Roses forum→Soil drainage question

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Name: Michelle B
WV (Zone 6b)
Cat Lover Roses Garden Photography
MichelleB675
Apr 15, 2021 12:16 PM CST
I have mentioned in the monthly chat threads that I have my gardens mapped out and have been obsessing about them for months to get the colors and height balanced out.

Some of my DA roses are arriving in an order that makes me have to plant the middle of the garden ones first. So rather than try tripping over newly planted roses to dig holes, I dug holes for the hole garden and will refill them as I plant the roses.

We had some rain yesterday and I noticed there is one hole in the corner of the garden, closest to the house, still has quite a bit of water in it. So my question is, should I put some rocks in the bottom of the hole, and have the rose sort of mounded a bit above ground? or just fill the hole and dig a new one somewhere else?
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
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Mike
Apr 15, 2021 3:07 PM CST
You should not place rocks in the bottom of the hole, because soil and sediment will settle into the nooks and crannies between the rocks over time, creating the equivalent of a layer of concrete in the bottom of the hole, making it harder rather than easier for water to drain out.

If the water doesn't stand for more than half a day, I wouldn't worry about it. But if you find it remains for more than that time, you may have a layer of clay or hardpan to contend with. If that's the case, my best advice would be to dig the hole about 20-24 inches deep if you can. Replace a portion of the soil you dug out with loose, friable soil. You can buy bags of it (labeled as garden soil or top soil), or make your own by combining some of the soil you dug out with peat moss and composted manure. Build up a portion of the hole with that soil, and then place the rose on top of it. By doing this, you will create a space below the root mass where the water can settle and slowly drain away, without drowning the roots.
[Last edited by Mike - Apr 15, 2021 4:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Michelle B
WV (Zone 6b)
Cat Lover Roses Garden Photography
MichelleB675
Apr 15, 2021 4:37 PM CST
Thanks Mike!

I'm not sure what time it stopped raining last night but there is still about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the hole. The hole is already 18-20 inches deep.

I think I'll just fill it and plant a few feet out from there. That will also let the rose get a bit more sunlight and allow me more room to move in that corner. The holes that are 2 feet from that one are fine so it should be ok.

This area is pretty much experimental anyway so if things don't work out I may have to dig everything up and fill the holes and either pot them to keep them in that area or move them to another part of the yard. *crossing fingers that I don't have to do that*

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