Tacoma Home and Garden Show notes

Sustainable Rose Growing – Variety selection is the key to success

Elena Williams – Master Consulting Rosarian

Evergreen Rosarian, my blog

American Rose Society rose.org

Regional: PNWdistrict.org

Local: tacomarosesociety.org

 

Location considerations: near coast, foothills, east of the Cascades

Soil composition

Sand, wind…
Soil pH 6.0-6.5

Compost and mulch

 

Sustainable generally means we want roses that are disease resistant

Resistant to what? Fungi – Green Cure organic fungicide

 

Black spot
Bottom up

 

Powdery mildew
top down

 

Downy mildew
top down

 

Botrytis

August dew on blooms

 

Roses with known disease resistance in my gardens

 

Knock Out -Radler

Kordes – Roses from Germany

‘Artistry’ HT

‘Dick Clark’ GR

‘Easy Does It’ FL

‘Francis Meilland’ HT light pink to white

‘Hot Cocoa’ FL

‘Sunshine Daydream’ GR light yellow

 

David Austin shrub roses: ‘Graham Thomas’ ‘Abraham Darby’

Old Garden Roses     before 1865
Roses respond to fertilizer

Water during PNW Drought months June, July, August

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Variety selection is the key to sustainable growing

If you choose a variety with known disease resistance, rather than being random or just selecting from what’s available for sale, you will have success. Local rose societies such as Seattle or Tacoma compile lists of recommended disease resistant roses. These lists will be available at my talk. Start with free, local information.  Remember that the first year is critical with keeping your plant watered during our June-August drought. Please take few extra reading minutes and read the article I wrote for the January/February West Sound Home and Garden.

Fungal disease on roses

Identify the problem with your roses

Before taking any action, be certain that you identify the insect or fungal disease and use the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to a pest free garden. If your roses do not have to be perfect, then you can tolerate a certain amount of insects. If you want exhibition quality roses, then you may have to rely on more chemical control.

Fungal diseases do not go away when no action is taken. Once a leaflet shows disease, it will not go back to the way it was before infection. You can begin by cutting off (not tearing) the infected parts of the bush. If you wait too long, the plant will naturally shed the leaves (defoliate) but in the interim, the fungi spores continue to multiply and blow around your yard.

Below is an example of blackspot

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Below is an example of Powdery Mildew

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Below are examples of the early infection of Botrytis, also called gray mold

img_8681

Sustainable rose growing

What is your tolerance for insect damage and fungal disease on roses?

img_2680-2

It is a personal question and the answer can change depending on the uncontrollable factor of weather or the amount of time you have to devote to roses or your personal philosophy of what is the right way for you to garden.

I prefer to not use insecticides in my garden because I have fruit trees and mason bees that I nurture for pollination of my fruit. When aphids come to visit my roses, I often see ladybugs working on them, but I often get my hose with a medium spray nozzle and blast aphids with water for a few days in a row. The aphids fall to the ground and since they cannot fly, most do not return. If they are not removed, aphids continue to reproduce and damage roses.

If we have a hot dry June and July and I suspect spider mites will be active. Again, get the hose out with a spray nozzle. Spraying water and a slight rubbing of the leaves, especially on the undersides will deter the spider mites. So the word “spray” is not a bad word in my garden. I spray water, I spray liquid seaweed, I have been known to spray chelated iron and products approved for organic gardening.

Fungal diseases can do a lot of damage is a relatively short period of time. Once you see the damage, you cannot return the foliage to perfect again. As soon as a fungal disease shows, it is best to trim off (not tear off) the disease and do what you can to stop it from spreading. Some roses are resistant to fungal disease by hybridization. That is why you may see one or two roses badly defoliated (in a public garden for example) while others in the area stay clean.

The photos are examples of the continuum of possibilities for your rose garden. The amount of time you have to spend in the garden may change from year to year. Do not get discouraged if pests and disease appear. Contact a local Consulting Rosarian for help.

Local help for roses

pH and rose growing

Roses will uptake maximum nutrients when the soil pH is between 6.0 and 6.5. This reading changes in different locations of the garden. Other factors that change pH include use of chemical fertilizer and when the pH is tested, before, during or after the rainy season. West of the Cascades, the native soil tends to be acidic. (East of the Cascades the soil is alkaline) My Kitsap garden beds have had readings on October 2, 2016 between ph 4.5, pH 5.0 and pH 6.2. I applied granulated lime according to directions on the bag after these readings. You may have heard that lime is a slow acting soil amendment. I waited three months, until late December, to find pH in all rose beds to be pH 6.3 and pH 6.6.

ph-nutrient-availability-copy

I did not think this chart would project very well in the Rainier Room and even if it were projected, it seems to me to be something to study to fully understand.

New Years News

The excitement is building now that the holidays are behind us. The 2017 Northwest Flower and Garden Show will be here before we realize it. This is the traditional kick off to spring in Seattle. Speakers and vendors crowd the convention center for a jam packed five days of garden glory. I love the display gardens to get inspired for the growing season. This year I will be speaking about roses on Saturday to kick off the the bare root rose growing season. I am so excited I can hardly wait. My program is finished and gets tweeked every week.