Summer Surprise number 2

I've had some surprises this summer -- good ones for the most part so far -- and today I'll show you the second of them. (Wait, what about the first? Well, I'm numbering them in the order I discovered them, not in the order in which I'm sharing.)

Those of you who grow roses probably recognized this: new growth. Maybe I should say that another way...



My roses usually go through the year like this: winter dormant, spring go crazy and look fantastic and bloom, summer drop most foliage, fall grow a few new canes.

This summer though, it's a completely different story! This summer there is new growth!

There is one simple trick that I've learned to keep your roses looking great in a hot, humid climate. No, two tricks. Actually, it's three. Three simple tricks.

The first one is water.  Rain isn't enough, especially when it comes once a week or once every two weeks. Regular moisture seems to be best.

The second one is fertilize. I have been applying Milorganite every few weeks. There are about a dozen new canes growing:

The third is to spray, or black spot will take all of the leaves!

I'm using a very benign spray: milk, water, and a little dish soap. It's about 50% milk, or maybe 1 part milk to 2 parts water -- I don't really measure. A few drops of dish soap to help with adhesion.

It leaves a shiny, slightly milky (imagine that!) film on the leaves which apparently prevents the black spot spores from taking hold -- or at least it slows them down significantly.  You can see it on the leaf above. I spray every 2 weeks or so. Pro tip: expired milk works fine, but doesn't leave your roses smelling, well, like roses.

So I guess the secret to nice roses is to coddle them all summer long. If I get another flush of blooms it will really be worth it, but even seeing the purple foliage of the new growth is very satisfying.


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Mark and Gaz  – (July 3, 2018 at 6:15 AM)  

Nice results from your efforts! Incidentally lots of gardeners here are commenting how good this year for roses.

outlawgardener  – (July 3, 2018 at 11:09 AM)  

Glad you're having success with your roses this summer. Thanks for sharing the three easy tips!

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