Wait until it rains, weed and then mulch your rose beds. Covering the beds in mulch is really useful as it cuts down on the weeding later in the growing season. Mulching also reduces water loss by evaporation and will slowly breakdown to feed the roses.
I have been using Levington’s bark. It is the cheapest option for me and looks really neat. Put it on thickly to exclude light from the weed seeds.
I may not have roses, but I follow very similar practices in my garden in general. Very good advice.
I would prefer not to have to buy stuff to mulch with, so not all my beds are covered, as it stretches the budget somewhat. But once a bed is covered, it just needs ‘repairing’ in subsequent years, all the hard work is done!
What do you use to mulch your garden?
Any sign of your roses with buds in colour yet? Around here there are lots of rose bushes & climbers with buds showing colour! They still need at least another week before they actually open but it’s incredible that they should be so far advanced in the 3rd week of April!!!
Back in the late 60s I always had the ambition of getting one of my roses to open before the end of the Chelsea Flower Show or, at least, in the first day or two of June – never got one though! Yet here we are 50 years later & the roses bloom without any help in the first days of May!!!
Yes it does seem spring is early this year.
Here in Kent, the bluebell carpets are at their zenith, but it used to be that bluebells covered the woods the last week of April and first week of May.
If you like keeping track of the course of the seasons, this site is good fun!
Yesterday I heard the first cuckoo!
Motherhen thank you for your mulching tips, your rose bed looks wonderful and I really like that mulch. I have one question – can I roughly calculate how many litres of mulch I have to buy for a square meter of rose bed?
Sadly, quite a lot. I can easily use 12x 60 litres over 15 square metres. It shrinks, as it dries out and then can happily load on some more(!)
I know it sounds a lot but to stop the weeds, it needs to be thick. And it makes the rose garden more manageable, around work, if I don’t have to weed the beds :))
Thank you, your comments are very helpful :) Indeed, seems a lot, but it makes sense. I looked around the web and other than buying it in 60-70 litres bags at the garden centre, I found it at our local company that does all landscaping jobs in our city. Not sure yet if that mulch is even appropriate for roses and flower beds, but the price is around 11 pounds per cubic metre which seems too good to be true :)
That is interesting, I also found a few places near me that sell mulch, compost , bark and garden soil by the cubic metre, and also deliver it!
But it was not at your good price :))
Perhaps it would be possible to have a look at it before they deliver it and see if it is what you need. (A few of the barks that I looked at were more like fire wood and very light in colour!)
Before I started to mulch with bark, I read that it is best to use ‘composted bark’ rather than fresh, as when it breaks down the decomposition reduces the nitrogen content of the rose bed. This was another reason for me buying the bark in 60 litre containers, as where I buy it from, it has been standing around for a while and is starting to break down in the bag even though it is not really supposed to be ‘composted’ Real composted barks seems to be very elusive in the UK, and all the bark I found for sale was ‘fresh’
The Levingtons seems to be mainly pine bark, if that is any help, and smells wonderful when I put it on the beds
I hope you find what you need and that it works out for you, as well as it has for me.