Best fertilizing for healthy plants?

strawchicago(zone 5a)August 5, 2014

I tried many fertilizers for the past 3 years ... made plenty of mistakes. Finally came up with the cheapest, and most healthy for plants:

1) Chickity-doo-doo dried & heated manure at $8 for 25 lbs., NPK 5-3-2 get my vote as the healthiest manure for plants. It's in Espoma Tomato-Tone & Plant-Tone & Rose-Tone. Chicken manure is high in boron, copper, zinc, and calcium ... thanks to the additives to chicken-feed. Boron is vital for plant's growth, and zinc & copper & calcium are anti-fungal agents. Chicken manure is dry and alkaline.

2) Alfalfa gets my 2nd vote, if topped with something dry and alkaline, to prevent fungal and pest germination on its being sticky and acidic, with pH 5.7. Plants get so many lush, shiny, and healthy leaves. Alfalfa NPK is 2-1-2, but it acts like NPK 5-1-2 with tremendous growth. Alfalfa has zero salt, decent calcium, plus growth hormone.

3) Sulafte of potash. It's a mined, natural deposit in the earth. NPK is 0-0-50, high in potassium. Potassium is essential for blooming, disease-prevention, and drought-tolerance. I use that together with chicken manure, or to balance the calcium in gritty lime during prolonged rain.

4) Gypsum. Good to mix in the planting hole and mixed into potting soil, to promote root-growth. My cuttings root best with 1/2 potting soil & 1/2 perlite and some gypsum.

Below is a bouquet next to Annie L. McDowell plant. Annie bloom is fertilized with chicken-manure, with gypsum in the planting hole. It's always clean & lots of leaves. Dark red W.S. 2000 bloom is fertilized with compost, the bloom is lesser size than with chicken manure.

Orange is C.P.Margareta, smallest in bloom, blah-color, fertilized with Milorganite & some red-lava rock for potassium. Milorganite is stinky LONGER than chicken manure ... lasting for 10 days, great to deter animals, including deer and rabbits.

Chicken manure is mighty stinky at first, the smell goes way quickly after a rain, versus Milorganite' sewage odor lingers for more than a week. Dark pink is Frederic Mistral, with cow manure high in phosphorus. There are many 4" blooms of Fred on the bush, which I didn't cut.

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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Lots of great looking blooms in that bouquet Strawberryhill!
And nice leaves on that rose! Looks like your fertilizer routine is working for you!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:39PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I've decided on five roses so far for next year...

Plum Perfect ( Kordes 2013) (Deep Lavender blooms)

Rose of Hope (Kordes 2014) (Mix of color) (Chamblees)

Prairie Harvest ( Buck) (white with yellow center blooms...) Roses Unlimited

EarthSong (Buck) (Pink blooms) (Roses Unlimited)

Easy Does it (Harkness England) (Orange/pink blooms)
I tried this rose once before and I liked it very much so I'm going to try it again in a totally different location than before this time... (RosesUnlimited)

We will see how disease resistant the new Kordes roses are here. And I will test the top two Buck Roses on disease resistance...
And the 2010 ARS winner Easy Does

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:27PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I saw the roses you decide to get

Plum Perfect ( Kordes 2013) (Deep Lavender blooms)

Prairie Harvest ( Buck) (white with yellow center blooms...)

EarthSong (Buck) (Pink blooms)

Easy Does it (Harkness England) (Orange/pink blooms)

**** From Straw: Those are great selection, Jim !! I hope the Japanese Beetles leave the less-petals ones alone. My Honey Bouquet (yellow, with same # of petals as Prairie Harvest) was a beetle-magnet. It was eaten so badly that I could not cut any for the vase.

Here in my Chicagoland JB leave the 100+ petals ones alone, that include white Bolero and Mary Magdalene. Instead, they devour the single-petal red Knock-out and less than 50 petals like Honey Bouquet, Pink Peace. The tighter the petals, less chance of being invaded by JB. The looser & fewer petals, more chance of invasion.

Below is Honey Bouquet bloom, the most-eaten by Japanese Beetle in my garden. This year I saw only 3 JB, thanks to this past coldest zone 5a winter, down to -25 degree ... that killed lots of grubs, thus less JB.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 22:34

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:29PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I hope the Jb's leave Prairie Harvest
And also leave the Kordes Rose of Hope alone too...

I seen a few hundred Jb's when I first started growing roses in 2007... I started growing 7 light colored roses in 2006... 2008 I seen approx 100 Jb's... All those roses started losing all there leaves to BS problems so I pulled them out in October of 2008...
Then I started growing darker colored bloomed roses in 2009.
I have only seen about 4 Jb's since 2009 here...

Easy Does it.... I really like this rose when I grew it before...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 22:56

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:55PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

The healthiest fertilizers are the balanced, slow-released, in low-dose that don't stress plants to the point of black spots. My healthiest roses were fertilized with alfalfa meal (pH 5.7), then horse manure on top. The horse manure has lime added, so its pH is 8, compared to my alkaline clay pH of 7.7.

One drawback: lime in horse manure and excess nitrogen in alfalfa drove down potassium, necessary for blooming ... less blooms. I'll try that again, but with added sulfate of potash, for more blooms.

I check the additives added to horse feed: alfalfa pellets sold by Equidae has zinc, copper, and selenium added. All three have anti-fungal properties. Plus Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, plus beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus Acidophillus. No wonder my roses were so healthy when fertilized with alfalfa and horse manure.

Below is Mirandy rose, fertilized with alfalfa meal, then horse manure on top. Picture taken two years ago ... the blooms were perfect too, lots of petals. Notice the shine & glossy foliage thanks to vitamin E in alfalfa.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zinc, copper, and selenium added to alfalfa

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:01PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

The new Kordes rose "Rose of Hope" that I'm going to try...
They are entering it into the Earth-Kind trials...

They could send me roses and I'd put them to the

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:06PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I've used alfalfa meal topped with cow manure before but not horse manure over top...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:11PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: No wonder I could not find Rose of Hope in HMF, that must be a new one. I saw Kordes Cream Veranda at HomeDepot, very impressed with its healthy & glossy foliage, and blooms with many petals. That one smell great too. Someone posted a thread here praising Cream Veranda. If you go back to older threads, you'll see it.

Here's Firefighter rose when 1st planted with lots of alfalfa meal in the planting hole, BEFORE mulching with horse manure. The shiny leaves was there when it was in a pot with alfalfa mix in. My 10 bands in pots now don't have that shiny leaves, since I don't use alfalfa this year.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 23:14

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:12PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Before I started growing roses I just composted everything because I was always taught that the forest does not need someone putting fertilizers on

Started playing with store bought fertilizers after I started growing roses.

A couple of years ago I talked to Linda Chalker Scott on the phone about growing roses. She told me it was non sense that people put so much fertilizer on there roses...
Esp high in Phosphates fertilizers...

Our soil here seems to have enough of everything already in it to grow the type of roses that we have SO I'm back to composting and the

Here is a link that might be useful: Roses and Phosphates

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:40PM
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Hi Jim and Strawberry~Glad I found you again :-)
Jim~I love your selection of roses. Another beautiful Buck you might consider is "Folksinger" soft peach flowers and, at least for me, very disease resistant. I cut this one to the ground in late spring, around the third week of May I think, due to total cane loss this brutal winter, have not fertilized at all, no lime or anything and it's now on it's 2nd flush. The only problem is the munched leaves here and there. It does get JBs though and isn't fragrant if that's a consideration. This one is about 3 1/2 feet tall and was purchased own root from HR I think. This is the first winter I had a problem with severe dieback but it came back like a champ and might look the healthiest it ever has. If you're willing to try a DA I'm loving Darcey Bussell. This is a 2 year old own root from Austin direct rose. She has been pushing out flowers nonstop and is very clean so far, plus due to the dark color, no JBs, thrips or much of any critter damage. I love the red KO roses, single does better for me than double, I have a couple but Rainbow, while very pretty, was a total whimp for me. I don't think it ever grew over one foot tall and had just a couple flowers and canes.
Good luck with your quest!!
I'm trying my hand at composting. We don't really have any good place for a pile but I hate throwing out all of that future "gold". We don't have a lawn so it's difficult to get enough green matter in it. I keep throwing ferns in it hoping this will work. We have tons of ferns all over the yard so when they get a bit too aggressive I yank them and add to the pile. I saw a post on Youtube on making 14 day compost by adding beer, coke and ammonia and watering it in thoroughly. I'm thinking of trying this to see if it speeds up the process.

Strawberry~Thanks again for all the info. Cream Veranda looks beautiful in the pics, fragrant is an added plus. This one might have to go on the "must buy" list too if i can find it own root.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:05AM
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Here's a closeup of Folksinger and all her buds :-)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:07AM
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Strawberry and Jim~Here is a pic of Cream Veranda from HMF. I love the rose and the purple flowers. Do either of you know what kind of flowers they are? I LOVE purple flowers as accents to roses. They make the pastels pop.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:25AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: No luck in locating the name of the pretty purple flowers above (next to Cream Veranda). Your Folksinger is absolutely vigorous, lots of buds, and clean too. The longer I grow roses, the more I see the relation between strong root and healthy roses.

My 2 most clean roses now are: Radio Times and Duchess de Rohan. Both have adequate calcium and potassium for best root growth. Since my soil is poor-drainage clay, I watch lots of YouTube on the best fertilizer for strongest root. The guy was showing how wimpy roots were when fertilized with MG-soluble (too high nitrogen & too high phosphorus). Then he showed lettuce's root being twice bigger with the best ratio for root-growth: twice more potassium than nitrogen, less phosphorus, and equal amount of calcium to nitrogen.

Folks in container-gardening also discussed the importance of adequate calcium and potassium for root growth. I read a PDF file, a research on blackspots by a University Extension, they went into details on how black spots are germinate, then concluded the article by advising NOT to use high nitrogen fertilizer. Why? Too much nitrogen drive down potassium, necessary for root-growth and disease-prevention.

Both calcium and potassium regulate the osmotic pressure in plants. If there's sufficient of both, plants' tissue are stronger to resist pests and diseases. Before I know about putting gypsum in the soil for best root growth, I grew Annie L. McDowell in a pot: its leaves kept wilting in the heat, then the blooms kept balling in the rain. Then I topped the pot with equal ratio of gypsum to sulfate of potash: no more wilting in the heat, leaves became thicker, and no more balling of blooms in the rain. That was the expensive gypsum with lesser amount of sulfur, so it didn't burn much.

I tested EnCap dry compost granules on a few roses ... still have black spots. The amount of potassium in there isn't enough for disease-prevention. I suspect that Encap compost has equal ratio of phosphorus to potassium, because the blooms are decent quality. In U. of Purdue extension research, the best root growth is 2:1 or 4:1 ratios of potassium to phosphorus, depending on the type of plant. With roses, I would say it's 4:1 ratio, since it's prone to fungal diseases.

Roses use lots of potassium and calcium to make those solid canes. The more petals the blooms, the more potassium and calcium required. My Comte de Chambord was 100% clean until the end of its second heavy flush, then potassium became depleted. I gave it Pennington tea, NPK 4-6-6, that's too much phosphorus, it broke out in B.S.

In contrast, Radio Times got gritty lime, so I compensated for the calcium, by giving it 4 doses of soluble sulfate of potash (1 teas. per gallon). It's the most clean now, after Duchess de Rohan (DDR). I used too much gypsum to break up the clay in DDR's hole, so I compensated by giving it extra potassium.

My roses were clean with horse manure on top of alfalfa meal, since horse manure is high in potassium, plus lime is added. Horse consume alfalfa pellets (with potassium & zinc & copper & selenium added). Alfalfa meal NPK is 2-1-2, double potassium to phosphorus, plus slow-released nitrogen. That kept roses clean, but wasn't enough potassium for blooming. My roses were clean, but very stingy with that approach.

I'm going to order GRANULAR sulfate of potash from alpha chemicals ... thank you, Sharon, for that reference, it's cheaper than Kelp4Less. I have powder, soluble, sulfate of potash, but the release is too fast when I sprinkle around rose bush ... the blooms became washed-out & less petals. I had better luck last year with GRANULAR sulfate of potash before a rain, roses were much cleaner last year.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:16AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

A friend e-mailed me about how roses, once matured, with better-root system, have better disease-resistance. She has alkaline soil and tap water. I agree: strong root system = best disease-resistance. Calcium and potassium are essential for root growth, without those, roots are wimpy and can't fight diseases.

Phosphorus is a bloom-enhancer only: it shifts color to the red-range, thus make pink blooms a richer color. I'm not sure if it increases bloom size, since I got 5" blooms with Firefighter rose through alfalfa meal & horse manure alone.

Studies showed that added phosphorus DOES NOT increase blooming. The rose park uses high phosphorus fertilizer, yet I saw only one bloom on their giant Abraham Darby in the fall, when we had tons of rain. Below is Duchess de Rohan, second year. Since I put too much gypsum to break up that poor-drainage pH 7.7 clay ... I compensated with high-potassium red lava rock, plus sprinkled sulfate of potash around the bush. It's 100% clean, picture taken today August 6, after yesterday 12-hours rain. It's down to 1 hour of sun with the trees leafing out, the leaf-cutter bees are feasting on the foliage with circular cuts:

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:53PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Here's my second Duchess de Rohan, grown in a pot with plenty of sun. I forgot to put gypsum in the potting soil, so I threw gritty lime (pH 9) on top. I also forgot to put potassium to balance out the added calcium. I gave it Pennington tea, NPK 4-6-6, plus putting Encap compost granules on top (made from cow-manure and leaves). The result? Too much phosphorus, not enough potassium. It's a blackspot-fest, picture taken today, same rose, ideal environment, but lousy NPK ratio:

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:58PM
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Hi Strawberry~I think the purple flowers are heliotrope which is an annual :-( so too expensive for every year. They are pretty though.

I have been trying to find alfalfa meal but have been able to find only pellets. Is there a difference? I have been able to find alfalfa bales which I think are like a hay. I don't know if this will sprout. I'd hate to cover my roses with sprouting grass!!

I just got my Pretty Jessica bands from HR, probably the tiniest ever!!! Any suggestions for making them put on some decent growth before it gets cold? I'll be potting these in Vigoro Organic potting soil. Thanks in advance.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:38PM
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Hi Jim and Strawberry-

Jim~I just purchased an organic rose book "Growing roses Organically" by Barbara Wilde and she mentioned that shiny leaved roses were more disease resistant than more matte leaves. I did a search at HMF with this criteria and several Buck roses came up in the search as did Knockouts. Another rose that was included was Kordes "Red Riding Hood Fairy Tale" It's very striking, here's a pic from HMF, but I can only find it through Palentine which is not own root :-(
It's supposed to stay small though 2-3 ft.

I checked my most black spot resistant seeming roses and most of them have shiny leaves, including Buck Folksinger, DA Darcey Bussell, Bolero, Caramel Fairytale and some of my other Austins, plus New Dawn has glossy leaves. The Buck rose "Quietness" has more matte leaves and has some blackspot. Munstead Wood has matte leaves and is covered with bs.

The author also recommended spraying matte leaved roses with Wilt Pruf which is an antitranspirant and adds a glossy waxy finish to the leaves which makes them more impervious to fungal infection. I might buy some wilt pruf to try this out. She states that the leaves have to be sprayed both top and bottom to help with control and regularly sprayed. I googled this for Garden web and most posters were skeptical to the point of not even trying it but I think it's worth a try.

I'll let you and Strawberry know how this works out. She also mentions that soil ph is key though, similar to what Strawberry has been saying.

Kordes fairytale Rose~ Red Riding Hood

This post was edited by enchantedrose on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 18:11

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:49PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

From now on I will not plant a rose that comes shipped here and already has blackspot from the shipping box.
That could introduce a new race of BS to our area and cause me more problems...
Planting Thomas Affleck may of made my problems worse... :-/

Many things rose books say do not apply or hold true here..
Like never plant a rose right away where another rose has grown for awhile...
My best biggest Double Knockout rose that's growing in the exact same spot another rose grew for 40+ years is doing fantastic...

Wilt Pruf did not work here...

I've already ordered those 5 roses for next year so probably will not try anymore than that but who

Easy Does it will go where Thomas Affleck is now...

Prairie Harvest and Earthsong will go out back...

Not sure what I'm going to do with the two korde roses maybe put them in containers so I can move them around if I want...????

The bed out front I'm going to just plant flowers in again next year I think... Everything I ever grew out front for the past 20 years has grown great except

This post was edited by jim1961 on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 19:28

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 6:54PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Congratulations on the purchase of your new roses .. I'll be looking forward to pics. of them.

Hi Sharon: That Kordes Red Riding Hood has the perfect red color that I like, so cheerful !! thanks for posting that awesome pic. Pretty Jessica is known as wimpy grower, and could use some alfalfa in the planting hole.

Alfalfa hay are big chunks that takes at least 6 months to break down. If you google alfalfa hay you'll see tough stems, much larger than grass clippings. Several people said that mat down and block out water. One fall I dumped a bunch of grass clippings ... and after 6 months it became a solid sheet, had not decomposed yet.

I stored some alfalfa meal in a bag through the winter. After 6 months, I opened the bag, and it hardened with moisture into concrete. Alfafa meal glues up, if not broken down by mixing thoroughly with soil. I dumped alfalfa meal on top of my white pine tree, expecting its acidity to darken the pines' needles. Instead, the pine tree turned yellowish from alfalfa meal gunking into a sheet, blocking oxygen from above. Another rose grower in CA reported her roses turning pale from alfalfa meal gunking on top.

Since you got Alaska Pennington Pellets, NPK 4-6-6, with alfalfa meal & fish bone meal & sulfate of potash ... in big chunks. Those would be safe to mix thoroughly with soil to buffer P.Pellets at pH 5.8. The bigger chunks, the slower the release, and less harm to roots. The bone meal that harmed my Gallica band was dusty like fine powder.

On Pretty Jessica: The best blooming I have seen are from acidic soil with plenty of rain like England. Folks in alkaline soil complain about Pretty Jessica being a weak grower. So Pennington Pellets at pH 5.8 will balance out your alkaline tap water. I see a few pale leaves on Pretty Jessica band. Pennington with Kelp Meal made my tomato plants dark-green, so that might help.

Pennington tea works with own-root Austins that prefer acidic, my older Jude has 5 blooms for a tiny plant. My younger Jude is less pale now. Wimpy own-roots that can't acid-phosphatase DO NOT like gritty lime, so a better approach is 1/2 to 3/4 cup gypsum mixed with soil. I use 3/4 cup gypsum per 2-gallon if it's a zillion petals & deep cup bloom, and less gypsum if it's a less-petal that prefer alkaline.

Wimpy own-roots that can't acid-phosphatase bloom better when spoon-fed with potassium & phosphorus ... best as slow-released in the planting hole, or soluble fertilizer.

The problem with Pennington pellets ON TOP is its gunking near the root, and such concentrated amount of high phosphorus & potassium at pH 5.8 isn't best for plants. But mixing thoroughly in the soil is a safer approach, if there's an alkaline buffering agent, such as watering with alkaline tap. If there's constant rain at pH 5.6, another buffering agent is needed, such as horse manure at pH 8, which is less harsh and more nutrients than gritty lime at pH 9.

I would mix 3/4 cup of that Pennington NPK 4-6-6 with 2 gallon potting soil, since I already tested 1 cup of Jobe's NPK 2-7-4 with 2-gallon potting soil .. it's safe with my 13+ pots last year: solid 2-gallon roots. See below Duchess de Rohan in a pot from last year approach of fixing my alkaline tap with sulfate of potash & molasses, plus gypsum in the potting soil. My older Duchess de Rohan has been 100% clean when it was in the pot last year, to its current location in extreme shade. Picture was taken last August:

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 22:17

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

Yes I did not even notice enchantedrose that all the roses I purchased for next year have glossy , leathery

I read an article that kordes is doing what William Radler did with introducing different races of the blackspot disease into there roses for better blackspot resistance roses.

So I figured I would try two of Kordes newest roses and see how they do here....
Plum perfect and Rose of Hope...
I also read they are testing Rose of Hope in the Earth-kind trials.

As for Earth Song and Prarie Harvest. Research showed those two Buck roses do well in certain areas here on the East Coast without spraying SO we shall see...

I tried the Easy Does it rose before in the backyard in which all other roses around it had severe blackspot.
This time Easy Does it will be out front by itself...

I need to make sure that after I take Thomas Affleck out I kill all the BS spores on the ground. I may use lime sulfur for that job... Not sure yet...

Then next Spring I'll plant Easy Does it in that location...

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose of Hope & the Earthkind trials...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 23:44

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:31PM
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Hi Jim~best of luck with your roses!! Are the Kordes own root? I know you said you wouldn't purchase bands anymore so where are you getting these? inquiring minds want to know, lol!!
Thanks for the info. on Wilt Pruf, it's so frustrating when methods work well for one but not another. I think it's like you said, we just have to experiment and find the rose that works best for our little environment. Even Strawberry said that 30 miles away at her former home she had very acidic soil so your soil could be different from your neighbor down the road. We see that with well water around here. My water is great tasting but not even a 1/2 mile down the road our friend's water is ghastly. So I guess we just use the different techniques we read about until we find something that clicks.
I looked up pics of your Kordes Roses, Rose of Hope is stunning!! Where are you finding it as own root. Paul Zimmerman posted on Plum Perfect~ "Also from Kordes, the blooms are a medium to deep, rich lavender plum color. The blooms are borne on a shrub about 3-4' high by 3' wide. This makes it a nice rose for borders, pots and mass planting. The fragrance is slight and disease resistance is high - as it is with all Kordes roses."
That sounds like a fun rose. It seems that your garden is very lively :-)
I had Easy Living rose, another one way back when I didn't have a clue to what I was doing so sadly it's gone. But I remember the gorgeous flowers.

Strawberry~Thanks for your help for my teeny weeny Pretty Jessicas. These are probably THE smallest bands I have ever bought. Hopefully they'll grow some. I bought this rose because it got such excellent reviews from almost everyone, but it's all so subjective as I'm finding out. I'm hoping it will do well for me so fingers crossed. Everyone raved about MW but my 3 are disasters so far. Should I unpot them, rinse the soil off and repot in a different potting mixture? They are still putting out new growth and lots of buds so they seem to be vigorous at least but the bs is pretty bad. The Vigoro potting soil seems to be working nicely since none of the roses potted in that have bs. I also bought "Wife of Bath". HR only had one left but it's a much larger size. I have my Chamblee's order coming in early Sept.(Macy's Pride, Eglantyne and another Sharifa Asma unless I can switch these out for Cream Veranda and Belinda's Dream) and then that's it for this year!! Whew! I hope I get everything done before the snow flies!! My little jewelry business gets busy Sept. - Dec. so I'm really pushing it.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:52AM
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Strawberry and Jim~Here's a pic of Cream Veranda again with what looks like it may be Plum Perfect in the background. What a stunning combination. I think I need these :-) I'll see if I can switch these out at Chamblees for my tiny porch front garden. I think they would be perfect for the space.

Jim~it's funny HMF lists Plum perfect as 16 inches, Paul Zimmerman and Chamblee's state 3 feet. I wonder who is correct. 16 inches would be way too small, 3 feet perfect!


Cream Veranda and Plum Perfect?

This post was edited by enchantedrose on Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 9:08

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:06AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I checked on lime sulfur years ago when I wanted to know its pH. An excerpt from Wikipedia: "Lime sulfur reacts with strong acids to produce highly toxic hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg gas) and indeed usually has a distinct "rotten egg" odour to it. Lime sulfur is not extremely flammable but combustion produces highly irritating sulfur dioxide gas.

Safety goggles and gloves should be worn while handling lime sulfur. Lime sulfur solutions are strongly alkaline (typical commercial concentrates have a pH over 11.5), and so it is corrosive to living things and can cause blindness if splashed in the eyes."

*** From Straw: baking soda is effective to kill BS spores, its pH is slightly less alkaline than gritty lime (pH 9). Baking soda is VERY salty, versus lime (calcium carbonate) with low salt-index of 4.7 .. dolomite lime is even lower at 0.8. Salt index of gypsum is 8, twice higher than lime. Salt index of Ammonium sulfate (nitrogen source in MG soluble) is 88.3. Since gritty lime (dolomite) is low in salt, plus high pH 9, that would be best to kill fungal spores. It's the high pH kill fungal spores.

The link below lists manure salts index from 91 to 112. No wonder when I threw chicken manure on tiny Honey Bouquet, the top leaves burnt. Solid-fertilizer on top is way more risky than THOROUGHLY mixed in the planting hole, or making tea with water. I have bumper crop tomatoes with 1 cup Jobes' NPK 2-7-4 in the planting hole, but I almost killed one tomato when I threw that stuff on top, high phosphorus burns, esp. when applied on top.

Hi Sharon: Great idea to swap Eglantyne & Sharifa Asma for Cream Veranda and Belinda's Dream. I have Eglantyne, it's a wimpy grower in my clay .... had to fix to soil with 1 bag of sand. Eglantyne is another wimpy-own-root that can't acid-phosphatase. It's blooming well this year, thanks to Pennington Tea NPK 4-6-6 . Folks also complain that Eglantyne is a BS-fest ... without potassium fertilizer, that one is a pain.

Sharifa Asma is wimpy, but less so than Eglantyne. It was stingy in a hole with just gypsum, so I dug it up and "spoon-feed" by mixing Encap compost granules in the planting hole. Finally get 3 blooms, rather than one on a 6 inch. plant.

Thanks a million to Kentucky_rose, who reported BS-fest with a high-iron soluble, I researched on that and found iron to be a fungal-promoter. So I'll stop Milorganite (4% iron), also stop red-lava-rock (high in potassium, but also high in iron).

Kentucky_rose helped with my memory about wimpy Duchess of Rohan in a pot. It was clean when I topped with blood meal (lower % of iron, NPK 12-0-0), but broke out in BS recently when I put 1/4 cup of Milorganite with higher % of iron, higher salt, with NPK 5-2-0.

The acidic Pennington tea NPK 4-6-6 was also a factor, since the potting soil is already acidic at pH 6.5. However, Pennington tea is great for my alkaline clay at pH 7.7, and alkaline tap at pH 8.3 to 8.5.

Sharon, with regard to your BS-fest Munstead Wood. I hope you didn't try the sewage sludge (Milorganite). If there's any red-lava rocks on top, I would take it off. Some roses are more sensitive to high-iron than others. Munstead Wood is known as a heavy bloomer and vigorous grower. Heavy bloomer demands more potassium. Vigorous grower excels in "acid-phosphatase", or roots secreting acids to utilize nutrients in soil. My vigorous & heavy bloomer Austin Radio Times became clean & doubled in height when I gave it gritty lime plus sulfate of potash. Last year it was a wimpy B.S. fest.

One possibility with Munstead Wood is: the nursery might had put too much fertilizer on that one. If it's a BS-fest from the beginning, I would rinse the root ball in a bucket of water. I would check the soil pH first to see if it's acidic, or alkaline. Folks in alkaline soil rave about Munstead Wood's performance, so it might do better at higher pH.

Heirloom hybrid tea is known to do well in alkaline soil. When I bought that as grafted-on-Dr. Huey, it hated the peatmoss & alfalfa meal that I fixed my WET clay with .... broke out in B.S. Looking back, I realize that the ones that like it alkaline, also prefer DRY & loamy soil, rather than the wet & peat-based potting soil. That's why my Radio Times is so clean next to a tree: very dry & loamy there.

My band-Comte de Chambord is a heavy-bloomer, but wimpy-grower. I solved its B.S. by fixing the hole with alkaline Encap compost granules. The second Comte de Chambord: I made a mistake of NOT realizing wimpy-roots hate gritty lime ... can't acid-phosphatase to handle lime's high pH of 9. I put lime into 2nd Comte de Chambord's hole and stunted its growth.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizer Salt index

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:39AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Most sites saying Plum Perfect will grow to 3-3.5ft..
I will ask someone I know who has a couple and just loves them...

That pic you posted above... Average bloom size for Plum Perfect is approx. 3 inches (75 petals)...
So I do not know if that is Plum Perfect or not?

I will get back to you..

This post was edited by jim1961 on Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 10:54

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:50AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

I researched for alfalfa pellets without salt or molasses, finally found the info. from the horse-feed forum. Folks recommend two brands which are green & fresh & nicer-smell: Standlee alfalfa pellets, and Mountain Sunrise.

Standlee is limited to certain states. Mountain Sunrise pellets is free shipping if total order is $50 ... they sell lots of other stuff. It's 50 lbs. bag for $13. See below link:

There's another alfalfa pellets with no salt: Purina Producers Pride Brand:

Drawback of getting free horse manure: it's a nuisance, plus I can't now longer back up my car to the heap. Drawback of alfalfa meal: very dusty & stinky, and becomes concrete with my clay. So far my Golden Celebration, W.S. 2000, Eglantyne, Jude bloom well with cracked-corn in the hole, but they don't have shiny & lush leaves like with alfalfa.

Here's the base of Evelyn, when it was fertilized with alfalfa meal & horse manure. I get the same healthy leaves before mulching with horse manure, so it must be the alfalfa alone. Plus my horse manure has tons of wood-chips bedding, only few clumps of manure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mountain sunrise alfalfa pellets

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:26AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

enchantedrose, Chamblees says Plum Perfect grows 3 1/2 ft tall in Texas...
Other person from Texas said the same thing.
So I would expect Plum Perfect to grow a bit smaller in cooler climates...

Strawbhill your sure love to experiment! I'm glad to see you are finding ways to help BS in your area.
Your roses look great!

This post was edited by jim1961 on Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 12:16

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Hi Strawberry and Jim~
Jim~thanks for the info on the height. I found other places that listed it as 3-3/12 ft so that must be right. Don't know why HMF says it's so tiny?!! I just ordered 2 Plum Perfect roses so just to let you know it's your fault :-), lol!! But if that's it in the pic of Cream Veranda it was too pretty a combination to pass up.

Strawberry~Your Evelyn is beautiful. Is this own root? If so how old is she and where did you buy her from? So many say she is a Prima Donna and requires all kinds of pampering but yours is amazing!

I was able to switch out my roses, yay!! I replaced Sharifa and Eglantyne with Cream Veranda and Plum Perfect and it only cost me $8 more so double yay!!

Thanks for the research on the alfalfa pellets. They have the Shandlee locally at Tractor Supply so that's good. I tried finding if they contained salt but couldn't find any detailed info. I just hope that this won't attract the chipmunks like the corn did. They are still digging in my garden. Could I maybe make a tea instead? How long should it steep and how much alfalfa per gallon of water? I read that comfrey makes an excellent tea and compost as it has anti fungal properties and is the only plant that contains vitamin B12. I found one online at Etsy for $10.00 and another mailorder for $5.95 but they won't ship till fall so I'll probably wait till spring for it unless I can find some locally.

I'm thinking of experimenting with some of the grafteds by putting rooting hormone on peeled or nicked up canes before I plant them to see if this will encourage better own roots. If it works well maybe I won't have to replace them all. The grafted ones I planted are growing well, even Sceptre'd Isle seems to be recovering so I hate to have to replace them all. Even if it doesn't work there's not much downside since I'll just have to replace them like I intended. Have you or Jim ever tried this?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:07PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon & Jim: The "Plum Perfect" rose is my type of rose: shiny foliage, nice mauve color. Please let me know how that work for you. The previous pic. is Evelyn rose, own-root from Chamblee's, in its 2nd year. Evelyn likes it alkaline, and bloom well with my alkaline tap water.

I accidentally rooted Radio Times while winterizing before the ground froze. I tried to squeeze a circular ring on top, it didn't fit ... in the process I nicked and bent several lower branches. Then I dumped willow-branches on top to winterize. In spring time, I got a Baby Radio Times, bigger than band-size root. Willow branch has rooting hormone.

Alfalfa pellets attract animals BIG-TIME, esp. dogs. One dog broke away from its owner, to run inside my backyard while I was pouring alfalfa meal into a hole. Weeks after that, that dog ran away from home several times to visit my backyard to sniff the planting hole .... already covered with dirt. I dumped the left-over-cracked corn in the compost pile ... it sits there for weeks, no animal care to eat, not even birds. But alfalfa pellets on top will attract the entire zoo !!

Sharon, congratulations on switching roses .. Cream Veranda has a fruity scent, looks like an Austin, but much less thorns. Please let me know the result of your comfrey experiment.

Jim, I do lots of experiments since I can't get composted horse manure until late fall... the stable puts out fresh manure in summer. My latest experiments are:

1) Watering Bolero with Maca-powder (high in copper & potassium) to see if I can reverse cow-manure's BS.

2) Putting the entire bag of unsalted & roast sunflower seeds inside Comte de Chambord's planting hole. Sunflower seeds is high in vitamin E, zinc, copper and phosphorus. What's nice is these are slow-released, less stress for plants.

The old formula of Rose-Tone used to have ground sunflower seeds and crab shells. Folks raved about how healthy roses were. Then Espoma got cheap, and replace those expensive ingredients with cheap chicken manure.

3) I'm tempted to buy alfalfa pellets, but that would attract tons of animals. So I'll try alfalfa meal mixed with gritty lime and sand, that would prevent alfalfa meal from gunking up.

4) My latest experiment of gypsum in the hole & watering with sulfate of potash on tomatoes FAILED. It worked great for roses, but such approach made the skin of my cherry tomato so TOUGH, my kid had to peel each one, before popping into her mouth, plus they are more sour.
We have more rain than normal, plus my 3 rain-barrels, thus no excuse for tough skin.

I realize that the gypsum & sulfate of potash combo make plants' membrane so tough, that no insects nor fungi can invade. I have been growing tomatoes in this clay soil for 14 years, and this is the 1st time the skin gets that tough. Last year with cocoa mulch, the skins were tender & the flesh was crunchy & sweet ... much better-tasting. My big tomatoes get tough skin too, but they store longer, and don't get mushy & overripe or oozing out water like before. I freeze the big tomatoes for cooking.

Below is my raised bed of cherry-tomato. It's Suncast brand Resin (hard-plastic) frame, doesn't rot in the rain, It's dark brown color, sold for $100 at HomeDepot (free shipping). In September, Home Depot has $25 off for any on-line purchase, so it's only $75 for 8 pieces which snap together in 5 minutes to make raised-bed: Either a long rectangular that holds 6 tomatoes, or snap differently into 2 small square ones. There's long nails that's driven into the holes of the frame, to hold the beds into the ground. This is our 3rd year, and we love those raised beds. Even a 5-year-old can put those beds together.

I put black-plastic weed-barrier down 1st, before putting the frame on top. I also put bricks on top of the black-plastic, to stop grass from invading. See picture below of my dark-brown raised bed, taken today August 7, which holds 6 cherry tomatoes:

Here is a link that might be useful: Nutritional profile of sunflower seeds

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:37PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Now we can see how Plum Perfect does in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts enchantedrose

Our own kordes mini Earth-kind rose

Something I forgot and just remembered. A few years ago I ordered some roses from RU. (2010)
One of the roses was Distant Drums (Buck). It arrived here nice and healthy but I decided not to plant it here.
So I shipped it out to Kansas to Serena. Well it arrived in Kansas with blackspot on its leaves from the shipping box but she kept and planted it anyways. Most the leaves have fell off that rose every year since 2010...
So not a good rose for the midwest in the kansas area....

Distant Drums has somewhat glossy leathery like foliage and that combined with the two roses I had fail here with glossy leathery like foliage I just can not put much stock in buying a rose just for that fact alone.
Because SOME roses with glossy leathery like foliage can get severe blackspot too...

BUT have you noticed how waxy plum perfects leaves look in its pic? Now that is interesting...

Here is a link that might be useful: pic of Plum Perfect

This post was edited by jim1961 on Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 19:08

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:04PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Gee on the tough tomato skins Strawbhill! Your cherry tomatoes are looking good!
When we had bird feeders here the sunflower seeds would fall on to the ground and start growing... lol

According to the Kordes website which rates there roses in blackspot and mildew resistance they rate Cream Veranda a 3 for blackspot resistance and a 2 for Mildew resistance.
2 = some affection
3= nearly no affection
4= highest resistance to diseases

SOLERO is rated a 3 in blackspot and a 3 in Mildew resistance...


Couple things I want to point out in this pic... First off Mister Lincoln has some fat buds ready to open soon... :-)
In the far upper background where you see the lonely Double Knockout growing is where EarthSong, Prarie Harvest, and Plum Perfect will be planted...
I'll just leave that Double Knockout planted there since it gets no blackspot to act as a divider between the roses instead of using non rose type shrubs, etc...

See the little Double Knockout rose in the pic. I'll be taking it out next Spring and planting Kordes Rose of Hope in that location...

Then of course Easy Does it rose will be planted where Thomas Affleck is now...

Bouquet of Zinnias my wife put together:

Lacy our cat just relaxing:
I recently trimmed back some of those Marigolds as they were getting to big...

Some blue Morning Glories... I really like blue flowers:

We are getting a lot of tomatoes off our plants this year. I used Dr Earth Life fertilizer 5-5-5 in Mid May. Nothing else after that and I did no hand watering at all since they were planted. Our rains did all the

We had some cooler weather in July with nights dipping into the 40's and lower daytime temps.
It fooled our DoubleFile Viburnum bush into thinking it was fall so its leaves started turning fall colors in July... lol

This is Mister Lincolns leaves. No blackspot! But he has been attacked by rose slugs all season. I pick off the rose slugs once in awhile but they can do damage fast.
All our other roses have Marigolds around them and they have very little rose slug damage. Maybe the Marigolds are repelling them?

This ROSE has Marigold planted all around it and it has NO damage what-so-ever from insects:

The GOOD the bad & the UGLY! And this is ugly...LOL
Just took this pic: Thomas Afflecks blackspot is spreading like wildfire.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kordes website

This post was edited by jim1961 on Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 11:13

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 4:18PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Thank you Jim, for a great tour of your garden. Your garden is so clean & organized. Your roses look great.. I like the bouquet your wife made with zinnias.

I made a mistake in my front tomato bed: I used Tomato Tone NPK 3-4-6 in the planting hole (plenty of nitrogen), plus fixed my soil with MG potting soil (plenty of nitrogen), plus chicken manure NPK 5-3-2. The result? Too much leaves, they even hide the fruits.

My back yard tomato I used Jobes' NPK 2-7-4, plus sulfate of potash ... more fruits, less leaves.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:45AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I just used 5-5-5 fertilizer alone and it did good.

Tell you the truth most years I do not even put fertilizer on our tomatoes here and they do ok. Probably only applied fertilizer a hand ful of times in years... I do not put compost under the tomatoes or in the soil where we plant tomatoes so the tomatoes probably do benefit from a application of fertilizer...

Last year I used Alfalfa Meal only on the tomatoes and that did good too...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 19:13

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 12:32PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Here's a pic of the Double Knockout rose I'll be taking out next Spring so I can put Kordes "Rose of Hope" in its place.
I'll give the D-KO to someone along with our Thomas Affleck rose ...
This D-Knockout is in its first season. It got only compost and has not been hand watered by anyone since it was planted in Mid May...
It is growing and looking good so Rose of Hope should also...

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 7:25PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.


Below is a thread I started asking the size of Plum Perfect.
Judith from Texas wrote she loves her plum perfect and has bought two more...
You can read her post in the link I posted below...

Here is a link that might be useful: Plum Perfect Thread

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 7:48PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Now I can't decide whether to get Prarie Harvest or Kordes Golden Fairy Tale...
I also like Golden Fairy Tale after seeing this bush shot

Since I already ordered Prarie Harvest I'll plant it but if it fails then I'll try Golden Fairy Tale...

Here is a link that might be useful: Golden Fairy Tale bush pic

This post was edited by jim1961 on Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 22:28

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:15PM
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Hi Jim and Strawberry~Nice to see all the beautiful pics. My computer crashed bigtime yesterday so i had to wait for the computer guru, aka my husband, to get home from work to fix it. Hopefully I'm back ;-)

Jim, your garden is beautiful. I love blue/purple flowers too. I have loads of Nepeta Walker Junior which is shorter than Walker's Low, short Russian sage and New Zealand "Blue Lace" delphiniums. These are supposedly better able to deal with our cold winters but hot, humid summers. I ordered some seeds for this from the company in NZ direct. Hopefully I can get them to sprout, I don't have the best of luck with seeds. A green house would be really nice!! I wonder if the marigolds are doing the trick of repelling bugs? Heirloom Roses has a rose companions article and states "Marigold discourages harmful nematodes, repels pests and is a trap plant for slugs" so it seems that your theory has merit. They also state that Tansy is a JB repellant and other herbs seem to repel other insects. Definitely something to try for a mixed border garden.

If you ordered your roses from Chamblees you can substitute Golden Lion for Prairie Harvest. I just called and changed my order on Thursday. The sales person couldn't have been any nicer :-) I love my 3 Kordes Fairytale roses Caramella Fairytale, Cinderella and Elegant; good repeat and the flowers last forever plus very little to no blackspot and these get minimal care. I haven't even watered them and we are still seeing abnormally dry conditions according to the MA drought map. Even the weeds are wilting!! What I've noticed about the Kordes roses is that the flowers last a very long time. I would estimate well over a week where as my Folksingers last probably 3-4 days so they shatter relatively quick. Peggy Rockerfeller rose garden grows quite a few Kordes Roses chemical free and has a top rated list. All the Kordes rank at least 8 or higher, Knockout ranks an 8. Cream Veranda is 8.5. The best ranked is Meilland "Easter Basket" rose. It has gotten rave reviews here and at HMF.

I'm sure that the waxy/glossy leaves observation has some exceptions but it seems to be that most of my least problematic roses for disease have glossy leaves so maybe that's a good feature to look for when choosing a rose variety. The book also mentioned that yellow roses were more susceptible to fungal disease since yellow is not an original species rose color. Again not a hard and fast rule but just her observations and many complain about black spot on their yellow roses but you hear less complaints about the roses that have been bred as disease resistant so it seems that the newer hybrids have been able to meld the best of both worlds. My Caramella Fairytale rose which is a yellow/peach blend has virtually no blackspot and repeats well, but again it has super glossy leaves so this could be the reason it does so well. The ph of the bed it's in is around neutral which I've read is the ideal ph for blackspot and she still has no blackspot. This one also wintered beautifully, little cane damage even though it was a long cold winter.

Strawberry~Thanks for the latest research. You are such a timesaver for me. I love your Evelyn rose. It is so lush and healthy looking and would probably work well in my bed with Darcey Bussell. I might have to order this one from Chamblees next year. Do you prefer them over Roses Unlimited or are both equally good root quality? RU is closer to me so a little less stress for the rose's journey but Chamblee's is a much better price.


Easter Basket Rose

Here is a link that might be useful: peggy rockerfeller rose list

This post was edited by enchantedrose on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 8:04

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 7:46AM
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Jim~ Another one "Brother's Grimm" fairytale ranked 8.50 and is striking and is supposed to be 3-4 feet. I'm thinking of adding this to my "must haves" too!!


Kordes "Brothers Grimm"

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:10AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Pics of the roses you posted are fantastic enchantedrose!
Brothers Grimm reviews on another thread on Gardenweb are so so... Some people did not like it for different reasons.
So I'm kinda staying away from it for now until I further investigate.
But on the Kordes Website its ranked the best of the Fairy Tale series...

I had to order Praire Harvest off of Roses Unlimited as Chamblees does not have it. I also ordered Earthsong and Easy Does it off of Roses Unlimited.
The other roses I get will be from Chamblees...

I found a wonderful way to start
I ordered a seed starting heating mat last year online.
I put the seeds in flats or cups and put plastic saran wrap over top then plugged heating mat in and placed seed containers on the heating mat. 99% germination from the seeds I had in 3-5 days... NOW as soon as the seeds start sprouting then the saran wrap needs removed...

Even though not all glossy leathery type leaves are blackspot resistant I do notice many that are like you said.
Most of my statements I make I'm referring to here only...
I have no idea what goes on in other areas of the country or even 1 mile from us...
When I experience something here I know its possible because I seen it

Yes I've heard about yellow roses being less disease resistant. Our Carefree Sunshine was a single yellow and it did not get blackspot. And there are a select couple others. "Morning has Broken" (Clements)
I have not tried many yellow roses for the fact you mentioned though...
But I think the Kordes Fairy Tale yellows might work here...
My friend who lives 3 miles from me lives near wooded areas and it gets super humid and wet in his location... The Kordes Fairy Tale series blackspots badly in his location...But so does all his other 100+ roses...
Only Knockout, Homerun do not get blackspot for him...

But I live more in a open area then he does...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:07AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

We have dogwood bushes that get major leaf problems that look like a cross between blackspot and rust on ALL its leaves. (Not much leaf drop) Just very

We had these bushes for 20 years... About 12 years ago I was going to take them out because I was so sick of looking at the unsightly fungus on its leaves every year!
Well I got lazy and instead of digging them out I cut them to the ground thinking it would kill them...

Low and behold they grew back and were 4ft tall and wide within 3 months and NO fungus!
AND no fungus for the next 3 years... Then the fungus came back full force again SO I whacked them to the ground again and low and behold we got another 3 years of no fungus... So I've been doing that ever since with great results...

Dogwoods only bloom once a year in the Spring on old wood with tiny white flowers...
So I let Morning Glories grow up through them for some extra

I cut these bushes to the ground just this past late April:
They starting sprouting and growing in late May...

This DOES NOT work for roses! I cut a few roses completely to the ground! It only prolonged the blackspot from coming back anywhere from 1-2 months....

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 10:39

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:32AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Thanks for that peggy rockerfeller rose list...
I will look over this list for future roses if needed...Cool!

I see Homerun is only rated 810 (Homerun does very well here in our area)

Julia Child is rated 835 ( But she blackspots decently bad in our area) (I know where there are two of those planted nearby I've been watching them for a few years now)

Hummmm - I will check out this Thanks!

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 11:52

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Hi Jim~
Your morning glories are stunning! I had some last year but they were totally eaten by some metallic gold beetle so none this year. I don't need to introduce even more chewing insects to my garden, the JB's, Oriental beetles, thrips, rose slug, regular slugs, aphids, lily beetle etc. are enough!!

I know that what works is so dependent on your personal micro environment. It's pretty humid here in summer we are surrounded by swamp so pretty good black spot pressure. It's been cooler here this year so maybe that's keeping the b.s. at bay a bit plus no rain which contributes to it as well. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that I'll just have to experiment like you and Strawberry until I find the best minimal or no care roses. I don't mind fussing over the Austins a bit since they're fragrance is worth the price of admission but I'd still like the bulk of my garden to be minimal care. I have probably have well over 1500 square feet of garden, maybe more, so it's a lot to tend to. Some is shade so that pretty much takes care of itself but wherever there's sun there's roses which require a bit more attention. The DA's so far seem to be doing really well in the b.s. department, hopefully they'll stay that way.

I'm not sure about Peggy Rockerfeller garden being completely no spray but I think it was while Peter Kukielski was curator but he had an interview with NY Times on no spray roses. He revamped the garden beginning 2006 and removed hundreds of problematic roses but I don't know if the 2010 list was no spray. He has since left as curator so maybe they have gone back to spraying. He has a book coming out in Feb. 2015 for growing roses without chemicals. I'm probably going to buy it to see what his advice is.

Paul Zimmeran doesn't spray either but he seems to concentrate mostly on KO and other landscape roses. I want to find some roses that are more fragrant and showy than these. The KO's and such have their place and I have a couple but I'm like you and Strawberry I want more variety and fragrance if I can get it! The Kordes don't have much fragrance to speak of but they have some gorgeous blooms. Bolero smells exquisite and has gorgeous white blooms blushed pale pink in the center and has been great so far so has Julia Child with her sunny yellow blooms...but I'll see if they survive winter here as both are grafted. I plan on buying Bolero from RU in the spring, I really like it so far and it has been blooming pretty much non stop. It's a bit of a gamble to order it before it goes through a New England winter but it's supposed to be hardy to zone 5b so I'm hoping I'm safe. Either that or I'll have to winter protect it. At least the own roots will grow back true if they suffer severe winter kill :-)

Here's a pic of the nasty gold beetle that loved my morning glories~

Gold tortoise beetle

Here is a link that might be useful: Peter Kukielski curator

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:06PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Nasty looking gold beetle! You have a lot of garden space! Awesome!

Those roses listed on Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden are probably no spray because you really can not rate a rose sprayed with chemicals...

Easter Basket will be on my backup list too...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:19PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

HI Jim and Sharon:

Thank you, Sharon, for more pics. of Kordes roses ... that deep orange color is hard to find. Thank you for the link to Peggy Rockefeller DR-rose-list.

Thanks, Jim, for those fantastic bush-shots, they are hard to find. I hope to see bush-shots of the roses you're buying, esp. Plum Perfect. HMF has too many pics. of blooms only, which don't tell much about a rose. I look over the bush-shot of your Mr. Lincoln in a pot, with rose-slug infestation.

Rose-slug larvae breed on moist-surface. The potting soil is peat-moss-based, excellent for holding moisture on top. My roses IN THE GROUND don't have rose-slug, because my soil is rock-hard-dry clay. But my rose in a poor-drainage POT, has the most rose-slug, since its surface stay moist longer for larvae to hatch.

Golden Fairy tale bush-shot is FANTASTIC. Pat Henry of Roses Unlimited is wonderful, I changed my order tons of time on her, and she charged me zero money. Chamblee's charges people $2 per change. Jim, Prairie Harvest has strong fragrance, plus light yellow, plus LESS PETALS ... very much like my Honey Bouquet. Both Honey Bouquet and dark-red Firefighter are Japanese-B-magnets. JB like fragrance and less petals.

Yesterday I killed 2 JB on Frederic Mistral (fragrant light pink, but more petals than Prairie Harvest). None of my other roses have JB, only Fred. Only 5 JB for this year, thanks for last brutal winter. I notice with the warmer the winter, more JB. 2010 cold-winter, 2011 summer: less JB, they left my zillion-petals Austin roses alone, only single-petal Knock-outs got devoured. 2011 warmer & wetter winter & 2012 summer: tons of JB, my red-Firefighter rose was worst-affected, due to the strong fragrance & less petals. 2012 cold winter & 2013 summer: 1/2 the amount of JB compared to last year, but Honey Bouquet was still badly devoured. 2013 brutal winter & 2014 summer: only 5 JB so far on the fragrant & less-petals like Frederic Mistral, and NONE on white Bolero nor white Mary Mag. since these have zillion of tight petals.

Below is a bouquet in July, you can see upper left light-pink Frederic Mistral with less petals, thus a JB-magnet, The fragrance also attracts JB. HMF is NOT accurate on their petal-count, David Austin catalog has the most accurate petal-counts.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:21PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Dr. Roush compiled a long list of Buck roses, with disease-resistant rating. He gave Earth Song a 0, means no BS, and Prairie Harvest and Distant Drums a 1, means little BS. Dr. Roush has acidic & loamy soil, since he grows Rugosa, with very dark-green leaves.

The vigor of the root determines the disease-resistant. My 2 most clean roses now are: multiflora Blue Mist (solid 2-gallon-rootball), Radio Times (big root like a tree). The Kordes Golden Fairy Tale has very vigorous root, which does well in Jean Marion's alkaline & dry Idaho soil. I should had bought that instead of Honey Bouquet ... although someone warned me that Honey Bouquet barely survived her zone 6b winter.

Paul in CT informed me of how stingy own-root Eglantyne is, but I bought it anyway (I like to experiment). Paul raved about Golden Fairy tale in HMF: paul_zone5ct - "Buy this rose! Ironclad, no disease, winter-hardy, putting out huge candelabras of blooms. As the bud opens, it looks like the finest exhibition hybrid tea, then becomes quartered when open. Can't go wrong here." Bloom of Golden Fairy tale is 4 1/2" with lots of petals.

Blue Mist root is spreading, typical of multiflora. It's 100% clean in both drought and soaking wet. I had a Kordes Rose, Deep Purple, with a wimpy root that can't acid-phosphatase. It was stingy in blooms, came down with B.S. when my clay became rock-hard (thanks to the calcium hydroxide in tap). Deep Purple died this past winter. The vigor of the root determines both disease-resistance and winter-survival. Below is my Deep Purple, it was tiny, like 1.5' x 1' even in 2nd year ... compare that to the vigorous reported size of Kordes Golden Fairy tale, 4' to 5' tall with tons of blooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Roush's rating of Buck roses in DR

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 13:22

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:15PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Ok I just read a post from Kate in Kansas that her Easter Basket got hit hard last winter and its still recovering but so is a lot of her other roses. And it did get some blackspot...

enchantedrose & Strawbhill, Blooms only average 2 3/4 inches on Easter Basket if that matters to anyone...

I'm hoping 2 light colored roses still does not attract Jb's...
I'm only planting 2 light colored roses the rest will be darker...
Another thing that may work to our advantage is that hardly anybody in our neighbor plants flowers, etc. anymore...
Sure a flower here or a rose there but that's about it...

Just hoping....LOL

They say fragrance draws JB's also... Might be something to it as we have had mostly non fragrant flowers (darker colored) for years and have hardly seen any Jb's in that time period ...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 13:20

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:18PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I lean more toward other theorys on blackspot since that's what my own experiences are telling me...

But we all have our own opinions and I respect them all...
Cause who knows? lol

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:44PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

(Report from New Jersey on Plum Perfect Rose:)

Posted by farmerduck NJ (My Page) on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 8:31
Jim -- I planted it as a band this spring. I haven't seen a bloom yet, but the bush so far is fast growing and very, very disease resistant. It is about 2 or 3 feet tall now, and has maintained all its leaves even though I do not spray. It is competing with various perennials, and my observation is that this one has great vigor on its own root.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plum Perfect thread

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 4:20PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I'm testing the theory of blackspot strain, by NOT SCRAPING ANY COW MANURE OFF. I simply will top that with either composted horse manure, or my own clay, let's see if they improve.

Last year I mulched my roses with acidic cocoa mulch, pH 5.6, which stays wet after watering. Cocoa mulch is the dry & flaky husks of cocoa bean pods. Even DR & vigorous Christopher Marlowe broke out in BS with that acidic & wet stuff on top. So I threw my alkaline clay on top of Christopher Marlowe, and he became 100% clean. I posted both before, and after pics. in an old thread.

Blackspots will occur if the conditions are right: humid night, prolonged rain, or topped with acidic stuff that stays wet long. BS will occur if the plant is under stress: poor-drainage clay that hurt root-growth, or salty fertilizer gunking on top, or too much phosphorus, too much fungal promoter like iron and manganese, and not enough potassium.

My Comte de Chambord go in cycles: was a BS fest when it was in a poor-drainage pot. Became clean in alkaline clay. Clean again when I moved it. Broke out in B.S. after its 1st flush. Gave it potassium ... grew new leaves & plus a heavy-2nd-flush. Broke out in B.S. again after the flush ends. What I see is a depletion of nutrients, esp. potassium, after end-of-flush, or caused by roots' inability to absorb nutrients due to wimpy root, or poor drainage.

Lynn in Northern CA with thin soil on top of NO-drainage mountain granite, reported that folks there use calcium nitrate. Why? I notice that roses on poor-drainage clay are more susceptible to diseases. They don't grow new leaves as fast ... nitrogen is needed. Calcium is need to strengthen roots.

Roses on a raised bed are much more vigorous with tons of leaves. Below is Scepter'd Isle rose when it was a 1-gallon own-root from Chamblee's. It became taller than me at the end of summer, 100% clean. It's in a raised bed, good drainage which promotes best root-growth.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:38PM
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Hi Jim~thanks for the link on Plum Perfect rose and clearing up the height. It seems that there are a few errors at HMF. They list Brother's Grimm as under 2 feet but everywhere else it's listed as 3-4 ft. Maybe it depends where it's growing and whether it's own root or not so I guess the great experiment will continue. I just hope we don't wind up in the poor house by the time we're done, lol!!

Strawberry~Thanks for the info on your rose rooting with willow branches. I'm going to try the rooting hormone and see if it helps promote rooting.
I repotted the worst Munstead Wood, completely rinsing the soil from the roots, rinsing the pot, stripping the leaves and potting in the Vigoro Organic soil with some lime, compost and a bit of wood ash sprinkled on top. Hopefully this will do the trick. I put some lime on the other 2 and compost but they weren't as bad as the third one. I bought these from 2 different vendors but I don't know if the worst one was from the same vendor as the better one or not.
I'll keep you and Jim posted on how this works out.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:47PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

My guess is there are many factors that help kickstart blackspot in roses.

No two roses are alike even though they are the same type... (Like two Easy Does It roses)
They can both grow different (Vigor of plant) (One could be blackspot resistant and one not in the same location...)

I have personally seen roses of the same type have much different vigor compared to the other ones.

BUT I have never personally seen two of the same rose with one being very disease resistant and another one not.

I have 7 Double Knockouts and all of them are resistant to blackspot.

I had 5 Sunrise at Heirlooms... ALL got severe blackspot and lost 90% of there leaves.

I had 2 Courageous roses that both fell to BS.

So something I just never seen yet...

On and on I could

So many things to consider it makes my head

I have so many questions on every theory there is about Blackspot.... lol

So instead of driving myself crazy trying to figure out all the answers I'll just hopefully locate blackspot resistant

As long as a rose keeps 80+% of its leaves I'd be happy.

Do you realize that every rose I tried growing here dropped 90+% of its leaves by the end of August?
Some before that... Actually Thomas Afflecks doing good compared to all the other ones TA has only lost 30%- 40% of its leaves so
(Excluding Double Knockout, Carefree Sunshine, Mister Lincoln...)

Strawberryhill, do you know Kim Rupert? On gardenweb he is known as Roseseek? His name is also on these blackspot papers I have here from David.

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 22:37

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:17PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

I dug up at least 15 roses in my garden ... either to give them away, or to fix the soil. I notice that the roses that got the most tap-water, also have soil that's like concrete ... despite being previously fluffy. Then I researched on calcium hydroxide added to tap water, and found that it's the same ingredient to make concrete. Calcium hydroxide is UNSTABLE and binds with nutrients in soil, plus making soil more sticky.

That's why roses are healthier when 1st planted in neutral potting soil, but they become stressed out later: gunking of salty fertilizer on top, or nutrients-tied-up, thanks to alkaline-tap-water. So I e-mailed my observation to Predfern, a Ph.D. in Quantum Chemistry in my Chicagoland.

He agreed, and sent me this link on the difference between calcium carbonate and calcium hydroxide in tap water. Here's an excerpt from the below link:
"The calcium carbonate behaves like fine-grained limestone, a natural material that buffers groundwater pH and has a LOW solubility, causing water hardness. Calcium hydroxide has a higher solubility and pH .... Calcium hydroxide reacts with a wide variety of finely divided siliceous materials (pozzolans) to form cement compounds ... Mixing a lime material with a soil can start the pozzolanic reactions. This will convert the clays (and other pozzolanic materials) in the soil to a cement type compound. "

I tested the above by spreading gritty lime around Radio Times. Unlike calcium-hydroxide in tap water, that lime didn't hurt its blooming. Radio Times is both clean, bloom lots, and when I dumped a bucket on water, it drained FAST, rather than float over.

One week of being dry & hot. Today I watered my roses by dumping 5-gallon bucket on top (fixed with sulfate of potash & molasses). The cleanest roses: Blue Mist, Radio Times, Duchess de Rohan, Evelyn, Pat Austin, Christopher Marlowe ... they all drain fast, zero water-loss via flooding-over.

The BS-fest roses: the water flood over, didn't sink in. That's from poor-drainage underneath, or top-soil being HARDENED by alkaline tap. Last year I dug up a few of those roses, and found concrete on top, that's where the tap-water glued my clay together. From that time on, I always lower my tap-water pH with sulfate of potash The first thing that alkaline tap-water binds up is potassium. That's why folks soften their hard-water with potassium chloride (high salt index of 116.2, versus 43 for sulfate of potash).

The advantage of layers of horse manure & alfalfa meal on top: 1) balance of calcium & potassium to buffer acidic rain water 2) layers of such are fluffy & great for drainage 3) such low-dose fertilizer are gentle for plants, and won't stress them like salty sewage sludge gunking on top ... Milorganite made a few of my roses into BS fest.

Here is a link that might be useful: Environmental effects of lime

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:36PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Our soils is wet but still drains well... No standing water at all...
And since I removed a lot of mulch the soil actually is drying up a bit...I did not realize it but I had some areas 4-5 inches thick with shredded wood much... :-/

When we moved here that mystery rose was growing in bare soil. I just left it like that and it grew and bloomed good without any help from me.

I knew little about pruning then so I would wait until it leafed out then just cut off what looked
Sometimes that would be in
Mystery rose had little winterkill on its canes most years.
Maybe had to prune off 10 inches or less...
Other than that we did nothing.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:00PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I'm glad you experiment Strawberryhill! Without experiments new things would never be found... :-)

I like the idea of hopefully having Mycorrhizae colonize our rose roots some day and that requires I go back to my old ways of taking care of plants/roses...

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:04AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Thanks for the encouraging words. I experiment enough, will stick to what worked in the past: horse manure & alfalfa & sulfate of potash, plus gypsum in the planting hole.

I checked my few roses mulched with bagged COW MANURE from Menards: they show salt-burn, in addition to leaf-loss. I would have to scrape all the manure off, before the next rain comes.

The roses in the front which I dug at least 2 feet down, and removed the bottom layer of sticky clay & big rocks ... they are clean & lush foliage in my alkaline soil. If I dump a 5-gallon bucket on those roses, the water drain IMMEDIATELY. The composition of soil has a lot to do with disease-resistance.

In contrast, Yves seedling rose which I DID NOT dig deep enough ... I got nervous about the electric cables & Comcast wire buried nearby. So I dug only 1 feet, and dumped the entire huge bag of MG-moisture-control potting soil, 55 qt. It loses 90% of its leaves during last month heavy rain, blood meal and Milorganite only made it worse. Picture taken today.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:50AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I look at your "mystery rose" again, with its small leaves and cluster-blooms ... definitely has multiflora parentage like my Blue Mist. Multiflora-parentage like "Easy Elegance" series are cluster-root, and can handle prolonged wetness well. NOT so with straight-stick-down root, like Dr. Huey or Honey Bouquet.

Yesterday I dug up my clean Duchess of Rohan, to move to a sunnier spot. It has cluster root, very much like Blue Mist. Jim, in your rainy climate, and wet clay, multiflora would be best. Multiflora is a cluster & spreading root, rather than a straight long stick down like Dr. Huey. Deep-root like Dr. Huey would be best for well-drained soil and dry climate.

My Carding Mill bloomed today. I got it from Heirloom-free-shipping sale, July 18, or 3 weeks ago. For trees, there's a saying, "spend more money on the planting hole, than the tree itself." True, many of my neighbors spend $$$ for big trees, then they die in heavy rain and poor-drainage wet clay. Or else they die during hot & dry drought. Same with roses, I would rather buy band-size, then dig a good hole with the right stuff for disease-prevention.

Roses Unlimited is right in recommending these for the planting hole: gypsum, lime, alfalfa meal, and organic-slow-released fertilizer.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:18PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Our Double Knockouts do not mind wet soil either...
Wonder what there root system is like?

Our soil has dried out a lot since I removed a lot of our excess mulch...

Those tiny shredded pieces of wood were matted to the ground... Our soil can breathe

I placed all the excess mulch up under our Viburnum Bush which seems to love moist soil....
Been putting grass, small sticks, leaves etc. under that bush for years. It loves it!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:24PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I'm excited about next Spring and trying those new roses
I ordered.... :-)

Gee it's going to be a long

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 3:58PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: Like you, I'm after quality, rather than quantity. I killed two roses today: Arthur Bell and Mirandy. Arthur Bell because it becomes single-petal yellow in hot weather, plus I'm allergic to its open stamens, can't sniff ... the scent is inferior compared to Golden Celebration. Arthur Bell root is tiny (about 5"), but woody.

I also killed Mirandy, can't stand its thorny canes. My kid is having a playmate over weekly, they like to walk through my garden. Mirandy would be a hazard for them since it's next to the walk-way. I don't care for dark-red bloom. Mirandy is a straight woody stick down, more than foot long ... I don't see any clustering-root like Blue Mist or Duchess de Rohan.

I spent 1/2 hour scraping off the cow manure from my roses. I'm going back to what I had been doing for the past 3 years: mulch with alfalfa and horse manure, plus watering with a bit of sulfate of potash. Alfalfa and horse manure both are high in calcium, thus no need for gritty lime (pH over 9).

I notice a break-out in rose-slugs in the pots watered with molasses & sulfate of potash ... so I'll skip the molasses for pots. Wet and sugary only attracts insects.

Found the pounds of nutrient per ton of cow-compost: 17.6 Nitrogen, 19.7 total phosphate, 36 calcium, 4 sodium, 37 iron, 22.8 aluminum, 1.1 manganese, less than 0.1 copper, and 0.2 zinc. You can see that the phosphorus number is high, iron is even higher than calcium, and aluminum is high. The government document on plant physiology stated: "The inhibition of root growth by Al (aluminum) is well established, yet a unifying mechanism for aluminum toxicity remains unclear."

**** From Straw: Aluminum is also high in pine bark, another fungal promoter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cow manure nutrients in lb. per ton

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 5:40PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

You sound like me killing off

Scraping off cow manure sounds like loads of fun. Do you use the already composted cow manure or fresh...

I'm not sure what all attracts Sawflies ( tiny wasps) which then lay eggs on roses. Sawfly larvae hatches and those darn rose slugs munch away. I have studied them a lot in the past few years but still have questions on my

I have roses that get rose slugs that have not even been fertilized and the blooms are not scented or anything.
Does the sawfly look down and say ohhhh that looks like a good meal for my hungry larvae... ;-O

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:32PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I study the habits of rose slugs here a lot.
I got lucky to get the below
I was taking pics of our curled rose slugs when a Yellow Jacket landed on the leaf down from where the rose slug was located. I started snapping pics and got these...

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:47PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: that's awesome pics. of a wasp jumping on its prey, a rose slug. You are blessed with fantastic photography skill. Those are amazing pics.

I scraped off bagged COMPOSTED cow manure bought from Menards. I threw my clay soil on top. Hopefully it rains tonight.

Hubby bought for me $8 bale of alfalfa hay. That stuff is tough like strings, COULD NOT mix into the planting hole. I tried cutting with a clipper, but gave up. I put a wad of alfalfa hay on top of Yves-seedling rose (that lost 90% of its leaves). Let's see if that improve. The feed store doesn't have no-salt alfalfa-pellets ... that would be my top choice.

Alfalfa hay have zero smell, quite clean. It's longer strands, and harder to break than straw even. My goal now has changed: fewer roses, but healthier. I get rid of the ones I don't like, and keep only some that I can take good care of. Roses demand lots of water to stay healthy. My goal is no longer acquiring more roses .. keeping them healthy makes more sense.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 19:55

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 7:51PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Our feed store does not carry salt free Alfalfa pellets either.
Nor does it carry Alfalfa Meal.
When I was experimenting with Alfalfa Meal I had to buy Dr Earths brand online.
I never tried pellets...

I would also rather have fewer healthy roses...

I think you mentioned you had 50 roses... I'd be insane here with that

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:18PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Thought I'd try something different tonight. Nite-time shot of Mister Lincolns flower buds can't wait till they open...
(It takes so longgggg for ML buds to open) lol

Anyhow you can really see Rose Slug damage too so not a good idea for a And after looking at pic I see Rose Slugs eating... :-O (on the left side)

After spotting that Rose Slug in the pic I went outside under lights to look at ML leaves. I found two different types of rose slugs. (The Curled Rose Slug and the Common Rose Slug) way to many to pick off so I sprayed ML down with safers insecticide soap.

Mister Lincoln is in a large container with regular MG potting soil and he gets fed weekly with 1 TBS of Gardenville Sea-tea into 1 gallon of water. I did lay banana peels under ML as a experiment to see if they got rid of Aphids but it did not work. The peels are still on top of the soil. Other than that nothing...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 23:52

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:04PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I'm pretty sure that Molasses is the culprit, it happens EVERYTIME I use molasses as soluble-fertilizer. They use molasses to bait garden slugs. So rose slugs love that stuff. Plus potting soil is peat-based, and holds moisture on the surface LONG for slug-larvae to hatch.

Here's the ingredients in Gardenville Fertilizer, listed from most to least %: "Compost Tea, Omega Protein Refined Fish Emulsion, Feed-Grade Molasses, Humic Acid, Phosphoric Acid, Nutri Leaf Soluble Fertilizer (Potassium Nitrate, Urea, Ammonium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Copper EDTA, Iron EDTA, Manganese EDTA, Zinc EDTA, Sodium Borate, Ammonium Molybdate), Acadian Seaweed Extract."

You can see that Molasses is the 3rd ingredient in Gardenville. Here's an excerpt from the below link: "Molasses may be added to some baits to attract slugs and snails."

Here is a link that might be useful: Molasses as bati for slugs

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:34AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

That very well could be Strawberryhill on the Molasses. I was going to use another fertilizer next year anyhow.
I'm not sure what kind yet though... So I will make the change for sure...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 9:42AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Mister Lincolns getting

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:30AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I thought the yellow Marigolds I planted around our Double Knockout rose bed were just to
It seemed to take the focus off the red rose blooms.
My eyes went straight to the bright yellow and I kinda got sick of the in your face

I wish they had blue

Anyhow I found these more softer colored Marigolds.
I'll order some seeds and try them next year...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:38PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I will not be getting Kordes "Rose of Hope" rose. Chamblees said the bloom size is only 1"-2". Too small!
Its going to storm so I'm putting Mister Lincolns container on the porch so winds/rain do not ruin his
I've waited so longggg!

24 hours later:

Found this pic from 2010 I think... Our new Roses Unlimited roses arrived and the cats were
(left to right: Outta the Blue, Distant Drums, & Livin Easy.)

This post was edited by jim1961 on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 9:41

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:53PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Farmerduck Plum Perfect rose is growing but he had no blooms this entire season. I suggested he look for Rose Midge. Well looks like he does have Rose Midge in his garden.

How can we protect ourselves when we get new potted roses from rose midge being in the soil of the pot or on the rose itself?

I hope enchantedrose computer did not go out again...

Soak everything underwater for awhile?

This post was edited by jim1961 on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 9:44

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:00PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: I love the light-yellow color of those marigolds, and your Mr. Lincoln has the red-color that I like. Mr. Lincoln was my favorite at the rose park, until they replaced that with Chrysler Imperial (blah-scent in cold weather & much shorter ... fall short of Mr. Lincoln in bush-beauty).

I agree about soaking the entire plant from head to toe, to drown any eggs hidden in the top-growth of the plant.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:11PM
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Hi Jim and Strawberry~ I'm finally back, using my husband's computer again. He got my computer to work with a different operating system, LINUX, but I need a windows computer for my jewelry business so we had to save everything from my old computer to the new. Right after we were done windows died!! but at least I was able to save all my files, folders, pics, etc to an external hard drive. Such a huge pain and so frustrating!!

Jim~Your Mr. Lincoln is gorgeous and I love the soft colored marigolds. Good luck growing them. Too bad about the Rose of Hope blooms being so small. It seems like a lot of Kordes blooms are small. One I considered is Larissa but her flowers are tiny too.
Rose midge~ugh!! I think your idea of soaking the roses to kill any insects is a really good idea. It would seem that 24 hours would be long enough without drowning the rose too. Growing these is hard enough without the plague of insects on top of the fungal diseases!! Too much.
Strawberry~Congrats on your first "Carding Mill" bloom!! I'm still waiting for all of my bands to at least bloom once. Some are showing some black spot, Belinda's Dream, Carding Mill and Honey Bouquet. The potting soil has lime, should I sprinkle some on top of the pot too? Other than this set-back they are growing nicely and have at least one bud apiece. Princess Alexander of Kent has pm, should I be concerned about this too or is it just more of a cosmetic, unsightly issue? It has been humid here, cool but no rain so far although we're supposed to get a deluge tomorrow 1-2 inches of heavy rain.
Any advice is always appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:21PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: Powdery Mildew is a 1st sign of soil being too acidic or too salty for root to handle. I saw grafted-Perfume-Delight with bad PM in a pot at the store, after 1-week of rain. My Barcelona and Rose du Roi both got PM in potting soil, after 1-week of rain. I gave them gritty lime plus sulfate of potash, and PM went away.

Belinda's Dream, Carding Mill and Honey Bouquet like it alkaline. My Honey Bouquet was clean for 2 years in my rock-hard alkaline clay, until I want it to bloom more: so I dug it up, and fixed the soil with acidic pine bark, plus gypsum. Big decline in health: it became wimpy and BS-fest. If there's too much calcium from gypsum or gritty lime, that will drive down potassium. Wimpy roots like Honey Bouquet need more potassium than normal.

If there's too much phosphorus, iron, and aluminum like cow-manure, that will drive down potassium. My Marie Pavie is in worst shape in 3 years, lower leaves are all yellowish, from the cow manure. Phosphorus stresses plants, so does salt. See link below for pictures of how phosphorus stress alfalfa plants. Best ratios are 4 potassium to 1 phosphorus, and even less with roots which secret acids.

Some blood meal to balance the potassium would help. I have been using blood meal for 3 years, no ill-effects whatsoever. I used blood meal on Rugosa-heritage Eglantyne, with good result. (Rugosa hates chemical fertilizer). I used blood meal on zero-leaves band-size Mirandy, with good result.

The key to health is BALANCED, low-dose fertilizer, and horse manure with alfalfa meal is the best approach ... that would make it slightly alkaline, and less harsh than gritty lime at pH 9. Horse manure has balanced nutrients: potassium, iron, calcium, plus anti-fungal trace elements which were added to horse' feed. Another way is top-dress with Encap compost: I put lots inside tiny Sharifa Asma's planting hole, and it's clean & blooms lots, see picture below, taken today August 12, after transplanted.

I'm going to take off the red lava rocks, I notice that my neighbor's roses with lava-rocks have more blooms, but less foliage. I prefer more foliage, since I have enough blooms already after fixing my hard-well water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Purdue U. Extension research on phosphorus & potassium

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 5:36PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

enchantedrose, may I ask what size the pots were on the new roses? I mean were they HR baby bands or 1 gallon bands?
(Belinda's Dream, Carding Mill and Honey Bouquet)

Belindas Dream is suppose to be really BS resistant but no rose is BS resistant everywhere.... hummm


I would take care of Powdery Mildew fairly quickly with maybe some sort of organic spray because it can spread to other roses. Or maybe keep it away from your other roses while you experiment with soil, etc....

I regret NOT spraying Thomas Affleck awhile back as he has been fighting bad PM mostly since I planted him.
Some leaves curled so bad they died and fell off of TA...
And TA is getting worse and worse SO I have given up on him... To late for me to spray now and I do not know what I'd even spray with... This is the first rose I ever seen with PM on here...
Sorry to hear your computer died enchantedrose...

This post was edited by jim1961 on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 22:33

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:33PM
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Hi Jim and Strawberry~Hope all is well in your little corner of the gardening world.
Strawberry~thanks for the info. on powdery mildew. Another battle to wage! My grafted Zephrine Drouhin has a very bad case of PM right now, Princess Alex., grafted also, isn't as bad but still some. It has been very humid here but also cool, so optimum conditions for PM and BS. We finally got some rain though, about 2 inches worth, so that is good!

Jim~Carding Mill, Belinda's Dream and Honey Bouquet are all HR bands. There is not a lot of BS, just a few leaves here and there, Carding Mill being the worst and only one of the two has it so kind of odd. I sprinkled some powdered lime on the pot soil to see if this would help. I have looked at liquid lime, I don't know if spraying the leaves with a diluted solution of it would help or cause some other damage since it's caustic. I'll just have to see how it looks in a few days to see if the bs is clearing up. Environment seems to be so key to disease susceptibility. I guess we just need to experiment to find what works best in our own garden. This method gets kind of expensive though! On the plus side all of my other roses look good and my Buck "Folksinger" is covered with her second flush of buds. This is the one that was cut to the ground late spring because of severe winter damage. No bs at all. I hope your Buck roses do as well for you as this one is doing for me.
Thanks for your computer "condolences" ;-) My husband switched all of my files over to his computer and is using mine with LINUX. Of course now it's running flawlessly!! but at least I'm back on line and have access to all my files.
Here are a few pics of what's blooming right now. I have buds on almost everything, I can't wait till I get the very first bloom from my little baby bands.

Folksinger Shrub shot.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:42PM
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Climbing Compassion

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:43PM
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First flower on Clair Matin

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:44PM
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and Ambridge Rose which seems to flower non stop :-) and is very disease resistant so far and smells heavenly.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:45PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Thank you, Sharon, for the blooms in your garden. Clair Martin, Ambridge, and Compassion are lovely. I'm glad for the info. about the scent of Ambridge ... I'm grow roses for scents alone.

Recently I place an order through local feedstore for Standlee alfalfa pellets, hubby will pick that up next Friday. I'm very impressed with growth from mulching with alfalfa hay ... looks messy on top, but no diseases nor rose slugs. NPK of alfalfa hay is 2.45 / 0.5 / 2.1 ... It's quite dry and fluffy like straw. Topping with greens like that promote earthworms and nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Alfalfa hay doesn't mat down like grass clippings (smaller-size). The hay I got was $8 for a bale, and it's fluffy & stringy .. looks like a bird's nest, rather than wet-grass-gunking-on-top. Last fall I trimmed my tomatoes, and put their branches around roses. When I dug that spot, there was lots of earthworms underneath. A few of my roses did nothing with blood meal, broke out B.S. with Milorganite, and finally gave clean-growth with alfalfa hay.

The verdict: I like alfalfa hay better than alfalfa meal for mulching. But for putting in the hole, alfalfa hay is a disaster ... already tried that, and won't recommend that. Alfalfa meal is GREAT for the planting hole, Rose Unlimited recommended 2 cups of alfalfa meal, 1 cup of lime, 1 cup of gypsum, 2 gallons compost, 2 gallons peat moss, 2 gallons top soil, and 2 gallons clay.

For my 1st year pots, I mixed 2 cups of alfalfa meal per 2 gallon of potting soil. I got the best quality 1st blooms: see Arthur Bell below. Once Arthur Bell is in my clay, it produced single-petals, rather than fabulous double-petals like the alfalfa meal & potting soil combo. See pic. below:

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

Gee Strawberryhill those yellow blooms look show-room new! :-) Wow!

Did you get your Alfalfa Hay from a feed-store Strawberryhill? Thanks!

enchantedrose, great pics of your roses! Yep lots of buds is what we all want! :-)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 3:29PM
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Hi Jim and Strawberry~
Strawberry, I second Jim. What a stunning rose. Does it repeat for you? HMF lists it as only occasionally repeating but it sure is gorgeous!
Thanks for the info on alfalfa hay and pellets. I can get both locally, the only thing I can't find locally is alfalfa meal.

Jim~Lots of blooms is right. Requiring little care is def. a plus. Now if they only had scent they'd be perfect.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 4:31PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Sharon: Arthur Bell is drought-tolerant, disease-resistant, fast-repeat, but I killed it since I can't cut for the vase, the open-stamens make me sneeze. Golden Celebration gives more petals & better scent, plus no open-stamens. Below is how Arthur Bell floribunda looks like in my clay, less petals than its 1st year in potting soil mixed with alfalfa meal.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 6:05PM
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