The water table and roses

sara_ann-z6bokJanuary 10, 2014

I'm hoping this isn't a dumb question, but there is something I've been curious about. Recently I've been thinking about a conversation I had with one of my neighbors at the time. One day when I was out working with my roses, she came over to admire them and told me that she had lived in Louisiana and had grown roses there and was telling me how beautiful they were and how easy it was to grow them. I am thinking she said something about the water table and that was why they did so good. She found Oklahoma much more challenging. At the time I wasn't that curious about it, but now I am. I don't recall what part of Louisiana she had lived in, but was wondering if anyone was familiar with this?

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I'm not sure "water table" would be the precise factor, but definitely "soil moisture". She probably had significantly greater soil moisture in Louisiana than in Oklahoma, probably due to the greater rainfall and higher humidity there. Moisture doesn't evaporate as quickly nor as fully in humid conditions as it does in greater aridity. Due to the severe drought we're under here in California, everything is challenging. I'm seeing long established trees withering from lack of soil moisture and lowering water tables. But, when the soil is moist, everything grows much better. It really became a significant issue this past summer. Roses which had grown, no, flourished for years, suddenly weren't flourishing and only began approximating "flourishing" when extremely higher water amounts were poured on them. Summer wasn't greatly hotter than the past few, but the water requirements of nearly everything in established gardens were much higher than usual, just to keep them alive.

Of course, a higher water table should translate into greater soil moisture, but it's also possible to have a deeper water table, with more reliable rains making up the difference for soil moisture. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Soil Moisture Map

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:40AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

If you've been to New Orleans, you'll probably remember the older cemeteries around there all have above ground crypts, for precisely that reason -- the water table. It was said they would float up if the coffins were buried underground, as it is done in the rest of the country.

So I think she probably did actually mean the water table was within the root zone.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:10AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

The lower part of my property is a swamp. So for the western half of the lawn I have a pretty good idea where the water table is. I do not exactly live in a dry climate, but there are still plants where you can tell when they find that water table, and tap into it.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 12:11PM
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Thank you for the info everyone, helps me have a better understanding, I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:02PM
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dan_keil_cr Keil(Illinois z5)

The water table is as high as the depth you dig down to find it. Roses should not sit in water. The roots cannot get enough oxygen. That is why raised beds are built. I have a lower corner in my yard that the water runs to. I put in a raise bed and the roses are doing great.
We live over a giant underground river called the Mahomet River Aquifer. It comes out of Canada.It is a larger river than the Mississippi! My Boyhood home used to be on it. The well was over 150 feet down. I remember my Dad had a leak in a pipe. They started pulling hose and went across the street and still was pulling hose!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:56PM
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