Rosey things to do in September and October

 

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Twilight Zone

 

 

Warm, sunny days and cool nights make our roses bloom larger and more brilliantly colored. However, we still have to do our part to make it happen.

The summer heat typically continues into the month of September in the Charleston area. Up north where I came from, the temperature usually cools off after Labor Day weekend. Regardless of where you are, to prepare your roses for the coming winter, if rain does not come, you have to supplement the rain. Your roses will need daily watering in order to avoid stress. Water deeply, often and well. If you plan to exhibit or showcase your roses in any of the fall rose shows, you have to water daily as this will increase the substance of your blooms. Deep watering is needed, or the little feeder roots on the plant will grow toward the surface seeking moisture. Well-hydrated roses fare better during the winter months.

To get your roses growing for the fall flush, a variety of fertilizers can be used. Granular fertilizers, if used, should be discontinued after early Sept. A balanced water-soluble fertilizer should be applied every two weeks through the end of September. Fish emulsion can be used along with the water-soluble fertilizer. After the initial growth spurt, the roses will benefit from the reduction of nitrogen with the use of a bloom booster formulation, one with the high middle number to get larger blooms of intense color. Discontinue fertilizers from October through mid-March.

The fall “pruning” is better described as a cutback because the bushes are not taken down as far as the spring pruning. The growth should be reduced by ¼ to 1/3 depending on whether it is a very large established bush or a new bush planted in the previous spring. Do remove any spindly stems, blind eye clusters and dead stems or canes. The cutback should be done in late Aug. or early Sept. for gorgeous fall blooms. It will take about 6 weeks for the large roses to recycle and between four to five weeks for minis and minifloras.

Continue the spray program through the entire fall to keep leaves free of disease. Choices of spray material should include a systemic and a contact material used together. The systemic should be alternated. In order to treat blackspot, spray every other day for three or four times and then go back to your regular spray program. If insects become a problem, a spray program will need to be initiated for control. Premixed Bayer Advanced Garden Rose and Insect Killer is an excellent choice for control of aphids, leafhoppers, scale and thrip.

Continue to cut roses for bouquets through the end of October. Some growers prefer to let rose hips form by removing only the petals of spent roses. This signal the plants that the dormant season is coming. The plants sense this as the days become cooler and shorter.

Fall is a good time to test your soil in order to be sure that your soil pH has not been changed in a negative way before winter and its challenges to your roses begins. Directions for testing: Take samples from several spots in the garden using clean plastic shovel and bucket. Combine the samples, mixing well. Send a sandwich bag of the composite sample to your extension agent’s office. Be sure to tell them that the test is for roses and request recommendations with your test.

Start thinking about new roses for the coming year. Check the rose catalogs and order your roses now to get the best selection.

Prepare your Christmas wish list. For the special person on your Christmas wish list who loves roses, give that special person “Stop and Smell the Roses”, a beautiful book full of roses in full color, over 80 photos with 101 motivational tips for a happy and healthy lifestyle. You can order the hard copy at Barnes and Noble. Paperback and Kindle are available at Amazon. Order “Stop and Smell the Roses” today.

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

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Rose Gardening Tips – Weed Control

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A weed is a plant that you don’t want. There’s an old saying that if a weed can’t grow in a garden, no other plant will grow there either. When my roses look very healthy, my weeds are just as healthy.

At this time of the year, weeds are one of the biggest problems in the rose bed. The best way to control it is to pull it out and then mulch the bed right away so it has no time to resprout. Weed is an abhorrence in the rose garden. A garden free of weeds is a sight to behold. Roses will tolerate some of them but the most invasive ones will choke your roses. They take out the nutrients that you feed your roses. Have you noticed that weeds grow luxuriantly in your rose bed? That’s because they are sharing the meal with your roses.

Years ago, I never put mulch in the garden. I like to see the soil around the rose bushes. However, as time goes by, I found out that I never stopped weeding. You became a slave in your own garden. There was no time to sit and enjoy the garden. By the time I finished the last bed, the first bed was full of weeds again. That’s when I decided to put down mulch. I use cedar mulch and the rose beds look much better with it. Mulch also retains moisture.

How about Roundup? Roundup is an herbicide. From what I read, it does more damage to your roses than at first believed. It does not show right away but comes up later on. If you are using it in other parts of your garden, take extra precaution to avoid contact with your roses. There are cases among rosarians who use Roundup where all their roses died or began their slow death. Just a mist of the Roundup will leave a death sentence to your precious roses. So be extra careful! I also heard that it kills some plants nearby not just roses.

Hoeing is another method to control weed. For those gardeners who are environmentally conscious, this is the best method of weed control. The only problem here is that you can be too close to the rose bushes and may damage their roots. Another disadvantage is loosened soil, if too close to the rose bush, it will encourage suckers. Suckers are growth coming from the rootstock (below the graft). Also hoeing the rose bed can sometimes wake up the weed seeds that are buried under the undisturbed soil and lets them germinate.

Whatever method you use, as soon as you clean up the bed, you should mulch immediately and make it at least 3″ thick to discourage the weed from sprouting again.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan

Controlling Some Rose Disease Problems the Safest Way

Knock Out Roses

A bed of Knock Out Roses at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

 

As long as you can develop tolerance and not demand total perfection, you can enjoy growing roses without knowing all the solutions to every rose diseases. As we get older, we just don’t have the energy to maintain a perfect disease free rose garden. As you will see in this article, I don’t recommend chemicals. Sanitation in the garden to me is the most important part of my rose gardening practice.

 

Blackspot is a fungal disease found most often on Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandfloras. Circular blackspots with feathery edge appear on leaves and stems, often surrounded by yellow patches.

Blackspot

Photo Credit – Missouri Botanic Garden

Control: Mulch right up to the canes to prevent spores from splashing on the rose leaves during heavy rain. Water the roots, but don’t wet the leaves of plants. Pick off infected leaves, remove any fallen leaves, and cut off infected stems. Prevent by spraying weekly and after rains with baking-soda solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda plus a tablespoon of light horticultural oil to 1 gallon of water.

 

Canker is a less troublesome fungal disease. Pruning cuts or wounds on stems provide an opening for germinating spores causing dark, swollen areas that can kill off a cane.

Canker - extension.umn.edu

Photo Credit – extension.umn.edu

Control: The simplest treatment is not leaving stubs during normal pruning of susceptible roses and by ensuring that their canes are not chafing against each other or against any other objects like trellis or training ties. Also prune away and trash any infected canes.

 

Crown Gall is a very serious bacterial disease of roses. It is a hard, tumor-type growths that can occur at the crown, bud union or on the roots. It is caused by bacteria in the soil, and are more likely to occur on grafted than own-root roses by entering at the bud union.

Crown Gall

Photo Credit – Missouri Botanic Garden

Control: Prevent by covering the soil around rose canes with a thick layer of soft mulch, like shredded bark, which prevents raindrops from splashing soil on canes, and be careful not to damage canes when planting. Once established, crown gall is incurable; remove and destroy the plant.

 

Powdery mildew first appears on young leaves where the leaves appear blistered or curled, with a haze of powdery white fungus and can spread to older leaves. Buds are also affected and many not open properly.

Powdery Mildew - Gardeners' World .com

Photo Credit – gardeners’world.com

Control: Space and prune plants for good air circulation. Treatment is the same as with blackspot and can also be controlled by water washes at weekly intervals. Prune away and destroy all infected parts.

 

Rose Mosaic is the most commonly found virus in roses. The leaves appear to be wavy and have yellow lightening patterns, oak leaf patterns or simply gold to yellow veins. Plants infected with virus usually produce fewer good quality blooms. During the warm summer, typical symptoms can disappear only to come back as fall and cooler temperatures arrive.

Rose Mosaic

Photo Credit – Missouri Botanic Garden

 Control: Since there is no cure for the virus disease, it is important to purchase only quality roses which has no symptoms of the disease. Just an added note, I had ‘Elina’ with rose mosaic. I was new to rose gardening at that time and was wondering while the leaves had a wavy pattern. Even then, I kept the plant for several years. I got some nice blooms and the disease never spread to the neighboring roses. I kept the plant and still in the garden when I sold my house.

 

Rose Rosette is a very serious rose disease and there is no cure so far. The foliage on the affected plant looks like witch’s broom, the leaflets looking distorted and wrinkled. It is believed to be caused by a virus carried from plant to plant by mites, or the reaction of the plant to substances injected by blister mites. It is rampant with Knock Out roses.

Rose Rosette

Photo Credit – Missouri Botanic Garden

Control: There is no known cure for the disease and once it is established in a plant, it could spread to other roses in your yard. You can lose your entire rose garden. Dig out the affected plant and discard it in the trash. Do not put it on the compost heap. I also don’t have any Knock Out roses. I dug them all up when I bought our townhouse.

 

Rust is easily identifiable rose disease. Raised dots of light orange or yellow can appear anywhere on the plant, but usually first show on the underside of leaves then spread on the upper sides of leaves. The spores are wind borne and germinate to infect the leaves. Spore germination requires cool summer temperatures and continuous moisture for at least two hours so the germ tubes can enter the leaf stomata.

Rust - flickr.com

Photo Credit – Flickr.com

Control: Infected leaves should be pruned in spring to prevent early season infections. Sanitation in the garden will reduce the spread of disease. Good air circulation by pruning dense growth will reduce the moisture level and prevent infection.

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda

 

Pruning your Roses – A Spring Rite for Rosarians

We prune our roses for several reasons – to keep our roses healthy, to control its excessive growth and to shape the bush for a better display.

 

pruning - rose.orgnicseo.us

Before we rush out there in the garden, make sure you have all the right equipments. A good pair of bypass pruner preferably Felco. No 2 is recommended. Keep your pruner very sharp. A sharp pruner is less taxing to your hand and creates less bruising on your roses. For cutting larger canes, a lopper is a better choice. Their longer handles make it easier to cut through thicker canes. You should also have a pruning saw for those extra thick canes.

 

Also, of utmost importance is to wear gloves. A good leather glove is a must to protect yourself from too many scratches. Long sleeved shirts or jackets will protect your arms and wrists. Hat is also important to protect your face from the sun and to protect your head if you are balding. Make sure your tetanus booster shot is up to date.

 

Your first agenda is to cut the dead, diseased and damaged canes. Cut until you see the white or cream-colored pith. If necessary, you can go down to almost near the bud union. Roses will bloom on a dark-colored pith but once the weather warms, the canes die back or become unproductive. Don’t go crazy looking for white pith on “Peace” rose. It does not have white pith. After getting rid of the dead and diseased canes, begin cutting the longer canes first and get them out of your way. Pay close attention to what you are doing. Work from the outside in. Remember that you are surrounded with thorns so be very careful.

 

Pruning 1

 

Cut above the leaf with five leaflets to about ¼ inch from the bud. If longer, the cane can die back and if shorter, new growth might break off in the wind. Cut to an outward facing bud so a new growth will face outward too. With few exception, like roses that tend to grow sideways, cut in the direction you want the branch to grow. Roses like The McCartney Rose, First Prize and Just Joey tend to sprawl so prune them to an inside acing bud. Always remember to aim at an open space in the bush. Make the cut on a slant so water drain off. I used to seal the cut with Elmer’s glue to prevent the cane borer from burrowing into the newly cut canes. Someone told me it is not necessary.

 

You also want to open the center of the bush for good air circulation to ward off diseases. Cut long and straggly canes and canes that are crossing or touching each other leaving the stronger canes. I usually cut to about a foot high except for the shrub types which can go from 18 inches to 24 inches tall. Leave three or four good healthy canes. If only one cane is available, cut it lower to encourage new growth from the bud union.

 

On Hybrid Teas, Grandiflora, and some Floribundas, remove stems smaller than a pencil because they will not produce good blooms for cutting. For exhibitors, cutting back to 6 to 12 inches length will produce stronger canes and good quality blooms. Miniature roses are pruned the same way as Hybrid Teas. If you find this too tedious, you can go drastic and use a hedge pruner and prune to 5” high. Mother Nature is very forgiving and usually corrects our mistakes so don’t worry too much. Climbers and ramblers bloom from the 2-year old canes so cut the dead wood only and trim to desired shape. Old Garden Roses also bloom from the second-year wood so cut only the dead wood in spring and prune drastically after flowering to promote growth and improve its shape.

 

Remove all blind shoots. These are branches that taper down to almost nothing. Remove spurs. These are short growths only a few inches long that have hardened off and taper down to a point. They will not flower.

 

Prune to desired height you want for your rose. Some rosarians want their roses tall. I want my roses short and compact looking. I can also look down at them instead of stretching my neck to appreciate their beauty. After you are done pruning, remove every leaf. These old leaves are the reservoir for black spot and mildew. You might also want to start your spraying program with dormant oil to take care of the overwintering insects. Also, spread a handful of Epsom salt around each bush for better growth. Then you can relax a little bit while waiting for the new growth to arrive.

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer