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stupid question, but mulch over lava rock

Posted by sdean z9 Tampa,FL (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 3, 07 at 11:04

I know I'm going to sound really dense but here's my problem. My house is 3 years old. About a year in, I planted roses along the side of the house. Mostly I planted whatever looked good at home depot. They probably made it 6-8 mo before they just looked bad. I researched and discovered OGRs and replaced most of what looked bad with old blush, martha gay hill, martha gonzales, and louis phillipe. They are hanging in there - old blush is doing wonderfully, drawfing everything else - I also have some knock outs. Everything planted near the house is covered with lava rock. My husband has always used lava rock and he loves it. I have never questioned it as until about two years ago, I had no interest in gardening. Well, it just dawned on me that the knock outs nearest the road that are covered in mulch do much better than those by the house in lava rock - they are just about twice the size with more flowers- and then it dawned on me that all the lovely pictures I see posted here show roses grown in mulch - probably b/c mulch helps the organic process? - told you I was dense. Anyway, when I mentioned this to my husband, he balked ALOT at the huge job of taking up the lava rock. He said he would be willing to slap mulch on top of the lava rock. Any one know if this would work at all? I just planted new baby plants of mutablis, georgetown tea and archiduke charles and I would like to start them out correctly. Thanks for all replies. Shannon

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: stupid question, but mulch over lava rock


Lava rock can absorb a lot of water. My concern would be that it would take a LOT of water to get through the mulch, saturate the lava rock and then to the roots of the rose.

(I think it would be way more work to find out it won't work and then have to remove the lava rock/mulch mixture.)

Maybe you can remove the rock from around the bases and well out past the edges of the rose bush and mulch under the rose. Then your husband can have his rock and you can provide your roses with moisture and nutrients via the mulch.

Someone else in Florida may know more.

RE: stupid question, but mulch over lava rock

Ask around the neighborhood if there's a problem with burrowing critters (voles and moles are my problem up here).
Yesterday at a rose event, we were talking about the damage done by voles eating rose roots and some people admitted burying gravel to slow the voles down. A product called Permatill does the same thing (it's broken up cinderblock).
If you cover lavarock with mulch, over time you'll get the mulch breaking down into organic rich material and if there's no weed cloth under the lavarock, you'll have built (over time) and organic rich soil impervious to moles and voles.

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