Growing roses in a gravel covered bed

kingcobbtx9bApril 4, 2014

We are buying a house, and there are is one bed the previous owners used rock/gravel as basically the mulch. If I dug down and planted my roses in this bed, would the rocks make it too hot for the roses? They will get morning sun but shaded in the afternoon.

The question I guess is basically, do we need to remove the rocks, leave them, or just cover them with mulch?

Thanks for the help!

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I'd remove the rocks--get it over and done with so that it doesn't bug you for years to come! And you don't want to dig and let the rocks get mixed into the planting soil.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 1:35PM
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I don't mess with amending the soil. I plant em in the clay here and top dress em with rose soil once a year. They grow great!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 1:49PM
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In my climate roses bake in rock mulch. I've removed all that awful stuff from my yard (previous owners had put it everywhere). A good organic mulch, such as wood chips or something similar is much better.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 1:56PM
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Thats what I was asking about just covering the rocks with wood mulch rather then removing them?

Its a lot of rocks.....Sized between golf balls and tennis balls.

This post was edited by KingCobb on Fri, Apr 4, 14 at 14:11

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 2:09PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Hi KingCobb

Been there, done that - in terms of trying to cover rock beds with mulch and believe me it's a total pain in the neck. I agree with everyone that you need to remove the rock now as thoroughly as possible before you even try planting anything in there. Even if you think you're only going to dig a hole and keep the rocks at the surface, it never works that way. They roll down the hole sides as you try to put the rose in, and if you have to remove a rose they slide all over and dig into the soil as well. Then it's perfectly awful to dig new holes into that soil, since those golf ball sized rocks are now buried deep and you hit them every time you dig in with a new shovel full.

Really, I advise biting the bullet now and scraping off the surface now, since it's too hot in your climate to plant the roses in a rock garden. You'll save yourself no end of grief in the end.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 2:36PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

One more thing -- if the rocks are limestone, they'll make the soil beneath very alkaline. If you don't know, do the vinegar test -- if some spilled onto the rocks starts to fizzle, then you have limestone.



    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 1:23AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I know someone who uses white rock mulch in all his rose beds but he's in Colorado where it's cooler. It might be too hot for Texas. I think I'd remove it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 10:49AM
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