Learn about the benefits of mulching roses, what materials to use and the best time to apply mulch
Soil care is a basic requirement for healthy and opulent flourishing roses. With a layer of organic mulch around the plant, the soil remains loose and wet.
But mulch not only conserves water, it also protects your roses during hot weather periods from evaporation and stress.
A further advantage of mulching is that it discourages weed germination and keeps weed growing to a minimum. Because the soil never gets compacted, the few weeds that will grow can easily be pulled.
The best time to apply mulch is after removing the winter protection in early spring or when the roses start to leaf and again in late summer.
Apply a layer of at least 3-4 inches around the plants and add a fresh layer when the first one thins out. If you have to mulch on heavy loamy or clayey soil, let the soil dry a little bit after the cold winter months.
If roses are diseased from rust on roses or black spot, you have to collect all the leaves and deadwood and dispose it. If you don’t do it, the same problems will occur next year, because the pathogens overwinter in the mulch.
Various types of mulch for your roses can be bought in garden supply centers and nurseries or buy your mulch online.
Fruit and vegetable waste will make good compost additives, while you should avoid meat waste and grease.
Consider to start a small compost pile to collect materials such as grass clippings, leaves and newspaper. Make sure the manure is fully composted before you use it.
Make excellent mulches for roses, but should be used carefully. Horse manure will be fine, while chicken manure is dangerous and can burn the roots. For myself, I never would use chicken manure.
Personally, I prefer to use bark mulch. I like the tidy overall picture my garden gets from mulching roses with that material. You can buy it in garden supply centers or order it online and if you don’t have space for a compost pile it is the perfect choice.
Bark mulch extracts nitrogen from the soil. It is good advice to fertilize the soil with nitrogen before mulching the roses.
Only use at least one year aged sawdust, because fresh sawdust contains nitrogen, which will cause your roses to get chlorotic and turn your foliage yellowish.
To protect your roses from changing weather conditions, it is good advice to mulch your roses. Mulching will retain moisture and discourage weed growth as well as protect the roots of the plants and it will give your garden a tidy overall picture.