2015-12-31 / From The Garden

Protecting Your Garden in Winter

By Cynthia Gibson


An alternative to mulching roses for winter protection is to surround the bush with four stakes and then use a staple gun to affix a four-foot tall piece of burlap to the posts in the ground. Fill the burlap with two feet of dried leaves and leave the top open for air. An alternative to mulching roses for winter protection is to surround the bush with four stakes and then use a staple gun to affix a four-foot tall piece of burlap to the posts in the ground. Fill the burlap with two feet of dried leaves and leave the top open for air. While the weather of late has been most cooperative, we all know that snow and winter are on their way. As long as we continue to enjoy the warmer days and bright sun, you still have time to:

.Toss grass seed over the bare spots on the lawn.

.Plant bulbs or transplant small trees as long as the soil is moist and soft.

.If your garden is not fenced in, protect rose bushes by surrounding them with chicken wire and mulch. I make a mound within the wire about six or seven inches high.

.Tie climbing roses to nails in walls, and/or securely tie them to fences and trellises with foamcovered wire. Since it rubs gently against rose stalks and will not break them, foam-covered wire is one of the finest ways to keep your climbers stable during periods of strong winds and ice storms. Do not use garden twine. It is not strong enough, will rub through the outer layer of the thorny stalks, and invite insects and fungus come spring.


Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport. Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport. .Mulch climbing roses as well, or wrap the first three feet of them in either burlap or bubble wrap and duct tape. The bubble wrap does not look very pretty but it is effective.

.Fruit trees need chicken wire circle and mulch too. Protect south-facing trees with trunks less than three inches in diameter from sunscald with coils of white plastic that you can purchase at the hardware store. The glare of the sun on white snow, day after day, is the culprit, and will eventually make the trunks split.

It is also time to order your seed catalogs. Not only are they filled with beautiful pictures, the choices of vegetables and flowers are remarkable this year. Two musthaves are the Territorial Seed and Baker Seed catalogs, both of which have become books—they are so thick and filled with great gardening merchandise.

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