The Q&A Archives: Mulching Roses

Question: I just moved into a new home and have six rose bushes (I don't know what kind) on the east side of the house. I want to put some wood chips or something underneath because the area looks kind of bare. Would that harm the plants? Iis there something you could recommend?

Answer: Mulching around plants helps suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. If you use compost or leaf mold, the decomposing organic matter will also provide nutrients to the root areas of your plants. If you use mulch material that's made up of large pieces such as wood chips or bark, make sure you apply a 4-5 inch layer to thoroughly cover the soil surface and exclude light so weed seeds can't germinate. Finer textured material can be spread 3-4 inches deep. Most any organic material can be used under rose bushes without fear of harming them.

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