In part one, I went into detail about how I at RS Gardening Services would go about planting a clients rose.
Here in part 2 I will tell you how to care for roses through the spring to the winter.
How to Care for your roses in spring
Spring is when the season starts to get busy .with the first shoots appearing on roses.
If these shoots are left to grow they will make the Rose look very unsightly indeed.
Plus the fact that :-
- (a) The branches will rub against each other and cause cankerous growth.
- (b) The center will be overcrowded and thus stop the vital air flow to the plant.
Leading to an infection of Black Spot and other pathogens to infect the plant.
- (c) Cause of the large amount of branches your roses will only produce small flowers instead of large one .
- (d) And finally it weaken the stability of rose itself as it becomes top-heavy
So pruning them right down is essential if you want good healthy roses.
How to prune your roses
When Pruning roses its essential you use a good quality secateurs
I prefer the By pass ones as they cut cleanly than the others that seem to me any way to squeeze the stems.
Sharp ones don’t snag the stem and leave an scraggy end.
Should the stem be too thick to cut with these use the same bypass Loppers to and a good tree saw for larger trunks
I always carry these tools with me cause I never know when ill be needing them
There are three things that you should be aware off when pruning rose
- There are three different types of rose that need the same different ways of pruning these are :-
- The floribunda like the name suggest “floribunda” is latin for Flora-Flowers & bunda – many ie many flowers.
These flowers are small but are very vibrant and only need to pruned very lightly ie I usually prune these to three buds from the top just to keep the shape as they can become untidy
This picture is an exception here the rose has been pruned not quite hard back but just about the size to get these blooms
Remember the harder you prune the less number of flowers you will make.
A process of trial and error is always at play when you prune these roses . If its too short this year try pruning it a bit higher up next year or visa versa
When pruning standards the first thing is think of is shape so like the floribunda a very light pruning to keep it symmetry if its a bush type
With other standards you have to think do i want more or little flowers on the bush. In case of My clients its always bigger and better blooms so a hard pruning like the other varieties are needed.
For normal roses I prune them quite hard down to two or three out facing buds from the bottom or even down to one out facing bud if its old wood.
The basic rule for pruning is to keep to the what i call the 3ds
- Cut out any dead
- Dying branches first
- Then concentrate on the branches that are
- Inward pointing to the center of the bush to improve ventilation
- Always cut with a slant – as the diagram shows bellow this helps water to run off and not rot the shoots
Don’t be afraid to prune them quite hard they can withstand any harsh treatment
Now that you have pruned your roses they will need a good solid feed to keep them healthy. This is done by a good decomposed compost around the base of the of the roses. ( I prefer this way as i experienced in my trials of different products that some fertilizers have a high content of nitrogen which produce sappy growth.
on the other hand too much organic matter can lock in nitrates. so a careful balance is needed.
More details can be found in the following blog on mulches If the clients got any handy I prefer to use green waste from the recycle places since they don’t carry any weeds.
But if all that fails normal organic matter from there compost heap mixed with a special blend of J bowers fish blood and bone fertilizer or Vitax Q4
When applying a mulch always leave a gap around the stem so you can water around the base of the plant
The only purpose for winter pruning is to reduce the wind rock on the rose and remove and dead,diseased and dying branches . So ideally the rose should be only cut down by half to outward facing bud.
And with anything else all branches should be burnt in a incinerator to avoid decontamination of the soil. AS its this time of year when the weather damp that Black Spot spores begin to spread
I hope you found this of good use and informative in part 3 Ill will look into Pest and Disease control of Roses .
Please share this Blog with others and subscribe below
In my line of work I often get asked get asked by advise by my many clients on the correct way to look after a rose .
Especially if their roses are under the weather are suddenly dying on them, Hence I decided to write this blog on how to look after your roses from planting to pruning.
There are several things you should look out for when purchasing a rose bush ( the ideal time to plant a rose is from Oct to Dec – This because the plants in its dormant stage and all the energy is back into the roots )
- Is it disease resistant ( well for two or more years any way ) No roses are immune to Black Spot – which is a fungal spore by the way
- Where is it to be planted – ie All roses crave sunlight
- How is it package – Many high street chains package them badly and ending up in hurting the roses esp when they are bound together with tape
- Is the Plant damage ie damage stems can often kill the roses by allowing stem canker to thrive
Before you do any thing to the rose plant the loose roots or root ball in a bucket water.
- This helps the roots to absorb water quickly
Also helps to loosen the solid root ball to allowing the tiny lateral roots to spread out
Also this trick works well with root bound plants
Whilst you are doing that it time to prep the ground
What I do is
- I then fill in the hole with rain water or tap water to the top and wait for it to soak in
- Get my mixture of well rotted manure and Bone meal ready in wheel barrow
- I then start to dig the a hole a spit wide and a spit deep
- Then with a scraper I just loosen the edges in the hole which would have been made compacted by the digging
- Incorporate my mix into the base and fork it then ensures that all the soil microbes in the soil rot the manure down and release it to he plant evenly
- If a stake is needed I hammer that in first to avoid damaging the roots
With the Prep out the way I then plant the Rose bush in the hole making sure that the soil level on the rose is level with the soil this is because
- If its above the soil line it will produce suckers
- Then when I have the level just right I start to back fill the hole and shaking the bush to distribute the soil among the root
- And then with my heel or spade i then compact it the top soil down
- And finally give the rose a good soaking
The Next Stage
In my travels I have witness many bad ways of staking a tree from string to copper wire although these are very cheap they also can be harmful to Roses as the stems expand and surround the tie as it n slowly begins to cut through the stem .
The proper way is to use a proper tree tie and spacer and not to tie the stake to the bush but the bush to stake
As Shown here
Finally I then add layer of bark chips to give the plant with that extra adding protection against blackspot which could splash up from the surface and also give the plant with the added micro fauna to promote healthy growth
I Do hope you enjoyed this Blog and Subsribe for updates or My News letter Part two and three are coming shortly
An Health and Saftey Warning
User habits surveys for 2007 and 2010 indicate that gardeners don’t always use, store and dispose of pesticides correctly. If you use pesticides, you are responsible for using these chemicals correctly and effectively. We must keep our gardens and allotments safe for children, pets and wildlife.
When I was working for Lambeth Council back in 1980 all the employers had to pass a strict pesticide course lasting a year this was a tough course but it made you aware of the dangers of the product and how to safety apply it.
But looking on the prospective of the member of the public these rules no longer apply as most products you buy claim to safe to the environment if you follow the instructions to letter
But with this scare of slugs pellets and weed killer getting into our water I don’t think the news is getting across
So I’ll tell you how to apply herbicides or pesticides safely
- Read the Label ( I know it obvious & that you think you know it all but you don’t) How many of you put weed killer down then double dose the plant again . This is all wrong the formulation is worked out in the lab. for maximum effect and by double dosing you are probably increasing the salinity of the soil.
- Calibrate – What I do if using a sprayer is to fill up the water with water and go over the plant or ground first making sure that plant is soaked ie beginning dripping or that ground is covered with spray .
I then see how much water i used and then do a simple division to find out how much chemical i actually use use all the instructions say 4 cap full to 1 litre or 1 gallon of water
- When using any chemical always use PVC gloves these are cheap and better than latex gloves that can rip and allow the chemical to get in touch with your skin
Note the tight cuffs around the wrist this makes sure that nn drips get on to your hands
- When mixing the chemical put in the some water first then add your chemical ( Some products have it all ready made up if so skip this ) and keep on stirring it until it dissolves then top up with the rest of water mixing it again .By doing this you have dissolved and mixed up all the chemicals
- If the there a slight breeze or wind blowing either wear a mask or try not to spray into the wind .( Note chemical spray can carry in the wind for miles without you knowing and with out a mask you likely to get some on your mouth )
- Although there are organic or biodegradable products that claim there are safe I always veer on the side of caution
How to calibrate your sprayer
The single most asked question in pesticide application is: “How much do I put in a knapsack?”
The answer is that it depends on the calibration of your sprayer. In short, how many square metres one sprayer full of water + pesticide will cover.
It is important that the correct amount of pesticide is applied per square metre, the amount of water much less so.
As every sprayer has a different capacity, different nozzles with higher or lower output, a different operator who works at a different speed and pumps at a higher or lower pressure, calibration is the only answer. Here is one simple way to do it:
1. Measure exactly one litre of water into an empty sprayer and prepare it for spraying.
2. On a dry hard surface where you can see the spray wet it, walk forward, continually spraying as you would normally operate until the sprayer is empty. Measure how many square metres you have covered. Let us assume that this might be for instance, 20 square metres.
3. If your sprayer is a 15 litre model you multiply its normal capacity (15) x 20 (area one litre covered) = 300 square metres. This is the area that a whole knapsack will treat.
4. To work out how much pesticide to measure into the sprayer is now very easy. Look at the application rate on the product label.
eg. Roundup ProBiactive is 5L (=5,000ml) per Hectare (10,000 sq. metres)
5. To calculate how much to measure into your sprayer:
For example: 300 (Area that one sprayer full will cover) x 5,000 (Pesticide application rate per hectare in millilitres) / 10,000 (One hectare in square metres) = 150 millilitres
Start your spraying
- Working up and down the plant making sure that both surfaces of the leaves are well coated and started to drip
- Always spray first thing in the morning this is done for several reasons ;-
- to avoid any harm to the pollinating insects
- and also the leaves spores will be fully opened
- The plant has time to recover after the spray and the leaves will be dry
- Avoid spraying any chemicals near water
For Weed Killer there is one simple rule DO NOT SPRAY NEAR WATER SURFACES
If you miscalculated and still have some chemical left NEVER EMPTY IT DOWN THE DRAIN
- After you have used a pesticide, make sure that the packaging is tightly closed or sealed to avoid spillage.
- Store pesticides in a safe place, out of reach of children and pets.
- Take particular care to store slug pellets safely to avoid accidental poisoning of children and pets – particularly dogs.
- Garden sheds and greenhouses are not ideal for storing pesticides as they can get very hot in summer or cold in winter. Pesticide products are best stored at an even temperature.
- If you store it carefully, any remaining pesticide will be effective for some years to come. You can check whether it is still legal to use by using there database
- NEVER STORE DILLUTED CHEMICALS
Concentrated pesticides that have been diluted and stored may not work as well when you next use them. It is also illegal to store pesticides that are unlabelled and not in their original container for safety reasons. Remember to only dilute enough for that day’s use.
Disposing of Chemicals
- Whether you’ve diluted it or not, never pour pesticides down a drain or any other water drainage system (e.g. sink or toilet) because of the risk of contaminating water and harming wildlife. You could face prosecution.
- Pesticide containers that have held concentrated product (i.e. requiring dilution before use) should be rinsed three times adding the washings to the final spray solution. The empty container can then be placed in household waste.
- Empty pesticide containers that have held Ready-to-Use product (i.e. trigger sprays) can be disposed of directly into your household waste.
- Other empty pesticide containers e.g. bags and cardboard boxes can also be disposed of in your household waste.
- Check the label for any other advice on disposal of the product or empty container.
- Health and Safety details on the use of chemicals
- Missoula officials detail city’s use of herbicides; critics cite safety concerns (missoulian.com)
- The science behind herbicides: why soft water is better (harveywatersofteners.co.uk)
- Agro Shelef: Replacing Chemical Pesticides With Natural Anti-Pest Vegetable Oils (triplepundit.com)
- Neonicotinoids harm birds and soil (telegraph.co.uk)
- Neonicotinoid Pesticides Harm More than Just Honey Bees (natureworldnews.com)
- Homemade Weed Killer (greenenvy4ever.wordpress.com)
Identification and damage
As you can see Mildew comes in a white powdery mycelia and spore growth that forms on leaf surfaces and shoots and sometimes on flowers and fruits.These are the fruiting of the fungus.
It can severely effect woody plants as young sapping which would dwarfed.
Downey Mildew thrive in temperatures ranging from 50 to 60 degrees wuth humidity of 90%
It can be recognized by only being specific to the leaves & not like its other relation Powdery Mildew which effect the stalks as well.
And require the opposite it needs free water and temperatures ranging from
60 -80 degrees to germinate.
Prevention is the only way with this I’m afraid :-
- Make sure that the air is well circulated either out doors or inside
- water the plant in the morning and in the evening if necessary.
- apply fungicide at the first sign of attack and remove and dispose of infected leaves
- As it wind blown and dependent on climate make sure that the plant is planted in the right environment & that there isn’t any other plant that is infected with it near by .
- Plant a species that is immune to it if possible for example Rosa rogusa or a
As Mildew seem to thrive in shady moderate temperatures ( esp Powdery Mildew) place plants in a sunny area with good circulation
Avoid over feeding the plants with fertilizer as this will make sappy growth .giving the plant an over head watering will wash of the spores and kill them in the soil
In severe cases when roses and other woody plants are infected spraying with fungicide will be the only alternative.
These are classified as :-
These fungicides are applied to new growth before mildew has a chance to get a foot hold.
These include :-
- Horticultural oils like neem,jojoba (read My article on neem oil )
- Powders like sulphur , potasium bicarbonate
- and Biological with serenade
For Mild to heavy infestation spray with the plants natural product ie Neem oil. Becareful never to apply a oil spray within 2 weeks of sulphur spray or it will burn the leaves.
Also never apply oil sprays when the temperature has reached 90 degrees
Sulphur sprays have been used for centuries and rather ironic that in the days of the smug plant diseases never appeared cause the sulphur was believed to keep it at bay
The best sulphur to buy are the wettable kind cause the dust can be toxic to humans
Although copper has been used for ages as an effective fungicide when it mixed with a another formulation like lime it acts a bactericidal thus killing off leaf spot and fireblight
Vitax Bordeaux Mixture should be mixed with water and then applied, without drenching, as a fine spray to both sides of affected foliage. The actual dilution rates vary from plant to plant and full instructions are provided on the product label.
Contrary to the myth Sodium Bicarbonate found in Baking Soda actually restricts fungus growth due to its alkalinity & there fore only useful as a preventive measure.
Also available to licensed applicators only is a fungicide containing potassium bicarbonate (e.g., Kaligreen).
Sprays of potassium bicarbonate can injure the plant, so use these products with caution.overuse should be avoided because of possible negative effects (sodium accumulation and alkaline pH) on the soil
Biological fungicides (e.g., Serenade or UK Myclobutanil ) are commercially available beneficial microorganisms formulated into a product that, when sprayed on the plant, destroys fungal pathogens. The active ingredient in Serenade is a bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, that helps prevent the powdery mildew from infecting the plant.
Myclobutanil is a triazole chemical used as a fungicide. It is a steroid demethylation inhibitor, specifically inhibiting ergosterol biosynthesis. Ergosterol is a critical component of fungal cell membranes.
These products have some effect in killing the powdery mildew organism but are not as effective as the oils or sulphur in controlling it.
- Powdery mildew disease and recent advances in indian context (slideshare.net)
- A Natural Way to Eliminate Powdery Mildew (kitchencures.wordpress.com)
- Powdery Mildew (boomerempowerment.com)
- Luna Fungicide By Bayer CropScience Receives MRL Approval for Crops Bound for Japan (prweb.com)
- Downy mildew threat to cucurbits and watermelons (thetandd.com)
With disease control I always apply the same IPC (Identify Prevention Control or Management ) approach that I use on pest control.This leaves no margin of error and the problem can be eradicated or at least controlled.
There are over at least 100 diseases a plant gets most of them are caused by fungal infection black spot on roses, Tomato Blight,Peach leaf curl & powdery mildew.
The diseases on turf are less problematic
I will first deal with the diseases of vegetables
- The two most common ones are Brown spot
- And Blight (early Blight and Autumn)
The Good new is that it does not spread in the field or in transit meaning that it a disease to that particular plant
In this case prevention is better than cure as this disease can not be eradicated by commercial or organic fungicides
- The cause of this disease is the lack of Calcium or magnesium in the soil
- The first signs of this deficiency is the sickly anaemic look on the plant the leaves go a slight tinge of yellow and the plants rather sick.
This caused by either heavy clay soils or bad drainage where the roots can get hold of the magnesium or calcium in the soil
If this left unchecked then your plant will definitely get Blossom End Rot.
- With recent research into organic movement.Scientist now believe that to help the plant fight of disease an application of asprin will do the trick. Although this seems to far fetched. They believe that the chemical pound a salicylic acid.( Salicylic acid is a monohydroxybenzoic acid, a type of phenolic acid and a beta hydroxy acid. This colourless crystalline organic acid is widely used in organic synthesis and functions as a plant hormone. It is derived from the metabolism of salicin) found in aspirin will stimulate the plant immune system so its ready to fight back .
- Making note of the right environment for the plant is the soil too acidic ,is it in a well exposed place where it gets full days sun. or does it require a shady spot
- Pest are there aphids around – these can transmit diseases to the plant by sucking the sap
unfortunately there is no cure for blossom End Rot the plant is best disposed off
There are two types of blight that effect the tomatoes one appears in early Autumn and the other one in Late Autumn
As you can see by this picture the first tell tale signs or on the stems.
This pathogen can effect young plants too.So your best defence is spot it early
- Before it reaches the leaves and then makes it way toward the fruit . Then the plant is beyond help and best destroyed (not composted)
- In this picture you can see how it working it away up the stem to the fruit
Even when you think that your plants safe it can still effect ripening fruit and in no matter of time the fruit will become inedible.
- As you can see by this picture that the first thing it attacks is the leaves.
Should any of the leaves start looking like that its best to destroy the plant.Before it starts to infect from the rest of the crop
Since the tomato is related to the potato family its very liable to get this blight and ounce its air Bourne there is nothing you can do stop it effecting the plants
But there are cautionary measures you can take to give your plant a chance to fight it
- Hygiene I can’t amplify this enough as with Black spot this is important ;-
- If growing in pots make sure everything is cleaned and disinfected first or use new plastic pots.
- Use Grow bags compost for tomatoes not only they are ideal growing medium but there cheap too as well sterile
- As with Blossom End Rot or BER feed with a fine spray of Asprin Mix and also water into the soil
- To stop splash back and reserve water apply a mulch around the plant and pick off any fallen leaves
- Make sure that your any diseased potatoes are disposed off and the soil is clean
- Choose a resistant plant species esp if growing potatoes
- Careful watering try not to water over the leaves as this may cause the fungus spores to spread to other parts of the plant
- Management at the first sign of the seedling spray with Bordeaux mixture or there alternatives
- Environmental control this method is used here in the UK where the farmer keep an eye on the weather and as soon as the Min temperature reaches 50 degrees and the humidity is at 90 % then he will spray the crop to stop the epidemic
Unfortunately ounce the plant is infected there is no cure
- Black Spot
- IdentificationWhen you see black spot what you are really seeing are the fungal spores ie Mushrooms of the fungus known as Diplocarpon rosae.Unfortunately this fungi is resilent and very quickly becomes immune to anything so its very hard to eradicate .
As you can see from above the leaves become a yellow and black spotted hence it name
- A proper pruning and after care will minimize the risk of reinfection :-
- When pruning roses always cut away from the bud in a slope this makes sure that any fungus spores or other contaminates will run off and not go into the plant.
- Follow the three Ds system of pruning first cutting away any Dead Diseased and Dieing stems and throwing them away with the rubbish
- keep the centre clean to allow better air circulation around the plant keeping it dry (fungus thrive in wet conditions)
- In April prune to the first out pointing bud
- If the roses have any aphids then spray with insecticide for full details on which insecticide is best as they can transmit viruses and wound the plant
- Buy new roses – But don’t plant roses in the same spot as the old ones cause they wont live long. For some reason the old root system of the roses send out a chemical warning to other roses saying you are not welcome here ie a Rose transplant disease . Also dont be disappointed after a yr or two that your roses have got that blight again .Cause as I said before this is most antiviral disease it soon gets immune to anything you throw at it
- Use a fungicide esp for roses if you can use the one with a insecticide included these will at least protect the your shoots as they grow
- After pruning give them a good feed of organic matter to help them fight this fungus or give them some pelleted feed esp designed for roses as this contains traces of sulphur which help the immune system
A Few Commandments for Noob Tomato Growers (shonufforganics.com)
- Tips For Gardening In Clay Soil (fullbloomhydroponics.net)
- Tomato yellow leaf curl virus getting worse in Georgia (southeastfarmpress.com)
Now the warm weather here and our lilies are starting to flower or at least start growing so comes one of the annoying pest to the gardener . The Red Lilly beetle
These horrible things is what the larvae looks like. They cover themselves up with excreta so they wont get any predators and they feast on the leaves until they fall to the ground where they bury themselves in the ground until they pupate
into the beetle again its a vicious circle they can grow in size and produce multiple generation
- Since the larvae live in the earth it’s always best to get fresh sterilized soil ie peat or Coir ( garden earth may contain the larvae at least starting with a new compost and pots you know that there wont be a chance of contamination )
- Place a white paper to towel on the compost and around the plant
- pick them off with rubber gloves. But their young are well camouflaged, and if you should knock them off then they have a cunning way of laying on their backs, and creeping up again when you gone . hence the white towel which make them easily seen
- then when your sure you have them all dispose of them in a solution of soapy water
- another trick is to get a sticky board and go over the plant this should catch the beetles as they try to take flight rather like the white fly traps
- DE or Diatom Earth
If this is applied dry and incorporated into the soil it should provide a good barrier against anything that comes across it
kills larvae and repels adults. Neem is most effective on first instars
larvae; it must be applied every five to seven days after egg hatch. The
insecticide imidacloprid also provides effective control. It is
available in several formulations from Bayer including folia sprays,
soil drenches, and fertilizer stakes.”
- Masking the scent
It has been proved that they are attracted by the smell of the plant so though still in it early stage of development this and introducing the parasitic wasp might be way forward
- An Unwelcome Guest in the Garden – the Lily Leaf Beetle (watchcroton.com)
- The Beetle Invasion (dianasopinion.wordpress.com)