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mirendajean

How I feed & Mulch potted roses

Hello fellow Rosarians. I got a bit picture happy today. While enjoying the photographic evidence of my labour, I thought I'd share how I feed & mulch my 40+ potted roses. I know that my process may not suit everyone, but it works really well for me.

My largest challenges with potted roses are:
1. Maintaing proper moisture levels.
2. Maintaining healthy organic matter in the pots without having to repot very often.
3. Preventing nutrients from being washed away before the roots can use them.
4. I often put trailing annuals in the pots. These annual absorb valuable nutrients and it's a pain trying to yank their roots out when they die.

My simple solution to moisture is to use a pot a bit too large for the rose and mulch heavily.

My solution to healthy organic matter and nutrient retention is well rotted manure and vermicompost. We all know the benefits of well rotted manure. Vermicompost is excellent for potted roses. Not only does it help with water retention, it's teeming with microbial life that converts nutrients into plant usable forms. Also, "Unlike other compost, worm castings also contain worm mucus which helps prevent nutrients from washing away with the first watering and holds moisture better than plain soil."

Today, I mixed equal(ish) volumes of well rotted manure and vermicompost in a wheelbarrow. Then I headed to the roses.

All my potted roses are well mulched up to the rim of their pots. By Apr/May each year the mulch has broken down significantly. Here's DA's Carolyn Knight ...

I put a good layer of the compost mix on top of the existing mulch and roughly mixed it in. The worms in the mix will happily munch on the old mulch, any left over roots from annuals and any weed seedlings that managed to germinate.

I water the compost in gentally and top off with more wood mulch. I always top up right to the rim of the pot.

Do this with all my potted shrubs. Including fruit...

Thanks for letting me share, I hope this helps someone.

M

This post was edited by mirendajean on Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 15:19

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