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Five top tips for rose care this winter

Roses are rightly regarded as one of the nation’s favourite garden plants. Not only ate they colourful, majestic and delightful; they’re also beautiful and fragrant too. Although most roses are pretty hardy, they nevertheless still need a little TLC, particularly during the long hard winter months. You might not feel like pulling on the gardening gloves at this time of year, but the fact is if you look after your roses now, you’ll reap the benefits next year. So what should you be doing with your roses? Well, here are Ladybrook Nursery’s top 5 winter rose care tips.

Prune and stake

Winter winds can batter and damage tall varieties of roses. Gusts can lift roots out of the ground and break plants when conditions are extreme. So, in order to reduce unnecessary damage, cut back the tallest rose varieties by about one third. Whilst you’re at it, you might also consider staking any tall new shoots that have grown from the base of the plant in late summer/ early autumn.

Stabilise roots

During winter you should regularly check your roses for wind rock damage. If you notice any roots that have come loose, then fill any gaps with a mixture of soil and compost. Not only will this re- secure the plant in the ground; it will also prevent frost from penetrating and damaging the plant’s roots.

Dig beds

If you’re considering planting new roses, then you should double-dig your beds, adding composted farmyard manure to the soil. As soon as the weather permits you should plant your roses. If the weather is frosty, or if the ground is waterlogged, then simply heel the rose in by covering the roots with soil. You can plant properly later on when the soil is easier to work.

Keep the garden clean and free from disease

Garden cleanliness is important for rose care. So tidy up any fallen leaves, and remove any diseased leaves and twigs from your garden beds. Whilst you’re doing that, pull up and kill all the weeds in the beds, so that they’re clean and ready to go for the next growing season.

Make preparations for pruning

Rose pruning should ideally be done at the beginning of the year – weather permitting. Many people suggest the best time to do any pruning is early in January, even though you could run the risk of damaging the plants if there’s a hard frost or heavy snow. If the weather does take a turn for the worse, then it is advisable to delay pruning until conditions stabilise.

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