors of gold, yellow, purple, red and brown began to emerge. The shimmering light of sunrise and sunset lit the forests as if they were bathed in liquid gold.
Most everyone thinks cool weather or frost cause the leaves to change color. Temperature can affect the autumn color and its intensity, but temperature is only one of many factors that play a part in painting the woods in glorious color.
This year we had a growing season with ample moisture that was followed by a dry, cool, sunny autumn that has been marked by warm days and cool but frost-less nights that provided perfect weather conditions for the brightest fall colors. Lack of wind and rain prolonged the brilliant displays until the recent strong storms across Illinois. This article includes a pictorial of the beauty of the autumn this fall.
With winter just around the corner hereâ€™s a simple and concise Tips For Winterizing Your Roses:
“TOP 11 TIPS”
FOR WINTERIZING YOUR ROSE GARDENÂ Â
The blooming season comes to a close in autumn. During this dormant stage, take care of important gardening tasks, to ensure your next spring is as breathtaking as you always dreamed!
First you want to prevent breakage of your rose canes from winter winds by reducing the height of your plants. Broken canes can be a source of entry for diseases. Waist height is a good rule of thumb. Leave your climbers tall but secure them because most climbers bloom â€˜on established canesâ€™. Prune climbers after the first bloom in the spring. You can shape your tree roses if they have small non-productive canes.
Mulch, leaves and organic soil can be mounded around the base of rose plants to protect from winter freezes. Its important to protect the graft on budded roses.
Shut down the timed irrigation systems for winter but remember in many zones your roses may still need to be watered during the winter.
Move container plants that you can inside.
Container grown plants should be moved closer to the house to protect against winter winds. See â€œOui Built a Greenhouse for $142.ooâ€ on www.gagasgarden.com
The fall and winter months are the best time to go through the online catalogs I have listed on www.gagasgarden.com then order bareroot roses to arriveÂ January through mid-April.Â Replace plants that are reduced to less than 3 healthy canes (pencil diameter), or with new and better varieties. Review the pictures on gagasgarden.com of the roses that you like and you can order them from online catalogs already.
Dilute Lime-Sulfur with water and spray over entire bed including the ground.Â This is very important to rid your garden of black spot spores that would harbor over the winter.
The local Agricultural Extension Agency is where you obtain soil testing & evaluation. Then if needed apply lime to obtain a pH of around 6 to 6.5.
Transplanting roses can be done successfully during this dormant stage.Â Carefully prepare the new spot 16″ deep, enriched with cow manure and soil conditioner.Â Placing spade 10″ from base of plant dig straight down into the bed in a circle around the plant, trying not to cut roots.Â Lift the plant with the shovel and carry it directly to the new spot.Â Fill in soil and cover the plant with a mound of mulch.Â Water 3-5 gal.
Autumn is the perfect time to prepare the soil for winter or spring planting. Turn over the soil 16″ deep and apply proper soil amendments to produce a light loamy mixture.
Do a careful inventory of your equipment then clean, sharpen and oil shears and pruners to prepare for spring pruning.
Winter in Minnesota is a force to be reckoned with. Rose Specialist of the Munsinger & Clemens Gardens St. Cloud, Minnesota, Ms. Deb Kaiser, has found a kinder gentler way to wrap it up. The following is a Guest Post by Deb Kaiser reposted by popular request. Deb talks about winter protection for roses in just about every zone, from cold hardy roses needing little to no cold weather protection to, Minnesota tipping, the most radical form of protection I know; so grab a cup of herbal tea and start a warm fire in the fire place and choose the best method to protect your roses for winter.Â Â
Winter Rose Protection With Construction Blankets
by Deb Kaiser, Rose Specialist
With cooler weather in the forecast I have started to prepare my home rose garden, and the public rose garden that I work for, ready for what might be an early winter. In late August, I stopped fertilizing the roses with nitrogen. I deadheaded the shrub roses one last time. Now, I am letting them form rose hips and harden off for the winter. We have had lots of heavy rain this season. Much of it has been at night and our weather has been cooler, so blackspot has been a problem. I will continue to spray the roses every 2 weeks with a systemic fungicide Honor Guard (a generic for BannerMaxx) and Manzate fungicide both of which I purchase from Amazon
So what can we do to help protect them from early winter temperatures and winds? One of the things that I am starting to do now is to feed the roses potassium, as a drench. I am following the recommendations of Twin Cities Rose Club member, Minnesota Rose Gardener,Jack Falker. Please see Jackâ€™s August & October 2012 blogs on the potassium feast for roses at http://jack-rosarian.blogspot.com.
Good winter protection methods are a must for zone 3 and 4 Minnesota winters. There are three main functions of winter protection â€“ to keep the temperature high enough to prevent winter kill, to keep the temperature low enough to keep the roses dormant, and to protect the roses from drying and withering of canes caused by winter sun and wind. So what roses need winter protection? I winter protect all tender roses that are not hardy to zone 3.
Which roses to protect and the winter protection method to use depend on the degree of hardiness of the variety of rose.
Cold Hardy Varieties
There are many cold hardy varieties of old garden and shrub roses that need no additional cover. They include albas, centifolias, damasks, gallicas, species roses, rugosas, Explorers, Parkland, some Buck Roses, and most Baileyâ€™s Easy Elegance roses. There are varying degrees of hardiness within the cold hardy roses. Tip hardiness is where there is minimal winter dieback out to the tips of the rose canes. My Jens Munk and John Davis shrub roses always come to mind when I talk about tip hardy roses. These two roses require no cover. Their long canes can be seen sticking out of the snow banks. In the spring, they are the first of my shrub roses to leaf out. Crown hardiness is when the rose dies back to the ground. In spring, the plant sends out new shoots at ground level. Addendum: ‘Polar Express Sunbelt’ Winner of Biltmore Rose Trials 2016
My Baileyâ€™s Easy Elegance roses may do this. There are varying degrees of hardiness in between. With good mulch and snow cover, most of my Easy Elegance and Northern Accents roses die back to somewhere between tip and ground levels.Which roses to protect and the winter protection method to use depend on the degree of hardiness of the variety of rose.
Crown hardy roses need some mulch or other cover such as soil and leaves or marsh hay. Tender roses such as non-hardy (zone 5 and higher shrubs), hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, minifloras, and miniatures need a good winter protection method.
Which roses to protect and the winter protection method to use depend on the degree of hardiness of the variety of rose. to use depend on the degree of hardiness of the variety of rose.
Winter rose protection starts with good summer rose care.
Winter rose protection starts with good summer rose care. Healthy plants survive the winter better — so water, fertilize, and spray for disease during the summer. Discontinue deadheading and using nitrogen fertilizer in late August to allow the roses to harden off for winter. Continue watering the roses into fall. Plant your tender roses in a sheltered location away from drying winds. Plant the bud union on grafted roses 2 to 4 inches below ground level. Choose varieties that are naturally hardy to zone 4 or less.
A winter protection method that is recommended for Minnesota winters, and was used at the Virginia Clemens Rose Garden in St Cloud, is the Minnesota Tip Method. Tender rose varieties are fatally damaged in temperatures below 20 degrees F. Late winter and early spring freeze and thaws can also cause damage. In 1954, Albert Nelson tried a method that he had observed raspberry growers using.
Construction Blanket Method
The method of winter rose protection that I have used at home for the past eight years and at work for the past five winters is to cover the rose beds with insulated constructionblankets. In mid-October, I cut back the roses to a height of 8 inches.
Next, the roses are mulched heavily with several shovel scoops of compost, covering the graft and extending 1-Â½ feet on each side of the plant. This year I added coffee grounds to my compost. When nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 30 degree F. range, I add rodent bait and cover the entire rose bed with R-value 7.48 insulated construction blankets.
This should be done before temperatures drop below 20 degrees F. Blanket edges and overlaps are bricked down tightly and closely with many bricks. Avoid leaving gaps where air can get in. The blankets look like two tarps sewn together with a thick bat of insulation in the middle.
The blankets come in two sizes â€“ 6 foot wide by 25 feet long and 12 feet wide by 25 feet long. The shiny side of the blanket should face down toward the ground.
A method of winter protection that I use for overwintering potted roses is to put them in my attached garage. I spray the plant with fungicide and water it well. Next, I put it in a heavy weight, black garbage bag.
I tie the bag loosely to avoid mildew due to moisture build up. The roses are stored, off the floor and away from drafts in an unheated garage or room with temperatures between 20 and 40 degrees F. In spring, I start removing the rose covering around April 1st. Rose coverings such as leaves, marsh hay, and soil, should be removed in layers as it thaws. About April 15th, I check to see if the soil is thawed enough to raise tipped roses to an upright position without damaging them.
After the roses are tipped up and secured firmly in place, water the canes several times per day to avoid drying out from spring winds. Once buds form, fertilize the roses with a balanced rose fertilizer. Prune the roses after buds form and the plant is actively growing. Spray the roses regularly with a fungicide after leaves form
“The “Minnesota Tip” is one of several proven methods for protecting roses against early freezes in the fall, the bitter cold of winter and the dangers of thaw-freeze cycles in the spring.
Protecting roses for the winter really begins with the work done during the summer. Bringing the roses into the fall season in the best of health is the first step in winter protection. Soon after the middle of October, preparation can begin for tipping the roses. Follow these steps when using the “Minnesota Tip” method for protecting roses during winter and early spring.
Water generously one or two days prior to tipping to keep the soil in a moist, workable condition.
The day before tipping, give the plants a good dormant spray such as a liquid lime-sulphur material.
Tie the rosebush canes together to allow easier handling.
Avoid pruning the bushes. Open wounds on the canes may not heal properly, as cold weather can inhibit the formation of a protective callus.
Dig a trench, starting away from and working toward the base of the bush. The trench should be as long as the bush is high. The width and depth should easily accommodate the bush or bushes. Pull the soil away from the shank (i.e., the root stock area between the bud union and the main branching of the root system) to facilitate tipping the rose. A spading fork is helpful for loosening the soil around the roots.
When the trench is ready and the roots of the bush are loosened, use a spading fork to push the bush into the trench (Figures A and B). Use the spading fork to hold the bush down while covering it with 2 or 3 inches of soil. If the soil removed in digging the trenches is not enough, add soil from the annual garden or elsewhere (Figure C).
Cover the soil with about 18″ of loose leaves or other covering such as marsh hay.
Minnesota Tip Method. Starts In Late October
He tipped his roses and covered them with soil. This method of winter rose protection later became known as theÂ It was first demonstrated at an ARS Convention in Omaha in 1966.
The Minnesota Tip Method starts in mid to late October before temperatures drop below 20 degrees F. Spray the roses with a dormant spray such as Lime Sulfur or fungicides such as BannerMaxx and Manzate. Clean up the rose beds, removing dropped leaves and mulch, and remove diseased leaves on the plants to avoid overwintering of disease. Do not prune until spring, as pruning encourages new growth. Tie up the rose canes with orange poly twine, leaving a long tail. This makes the roses easier to tip and bury. The orange twine is easier to see when digging up the roses in the spring. Long lanky canes can be trimmed to make tying easier. Use pruning sealer on the cuts. Using a shovel, dig a trench as long as the rose is high, and wide enough to fit the tied rose. More than one tipped rose can be laid in the same trench. Use a spading fork to pull away the soil from the shank of the rose (below the bud union and above the roots) and loosen the soil around the plant. Dig carefully to avoid damaging the plant or its roots. Use the spading fork to push the rose into the trench. REMEMBER â€“ only the roots bend. Pull more soil away from the shank to make it easier for the roots to bend. Hold the rose down while you cover it with 2 to 3 inches of soil. Add soil from other areas of the garden, if needed to cover the rose. Water the rose beds well to prevent winter drying of roots and canes. After the ground has frozen, cover the rose beds with 2 to 3 feet of leaves or marsh hay. Place several tin cans of rodent bait under the covering to prevent damage from chewing animals. Water the covering well to prevent fire and hold the covering in place. Loosely bagged leaves or insulated construction blankets can also be used as a covering.
Another method of winter rose protection is mounding up the base with 9 to 12 inches of soil. Use a wire cylinder to hold the soil in place. Donâ€™t trim the rose unless necessary. Stuff the cylinder with leaves or marsh hay and cover the entire bed with a 2 foot depth of leaves or marsh hay. Water the rose bed well.
Pictures below is a shrub rose protected with leaves and boards.
Note: The American Rose Society does not recommend the use of rose cones for zone 3 and 4 winters
Temperatures in September are perfect to spend time in your rose garden throughout much of the country. You can enjoy the fruits of your labor and contemplate strategies for expansion and begin to winterize your roses. Make it a family activity by getting the children involved and teaching them about rose & garden care. Children love to help. My grandson with Down syndrome loves to haul bags of mulch. I donâ€™t know what it is about digging but give a child a garden trowel and a place to dig and you have a happy kid.
Also be on the look-out for plant bargains. At this time of year you can find the last of the season’s perennials; stragglers begging for a little TLC at the local garden centers. Plant them this fall and they’ll come roaring back as beautiful plants year after year. Garden tip: Save the name tags.
Fall in most parts of the country can produce a spectacular rose bloom. From Wisconsin to Texas Iâ€™ve seen roses blooming through the holidays. Remember roses can tolerate 3 days of hard frost of temperatures below 21 degrees before they are fully dormant for the season. So you can plan on roses for your bouquets for the Thanksgiving table even in Illinois, maybe Wisconsin. September is time to determine if there are still any American Rose Society rose shows in the area you may want to exhibit as well. The nights in the 2nd half of the month begin to get cooler which creates an environment for black spot and mildew, so continue your environmentally friendly spraying program to control black spot and mildew.
Here’s my September Rose Garden Check List. As I mentioned last year I swear by Will Radler’s method of winter rose protection. I publish Deb Kaiser’s method who I have the most respect for since she grows and cares for roses in Minnesota. I do believe roses in the far north require a bit more protection. Click for Deb Kaiser’s Winter Rose Protection Method Specialist of the Munsinger & Clemins Gardens, St. Cloud, MN.
“There are many factors why plants are winter hardy. ~ Will Radler
“When artificial means are used to bring a plant through winter, often they can conflict with some beneficial factors. For die-back-hardy woody plants, the simplest winter protection technique is applying a few inches of mulch year round. This allows the plant in the autumn to grow into its fullest state of natural dormancy. It prevents the soil from getting as cold as would in open ground. And it allows the plant to break dormancy slower in the spring. Cutting back the canes only in the spring provides shade to the lower branches and helps attract snow cover that insulates and guards against low temperature injury and fluctuating temperatures.” ~ Will Radler
Fall Rose Garden Check List
Dead-head for the last time, Allow rose hips* to form signaling its time for the plant to go into dormancy.
Remove debris, remember that black spot â€˜over-wintersâ€™ and you will battle it next spring if not removed.
Fertilize for the last time for the 2016 season, I add 2 cups of Mills Magic Rose Food at the base of the plant
Apply a layer of Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss.
Order, buy, spread hard wood mulch* as your winter cover; Iâ€™m using the William Radler winterizing method.
Prune the bush like a vase, I removed weak inside canes.
Each Rose bush will be covered for winter with hardwood mulch about 4-6 inches.
Inventory your garden rate your rose bushes: keepers, maybe, replace.
Order Name Plates If you show roses its essential that you correctly identify your rose or you can be dis-qualified for improper identification.
Deep watering method to 8 inches continue to water as long as the ground is not frozen.
11. Trim tall canes. In October you may want to trim tall canes that winter winds will blow and damage other bushes.
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Q: What are Rosehips?
A: Blooms not cut will form rosehips which are the fruit of the rose plant containing the seeds. They form when you don’t cut spent blooms and start the bush into a slow dormancy process. You can remove the petals if you donâ€™t want the petals to fall into the garden. The formation of rosehips signals to the plant that its time to go into dormancy for winter. The plant then gently â€˜hardens offâ€™ for winter.
Q: Why do you use hard wood mulch?
A: Because hard wood mulch is fully organic and biodegradable breaking down completely to help convert nutrients in clay soil.
I would like to dedicate this year’s Winterizing Roses article to Marsha Collier who wrote “Ebay for Dummies’ because she was ask me about what to do in the fall with her roses. She is an avid rose gardener, and looks to me like she does most things very well. Thank-you Marsha!
Mother’s Day is next Sunday. Living rose bushes make the perfect gift.Â Star Roses Apricot Drift, and the ever popular Weeks Roses ‘Julia Child’ are perfect for the garden and/or transplanting in a beautiful piece of garden art. You can select a hand-painted pot for Mom to transplant your rose into. Another idea is to find a rose named for Mom, Grandmother, or a favorite relative, write a card telling Mom you ordered your ‘Create A Memory For Mom’ from an online catalog. I guarantee this will make Mom happy while you’ve created a memory that lives on.
Here’s 13 Reason’s Mom May Want A Rose Garden For Mother’s Day. Then every gift giving occasion you can add roses to the garden or yard and garden art for decorating the garden. Perhaps you and your Mom, or Grandmother, aunts and so on have been wanting bird baths or a decorative fountains, now holidays and birthdays will be a good time to let that be known. One Mother’s Day my son’s family gave me wind chimes for the rose garden. I can hear them at night or at dawn as a gently breeze picks up and its such a beautiful sound. Your new rose garden opens up new possibilities for collectables, yard and garden art as gifts.
“I have told you these things so My joy may be in you and your joy may be full.” ~ NLV John 15:11 Planting a rose, watching it transform from sticks and thorns in the ground to producing glorious blooms all season rewards you for your effort in spades.
Beautification of your home & neighborhood; roses improve ‘curb appeal’. Roses give your landscape color, design & Â originality.
A Rose Garden is a Gathering Place for Family & Friends.
Create your own cutting garden for your home. Be your own flower arranger. Every home is more elegant with fresh flowers. Grace your home with fresh roses that you plant, nurtured and cultivate.
Exercise. Rose Gardening is good exercise. You can get a calorie calculator from the Fitness Magazine. About 2 hours of gardening burns 500 calories!
Bird Sanctuary; lots of birds love rose hips as a dietary supplement.
Photography; Â roses and rose gardens are a natural draw for photographers. The ever-changing quality aspect of the bloom from bud to fully open rose have a mesmerizing quality for photographers.
Meet New Friends, join a rose or garden club, meet amazing folks!
Commune with Nature. The changing scenes create a prayerful serenity.
Become a Collector; collect many varieties of roses. There’s a type of rose and a variety for every garden. You can plant a rose for Mom, Grandmother, your favorite Aunt, ‘Uncle Joe’, and ‘St. Patrick’.
Life happens in the garden. From the miracle of seed germination, to watching the plethora of pollinators that converge on the garden, gardening is an interactive way to engage children.Â From growing your own food, flourishing relationships, to caring for the earth it all begins at ground level. Get out and play in the dirt with your kids!
Ten Ways To Get Kids In The Garden
Provide a dedicated space for the garden
Start your seeds inside then transplant together in your garden
Kids love tools; get them their own set and teach them how to maintain them