Question About Fertilizing Under Mulch

alameda/zone 8December 2, 2012

I am in process of renewing my mulch on the roses. I have horses and lots of compost so I put this on first then follow with wood chips. Have had very good success with this. I am wondering if I could put a little Mills Magic Rose Mix around the roses before I put on the horse compost.....it is organic and though I know I dont want the roses to start making new growth, would it be a bad idea to have the fertilizer in place before I mulch?

Right now, it is 81 degrees, unseasonably warm for our area. January and 2 weeks in February are usually cold and [hopefully!] rainy. We can have cold winters but they are usually not long.....but dont want to start jumping the gun and putting out fertilizer if I shouldnt. Advice? Thanks!
Judith

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eahamel(9a)

Houston Rose Society says not to fertilize right now. They say if you have new canes now, and we have a freeze,cover them until after the freeze, then expose them. Thanks to our warm weather, a lot of people do have new canes right now, and fertilizing now will only encourage new growth when they need to be dormant.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:37PM
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alameda/zone 8

Thanks......I will just wait. Wasnt sure if the organic fertilizer would just sit there until the soil warmed or not. We dont have too long to wait - things start to bud out around here mid/end of February. I think I can stand it for 3 months [barely!]

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:56PM
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roseseek

Judith, whenever is the right time, I would simply put the organics down over the mulch. My prime concern with burying it under the mulch is them not receiving enough oxygen and heat to digest. They may, but spread over the surface, I KNOW they will. Kim

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:07AM
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eahamel(9a)

Alameda, I know it's hard to wait! My roses are still blooming and it's really hard to stop cutting and fertilizing them!! The organic fertilizer won't just sit there until the soil warms. Rain and watering will dissolve it and it will be taken up by the roots and will stimulate new growth. They need to be dormant for a while now. Feb would be the right time to fertilize and prune. You don't want to prune now because it will trigger new canes, and they could freeze if a bad cold front passes through.

Mine are usually blooming by Feb, and it's a real challenge, pruning those canes. Most of my roses are OGRs on their own roots, so I can do some drastic pruning and they bounce right back. I have a Mme Antoine Mari, two in fact, and they'll get 6-7' tall and wide, so I prune them back to about 2' every couple of years and within a couple of months they're getting large again. It doesn't really get cold enough here for that one to go dormant for long.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:58AM
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