Anti-fungal nutrients for roses

strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)June 27, 2014

I re-post an excerpt from the below link:

"... the fungal inhibitory rates were measured using the plate-count method following shake-flask test. Moreover, an inhibition-zone test and observation by scanning electron microscopy were carried out. The inhibitory rate of the calcium, copper, and zinc alginate fibers were, respectively, 49.1, 68.6, and 92.2 %. The results from inhibition-zone test and shake-flask test show that zinc alginate fibers have the most significant action, and that copper alginate fibers have obvious inhibitory action, but the calcium alginate fibers have weak inhibitory effects. "

See link for nutritional analysis of one cup of whole-grain
corn meal.

NPK of corn meal is 1.6 / 0.65 / 0.4 compared to horse manure NPK of 0.44 / 0.17 / 0.35. Corn has higher nitrogen, almost 4 times more phosphorus, slightly more potassium, plus B-complex vitamins, 39% magnesium, 23% iron, 29% phosphorus, 10% potassium, 30% manganese, 37% selenium, 1% calcium, 12% copper, and 15% zinc.

Let's compare the ratios of of zinc, copper, and calcium in red-lava rocks. One neighbor mulch her roses with lava rocks, and I don't see any disease whatsoever in her 50+ roses. The other neighbor who mulched with white lime stones had some black spots in humid weather. See below link for Red lava rocks composition:

Red Lava rocks: pH 8.2, Phosphorus........................................6.0 p.p.m.
Potassium.........................................59.0 p.p.m.
Zinc.........................................................6 p.p.m.
Iron..................................................10.0+ p.p.m.
Copper...............................................5.5+ p.p.m.
Magnesium.......................................2.0+ p.p.m.
Boron.................................................10.0 p.p.m.

Wood ash is a strong anti-fungal agent, let's compare wood ash to lime stone:

Boron 123
Copper 70 ***** 10
Zinc 233 **** 113
Calcium 15 *** 31
Potassium 2.6 *** 0.13
Iron 0.84 *** 0.29
Phosphorus 0.53 *** 0.06
Manganese 0.41 *** 0.05

You can see from above for the anti-fungal agents: wood ash has twice more zinc, seven times more copper, but 1/2 calcium (a weaker anti-fungal of the trio). Wood ash also 2.6 potassium, compared to 0.13 of limestone.

Last year I watched a You-Tube on "Secret of Healthy roses" and the guy put Kelp meal, plus Brewer's yeast as SOLUBLE fertilizer. That didn't make sense, until I check the nutrient analysis for 2 tablespoons of Brewer's yeast:

Brewer's yeast is VERY HIGH in B-vitamins, which stimulate plant growth. For the anti-fungal trio (zinc, copper, and calcium), here are the values for brewer's yeast:

Calcium 0.0
Iron 1.1 mg 6%
Magnesium 32.0 mg 8%
Phosphorus 0.0
Potassium 633 mg 18%
Zinc 1.5 mg 10%
Copper 1.0 mg 50%

You can see that Brewer's yeast has decent potassium for blooming, plus to fight diseases. Also 50% copper, a strong anti-fungal agent. See below link for the You-Tube where the guy mixed brewer's yeast as the secret for growing healthy roses:

Here is a link that might be useful: Youtube top 10 secrets of growing healthy roses

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 15:13

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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I summarize the tips given by the YouTube above:

For every 2 months, he gives 1 cup per rose of his special blend: equal amounts of chicken manure, fish meal, cottonseed meal, kelp meal, and bone meal.

In the YouTube, he stated 1 part for everything, but 2 parts for bone meal. I disagreed, already BURNT plenty of plants with my experiments with bone meal: burnt a dozen geraniums by putting bone meal on top, burnt a Gallica rose, burnt a tomato plant.

Cottonseed meal is acidic, so that balances out the alkalinity of bone meal. He also mentioned how kelp meal would strengthen plants' tissue against aphids invasion. True, Kelp meal is high in potassium and trace elements to strengthen plant's cell membrane, so insects can't gain access. In contrast, fertilizer high in nitrogen promotes soft and fast growth, which insects can feast on.

Mid-season, he gave roses a boost by mixing 2 Tablespoon of Brewer's yeast with 1 gallon of water. Brewer's yeast is high in potassium, high in copper (a fungicide), and decent in zinc (strongest fungicide), plus B-complex vitamins for plant vigor.

He stated that banana peels around roses keep aphids away. True, there were only 2 roses that got aphids in my garden: Christopher Marlowe and Gruss an Teplitz. Those 2 never get banana peels. Banana peels are VERY HIGH in potassium, NPK of 0-3-42, that's almost as high as sulfate of potash, NPK of 0-0-50. Bonus: banana peels don't have the salt nor the acidity like sulfate of potash. Potassium strengthen the cell membranes of plants, so insects can't gain entry.

To spray against rust and mildew, he used: 1/2 gallon water, 1 Tbs. baking soda, 3 Tbs. horticulture oil, 1 Tbs. kelp extract. Mix that in a spray bottle and spray leaves (both above and under).

"Nutrients provided by kelp are micronutrients -- iron, copper, zinc, boron and manganese -- and negligible macronutrients -- nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous." See link:

Here is a link that might be useful: YouTube: Secrets of growing healthy roses

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sat, Jun 28, 14 at 9:04

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 8:55AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I checked the nutritional analysis for Kelp .. not impressed with the salt-content and the price. Three customers on Amazon gave these reviews about Espoma Kelp meal:

What bright colored roses, August 6, 2013
"By Duck3850head: I bought this product to try on my 40 rose bushes. I have read all of the good press kelp gets for use on almost every plant used by man. It really brought out the most intense colors in my roses. I will buy again and again."

Really helped my sickly rose bush, June 13, 2013
"By cl (Los Angeles, U.S.): My bag was 4 pounds. I'd tried everything on my rose bush, which was having a problem with rust and mildew. Nothing else seemed to work, but it's been really looking healthy since I used this."

By Ko, May 14, 2011 "Product delivers great results in a very short period of time. Used on seedlings and had great results with strong dark green shoots. For seedlings followed the guide of 1 Tbs. per gallon of water steeped like tea for 2 days then filtered."

**** From Straw: I get good results with a cheaper product: Alaska Pennington fish-pellets (with kelp meal & alfalfa meal & fish bone meal & sulfate of potash) for tomato, with NPK 4-6-6, only $7.97 per 3 lbs. I soaked those pellets in a bucket of water and gave to my roses & tomato: Immediate green-up & breaking out in buds and thicker stems.

See below for deeper bloom-color on Yves Piaget seedling, far-red bloom, above orange Pat Austin. Normally that's a pink color bloom, but with the above fertilizer & red lava rocks, bloom became red. My neighbor did the same with a pink Knock-out which became red when she mulched with lava rocks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nutritional Profile of Kelp meal

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sat, Jun 28, 14 at 12:32

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 9:24AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Great info Strawbhill!

I stay away from anything high in phosphorus and anything high in salts... (clay content of our soil and already enough

I may try the brewers yeast...Wonder if it has much of a salt content in it???

Bananas peel are always good! :-)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 11:10AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Thank you for your positive feedback. I checked the nutritional analysis for 2 Tbs. of brewer's yeast: it has only 3% salt, 6% iron ... but the B-complex vitamins are impressive: 80% Thiamine, 90% Riboflavin, 50% Niacin, 40% vitamin B6, 15% Folate, 6% Pantothenic acid, and 5% B12, 18% potassium, 50% copper (strong anti-fungal agent), 10% zinc (strongest anti-fungal agent).

Will go to the health food store today to get Brewer's yeast both for me, and for my roses !! Below info. are from WebMD:

"Brewer's yeast is a kind of yeast that is a by-product of brewing beer ... contain non-living, dried yeast. People use brewer’s yeast to make medicine. Brewer's yeast is used for diarrhea, the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections, influenza, swine flu, loss of appetite, acne, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), recurring boils on the skin, and type 2 diabetes. It has also been used as a source of B vitamins, chromium, and protein.

Due to the chromium content of brewer's yeast, there is interest in using it for lowering blood glucose in people with diabetes. Additionally, brewer's yeast seems to stimulate intestinal enzymes that could help relieve diarrhea. It also might help fight bacteria that cause infections in the intestine, as well as improve the body’s defenses against viral lung infections such as flu and the common cold.

Brewer's yeast seems safe for most people when used short-term. It can cause headache, stomach discomfort, and gas (flatulence).

Preventing upper respiratory tract infection, including the common cold and flu (influenza). Developing research shows that taking a specific brewer's yeast formulation (EpiCor, Embria Health Sciences) significantly reduces the risk of developing symptoms of the common cold or flu in healthy people who recently received flu shots." WebMD.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nutritional analysis of Brewer's yeast

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 12:16PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

That something I will try then... (Brewers yeast)...
Thanks Strawbhill!
Are you disolving your brewers yeast into water like shown on the video?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 1:48PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I think 2 Tablespoon per gallon as suggested by the video is too strong. I plan to use 1 tablespoon per gallon of water, and give each rose just a tiny bit, right before a rain.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 10:13PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

That sounds good! Let me know when you try it... Thanks

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 10:25PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Our new Thomas Affleck has been getting some PM and he has blackspot again and its spreading ... :-/

TA arrived here via mail delivery with BS on its leaves, those leaves fell off and nice clean leaves grew out BUT BS rearing its ugly head again... I hope a new strain has not been introduced into our garden...

(What TA looked like when he arrived on May 8th 2014:)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 12:31PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I certainly will try that on my stingy roses. It's sold 1 lbs. for $9 at my local health food store, this is "de-bittered" so I can take it as well in my shakes.

Here's an excerpt from eHow on using brewer's yeast for roses to stimulate blooms: "Green Fertilizer for Rose Bushes - A mixture of brewer's yeast and water applied to rosebush roots encourages bud formation. To force buds to grow, mix 3 tbsp. yeast with 10 liters of water. To maintain blooms throughout the season, use 2-4 tbsp. yeast in 2 gallons of water and apply as soon as the bushes begin to bloom."

Here is a link that might be useful: eHow on brewer's yeast for roses

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 12:35PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: there's the "myth" of new strain. Blackspots will develop ANYWHERE if the conditions are right: I induced plenty of gross black spots by dumping rotten tomato on Firefighter rose. Or mulching with acidic & wet cocoa mulch at pH 5.4.

I also induced black spots on Comte de Chambord by topping with alfalfa meal (pH 5.8). Fungi thrives in wet & neutral to slightly acidic environment. Red lava rock, sold for $3 per big bag is widely available, plus decent in copper & zinc (2 most potent anti-fungal nutrients).

I'm pleased with the result from all night rain, and our past 2-weeks of humid & rainy weather. I mulched some roses with red lava rocks, ZERO BLACKSPOTS on them, plus breaking out in buds & new growth from the rocks' high potassium, high iron, plus anti-fungal nutrients of copper & zinc, plus boron (vital nutrient for plant's health).
Will post pics. later.

My neighbor set the standards for tons-of-blooms & zero diseases ... she mulched her 50+ roses with lava rocks for the past 14 years. I touched them in super-hot-sun, not bad, about the same temp. as my alkaline clay, and MUCH LESS hot than white lime stones.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 12:48PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Maybe I'll try red lava rocks under Thomas Affleck next year and see what happens...

Would you believe Mister Lincoln was in the same exact spot as Thomas Affleck for 2+ years and ML only got alittle BS toward the end of the season... Sept-Oct
All under similar conditions...

Even though I find ML very boring he has been more disease resistant than all the roses I have planted here except Double KO's and Carefree Sunshine...

Why? I have no

Here's ML the first year... I had him in a pot for awhile then planted him into the ground later that year...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sun, Jun 29, 14 at 22:20

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 2:52PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Thanks for posting Mr. Lincoln .. he looks very nice. I always like tall & slender rose. Your grass looks just like my brother's acidic land in MI. My grass in alkaline clay is different, thicker blade & denser and too many dandelions.

Roots secret acid to utilize phosphorus from the soil. There's the "rose-replant" syndrome where it's NOT recommended to plant another rose in the same spot previously occupied by a different rose. The soil becomes more acidic, and depleted of nutrients. Some roses prefer it more alkaline to be healthy.

Rose du Roi, popular in CA (alkaline & dry) breaks out in both mildew and black spots in my acidic potting soil, plus rain (pH 5.6), plus topped with acidic pine shavings. So I topped it with ground limestone (pH 9), plus a few red lava rocks (pH 8) ... the mildew is gone, it sprout lots of healthy new leaves.

Topping Romantica roses with ground limestone was a success, since they like it alkaline, and bloom well even with my hard water, pH 8. These French roses are Bolero and Sweet Promise. Radio Times also like that. But Pat Austin immediately became chlorotic with ground limestone, so I scraped it off, and replaced with red lava rock.

I visited my neighbor again, her roses mulched with red lava rocks have more blooms than leaves, which reminds me to use blood-meal when high-potassium red-lava-rocks is used. It should be equal ratio of nitrogen to potassium.

I'm cautious about red-lava rock, a few stones would provide enough potassium for blooming, plus iron for a growth spurt, too much like my neighbor produced this "burnt-out" and sparse look of too many blooms, and not enough foliage.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 6:47PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Ok on the red lava rocks Strawbhill,
I have some blood meal but never used any of it yet...
I think I have Dr Earth blood meal which I think will disolve in water since it mentions about making tea with it...
But instructions do not give a certain dosage for say 1 mature rose bush...???

I do not like to push to much new top growth because of insect attacks so I never used it...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 7:10PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I used too much blood meal on Sonia Rykiel, like 1/4 cup, and that rose didn't bloom for 2 months !! So I'm cautious, and use 2 to 4 tablespoons max, if high-potassium is used.

The perfect ratio is 1 part nitrogen, a bit more than 1 part potassium, 1/2 phosphorus, 1/2 calcium, and 1/4 magnesium. Calcium together with potassium helps to strengthen plants. When I maintain that ratio, plants have new leaves, but thicker & stronger to prevent pest-invasion. Also when nitrogen is supplied as slow-released organics, less chance of rapid growth.

I'm testing ground limestone vs. red-lava rocks to see which is more effective against black spots. My most healthy roses were when I mulched with alkaline horse manure & mixed with alfafa meal (NPK 2-1-2), see below .. but that wasn't enough potassium, very little blooms and too many leaves:

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 7:37PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Let me know how your experimenting goes in the future strawbhill... Thanks

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 8:37PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I do use bananas peels in the compost but I also put some peels under one of our roses today... I eat 2-3 bananas a day so I'll place peels under a different rose each
I cut the peels into pieces and scratched them into the soil a bit then put the compost back over them...
Added some brewers yeast also at 2 TBS per 2 gallons to that one rose...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 10:04PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Strawbhill, what exactly do you use to obtain this ratio?
What products/source?
Are you using sources in granular form or disolving and using in liquid forms?

(Straw wrote:) The perfect ratio is 1 part nitrogen, a bit more than 1 part potassium, 1/2 phosphorus, 1/2 calcium, and 1/4 magnesium. Calcium together with potassium helps to strengthen plants. When I maintain that ratio, plants have new leaves, but thicker & stronger to prevent pest-invasion. Also when nitrogen is supplied as slow-released organics, less chance of rapid growth.

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sun, Jun 29, 14 at 22:32

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 10:26PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I tried some brewer's yeast this morning (NOW brand, big jar, only $9 per lb.). It tasted nasty with juice, so I mixed with honey, still nasty, but better. The taste was sour & bitter & ick !!

Got to bed really late last night, only 5 1/2 hr. sleep. Normally I would be tired all day, but I wasn't even tired nor need a nap & got lots of things done without caffeine.

A pharmacist claimed that the B-vitamins he takes helped with extra energy. So I googled, "Brewer's yeast help with chronic fatigue syndrome" ... there's a promising study with rats, but more studies are needed. Most positive testimonies come from pet-owners, reporting shinier hair for their pets, less fleas. See below for Amazon customers rating (375 reviews) on brewer's yeast with garlic tablets for their pets.

Let's see if Brewer's yeast give roses the "extra energy" for basal shoots & flower-production, and hopefully glossy & shiny leaves. The most healthy roses I have seen are from horse manure, or cow manure. One year the rose park used cow manure. It stank, but the leaves were shiny & full of vigor, and the blooms were huge and well-formed. It was unreal, as if seeing perfection from heaven.

Too much sulfate of potash produced tons of blooms, but the blooms are defective: with grayish margins, and small & deformed with cluster-blooming.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brewer's yeast for healthier pets' skin

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jun 30, 14 at 10:52

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 10:40PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

With regard to Jim's question, see below link for pictures of tomato & pepper seedlings. The best result was achieved with Peter's 20-10-20 chemical fertilizer (equal & high ratio of nitrogen to potassium, but 1/2 phosphorus), used at 1/2 teaspoon per gallon, 3 times a week.

Peter's 20-10-20 BEAT all organic fertilizers in plant's health & root growth, listing from NEXT best performance to WORST: Omega 6-6-6 (blood meal, bone meal, sulfate of potash), then fish emulsion NPK. Next average to worst performers are: cow manure, worm castings, and horse manure.

Also my neighbor used low-salt Daniels made from soy in the same ratio 20-10-20 on his tomatoes ... far more fruits than mine & thicker stems. If you look at the ratios occur in manures (horse & cow), it's also 1 part nitrogen, a bit more than 1 part potassium, 1/2 phosphorus, 1/2 calcium, and 1/4 magnesium. See link below:

University of Mass experiment with marigolds where they measure the size of blooms also point to the same ratio of 20-10-20 as giving the biggest and healthy plant. However the experiments were done in POTS, in a greenhouse setting, where nitrogen leaches out. But for my alkaline clay, where nitrogen is plenty due to nitrogen-fixation action of bacteria, more potassium is needed, otherwise I get too many leaves.

I want more blooms from my 2 most fragrant roses, so I tested MiracleGro soluble for roses NPK 18-24-16 on Yves seedling and Sonia Rykiel in our current 2-weeks-rainy spell. I already posted a 100% healthy picture of Yves seedling, but right after that soluble-chemical fertilizer, BOTH Yves and Sonia broke out in black spots.

It could be either the salt in the chemical fertilizer, or the high phosphorus which stunted roots. I think it's both, since salt drives down potassium (necessary for disease-prevention), and you had seen phosphorus-burn on both my Gallica band, and my wimpy tomato. Below is my neighbor tomato planted 3rd-week of May, loaded with fruits, by using Daniels NPK 20-10-20:

Here is a link that might be useful: U. of Kentucky on organic fertilizers vs. chemical

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 11:18AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Here are my tomatoes planted 1st week of June, or 2 weeks behind. I used Tomato Tone NPK 3-4-6 in the planting hole, but I put chicken manure NPK 5-3-2 on top. Too much nitrogen, too much leaves, and not enough fruits.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 11:23AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Hi Strawbhill thanks for the info, I seen reviews on how bad that brewers yeast tastes you bought so I've been wondering how it tasted...I haven't tasted mine
"I guess ick says it all)....

I also have chronic fatigue syndrome... Years ago I tried a stabilized rice bran product that worked well but it got to expensive so had to discontinue using...

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 1:00PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Thank you for info. about rice bran helping chronic fatigue. I look that up, I'm very impressed ... would love to experiment on roses if I can get that cheap. I have some old brown rice, will put that in planting hole. See nutritional profile of 1 cup of rice bran: SO RICH IN B-COMPLEX VITAMINS!

29% vitamin E, 217% thiamine, 20% riboflavin, 201% niacin, 24% B6, 19% folate, 87% pantothenic acid, 122% iron, 7% calcium, 230% magnesium, 198% phosphorus, 50% potassium, 48% zinc, 43% copper, 838% manganese, 26% selenium.

Let's compare that to Brewer's yeast (6% iron), plus these B-vitamins: 80% Thiamine, 90% Riboflavin, 50% Niacin, 40% vitamin B6, 15% Folate, 6% Pantothenic acid, and 5% B12, 18% potassium, 50% copper (strong anti-fungal agent), 10% zinc (strongest anti-fungal agent).
Wow! Rice bran is higher in certain B-vitamins, potassium and manganese than brewer's yeast, but brewer's yeast has higher B6 (good for sleep). The energy I get from Brewer's yeast is better than caffeine, since I can sleep easily. Mixed with honey, it tastes less lousy.

The humidity here is so high, at 72% ... will get more rain. My most healthy rose now is Comte de Chambord (black-spot prone), it had at least 2 cups of cracked corn in the planting hole, plus I topped with high-potassium, pH 8 red lava rocks. (with antifungal agents zinc & copper). I also topped it with ground limestone, pH 9, has the strongest anti-fungal agent zinc. But the 2nd Comte de Chambord in potting soil has black spots, Picture taken today:

Here is a link that might be useful: Nutritional profile of rice bran

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 4:13PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Austin rose Wise Portia was clean for 3 years, topped with alkaline horse manure (pH 8). This 4th year I skipped the manure ... too much rain to get manure. I DID NOT top with ground limestone nor red lava rock ON PURPOSE, as a control. It broke out in black spots plus mildew, the humidity has been over 50% with rainy weather for 2 week.

See below link on the effect of using horse manure: highest increase in iron, potassium (1.4 times more than N), calcium (1.4 times more than N), next is nitrogen, phosphorus, plus magnesium (1/4 of calcium).

Here is a link that might be useful: Rutgers Bulletin on horse manure composition

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 4:29PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Great info Strawbhill, sadly we get a lot of rain here most years.
I would have to put fences up to keep our pets out of the poo ... Our pets love to lay under the roses...
I'll experiment here and there but I think I'll mainly going to try different roses and only keep roses that do consistently well in our conditions...
My wife has Multiple sclerosis so if something should happen to me I wanna make the outside gardening easy for her without much fuss.

You know I've used bagged cow manure before but have never tried horse manure. Where do you obtain horse manure? Horse stables?
Sometimes I'm afraid to use stuff that I do not know what all is in it. I know what all goes in my homemade compost...

Kitty likes to play in the tomatoes

This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Jun 30, 14 at 20:22

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 8:13PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Your tomato looks great, what fertilizer did you use? Thanks for the info.

Horse manure is a pain to get, so I don't use that stuff anymore. The stable here uses quick-lime to deodorize. Quick-lime is the unstable form that binds with potassium & trace elements, thus less flowering. Ground limestone is DIFFERENT, the release is MUCH slower since it's more stable & used by plants.

It's easy just to throw some ground lime stone to firm up the zillion-petals roses, plus a few red lava rocks for the ones with higher iron & potassium needs. Even the chunky lime stones at $3 per bag break down with rain.

This spring I chopped down 3 heavy bags (at least 10 lbs. per bag) of canes that died through the winter. Just think, to regenerate such solid canes, a HUGE amount of calcium & magnesium & potassium is needed.

The amount of ground-limestone I threw down can't match the weight of those dead canes. For cold zone and rainy climate, roses need MORE calcium & potassium & magnesium to re-generate those pruned canes. I fertilized Yves-seedling with potassium, plus it's next to my limestone patio. When I cut the stem for the vase, it almost broke my scissor, so I had to use a hedge-clipper. That's how thick & tough the stem is. My neighbor has the same Yves seedling, and his stem is 1/4 the diameter of my Yves.

Good news: Prior to my putting ground lime stones, pink Frederic Mistral and Crown Princess Magareta roses had brownish petals (botrytis) .. very ugly. I finally get perfect-bloom-form for pink Fred and orange CPM. The blooms are small since they were cut from large clusters of many buds. See bouquet cut today June 30, the rightmost red bloom is Yves seedling:

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 9:18PM
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To Straw, nice collection of bouquet, big plus is the fragrance, if one would have the pleasure of smelling them, perhaps one day, computer would provide the sensation of scent? The roses from your garden are eye candies, thanks!

Hi, Jim: like the photo of your tomato plants, and they really are very green and vigorous, will show photos once mine is ripe,Taxi is small and green, Krim is in flowering and Costoluto Genovese may be ready in a few weeks, only Taxi is grounded, the other two are in the big pot, last year's harvest, not bad for 20 + big and small ones.
Here's Munstead Wood rose, worthy of my admiration, so happy Regan nursery sent me this one, received, Mar 6. 1st bloom was in early May, 2nd flush ended today. It has the most delicious fruity & old rose scent.

This post was edited by seaweed0212 on Tue, Jul 1, 14 at 9:25

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 12:56AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I never gave any stabilized rice bran to our roses. I took that myself by disolving in water and drinking. It gave me a lot of energy and it worked well but got to expensive... I have not looked at present day rice bran products or prices. I will have to do that... Thanks for info...

I'm very lax with tomato plants. I had alittle Dr Earth "life" fertilizer left and used that. I think its 5-5-5
It suppose to last 2-3 months so thats all they get for the season. We get a lot of rain so haven't had to water them much yet either...
I plant tomato plants deep and also cut off any stems that have leaves touching the ground.

Great photos of those Roses! :-)

This post was edited by jim1961 on Tue, Jul 1, 14 at 14:07

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 1:42PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Thank you for those tips on tomato ... I gave mine too much chicken manure. I plant mine deep too, so they grow extra roots. I saw rice-bran at the Health food store, only $3.49 for 20 oz ... NOW brand, and it's the last bag left, so people really like that stuff. I'll try rice-bran in my yogurt. Thanks, Jim, for the rice-bran tip. The nights that I have the most brown rice with dinner, I always sleep well, so I'm sure rice-bran is super-nutritious.

I benefit MORE from Brewer's Yeast than my roses. I gave that to them yesterday ... too early to tell. I have been using Brewer's yeast for 3 days .... AMAZING ENERGY, better spirit than caffeine. I didn't need a nap for the past 3 days.

This morning I had 1 banana & 1/2 cup of blueberries with 1 Tbs. Brewer's yeast ... was busy going to 3 different places, plus a long walk with my kid. I wasn't even hungry until 2 pm .. that's 6 hours without eating, but still engertic. Brewer's yeast is high chromium, which helps to stabilize blood sugar. If I can lose 10 lbs. with brewer's yeast, then it's worth the nasty taste. The biggest benefits I experienced are: increased energy, no more sleepiness nor tired, and less cravings for junk food.

If I dilute Brewer's yeast with soy milk & honey, then have tons of fruits, it's not bad. My next plan is to mix brewer's yeast with salad dressing (blue cheese) then eat tons of salad ... that will hide the strong taste.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 1, 14 at 15:59

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 3:56PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I tried some Brewers Yeast just alittle while ago hopefully it picks me up
Glad to hear its working for you... :-)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 5:37PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I went out to inspect my plants with 2 diluted-applications of Brewer's yeast. It helped with Eglantyne, the most stingy Austin ever !! Even as a big-bush grafted-on-Dr.Huey at the rose park, Eglantyne gives 5 blooms per flush. I didn't give Brewer's Yeast to Jude the Obscure (another stingy Austin on own-root), no new buds.

My Eglantyne died to the crown due to this past harsh winter, so the new growth is less than 6" tall. After 2 applications of Brewer's yeast, it sprouted 5 tiny buds ... not bad for a tiny plant, see picture below, taken today, after 2 weeks of rain, and last night strong wind:

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 1:21PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Also Jim, I tried the rice bran ... great taste compared to icky brewer's yeast. I mixed rice bran into my Greek Yogurt, really yummy !! It gave substance to the yogurt, it's like a meal in itself.

After choking down brewer's yeast many times, I found the recipe to make it easer to swallow: 3/4 cup of soy milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of Brewer's yeast, plus 3 teaspoons of honey. I used Silk Unsweetened Organic soy milk. Thank God our 2-weeks of rain stopped, and we have cooler weather.

Rose du Roi and Duchess of Rohan became greener with 2 diluted application of Brewer's Yeast. Below is Rose du Roi in a pot, I made the mildew & blackspots go away by topping with ground limestone and a few red lava rocks.

My next experiment is to soak rice-bran in a bucket, and give to my pale roses .. I expect them to be darker-green, thanks to rice bran's high iron and high manganese. I like rice bran too much for myself, so I only experiment a bit for fun ... but hogging the rest for myself !!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 1:31PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Yes Rice Bran had a good taste unlike brewers
Please keep me updated with your experiments Strawbhill... Thanks!

I see no changes yet in the rose bush I gave brewers yeast to but I suppose something will happen soon... :-)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:16PM
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Wow, I love your threads Strawberry Hill!!! Am greatly encouraged to keep figuring out the solutions to plants issues by non chemical means. It's so easy to spray chemicals to control my issues like rust, but since using the cornmeal I am ecstatic at the results. I managed to arrest it once again with a 2nd application, even with the high humidity and cool nights. I am taking note and going to try all the suggestions in this thread. Thank you for all the experience you are presenting for the rest of us. Your threads have become a valuable resource for me.

On the subject of energy, or lack of: I'm recovering from adrenal fatigue and have found a few herbs to help balance the uncontrolled uneven cortisol that feeds the tiredness and insomnia cycle.

The brewers yeast that doesn't make me gag is by Lewis Labs. I use the flakes version. It has a more nutty taste to it. I think you need more per serving but, I like it in fruit/protein powder smoothies. You might, also, try experimenting with adaptogenics. Herbs which balance out the adrenals and issues with high cortisol/anxiety and focus. The one that for me is outstanding in sustained and gentle energy is eleuthero or SIberian Ginseng (not a true ginseng). Better than coffee and doesn't squeeze the adrenaline out of your system like caffeine does. There's a few more I'm using for sleep that doesn't leave you groggy next day, as well, but, thought, I'd input my own experience if it can help get a productive gardening day out of it! ;]

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 7:14PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi aztcqn: I'm happy to hear from you. You contribute just as much to this forum with your upbeat energy and wonderful spirit. I learn from your experience, and from questions that people ask here.

I agree about Siberian ginseng, heard about that while watching the Winter Olympics one year. Some athletics were taking that for stamina. Will check out for myself. I agree with you on caffeine, the after-effects are negative. Caffeine screws up my sleep, plus making me tense & impatient. I will continue taking brewer's yeast, but I won't drink caffeine again.

Herbs and natural products like brewer's yeast are like manure to plants. Chemical-fertilizer is akin to drugs for human. I tested MiracleGro Soluble on roses, and was shocked by roses' breaking out in black spots. Then I realize that chemicals are in such out-of-whack proportion. Anything that is OUT OF BALANCE with nature, will produce diseases.

Giving roses higher-doses of chemicals via fertilizer? Whatever they don't use, aka excess will result in diseases. Manure is different, plants use it in small doses as it being slowly released, without getting sick in an ocean of harsh chemicals like MiracleGro Soluble.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Hi Strawberry and Jim~thanks for the ton of info. I just bought some chicketty doo doo~boy you weren't kidding about the stench!!!. We had to buy a box of trash bags to wrap the bag in. Is it okay to bury it a little bit? Would you wait until fall instead of using it now? If not how much per rose? I have just finished planting potted roses in the last couple of weeks using your formula of cracked corn, tomato tone and organic pelleted lime so should I wait a bit? I have also bought some powdered gypsum and the sulfate of potash plus some lava rocks. One of the roses "Scepte'd Isle" (pictured) has lost 3/4 of her leaves on transplant from a pot due to black spot and shock. Should I top dress the soil with some Epsoma pelleted lime? I have not mulched at all as the only mulch I have is bark mulch. This is the only rose that seems to be doing poorly, the others just suffering some minor tip wilt. I already removed all her buds so she is not more stressed. the leaves that are left appear to be healthy but she doesn't have many left.
Any help or suggestions, as always, are greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:00PM
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Oh, almost forgot to mention~my soil ph is around 6.5 to around 6.8 ph using your cabbage method :)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:18PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: You have the ideal soil pH, same as MiracleGro regular potting soil, at 6.5. It's TOO HOT to use chicken manure, plus the cracked corn & tomato tone will release plenty of nutrients, once watered.

Chicken manure is best early spring, and late fall right before the ground freeze (week before Thanksgiving in my zone 5a). It's mighty stinky, so I use it when the weather is cold and my windows are shut.

The safest way to promote IMMEDIATE new growth is to get alfalfa pellets (the horse-feed type doesn't have salt & sugar like the rabbit-pellets). Make alfalfa pellets tea by soaking a cup in 5-gallon bucket, and let sit for a few days. I have seen 4" of growth within a few days, using alfalfa tea, NPK is 2-1-2. That's the best way to release its growth hormone.

Many people report Scepter'd Isle as BS-prone, grafted on Dr. Huey. I had that rose as own-root, very vigorous, and 100% healthy. I gave it away since I can't use as cut-flower, plus stinky myrrh scent. Two Austin roses are disease-prone as grafted: Golden Celebration, and Scepter'd Isle. .... but these 2 behave as own-root.

If your Scepter'd Isle is grafted on Dr. Huey ... the doctor likes it alkaline, and topping with lime pellets would help with the black spots. But excessive calcium from lime would drive down potassium, so potassium should be supplied via red-lava rocks on top, and NOT sulfate of potash (this has salt, plus acidic, which will worsen the black spots).

After topping with lime pellets and some lava rocks (has iron for growth), I would feed Scepter'd Isle with alfalfa tea, perfect NPK of 2-1-2, which will prompt new leaves to form.
Good luck with that rose. If you plant it deep, like 6" below, it will form its own-root easily. My best blooming Knock-out was the one with both Dr. Huey, and its own-root.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 2:58PM
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Thanks Strawberry, The Sceptre'd Isle is grafted from Austin direct so must be Dr. Huey but planted deep so hopefully it'll develop it's own roots.Thanks for the heads-up on GC as well. I'm trying to decide on my rose purchase for next year and want to go with own root if available. How are David Austin's bare root own root compared to Roses Unlimited potted? I've ordered from RU in the past and found them to be of excellent quality but have never ordered Austin own root bare roots so don't know how big the root system is on the Austins in comparison to the potted roses from RU.
Thanks for any info.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 4:09PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I stay away from products that promote to much top growth to quickly as our insects problems get a lot worse here.
That's why I like organics and top dressing with my homemade compost or manure.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 4:49PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Since making the below post I checked with other rose forums and other growers of the Carefree Sunshine rose.
I'm just not quit sure or not if Alfalfa Meal is to blame for our two Carefree Sunshine roses not blooming well???
I'll update this subject in the future...

"This past bad winter our two Carefree Sunshines got winterkilled to almost the ground so in May I gave them both some Alfalfa Meal and topped that off with my compost. Well so far here in early July I only got 3 blooms off the one CS and none so far off the other CS...:-/
Nice bushes but hardly any blooms... :-/
Their is another type of rose bush between the two CS which only got compost and it bloomed its head off!
All the other roses that did not get Alfalfa Meal bloomed very well too! So I do not think I'll ever use alfalfa meal again... I'm alittle shocked at the outcome... Hopefully the two Carefree Sunshines bloom better in the fall..."

This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Jul 7, 14 at 18:54

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 5:18PM
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Hi Jim, there is so much differing info. I recall Celestial Rose of NH swore by the use of Alfalfa tea. I have an approximately 10 year old Griffith Buck own root "Folksinger" rose that died to the ground in our very cold Massachusetts winter this year. I cut it back to the roots in late April and hoped for the best. The rose is absolutely loaded with flowers and buds and has never looked healthier or been more prolific and it has not been fertilized for several years. I also cut back a knockout to the ground due to severe winterkill and this one is loaded with buds and gorgeous new growth too. It does seem that we need to experiment like Strawberry does to find out which particular roses like which particular formula/environment. It all gets really confusing but at least we have a wealth of information to digest and different formulas to try until we hit on the one that works best for our particular finicky roses. I'll be trying the lime and lava rocks that Strawberry suggested on my Sceptre'd Isle to see if this will help with her black spot issues.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 6:19PM
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Here's a close up pic of "Folksinger" rose. The flowers last just a few days, very little scent but beautiful anyway :)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 6:21PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I spread 1 cup of Dr Earth 2-1-2 Alfalfa Meal around and within the dripline of those two roses and covered with homemade compost.
I have never tried Alfalfa Tea (Liquid)...

Anyhow those two roses are not blooming well...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 7:04PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: Thank you for posting pictures of your roses. I love the dark-green & healthy foliage, and the nice bloom of Folksinger rose. I talked to my sister who lives in South Windsor, CT ... her Sweet Williams perennials are so impressive, that a garden club stopped by to take pictures.

With regard to own-root from David Austin versus from Roses Unlimited. There was a past thread on that, see below link:

Folks report own-root from David-Austin was slow to establish the 1st year, plus virused. Not so with own-roots from Roses Unlilmited ... I planted them in the ground in hot July, and get big blooms on Radio Times. Own-roots from Chamblee in Texas are even bigger than Roses Unlimited .. each pot came with 2 to 3 blooms. I like that instant gratification.

I agree with Jim that alfalfa meal promotes growth at the expense of blooms if put ON TOP as solids. I got 6 foot tall tomatoes that way, and 6 feet canes on Austin roses, less blooms when topped with alfalfa. Why? Nitrogen mobility is a 10, moves down easily, versus less mobile potassium (3 mobility), and can't move phosphorus (1 mobility).

But alfalfa tea is different, with both phosphorus and potassium being released if soaked for a few days. Some Alfalfa has NPK of 2.5-1-2, much higher nitrogen. From my experience, I think the NPK of 2.5 nitrogen is more accurate. That's why I only use alfalfa if a rose loses all its leaves, or too tiny.

I no longer buy alfalfa due to the cost, plus the huge-size bag. I prefer balanced fertilizer like Pennington Alaska fish pellets NPK 4-6-6, with alfalfa meal, kelp meal, fish bone meal, and sulfate of potash. They also sell similar bag with NPK 6-6-6. I made tea with those pellets, gave to my tomatoes in the backyard. I like the less foliage, more fruits, and darker-green look. That's sold for a small bag at Menards & Home Depot for $7.99, plus there's very little smell, even when I soak them for a few days in a bucket.

Picture below is Austin rose Radio Times which bloomed right after I planted them, bought as own-root in July from Roses Unlimited:

Here is a link that might be useful: Pellets with alfafa meal at NPK 4-6-6

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 19:30

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 7:15PM
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hi Strawberry-Does your sister grow roses too? South Windsor is about 40 miles from me. I'm east of Springfield and she's a bit south. It's such a pretty area of the state near the Connecticut River Valley.
Thanks for the compliment on my Folksinger rose. This is one very neglected rose that blooms her heart out anyway. I'll be moving her soon, I'm just waiting for her to take a blooming rest so I don't have to sacrifice her pretty blooms then Lady of Shalott will take her place in my fragrant bed.
Your Radio Times rose is stunning as are all your roses!!! You definitely have the magic! How is its reputation for black spot? I'm hoping by using your various tips I won't have to spray even though our area is notorious for it. How is scent? The color looks gorgeous. Is she a good bloomer? How tall is she for you? I have room for 8 more roses in another front bed and want to use pinks, yellows and cream/white. I love your Mary Magdalene too, she is luscious, and have read your high praise of her so I think she is on the must have list :) RU doesn't list her but Angel gardens and Heirloom Roses do. Heirlooms tend to be tiny tho.
I have tried making alfalfa tea in the past but like you had a ton of pellets left over and wound up feeding them to the squirrels. I'll definitely try the Pennington fertilizer tea.
I have an order waiting from Chamblee's scheduled to ship in Sept. I'm not sure if I should postpone shipping to next spring though, the roses might not have time to settle in before the bitter cold hits, especially if we have a repeat of last winter. Not extremely cold but steadily and long.
Thanks for the info on DA own root. I'll order from Chamblee's or RU instead but will wait for spring for that. So many choices, so little space!!
Again, thanks immensely for all your help and taking the time to answer in such detail.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 7:55AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: My sister doesn't grow roses, but exotic fruits & veggies ... she event tried to grow a banana tree.

This weekend I bought Carding Mill from Heirloom no-shipping-charge sale. I haven't received a confirmation from them, so it might be out. A friend visited Chicago Botanical garden with 100+ Austin roses. She informed that Carding Mill is the best looking among the bunch: pretty bush & flower & nice scent.

If you receive gallon-size from Chamlee's in early September, grow them in pot to become 2-gallon root-ball, then plant them 6" below ground level ... they survive winter easily. I did that to tiny bands Jude the Obscure and Sharifa Asma early August: put 1/2 cup Tomato Tone & 1/2 cup gypsum in the potting soil, then watered with diluted molasses for iron & potassium & calcium, plus 1 teas. sulfate of potash to 4 teas. blood meal.

NPK of sulfate of potash is 0-0-50, NPK of blood meal is 12-0-0. Multiply 12 in blood meal by 4 you'll get 48, which is close enough to 50 in sulfate of potash.

In hydroponics experiments, the best root growth was achieved with 1 part nitrogen, 1/2 phosphorus, 2 parts potassium, 1/2 calcium, and 1/4 magnesium. That's why the professional potting soil has dolomitic lime added (for calcium & magnesium). Since pots leach out nitrogen more than hydroponics setting, I use equal amount of nitrogen and potassium. But my clay is retentive like a hydroponics-setting, so I use twice more potassium than nitrogen for the ground.

I mixed gypsum into the soil for my alkaline tap-water (pH 8), since gypsum's 17% sulfur neutralizes the BAD calcium hydroxide in tap water. Radio Times is VERY THORNY and likes it alkaline. I keep it since its scent is just as good as Gertrude Jekyll, but with faster repeat.

Austin roses that like it alkaline are black-spot prone in acidic soil, so they do much better as own-roots. These are: Scepter'd Isle, Pat Austin, Radio Times (100% healthy next to my limestone patio), Golden Celebration, Evelyn and Mary Magadalene. I keep praising how healthy these are in my pH 7.7 soil, but English folks spoke of them as BS-fest.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 11:08AM
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Hi Strawberry~ I just placed an order with Heirloom too. Free shipping is too good to pass up. I purchased Eden climber, against my better judgement, but her flowers are just too gorgeous to pass up, I hope she'll bloom even a little as there are such mixed reviews of her. I also ordered non Austin "Cream Abundance" and "CL Compassion" for a friend plus Molineaux, Charlotte, and Sharifa Asma. I really want Mary Magdalene due to your glowing praise of her but everyone is out :( for own root right now and Austin doesn't have her own root but she's on my must have list for next year as is Carding Mill.
As for Chamblee's: plant in 2 gal pots for now. How long would you leave them in the pot before planting? I'm a little warmer than you, zone 6a. I have Macy's Pride, Belinda's Dream and a couple Austins coming the first week of Sept. Should I winter protect with cones or some kind of covering?
Once gain thanks so much. With your seemingly endless advice and willingness to help I think I stand a chance of finally growing some beautiful roses!!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:11PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: Those are great bargain. Carding Mill is STILL on sale at Heirloom, but it's NOT listed in the Austin section. If you type "Carding Mill" in Heirloom's search box, it will pop up Carding Mill.

For Austin in pots, I planted them a week or 2 before Thanksgiving, and put the rootball 6" below soil, then mound another 3" on top. Haven't lost an Austin once the root ball is grown to 2-gallon-size, before planting deep.

If you don't have Jude the Obscure, I would rank that above Mary Magdalene just for the scent alone. I'm debating if I should get a second Jude, lots of people do since it's stingy, but gives the utmost satisfaction of any rose that I have ever grown. In Cantigny rose park of 1,200 roses, Jude the Obscure got most photographed & marveled at for its beauty and scent.

Growing roses without spray is a challenge, so I share my mistakes this summer for others' benefits. Jim with acidic clay made the same observation as I do in my alkaline clay: MiracleGro, or any chemical fertilizer is bad for plants, plus alfalfa products promote growth at the expense of blooms.

It rained all night, plus humidity above 60%. Every single rose that got 2 applications of MiracleGro broke out in black spots. What's diseases? It's a result of out-of-whack with nature, and chemical fertilizers do just that. Manure & organics are released slowly at small-dose, but chemical fertilizer in such big dose can really stress plants. Sulfate of potash and gypsum are a natural products, mined from the earth ... still best in low-dose.

Proof that ground limestone, and ground dolomitic lime is DIFFERENT from chemical hydrated lime in tap water. I spread lots of gritty limestone on Radio Times, still 100% clean and plenty of buds now. That's a contrast to my watering roses with pH 8 tap-water, and don't get blooms. Honestly I witnessed alfalfa-on- top hurt the blooming ability of roses, more so than limestone at pH 9.

Jim made the same observation, and I found that pH of alfalfa is 5.7, quite acidic, which will induce black spots, and isn't best for acidic clay. It's NOT good for my alkaline clay either, since at pH 7.7 I'm short on potassium, but plenty of nitrogen. Here's the info. on alfalfa meal:

•pH 5.7
•Total Nitrogen (N) - 3.0%
•Available Phosphate (P2O5) - 1.0%
•Soluble Potash - (K2O) - 2.0%

The below link lists NPK of alfalfa meal at 2.5-1-1, and that's the most accurate assessment. For alfalfa to have NPK of 2-1-2 would require soaking in water, in hot sun, to release the potassium-component.

I'll go ahead and order Jude as a 2nd plant in my garden. Just got an e-mail from Heirloom that my Carding Mill order went through. Great deal at $17.50, compare to $31.71 per rose if I had bought from Chamblee in Texas ($11.95 plus $19.76 shipping cost just for one rose).

Here is a link that might be useful: Aflafa meal composition.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 2:10PM
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Hi Strawberry, thanks for the planting info. Would you pot your Heirloom order in 2 gallon pots and wait to plant these as well? What do you use for potting soil?
I just ordered 2 Jude the Obscure and 2 Carding Mill, (still want Mary Magdalene too, especially for her small size) so now I have about 12 roses coming!!! You're such an enabler!!! Hopefully I'll be able to coax Jude to bloom seeing he is known to be a bit on the stingy side. Do you have any tricks to get him to give you some blooms?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 5:22PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: It's so much fun to order on-line, and receive roses at one's front door, it's like Christmas in June. I have these pretty Styrofoam pots, but they are lousy in growing roses. They have flat-bottom, so water can't drain out, I have to drill holes at the sides, 1" above. Plus when I pull the root-ball out ... the pots are sticky, so I lose roots. OK for roses to be wintered in the garage.

Cheap plastic-containers are much better ($5 each). The new ones have indentations at the bottom, for air-flow & good drainage. Plus the root ball slide off easily, when transferred to the ground. For potting soil, I lean toward regular MiracleGro, with 6.5 pH, rather than MiracleGro Moisture Control, with neutral pH. My tap water pH is 8.

My best root-growth was with MG ORGANIC potting soil with more composted pine fines, and less peat moss. Peatmoss can be too dense for optimal root growth. There's a research on pepper-seedlings where they compare the results of different potting soil: regular MG, Moisture-control, or Organic. The organic potting soil gave the best result for pepper-seedlings, due to better-drainage.

Sharifa Asma is a good substitute for Mary Magdalene. Sharifa has prettier flower, but Mary has better bush-beauty. Mary gives more blooms than Sharifa, but Sharifa beat Jude in blooming. All three: Mary, Sharifa, and Jude have outstanding scents. Sharifa is compact like Mary, Jude is taller.

Last year Jude-band gave me 2 blooms in 4 months. This year some bands I got from Burlington was only 3" tall & no leaves ... but I made all 5 bands (Comte de Chambord, La Reine, Barcelona, Rose du Roi, Duchess de Rohan) to have 4+ buds within 2 months. Same stuff as Jude in the pot: 1/2 cup Tomato Tone, 1/2 cup gypsum. But the tea I made from soaking Pennington Alaska pellets made leaves dark-green, and more blooms .. thanks to its NPK 4-6-6 (alfalfa, blood meal, fish bone meal, sulfate of potash, kelp meal).

In University of Kentucky research on organic fertilizers, Omega 6-6-6 (blood meal, bone meal, sulfate of potash) BEAT fish emulsion in plant weight and flowering. They used 1 teaspoon of Omega 6-6-6 per gallon of water, 3 times a week.

My 2 most stingy Austins: Jude and Eglantyne as own-roots, are too wimpy to fetch nutrients from soil, and have to be spoon-fed with liquid fertilizer. After a brutal zone 5a winter, Jude was 6" tall in May, produced 3 blooms for its 1st flush ....only after being fed with tea. Brewer's yeast gave stingy Eglantyne extra push .. now taller than Jude, with 5 buds for 2nd flush. I used 1/2 tablespoon per gallon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alaska Pennington 3 lbs. for $7.97

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 7, 14 at 19:23

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 7:10PM
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This is all so interesting, informative and fascinating but a lot to digest.I have been saving it all in microsoft word so it will be easily accessible for reference later on. When you make the Pennington fertilizer tea how much do you use per gallon of water and how often do you apply it? Is the brewers yeast powdered? I'm not sure that I can find a ready source for that in my area as we don't have many organic/natural food stores in the area.
I have had Sharifa Asma in the past but she died in the winter years ago before I really knew what I was doing. This was before the age of the easily accessible internet so there wasn't much info. available at your fingertips as there is now.
I got email confirmation for my Carding Mill and Jude order from Heirloom but not my first bigger order. I'm hoping that all the plants I ordered are available so I'll get a jump on next spring :) We still have some major work to do in one of the gardens I'm planning including the removal of the UGLIEST paper birch tree. It is about 25 years old, half dead, not very white and in danger of pulling the utility wires from our house if it gets bent in an ice or heavy snow storm so it's coming down in the fall, yippee!! More sunny area for roses! I think I'll raise the bed 8 inches and fill with the wonderful custom blend soil from a local farmer. We have this in another bed. This raised bed is at least 15 years old and the soil is still as loose as the day we made the raised bed. Such a pleasure to plant in compared to the rest of my yard that seems to have a boulder no matter where you sink a shovel; makes planting roses in those deep holes a real challenge so the raised beds get all the best roses ;-)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 8:22PM
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hi Jim, I hope I didn't come off as being argumentative on the Alfalfa meal. As Strawberry noted Celestialrose used alfalfa tea, maybe that made the difference. It seems what works for one rose grower doesn't work for someone else. I didn't have any luck with the alfalfa either, even in tea form, so individual growing environments seem to have a huge impact on what works for one but not another. Some growers praise Buck "Quietness" rose for blackspot resistance but as an own root rose mine was a mess, didn't thrive, maybe produced 2 flowers, lost almost all of her leaves to blackspot and died in my zone 6a winter yet this is one of CR's favorite roses in her zone4 garden. The Folksinger rose that I posted pics of was literally cut back to the ground this spring and has never looked healthier, yet this rose has had no fertilizer in years. Growing healthy roses seems to be a hit or miss proposition at best. I value your, Strawberryhill and all the other posters who take the time to answer a re-introduced "newbie" to the wonderful world of roses.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:10AM
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Hi Strawberry and Jim, thanks again for all the info. My Home Depot doesn't carry the Pennington but it can be ordered through them but takes about 2 weeks to get here!! so I guess I'll order it as no nurseries around here stock it.
I also have some very large potted grafted DA's that are doing well in their pots. Would you wait to plant these until it cools off a bit? Temps in 90's today with relative humidity of 92. Should I wait until early Sept. to plant these to minimize stress? The nursery I bought them from fertilized with Rosetone and sprayed for BS so they are very clean and growing nicely with lots of buds. I'd hate to have to debud them to avoid tip wilt. Should I move them to a more shaded area? These are 3 Munstead Woods, 3 Windermere, and 3 St. Cecelia and are in huge round Austin pots. The Sceptre'd Isle that I'm having such trouble with was one of these grafted, potted roses so I'm wondering if it's better to wait until the intense heat and humidity die down.
Thanks for any advice.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:10AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: You are right that roses are different from each other, plus different soil & climate. That's why I don't tell others what to do, I only speak for myself. That's what I like about the posters in this forum ... we all speak from own experiences.

I want to experiment more with Brewer's yeast, that's why I bought a 2nd Jude the Obscure. Not sure on the dosage on that. With Pennington Alaska fertilizer, I put 1 cup per 5-gallon bucket of water, and let it sit in hot sun for a few days ...NOT stinky like alfalfa tea. When the weather is dry & sunny, it's time to make tea. When it gets unbearably hot & humid, then I pour a bit on each rose, before it rains.

Hot & full-sun is essential to break down the nutrients of those pellets. Willow branches have rooting hormone, but folks have to boil the branches, or else let it sit in hot sun, for the hormones to be released. Same with the growth hormone in alfalfa meal, also a component of Pennington.

The left-over solids is full of nutrients. I dumped the solids on Comte de Chambord, and for the current 2nd flush, it has at least 10 buds as a tiny plant, 1' x 1'. Same with my 2nd batch, I dumped the solids on wimpy Mirandy next to tree, lots of basal breaks & buds.

I learn from my neighbor, a Ph.D. in Botany & Biology, as to the easiest way to kill a tree. He used a pick-ax and shave 4 large pieces from the outer bark of the lower trunk, like peeling an orange. It's a simulation of severe rabbit-chewing, which is very effective in killing a tree. He killed 4 aggressive willow trees that way, they decayed slowly, thus easier to remove.

Sharon, forget to inform you that the gallon-size own-root Austin roses are very vigorous, NO need to plant them in pots 1st. I planted own-root Scepter'd Isle bought from Chamblee's in Texas right into my clay. Two months later I dug it up, and the root more than double-in-size. Austin catalog lists the climber-varieties: Jude the Obscure, Tess, Scepter'd Isle, Golden Celebration, Abraham Darby, Crown Princess Mag., Evelyn, Graham Thomas, Teasing Georgia, Heritage, James Galway, Lady of Shallot, Strawberryhill.

All the climber-varieties are best as own-root: more compact & healthier, and less demand on water. I like my own-root Jude the Obscure, after seeing the rose-park grafted-Jude being over 6 feet tall, and only one bloom on top ... will need a ladder to sniff that one. Jude is stingy whether grafted or own-root .. I suspect it has to do with the right soil & right nutrients for blooming.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:21AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: High temp. and high humidity means rain is coming, GREAT for planting in the ground !! I planted gallon-size roses in hot & dry before, no problems if you water the pots 1st, and prep-the soil well.

I have Le Nia Rias, an old garden rose that I got from last July .. it doesn't bloom whatsoever. Last week I dug that up, and the clay was rock-hard ... so I broke it up with 1 part gypsum, 1 part red-lava-rocks, 1 part cracked corn, and pine-barks to lower my high pH. I dunked the root in a bucket of water while I worked on the soil. I planted the rose, and watered with 1 teas. sulfate of potash per 2 gallon rain water (pH 5.6).

Now it's 100% perky, big surprise since I moved many roses (at least 10) in the past, they are always droopy for at least 1 month .. could be from my alkaline tap water at pH 8, driving down potassium, necessary for root growth.

So high humidity & high heat means rain is coming .. and rain-water is best for rooting. Not sure why that rose is perky, even after being dug up. The only thing I do differently is gypsum, cracked corn, Tomato-tone, and sulfate of potash & rain water. The same thing happened to Eglantyne when I dug up early November, same recipe, except I left the rose lying on the ground, and went inside to spend 1 hour fixing lunch for my kid. It was perky after I planted it, and survived the most brutal zone 5a winter, with temp. below -25 degree.

I think the air-pockets created by fluffing-up the soil, plus sulfate of potash & acidic rain water, helped with the transplant-shock.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:39AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.


"hi Jim, I hope I didn't come off as being argumentative on the Alfalfa meal"


Actually no you did not and you got me to thinking...Thanks! I started looking into Alfalfa Meal alittle more and I started having some doubts. I put that alfalfa meal under those two roses in Mid May. Most of our roses start blooming late May to early June. It would of took alittle time for that alfalfa meal to break down and start feeding the rose bushes also. Both those Carefree Sunshines should of started making buds before mid May (before application of Alfalfa Meal BUT they did not form any buds. So I'm thinking it is some other factor that came into play...
So I'm just going to observe these two Carefree Sunshine the rest of the year and see what happens...
I have one CS rose bush that has not even given me a bloom yet this year... (0) And I see no buds yet... :-/

Mostly everyone I contacted that grows Carefree Sunshine says its one of there best roses and they get a lot of blooms with fast rebloom and no BS.

This post was edited by jim1961 on Tue, Jul 8, 14 at 11:01

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:51AM
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It really is a bit like playing at mad scientist don't you think? At least we won't be blowing up the basement! I'm not as brave as Strawberry in experimenting with the various organics, maybe when my baby roses are better established I might get a bit braver, or just keep letting her experiment and learn from her successes and disasters ;-)
I had Carefree Sunshine but it didn't survive a brutally cold winter a few years back. Of course I also didn't really know what I was doing so I possibly contributed to its demise, I'm hoping for better success this go round but I loved the color and the showy stamens and am considering a few singles or near single roses. I have very few sunny areas in my yard so I want to dedicate the space to showy, fragrant, to die for roses, hence the Prima Donna Austins. I'm hoping with everyone's helpful advice and willingness to share it that I'll have a modicum of success. I'm also planting some lesser diva's like Bolero, Julia Child, Belinda's Dream, Bucks etc. so my rose gardens aren't completely planted with roses that will require a lot of pampering. But with your and Strawberry's helpful advice I think I might be pleasantly surprised with my success.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:10AM
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Hi Strawberry, Thanks for the info. on Pennington. I need to order it since I can't find it locally. How often do you use it? I don't want to overfeed. Brewers yeast sounds intriguing. I'll be watching for your results with that experiment :)
We tend to have high humidity and no rain here. The forecast only has a 20% chance of scattered thunderstorms for tonight, then sun the rest of the week. I still don't understand how we can have such high humidity yet it doesn't rain! We go days with super humidity and no rain or it will rain some but still be humid when it's done. Many local towns have watering bans in effect, some since April. We seem to get buckets of rains now that come in a deluge then no rain for 2 weeks. I get so tired of dragging a hose around to constantly water the plants. Even my echinaceas droop from the heat and lack of rain, even the weeds wilt!
Is your water town or well? Our well water is alkaline ph 7.8. I haven't tested rain water yet. I really need to put out a clean container for the next time it rains to test it. We used to have wicked acidic rain from the pollution from the coal fired electric power plants in Ohio traveling on the easterly winds but I don't think it's as bad now.
Should I soak the pots for a couple days before planting? Do I remove the leaves that will be buried? These are grafted Austins, the pots are the huge gift rose pots-12 inch diameter by 10 inches high- so they don't dry out too quickly. If the top growth and buds start drooping do I cut the buds off or just keep an eye on things before doing something so drastic? I've also read that the roses can be draped with light colored damp fabric like sheeting to help diminish evaporation. These get late morning/early afternoon sun-10:00 to around 3:30, so they spend the hottest part of the day in full sun.

grafted St. Cecelia potted rose

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:42AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

We had a brutal winter last year and most of the top growth on both our Carefree Sunshines was winterkilled to almost the ground.

This may of stunted them? But I still feel they should be blooming better as each CS bush is 18"-20" tall and wide. We have one band rose here that has only been planted in the ground for 2 months and it has produced more blooms than both our Carefree Sunshines put together so far this year... :-/

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:18PM
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I don't know Jim. My Folksinger has a lot of buds and she was winterkilled to the ground and I cut it back to a stump. Yet she has great healthy growth and tons of buds. I also have a knockout rose that also suffered severe winter kill and this one has tons of new growth and buds too, neither one was fertilized at all. It seems that you're correct in assuming it's the alfalfa that caused the problem seeing that your roses that weren't fertilized with it are fine, not that I'm much of an expert ;-)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:50PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I'm tempted to apply brewers yeast to both Carefree Sunshines and see what happens. Brewers Yeast would be disolved in water then applied.

I think I will right now! I see 2 buds on one CS bush but no other activity. That bush had 4 blooms prior this year and that was it.
Our other CS bush shows no activity and has not bloomed at all this year.

Lets see if Brewers Yeast can help........

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:02PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Please try the Brewer's yeast .. I would love to know the result. I'm mad at myself for testing MiracleGro Soluble fertilizer on that many roses to cause black spots. I checked the ones without MG: Radio Times is 100% clean, next to a tree & crowded with tomato. Same with my other Austins without MG.

Lesson well-learned: If I test something, test on only one rose, in case the outcome is bad. I should had learned from past 3 years of POTTING ROSES: 1st year were wimpy roots with MG soluble fertilizer. 2nd year roots were impressive with gypsum & sulfate of potash ... excellent health. This year I used soluble sulfate of potash & Pennington, but forgot to put gypsum in the pots, with more diseases.

Hi Sharon: I paste the questions you asked here: "Should I soak the pots for a couple days before planting? Do I remove the leaves that will be buried? If the top growth and buds start drooping do I cut the buds off or just keep an eye on things before doing something so drastic?"

Yes, I would water the pots well. To get the root balls out of the pot, I use a long knife and loosen at the edges, or better yet, a long & skinny shovel to loosen along the edges, before sliding the root ball out into the hole.

The bad cases of transfer: the tip would be droopy the next few days, I always trim them off. But the last 2 digging roses up: no droopy tips, it could be the over-nite rain we got before I dug them up.

Your St. Cecelia potted rose looks so big and healthy ... How do you like the scent on that one? Below is own-root Evelyn, after 2-weeks of rain & humid weather. It's 100% clean, no MG fertilizer on that one, only chicken manure & sulfate of potash in spring, and gritty lime top-dressing, plus a few red lava rocks.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 8, 14 at 22:54

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:55PM
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Good morning Jim and Strawberry~
Where do you both purchase brewers yeast? Is this powdered or pills that you crush? I'm interested in trying this too just to see how it effects growth. Hopefully this will be the push your stubborn Carefree Sunshine needs to start blooming for you.
Hi Strawberry~Thanks for the potting tip. I think I'll wait til these are done flowering before transplanting. I'd hate to have to sacrifice some buds to save the rose bush. And yes these are huge-over 2 feet tall grafted Austins. They also smell very nice, a soft sweet almost candylike scent, not at all overpowering but definitely noticable. I have some Munstead Woods, grafted and loaded with buds, that smell amazing. It truly is a wonderfully fragrant rose, the scent is intoxicating. Darcy Bussels has a heavenly scent and has been blooming like crazy. I also have Tamora Rose which has a strong nice scent too. These were all purchased from an Austin grower in NY. She buys bare root and pots them up in those huge pots. According to her rose care sheet she uses rose tone once a month, MG Rose plant food (pink box) and sprays for fungus control plus uses ortho and spectracide insecticides. I think the potted rose might have a slow release pelleted Miracle Gro for Roses added too. She also has an organic spray/fertilizer program for those like us who prefer the non environmental damage approach~Rose Tone once a month and keeping an eye on roses for disease and cleaning up any diseased leaves, plus mentions "Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew" for JB control. I bought both recommended MG's but after reading up on posts in the Organic Rose Forum I don't think I'll use them. I like the non chemical approach wherever possible.
No rain last night, humidity is still over 90% but cooler temps for the rest of the week but no rain in the foreseeable future. I'm starting to think I live in a CA desert rather than rainy, dreary New England. We are having another abnormally dry conditions for Worcester County which runs from RI/CT border to NH border. This is the only area of the state that has these dry conditions. I think this is the 4th year in a row. It's so frustrating to have to hand water all the time not to mention being nervous about draining our well. I fill some barrels in the spring for water. We don't have gutters on our house, we lost them in 2009 when we had record snow and ice. We had ice dams form in them and had damage to 8 ceilings so we haven't replaced them. Very crazy and frustrating weather patterns.
But enough of the rant!! I think I'll go outside and play in my garden before the sun hits. The housework will just have to wait ;-)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:03AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: THANK YOU so much for taking the time to write on the scents of various Austins & bloom rate, and how the nursery fertilized pots. Rosetone once a month is a good idea (thanks for the tip). Chamblee nursery in Texas recommends soluble every 2 weeks. I re-post:

Tomato Tone, NPK 3-4-6 with gypsum.

RoseTone, NPK 4-3-2. Both TomatoTone and RoseTone have Feather meal, chicken manure, bone meal, alfalfa meal, green sand, humates, and sulfate of potash.

Pennington Alaska pellets, NPK 4-6-6 has Alfalfa meal, blood meal, fish bone meal, sulfate of potash, and kelp meal. This has the most nutrients, plus kelp meal to deepen blooms' colors & make leaves dark-green.

I'm leaning toward fish-stuff, considering that Prickles (Bailey) got over 150 blooms on his Young Lycidas in a pot, with salmon scraps and shrimp shells.

Sharon, I wish I can share my rain with you. Too much rain this year. When our house was built, the builder didn't put a gutter in the front roof. So I called 5 roofers. The biggest company asked for $1,000. A local roofer asked for $200. A local Mexican group asked for $200. I went with the Mexican group ... best job done ever !!

My husband's car broke down, he knew it was a faulty alternator, so he took that out, and brought to Nappa-auto-parts to test. They tested it wrong, and said it's OK. So he went to the dealer-shop, the dealer could not find anything wrong, and charged him $$$. The car broke down again, he was mad that they didn't fix it, yet he had to pay. He brought the car to a friend (small shop), the friend installed a new alternator, and the car runs great for the past years.

Big doesn't mean better, the bigger the company, the more it costs. My brother-in-law brought his brand-new car to Walmart for an oil change. The worker put the wrong fluid instead of oil. It wrecked the car, with thousands of damage. Luckily Walmart paid for it.

I sniffed Munstead Wood, great fruity scent, that's on my wish-list. Darcy Bussell was on sale years ago, I didn't know it's fragrant, so I didn't get it. Grafted-on-Dr. Huey is good for dry soil, but still lousy in high pH water for Austin.

The rose park's 1,200 roses are grafted, some floribunda like Gene Boerner can bloom well with alkaline tap, but Austins are stingy, no matter how much tap water given. Austin roses bloom best when it's slightly acidic, like rain water at pH 5.6.

During our 2011 drought, I watered my own-root roses with pH 8 hard-well-water. The result? Nitrogen got through resulting in tall roses, but zero blooms as potassium got bind up with calcium hydroxide in tap water. Folks soften their hard water with potassium-chloride.

Since that time I used 1 part sulfate of potash & 1/2 gypsum plus Wholesome Organic molasses (for iron & high potassium & calcium & zero salt) .... I fixed my pH 8 tap-water: 1 to 2 teaspoon of that mix, per 2 gallon-water. I made Radio Times and Evelyn bloomed continuously with that approach.

Aztcqn recommended Lewis Labs for best-tasting Brewer's Yeast. I'm choking on my NOW-brand, cheap, but nasty-taste. I'll use that for roses, and buy the Lewis-Lab for myself. See below for Lewis Labs brewer's yeast on Amazon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best-tasting brewer's yeast Lewis Labs

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Wed, Jul 9, 14 at 10:34

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:04AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I applied the Brewers yeast at 2.5 TBS in 2 gallons of water to each Carefree Sunshine rose bush...

I use Miracle Gro potting soil but have never in my life used MG fertilizer yet and probably never will.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:04PM
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Hi Strawberry~I know what you mean, we do as much as we can, ourselves, as possible. My husband has great mechanical ability, he designed and installed heating and AC systems for over 30 years until recently getting employment at our local utility. He can repair almost anything to the point where I'm disappointed if he can't fix it. He even rescues our kids computers when they download viruses. A pretty handy guy to have around!! After 37 years of marriage, today, I think I'll keep him ;-) We tend to deal with the small businesses when possible. I got a flat one time, the local guy didn't have the tire so sent me to BJ's. They were $7 less than his price and I waited over 4 hours before I decided to go home. Road the donut til the next day and went back to the local guy. I have more important, fun things to do with my time than sit around 4 hours to save $7!!. A friend of ours had a floor installed by Lowes 3 times before they got it right. He was without a kitchen floor for 2 years and probably saved about $50 for all the headaches. The smaller businesses depend on their reputation to survive so pleasing their small customer base matters way more than HD, Lowes, etc. where you're just one in millions.

My husband recently installed an arbor and picket fence around my new rose garden and raised one of the beds that was a lower height than the rest so the fence was level all around. Some posts required really tricky angles to fit this oddly shaped geometric bed but he managed it and it looks great. I can't wait til the arbor is draped in roses. I have 2 Compassion roses bought from Brushwood Nursery this spring on one. No black spot, gorgeous peachy pink tea rose type blossoms, already on its 3rd bloom since mid may and smells heavenly. The other arbor will be planted with Clair Matin Rose which has gotten rave reviews here. Right now it's in a large pot. I just got this form Heirloom a couple weeks ago so still very tiny but putting out new growth. Right now I've only used cracked corn for fertilizer, should I add some tomato tone. I still don't have any Pennington for tea. I really need to order some from HD, maybe even a few bags to keep on hand.

We live in a very expensive state, everything is expensive. I was reading about a curb appeal project in This Old House. The homeowner had their gorgeous Victorian home, scraped, sanded calked and painted for $500.!! My neighbor got a price of $7000.00 to paint her Cape Cod stairwell and wainscotted hallway. The paint job was more expensive than the custom millwork including the hand made raised panel wainscot that the builder of both of our homes did. A different contractor painted it for $2500. I worked for this contractor in the early 80's and he was getting $2-3000.00 for a paint job then, so yes we do most everything ourselves or pay our son who loves carpentry work to do things for us. My husband is meticulous but HATES any wood working projects. I tend to do these myself, the miter saw and jig saw are mine :-)

As for the roses, Darcy has a nice scent, not super strong like Mustead but I think her flowers are prettier, more vibrant blend of fuscia into dark burgundy purple, MW seems more dusky, and DB has a nicer form and far less thorns and seems to be cleaner so far than MW. She is own root Austin from the vendor in NY. I think 2 years old and seems very vigorous. I see a lot of new growth on her. MW, grafted, is putting out new growth as well. MW is more fragrant, but DB in my opinion is overall a prettier rose. I would definitely buy her again from what I've seen so far.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:22PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Sharon, I appreciate the above info., and enjoy reading your posts very much. Would love to see pics. of your roses !!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Hi Strawberry~ I'll try to get some pics when the garden is finished. Right now it's a mess as it's still in the planning stage, but it's beginning to take shape.
I got email notification from Heirloom that my roses will be shipping July 11. I'm hoping I get all of them. I checked their website and most of the ones I ordered are still listed as "in stock" except for Carding Mill and Jude so I'm assuming that they're not back ordered but the notice is very confusing.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 6:16PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I case anyone did not see my other thread.
Our Carefree Sunshines were not blooming because of Rose Midge problems....

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 4:29PM
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Hi Jim, that stinks but at least you know the cause. So many problems with insect damage. I have some new bug eating my roses. I don't know if it's a mutated Japanese Beetle because I only get these now and no JBs, but it's loving my roses and astilbe blossoms. It's dull brownish gray with darker stripes, not shiny like the pic. It's getting a bath in soapy water, hehe. I've looked on line to see if I can figure out what it is but so far no luck. Any clue what it might be? I also have little black squiggly bugs in the flowers that I've never seen before.

Rose eating beetle

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:24PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: that's a great shot of a beetle in bubble-bath !!

I can't figure that out either. I saw my 1st JB yesterday, killed it. Can't find any today, but I set my trap FAR AWAY on a tree. Our cool & wet weather discourages beetle, plus the birds are plenty here.

I receive confirmation from Heirloom on my roses ordered before 4th of July, and Jude, which I ordered on Monday July 7. But no confirmation whatsoever on Carding Mill. No loss if they don't have it, since I prefer Lady Emma Hamilton. That's my wish-list for next year. Please let me know when you receive your many roses from Heirloom, thanks.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:50PM
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Hi Strawberry, I think this is an oriental beetle, I found a pic. on a U-MASS Amherst sight

and that's what it looks like. Apparently we get both of these scourges, that's how lucky we are!! The beetle traps are supposed to work with these too. I really need to get it set up in the woods across the street. Luckily we are pretty rural so there are many places I can put these that are far away from my roses. Our road is 1/2 mile long with only 11 houses so lots of undeveloped space I can take advantage of.
I received confirmation from Heirloom on my purchase too but I'm not sure what is coming. It states 0 shipped next to almost everything except "Cream Abundance" a non Austin rose that growers rave about but if I go to their sight all the roses I ordered are still available so I'll just have to see what comes in the mail. I have a Strawberry Hill Rose that needs to be planted. I've read good and bad on it. Do you have it since it is your namesake :-). Robert on English Rose Forum had an absolutely gorgeous pic of it and said it is one of his favorites, but he's in England now, transplanted from CA so not anywhere near the same climate as us.

All my recently planted potted Austin roses are looking pretty sad,...I think I should have waited til fall to plant the them. It's just too hot for them. The potted ones that I haven't planted yet are looking way better, sending up new growth, the recently planted ones are not doing much of anything. I hope they survive as they were pretty expensive. I disbudded and hope that will help. My Heirloom bands are potted up and sending up new growth so that's something. My 2 Compassion roses are growing nicely, one is on her third round of buds already and virtually no bs so I hope they'll be relatively fuss free. I'll just keep watering the Austins I planted and hope for the best.

My mystery roses are doing fine. I think they're Cinderella and Elegant Fairytale but the tags are gone. Both shades of pink,one more candy pink with dark pink buds, one paler pink with pale pink buds, no scent, one has new growth that is burgundy/green the other has green new growth. I posted in "Name that rose" but haven't gotten any response yet. Do you have any idea?

I also have Caramel fairytale, very pretty flowers, no scent, beautiful healthy dark green foliage and about 4 feet tall. These all need to be moved as I'm revamping this garden too but I'll wait til it cools off some. Still have loads of work to do but if I keep pecking away at it I should get it done before the snow flies ;-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 6:40PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Can you provide your new roses with some shade the hottest parts of the day until they look better?
Here we put porch chairs over them from 11am - 4pm and keep them well watered..
Our temps are probably not near as extreme as yours though.

I haven't seen any JB's yet... Thank the lord!
Do those oriental beetle's you have destroy roses too?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:23PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon and Jim: I have the same thought as Jim: shade roses with tall sticks & hang cloths to shade the roots. How's the texture of your soil, Sharon? Is it sandy, loamy, or clay? If it's heavy clay like mine, then there's not much transplant shock. If your soil is sandy, then constantly watering is needed.

Austin roses are big water-hogs. When I got Golden Celebration as a tiny band, I planted right into my clay... it wilted in hot sun, and I had to water it twice a day !! Now I don't even water it, or only once a week in hot temp.

I got bands, and gallon-sized roses with gunks of Osmocote fertilizer stuck inside, plus there's salt-accumulation from nursery's soluble MG ... so I always dunk the entire root-ball in 5-gallon container, to rinse off the fertilizer, before planting in my clay. Container is a much-wetter environment than soil.

With regard to the pictures: the first one looks more like Cinderella, and the second one looks more like Elegant fairytale (switching them around). HMF lists Cinderella bloom diameter as 4", and the blooms have DEEP petals. HMF lists Elegant Fairy tale as smaller bloom, 3.5", with shallow petals.

Last year I had a chance between Lyda rose and Strawberryhill, and I chose Lyda rose, since it has less thorns. Poor choice, Lyda died this past winter.

Sharon, I hope your planted roses improve. Dr. Huey likes alkaline clay. My neighbor planted a bunch of hybrid teas grafted on Dr. Huey in our rock-hard alkaline clay, pH 7.7, plus water with pH 8 tap ... and they were so healthy, with tons of blooms.

But when I planted Heirloom rose grafted on Dr. Huey, I made the soil neutral by: pine bark (pH 4.5), peat moss (pH 4), and alfalfa meal (pH 5.8) ... all acidic stuff. That rose HATED it, and went downhill.

That was before I experimented with gritty lime and see which rose likes it. The DARKER GREEN the leaves are, the more calcium required, and the more it thrives on higher pH. French Romantica roses and dark-green Stephen Big Purple did nothing, until I put gritty lime. Calcium helps with heat and drought-tolerance.

But Austin-own-root, bred in acidic soil England, hates that gritty lime and higher pH. In contrast, Dr. Huey is bred by by Captain George C. Thomas (United States, 1914). He lived in Beverly Hills, CA, with dry & alkaline soil, and alkaline tap water. I saw Perfume Delight rose, grafted on Dr. Huey, with super DARK-GREEN leaves, but zero blooms, plus mildew in a pot at Meijers, after weeks of rainy weather. Dr. Huey hates it wet & acidic ... he likes well-drained & alkaline.

Gypsum in the planting hole ,may NOT be best for Dr. Huey. One lb. of gypsum is equivalent to 5 lbs. of sulfur. When I googled, there are 2 different sides: one claimed that gypsum is neutral, the other claimed that gypsum is acidic.

My conclusion through using gypsum in many plants: it's VERY acidic, my fingers hate that stuff, so do earthworms. It burns. I WOULD NOT use gypsum on Dr. Huey .... he's very good in secreting acid, thus making roses grafted on him becomes dark-green.

One experiment worth doing is to spread a THIN layer of powder lime at pH 9, then water that in. Dr. Huey rootstock may like that ... in the same way dark-green leaves, pwn-root Romanticas and Stephen's Big Purple perked up with growth & buds when I spreaded gritty lime. But own-root paler-leaf roses hate that stuff.

I'll post Radio Times rose when I first bought it gallon-size from Roses Unlimited, so you'll see how pale own-root Austin roses are at my pH 7.7 clay ... they still bloom, if given balanced fertilizer with adequate of potassium. I got 40+ blooms on that Radio Times the following spring flush. All my own-root roses are like that, but the grafted roses on Dr. Huey have much darker leaves, thanks to acid secreted by the doctor-root-stock.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Hi Jim, thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to see what I can set up to shade these. I'm zone 6a MA so probably similar temps. to you but it has been abnormally dry here according to the Massachusetts drought conditions map. I've been watering everyday but they still seem stressed. Hopefully shading them will help.
As for the oriental beetle, YES, they are devouring my roses, not so much the leaves but the flowers and buds and eating my astilbe flowers too. I haven't seen any JBs yet but I'm sure that they'll be coming along shortly. What a curse these insects are!! I heard that chickens eat them but I haven't been able to convince my husband to get some ;-/

Hi Strawberry~Thanks for all the info. and the help with id-ing my roses. You're right, they are reversed. I looked at more pics at HMF and Elegant has the dark pink/salmon buds like mine and is the shorter of the 2 so I think the mystery is solved. These were own root from Rose Unlimited and have been growing well and thriving on my neglect, no fertilizer, water or sprays for fungus.

My soil is around 7 ph. Tap water is 7.8 according to aquarium water test. There is no gypsum in these holes. The soil is raised bed trucked in custom blended with horse manure, sand and loam/compost and just a little sticky. I have Epsoma pelletized lime and soil doctor 100% natural fast acting pulverized lime. Which one would be better? They were planted with the epsoma lime, tomato tone, cracked corn and watered with 1/2 teaspoon of Kelp4less sulfate of potash and with the graft about 4 inches below ground. The worse ones are Scepter'd isle and Ambridge Rose, AR has even lost some of its canes. I have a grafted Ambridge rose still in the pot, this one is fine and growing, albeit slowly, also potted Sceptre'd Isle that is about 3 feet tall and doing well.

Emma Hamilton is small but surviving, Boscabel the same, Princess Alexandra of Kent is doing ok as is Tamora although all are seeming very slow to grow. These are all grafted from Austin direct. In comparison my own root rose "Compassion" is growing by leaps and bounds and Zeph. Drouin is already about 3 feet tall. These were purchased form Brushwood Nursery as own root this May so it seems like own root is the way to go. One lesson learned.

I think from now on I'll only buy own root, the own root Austin "Darcy Bussels" that was planted a couple weeks ago is doing great, putting out a ton of new growth and buds and looks very healthy.
I have one Strawberry Hill-grafted but still potted, that has had 3 flowers so far as it lost a few buds to insect damage. I don't know if it's been fertilized at all by the nursery I purchased it from so I haven't fertilized it but it's growing well too.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:08AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

For some reason I was thinking you were in California
enchantedrose ( me bad)
Sorry to hear those oriental beetles are eating roses too... :-/

I take things to the extreme sometimes but I looked at all our roses and seen no signs of Rose Midge so I made the decision to completely take out both Carefree Sunshine rose bushes. I bagged them and gave them to our trash man to discard...
Yellow roses have been a nightmare here... lol
(Either they get tons of blackspot or insects are drawn to them...)
Now we have no yellow roses anymore but we have some yellow zinnias and Marigolds. I may just keep it that

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 17:58

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 1:32PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: I re-post the info. you gave for my reference:

"My soil is around 7 ph. Tap water is 7.8. No gypsum in these holes. The soil is raised bed with horse manure, sand and loam/compost and just a little sticky. I have Epsoma pelletized lime and soil doctor 100% natural fast acting pulverized lime. Which one would be better? They were planted with the epsoma lime, tomato tone, cracked corn .... The worse ones are Scepter'd isle and Ambridge Rose."

Dr. Huey does well in alkaline clay, see below picture of my "mud" clay which I had to poke holes with a stick, for better drainage. The black spot leaves are from my failed experiment with low-salt, high-phosphorus fertilizer from Kelp4Less, NPK 0-52-34 ... that stuff crystallized in my clay. My neighbor had an Angel Face rose grafted on Dr. Huey in that sticky mud, and it was CLEAN & super-vigorous for over a decade, until last winter killed it.

In contrast, Own-roots like loamy & loose soil like your raised bed. Folks root cuttings of roses in sand. Epsoma pelletized lime is slower-release than pulverized lime.
Gritty lime works for me this year because we have an abnormally RAINY month & high humidity. pH of rain is 5.6. However, in a drought with alkaline tap, both pelletized lime and pulverized lime would stress plants further with their pH of 9. That's why lime application is recommended only in the fall, to let the snow & rain work that into the soil.

It's worth it to compare the % of magnesium in Epsoma lime versus Soil Doctor's lime. You want higher % of magnesium. Magnesium is what makes soil sticky, the stickier it is, the more water-retention. My clay soil is tested exceedingly HIGH in magnesium. Folks in alkaline clay & hot climate reported Scepter'd Isle and Ambridge roses are their best performers.

Can't treat all roses the same. When I spreaded gritty lime on the paler-leaves one ... they HATE that stuff. So I scraped off the lime, and found lost of earthworms underneath. Info. from Soil Doctor's lime: Neutralizes Acidic Soil
•Stimulates Healthy Bacteria
•Enhances Fertilizer Availability
•Natural Source Of Calcium And Magnesium

If more than 10% of horse manure used, your soil would be saltier than normal. The pulverized lime will de-salt your soil if there's rain water at pH 5.6. But if there's NO rain water to neutralize it ... will stress plants by raising the pH. Calcium is essential for root-growth, so if you are in a drought, I would use powder-gypsum from Kelp4Less, to dissolve in your alkaline tap water.

The 17% sulfur in gypsum will neutralize your pH 7.8 tap-water, to release the 22% calcium-part for IMMEDIATE use for root growth. Powder gypsum is sold cheap at Kelp4Less. Scepter'd Isle as 1st year own-root was throwing 5' canes during my 2012 drought, too vigorous even with my pH 8 tap water. I put tons of alfalfa meal in the planting hole ... alfalfa meal has a good % of calcium.

Alfalfa meal is fine-particles and made my clay EVEN STICKIER, but it might be good for sandy & loose soil. Making alfalfa tea might work, pH of alfalfa is 5.7 to 6, that would neutralize your pH 7.8 tap water, to release the calcium & nitrogen & growth hormone in alfalfa.

Negatives of sulfate of potash on Dr. Huey rootstock: it has 43% salt, 23% sulfur, and made my pale leaves dark-green ... good stuff for own-roots, but I'm not sure if Dr. Huey likes that. When I give my roses sulfate of potash, it blooms at the expense of growth: fewer leaves ... good for established plants, but bad for a struggling rose that's losing its leaves.

I would make alfalfa-tea with your pH 7.8 tap water, that would give wimpy roses the calcium, nitrogen, plus growth hormone. Alfalfa tea has no salt, compared to 4% of salt in lime products, 8% salt-index of gypsum, and 80 to 90 salt-index of chemical nitrogen fertilizer. The cheapest I see is Dr. Earth from Amazon, Prime (free shipping). Here's the info, with 5-stars rating:

Infused with seven strains of beneficial soil microbes
•Acts quickly because it decomposes fast
•Excellent for roses because it contains available magnesium
•Excellent all around source of organic nutrients
•2-1-2 formulation
•Acts quickly and decomposes fast

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Earth 3 lb. alfalfa meal for $13, free shipping

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 1:59PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I look over the photos of my pots last year, in MG moisture-control potting soil, neutral pH (clear in red-cabbage juice), with 1/2 cup of gypsum in the pot, plus 1/2 cup TomatoTone, plus watering with 1 teaspoon gypsum & 1 teaspoon sulfate of potash per 2 gallon.

The picture is taken after a rain, very little BS, but vigorous growth. My 4 pots this year are BS-fest, since I put bone meal, but no gypsum in them. CONCLUSION: gypsum helps to neutralize alkaline-tap-water, OK for neutral pH soil ... but that's for own-root roses.

Here's the new growth from last year's pots with 1/2 cup gypsum, plus fixing my pH 8-tap with gypsum:

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:34PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Here's the growth of 1-month old Crimson Glory, bought as a tiny band. That had alfalfa meal mixed in the potting soil. Looks good, but LESSER root-growth compared to the pots with gypsum & watered with gypsum & sulfate of potash.

I would use both approach for wimpy roses with alkaline tap water. Alfalfa meal for fast top-growth, and gypsum & sulfate of potash for root growth.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:41PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I've used a few boxes of Dr Earth alfalfa meal in the past by spreading it under our roses and around the dripline.
I just recently asked the Dr Earth Company (Milo) how many boxes it would take of the their Alfalfa Meal to make 32 gallons of Alfalfa Tea... I forget what the answer was but it seemed like a lot to me. I could be wrong?)

But I personally would contact Dr Earth first before I bought their product to ask...

Here is a link that might be useful: Ask Dr Earth

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 20:37

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 4:51PM
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hi Jim~Nope New England born and bred. I couldn't take the heat In CA, I can't even stand the summers here. The only thing that makes it tolerable is the roses ;-). I'm sorry to hear that you had to remove your Carefree Sunshine but better than infecting all your other roses with one more nasty bug. I haven't seen rose midge yet, fingers crossed.

A nice sort of yellow rose that stays clean for me with literally total neglect the past few years is Caramel Fairytale. No scent but very pretty flowers, kind of golden orange. People also rave about Golden Fairytale which is very yellow,still no scent :-( but looks really nice.
We can't grow marigolds here, the slugs eat them down to the ground overnight.

Thanks for the ask Dr Earth link.

Hi Strawberry, Your roses look amazing. I fertilized my little bands from HR using your suggested combination and they're already putting out new growth. I might not be able to use the cracked corn though. the chipmunks are burrowing into the planted roses. They're ingenious little buggers and rather prolific here.

Thanks for all the info and the link for the Alfalfa. I'll def. be ordering that and some powdered gypsum from Kelp4less.

My soil is not claylike at all, when powder dry or wet you can dig down until you hit subsoil which is pretty soft too. but ph ranges from slightly acidic to near neutral or slightly alkaline depending on which bed I'm planting in.

How do you know if the rose prefers alkaline, neutral or slightly acidic soil if it's own root and not grafted? Trial and error or is there a place to research this? I plan to only purchase own root from now on unless a rose I just have to have is only available as grafted. It seems the grafted are a lot more problematic plus eventually die or lose their vitality. I had a Darlow's Inigma own root from HR and it grew like a fiend. I think I finally killed it after transplanting it about 6 times but in its glory it was probably 8 feet wide and tall, all without fertilizing or watering.

How often would you water with the alfalfa tea/gypsum/sulfate of potash mixture and how much alfalfa would you use per gallon of water for the tea? These are in the ground so much less leaching through the soil. I just don't want to overfeed them.

Caramel Fairytale Kordes Rose

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:54PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Funny thing about Marigolds. We can grow Marigolds here in our garden BUT 3/4 of mile away at the cemetery at my grandparents gravesite earwigs eat all the leaves off them... :-/

We never grew Zinnias before so I decided to try them this year. I started these from seed in latter April and planted into the ground in mid May. The Zinnias just started blooming early July.
These have a ton of buds awaiting to open...

(I included a Alfalfa Tea recipe below:)

Here is a link that might be useful: Alfalfa Tea recipe

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 18:40

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:11PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I love Jim's Zinnias, so cheerful. I like Sharon's Caramel Fairytale Kordes Rose ... that's the best pic. ever, the color glows! Thank you.

The 24-hrs rain finally stopped, zero sun today. I inspected my roses: Barcelona (Francis Dubreuil) mildews in the pot (has MG-moisture control potting soil with neutral pH). HMF states that Barcelona is prone to mildew ... HMF also states that Dr. Huey is prone to mildew.

Gruss an Teplitz, the parent of Dr. Huey, mildewed in the pot. Also mildewed in my alkaline clay ... last year I dug it up, and put 2 cups of cracked corn in the planting hole .... no more mildew, even in this wet & rainy month.

I called my feed store, the guy recommends alfalfa meal to make tea for roses OVER afalfa-pellets. He explained that alfalfa meal breaks down faster for tea, but alfafa-pellets is easier to spread on lawn. He sells 50 lbs. of alfalfa meal for $17. That's cheaper than Dr. Earth at $13 for only 3 lbs.

In my experiments with wimpy roses, like 3" tall bands with no leaves (freebies from Burlington). I tested alfalfa-tea to make it grow, no luck. I tested chemical nitrogen, no luck. I tested blood-meal, it worked immediately ... blood meal has iron. Without iron, plants are less efficient in using nitrogen.

I'm leaning toward blood meal, since it's easy to scatter a few tablespoons, and water it in, with nitrogen mobility a 10. Making alfalfa-tea at NPK 2-1-2 is a nuisance, it's MORE stinky than Pennington Alaska pellets, NPK 4-6-6, which also has alfalfa meal, fish bone meal, kelp meal, and sulfate of potash.

Blood meal worked well like alfalfa meal, but cheaper at $5 per bag at local store. Amazing how proper nutrients can turn a wimpy band into vigorous & healthy! I got 5 bands this year from Burlington, and Duchess de Rohan was pathetic: zero leaves, only 3" stick. Blood meal gave it the first few leaves.

I was impatient and broke the rule of NO-SOLID fertilizer on bands: I put 1 Tablespoon of chicken manure on top, then watered it. It immediately greened up, thanks to chicken manure's 9% calcium, plus high in boron, zinc, and copper. In this 1 month of rainy weather & 70% humidity, Duchess of Rohan band is 100% clean, thanks to the anti-fungal agents of zinc and copper in chicken manure. I put gritty lime on top DUE TO OUR RAIN ... otherwise I would had put gypsum in the pot for best root growth.

Chicken manure is alkaline, versus alfalfa meal is acidic at pH 5.7 to 6. Will test the pH of the compost and blood meal I bought with red-cabbage juice.

In the past years I bought 3 bags of alfalfa meal, at $15 per 50 lbs. Was it worth it? Not really, I prefer less leaves & more fruits & flowers result of chicken manure, along with sulfate of potash. Blood meal is equally potent to promote fast growth and plenty of leaves ... I once gave 1/2 cup of blood meal to each marigold to deter rabbits from my rose garden, and marigolds shot up to 3 feet tall, really dark-green leaves (from the iron), but zero flowers for the year.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:06PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

No flowers on Marigolds... :-O

I have a bag here full of blood meal in case I ever had a Nitrogen deficiency problem but have never had to use it yet.

I've honestly never tried Alfalfa Tea yet...

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:01PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Pennington pellets NPK 4-6-6 is fun to make tea with, but alfafa-meal-tea is a pain ... it's good that you haven't tried yet, otherwise your backyard smells like a barn yard =)!

It's interesting to check the antifungal agents of zinc, copper, and calcium (weakest of the trio). Zinc is used as anti-fungal agent in medications. Here's an excerpt from below link: "Zinc is a powerful antimicrobial agent that combats many forms of mildew, bacteria, fungi, and algae. For that reason, zinc is used in bath mats, shower curtains, sponges, and other products that are exposed to frequent moisture and are prone to mold and mildew growth.

Fungus is a common cause for dandruff, as is bacteria, both of which can be killed by zinc. Zinc helps reduce oil secretion and also slows the production of skin cells, processes that play a role in the production of dandruff. Pyrithione zinc is thus a common ingredient in dandruff shampoos."

**** From Straw: Dandruff shampoo also contains anti-fungal agent selenium sulfide, in addition to zinc Pyrithione. Wikipedia also listed tar and tree-tea oil as antifungal agents. Brewer's yeast looks good with 10% zinc, 50% copper, and 90% selenium. Corn looks good too with 24% zinc, 26% copper, and 37 % selenium.

I have a hunch that manganese might be a fungal-promoter, considering that high manganese and chloride are known as rust-promoters in plants. Rust is a fungal disease. Pine bark has 4 times manganese than zinc. Here's the ratios in pine bark: pH 3.4 to 4.5, with 8.5 calcium, 4.5 manganese, 1.8 zinc, and 0.22 copper. You'll find it when google "chemical analysis of pine bark".

Also I induced the worst-black-spots with rice-bran, it has 198% phosphorus, 50% potassium, 838% manganese, 48% zinc, and 43% copper. My dolomitic clay soil is manganese-deficient, and fungal diseases here is rare, I never spray my peach tree either but get really good fruits.

One more reason to stay away from high-phosphorus fertilizer: it reduces zinc and iron uptake. There's a PDF file from Texas A & M that stated, "Excess phosphorus reduce the plant's ability to take up micronutrients, such as iron and zinc.... Iron deficiency is yellowing between leaf veins. Zinc deficiency shows a bleaching of tissues."

Here is a link that might be useful: Anti-fungal property of zinc

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:06PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Not to mention high-phosphorus fertilizer can disrupt Mycorrhizae.

Of course a lot of the things we are taught about taking care of our roses can disrupt Mycorrhizae. I suppose climate has a hand in it disrupting things also...

Info on Mycorrhizae below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Mycorrhizae

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 11:54

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:48AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Thank you for that link, great info. I love the pictures of your cute cat, she looks so gentle & sweet next to the nice pot of Marigolds.

The link mentioned that lime can also disrupt Mycorrhizae, besides phosphorus-fertilizer. True, years ago I post a thread on the optimal pH for endo- and ecto- mycorrhize, they both grow at pH BELOW neutral, or slightly acidic. Roots secret acid to provide that optimal-pH level in a process called "acid phosphatase", see Wikipedia link below.

I tested the pH of a bunch of stuff today, using red cabbage juice. Cracked corn turned out to be quite acidic around 4 (very pink) ... I didn't expect that, considering that the reported value of fresh cooked corn, in the canning site, is 7.3. Then I realize that my cracked corn is OLD, sitting in storage for years. Under anaerobic (without oxygen) decomposition, organic matter gives off acid.

So mixing cracked corn at pH 4 with lime (pH 9) will balance that out. Cracked corn has anti-fungal nutrients, and lime provides calcium, essential for root-growth. Will post a new thread of my red-cabbage juice testing of many samples: blood meal, compost, Pennington pellets, potting soil, lime, and gypsum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acid phosphatase of cluster roots

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 18:14

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:22PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I'm starting to drool thinking about a tomato sandwich. Hopefully

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 4:28PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Your tomato looks good, Jim. Mine are getting big. .. this one was planted mid-June, see the size compared to tiny Angel Face rose:

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:33PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Looking good Strawbhill!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:36PM
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hi Strawberry and Jim, Beautiful tomatoes, marigolds and zinnias.

Strawberry~Thanks for your nice complimet on my Caramel fairy tale rose. She needs to be moved and I was wondering where to put her. I think I'll plant her with my peach/yellow/ apricot Austins-Carding Mill, Lady of Shalott, Ambridge Rose and Crown Princes Margareta. I think her flowers will blend nicely with the Austins.

Thanks for the info on Dr. Huey not liking being buried deep. Unfortunately most of my Austins are grafted on Dr. H. would you plant shallower? I can wait til it cools off some to dig them up seeing they are struggling now.

I also just got order confirmation from Heirloom . All the roses ordered, Carding Mill, Jude, Sharifa Asma, Charlotte, Molineux, Eden, Compassion and Cream Abundance will be shipping soon. Yay!! Would you pot these up first, fertilize with what? I want to give them the best jump start on winter that I can. I have Pennington Alaska Fertilizer coming from Amazon, plus cracked corn, bone meal, pelleted and crushed lime, pelleted gypsum, kelp4less sulfur of potash, tomato tone and rose tone. What do you recommend? My soil is slightly acidic to neutral ph, so a little less sweet than yours. How late would you plant these in the ground? I'm zone 6a so a little warmer than you but we generally get a hard frost by the middle of October unless we get Indian summer :-)

Again thanks for all of your help. I believe with your guidance I'll have success with my beautiful roses!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:19PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: I learn to check the natural habitat & pH for a plant. A friend gave me few Goij berry rootings. I planted that in MG potting soil (regular) with pH 6.5, plus Jobes' NPK 2-7-4 (high in bone meal & mycorrhyzal), plus gypsum. IT HATED THAT, and wilted immediately.

Then I googled the natural habitat of Goji berries and found this info: "Goji berries grow in an alkaline soil of a pH of 8.2 to 8.6 in their natural habitat." In contrast, England is a rainy climate, mostly acidic soil. I checked your roses: " Carding Mill, Jude, Sharifa Asma, Charlotte, Molineux, Eden, Compassion and Cream Abundance,"

Compassion and Cream Abundance are bred by Harkness, United Kingdom. But Eden is bred in France, a hotter climate & with a good region of alkaline clay. Eden is known as heat-tolerant and prone-to rust.

Eden, Molineux, and Carding Mill are known to do well in alkaline clay & hot climate. For those 3 PLANTING HOLES, I would use less crack corn (too acidic), and more pelletized lime, plus 1 cup gypsum, and Tomato Tone in the planting hole. Then top with 4 teas. blood meal and water with 1 teas. sulfate of potash per gallon (once every 2 weeks). Potassium and calcium are known to prevent rust, Eden would need both, being a climber, plus many petals.

For the rest: Jude, Sharifa Asma, Charlotte, Compassion and Cream Abundance ... all bred in United Kingdom. My personal experience with Jude: it HATES lime, and needs extra-potassium to bloom well. Sharifa Asma is a wimpy grower, needs extra blood meal to grow taller.

When I mixed alfalfa meal in the planting hole for Dr. Huey-root-stock. It hates that stuff, with alfalfa meal acidic at pH 5.7, plus too wet. Dr. Huey likes it dry and alkaline, being bred in CA. My experience with alfalfa inside the planting hole for own-roots: OK if less than 1 cup, too much make them grow too tall, like Scepter'd Isle shot up to 5 feet as 1st-year own-root.

For own-root bands, they do best if potted in 2-gallon container 1st. If you use Moisture-Control MG potting soil, the pH is neutral. Mix 1/2 cup gypsum and 1/2 cup Tomato Tone at NPK 3-4-6 (with alfalfa meal & chicken manure).

I have better luck with alfalfa meal in the planting hole, than 1/2 cup in the pots ... why? Pots need to drain fast & already have peat moss, and alfalfa meal is too sticky, which impedes the drainage in a pot. Pennington Alaska pellets already has alfalfa meal, the tea is excellent in promoting growth. Rose Tone at NPK 4-3-2 already has alfalfa meal & good for slow-grower like Sharifa Asma.

The fast grower like climbers I give extra potassium to make them bloom, and stop growing. But with the slower-growers like Sharifa Asma and Jude I give extra nitrogen via blood meal. Loamy soil leaches out nitrogen more than my sticky clay, so 1/2 cup of blood meal on top after PLANTING IN THE GROUND, will help GRAFTED roses to grow faster.

For tiny own-roots, I use less a few tablespoons of blood meal on top, to balance out the once every 2 weeks of watering with sulfate of potash, and the red-lava rocks (high in potassium). It should be equal ratio of potassium to nitrogen, but 1/2 phosphorus. If you use bone meal in the planting hole, no more than 2 tablespoons and mix very well, that stuff burns root if in direct contact.

Sharon, good luck with your GRAFTED roses in the ground, and own-root bands in the pot. Own-root can be planted DEEP, no problems whatsoever. I grow own-root in pots 1st until they get big, then planted them 6" below soil .. they easily survive my past winter of -25 degree.

When I killed my Knock-out which had both Dr. Huey and its own-root, the own-root was one-tenth the size of Dr. Huey .. the doctor was extending 4 feet away, and it took me 45 minutes to dig him up. That's why I never buy grafted. I took me only 5 minutes to kill own-root Knock-out in that bed where I planted too deep, and it lost Dr. Huey completely.

Below is Charles Austin bought as gallon-size own-root from Chamblee. I put too much alfalfa meal in the planting hole. The result? It grew too much leaves, and only 1 bloom for the 1st year. Picture taken a month after purchase.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 14:35

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:43PM
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Thanks Strawberry for more great info. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, what are the approximate dimensions of a 2 gallon pot. I have plenty of 1 gal. pots from assorted perennials but not sure how big a 2 gallon is.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:49PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I missed that Caramel Fairytale of yours enchantedrose...
Nice looking bloom!

How deep did you plant the graft on your grafted roses enchantedrose?
I think you climate calls for planting it 2"- 3" deep.

Plus with your type of soil they may just adapt anyhow...

What you think Strawbhill?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Hi Jim, thanks for the nice compliment. She is a very pretty rose and has a very light but lovely scent, soft fruity and has been VERY neglected. Never fertilized, or pruned. About 4 feet tall, covered with buds this year and gorgeous disease free dark green leaves so I think I might have to start giving her a bit more attention, or maybe I shouldn't mess with a good thing ;-).

Thanks also for your input and recommendations on planting depth. I went down 4 inches per the recommendations of the vendor I bought from but she is zone 5/4 so quite a bit colder than me. Her roses were gorgeous, already in full flower in mid June, mine were still in tight buds showing no color, but it's been abnormally cool here this spring and summer, but I wonder if her roses will lose their vigor eventually as they were all grafted. She also sprays for pests and diseases which I won't do and uses Miracle grow soluble which I also won't use.

We rarely get below -5 now and that is in a cold winter. Most times we don't even see zero degrees so quite a bit warmer than we used to be. My soil is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline depending on which bed I'm planting in. I have 6 raised bed sections to work with, super easy to plant in, with various topsoil blends. One is probably 25 year old 100% cow manure, the rest are a blend of horse manure, sand and topsoil from a local farmer. Beautiful quality, never sticky, no hardpan even with severe drought, beautifully friable and full of earth worms :) so good quality for plants. I have some Queen Anne's lace growing here and there, the flowers are gigantic, some probably 7 inches across, so very fertile soil.

All the Austins are grafted on Dr. Huey which Strawbhill says hate acidic soil and resent being buried deep. I have 3 Darcy Bussles that are David Austin own root, I think 2 years in a pot if I remember what the grower told me correctly, these are doing really well and pushing out new buds and growth constantly. The flower is a glowing deep magenta, not as purple as Munstead Woods, it seems to me a prettier bush but not quite as fragrant, but so far disease free and very prolific. I think I'll wind up replanting the DA grafted when it cools off a bit. It has been very muggy here low 80's but no rain to speak of so far so perfect climate for blackspot. I think I have PW on some too. My phlox was so gross that I yanked it all out. Kinda drastic, like you ;-)

I have 3 Bolero Roses that smell exquisite, flower nonstop and are extremely healthy, beautiful dark green leaves and tons of buds and new growth still in pots. I called Star Roses and found out that these are also grafted Dr. Huey root stock so I won't plant these deep either and will keep the soil on the sweet side.

I think I'll eventually replace these all with own root. I've read that grafted become less vigorous with age, and the union above the graft may not put out own roots or really strong roots. I'm almost 56 so I really don't want to have to replace all my roses when I'm in my late 60's. It's already a lot of work: I can't imagine starting all over at that age. I'll move them to the back yard instead. Less desirable planting conditions but it will be nice to be surrounded by roses!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:59PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I've always heard zones 4-5 the graft (bud union?) gets planted 4" - 6 " deep.
Zones 6's are 2"- 3" deep
Then as the zones get warmer they can be planted flush or above the soil a bit.

At 4" your roses probably will adapt in your type of soil and may even turn own root someday.

See what Strawbhill advises....

I grow all own root and my mind went blank on the terms used... Bud union

This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 16:25

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:21PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Sharon and Jim, for your questions which help me as well. I measured my $5 plastic-2-gallon pot: it's 12", or 1 foot tall and 1 foot in diameter.

My mistake with that Heirloom hybrid tea grafted on Dr. Huey: I planted it too deep, more than 4" below. I made my clay to be slightly acidic with alfalfa meal (pH 5.7) and peat moss .. same stuff I did with own-root Austins. Dr. Huey can sit for months in dry ware-house no problems, but he hates anything wet and acidic. My Grafted rose was pathetic like Sharon's Scepter'd Isle, so I killed it.

Recently I learned from Seaweed that Heirloom hybrid tea likes her dry & alkaline CA. What I should had done was NOT to plant it too deep. I should had made the soil more alkaline by spreading ground-limestone on top, like how I perked up Radio Times. I should had cut a long branch off and stick it deep into the soil, to grow another own-root.

Vigorous Austins like Golden Celebration, Evelyn, Radio Times, and Scepter'd Isle HATE to be grafted on Dr. Huey. They root themselves easily in my rock-hard alkaline clay. I killed a baby Radio Times, and a baby Evelyn (rooted themselves when I dumped soil for winter-protection). When I dug own-root Scepter'd Isle to give away, its root is just as big as Dr. Huey.

Seaweed has Teasing Georgia, a vigorous Austin. Hers is grafted, and it declines in bloom as it matures. Same with the rose park, their grafted Austins like Abraham Darby gets larger in size, but decline in blooming with each subsequent years. The last time I saw Abraham Darby, it was 2 blooms on a giant bush 6' x 5' ... that was in wet fall & lots of rain.

Sharon, I would start an own-root from the Mommy-grafted-on-Dr.Huey, either bending down a branch, and dumping soil on top.... or stick a branch deep into the ground, next to Mommy. I use a knife to slice off 1/2" of the outer green layer on both sides of the lowest stem, so it roots easier. You'll get a vigorous own-root when the grafted-Mommy declines in the future.

Below are own-root Golden Celebration, 100% clean, and William Shakespeare 2000 as own-root. My W.S. is small like a mini-rose, always blooming, and gives me 4" bloom. It's easy to give tiny own-roots plenty of water & nutrients, but a giant grafted bush would require MANY TIMES more potassium & phosphorus & calcium and water for blooming ... which some gardens can't afford.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 16:43

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:32PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Here's a Rose Society article on grafted roses...

Oooops this is mainly about Florida....

Here is a link that might be useful: To bury or not to bury

This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 16:50

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:36PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Here's a article on David Austin roses and burying the graft.
The 4" deep is mentioned in this article...

What I found interesting was the fact this woman buried her David Austin roses 4" deep but does not fill all the soil in right away. She only fills the soil up to the graft then lets the roses grow until they go dormant then fills the rest of the hole in with soil. Some rose expert advises this practice...

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting David Austin Roses...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 17:40

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:49PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: That's a great tip ... covering only half-way would leave a hole, or "basin" to collect water. Thank you for that smart tip.

Niels, in zone 5b Denmark, once posted a thread, asking for the life-span of a grafted-rose. Folks in CA raved about grafted-on-Dr.Huey, stating that grafted-roses can last for decades. Niels remarked that it's NOT THE SAME in his cold zone & acidic clay, where grafted-roses have a short-life-span.

I agree with Niels, in my zone 5a, there's a decline in grafted-roses. The average life-span of a grafted-Austin at the rose-park is 5 years, and the average life-span of grafted-hybrid tea is much less, some only 2 years. One example is Intrigue floribundas .. I saw them in their 1st year at the rose parks, tons of blooms, very impressive.

After a mild winter, I visited the park early summer, and that Intrigue-bed was a mess. All were covered with black spots, lost leaves, no blooms ... they got rid of that bed the 2nd year. The rose park sprays every 10 days.

Same with my last house with acidic clay. My dozen grafted hybrid teas were glorious 1st summer. After the winter, they went down hill, and became one-cane wonder with black spots early spring. The bud-union is sensitive to cold & acidic wet clay, thus a decline thereafter both in vigor and disease-resistance.

Own-roots are different. Wise Portia was one cane, 3" tall in June thanks to the winter, plus my grapefruit experiment. But own-root expanded fast ... and looked like this the next year:

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 10:55

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:32PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Jim, for that great link on planting David Austin roses, at recommended 4" below ground. In that link, she showed how the distance from the bud-union to the root-mass vary considerably with roses.

Dave and Deb in zone 5a, Montana (dry climate & alkaline clay) stated: "I plant the bud union 2 to 4 inches below ground level. We mound our first year roses and some of our tender established roses. I do this to keep them cold as much as to protect them from it. I wait until mid December when, hopefully, the ground is frozen." They grow tender hybrid teas, mini-roses, but NO hardy Austin !!

I look over the list of Austin roses that Sharon has, most are hardy to zone 4. The Austins that died on cold-zoners are Pat Austin and Bishop Castle. When I first got Pat Austin as a tiny band years ago, I planted it RIGHT INTO my clay, it was so tiny, so I put it less than 1" below ground, but I kept adding horse manure as it grew taller. I survived last worst winter, with temp. below -25.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:50AM
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Hi Strawberry and Jim, thanks again for more invaluable info. and guidance. It has been very much appreciated.

Strawberry~I understand the technique of layering, I have done this with my hydrangeas and have gotten plenty of babies this way and scratch the cambium layer to promote roots :) but I'm not sure that I understand your other technique. Am I cutting a long stem off of the rose bush and rooting in the ground? No rooting hormones? How long a stem and how much in the ground verses how much above ground. Do you cut 2 strips of "bark" for lack of a better word on the whole part of the stem that will be below the ground. I have never had success with rooting cuttings but never stripped the stem to expose the cambium layer before. Is it better to try this in a shaded area to lessen the stress and evaporation?
My Heirloom Roses are coming on Thursday!!! I can't wait to get them. It is like Christmas, isn't it, except much better weather and much better presents :)
We have also gotten some much needed rain, everything is glowing!! and looks so lush.

Jim~I'll be digging these roses up and replanting more shallow and might trying your suggestion to see how that works. Thanks for the link. I'll def. check it out.
Happy gardening.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:56AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: 1 week ago I tested rooting cuttings by gently scraping the green layer at MANY points .. those became whitish with calluses (start of root-formation). The ones that WAS NOT wounded, nor stripped off the outer layer DID NOT callus, even after 1 month.

Dave and Deb in zone 5a explained in HMF how to stick a stem next to the mommy-bush, which shades the baby. Dave wrote "In spring of 2004 the dogs broke a big cane off one of the Oklahoma. To get Deb laughing, I just took the cane and stuck it in the ground. I told her, "now we have another Oklahoma". I forgot about it until late August when I started to pull the dead cane out of the ground when I noticed a bit of green at the bottom. I looked closer and there was a bit of new growth about an inch from the ground. ... I uncovered Oklahoma in spring of 2005 and saw new growth. It had 4 blooms that spring and those huge blooms on that tiny thing looked hilarious. The blooms were so big I had to prop them up. 2006 was a great year for the rascal and Oklahoma Jr is doing great own root. Oklahoma is not cane hardy in zone 4/5. It starts the year 6 inches to a foot tall. Spring growth is vigorous and it quickly gets 3 to 4 feet tall. We get 30 to 35 blooms per flush on our 2 bushes. Repeat time is average - about 6 weeks. We don't get black spot. Oklahoma will get a touch of powdery mildew ... Both of ours seem to use the iron in the soil faster than neighbors. Fragrance is strong and one of my favorite scents. Oklahoma is usually 4 - 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide by season's end."

*** From Straw: Dave and Deb are in Montana, dry climate. My Chicagoland is more humid & rainy weather, and every baggie method I tried rotted. I left Oklahoma cuttings in a cup of rain water, and they sprouted new leaves ... that one roots easily. See link below for Hartwoodroses' rooting by covering with a plastic dome (cut-off pop-bottle). I never try that before .. we don't drink pop.

Here is a link that might be useful: Root cuttings by Connie of Hartwoodroses

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:59PM
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Hi Strawberry, thanks for the link to the cuttings rooting. I will try that when I get some rooting hormone. I'd love to see if I can root a Sceptre'd Isle cutting :)
We are as humid as you but seemingly a lot less rain. It's overcast today but hasn't rained at my house yet, although other areas of my town have had rain.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Hi Strawberry, thanks for the link to the cuttings rooting. I will try that when I get some rooting hormone. I'd love to see if I can root a Sceptre'd Isle cutting :)
We are as humid as you but seemingly a lot less rain. It's overcast today but hasn't rained at my house yet, although other areas of my town have had rain.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:12PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Sharon, just wondering why your digging your roses up?
Are they doing bad?
If not they may grow ok in the future...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:32PM
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Hi Jim~ Strawberrry pm'd me telling me that Dr. Huey doesn't like to be buried super deep. I buried the bud union at least 4 inches below ground. Some seem ok but my Sceptre'd Isle is in rough shape. I won't be moving them til later this year. Maybe at that point they'll start growing and I won't need to replant them. I'm like you and Strawberry though, I'll only plant own root from now on. With all the winter damage to my roses it really doesn't make sense to grow grafted ones.
My Folksinger that I posted the picture of is own root, suffered die back to the ground this year and came back beautifully and is probably close to 4 feet tall. Kind of an expensive lesson learned. I'll replace these as time and money permits so eventually I'll have all own root. I have one David Austin own root from Austin direct "Darcy Bussels" that is growing like crazy, sending up lots of new growth and many buds. I've heard that David Austin's own root bare roots are inferior quality but this rose is gorgeous so I might try ordering a couple bare root own root roses from them. They have quite a good selection of own roots now. Heirloom Roses are nice but they're so tiny. Chamblee's are really nice but they don't have a really large selection of Austins. Rose Unlimited probably has the most available so I'll be ordering from them too. I think I'll need a bigger yard ;-)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 7:13PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon & Jim: There's a lady in CA who planted her roses too deep on Dr. Huey, she had to replanted them at ground level. She posted on that years ago. I didn't pull my Heirloom hybrid tea up ... and let Dr. Huey suffer for months (deeply drown). Then 1/2 of Dr. Huey died on that one, and it was so lop-sided, so I killed it before winter.

It's cool here in the high 60's, perfect temp. for black spot, after a month-long rain. What's in the planting hole determines the long-term health. Stephen Big Purple still clean, in the hole which I used Scott's Premium Top soil, sold for $2 a bag at Walmart.

That bag has peatmoss (pH 4) to balance out the wood-ash (pH 10). They put wood ash in there to impart that "black" color, and that stuck to my skin tight, I had to use alcohol to rub it off. I tested the pH of Scott's Premium Top soil, slightly alkaline, not bad. My roses are always clean & bloom well when I mixed that in the hole, thanks to the antifungal properties of wood ash (high in zinc, copper, boron, potassium, and calcium).

But the roses where I put lots of MG-potting soil, has terrible black spots, since that soil doesn't have wood-ash added, it's just brownish peatmoss & lime, at neutral pH

The roses where I put cheap-top-soil, which tested VERY ALKALINE at pH 8, really black with wood-ash added. Roses are 100% clean, but don't bloom, thanks to the high pH. This top soil was sold $1.29 per bag.

Wood-ash has the strongest anti-fungal nutrients, best used with peat-moss (pH 4) to balance out wood ash pH at 10. Peat-moss and lime, as in MiracleGro potting soil, doesn't help with fungal diseases in roses.

The worst holes with perpetual black spots? That's where I put tons of pine-bark, pH 4.5, high in manganese (known to promote fungal growth).

The second worst hole is the one which I foolishly tested high-phosphorus fertilizer last year, will have to dig up Sonia Rykiel late fall to undo the damage. According to Texas A & M University, high-phosphorus fertilizer brings down zinc and iron, and zinc is the strongest anti-fungal agent. Sharon, my best wishes to you in making the best planting holes!

I found pdf file, entitled "Impact of boiler-ash on soil nutrients", it lists the concentration of boiler ash/soil, with 267 K (potassium), 190 CA (calcium), 30 P (phosphorus), 9 for iron, 60 for manganese, and 470 for zinc. You can see zinc being very high, same with potassium and calcium ... those are the 3 most vital for disease-prevention in roses. Too bad we converted our wood-fire-place into gas-fire-place when we first moved here !!

Here is a link that might be useful: Impact of boiler-ash in soil nutrients

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 22:48

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:30PM
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Hi Strawberry and Jim

Strawberry~Thanks for the info on wood ash. I have a whole pail full of wood ash. We heat our home with a pellet boiler and burn about 8 tons a year so plenty of ash!! My recent soil, the one that's a blend of horse manure, sand and topsoil is neutral to slightly alkaline but I have no idea what the anti fungal properties are. I don't know if the farmer adds lime or it's just sweet from the manure. I'm ordering more of it for yet another raised bed so I'll ask him. Should I mix some wood ash into the soil before I plant? I remember that you said it is very caustic so I'm not sure if it's a good idea. I'm not seeing much black spot so far, Folksinger is clean as is a mystery red own root rose that was top dressed with this new soil mix so this soil doesn't seem to encourage black spot.

I was wondering if I could encourage roots by removing the outer layer of the canes that are right above the graft bud and dust with rooting hormone to force some own roots from the canes. Have you ever tried this? I've read that Dr. Huey rootstock also makes it difficult for the rose to produce basal growth. I have a grafted Heritage that is basically a one cane wonder plus Graham Thomas grafted died over the winter and Wild Eve, a very non impressive rose in my opinion, was also a one cane wonder and removed this spring.

I'm in love with Bolero rose, continuous bloom, incredible scent and healthy dark green foliage. Unfortunately this is also grafted to Dr. H. She is an offspring of Fair Bianca and has gorgeous creamy white petals with a soft pink center and green button eye. You definitely see the Austin parentage in her and she smells as delicious as Munstead Wood. Roses Unlimited has Bolero listed, she's on my list for next spring. She truly is an outstanding rose so far but she hasn't gone through winter yet!

So, for fertilizer for my new bands from heirloom I shouldn't use bone meal but should use blood meal. Would you put some lava rocks on top of the soil too? I know a lot of questions!! but I so much appreciate all of your help :-)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 8:56AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: Good questions, I wonder the same. Great idea you have about scraping the outer bark of the lowest branches & dust with rooting-hormone to get babies .. I would love to know the result, thanks.

I checked on the trace elements of various manure, see below link. Swine is highest in zinc. Poultry and Swine manure are both high in zinc, copper, and boron - due to the enrichment in their feed. Horse manure is highest in chromium, nickel, aluminum, and iron. I still like horse manure, since I like the deep colors (esp. deeper blue) with horse manure. Chromium is an anti-fungal agent.

I'll repost the info. on wood ash: CaCO3 (calcium carbonate) Equivalent 43% (woodash) 100% for limestone

pH woodash at 10.4 versus pH of limestone at 9.9

Woodash is high in calcium, potassium, zinc, chromium, and all trace elements . Woodash also contains 123 mg/kg of Boron, which is vital for plant growth.

Woodash has 70 mg/kg of copper, a fungicide in Bordeux mixture. It has 233 mg/kg of zinc (compared to 113 in limestone) a fungicide fraction in Mancozeb spray. It has boron, another fungicide for dry rot. It has 65 mg of lead, compared to 55 mg of lead in limestone, also a fungicide. Finally woodash has 57 mg of chromium, another fungicide.

I re-posted info about your soil, Sharon: "My recent soil, the one that's a blend of horse manure, sand and topsoil is neutral to slightly alkaline." Sounds good to me with no diseases on your roses, why fix what's not broken?

Advantages of wood ash (pH 10.4) combined with lots of peatmoss (pH 4) is BETTER MOISTURE-RETENTION, more potassium & calcium and anti-fungal nutrients. Disadvantages: It will burn roots if applied fresh. Best to top that stuff during late fall, and let the snow & rain work that down for next year. My Mom used wood ash for 30+ years in Michigan, she kept it away from roots. I see SURFACE application as safe (away from the central stem), but NOT mixed into planting hole.

My Bolero from Roses Unlimited survived many winters, including this past coldest one. Bolero is a child of Sharifa Asma (Austin rose), Kimono, and a French rose Centenaire de Lourdes. That French heritage made Bolero liking the gritty lime that I applied during this month-long rain.

Nitrogen leaches out BIG-TIME from roses in pots, so putting some blood meal ON TOP helps. I won't put that into the soil, since band-roots are tender. Bone meal is a NO-NO for pots .... I can write an essay on how many failed experiments I had with that stuff. I'll use bone meal only for my spring bulbs.

Red Lava rocks has high pH of 8, with potassium & iron. My pot with red-lava rocks is on 2nd flush ... Barcelona rose with 4 buds. The other pots without red lava are doing nothing. My Wise Portia with red lava rocks has at least 40+ buds for 2nd flush, double-the amount of last year. Drawback? I need to supply nitrogen via blood meal to balance out the high potassium in Red Lava rocks.

I use Red Lava on roses that like it alkaline: such as grafted-on-Dr.Huey, roses that has French heritage (Bolero), Sweet Promise, Frederic Mistral ... these French rose also like gypsum in the planting hole. Since you have many Austin roses (bred from a rainy & more acidic England) ... I would NOT use red-lava on OWN-ROOT-AUSTINS. Own-roots tend to have paler-leaves than grafted-on-Dr.Huey, and high-pH would worsen the chlorosis (paleness).

My experience with gypsum in the planting hole? Gypsum pH is neutral, it has sulfur to neutralize the calcium-hydroxide in alkaline-tap-water. Gypsum is good for all roses. I use at least 1 cup for my rock-hard-clay, and 1/2 cup mix in with 2-gallon-pot for best root growth.

My experience with gritty lime, or pulverized lime? Most Austin roses hate that stuff. Orange and yellow roses hate that stuff. Both colors prefer partial shade. French roses, or roses that tolerate high heat, full sun, and with firm petals like Stephen Big Purple like that stuff. Calcium helps plants to cope with drought and heat.

My experience with cracked corn? Great for my rock-hard-alkaline clay at pH 7.7, but it's acidic at pH 4. OK to mix cracked corn with an alkaline medium to dilute its acidity. Drawback? Cracked-corn sprout all over. I did that late last fall, so corn got killed by my zone 5a winter. However, that made my clay fluffy & more moisture-retention. Will test the pH of ORGANIC dry pop-corn kernels ... there's a big difference in chemical composition of genetically modified, partially-fermented cracked-corn, versus ORGANIC dry pop-corn.

Below is the link that lists the trace elements in different manures: swine, poultry, and horse. Sharon, I appreciate all your questions, they help me to realize the solutions to my own garden. Without your questions, I would be too lazy to do the research.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trace elements in manure

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:01AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

So in a nuttshell Dr Huey just doesn't like to be planted deep. Ok gottcha...

By the way here is the tip of the day never get Brewers Yeast in your eye! :-0 (lol)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 12:00PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim! I hope your eyes are OK. I wish I could get horse-manure delivered like Sharon. This year I haven't used horse manure (too rainy), and I really miss the health & lush foliage with that stuff. Wood-ash burns even more, I got wood-ash from my neighbor's fire place, and that stuff was caustic, had to wash my fingers immediately.

My Mom used wood ash by sprinkling on top of thick layer of leaves ... the leaves neutralized and diluted the wood ash. In the summer she used that composted leaves & ash in her garden, that's the only source of fertilizer for her flowers ... they bloomed lots and her roses were always clean.

Gardening know-how is an excellent site, an excerpt from that site: "wood ash fertilizer is best used either lightly scattered or by first being composted along with compost. Wood ash will produce lye and salts if it gets wet. In small quantities, the lye and salt will not cause problems, but in larger amounts, the lye and salt may burn your plants. Composting fireplace ashes allows the lye and salt to be leached away. Not all wood ash fertilizers are the same. If the fireplace ashes in your compost are made primarily from hardwoods, like oak and maple, the nutrients and minerals that will be in your wood ash will be much higher. If the fireplace ashes in your compost are made mostly by burning softwoods like pine or firs, there will be less nutrients and minerals in the ash."

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening know-how on wood-ash

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Wed, Jul 16, 14 at 18:53

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 6:03PM
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Hi Jim and Strawberry~In reference to Dr. H being finicky about being buried too deeply I'm assuming that the answer is yes. Thanks for the tip on not getting brewers' yeast in your eyes!! That's good to know ;-p According to Strawberry you don't want to drink it either, it's very nasty tasting. As long as the roses don't complain though I guess it's all good.

Strawberry~I just got my Heirloom Rose order! and bought some Vigoro organic potting mix. They are small but very healthy looking. They sent my first order only though, I hope my Jude and Carding Mill will be following soon. Thanks for all the info on the roses' soil preferences. The research you do is astounding.

I bought some rooting hormone to see if I can get Sceptre'd Isle to throw some roots from the canes and I want to try layering as well if one of the canes is long enough. I'll keep you updated on this process if I have any success.

Now I just need to get all the newest arrivals potted up and fertilized so they can start to do some serious growing.
Have a wonderful night.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 6:23PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I do not much of anything about Dr. H. enchantedrose ...
I've always grown own root. Years ago I watched other peoples grafted roses die off and the root-stock take over.
I said to myself you know I just do not care for

To this day my wife still thinks those Jesus and Mary YARD statues can turn white roses to a red color... Dr. H.!
Yep my wifes mother planted grafted roses by those statues in zone 5a. You guessed it they all turned red!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 6:36PM
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Hi Jim, I'm beginning to regret the decision to buy grafted but they are so tempting when they're in flower, but live and learn. Your and Strawberry's helpful suggestions and advice have been very much appreciated. I'll probably give the roses to my daughter as I replace them. She's a lot younger than me ;-p, so will have time in her youth, haha, to replant when they peter out.

I have not even been blessed with Dr. Huey's roses making an appearance. He just ups and dies on me, but it is too funny that your wife believes that Jesus and Mary are responsible for the miraculous change in the roses coloring. Maybe I should get some of these statues for my garden? My little Alice (in Wonderland) just stands prettily in her bird bath. She hasn't performed any miracles at all :(

I do have a stepping stone with the word grow on it, My husband asked if that was a demand, I said no it's a request, pretty please with sugar on top!!

I just got some Austins in today from Heirloom Roses~
2 Molineuax
2 Charlotte
2 Sharifa Asma

also Eden, in spite of her negative press, Cream Abundance a floribunda by Harkness that others in the rose forums have raved about and have Carding Mill and Jude the Obscure on order. I hope Jude's flowers aren't too obscure (kind of an unfortunate name). I've read he can be stingy.

We will be reworking some beds, putting in brick pathways and such plus taking down the ugliest paper birch in the early fall which is in danger of taking out our utility wires in the next ice storm. it shades the rose beds too much and is in the way of the design I have planned so it just has to go!!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 8:37PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Good luck enchantedrose and I hope your new Heirloom roses grow and bloom great for you!

I'm a firm believer that what works in our garden may not work in yours and vice versa.
I feel we all need to experiment to see what works and see what grows best. Then stick with whatever gives us the best results...

Have you seen threads where certain things do not work for a lot of people but do work for some. I think everything in life is like

A lot of times I need to see for myself whether something works here or not by experimenting...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:12AM
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hi Jim, thanks for the excellent advice and your well wishes for success with my Heirloom Roses. I plan on seeing what will work best for my environment, especially since you and Strawberry have given me some valuable information on what has worked for both of you in your own little gardening patch and a host of different regiments to try to see what works best for my flowers. Without your and Strawberry's valuable input I would have been at a loss at where to even start. My roses already look much better than past experiences, the Heirloom Roses I got about a month ago are growing nicely, putting out slow but steady new growth. I probably would have damaged them by now with Miracle Grow had it not been for your and Strawberry's advice against using it and telling me about the problems it has caused in your garden plus the residual effects in salt deposits. The wealth of guidance from both of you is priceless.

Thank you, Jim, and Strawberry, for being so generous with your time in helping this reintroduced "newbie" out :-)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:10PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I wish you much success with your roses enchantedrose!
Yes feeding the soil which it turn feeds the rose is the best approach in my opinion.
MG does nothing for the soil and is just like a drug habit.
The rose will needs its quick fix after awhile... :-O

But their are people whom successfully have used both organics and MG fertilizer together and have wonderful gardens. They found a balance somehow which worked for them...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:28PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Strawbhill, wondering how your Brewers Yeast applications are going?

I have a few Double Ko roses the same age and purchased from the same vendor.
I gave one of them Brewers Yeast but at this point it is still behind the others ones which only have gotten compost spread over their roots.
Actually right now I'm getting more blooms on the D-Ko's
that did not receive ANY Brewers Yeast.
If things change I'll let you know...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:38PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I'm going to do red-cabbage-pH test on the brewer's yeast. I suspect it's acidic, since it doesn't go well with yogurt, plus I had to use lots of honey to make it taste good for my tummy! If it's acidic, then won't benefit your lower pH soil, but would benefit my pH 8 tap-water, and pH 7.7 rock-hard clay.

Sharon: Congratulations on your new own-roots. Please inform of their progress. I received 2 Heirloom roses today ... the other 3 that I ordered most likely arrive tomorrow on Saturday.

Below is an excellent blog that describes various organic fertilizers.... the writer Jeannie is from Florida (sandy soil) so the amounts she uses are greater, due to leaching. She talks about milorganite, alfalfa pellets (horse rather than rabbits, which has salt), and the importance of getting COMPOSTED manure, rather than FRESH manure, which burns.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blog on organic fertilizers for roses in Florida

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 13:22

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:59PM
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Hi Jim, I got most of my little HR roses potted up today. Some are really nice size, especially Carding Mill. I think I'll skip the MG, I used Vigoro organic potting soil with no added fertilizer. The vendor I purchased my grafted DA roses from uses miracle grow and mulch and has to spray for blackspot. Almost all of the grafted DA's I planted don't have any or very little blackspot and the Darcy Bussels own root Austin from DA has no blackspot either and is thriving beautifully so I think Strawberry's observations about MG are spot on. I have more roses coming, I think I may have lost my mind but I just ordered 2 "Harlow Carr" and 2 "The Mayflower" for another bed that will also have Molineux, Charlotte, Jude the Obscure, Princess Alexandra of Kent and a non Austin "Cream Abundance". The Mayflower was available as 1 gallon from HR so I splurged as it was a bit pricey, but I'm not getting any younger ;-) so I figured I'd indulge!!
I'll post some pics of my little babies and take progress pics so we can see how they grow.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:06PM
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Hi Strawberryhill- Thanks for your well wishes. Good luck with yours too! The plants are gorgeous, though tiny for the most part. I'll post some pics soon.
I potted most of them up today and fertilized them according to your directions. Should I put some lava rocks on all of the potted own roots and blood meal? I didn't use any bone meal or cracked corn. The chipmunks have found it and burrow into the roses to get at it. I might sprinkle some cat litter around to see if this will deter them. I don't know how well cat "manure" and urine work as fertilizers ;-). We use hardwood pellets for the litter box so it's organic, anyway. I planted some drift roses (own root) and they keep digging tunnels to get at the corn.
Would you put some blood meal on the planted Doc. H grafted ones, especially the ones that have seemed to stop growing? My Princess Alex. of Kent, Boscabel, Sceptre'd Isle and Lady Emma, all grafted, don't seem to be doing much. Should I put some lava rocks on them too? I'm nervous about over fertilizing; these have cracked corn, tomato tone and lime in the planting holes and have been watered once with sulfur of potash. It's been cooler here lately so that has been a help, they seem a little less stressed. The leaves are nice and green but there is none or very little new growth.
Thanks so much, again, for all your suggestions.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:35PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: I "red-cabbage" pH test many samples today. My tap water is obnoxiously bluish-green in red cabbage, at least 8.3, compared to baking soda at pH 9.

I only put red lava rocks if I want BLOOMS, and not growth. If you want growth, then skip the red-lava rocks. Too much potassium drives down nitrogen (necessary for growth). Red lava rocks is high in potassium,

I tested Red lava rock: Surprisingly mildly alkaline, around pH 7.2 versus the reported value of 8. It's slow-release, same as acidic cracked-corn (pH 3.5), tomato tone (neutral pH), and lime (pH 9). Sulfate of potash works IMMEDIATELY, thus a fast-acting nitrogen is needed to balance out the potassium.

The advantage of milorganite is NPK 5-2-0 with 4% iron, compared to blood meal NPK of 12-0-0, but lesser % of iron. Some roses need more iron for growth. Milorganite is known to deter deer for 5 weeks ... that might help with chipmunks. TerryJean in IL who used Milorganite observed that the growth is even better than alfalfa tea. I used Milorganite on my lawn, and the growth is IMMEDIATE, versus slower blood meal.

I tested Milorganite pH in red cabbage juice, it's bluish around 7.7, same as my alkaline clay. My experience with pH 8+ hard-well tap water: growth is vigorous, but less blooms. What's missing is nitrogen, since your soil is more loamy than my clay, nitrogen leaches out with water.

Milorganite is cheap $8 to $9 per BIG BAG, it's less stinky that Pennington pellets, and MUCH LESS stinky than chicken-manure. Milorganite doesn't burn with low NPK 5-2-0. Blood meal with NPK 12-0-0 burns more if in direct-contact with roots, due to its higher nitrogen.

I get growth, plus blooms by making tea with Pennington pellets, but it's expensive, plus the growth is less due to NPK of 4-6-6, zero iron. See below link for my red-cabbage juice result of many samples, including Brewer's yeast (very acidic, at pH 5).

Hi Jim: Knock-outs like it alkaline, it blooms well with my tap water pH over 8. Thus Knock-out WOULD NOT like Brewer's yeast, versus my Eglantyne, an Austin rose, which likes it acidic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Red cabbage pH testing of many samples

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 15:04

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:17PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: Pennington Alaska pellets with NPK 4-6-6 has ACIDIC pH, around 6 ... thanks to the alfalfa meal in the mix. Alfalfa meal pH is 5.7. Years ago I got terrible black spots when I put alfalfa meal around a few roses.

My Honey Bouquet rose: first year mulched with pH 8 horse manure (very healthy!), second year OK mulched with cocoa mulch & horse manure ... also tested gypsum & potassium pellets. This 3rd year I did nothing. It rained so much so I spread gritty lime, still BS-fest. So I gave it left-over solids from Pennington Tea: the worst BS ever !! The acidic solids play a factor to encourage fungal growth.

Someone else made the observation that when she dumped alfalfa tea-solids on roses ... the worst BS ever !! Wet & sticky & acidic topping is great for fungal-germination. When it rains so much, 2 things get flushed out the most: nitrogen (10 mobility) and potassium (3 mobility). Phosphorus mobility is a 1, so it doesn't get flushed out.

Recently I chopped banana peels in my bucket of used tap water (pH 8.3), threw in a used lemon-rind, and watered wimpy roses with that. Studies showed that vitamin C is essential for plant growth. Roses sprout new growth from the potassium, vitamin C, plus blood meal I spread on top. That was even faster than Pennington Pellets, with no salt with banana as potassium.

The ideal NPK for best growth in pots is 20-10-20, according to several U. of Extensions. That's the ratio that Ball International Nursery use for their greenhouse. Alaska Pennington Pellets, with pH 6, is OK to fix alkaline tap water in hot & dry weather, but when it rains so much, that stuff can really induce black spots.

I'll test GRANULAR sulfate of potash (acidic pH) as a tiny amount with Milorganite NPK 5-2-0 (alkaline pH 7.7), in the event of constant rain. Hubby ordered a HUGE bag of TomatoTone, $15, NPK 3-4-6, neutral pH, but its nitrogen isn't high enough, plus would be expensive to top that many roses. I save TomatoTone for inside the planting hole.

Rain and daily watering from pots leach out 3 elements: nitrogen, potassium, and calcium. My pots did really bad early summer since I forgot to mix gypsum with potting soil like previous years. Horse manure supplies potassium, calcium, magnesium, trace elements, but VERY LITTLE nitrogen. Plus when the bedding breaks down, it takes away nitrogen from plants.

Here's an excerpt from below link, from U. of Colorado on COMPOSTED manure: "first year release rates will be significantly less than with fresh manure. For example, in composted dairy manure, only 5-20% of the nitrogen will be available the first year ... this can lead to a nitrogen deficiency. This could be supplied with blood meal (approximately 1 to 2 pounds per 100 square feet)."

The below link also warned, " Continual and/or heavy applications of manure can lead to a salt build-up. To avoid salt problems associated with the use of manure or compost made with manure, limit applications to one inch per year." It lists NPK of horse manure (with bedding) as 0.7 - 0.2 - 0.7, that's only 0.7 nitrogen, compared to 12 in blood meal, and 5 in Milorganite. With composted manure, it's only 5-20% of the 0.7 nitrogen is available the 1st year. Add that to the nitrogen-loss incurred by the decomposition process of bedding, you'll get a deficit.

*** From Straw: In previous years I mixed alfalfa meal with horse manure to top roses ... it worked great: growth & clean roses. But that was messy & too much work. So I'll testing a new approach: High potassium red lava rock & milorganite on top, and gypsum mixed with soil ... plus occasional watering with sulfate of potash.

Here is a link that might be useful: Excellent info. on manures from U. of Colorado

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 9:26

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:23PM
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Hi strawberry, thanks for the info. on milorganite. Should I use this on the planted Austins? If so, how much? Scpetre'd is still showing no new growth, neither is princess Alex and Bascobel. The others are sending up new growth, Lady Emma even has a couple buds.
I just ordered Ivor's Rose too. I don't know much about it but it has excellent reviews at HMF and a very pretty deep raspberry red flower.
My Darcy B is growing like crazy, tons of new growth and buds. Except for her lesser scent than Munstead Wood, still nice but not as strong I like her much better in both form and flower and might even replace MW with her instead. this one is an Austin own root, and contrary to what I've read about Austin's own root bare roots being of lesser quality she is growing amazingly well. This is 3 planted together about 16 o.c. The rose is a little more deeper colored and less red than the pic.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Heirloom Rose order from June 15, 2014 coming along nicely. These include 2 Clair Matin, Belinda's Dream, Honey Bouquet and About Face.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:16PM
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Some of my new Heirloom Rose, just potted up yesterday-Carding Mill and Molineaux-

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:18PM
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and the tallest though not many leaves-Jude
Tiny but very healthy looking so far.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:20PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: What a feast to my eyes !! I enjoy seeing your new roses very much. Darcy Bussell is absolutely gorgeous with the perfect red color (looks almost like Seaweed's Rouge Royal). My guess is your pale rose from June 15 group is Honey Bouquet? It's pale in my clay and HATES lime .. last year Honey Bouquet did much better with high-potassium & acidic cocoa mulch.

My Carding Mill band is dark-green just like yours ... that one does well for alkaline folks. The Jude I received yesterday is bare, with many pale leaves ... Jude HATES lime, prefers it acidic & high potassium.

For inducing growth, Milorganite surpasses Pennington pellets. TerryJean is right about its growth is better for her 300+ roses than alfafa tea. Pennington is expensive, $7 per 3 lb., plus sprinkling acidic pellets around roses induced both Blackspots and Rose slugs.

I inspected my lawn this morning. The place where I threw Milorganite by the fist-full DOUBLED the growth of the grass nearby, plus deep-green grass. Early spring my husband accidentally spilled Scott's Weed & Feed, NPK 22-3-3, the grass was darker green, but AT THE SAME HEIGHT as nearby lawn. Milorganite NPK is 5-2-0, $9 for a 36 lb. bag, I just watered that in, next to my window, and I can't smell anything.

How much Milorganite to use per rose bush? I use 1/8 cup or 2 Tbs. for band size, and 1/4 cup for larger roses. It breaks down instantly, so once a month is best. I'm getting lazy in putting sulfate of potash in the water, so I sprinkled 1/2 Tbs. potassium per 2 Tbs. Milorganite. Same ratio of potassium as nitrogen is best for balanced growth.

Early spring I got sulfate of potash (powdered) from Kelp4Less only $11 for 5 lbs. Now they TRIPLE the price to $30 for 5 lbs. Stuff are always cheaper in early spring.

My homemade potassium-solution of chopped up 6 banana peels, NPK 0-3-42, 1/2 used lemon rind in 5 gal. of water, produced faster growth than Pennington Pellets. There are a few studies that proved plants need vitamin C for growth, but I haven't seen any scientific research that plants need alfalfa meal for growth.

The best stuff come cheap & free, such as vitamin C in used-lemon-rind. I mentioned to my hubby that my past 3 years of using horse manure saved me at least $60 in fertilizer, plus my plants were much healthier. Below is a link from U.S. Department of Agriculture on how Vitamin C protects stressed-out plants:

Here is a link that might be useful: Vitamin C protects stressed-out plants

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 18:02

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:59PM
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Hi Strawberryhill, thanks for the compliments. Darcy B is a glowing deep magenta, not as dusky a purple as MW, a bit darker than Knockout but a very vibrant magenta red. She has been by far my best performer so far and holds her flowers up nicely. I can't wait to get the rest of my garden finished. We still need to complete a divided raised bed with a stepping stone walkway leading to a fountain. Once this is completed everything can be planted!!

I checked the pale green rose is Belinda's Dream, she has bright green new growth but darker lower leaves. Honey Bouquet is the middle one in the back row and is one of the tallest. I can't recall if these have limestone or not, they do have cracked corn and tomato tone in the pots. No blood meal either. Should I top dust with blood meal or with the Milorganite?

What would you recommend for a potassium fertilizer since kelp4less has raised their price so much? I found a 5lb. bag on ebay for $7.00 plus $6.00 shipping. It's from Alpha Chemicals international in MO. Not great but better than kelp4less. It is organic powder 0-0-50.

We're not really banana eaters here so no banana peels. I only like them when they are at a certain ripeness which means I'd have to eat all of them in one day :-) We don't use lemons much either. How would lemon juice work? I wonder if it would be a deterrent to the chipmunks too. I know quite a few animals don't like citrus.

I have 3 bags of Pennington Alaska Tomato/veggie fertilizer. Can I still use this? Would it be best to put some lime with it to neutralize the acidity? I'd hate to not use it due to the cost. Darcy Bussels is own root, so are Molineux, Carding Mill, Jude, Sharifa Asma, Charlotte, The Mayflower and Harlow Carr. All bands from HR except the Mayflower which is 1 gallon pots. Do any of these prefer slightly acidic? Or would using lime in conjunction with the Pennington be better?

I haven't tested the potting mix I used for the most recently potted roses acidity. Unfortunately I don't have any of the potting soil left from my earlier roses and these probably have lime in the pots but I'll check the ph of the Vigoro Organic potting soil to see how acidic it is.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:36PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: Pennington Pellets, NPK 4-6-6, pH 6, was great when it was hot & dry, and I watered with my pH 8.3 tap water. Thanks to that, I got 3 blooms on 6" Jude, and 5 blooms on tiny Eglantyne. Both own-root Austins prefer slightly acidic.

We got all-month rain at pH 6, that's when the pellets ON TOP caused trouble with its being sticky & acidic, helped with germination of both black spots and rose slugs . Alfalfa meal is even more acidic than Pennington, at pH 5.7. Last few years I put alfalfa meal down 1st, then top with alkaline horse manure (pH 8), roses were clean, even during summer rain. I put 2 cups of acidic alfalfa meal per planting hole, and watered with my pH 8.3 tap, and roses were clean & vigorous.

Pennington at NPK 4-6-6 UNDER alkaline topping, would help with own-roots which prefer acidic: Jude, Honey Bouquet, and the pale leaves one. Phosphorus is best in the planting hole, since its mobility is a 1, stay put.

I put even higher phosphorus Jobe's Organic Tomato NPK 2-7-4, smaller granules, into pots for bands, no problems for the last 2 years, if used along with gypsum. Gypsum helps plants to utilize nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium & trace elements even at higher pH. The Goijberry plant didn't like that MG acidic potting soil (pH 6.5), so I stuck ROSE cuttings in that medium (pre-mixed with 1/2 cup NPK 2-7-4, plus 1 cup gypsum per 2-gallon), plus 3 cups perlite for good drainage. I expect the cuttings to wilt from that medium, but they are more vigorous than medium with just neutral potting soil and perlite.

Pennington isn't best with grafted-on-Dr.Huey, but wimpy own-roots love that stuff, due to its being slightly acidic, which neutralize alkaline tap. I can't sprout bean sprouts, nor broccoli sprout with my pH 8.3 tap-water, but my Mom makes her own sprouts easily with her neutral tap-water. The health food store sells citric acid to sprout, it lowers pH of tap-water. Roses root better if the medium is acidic like rain, pH 6 to 5.6, and Pennington has that optimal pH for own-root growth, if BELOW soil surface.

Both endo- and ecto- mycorrhyzal fungi thrive at slightly acidic pH to help plants with phosphorus uptake. The key for own-roots to bloom well: keep the soil BELOW slightly acidic, but supply anti-fungal nutrients, and keep the surface dry and alkaline.

Gypsum pH is neutral, thus calcium will be released. Lime pH is 9, calcium won't be released, since it binds with phosphorus & potassium at higher pH. The only reason why I topped pots with gritty lime is: I forget to mix gypsum in the potting soil like previous years. I already tested topping roses with gypsum: they broke out in rust.

Gritty lime worked with French roses that like it alkaline .. but it's a disaster with own-roots that like it slightly acidic: Honey Bouquet, Jude, Eglantyne, and most Austin roses.

Bone meal isn't bad if less than 3 Tablespoons per planting hole. Pennington Pellets has fish bone meal at NPK 4-6-6, From the below link, Bone meal is highest in sulfates at 2000 ... sulfur is an important nutrient for plants to be dark-green, without sulfur, plants are pale. next high values are Iron at 400, and Chloride at 400 (some plants don't like chloride), but bone meal has 300 sodium (salt), best if small amount.

The advantages of bone meal are: 14% phosphorus plus 23% calcium ... but those are tied-up if the pH is above neutral. That's why Pennington Pellet pH is acidic, at 6, to release the calcium and phosphorus for best blooming. So Pennington Pellets is best BELOW a dry & alkaline topping such as horse manure (pH 8), Milorganite (pH 7.7), EnCap compost granules (pH 8) , and bagged composted manure (with wood-ash added for the pitch-black color, pH near 8) ... no pest nor fungi can germinate in such alkalinity.

The Moo-Cow manure from HomeDepot has wood ash added for its pitch-black color, same with the composted manure from Menards. My Mom got fresh cow manure in MI, the color wasn't black, it's dark-brown. I used 1/2 bagged-manure for a few planting holes, they didn't bloom the 1st year, thanks for the extreme alkalinity, but bloom better later, with more rain & own-root secretion of acid. These rose have been clean for the past 3 years.

Sharon, I appreciate your questions very much. Without your questions, I won't think through as to what worked, and what didn't work. Gypsum is vital for disease-prevention, because its sulfur neutralizes the calcium-hydroxide in tap-water, to release calcium & potassium & trace elements from soil. Sulfate of potash supplies sulfur to keep roses dark-green, plus potassium for disease-prevention & blooming.

Picture below is Duchess of Rohan, zero diseases, in 2 hours of sun, after 1-month of rain, in wet & poor air flow bed. It has 10% gypsum, which helped to release calcium, potassium, and trace elements to fight diseases. It gave a fantastic spring flush when the trees were less dense. pH of soil is 7.7, so leaves are pale. It's much greener now, after Milorganite with 4% chelated iron.

Here is a link that might be useful: Composition of bone meal

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 0:05

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:05PM
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Again, thanks so much for ALL of your info. and suggestions and for another beautiful, healthy rose picture.

Gypsum~I have used Epsoma gypsum, I need to find a less expensive alternative though, plus according to Home Depot it's been discontinued, they have "Pennington Fast Acting Gypsum Plus AST Dry Lawn Fertilizer" available for online order. I don't know if this would be appropriate. Once the roses are planted and established how do you add the gypsum? Do you scratch it in on the surface and then cover with an alkaline mulch to avoid rust? How much per rose and how often?

Sulfate of Potash~If I use dry like you how often would I apply? Every 2 weeks or once a month during the growing season?

Bonemeal~In regards to bonemeal/phosphorous how much should go in the permanent planting hole? How would you add more if it has such a low mobility? I think I recall some old time advice from Mike Lowe where you push a dowel down along side the rose and fill it with bonemeal. Again how much and how often?

Pennington Fish Fert~For the Pennington just dust it on the surface? How much should I use for an established rose? Would you still make the "tea" or just scratch in the solid fertilizer around the top? Would I just use it once a year and then cover with an alkaline mulch or keep remulching throughout the growing season? Could I use my custom blend soil as a top dress? It has a fairly high ph. I think it measured in the upper 7's or maybe mix in some wood ash with it, which I have plenty of.

Tomato Tone~ Should I still use the tomato tone? How often over the growing season? Should I alternate between TT and Pennington? In your opinion is one better than the other?

Milorganite~How much should I use and how often on established roses?

Can you think of anything I missed? I know it's a lot of questions and I really appreciate the time you've taken to answer me :-).


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:09AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: You benefit me & others with your intelligent questions, which enable me to see what I did wrong with my past experiments. How did I cause rust by throwing POWDER GYPSUM on top? I repost the info:

There's a U. of Nebraska research on rust, with the title, "Medium pH and Leaf Nutrient Concentration Influence Rust Pustule diameter on leaves of dry beans."
Their conclusion: Plants grown in pH 5.8 medium show significantly larger rust pustules than plants grown in pH 6.5 or pH 7.9. Concentrations of Cl (chloride) and Mn (manganese) were more in high rust. In contrast, concentration of K (potassium) were less in high rust."

From Straw: Alabama Agriculture Cotton Research also recommended potassium fertilizer to reduce rust. Info. about gypsum from

Elemental Calcium......21.0%

Elemental Sulfur (S)....17.0%


Kelp4Less sells 5 lbs. of GRANULAR GYPSUM at 18% sulfur for $12.50 .... more than my local feed store, or Menards at $4.49 for 25 lb. bag. There's a quarry nearby that manufactures gypsum, so cheap here in my Chicagoland. I WOULD NOT use Pennington gypsum plus lawn fertilizer, if it's chemical nitrogen (high in salt).

What I did wrong was to throw 1 cup of POWDER-gypsum on top ... it's acidic, plus fast release of calcium, which drove down potassium, necessary for rust-prevention. Previous times with 1/8 cup of GRANULAR gypsum, along with sulfate of potash ... no problems whatsoever.

I would use even less GRANULAR gypsum, like 1 teaspoon, along with 1 teaspoon sulfate of potash, plus 0.2 cup of Milorganite. The best ratio for veggies is 1 part nitrogen, 1 part potassium, and 1/2 part calcium. Roses have a higher need for calcium, so I use equal amount to potassium.

Sulfate of potash NPK is 0-0-50, and Milorganite NPK is 5-2-0. Take 50 divide by 5, you'll get 10. Ten teaspoons of Milorganite is equivalent to 0.2 cup, best with 1 teas. of sulfate of potash, and 1 teas. of gypsum. I would use more sulfate of potash & gypsum with pale own-root like Jude which needs more potassium for blooming, plus more sulfur for leaves to be darker-green.

PALE own-root like Duchess de Rohan, W.S. 2000, Jude, Eglantyne, Honey Bouquet, Comte de Chambord can take more gypsum at 17% sulfur, and more sulfate of potash at 23% sulfur.

DARK green roses grafted on Dr. Huey, and French roses dislike acidic sulfates. Bone meal has high sulfate at 2000 ppm, and 400 iron & 300 sodium, with the dark-green roses break out in diseases. I put too much bone meal in Gruss an Teplitz hole ... he's the parent of Dr. Huey, it became a BS-fest, and I had to fix the hole.

Pennington fish pellets NPK 4-6-6, high phosphorus with fish bone meal. The pale & lighter-green roses LOVE that tea, today tiny Jude broke out in 2nd flush, 3 more buds with that tea, very fast repeat. Austin roses, bred in an acidic & high rain England like that ratio ... The ratio in David Austin Rose food has NPK 9.5 - 7.5 -10 ... a bit higher nitrogen due to high-rain England, which leaches out nitrogen.

Acidic sulfates help pale-own-root to bloom better, but sulfates also burns if in direct-contact with roots, best as SOLUBLE. Pennington pellets is best as SOLUBLE tea under hot sun, to spoon-feed wimpy own-roots which can't acid-phosphatase as band-size.

Bone meal is OK for pale own-root the planting hole, if mixed-thoroughly and buffered by plenty of soil. Bone meal burns if applied on top. Concentrated amount of sulfates near the stem burn. One person killed his tomato plant by topping with Jobe's Organic tomato fertilizer NPK 2-7-4, high in bone meal. When I mixed that stuff THOROUGHLY in the planting hole, I got bumper-crop tomato.

Same with gypsum, at 17% sulfur, and sulfate of potash, at 23% sulfur. Both burns my finger, and burns any root, best used as soluble. If I sprinkle some on top, I flood the basin immediately with water, to dilute that, along with milorganite for nitrogen.

Tomato Tone has NPK 3-4-6, neutral pH & less phosphorus ... it didn't burn my tomato plant, so that can be applied at 1/4 cup before a rain. It's finer particle & tend to float, best to let rain work that in.

Milorganite is best 0.2 cup with 1 teas. sulfate of potash and 1 teas. of granular gypsum .... spread that on top before a rain, if you are lazy like me. Safe approach would be Milorganite on top, then make soluble out of potassium & calcium per gallon of water.

Roses are all different from each other, the pale ones require more sulfates, potassium, and phosphorus via SOLUBLE to bloom. The darker-green leaves like Dr. Huey can secret acids to utilize nutrients from soil, thus breaking out in diseases when too much acid is supplied, like rain-water (pH 5.6 in East coast), or sulfates in bone meal, gypsum, and sulfate of potash .. which are components of Pennington Pellets.

Sharon, best wishes with your roses. They all are different from each other ... such as pale Graham Thomas which required an ungodly amount of potassium & phosphorus as soluble to bloom for a Texan. It took me 3 years, and countless failed experiments to learn the above.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 11:19

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:06AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Your Heirloom roses look great enchantedrose! I hope they grow well and bloom great for you!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:48PM
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Hi Strawberry, Fingers crossed for my success. They are looking really good right now, even Sceptre'd has very tiny signs of growth, so I'm hopeful that it will start growing too.
Thanks for the tremendous amount of info. and research you have made available to me. I so appreciate all the effort. I've saved all of the data in a file for quick reference. It is far better than any book that I've read :-)
I'll post pics when the garden is completely planted and all the hardscape finished so you and Jim can see the finished "masterpiece"

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 7:08AM
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hi Jim, thanks for your compliments. The roses are very healthy looking though small. I hope with all the nurturing that they'll put out a nice growth spurt before fall. Both you and Strawberry have been a great help and source of inspiration. Your roses are gorgeous. I tried buying "Thomas Afleck" due to pictures that you posted but it was sold out at the various mail order vendors. I purchased "Ivor's Rose" which has some excellent reviews. I need to branch out a bit beyond DA's, heavenly as they are, and plant some less finicky roses. Hopefully Ivor will be one of the less demanding ones and is supposed to have a wonderful fragrance to go with its easy care, so a win-win if it lives up to its "press"!

Ivor's Rose

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 7:18AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Can't wait to see finished pics of your garden! :-)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:45AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I love the dark-pink color of Sharon's Ivor's rose. My Pink Peace died this past coldest winter, that has dark-pink color. Like Jim, I enjoy all of Sharon's pictures. Bush-shots are rare to see. The more I grow roses, the more I pay attention to bush-beauty. Thank you, Sharon, your questions help me a lot, for me to see what I did right or wrong. Since this thread is too long, I stop here, and post the rest of the info. in another thread:

Here is a link that might be useful: Links to identify nutritional deficiencies

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 15:58

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:42PM
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