Rose collars, winter protection
Last year, I winter protected by piling shredded leaves on my roses. Problem was the mound would get eroded by wind and rain, and become packed down to the point where it wasn't providing much protection. This year, I want to try rose collars to contain the material.
My plan is to wait until after the ground freezes and the roses have lost majority of leaves, then to prune the canes down to a manageable length (16" or so) so I can put the collars on and pile in the mulch. I figure, any length above 16" would get winter-killed anyway, and the shorter the rose, the easier it is for me to pick up all the BS-ridden foliage around its base. Does this plan sound doable?
Also, for picking up BS foliage--would it work to use a leaf vacuum to suck it up? I'd rather not be on my hands and knees trying to sweep out the foliage if I can just suck it up. What should I spray on the ground and canes after leaf drop? (Is Chlorothalonil alone enough of a winter spray to kill the BS?)
To save money, I was thinking of making rose collars out of yard waste bags--1 whole bag folded from top to bottom and taped along edge. Those of you who have the commercial rose collars, does that sound like it would work?