Roses & Stuff #2

jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.August 23, 2014



Strawberryhill, some of our Zinnia flowers are near 5ft now.
I did some deadheading because there were to many flowers and I was afraid the weight might break some stems...

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strawchicago(zone 5a)

I'm so sorry that your mildew became worse on Mr. Lincoln. Baking soda is high in salt & soap is irritating, so if any of that gets to the root zone, that would stress plants.

Jim, your Zinnias look so pretty & healthy ... that beat thorny roses. Do zinnias last long in the vase? I grow roses to cut blooms for the vase and DR ones like Kordes for landscape.

It's ungodly humid here. I opened the window, and it was like a sauna hitting my face .. Immediately closed the window, and kept the air on. It's 69% humidity at 85 degree, tonight will be 91% humidity and more rain. I have 1 cup of Penning pellets NPK 4-6-6 soaked in a bucket ... I'm afraid to give that to my roses, for fear of their breaking out in B.S. Will wait until it's less humid.

The blooms on Mary Magdalene are prettier blushing pink with Pennington (has Kelp meal). Mary Magdalene is the best scent I ever sniffed .. pure mystical & cozy myrrh, better than frankincense.

So glad that I threw gritty lime on a few roses before our super-humid & rainy week. Evelyn is pale, clean, and lots of blooms. That one blooms well with my pH 8 well-water, and stays clean with alkalinity. Bolero doesn't like the acidic Pennington pellets I gave: break out in black spots. Bolero is another one that likes alkalinity, it's a French Romantica.

Pennington pellets has fish bone, good source of phosphorus ... but too much phosphorus in my retentive clay cause problems: phosphorus mobility is 1, not much is needed, plus excess phosphorus bring down zinc and copper (two strongest antifungal agents). See link below:

The ones that can acid-phosphatase well, like Evelyn, Sonia Rykiel, and Bolero DO NOT like added phosphorus via bone meal. Below is a bouquet of white Bolero, pink Sonia Rykiel, and orange-pink Evelyn. They are my CONTINUOUS bloomers and most fragrant:

Here is a link that might be useful: What's in excess can produce deficiencies

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sat, Aug 23, 14 at 12:49

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:41PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Below is Evelyn bush, pale with gritty lime, but 100% clean, blooms lots .... Picture taken in humid and rainy August weather:

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:00PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Below is Bolero, 100% clean, lots of new growth& buds with gritty lime. Picture taken early July. Then I threw high-phosphorus cow-manure, then it broke out in severe black spots. I scraped off the cow-manure, threw some Penning pellets, plus alkaline clay. No new growth, BS persists ... and it dawned on me that Bolero can acid-phosphatase well, DOES NOT need more acid nor phosphorus via Pennington pellets, at pH 6.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:05PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Below is Frederic Mistral's base, 100% clean, with gritty lime during our weeks-long rain early July. Then it became a BS-fest with high-phosphorus & high-iron cow manure. Recently I put alfalfa hay around Fred, hoping he will grow back the leaves he lost. I scraped off the cow-manure too late ... should had done it earlier.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:09PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Frederic Mistral is actually suppose to be highly disease resistant in some areas...

Leaves look nice on your roses Straw!

Wow great blooms!

I know the blooms of Zinnias last a very long time on the plants like 6+ weeks here! BUT I did not notice how long they last in a vase...

It's been raining here since late Thursday and I had Mister Lincoln out of the rain for most of that time.
Darn Mildew though.... :-/

I gave Mister Lincoln some Brewers Yeast today to see if that helps him bloom...
Our Mister does NOT like cooler weather and will refuse to bloom when it comes so trying to speed things up a bit...LOL

Brewers Yeast I put on one of our in the ground Double Knockouts did very little for blooming or bud formation...
Maybe it will work better with Mister Lincoln in his container...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:15PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Well our rains have stopped... Mister Lincolns not looking to bad I hosed his leaves down this morning with plain water.
I gave him some Brewers Yeast yesterday also...

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:05AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Glad to know that your Mr. Lincoln is OK. It's super-humid here, more rain to come. The roses which I topped with gritty lime, plus alfalfa hay look good & clean and lots of leaves. Both are good buffers to neutralize the acidic rain.

Question: the sunflower seeds that sprout plants in your garden, are they the black-flat ones? They feed horses those bird-sunflower-seeds for shiny coat of hair. See link below .. the potassium amount is HUGE in those seeds:

Here is a link that might be useful: Black-oil-sunflower seeds for horses

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 7:22PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Yep flat black sunflower seeds... Years ago we bought wild bird feed at the grocery stores and they included sunflower seeds in the mixture of bird food...
Birds would scatter those seeds eveywhere and we would have sunflowers popping up all over the place...

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 9:41PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: About Sawfly/rose-slugs .... looks like it depends on the type of rose & how wet the soil is. My roses along the poor drainage side are worst hit by rose-slugs. I killed many slugs from La Reine rose, it's right below the gutter-rain-downpour, plus poor drainage.

The thinner and more acidic the leaves are, the more it's susceptible to rose-slugs. Madame Isaac Pereire has little damage, but its sport Souv. de President Lincoln, is badly eaten by rose-slugs. Below is a bouquet with La Reine rose (dark-pink) on the left, and Christopher Marlowe cluster is on the right. La Reine repeats fast, with many blooms.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Aug 26, 14 at 18:10

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 5:59PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Here's my Heirloom hybrid tea, bought from Heirloom Roses a month ago. It's my 1st bloom, but it's eaten badly by rose slugs. I made that potting soil slightly acidic by mixing in cracked corn (pH 4), plus that pot drains slower than the rest (less holes drilled). Jude the Obscure in the red-plastic pot behind it, has very little rose-slugs .. the plastic-pot drains faster than the Styrofoam.

I sprinkled garlic chives to see that helps, but that attract ants. Just sprinkled some curry powder ... hopefully it burns the larvae that hatch on the soil.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Aug 26, 14 at 18:13

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:04PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Here's Madame Isaac Pereire band, received from Heirloom roses one month ago (July 25). It's faster draining pot, with holes drilled on the side. Less rose-slug damage, it's in the same damp & partial shade area as Heirloom rose.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:09PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

We get two different rose slugs here. Curled & common...

I've been real busy last couple of days and probably will be busy for a couple more but I'm still
I'll comment more later...

As you can see transplanted Double KO is in bad shock! He has lost a lot of leaves...

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 8:19PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I recently move Yves seedling (a straight stick French rose), and it looks just like yours .... lost all their leaves. Straight stick root don't take move well, but multiflora (cluster root) take a move better, like my Le Rira Nias.

I re-direct the RAIN-PIPE to where Excellenz von Schubert (a multiflora), and Wise Portia (Austin straight-stick root) ... Guess what? Multiflora EVS doubled-in size this week-long rain, but Wise Portia lost all its leaves from the soaking-wet soil. Wise Portia gets the most nitrogen in my garden: blood meal, chicken manure, Milorganite .... but EVS gets the least, since I don't want it to be big. Will post pic. later.

Marie Pavie is in a well-drained spot, it got B.S. from the cow manure, so I chopped 2/3 off, it immediately sprout 100% clean leaves. Marie Pavie gets the least nitrogen, just like EVS. Marie Pavie is a cluster-root.

Well-drainage helps to nourish bacteria to fix nitrogen. When the soil is too wet, nitrogen can't be utilized, thus roses can't grow back leaves. I will dig up Wise Portia to fix the drainage. The same thing happens to Summer Samba on poor drainage spot ... lost all its leaves.

The red-lava rocks (high potassium & high iron) helps with blooming, but hurt with growing back leaves. Excess potassium drives down nitrogen, and vice versa. Plus the high iron promotes fungal growth. What helps with growing back leaves is good drainage that helps plants to utilize nitrogen.

Tammy in acidic red clay, TN grows lots of multiflora-roses (polyantha), and Kordes roses. Check out her fantastic Kordes Queen of Hearts below, that's a grafted on multiflora-rose from Palatine. Multiflora can take acid and prolonged wetness much better than straight-stick own-root. My Multiflora Excellenz von Schubert has zero rose slugs, nor B.S. in this week-long rain.

My La Reine, straight stick root in poor-drainage clay, has both curly rose-slugs and long rose-slugs ... but no B.S. (I put cracked corn & gypsum in the planting hole).

Here is a link that might be useful: Tammy's Kordes Queen of Hearts.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Aug 26, 14 at 22:31

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:26PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I've had roses out front lose leaves because of it being to wet one year so I know what you mean.
Zinnias love it out in that area so I'll plant them again next year...

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:48PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: My annual & perennial flowers have cluster roots and love this heavy-week-long rain. It's the woody root like Weigela and roses that lose leaves in poor-drainage.

Latest report on my 2 Comte de Chambord: The one in the hole fixed with gypsum & cracked corn have clean but small leaves, plus rose-slugs. The one in the hole fixed with sunflower seeds have leaves twice bigger, thicker, and healthier, plus zero rose-slugs. Both Comte are in soaking wet soil, right below rain-gutter, good drainage.

The copper & nickel pennies are NO-GO, I just realize that those aren't chelated, won't be available to plants... plus such pure-chemicals will hurt mycorrhyzal fungi (the ones that fix phosphorus for plants).

Curry powder chased away sawflies from Souv. de President Lincoln's pot, but the leaves got burnt from curry. My next experiment: sprinkle clove on the ground of rose-slug-fest La Reine Rose. eHow listed clove and black pepper as flies-repellant, hopefully that will repel the sawflies that produce rose slugs. See link below:

Here is a link that might be useful: eHow on spices to get rid of flies

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 9:44AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Keep me updated on your experiments Straw...

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 5:24PM
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Straw, multiflora does well for you? I thought multiflora doesn't do well in alkaline soil? I too am in Zone 5 so I was considering trying it for its hardiness, but I also have alkaline soil so I was worried it wouldn't do well here.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 9:05PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Heather: Alkaline soil is a blessing since at higher pH, more beneficial bacteria to fix nitrogen, and less pests & pathogenic fungi.

My soil is dolomitic clay (very high in magnesium, adequate in calcium), pH at 7.7. But after week-long rain, I tested the soil, and got pH 7.4, slightly alkaline, thanks to acidic rain. I tested rain water, it's around 6 pH in my Chicagoland. The east coast's rain is more acidic, at reported value of 5.6.

In hot summer, when I use my hard-well-tap water, at pH 8.5, roses have lots of leaves, but very little blooms. I installed 3 rain-barrels, and use 100% rain water this year. The result? Multiflora like Excellenz von Schubert & Annie L. McDowell & Blue Mist are clean & great bloomers. But the rest of my 50+ own-root roses went downhill: lost leaves to BS, can't grow new leaves, and become bare ... plus rose-slug infestation for the 1st time.

I spent $10 on garden-sulfur and acidic pine bark (pH 4) to fix the hole for Excelelnz von Schubert ... my clay is rock-hard yellowish limestone. Looking back, I could had used cracked corn, $2.99 for 10 lbs. at the feedstore. It's even more acidic to make the soil loamy & fluffy. Cracked-corn is MOST effective in lowering soil pH.

Multiflora is VERY sensitive to alkaline tap ... I always lower my tap-water pH with used lemon (1/2 used-rind per 5-gallon bucket, a few drops will neutralize a 5-gallon). It's risky with lemon juice, induce black spots easily.

Sulfate of potash & gypsum works well in lowering tap water ... I get Annie L. McDowell (multiflora-parentage) to be a constant-bloomer that way. If you have rain, then multiflora will do well regardless of the soil pH. Rain can really make the soil acidic. I have to lime my soil for the 1st time in over a decade.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 11:19PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Wonder where enchantedrose & Seaweed are? I miss their postings!

I noticed our Double Ko's are in there 3rd flush of the season right now SO if weather holds up we might see a 4th flush in early October...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 10:30AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Seaweed has computer problems .. her old laptop can't load pics. into Gardenweb. Plus the drought in CA, and her house being re-modeled.

The drought in CA discourages lots of rose-growers. I wish I could share the rain here in Chicagoland ... it has been rainy, wet, and humid.

My sister in CA sent me this awesome you-tube of nature in action: pollination. After watching it, I appreciate nature, all living things much more. I have 8 older sisters .. Jim, is Angela your only sister?

I'm happy with the alfalfa pellets .... breaks down quickly, clean & NOT stinky. Farmers use lime in conjunction with nitrogen source, to help plants absorb nitrogen better. I tried that with Marie Pavie ... works great. Marie Pavie got BAD blackspots from the cow-manure, so I chopped it down really short, like 6 inches. Then I mulched with alfalfa hay, and threw gritty lime on top. The growth spurt was FAST, very impressive.

Here's how Marie Pavie looks today, August 29 ... that's the cleanest she gets late summer, thanks to HARD pruning, and mulching with alfalfa & gritty lime. Jim, the link is very enjoyable to watch: video of how insects pollinate flowers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Awesome YouTube on pollination

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 10:54PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

That nature video was fantastic! Thanks for sharing Straw!
What were those bats doing?

I have another sister named Lisa and one brother named Randy. Both younger than I...

Your Marie Pavie is looking good!

Yes I wish I could send some rain to Seaweed also...

Good to hear Alfalfa pellets working well for you!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:43AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

All the flowers here doing real well....
Just took all these pics today...

This rose bush (D-Ko) in planted in the wettest area and is doing very well so there is no excuse for other roses not to grow well in this area also...
This D-Ko only got top dressed with compost this year... No fertilizer was applied at all..

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sat, Aug 30, 14 at 14:36

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 11:36AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Your garden looks great, Jim ... I love your annual flowers ... esp. marigolds. Except for Flowercarpet, annuals are more showy as landscape. I grow roses mainly for sniffing & cut for the vase.

My wish-list for next year: Firefighter (still love its scent & thornless), Young Lycidas (Love to sniff it &mauve color), Lady Emma Hamilton (love to sniff this one), and Dee-List (new Romantica, dark-pink). Anyone grow such roses? Thanks for the info. I grew Firefighter for many years, but it died early spring, so I want to replace it.

Jim, what's your plant wish-list for next year?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 4:20PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Great wish list Straw! :-)

Roses: Earthsong, Prairie Harvest, Easy Does it, Plum Perfect & Briliant Veranda

I'll plant more Zinnias out front next year for sure...

I'll use light yellow colored marigolds around all roses...

Blue petunias here & there...

And who knows what else? lol

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sat, Aug 30, 14 at 16:54

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 4:50PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

We had my sons going away party at his moms house today... (Sons moving to Seattle Washington and leaving Tuesday...
Their cat decided to climb up on the neighbors roof so I snapped a couple of pics...

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 10:06PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Wow! That cat really has glowing eyes. Jim, what color are his/her eyes? I spent few hours patching my lawn yesterday, thanks to my failed experiment with Milorganite (sewage sludge, NPK 5-2-0). First, the granules were big, so it clogged up my spreader & broke my $35 spreader.

Second, thanks to sewage's high phosphorus, weeds bloomed and spread. I had to use weed & feed to kill a large patch of weeds ... then cleaned up the burnt area, threw grass seeds, then top soil on top. I should had stuck to what worked, rather than experiment with new stuff.

I'm VERY PLEASED with Standlee no-salt, no-odor alfalfa pellets ... lots of clean-new growth & blooms. The red-lava-rock experiment failed, its high iron & high potassium suppressed nitrogen-uptake by plants, thus less leaves. So I have to scrape that off from most of my roses, except for the ones with too much leaves.

Visited the horse-stable briefly ... won't get horse manure for the rest of my life ... it's impossible to back up my car to load the manure... Too many overgrown trees & weeds back there. Plus I'm happy with gritty lime & alfalfa pellets..

I threw alfalfa pellets around Jude the Obscure, there's this whitish mold growing on top, pretty gross ... alfalfa pellets at pH 5.7 is perfect for fungal germination.

That's why I put gritty lime on top of alfafa pellets, to suppress fungal growth, and the nitrogen & calcium ratio should be 2:1. There's an ungodly amount of clover growing where I fixed my hard-clay with pine bark ... as the wood chips break down, it robs the soil of nitrogen.

That's why I no longer use wood-chips as mulch, I use "green mulch" such as alfalfa, chopped up chives, Calendula, tomato branches, or grass clippings (a thin layer is OK, too much will matt down). Such "green mulch" nourish earthworms, plus activate nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Also green mulch helps other plants, such as ground-cover annuals that self-seed themselves in my zone 5a ... Next year I'll plant white alyssum next to purple alyssum, will have to collect the seeds before winter, since those don't self-seed. Below pic. are ground-cover plants in my garden, the snapdragons self-seed themselves.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 10:31AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Glowing eyes of cat are probably from the flash as it was dusk...

Sorry to hear your spreader broke Straw and that weeds spread from sewage's!

Glad your please with the Standlee no-salt, no-odor alfalfa pellets you bought...

I actually never developed a nitrogen deficiency problem from top-dressing with wood chips for many years...

But yes green mulches are better...

Great looking plants Straw!

(This bee is hiding under Zinnia flower petals as it is raining outside...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Sep 1, 14 at 12:05

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 11:17AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Thank you for a beautiful picture of zinnia and bee. I love that red color. I won't be posting much here since I already found the solution to healthy roses: Standlee alfalfa pellets & gritty lime before a rainy spell. The alkalinity helps with rose-slugs too.

I accidentally found another forum that's more beneficial to society: Parents of Toddler forum, see link below, where someone asked for help with her 3-year-old, only 1 reply. Children are more important than roses, and if I can help a child, it's worth it.

Jim, you are the nicest person I know, and your son is an independent & good kid .... I'm sure that your experience will benefit the "Parents of Toddler" forum. The Bible has a verse, "Train a child the way he should go, and he won't depart from it." It's like making a good planting hole, and roses will be OK from there.

I only have experience in raising a 11-year-old daughter, plus my Mom's experience of raising 13 kids .. we all finished college, never get into drugs nor bad behavior ... but it's nice to have a male-perspective in raising son in that particular forum "Parents of Toddlers" ... What society needs is good Daddy who set a good example of behavior, and I'm sure your experience would be a blessing for any forums. See link below for a thread of a Mom asking for help in Parents of Toddlers forum.... children are always more important than roses.

I would give up all my roses just to get a daily hug from my kid !!

Here is a link that might be useful: Help !! My 3-year old and tantrums.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 11:01AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Yes children are more important!
I guess your not going to post anymore on this forum?
If so, then take care and maybe I'll run into you on the "Parents of Toddler" forum once in awhile.

My son is 24 yrs old.

But my wife and I did raise our grandson the first 24 months of his life (Gunnar) (My wifes daughters child)...

Gunnar was born Dec 14, 2011 so we raised him up until Dec 2013...

My wifes daughter has Gunnar raising him now...

Ok take care Strawberryhill!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 12:43PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I still post in this forum just to keep in touch with you, but only if I have useful info. to share. One reason why I ask you to post in "Parents of Toddler" forum is that the people who have experience & useful info. don't post .. it's only psycho & ego-freaks or control-freaks hang out in forums to dictate to newbies who seek help.

For example, one woman got kicked out of the Cooking Forum, since many folks complained about her being dictatorial and harsh. Since she is NOT allowed by Gardenweb to post in Cooking forum, she terrorizes other forums, like telling the grand mom of a stuttering-3-years-old just to ignore it, and NOT to seek help from a speech therapist. I stuttered for 40+ years, practically for my entire life, and I wish I had access to speech therapist when I was a child (see my reply in parents of toddler forum).

It's funny that the people who have zero experience in stuttering, act like they know-it-all. I quit posting in Rose forum since there are many "experts" who like to tell people what to do ... although they have zero experience. Like the time I had RRD on my ONLY ONE rose. First I was accused of using Scott's Weed & Feed for lawn, that's why my rose got RRD. Then I had to defend myself that rose was by itself, in a BIG BED, 11 feet away from the grass where I use Weed & Feed via a spreader.

Then someone in CA told me that the mail-man gave my rose RRD !!! I had to defend myself further, that my rose is 25 feet away from the mailbox, behind a row of trees and bushes. That person insisted that the RRD mite flew from the mail-truck, OVER the trees, OVER THE bush, and landed on my rose to give it RRD.

People are too busy "speaking for others", pushing their agenda on others RATHER SEEK TO UNDERSTAND. The wise seek to understand, the fool seeks to judge and control. There are lots of fools who hang out in forums just to speak for others, rather than being honest and speak for themselves. I find speaking for others is very controlling, that's why I never tell folks what to do ... I only share what I do in my garden.

It's endless the control-freaks and ego-freaks on the forum. In that same thread, someone else who have zero lawn, told me NOT to use Scott's weed & Feed via a spreader ... that's what the professional lawn companies do. That person told me to spray EACH dandelion with Round-UP. I didn't ask for advice on my lawn, nor my ONLY ONE RRD rose which I killed years ago. The truth was I used too much acid-fertilizer high in nitrogen (thus salt), which made the rose grew soft tissue, more susceptible for mite-invasion.

Below is my backyard lawn, looks great with Scott's Weed & Feed via spreader, zero RRD on my roses in the back yard. But it's my front lawn, along the driveway that I messed up with Milorganite. I haven't gotten any RRD whatsoever, after I removed that single rose years ago.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Sep 2, 14 at 14:17

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:09PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Here's the bed in the front lawn, where the RRD rose used to be, it's right in the middle of the bed. Recently I had expanded the bed to be twice larger to include more flowers.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:23PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I think RRD is caused by specific mites that get carried in the wind from other infected roses or whatever... Mailman...LOL
Glad to hear you never got anymore RRD!

Wow great garden pics Straw!

This post was edited by jim1961 on Tue, Sep 2, 14 at 17:41

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

Heavy rains and winds came through today & knocked down some of our Zinnia flowers...

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 7:24PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Glad to hear from you, Jim ... I always enjoy pics. from your garden. Your garden is so nice and neat. Our alkaline clay here makes it a MUST to use Weed & Feed. Houses that don't fertilize their lawn, have more dandelions than grass, and the neighbors curse them . since the seeds blow over to the next house. We never had to fertilize the lawn in Michigan (neutral soil), nor Connecticut (acidic), nor my last house 1/2 hour away (acidic).

I'm getting a hunch that phosphorus-fertilizer attract insects. Take my experiment with Milorganite (sewage sludge, or human poo, at NPK 5-2-0). I put that along the lawn next to my driveway. Many varieties of weeds sprout in that Milorganite-strip ... they flower like crazy and spread like wildfire.

So I pulled them up by hand, a mite or flea (tiny black dot) landed on my wrist and bit me ... it was more painful than a mosquito bite. That's the first time in 14 years that I got bitten by a mite in my garden. Take my 5 pots bought end of July from Heirloom Roses: I put Milorganite NPK 5-2-0 on those pots ... THE WORST ROSE-SLUG infestation in rainy & wet weather.

Years ago when I bought 5-gallon roses from Roses Unlimited: I used MG-soluble for roses, NPK 18-24-16, high phosphorus ... UNGODLY amount of thrips-infestation in hot & dry weather. The next year, Frederic Mistral was stingy so I used high-phosphorus fertilizer, NPK 15-30-15 .. every bloom was devoured by thrips or JB.

This year I used chicken manure once & sulfate of potash on Frederic Mistral ... he grows twice bigger & wider (6-feet wide). Zero thrips, and only 2 JB. Frederic Mistral is known as "Mr. Thrips" due to its fragrant light pink.

I hate thrips, JB, and esp. rose slugs ... so I won't ever use Milorganite (attract pests like mites), nor chemical fertilizer. I'm happy with Standlee alfafa pellets, zero smell, clean, zero salt, and low phosphorus NPK 2-1-2. The flowering is AMAZING with alfalfa pellets. I get 1 bloom and 3 buds on Jude the Obscure band. I get 5 blooms on Comte de Chambord (transplanted a month ago). This Comte with both alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay on top BEAT the Comte with sunflower seed in the hole (only 2 blooms). Both were transplanted at the same time.

We don't need high phosphorus for blooming .. NPK of 2-1-2 in alfalfa is enough. BTW, the only rose that came down with RRD in my garden was when I used NPK 10-5-4 TWICE during the drought, and it was next to a tree. Chemical fertilizer promote soft-tissue growth in plants & making it more susceptible for insect-invasion.

Still remember the year I used chemical 10-10-10 on my tomato bed ... spent hours killing tomato-honk-worms, those big-fat-green disgusting caterpillars. The next years I switched to bagged manure, or alfalfa, or chicken-manure ... and never had any tomato-worms. I found only 2 tomato-worm this year from the 2 plants that I tested molasses & sulfate of potash. Insects love the smelly molasses.

For Austin roses, I don't get "octopus" canes with alfalfa pellets either ... less pruning & save time. Standlee alfalfa pellet is worth every penny of its $18 per 40 lbs ... no odor & clean & easy to use. I don't get poked by thorns since I can toss those pellets at the rose-bush, and not worrying about fertilizer-burn. Below is a pic. of alfalfa pellets ... Standlee alfalfa is very fresh & nice green color, with zero salt nor sugar added, and break down quickly.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Wed, Sep 3, 14 at 10:24

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 10:08AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Standlee alfalfa does look nice Straw glad its working well for you!

I have been playing around with Brewers Yeast and blood meal but only on container plants.
I put 1 TBS of Brewers Yeast and 1/2 of a TSP of blood meal into 1 gallon of water and shake it until it disolves.

We have some flowers in hanging baskets I applied this tonic too... I actually noticed a green up of leaves, new growth, and the flowers are bigger and brighter in color...

I used the tonic on Mr Lincoln and he is showing new growth already. It usually takes him longer to get going but the tonic seems to be speeding things up a bit.
Time will tell though..

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 8:20PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: That's a great combo, I should try that myself. Nutrients work together when they are in a team, like iron helps to absorb nitrogen.

Bigger and brighter in color: That's exactly what I want. I notice that Evelyn's blooms became smaller when we had constant-rain that leached the nutrients away. Thank you, Jim, for that great idea. I pray everyday for your wife's eyes ... we all have problems, believe me. My hayfever is so bad that I can hardly breathe at night. It's going to be super-hot tomorrow, like 90 degree here. The pollen-count is highest now.

My life's purpose is to make life easier for myself and everyone else. Saying a prayer for people is a small way to make their life easy. Everyone is carrying a heavy load in life. Roses make life more enjoyable, so with being nice to one another. I put together a wise-saying Pinterest board with fantastic pics. Hopefully your wife can see those pictures, see below link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Straw's Pinterest of wise quotes-collection

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 9:50PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

This plant was at my sisters then she passed away in MAY and the plant was neglected... So it was almost all brown dead sticks except for a few green stems.
We brought the plant down here in June and kept it well watered but it only improved slightly until I used the TONIC 14 days

Mister Lincoln just finished blooming a short time ago but look at the growth already from the TONIC...

I ordered Marigold seeds a few weeks ago. (Those light colored yellow ones.)
Anyhow I sowed some seeds awhile back to see what they look like.
If it gets to cold later on I'll bring them into the house...

Thomas Affleck is inching his way

I sowed these two Zinnia seeds at the same time and they both emerged from the soil at the same time BUT as you can see one is growing much faster than the other.

SO I'm going to give the weaker smaller zinnia some TONIC to see what happens:

(Next year I'll be planting Earthsong and Prairie Harvest right where these two Zinnias are right now...
The roses will fill in some of those empty spaces you see in the pics... Our dog ran over some plants and ripped them out of the ground so might have to fence it next year until the roses get bigger...)

The Double KO I transplanted seems to be stabilizing... It has lost a lot of leaves but I expect it to start growing new leaves sometime this month...

These Zinnias have gotten way more compliments by people than anything I ever grew here...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Thu, Sep 4, 14 at 16:33

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:59AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Really hot out today here as it is near 90 degrees...

I did start getting ready for fall/winter by putting some outside furniture away, etc. today...

Our tomato plants took a fast downward spiral recently so I removed those today also...

Looks like the next 7 days will be in the 70's...

After that it looks like 60's and night time temps in the 40's... brrrrrrrrrrrr

Like it or not our growing season will soon end... :-/

Next year this area will all look somewhat different...
Easy Does it rose bush will be planted ...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Fri, Sep 5, 14 at 13:30

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 1:20PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Thank you for posting those awesome pics. of your result of using Brewer's Yeast and blood meal together. I was so sick the past few days, so didn't check this site.

I'm VERY allergic to ragweed, and cantaloupe is related to the ragweed. After eating the entire cantaloupe, I was sneezing constantly, use the entire box of Kleenex, and was so inflamed that I had a fever, could not breathe, could not sleep ... like 3 hours per night. Could not even nap.

Since WebMD wrote on how Brewer's yeast boost immunity and shorten the duration of cold. I took Brewer's Yeast and it was VERY calming to my raging hayfever. My head was less painful, the fever was lessened. Today I took Brewer's yeast, plus Benadryl-Decongestant, plus Melatonin ... I was able to breathe, took a nap & get up, and be normal again.

Brewer's Yeast with its high B-vitamins help the immunity against inflammation, be it a cold, or severe allergic reaction like my case. I'm sure it helps to make plants healthy, like your pics have shown. Thank you, Jim, I'll try your TONIC on my wimpy roses.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 4:19PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Gee sorry to hear you were sick Strawberryhill!
Hope you feel back to your ole self soon!

I have a big bag full of blood meal I bought that I never used and Brewers Yeast sitting on the shelf so I figured why waste it and came up with the idea for the

This post was edited by jim1961 on Fri, Sep 5, 14 at 20:33

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 5:11PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 9:18PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

My sons in Chicagoland staying with a friend today and tomorrow then back to Dekalb Illinois until Tuesday.
Then he begins his trek towards Seattle Washington...
He has many stops along the way and will not get to Seattle until Sept 20th...

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 10:37PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

We have had Mr Lincoln since 2010 and he has never had a 3rd flush yet.

So I'm interested in seeing if the TONIC changes that...
Only time will tell...

Took this today...
Notice the clovers disappearing throughout the yard...
We never got any dandelions this year like we usually do...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sun, Sep 7, 14 at 15:30

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 12:23PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Great shot of the Moon & and Mr. Lincoln looks good. I pray for the safety of your son's travel to Seattle. My sister is traveling from CA to visit me in Chicagoland this Thursday 9/11.

Time with family and friends are more important than with strangers on the internet ... yet people spend tons of hours either in googling, or social-media. I consider you as my friend, Jim, so I post in here. But my time in previous forums WERE A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME: I was hurt by strangers who nit-picked or put-down what I posted. My family comes 1st, so I don't post much anymore.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 3:31PM
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Hi Jim and Strawberry!!! It's nice to see that you both are well. I'm still here but have been very busy with a lot of house projects.
Everyone's plants look so nice.
Strawberry your roses are stunning as always.
I still haven't planted my little bands from HR since we haven't finished the bed that they're going in. I think I'll have to leave them in their pots for the winter with protection and wait til spring. Most are growing nicely and have flowered. Even Jude has 4 buds!! I'm hoping to see him flower before we get a frost . It's been really dry here so I've had PM issues more than black spot. It seems it's always something. I haven't bought the alfalfa pellets yet. I'm glad to read that they have worked so well for you Strawberry. Most of my roses are pretty clean although Carding Mill has some bs and Munstead Woods is the worst of the lot but Bolero looks great as does Lady Emma, Lady of Shallot, Jude, Molineux and the rest. Boscobel has bloomed and holds her roses up nicely but my favorite is Tamora. She smells exquisite and always holds her blooms up straight and has no bs. I will def. be planting more of her. My Ivor's Rose which had horrible bs when I purchased it is now about 95% clean and has a couple buds ready to open.
Strawberry~I checked the toddler forum but can't offer advice on the tantrum thrower. we have 5 kids but none ever threw tantrums so we were very lucky in this regard not that they were perfect by any means ;-)
We have finally gotten a bit of rain but still not nearly enough. Everything has been wilting, even the weeds! At least we're heading into cooler weather now for the last hurrah of summer. I still have tons of buds so I'm hoping to see some more roses before a frost nips the buds.
I'll try to post some pics soon. The colors are really intense since it has been so cool here. Lady of Shallot is close to orange right now. She looks more like oranges and lemons, hehe. Even Bolero is pale pink instead of white with a hint of pink. But it's fun to get the more intense colors. It's almost like I grow a whole different rose.
Take care.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 5:36PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Great to hear from you enchantedrose!
Thanks Strawberryhill!
Enjoy your time with your sister this Thursday Straw!

My son never threw many tantrums either...
Either has our grandson (3 yrs old)...

My sister has a 11 year old grandaughter whom throws lots of

WHERE DID YOU buy those Alfalfa pellets Straw???
We have no local resource for good pellets..

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sun, Sep 7, 14 at 23:11

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 7:35PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I did locate some Standlee Western Alfalfa Pellets at our local Tractor & Supply Co. today. 40lb is $16
Trying to decide if I want to try it next year.
Guy told me rabbits love it
Is that the kind you got Straw?

How much Pellets would be applied around an average sized rose bush?
Wonder how often it would need to be applied?

If I use pellets I would probably apply them in Mid May since our first flush is always heavy even without fertilizer...
So I would want to time it for the later flushes.

This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Sep 8, 14 at 10:45

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 9:47PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Yes, it's the same type I use: Standlee alfalfa pellets, except you get it cheaper than me ... with tax, hubby paid almost $20 for the bag. But it's worth every cent ... it smells so fresh, easy & clean to use.

I use 1/2 cup for a big bush, and 1/4 cup for a small bush. That stuff grows whitish mold in humid weather, so I put a thin layer of gritty lime on top, to suppress fungal growth, and to balance alfalfa's acidic pH of 5.7.

Alfalfa stimulates growth in my 5-well-drained pots, better than blood meal and milorganite. But for healthy leaves, I would rank blood meal before alfalfa pellets, since blood meal is alkaline, plus blood meal doesn't become a gooey & sticky & acidic medium for fungal growth like alfalfa. My Heirloom rose in a pot was 100% clean with blood meal, then it broke out in black spot with alfalfa. This also happened to another Heirloom rose (grafted on Dr. Huey) that I killed years ago.

I transplanted Yves-seedling rose 1 week after you transplanted your Knock-out. I stuffed half-decomposed alfalfa hay, plus cracked corn & gypsum in the planting hole to break up my pH 7.7 clay ... then I topped with alfalfa pellets, plus pennies after 1980 for zinc, and pennies before 1980 for copper.

That rose lost all its leaves after the move, and here's the result, pic. taken this past Saturday, 9/6.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Sep 8, 14 at 15:30

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 3:23PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Guy told me not to work it into the soil but only topdress with the alfalfa pellets then cover with compost or whatever.

Sounds like you top dress with the pellets then cover with a small amount of gritty lime?...

Great to see your transplanted rose is growing leaves Straw!
Our Double-Ko has NOT started growing new leaves yet...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 3:45PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Forget to ask you what you did to Thomas Affleck, besides the TONIC (brewer's yeast & blood meal) ... that rose looks so good now, compared to before. Did you use gritty lime too? Thanks for the info.

Hi Enchantedrose (Sharon): So glad to hear from you. It's always pleasant and enjoyable to read about your roses ... I don't have the roses you grow, so I enjoy hearing about them. Very happy to hear about your successes too ... such as: "My Ivor's Rose which had horrible bs when I purchased it is now about 95% clean and has a couple buds ready to open."

How did you solve Ivor's Rose problem? Thank you, Sharon. Your rose is so beautiful ... I love dark pink color. I get the same # of buds on my Jude: 4, with one bloom done. But my Jude is 1/2 the size of Carding Mill, see CM bought from Heirloom Roses July 25 ... I must had pinched at least 8 buds after the 1st bloom. Carding Mill is clean, even with alfalfa pellets topping. Since it's in a shady spot (3 hours of morning sun), some rose-slugs .. so I sprinkled some ground-cloves .. I meant to chase away slug-larvae, but that might had helped to keep CM free of fungal diseases.

Clove is used as antiseptic in dental care, so it kills germs. Some info. about clove from below link: "
•The spice also contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and magnesium.

•Further, the spice buds contain very good amounts of vitamin A and beta-carotene levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties.
•Additionally, this spice is a good source of vitamin-K, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), vitamin-C and riboflavin."

**** From Straw: vitamin C is documented as essential for plant's growth, so the vitamin C in powder-clove helped with the growth of my bands. I got it cheap from a Mexican store, few bucks for a huge container.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nuttrients in clove

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 3:47PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Hi Straw!

Thomas affleck only got Gritty Lime and nothing else...

Our Mister Lincoln got the TONIC and nothing else....

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 8:03PM
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Hi strawberry and Jim~
Strawberry~ I followed your advice, unpotted Ivor, rinsed the soil completely from the roots and repotted in a cleaned pot in Vigaro organic potting soil with lime and fertilizer. It still looks really good even though some of my other roses have a bit of black spot. Munstead Woods is horrible though, it probably lost 1/2 its leaves. Jude, Charlotte and Molineux look good still, Sharifa is fine, Darcy has just a bit of BS, Eden is growing nicely and my Compassion Rose climber is on her 5th round of blooms!! and has virtually no BS. Now if she makes it through winter it will be great. This rose is growing strong, own root from Brushwood Nursery, and smells heavenly plus has beautiful peach, soft orange, yellow blend large blooms and hardly any thorns. Plus nicely pliable canes so far, as close to perfect as you can get :-)
I still have lots of buds. Hopefully I'll see them flower before frost. I def. have my fingers crossed.
Jim~How do you winter protect your potted roses? I have quite a pot "ghetto" right now, way too many roses way too little time to properly plant, lol! I have read that making a collar of chicken wire and filling with leaves works well. Have you used this method? Pros, cons? Thanks for any suggestions.

Have a great day gardening and enjoy the fall weather!!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 8:01AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Well I'm far from being an expert as I only ever overwintered one container rose in the past.

But I had a large 55 gallon drum I cut down and placed the rose container in then filled the empty space with leaves.
(I waited until 1-3 hard freezes hit before doing this though so rose would start going dormant.)
(Water alittle once a month.) (I put snow on top of ours and as it melted it provided water for the rose.)

(So very similar to your chicken wire idea...)

I hear people talking about overwintering roses in UNHEATED sheds or garages all the time. (But we do not have either.)
(Keep container off cold floor.) Provide alittle water once a month.)
(Some people wrap containers in blankets after they start going dormant if its in a real cold zone while the container is in the garage or shed...)
(Keep rose in the dark as light hitting rose might bring it out of dormancy...)
(Cardboard boxes over containers) OR put something over windows to block light.)

I'm sure Straw has some ideas too as she is in frigid Chicagoland...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Tue, Sep 9, 14 at 10:35

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 10:33AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Thank you, Sharon, for info. about your roses. Our zone 5a winter is cold but comes late .. the ground doesn't freeze until after Thanksgiving. Previous years I made the mistake of winter-protecting too early ... now I don't winter-protect until after Thanksgiving.

Dave and Deb Boyd in zone 5a, MT ... don't winter-protect until beginning of Dec. Seil in MI, zone 6a, protects her many pots by piling leaves on top, but she lines them against the house. One of my herb, a thyme, made it this past coldest winter since I planted it against the garage, in shade .. and piled leaves on top.

I have better luck with herbs if planted in shade ... they survive the winter better than a sunny location. When it's sunny, you'll get the freeze-thaw effect, which destroy roots. But when it's in shade, then the roots stay frozen & moist ... and survive winter best. I kept losing rosemary when planted against the house in a sunny location. Then I planted in a shady location (next to the garage), and that survived 2 winters.

Folks in Minnesota cover their pots with a thick thermal-shield, like a car-port or a thick-blacket. I put tiny rose-rootings in my unheated, DARK garage through the winter ... watered once a month, and they survived. One person in zone 4 stated that roses die through the winter NOT because of the cold, but because of dryness. A few of my roses survived this past winter, but got killed by the dry & windy spring.

Found a link on the 4-spices with the most anti-fungal effects: Allspice (kills both bacteria and fungi), Tumeric (anti-parasite, used for athlete's foot), Cloves (used for fungal toenail), and Barberry.

Here is a link that might be useful: 5 Anti-fungal spices

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 10:48AM
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hi Strawberry~ Thanks for the info. We don't have an unheated garage plus it has windows so that won 't work. I have a stepped terrace these can go in or a spot on the west side of my house up against the foundation and a stone wall. Do you water the plants if they're left outside in pots? I'm just nervous to plant so late since it has been very cool here so I think it will be safer to leave them winter over in pots. Most are HR bands so not very old yet although some have a nicely developed root ball.
Can they be laid down on their sides so that way the whole rose can be covered or just pile leaves up to a certain height? The vendor I purchased from in mid New York cuts hers back to 18 inches, ties the canes together and then uses either rose cones or wire frames and leaves/mulch. I just want to protect these as much as possible seeing they are such a tender age.
Would you mulch the Cl. Compassion Rose too. This is hardy to Z5 I'm zone 6a so I'm hoping I won't get too much winter dieback. Should I mulch a few inches around the base? Any suggestions are appreciated.
Thanks for the info. on the anti-fungal properties of the various spices and the link. It's something to consider for next spring to try to keep the roses as healthy as possible ;-)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 11:01AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I'm not crazy about rose cones. I've heard so many people state they can do more harm than good sometimes...
( I guess if the top was open they might be ok.) ?

I kept our overwintering rose container on our semi open front porch which has a roof and banisters so I had to still water or put snow on them for moisture.

If yours will be outside in the elements then as long as any snow or rain gives the soil alittle moisture then you probably would not have to hand water.

Laying them down in pots and covering might work but I'd be concerned that the potted soil might dry out...
(So I do not know what to say about that method )

(Straw, it was so cold last winter that a lot of Seils overwintered roses died...)

Here things get too wet doing winter so smothering a rose in anything would cause canker or fungus of some sorts.
So when I overwintered containers roses I only put the leaves up to the top of the container I do not cover the rose bush with leaves...
The large cut off 55 gallon barrel I sat the container in helped block winds etc.
The rose came through winter fine.

But your area may be different...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Hi Jim, thanks for the info. There is so much mixed info. out there. We're supposed to have a colder than normal winter this year according to Farmer's Almanac for what it's worth. The vendor I bought from in NY uses cones with good success but they're so expensive so I'll probably just mulch with leaves. She also has tree roses that she winters over, she's zone 4-5, so quite a bit colder than me. I think I'll call her to see how she does this. I think she did tell me she laid them down on their sides though and buried them with leaves. I have sunk pots in the ground and have had good success with that but I don't have enough open area left to sink these into and the bed they're going in still isn't finished.
I guess I'll have to do a bit more research to see what I come up with.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2014 at 3:25PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.


The mixed info is probably because certain ways of overwintering can work at one location but not at another.
Do you know any other rose growers in your area or a rose Society?

I learn the hard way through trail &
No other rose growers or a Rose Society near here...

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

Hi Sharon & Jim & other cold-zoners:

Jim is right about Seil, zone 6a, who lost over 50 roses in pots last winter. She put them against her house, then piled leaves on top. I lost Double-Delight, bought as a band in May, grew to be 2-gallon-root-ball, planted 6 inch. below ground, plus mounding 3" of soil on top. Why? It's on a dry hilly area. It died because of dry spring, rather than cold winter.

The most successful wintering was a neighbor who planted hybrid-teas at least 4 inch. below ground, then piled up DRY bark-chips to 6 inch. high. All her hybrid-teas survived our coldest zone 5a winter. I piled up leaves on my hybrid teas, and they broke out in black-spots from wet leaves.

Something dry and fluffy on top would allow rain & snow to penetrate to roots below, but NOT TOO WET and NOT MATTING like leaves to encourage surface-fungal-growth.

Hubby got me 2 big bags of free wood-chips, I mixed that with my clay, put that stuff on open-faced garbage lids. Then I planted my bands (bought from Heirloom July 24) in holes, placed 4 inch. below ground. Then I piled up the wood chips & soil mixture to a 6 inch. height. The fresh wood chips make it fluffy, and the soil provides bacteria to suppress fungal growth.

Target has Organic fertilizer (feather meal, blood meal, bone meal, sulfate of potash) with NPK 5-5-5 ... just as good as Rose-Tone, but 1/2 price, only $3.50 per bag. So I mixed that stuff with wood chips, native clay, and dumped on top of my newly planted bands.

I don't like leaving soil above ground, since they are frozen solid, but the bark-chips break up the clay, make it fluffy & HARDER FOR THEM TO FREEZE. Jude the Obscure & Sharifa Asma were planted right before Thanksgiving but they survived last winter, because I made the soil fluffy with cracked-corn ... which made it hard for the clay to freeze, plus provides moisture in dry spring. But the corn is acidic, and both broke out in black-spots in summer.

I learn my lesson and use NEUTRAL PH fresh wood-chips, it's free, plus IT'S NOT ACIDIC like pine-bark or corn, both at pH 4. Leaves are also acidic at pH 5 to 6, perfect for fungal germination. Agree with Jim about icky rose-cones, I lost 1 rose thanks to the rose-cone blocking out water .... They are totally useless & expensive.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sun, Sep 14, 14 at 13:46

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 1:42PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.


What size are the pots you want to overwinter?
Because the smaller the pots the harder it will be to keep them alive...
The more soil you have around the roots the better the roots will be protected...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 9:32PM
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