Mulching your Rose Garden

Mulching may not be the most exciting part of your rose growing experience but it can have excellent benefits. If you are growing a rose garden you already know that rose care is unique. Why not mulch and let your roses live up to their full potential?

Not mulching is kind of like not taking the time to keep your finger and toenails clean and neat. Sure, you could put it off and maybe not even do it, but it really is best that you clean up your finger and toe nails. No you don't have to get a manicure or pedicure every other week, but you should perform basic hygiene habits. Of course if you don't you probably won't die, but you might get a nasty infection. And you won't look your best.


Think of mulching as regular maintenance for your roses. This is not necessary but will definitely help your roses in the long run. Of all the measures rose growers take to pamper their roses, mulching is the one that is often neglected. If you are going to be a true Roasarian, get yourself out there and mulch.

It is an easy, occasionally annoying, necessary evil of good rose gardening. While it is not the most fun a Roasarian can have while hanging around their roses garden, mulch can bring major improvements to your rose bed.

When to Mulch

Roses need to be mulched in both winter and summer. In chilly climates mulch serves to insulate the roses during winter. In warmer areas, mulch holds moisture in the soil, decreasing the need to water. Mulching reduces the occurrence of diseases in locations with clay soil. In the winter time you need to protect the canes from major cold.

Snow works as an insulator in snowy areas away from the root of the rose. If your climate brings consistent freezing temperatures without at least a foot of snow, you need to provide your roses with protection. Cover the base of the roses with mulch.

Be careful not to disturb the soil and uncover roots along the base of the rose bush. Use soil from another area of your garden for mulching. If you haven't already done it, begin your own mulch pile. Gather pine bark, wood chips, sawdust and other yard debris for your compost pile.

Create a 15 to 18 inch tall pile around the rose. When spring arrives and the soil thaws, discard the mulch to prevent fungus growth. Mulching works to cool soil which is vital during the summer. As well as maintaining about 50% of the water in rose beds.

Mulching is the one activity that rose growers often neglect. Occasionally roses do okay in their original soil but mulching can replace nutrient drained soil. Mulching will ventilate the soil, and protect from compaction.

You have some choices in what you use for mulching. There are a number of organic products you can get from around the yard or out of the stable. There are also bags of mulch you can buy from nurseries. There are advantages and drawbacks to most mulch and some can only be used under special conditions. You won't have to do much weeding because mulch creates an undesirable breeding ground for weeds. Mulch remains loose so removing weeds will be simple. Keep those pesky insects away from your roses. Mulch will help hold some major pest at bay.

Make or Buy

You can buy mulch for your rose bed or make it yourself. The benefit of manufactured mulch is that you can choose bags enhanced with additional nutrients. If you have old newspaper around your house, shred it up and use it for mulching. Sawdust can be used for mulching but you'll want to age it for a year. New sawdust can suck the nitrogen out of the soil. Dried grass must also be aged and free of herbicide debris. Dried grass must also be monitored so that it doesn't clump up and block water from reaching roots.

Mulching will help keep your roses healthy and happy. It is a simple procedure that can really increase the level of success you have with your roses. So don't spend mulch time debating it. Just get out there and do it.

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