Watering and Mulching
Success is acheived when you do both!
Cover...Cover...Cover---Mulching We highly recommend mulching roses and true success depends on it. In cold areas, mulch acts as a insulation. In hot or more mild locations mulch acts the same way. Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, reducing watering frequency. In heavy clay soil areas, cutting back on the frequency of watering will greatly cut back on diseases! Mulching 3"-5" deep with composted manure, shredded barks or loose, well composted garden clippings are a "good thing" as Martha would say!
"How often do I water?" What an paradox! In Califonia, where we have more droughts than deluges, our most common problem is with over-watered roses! Lots of nasty stuff comes with over-watering: rust, black spot, powdery mildew, etc.
- Remember, "Let your finger do the walking." No one can tell you how often to water! Stick your finger in the water basin. When the soil feels dry down about 2" or so, give the rose a nice, slow, drink of water.
- Water in the morning, that way if there is hot weather on the way, the rose will have ample moisture to carry it through the day. Water deeply, slowly, get that moisture down into the soil; fast draining soils will obviously need more frequent watering, heavier clay soils less.