Temecula Valley Rose Society

Rose Care Corner, June 2007

by Frank Brines – Consulting Rosarian

Frank Brines A t our house we've been cleaning our rose gardens and applying mulch. We're running behind schedule (I urged YOU to mulch several months ago!) because we are finally getting around to installing our drip irrigation system. While doing this, we realized that it is possible to lose track of where all your body parts are; as a result, we have done some inadvertent "pruning" (we call it "butt pruning," which should be self explanatory!) Because the weather hasn't gotten really hot, there is still time to get mulch down before the summer heat (we keep telling ourselves).

There is a lot of new tender growth on the bushes now, and you could be experiencing some pests, mildew, or rust. The aphids are easily dealt with by using a blast of water several times a week; be careful to keep that spray off the new blooms. Do the water spray before the heat of the day to prevent burning the foliage. Giving your plants a bath will also help remove built-up dust and the mildew spores that adhere to it.

Mildew has been more widespread this year than I remember in the past. There is a recipe for a harmless preventative spray on the Web site. However, if your roses are already showing mildew (as mine are!) it may be time to use a fungicide. There are many products available. I'm using Monterey Fungi Fighter (sold at L&M Fertilizer in Temecula). Susan at L&M can assist you in choosing a product that will work best for you. (Remember, L&M helps our club and gives our members a discount.) As the weather heats up, spider mites will also become a threat. A good method for preventing an infestation is to remove any vegetation around the plant within eight inches of soil.



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