What are you doing in your garden right now?

kittymoonbeamSeptember 26, 2013

I am starting fall seeds and trimming overgrown hedges. I just gave all my bands some liquid seaweed food. The Orchard Supply Hardware near us is closing so all the gardening section is 25% off. I bought seeds and organic fertilizer and a new rake and three new plant lights for starting seeds indoors. I was going to try Kim's burrito method and see if I had any luck rooting Paul's Early Blush for a friend.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Today we have been trying to control the rampant growth of some of our old roses. We have a Victorian 3 bedroom flat on the top floor (3rd) of our house, and the tenants complained yesterday that the banksia lutea and Cl Cecile Brunner which are growing up the house are coming in 3 of their windows! My DH went up a 35 foot ladder to look, and sure enough - both those roses are growing like topsy, and evidently have decided that they want to move in!

We also had to pry the long long canes of our vielchenblau out of the tree it is growing up (very densely leafed evergreen eugenia - no light), and moved them over to the fence where they will get some light. Ditto what I think is Lamarque which is next to them - it put out a 12 foot long cane just in the last month - my roses frequently put on a growth spurt each Fall - no idea why.

Last one for today - there is a formal front walk from the sidewalk to our front stairs, and in the bed next to the front gate there is a de la Grifferaie. Last year we bought it a very large metal rose folly to grow on, which is on the other side of it from the front path. It seems as if every day this week I have had to take another 6-8 foot long cane which was suddenly trying to block the path and tie it up to the rose folly thingy. My roses just love Fall.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Kitty: Thank you for a great thread! I love to see your garden's progress. It's fun.

Hi Jackie: Thank you for posting about trimming roses. I need to do that, since FREE yard-waste starts October 1 here ... so fall leaves don't clog streets' gutters. Hooray! No more throwing money to dispose yard waste.

I poke holes in my rock-hard clay to get ready for rain this weekend. My soil is alkaline clay, and the hard water deposits more lime to harden my clay. It gets so bad that when I water, it floats over. I have to make a basin to collect water around the bush, plus poking holes for water-penetration.

My roses are buried 6 inches BELOW ground level for winter-protection, plus Golden Celebration is recently transplanted. With established roses, I poke smaller holes with a barbecue-stick, so surface roots don't get damaged. Below is Golden Celebration rose, with poke holes to allow oxygen and water to get down below:

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Some of my roses in 4 hours of sun have powdery mildew. We are in the dry phase of summer: hot days and cool nights. This morning I doused all the white mildewed leaves with my pH 8 tap water.

Here are excerpts from the link below: "Downey mildew is caused by the Peronospora sparsa fungus, and occurs under cool, moist, cloudy conditions. Common in coastal gardens, it produces irregular, reddish-purple blotches on the leaves. Since the fungus develops in free water on the plant's surfaces, it's important to avoid overhead watering

Downy mildew â¢When pruning, remove all diseased canes and discard to the trash. If you are dealing with a severe infection, you might want to sanitize your pruning tools in between plants

â¢After pruning, use a dormant season horticultural oil spray. If you are trying to eliminate a severe infection, you might want to add a copper compound to your horticultural oil. â¢During optimal growth conditions, avoid overhead watering

**** Excerpt for Powdery Mildew

"â¢During optimal growth conditions, wash all surfaces of the plant with hose water. Do so early enough in the day that the leaves dry out before nightfall."

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic rose care by Good Earth

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My roses are growing long canes too right now. That's fun about your roses wanting to come in. They must look magnificent every spring on the house. I have a new MAC that is going up a plum tree and I want to train it to the eaves following the peak of the roof line over the side door. Lamarque is a beauty as well. I had no idea it could grow such long canes so quickly.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 11:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Kitty: I would love to see pics. of your MAC going up a pllum tree, what's MAC stand for? I always enjoy Jackie's shots of her huge roses.... my zone 5a and hard clay make roses into minis.

You wrote: "I was going to try Kim's burrito method and see if I had any luck rooting Paul's Early Blush for a friend." Rooting is fun, last year I rooted cuttings in organic potting soil (pine fines), they kept drying out.

This year I followed Linda of LongAgoRoses' technique of rooting in coarse sand (play sand is OK too). I put 2 batches: One in the north side (2 hours of sun), and one in the east side (4 hours of sun). The north-side batch is very perky, I water those once week. The east-side batch is wilted, and I have to water them every other day.

Sand stays moist much longer than the Organic Potting soil with pine fines. I don't bother cover my cuttings, since we have more humid weather.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good luck with your cuttings

MAC is Madame Alfred Carriere, one of the great climbers for my climate. I finally got brave enough to try it. There is a good discussion on this rose going in the Antiques rose forum about how adaptable this rose can be. Already it has been very healthy in a shady spot that gets just a few hours of sun below. Up higher near the roof it's sunnier. I got some nice spring flowers and a few scattered ones later on. Next year should be better now that she's up there. I'm going to train her along the eaves and let some branches cascade out of the tree. Last spring the white petals came down and looked pretty on the bricks so I was happy with that.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Kitty: Your MAC sounds wonderful ... I have lots of shady places ... wish there are more roses like MAC.

I planted Double Delight in the ground. It was too tall in a dinky pot. I should had taken a picture of the mat of clover that grew in that pot. The band is 6 months old, so the fertilizer in Moisture-control potting soil is used up.

Found why clover in a pot is a great idea: nitrogen fixation. I also put Jobes Organic fertilizer NPK 2-7-4 at 1/4 cup with beneficial bacteria & fungi to fix nitrogen and fix phosphorus IN THE POTS. The 2 pots without that stuff show nitrogen deficiency.

I think it's a good tip to put clover in the pot to supply nitrogen. Salt in chemical nitrogen can accumulate in pots, verse no-salt with nitrogen from clover.

The pots with no clover are 1/2 the size. I should put blood meal in them ... I realize that with my constant watering, nitrogen is leached out from pots. Below is a picture of Double Delight taken last month, with 4 buds in the shade:

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 18:09

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is very impressive, Double Delight! Yeah!

You sure have a green way about the roses! Thump up!

Wish mine would grow up like yours, my rescue Double Delight has only short canes less than one foot each, and leaves not out yet since Sept 13, 2 weeks passed, any idea what did I missed in Npk ratio? I used Kellogg's patio Plus organic soil, not given any fertilizer except Vitamin B 1.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 11:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Seaweed: Dave and Deb Boyd wrote this in HMF: "Blackspot is not a problem here. DD will get a bit of powdery mildew if neglected. Double Delight is not cane hardy. Spring growth is very vigorous and we get lots of new canes. DD is another of the roses we have that uses iron up fast. I have to stay on top of it and it gets about double the iron added compared to most of our roses. Excellent rose! Dave, South central Montana - zone 4/5"

From Straw: My DD came as a tiny own-root, 3" with no leaves. It was slow fertilized with a bit of gypsum and sulfate of potash. Then I used "Tree of Life molasses" with 15 mg of sodium, 500 potassium, 20% iron. Double Delight grew fast with that.

Wholesome Organics molasses is better with no salt & higher potassium, and 15% iron, but it tastes so good that I keep for myself, rather than for plants. It's sold $6 per bottle, very thick, so I get my money's worth. Plantation molasses is much thinner, less potassium, 20% iron, sold for $5 at health food store. NPK of molasses 3-1-5.

Now Jude the Obscure and Sharifa Asma hate that molasses, breaking out in blackspot. They don't get Jobes' Organic Tomato Fertilizer NPK 2-7-4, with Biozome (beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi). That stuff also has bone meal and sulfate of potash.

Thus I don't give molasses to BS-prone roses. Sugar feeds fungi and acidifies the soil. One nursery advised pouring a can of Coke into the soil to acidify.

Jobes' fertilizer with Biozome makes a big difference in my pots: the beneficial bacteria helps to fix nitrogen, and the mycorrhizal fungi helps with root-growth.

I started with 16 pots in spring, all are planted in the ground with solid 2-gallons root balls ... except for Jude and Sharifa asma, very poor growth (I ran out of Jobe's). Jobe's tomatoe 2-7-4 has bone meal to help with root-growth in pots.

Jobe's 8 lb. Organic Heirloom tomato fertilizer, NPK 3-5-3, is sold for $10 at Home Depot, but I haven't tested that ... it has 5-star rating, winner of Best Tomato fertilizer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jobes Organic Tomatoe fertilizer with Biozome

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Wed, Oct 2, 13 at 10:33

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 10:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Straw & everyone.
I'm soaking bluebonnet seed now to plant over the next few days. Already planted larkspur, coreopsis, poppies, winecup, oxe eye daisy, tahoka daisy & horsemint. Also a wildflower mix. The seed from Wildseed is really good--very good germination, very clean. The winecups started sprouting in 3 days!

We scored a pickup load of horse manure from a close source for free! It's from a couple of Percherons & a Paso. The guy was rightfully proud of his poop--his hosses are alfalfa fed so no weed seed. Got it all spread except for a few buckets reserved to lightly cover the new seeds. I like how manure has a spongy water-retentive quality--great for seedlings when it's used as a fine covering.

Gradually moving band babies into 2 gallons & into more sun for the fall & winter. The ones in the ground since last spring are wonderful--have some beautiful Sunsprite, Baronne Prevost, Mrs. B.R. Cant, Maman Cochet blooms.

I can't get the chlorosis out of Iceberg & a few others--all older plants in the ground. Gave them a shot of Ironite that was left over, & some sulfur earlier. I have some gypsum & have added the horse manure around them--will keep working at it. Haven't done a specific soil test of the area but the general characteristic of soils (& I'm being generous, calling them 'soils') here is very alkaline. Lots of caliche with thin to no covering dirt. Alkaline hard aquifer water.

Finally, I got Talisman grafted on Ragged Robin! Love Talisman's flowers but it's a middlin' plant for me. Fooled around trying to bud some & was shocked to find a bud pushing new growth. Now I'll try to root the Ragged Robin cane with the Talisman bud before it's too cool.

Oh, & I need to plant a "dryland ground cover mix" I ordered from Peaceful Valley last year. It's got nitrogen fixing Palestinian clover & some other seed. I want to sow it around the roses & under each of my Dad's fruit trees & along a strip I'm trying to develop for a garden (have some 'taters & carrots started there to bust up the ground). There is a stand of clover under a big tooth maple tree here & it grows well each winter. I hope to get the seed spread the next few days & then hope for some rain.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi BlueGirl: I'm so glad to hear from you. You get me smiling .... it's funny the time you tricked me with the picture of Saint Agatha. I soak herb seeds in water in advance too, before planting in spring.

I have hard-well water, pH 8. Just one watering of that is enough to turn my musk roses chlorotic. Encap Sulfur contains gypsum (calcium sulfate). That helped to green up my roses. Sulfate of potash also greened up with more flowering.

Folks rave about Epsoma Rose tone. That has chicken-manure. Here's the ingredients: Microbes, plus "Feather meal, chicken manure, cocoa meal, bone meal, alfalfa meal, green sand, humates, sulfate of potash." NPK of Rose tone is 4-3-2 . I prefer Epsoma Tomato Tone with NPK 3-4-6, because it's higher in potassium, and has more of the expensive green sand.

Jobes' Organics for tomatoes has NPK 2-7-4, with: "Jobe's Biozomeî, a consortium of three microorganisms - bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi plus a unique species of Archaea ." I use that in the pots this year, very good result.

Below is good-drainage potting soil with 45% composted pine fines, peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, lime, gypsum. Here's how Yves Piaget's seedling looks like in our 70% humidity, 2-days of rain. Pic. taken today 10/4. Good drainage in Ball Professional Mix helps in keeping the surface dry, so fungi can't germinate.

Here is a link that might be useful: List of microbes in Epsoma Rose Tone

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Thu, Nov 28, 13 at 14:56

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It got so hot here a few weeks back that in desperation I mulched a strawberry bed with tons of shredded newspaper. (I killed the paper shredder)

They really liked it! and now there are lots of earthworms under the paper mulch. Can't believe it has any substantial nutrient value in itself, but it shaded the dirt & allowed it to stay moist & cool.

Another thing I'm impressed with is soldier fly larva. They will break down anything organic other than bones & they work so fast. I have a 30 gallon open pot in the shade that all the food scraps go in. They reduce anything into humus in no time--a great help in a desert climate like we have. Before they got into the pot it took a year to break down even green plant matter in this hot dry climate. I even throw in used paper from my bird cages & they eat that.

There is a lot of info on soldier fly larva on chicken & composting forums. They don't carry disease, the adults don't even have mouth parts. The maggots are high calcium & very nutritious for birds & reptiles When I first saw them in the compost I was grossed out--now I think they're wonderful.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi BlueGirl: I love what you wrote ... I learn lots from you, I find it interesting. I googled "soldier fly larva" and they are brownish, not bad. I need those worms ... I dumped grass clippings in late fall, and it took 10 months for the 8" to decompose.

Shredded newspaper is great, the ink is soy-bean based, nice fertilizer. I put wads of newspaper under bricks, so grass can't crawl through ... I haven't seen any mushrooms growing on the decayed newspaper. That would be a nice mulch against black spots. Thank you for that neat idea.

Today I removed a bunch of mushrooms growing on my lawn from the past 2-days of rain. There's a big pile of free mulch 2 minutes away, I only use those for my trees. With roses, it's easier to dump alkaline top soil on top. The top soil here is $1.29 per bag (EarthGro brand), its pH is more alkaline than my pH of 7.7 ... it's mostly fertile clay, with lime added to deodorize.

That top soil is better than my clay soil. Here's how Radio Times rose look like, grown on 3 bags of alkaline top soil.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

After 1 year of searching, I found the names of 2 invasive weeds in my garden: Garlic Mustard and Chinese Latern weed.

I found an interesting site that details what type of weeds corresponding to what type of soil conditions. It's fairy accurate. Here's an excerpt:

From the 1st page: "Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) indicates very low calcium, low humus, low bacterial count, and high magnesium levels. Burdock grows in soils very high in iron and sulfate, and very low levels of calcium and manganese. Buckhorn Plantain indicate very low levels of calcium, low humus levels, and very high in chlorine, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Common Chickweed and Mouse Ear Chickweed indicate very low calcium and phosphorus levels, and very high potassium and sodium levels. Crabgrass indicates very low levels of calcium and phosphorus, low pH, low humus, very high chlorine levels, and high levels of magnesium and potassium."

From the 2nd page:

"Dallisgrass indicates low calcium, very high magnesium, and high potassium levels. Dandelions indicate very low levels of calcium, and very high levels of chlorine and potassium. Hop Clover and Oxalis indicate very low levels of calcium and high levels of magnesium. Prostrate Spurge indicates low calcium levels and very high levels of chlorine, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Purslane and Mustard indicate an abundance of phosphorus. Red Clover indicates an excess of potassium. Redroot Pigweed indicates an abundance of nitrogen. White Clover indicates very high levels in chlorine, magnesium, and sodium. Wild Garlic indicates very low calcium and bacterial count, and very high levels of chlorine, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) indicates low potassium."

I had tons of invasive Yarrow in my garden ... spent 1 month killing them. My soil is tested less available in potassium. I also have tons of dandelions: low level of calcium (due to high-magnesium sticky clay), and high level of chlorine.

Below is a link on how to identify nutritional deficiencies by the type of weeds:

Here is a link that might be useful: Look to the weeds for soil deficiencies

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 17:21

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I checked on how to prune bourbons, and found this excellent post by Olga, which also agrees with the video on how to prune Old Garden Roses that I watched ... great tips like prune really skinny branches off (won't produce blooms), prune branches older than 2 years old, etc.

â¢Posted by olga_6b (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 21, 09 at 20:15

"I actually have several long cane bourbons MIP, Deuil de Dr Reynaud, Mme d'Enfert, etc. I grow them as bushes, not climbers. I prune them all to approx 5-6 feet tall canes each spring. This means taking probably 1/2 or more of the canes length. I also remove all canes that are older then 2 year old. Canes of long bourbons have short productive life. If you don't prune them out, the flower production decline in my experience. They love my treatment and reward me with hundreds of blooms each spring and repeat well too. They are all monsters and w/o prunning would take my whole yard. " Olga zone 6b.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 2:59PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Reviving an old Mary Rose
There's an old Mary Rose in front of our house. It...
The Alnwick or Harlow Carr?
Replacing a "hedge" of Heritage with something...
Container Roses grown organically
Hello, let me first say I am in awe of all the beautiful...
DA Roses That Look Washed Out
I am wondering why my DA roses Heritage and St. Swithun...
2015 Seed Selection
Ace Hardware called me when their Botanical Interests...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™