In January I did the last of my rose pruning. I had let the shrub roses get too large so I really had to give them a severe pruning to reshape them. You have to know the kind of roses you have in order to properly prune them. I found a publication that explains this in a straightforward manner. After pruning, I sprayed with a home-made concoction that is supposed to discourage fungal diseases such as black spot, powdery mildew, and rust. These are diseases that attack our roses beginning in April. Fungi thrive in moist climates when the temperature reaches about 70 degrees. Hey, that’s just about our climate 300 days a year!
I sprayed and fertilized with steer manure, and some worm compost. I’m not big on commercial rose food, but I watered in some 20-20-20 product just to be sure I’d get some blooms. Today, six weeks after pruning, I found several rose bushes blooming.
Gads, I’ve got two of my little granddaughters here (ages 2 & 4) and I can’t even finish a post properly. I must have hit “publish” instead of “draft” so it went on the site half finished. Here is the rest of what I wanted to write on my rose progress.
I’ve never had problems with aphids, but they’ve arrived. I found these “rose aphids”, along with some white flies, on the climbing rose next to the gate. You can see the fat little “suckers” covering the new growth on this delicious tip. Lady beetles, soldier beetles, and syrphid flies are beneficial insects and natural enemies of aphid. As I washed the aphids from the rose tips that I could reach, several tiny syrphid flies flew around my head waiting to do their job. If I use a commercial spray, these beneficial insects will be destroyed and I’ll upset the balance I’d like to maintain. Patience, I tell myself.
Be sure to check in on our hens at Backyard Hencam!