Archive for July, 2015

June/July CR Report

by Karen Ernsberger

Wow after all the cool weather, daily fog and a bit of moisture today June 8th, we hit 100 degrees F! I’m hoping I got everything wet enough to survive.

Now is the time to prune old garden roses after they complete their annual blooming cycle. For all roses watch for suckers from below grafted bud unions and remove the sucker canes at the roots. Keep track of plant performance, if a plant is in distress, it may need more attention. Visit local rose gardens to get ideas on other varieties and their performance. Deadheading all your other bushes is very important now to keep the plants blooming. For newer(less than 1 year old or not well established) plants, go down to the first 5-leaflet leaf that points towards the outside of the plant to aid in heat tolerance. For established plants prune to pencil thick area on stem at a 5-leaflet leaf to the outside. If you plan to show your roses at the fair, the date is August 7th. To get a good flush of bloom at that time, you need to dead head between June 8th and June 21st for most roses.

If you don’t spray, as I don’t, you may have seen multiple diseases on some of your roses. During this spring I’ve been experiencing some rust, blackspot and powdery mildew. Even resistant varieties are being hit. The lower water ration is stressful and may factor into the bushes being more susceptible. I live with the damage and clean up leaves, dead head to encourage new growth. Maintain watering, weeding, deadheading, fertilizing and general clean up program. And hope the new growth will be stronger. I do mulch during this time of year to add some nutrients back to the soil and keep the moisture in the root zone. Of course having a green area has encouraged bugs/catepillars and thirsty/hungry animal (even well fenced) including birds to come out in full force and attack the roses.

If you do spray, water well before spraying and spray after the hottest part of the day. I don’t recommend spraying in the morning, if the temp will be in the 90’s, because of chemical burning. However spraying in the afternoon, if it gets windy, the spray may not go where it is suppose to go! Rake up any fallen leaves to help reduce re-infection of plants. Remember to water and feed lightly during the summer months, to keep your plants happy.