Putting roses to bed for the winter is a critical factor in their survival here in the Seacoast Area. If the following simple steps are followed, the gardener should achieve 90% success with average winter conditions.
- Do not feed roses after mid-August.
- Prune in the fall only those stems which you feel will be lost to snow and ice.
- During the first week in November bank the roses up with a mixture of ½ dirt & ½ peat moss, or ½ dirt & ¼ peat moss & ¼ composted cow manure. The pile should be 18” high.
- After the pile freezes in November or early December, then bank that pile with straw, salt hay or evergreen boughs – fully shading the pile.
- Uncover the pile in very early April in two stages – two weeks apart. Then prune.