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Nov 4, 2016 11:53 AM CST
Can landscape fabric (etc.) be used around roses to protect them for the winter? I'm in zone 6
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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Nov 4, 2016 8:13 PM CST
Hi and welcome. My opinion on landscape fabric (and I know a lot of other gardeners agree) is that it should not be used anywhere in garden beds. It doesn't do what it's supposed to do (supress weeds) but it does a lot of things it's not supposed to do. Every time I've used it anywhere, it has come back to haunt me, either not letting enough water through, not doing the job of preventing weeds . .. coming out from under the layer of mulch and getting caught up in the lawn mower. The only place it's been any help at all is under the gravel on my pathways, and still it rears its ugly head there sometimes. But at least it holds the gravel from sinking into the soil for a while.

Your roses' roots need insulation and moisture retention for the winter, and a thick layer (4in. or more) of organic mulch like wood chips, or shredded bark will do a much better job of that. Even leaves and grass clippings can be piled around roses for the winter to help insulate them from freeze/thaw cycles, and keep the soil from drying out around the roots. But wood chip mulch is better because it doesn't pack down as much.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Nov 4, 2016 8:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Nov 4, 2016 11:46 PM CST
I agree And would add that pine needles make great winter mulch and they are free.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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Nov 5, 2016 5:38 AM CST
Welcome! I'm wondering if @parrgandyaolcom was thinking of using the landscape fabric to cover the soil around the rose (which would not protect it much for winter and I share Elaine's opinion on its problems) or whether the idea is to actually wrap the roses with it. Also what would be the "etc."? Not all roses need winter protection even here in zone 4, it depends on what kind or cultivars they are.

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