I use leaves to cover the bottom third of all my rose bushes. I usually do it around this time, but we have always had a hard frost. So, should I wait until we have a hard frost or am I safe doing it now? Thank you.
If the roses are not hardy roses, you should be winter protecting them now:
If they are winter hardy such as shrub roses, winter protection is not usually necessary. If you wish, you can mulch them heavily around the base after the ground freezes, usually late November or early December: