Rose beds need good care to keep them in full bloom year after year. A tried and tested care measure in the garden is mulching. How much does special rose mulch cost and are there alternatives?

Good reasons for mulching

Covering the root area of ​​roses with a layer of mulch is said to benefit rose growth in a number of ways. At least that’s what suppliers of rose mulch promise, and many rose lovers are also convinced of it. They cite these reasons:

  • Bark mulch prevents water evaporation
  • the soil does not become encrusted
  • Garden soil is protected from erosion by water and wind
  • prevents dehydration from solar radiation
  • suppresses the growth of weeds
  • consequently saves time-consuming weeding
  • improves soil quality by promoting soil life
  • in winter it protects the roots from severe frost
  • its decomposition supplies nutrients to the soil
  • the mulch is a decorative ground cover

What to look out for when mulching

Rose mulch is nothing more than the finer grained bark mulch that is well known and widely used in the garden. In this country it is usually made from pine and spruce bark. However, thickly applied bark mulch can make it difficult to aerate the soil. Then anaerobic bacteria soon prevail, producing ammonia that is harmful to roses. Mulch made from conifer bark also makes the soil acidic. It also removes nitrogen from the soil as it decomposes. If mulch is to benefit roses, these aspects need to be considered.

  • buy nitrogen-enriched products
  • alternatively fertilize roses before application
  • apply only a thin layer of mulch
  • avoid the immediate root area of ​​the rose
  • determine the pH value in the rose bed and keep an eye on it
  • if necessary, counteract with lime application until it is in the ideal range of 6 – 7

The mulch layer can also prove problematic when a rose suffers from fungal diseases. With her, fallen leaves have to be collected and disposed of completely, which is not so easy on coarse mulch.

Prices for rose mulch

Anyone who does not have their own free mulching material must buy it in stores. Then there is the question of costs. In order to calculate this, three factors must be known: the area to be covered, the height of the mulch layer and the selling price. If we assume a 4 cm thick layer for rose beds, 40 liters per square meter are sufficient. With a layer of 5 cm this corresponds to 50 litres.

You can get rose humus in any hardware store or garden center or in various online shops. It is usually offered in 30, 45, 50 or 60 liter bags. Prices vary depending on the provider and product brand:

  • 45 liters are available from just under 7 euros (0.16 euros per liter)
  • but can also cost twice as much
  • additional shipping costs apply to online orders
Tip: It is worth looking for a currently cheap offer, which is sometimes available for 0.12 euros per liter. However, it is always necessary to take a look at the ‘list of ingredients’, because occasionally chopped wood is simply added.

Alternatives to rose mulch

Depending on the reasons for mulching, there are other alternatives for covering the rose beds . They all offer advantages, but also have one or two disadvantages. Therefore, before you use them, you should always find out in detail which material will benefit your rose bed the most. Here are a few suggestions for alternative mulching/covering material:

  • coarse gravel
  • well rotted compost
  • Rosenerde
  • chopped branches
  • shredded rose cuttings
  • Rindenhumus
Idea: How about this particularly pretty alternative: lavender. Rose and lavender go well together. The Mediterranean plant also shades the ground and also prevents weed seeds from germinating. Other ground covers are also available.

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