Wet feet

Wet feet and drainage

This problem of wet feet is not one solely for this particular climate, but probably more prevalent because of the very high rainfall. It is, of course, only applicable to poor draining soils. Like ours. We garden in pure clay, with a nice strata of limestone below the surface to trap and hold water. Good in summer. Not so good when the water tables are right up and it keeps raining everyday and there’s nowhere for the water to go.

Wet feet can kill

Roses can put up with this for a while. But then they start to get very unhappy and stop growing. Their leaves turn yellow and drop off, and then they die a soggy death. Hopefully you might notice before they get to the dead stage. They can be saved at any stage before this one. Simply dig it up and move it to a dryer spot, and it will say “thank-you very much” and start growing again.

This can also happen to roses in inadequately drained pots, so keep an eye out. Well established roses can usually survive a waterlogged winter if all their other needs are catered for. But weak or newly planted bare root roses are likely to kick up their heels or fail to emerge, whichever the case may be. If you are blessed like us with very moisture retentive soil  plan your rose gardens with this in mind. I mostly build a small retainer and fill it with free draining composty stuff, about 6-12 inches deep. This way the roses can easily get their roots down into the juicy nutritious clay, without being almost completely surrounded by water (like piglet was).

BallingSpraying difficulties