Timely Tips- July

Rose Garden Advice

 

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New Bronze Medal awardee: David Candler

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July in a Connecticut Rose Garden

by Steve Rogers


 July is one of the hottest, driest months of the year in Connecticut with temperatures that may exceed 90 degrees for extended periods of time, and beneficial rain may be at a premium. Roses should be watered a couple of times a week during these periods ensuring that approximately an inch of water is applied to each bush each time. Under less stressful conditions, we should try to give our bushes at least one inch of water a week (this is about 3 gal. for each large plant). An application of a liquid fertilizer according to the directions can also be done this month during a normal watering using a specifically designed siphon. This tool mixes the fertilizer with the water as it comes from the faucet to the hose. It can be purchased from a hardware store. Alternatively, a granular fertilizer (e.g., 10-6-4 ) can be applied following the instructions on the product. (ed. note: about 1 cup of fertilizer containing 10 for the Nitrogen value, for each large plant once in July. Proportionately less amounts of fertilizer based on the size of the plant (e.g. 1/2 cup for a miniature)). Be sure to water thoroughly before and after its application for the best and safest results. If not already done, an application of a mulching material such as double ground pine bark will be very beneficial by keeping the soil cooler and by retaining water.


Our pest management program continues during the month of July. We spray a fungicide at recommended intervals according to the product’s directions as a preventative for blackspot and powdery mildew. We are also on the lookout for other pests that will occur during the month. Spider mites can continue to be a problem, and the use of a water wand as described in the June article is the preferred control. July, however, is most noted for the Japanese beetle, which will appear on our blooms. There a many alternative ways to manage/minimize the Japanese beetle population, but we choose to use a Popsicle stick to knock them off the bloom into a bottle! This is reasonably effective in reducing the damage that these pests can do to a minimum (but does presume that you have a lot of available time to devote to this individual approach). We do not use a chemical spray for this control, because the bumblebees are also at work, and these sprays can adversely affect them. (Editor’s Note: If you spray, Sevin is a product of choice for many- but avoid spraying in the morning when bees are most active. Products containing Merit will also be effective. Merit can be mixed in fungicide spray solutions. Merit is available as a wetable powder for this purpose- see the advertisements in The American Rose). Also, we do not use a bag-a-bug in the garden, as they will attract beetles from the whole neighborhood. Consider using a lawn grub control as an additional method of control, although this is a long-term approach, and applying grub control this summer will be for control of next year's beetles. Please contact a consulting rosarian (listed elsewhere in the site) for other methods of control.


We are cutting and “dead heading” blooms from many of our bushes in July, and will be doing so for the rest of the growing season. This should be a thoughtful process. When cutting we should always keep the health and shape of the plant in mind. This is pruning, and pruning rules should be considered when making our cuts. Plants that bloom only once can be cut back by as much as 1/3 for control of their growth habit as soon as they have finished blooming. What we do now, and for the next several weeks will directly affect the shape of the plant and number of blooms we will get next season. Re-bloomers should be cut with the next cycle in mind, cutting ¼” above a 5 leaflet area containing an outward pointing bud eye, while leaving good foliage to provide energy to the plant. Pruning stimulates growth!


This is an exciting time for rosarians! May you enjoy many blooms!

 

 
 
 

 

 

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