Any loose, usually organic material placed over the soil as a protective covering or for decorative purposes. Common mulches are ground bark, saw dust, leaves or straw. Roses benefit from a 2‑3 inch deep organic mulch such as pine bark, pine needles, leaf mulch, etc. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the stem of the plant.
Benefits of proper mulching:
- Reduced watering requirements and less water stress due to
- milder soil temperatures and
- reduced evaporation.
- Less disease from water splashing on the lower leaves of plant.
- Fewer weeds because the mulch blocks some of the sunlight to weed seedlings.
- Better soil as the mulch breaks down and adds organic matter to the top layer of soil.
- Good soil structure because mulch will help stop soil compaction.