The Q&A Archives: watering of new plants

Question: know it's the wrong time of the year but is when my roses arrived. have a very large raised bed in which i have put climbers on tuters, miniatures, regular more hardy such as iceberg etc., NO HYBRID TEAS, and some david austens etc. i have to be away for surgery and will have friends and relatives watering them for the next month. what general watering guide do i use with them being new plants and my first raised bed like this. have done them in terraces about 2 1/2 ft. wide with timbers stepping up. same schedule maybe once established????? HELP FAST!!!!!!

Answer: The general guideline for watering would also apply to roses. Your goal in watering is to keep the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet and not dried out. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp, do not water yet. When you do water, apply it to the soil surface (not the foliage) and water thoroughly and slowly so it soaks down to the deeper roots. After watering, wait a few hours and then dig down to see how far the water soaked in; it can be surprising.

There is no set schedule for watering, it depends on your soil type and on the weather. Raised beds tend to dry out much faster because they drain well. Using an organic mulch several inches thick over the root area will help reduce watering needs as well as feed the soil gradually as it breaks down over time.

If these are container grown roses you will need to check both the potting mix right close to the roots and the surrounding soil because they may dry out at different rates; water accordingly. If these are bare root, you may want to mist the canes twice a day and shade them during the afternoons to try to help them come out of dormancy.

Good luck with the roses and all the best with the surgery!

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