The Q&A Archives: steer manure for roses

Question: I am planting a rose garden but have clay soil. we put topsoil on top of soil where garden is to be planted. I was told that I could just dig hole and plant bare root roses in steer manure for the nutrients that it needs is this true or should I mix it 50/50? or how should I do this?

Answer: I wouldn't recommend filling the planting hole with steer manure prior to planting your roses. While the manure won't hurt your roses, it will decompose over the growing season and your rose bush will sink below ground level. The best approach is to spread the manure over the top soil and dig it in to a depth of 12 inches, then level the bed and dig the holes for your roses. After planting your roses mulch over the top of the soil with compost or other organic matter. These organic materials will help loosen your clay soil, help it drain well and yet hold just the right amount of moisture, and will also release nutrients as it decomposes. Best wishes with your roses!

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