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RE: Bouquets of no-spray roses (Follow-Up #50)

posted by: Strawberryhill on 04.26.2014 at 03:59 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Hi lovesblooms: Thank you for your support, your kind words help to ease the hurt of what I went through in Rose forum last year, being called a "troll" and "fictitious character" by M. over the issue of liming. I don't even know what a troll means, but I was hurt by the name-calling. M. advocated Bayer for the past decade.

Lime has been documented in many agriculture studies to increase crop yields. My brother with 60+ acres in Michigan limed his acidic clay, with a big improvement in his crops. There's a blog by Raft Island Roses Owner Frank Gatto with pics. of the most healthy roses. Here's a summary of his tips for acidic soil, PNW area:

"For planting, Gatto mixes 50 percent native soil and 50 percent organic compost or good potting soil and adds a cup each of bone meal and soil sweetener per bush. He also gives established plants a cup of lime in March, for optimal soil pH, which allows plants to make better use of food."

Gatto advises giving roses small but frequent meals, as opposed to large amounts of fertilizer less often. He uses a balanced granular fertilizer with an N-P-K number no higher than 20 (such as 15-15-15), along with a blend of organic meals including alfalfa, cotton seed, fish, blood and kelp. "I give each one a handful (about a half a cup) every three weeks."

**** From Straw: The below link gives the best instruction on how to apply lime. Some excerpts from the below:

"Liming while plants are growing may harm those plants, so wait until after the garden season. It is best to add garden lime in the fall and let it break down over the winter."

*** Agree, liming is best in early spring or fall when there's plenty of rain (pH of rain is 5.6, versus pH of lime at 9.9).

"The most common lime used in the garden is agricultural lime or ground limestone (calcium carbonate). It contains about 50% calcium, essential plant nutrient . Once available only as a powder, pelletized lime is now offered as well. It can be dispensed from fertilizer spreaders and isn’t as messy to work with."

*** Lime has a salt index of 4.7, much lower than gypsum salt index of 8.1.

"Never use hydrated or slaked lime, sometime called quicklime. While this substance has many commercial uses, it is much too caustic for the garden."

*** I agree, hydrated lime is what municipals put in their tap water, very unstable and binds with potassium.

Both bone meal and ground limestone hardly move, thus need to be raked into the top few inches. Lime is recommended for the fall, to let the snow & rain over the winter to work down the root zone. Studies showed that phosphorus from bone meal applied on top, only move down 1 inch per year.

As the pH drops, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus are less available. Bone meal is alkaline, it raises the pH, with 23% calcium and 14% phosphorus. As you can see in the link:

Chemical analysis of bone meal showed measurement in ppm (1 milligram per kilogram soil (mg/kg) )
400 iron, 120 magnesium, 50 manganese, 300 sodium, 200 aluminum, 2,000 sulfates, 20 potassium, 100 zinc, and 400 chlorides.

The only thing I don't like about bone meal is low in potassium, and high in chloride ... perfect recipe for inducing rust. That's why Frank's Gatto used: 1 cup of lime, 1 cup of bone meal in March, plus fertilizer high in potassium (organic tomato fertilizer ingredients).

Back to your question, "I bought lime (calcium carbonate fine powder from kelp4less) for some new Austins and Belinda's Dream planted in my acidic clay (amended with leaf compost and top dressed with worm castings and epsom salts).

Both Menards and Home Depot sell pelletized lime for the garden .. I don't know how fast that works compared to lime powder from Kelp4Less. Worm casting NPK is 3.2-1.1-1.5, very low in phosphorus and potassium. I'm NOT impressed with worm casting performance in U. of Kentucky's experiments with organic fertilizers.

If your soil is sticky clay, skip the Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). That stuff is high in salt & high in magnesium. Magnesium is what makes clay soil sticky. Magnesium deficiency is very rare, usually happens only in sandy soil. From the EarthCo. soil-testing booklet, 1/3 of soil are tested deficient in potassium.

Roses need more potassium, compared to other crops. So when I buy organic fertilizer mix, I always look for a bigger number for potassium, like Tomato-Tone 3-4-6, with 6 for potassium. Banana peels with NPK 0-3-42 are recommended for roses, but the drawback is its slow-release, versus faster release of sulfate of potash in granular fertilizer mix.

Good luck in your liming the garden, and please inform as to how that turn out. Lots of people have acidic clay, and would benefit from your experience. Thank you in advance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Liming with garden lime


clipped on: 05.02.2014 at 10:51 am    last updated on: 05.02.2014 at 10:51 am

RE: Feeding beans and peas? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: jimster on 09.07.2006 at 07:36 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

This is a good topic, so let's see if we can get some clarification. I can't provide all the answers, but I can get it started.

Legumes are thought to increase soil fertility, rather than deplete it. That's because they have nodules on their roots where bacteria live which 'fix' nitrogen from the air, making it available to plants. I think 'fix' means converting the elemental (plain, gaseous, atmospheric) nitrogen to a soluble nitrogen compound (a nitrate). This is off the top of the head folks, so jump in with corrections.

This nitrogen is produced over the course of a season. So, it won't be there at the start. Therefore, I think beans can benefit from some nitrogen fertilizer at the start of the season, if the soil hasn't received nitrogen from the previous years legumes or some other source, such as compost.

That is only the nitrogen part of the scheme. It says nothing about phosphorous, potassium and other necessary minerals. Legumes have pretty much the same needs for those as other vegetable crops. So I would say feed the beans.

Your post raises the question of 'ammendments' vs. 'fertilizer'. My thinking is that ammendments are long term improvements, which include improvements to tilth, moisture, drainage, etc. as well as nutrients. Fertilizer provides only short term nutrition.



clipped on: 04.29.2014 at 12:54 pm    last updated on: 04.29.2014 at 12:54 pm

Pests remedies

posted by: jengc on 06.25.2009 at 02:41 pm in Square Foot Gardening Forum

I found this on another forum and thought I would share. Good organic solutions to pests.

"Old Fashioned Home Remedies For The Garden

Are you tired of running to your local garden center every time one of
your plants is overtaken by a new fungus or an infestation of insects?
Are you sick of spending extra dollars on a concoction that you aren�t
even sure is effective and that you think might be doing some harm to
the environment, animals and your loved ones? But what to do?

I�ve got the answer right here with a list of old fashioned home made
remedies: some of which have been passed on from other gardeners and/or
their mothers or grandmothers.

Practically all of the ingredients used in these homemade recipes can be
retrieved from you kitchen or medicine cabinets at home.

Baking soda can be used to ward off black spot, a terrible fungus that
usually hits roses by late Spring. The most effective recipe I�ve found
is the Cornell one which is:
1T. of baking soda with 1 t. of dishwashing detergent to 1 gallon
of water. Mix together and spray on roses early in the morning once a
week until disease has disappeared.

Beer is an old time favorite for getting rid of slugs and snails. This
is how you do it. Place the beer (it doesn�t matter what brand) in
either shallow pans or a cut down some paper cups to about 1"tall. The
pests will crawl into the pans or cups and drown themselves.

Believe it or not, if you mix 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 T. of
dishwashing liquid together and then take 1 T. of this concoction
and mix it with 1 cup of water, you now have a formula to get rid of
aphids. Aphids are very tiny insects that suck the sap from a plant
ultimately weakening it. If your leaves look curled and deformed, look
under the leaves closely and you may find a colony of aphids.

I was once told by a listener on my radio show that after trying all of
the concoctions to get rid of moles, gophers and groundhogs, he planted
jalapeno peppers within 4" from the area that they were invading. And
voila! They ran for cover after taking a test of these hot veggies. I'm
going to try this advice but will divide the hot peppers in half when I
plant them. I think he is on the right track because Hot Pepper Spray (a
prepared organic spray) is sold in garden centers as a remedy for
getting rid of rabbits, squirrels, moles, voles and groundhogs.

Castor Oil sprays are sold in garden centers as a solution to get rid of
groundhogs and deer. I would be tempted to go to a pharmacy or health
food store and just buy myself a bottle of castor oil and dilute with
water and spray on affected areas to see if it works.

Peppermint oil is good deterrent for ants who have invaded your garden
or home. You can either saturate cotton balls with it or mix in a spray
bottle with water and spray where needed. GRITS sprinkled in the garden
are also supposed to be an effective way to kill off ants.

VINEGAR (and Lemon Juice)
Vinegar has become a well known organic way of eradicating weeds. Some
people say that they're able to get rid of weeds merely by spraying
household vinegar on them. Others say that you need to buy a higher
concentration of vinegar in order for it to be effective. I would check
one of the bottled organic vinegar solutions at your garden center to
see what concentration of vinegar they're using. It wouldn�t hurt to add
lemon juice to your homemade weed killing formula either. Word has it
that the combo of vinegar and lemon juice is a dynamo for killing weeds.

So you think that buttermilk is just a method for helping pots get that
aged look or for getting moss to grow? Well, think again. For those
pesky mites, the teeny tiny, reddish insects that you can barely see
with the naked eye (but that can do tremendous damage to a plant in what
seems like no time at all causing yellow foliage and twisted leaf tips),
here is a homemade formula that is sure to solve your mite problem. Mix
� Cup of buttermilk with 4 cups of wheat flour and 5 gallons of water.
Strain this mixture through a cheesecloth. Spray it onto the diseased
plants. It will kill all of the mites and their eggs.

A mixture of 1 chopped garlic bulb and 1 T. of cayenne pepper
steeped in 1-2 quart of water creates a mixture that will help keep cats
and dogs out of the garden. Adding 1 t. of liquid dishwashing soap to
help this spicy combination adhere to the plant. Strain the portion that
you are going to use and spray onto the plant leaves. The remainder of
the formula can stay fresh in the fridge for several weeks.

Cut up a bar of Irish Spring Soap and cut the end of an old pair of
panty hose. Put the piece of soap in the panty hose and tie onto the
trees and bushes where the deer have done damage. Before you know it,
the deer will be gone. They can�t stand the smell of Irish Spring.

Quite a few listeners from my show swear that the brand name of
"Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid" is the one remedy that works 100% of the
time on mites. Mix 1 T. of Sunlight with 1 gallon of water.

If you place 1 T. of olive oil on any water surface, it will prevent
mosquitoes from breeding there.

When in doubt, I go to my medicine cabinet and get out the old rubbing
alcohol. I soak a few cotton balls in the alcohol and rub on the
infected area for such insects as:
spider mites, aphids, slugs and whiteflies. It may take a few times
before you successfully get rid of these pests, but eventually it does
work. Rubbing alcohol is a 'must have' for the garden.

In order to keep cut flowers fresher for a longer period of time, I add
1 T. of lemon juice and 1 T. of sugar to a container 2/3 filled
with cool or tepid water.

I'll add one. For potato bugs use self rising flour. The baking powder in the flour will cause them to blow up from eating it. This I know works."


Baking soda spray--use Murphy's soap instead of dishwashing liquid.
clipped on: 04.29.2014 at 11:39 am    last updated on: 04.29.2014 at 11:41 am

Marking Hand pollinated squash (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: macmex on 06.02.2008 at 12:08 pm in Pumpkins Squash & Gourds Forum

Don’t trust your memory that you’ll remember which fruit are hand pollinated and which are not. As the vines continue to grow the location of fruit will actually seem to change! In reality they aren’t moving. But your landmarks (vines and leaves) are!

I used to tie strings or twist ties around the stems of hand pollinated fruit. But then, in transit from the garden, they would sometimes fall off, causing me to lose the fruit of my labors (pun intended). If there is the slightest doubt in my mind about whether a given squash fruit is hand pollinated I assume it is not. Especially when sharing seeds with others, it is a bad thing to distribute crossed up seed. Instead, when I make my rounds, to prepare more hand pollinations, a day or two afterward, I scratch a shallow mark into the skin of those fruit which still have tape on their blossoms, but which have begun to grow. Generally I don’t mark at the time of hand pollination, for fear of causing the fruit to abort. But once it begins to grow I mark it. Most of the time I mark fruit with a P for “pure,” or an X for “cross.” (I sometimes do make intentional crosses.) Additional symbols or letters can be added. But it’s important to keep notes so as not to forget what you meant!


Here’s a maturing fruit of Warsaw Round, a selection I did in the 90’s. Notice how it is marked. This squash was from a hill adjacent to a hill of Warsaw Buff Pie Pumpkin, which is very similar. So I marked it more clearly to avoid confusion. The letters will grow with the squash.


clipped on: 04.29.2014 at 11:21 am    last updated on: 04.29.2014 at 11:21 am

Hand pollination of Squash #3 (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: macmex on 06.02.2008 at 12:05 pm in Pumpkins Squash & Gourds Forum


After this I reseal the female blossom using fresh masking tape. Note: If you have a healthy population of bees, you may have to work quickly and stay alert to wave them off as they try to get into your blossoms. A bee can cause pollen contamination by getting into either the male or female blossom.

Here’s the finished hand pollination. It is important to remember that not all immature fruit will mature, not even under the best of conditions. So, it’s best to do a number of hand pollinations and not trust that one will do. You’ll know that a hand pollination took when you see the immature squash, on the end of the female flower, start growing.


clipped on: 04.29.2014 at 11:21 am    last updated on: 04.29.2014 at 11:21 am

RE: Hand pollination of Squash (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: macmex on 06.02.2008 at 12:02 pm in Pumpkins Squash & Gourds Forum


The following morning I usually go out at dawn. I believe I read somewhere that you can do this as late as 10:00 AM, but I always do my squash pollinations at first light.
I pick a male flower and pull off the tape, petals and all, leaving just a stem and the stamen (male part of the flower) covered with mature pollen. Notice in the above picture how I use a convenient squash leaf to set the stamen while I work on the female flower. (Notice how I can set down the prepared male flower, with petals removed, on a handy "leaf shelf."

After preparing the stamen, I unseal the female flower. Usually I do this by pulling the tape straight off the end of the flower. Then I use the stamen, attached to the stem, like a paint brush to coat the pistol, of the previously sealed female blossom.


clipped on: 04.29.2014 at 11:20 am    last updated on: 04.29.2014 at 11:20 am

Hand pollination of Squash frame #2 (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: macmex on 06.02.2008 at 11:57 am in Pumpkins Squash & Gourds Forum


Next I tape shut at least one male and one female blossom, due to open the next morning. If you can use more than one male flower that’s great.

I prefer to use masking tape, about 1 3/4 ". When I tape the flower, in preparation for hand pollination, I try to tape it shut a little closer to the tip of the flower, so I can remove it (and possibly a bit of the petals when I do) and still have plenty of material to work with when I reseal the flower after hand pollination. When I reseal it, if there is any doubt about the integrity of the flower (as in having any rips in it), I use extra masking tape to cover that part of the flower, always folding it around the flower (forming a cone shape with it) with care not to damage what remains. I never let the tape stick to the immature fruit as well as the flower, as I believe this might provoke an abortion of the fruit.


clipped on: 04.29.2014 at 11:20 am    last updated on: 04.29.2014 at 11:20 am

Hand pollination of Squash

posted by: macmex on 06.02.2008 at 11:54 am in Pumpkins Squash & Gourds Forum

I thought I�d take time to do a pictorial guide on hand pollination of squash. When I first wanted to hand pollinate, back in 1984, I remember frantically trying to get information and not knowing exactly where to turn. I had just joined the Seed Savers Exchange and heard about hand pollination but didn�t know how to do it. I remember calling a couple of SSE members. Everyone was very helpful. But I had a difficult time picturing what I was told. Imagine how pleased I was when I received an SSE publication with full illustration of hand pollination!

That first year I didn�t manage a successful hand pollination. But once I saw this technique illustrated I never had a problem. Here�s some help for anyone else who might be wondering how to do it.


I always go out the afternoon beforehand and tape shut the flowers due to open the following morning. The main challenge with this is to recognize those flowers, as a prematurely taped flower will simply abort. The general rule I follow is that I can tape flowers after 2:30 PM up until dark.
Most varieties "yellow up" the day before. A few varieties hardly "yellow up" until the night before. But once I get to know a variety it isn't difficult to recognize the ones I need to tape shut. Notice in the above picture that there are both mature male and a female blossoms as well as some immature blossoms of both sexes. If you accidentally tape a flower not ready to open, just remove the tape in the morning. It will probably be okay.


clipped on: 04.29.2014 at 11:19 am    last updated on: 04.29.2014 at 11:19 am

RE: StrawberryHill (Theresa) (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: roseseek on 08.11.2013 at 05:58 pm in Antique Roses Forum

To what Michael wrote, the two roses need to be planted next to one another so variations in conditions shouldn't alter the results. They should both be identically potted or planted, as long as whatever is done to grow the one, is identical (other than feeding) to what is done to the other, so any variations can actually be attributed to what has been feed to them.

Also, pay particular attention to Strawberry's wording. "Hubby got the "Tree of Life" brand, much thicker. Too much iron .. 1 teaspoon in a bucket BROWNED my Gina's Rose. I didn't dilute that in vinegar, plus the soil there was bone-dry." Too often, negative results are reported because of improper application. Whether it's the wrong stuff, too much, too frequently or put on DRY, if you do it wrong, the results are very likely going to be bad. NEVER feed ANY plant ANYTHING when the soil is "bone dry". If the plant is water stressed, too much of anything can be sufficiently toxic to kill it. If it does, that is not the products fault, but yours. Keep them appropriately watered before, during and after applying anything or your results can't be attributed to, or blamed on, whatever it is you're trying. Kim


clipped on: 04.26.2014 at 12:22 pm    last updated on: 04.26.2014 at 12:22 pm

RE: StrawberryHill (Theresa) (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: michaelg on 08.11.2013 at 05:21 pm in Antique Roses Forum

So that's 1:1 or 2:1 vinegar to molasses, depending on how thick the molasses is, then 1 TB of that to 2 gal. of water.

To get any idea whether this affects color, you would need at least two roses of the same variety, one treated and one control, and compare the colors of flowers of the same age daily throughout at least a synchronized flush. Interesting project, let us know what you observe.


clipped on: 04.26.2014 at 12:22 pm    last updated on: 04.26.2014 at 12:22 pm

RE: Vinegar for black spots (Follow-Up #78)

posted by: pamelasv on 05.17.2009 at 06:36 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

This recipe I used that stopped BS in its tracks which is also good to get rid of thrips and other insects.

1 Tablespoon veggy oil
1 gallon unclorinated water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp brown listerine(I know this isnt organic, its what the insects dont like)
1 Tbsp liquid Soap--NOT DETERGENT. Some dish soaps say detergent in really small print somewhere on the bottle.
1 1/2 Tblsp baking soda
large spray pump.

Add vinegar at the end so it doesnt bubble over.


clipped on: 04.23.2014 at 11:23 am    last updated on: 04.23.2014 at 11:23 am

RE: Vinegar for black spots (Follow-Up #74)

posted by: roses_for_mary on 11.17.2007 at 12:26 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Hello Everyone!

What a great thread--long may it live!!

I'm down here in St. Pete-mid-central Florida-and the Fall has been wetter than the Summer (usually it's the reverse.)

This is the second year I've kept roses in containers on my apartment balcony; it's been a rousing success I must say. All on Fortuniana rootstock--Europeana, Love Potion and Bronze Star enjoy the eastern exposure and near-constant south breeze of the 2nd floor.

As organic_appliquelady in Vancouver, BC mentioned, I've practiced the same style of housekeeping--picking off all of the BS infected leaves and leaving it at that. This seemed to work well by itself last year when all I had was Europeana, but this year--wasn't enough to stop the dreaded BS.

At first, tried regular sprays for maintenance, but started to feel concerned about all the non-friendly stuff I was using. Plus, was concerned about neighbors safety is the way to go!

I fell in love in Love Potion when I saw her at the nursery a few weeks ago; although she obviously had a case of BS, she looked to be a strong, well developed plant that was tidy and shapely in appearance.

At first tried Rose Pride...not much luck. The poor dear kept dropping leaves quicker that she could make them, yet valiantly was continuing to bloom (roses are some tough plants!)

Next, tried the recipe that organic_appliquelady applied:

1/2 teaspoon of white vinager (increased to 1.5 tsp)
1 teaspoon of canola oil (I had only olive oil on hand)
4 drops of dish soap (increased to 12 drops)
balance filled with water

and I happened to have a small, 22 oz. spray bottle that worked great for this recipe; it made enough to treat all 3 of my roses. I sprayed just after sunset on 11/15 and said a prayer.

Well, here it is only Saturday, and Love Potion hasn't dropped any more leaves & the others don't show a further spread either.

Another treatment that caught my attention was the Neem oil--will be getting some of that to alternate as preventative maintanence if the above recipe works.

Thank you so much everyone for sharing your ideas!!



clipped on: 04.23.2014 at 11:04 am    last updated on: 04.23.2014 at 11:04 am

RE: Vinegar for black spots (Follow-Up #69)

posted by: millieon on 07.17.2007 at 06:04 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Well I tried three times now Apple Cider Vinegar June 22nd, July 13th and July 27th and no blackspots so far this year. The mixture was 2 325 Bayer aspirins dissolved in 2 oz Apple Cider Vinegar with 2 oz fish Fertilizer and a squirt of dishwashing soap in a 2 gallon sprayer.

Now if I could only find something to get rid of aphids not that I have many but even on few buds it's too many. They keep coming back no matter what I spray with. Last time I used Murphy's Oil with Listerine yellow mouthwash.

Ecco. Over the years I have seen different versions used of soap some use a squirt few drops and others go for a tablespoon. Try few drops and next time increase to a teaspoon and if no burn shows up keep it at that. Canola oil worked for me so did Horticultural oil too. It does need to be repeated.


clipped on: 04.23.2014 at 11:01 am    last updated on: 04.23.2014 at 11:01 am

RE: Vinegar for black spots (Follow-Up #62)

posted by: organic_appliquelady on 05.21.2007 at 12:44 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum


I don't have cider vinager, just plain white vinager.

I made a small 541 ml bottle recipe is.

1/2 teaspoon of white vinager
1 teaspoon of canola oil
4 drops of dish soap
balance filled with water

With living in Vancouver BC, Canada (Pacific Northwest area) and all the rain we still get in the spring. I do have roses that are very suspible to BS.

I have now tried this recipe in the past 2 weeks. I have noticed today that the rose bush I sprayed 50% of the BS is almost gone and no new BS is showing up on the leaves that never had any in the first place.

I am really happy to see this working much better then any chemicals i have ever used in the past. I hate using chemicals on my roses because my bunnies just love eating my rose from my garden.

So not to have to use chemicals on my rose I normally pick off all the leaves with BS, to times there was no leaves left on the rose bush. Everything has to start a new.

It looks like this year I will not have any bare roses at all this yr.

I wish I had found this forum along time ago and know about this recipe. Becuase the rose I have always had trouble with is the same rose bush my bunnies just love the most, is the Dr. Brownell and is chrome yellow with a great scent.

So nice now I just have to give the rose a good wash under water and know the vinager, soap and oil will just wash off. Where if I had to use chemicals they can't get their favorite rose all season long, of worry I am make my bunnies very sick or poison them.

Thanks everyone you have all been a great help, and now have a soluition for this BS problem and to my bunnies health as well.

They are just going to love you this year because they will get thier favortive rose this year.



clipped on: 04.23.2014 at 10:53 am    last updated on: 04.23.2014 at 10:58 am

RE: Beans --- to soak, or not to soak? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: Mindyw3 on 04.21.2014 at 02:02 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I always soak and always have beautiful beans. When I haven't they take much longer to germinate. THey are large seeds. But I don't actually "soak" I place in a plastic zip top bag between wet towels until I see sprouts..


clipped on: 04.23.2014 at 10:03 am    last updated on: 04.23.2014 at 10:04 am

RE: Vinegar for black spots (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: The_Dark_Rose on 02.11.2002 at 11:09 am in Organic Rose Growing Forum

I have used this recipe after finding it at one of your rose forums last year and it has worked wonders!!!

3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to 5 litres of water. I couldn't begin to tell you how impressed I was at the results! Double Delight, which used to get riddled with blackspot looked lush and healthy with no b/s to be seen!

Also as an experiment I sprayed on the vinegar spray and waited to see how long it would take for more blackspot to appear, and it took approximately 3-4 weeks for the more blackspot prone roses and even longer for the healthier ones,( the Austins ) if at all!

As for only spraying in the early morning or early evening, I found that that didn't matter either. I sprayed during the middle of the day ( in spring, mind you! ) without any burning.

Another method I have adopted now is to spray with the vinegar spray and then alternate with the milk spray - 1 part milk to 7 parts water. Works a treat! I'm so happy to find such a cheap and harmless solution, and by harmless I mean that you can get away with having your skin exposed, but I still wear sunglasses as the vinegar solution could burn your eyes if it blew into them I suppose! All the best and happy gardening!

Here's another method I adopt to occasionally. When your rose leaves are showing sign of deficiency, like yellow leaves etc, simply spray on a solution of either liquid seaweed and water or fish emulsion and water and the leaves bounce back within the week of spraying. I use a small hand sprayer that is about 450 mls. Add only half a teaspoon of the liquid seaweed or fish ..... that's all you need! And that's all from me ......... over and out!


2.25 tbsp/gallon
clipped on: 04.22.2014 at 11:05 pm    last updated on: 04.23.2014 at 08:56 am

RE: Bouquets of no-spray roses (Follow-Up #42)

posted by: Strawberryhill on 04.20.2014 at 12:12 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Hi aztcqn: Thank you for your kind words, supporting balance in nature. It helps me a lot, since for the past years Bayer and chemical-promoters have been posting in this forum ... totally inappropriate for the guidelines established by Gardenweb.

Seaweed, a coastline Southern CA with heavy fog, grows the most disease-free & organic roses. Her HMF profile (Myrosetime) is absolutely stunning with 160+ clean roses.

Blood meal is reported as acidic, bone meal is alkaline (the calcium in bone meal increases pH) ... those 2 would balance each other. What's needed is potassium, best through banana peels (NPK 0-3-42, high potassium of 42).

I use tomato-fertilizer since it's higher in potassium .. helps with disease-prevention in roses. Espoma Tomato-Tone has NPK 3-4-6 (potassium at 6), low-odor.

Also less stinky is "Pennington Alaska 4-6-6 Vegetable and Tomato Dry Fertilizer", at Menards $7 for a 3 lb. bag (phosphorus & potassium at 6) with alfalfa meal, fish meal, cottonseed meal, and kelp meal. Menards also sells VERY STINKY chicken manure (Chikity-do-do), 25 lbs. for $8.99, with NPK 5-3-2.5 (potassium at 2.5). It's cheaper than Amazon prices.

For beneficial bacteria, HomeDepot sells "Niu 0.75 cu. ft. Chicken Manure". This is composted so it's less stinky. Lowe's also sells chicken manure for $3.99 for a smaller bag.

I got bullied and ridiculed for the info. I researched in the regular Rose forum, that's why I posted them here. People don't want to hear the truth, such as:

Many of the pesticides (includes fungicides) have health risks that are not known until later. May 13, 2013 was the news on Parkinson's disease "Researchers found exposure to pesticides increased the risk of developing the disease by 33 percent to 80 percent. Some pesticides were considered to be of higher risk than others, with weed killers like paraquat and FUNGICIDES MANEB AND MANCOZEB causing twice the risk for development of Parkinson’s disease ... Another recent publication found that rural residents who drank contaminated well water had an increased risk��"up to 90 percent��"of developing Parkinson’s."

Here is a link that might be useful: Pesticides and Parkinson Disease


clipped on: 04.21.2014 at 11:23 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2014 at 11:23 pm

RE: agricultural lime vs dolomite (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: fortyonenorth on 03.07.2012 at 09:10 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) is 10 or 11% magnesium. Calcitic lime can be variable, but let's assume it is 70% Ca. If you mix epsom salts to lime 3:1 by weight, the resulting mixture will be roughly 2:1 Ca:Mg - about 17% Ca and 8% Mg, which is a lower analysis than typical dolomitic lime, but you'd just need to add more - about 2x as much, in fact.

Now, having said that, unless you know the Ca and Mg content of your topsoil and compost, I wouldn't automatically add lime. If it were me, and I was building a raised bed, I'd pull a sample for a soil test. Otherwise, you're really just guessing.

Now, if you really want to forego the test, I'd add a cup of your lime per cu. ft. of soil - assuming you're going to thoroughly incorporate the lime. If you are going to just mix it into the top 6" of soil, use half that amount. If you end up getting dolomitic lime (which is a higher analysis) cut those recommendations in half.


clipped on: 04.21.2014 at 11:12 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2014 at 11:13 pm

RE: Black Spot (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: ejillparker on 03.21.2005 at 09:04 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Well, I am not in Florida but I live in central Oklahoma where it gets very humid in the summer. I grow hybrid teas, which everyone knows, are magnets for BS. I use a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar (the kind from the grocery store) per quart of water sprayed on the foliage. It works pretty well. I think the small amount of acid in the mixture is just enough to keep the ph at a level in which the fungus that causes BS cannot thrive but yet it is small enough an amount so as not to burn the leaves. Hope this helps.


clipped on: 04.21.2014 at 10:54 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2014 at 10:54 pm

RE: Ways to grow healthy roses without spraying (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: Strawberryhill on 05.31.2013 at 04:20 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Hi zyperiris: You are in Seattle, home of rainy climate, and have great roses, grown organically? Congratulations, I admire you. Double Delights like it alkaline. I have two in the pots, and they are happy with my tap water, pH 8.

Zyperiris, you are right to give lime where moss is. Moss means acidic soil. My Mom's lawn in MI are full of moss. Both gypsum (calcium sulfate), and lime (calcium carbonate) release calcium. Gypsum is best for alkaline soil, lime is best for acidic soil. Calcium helps with balling and botrytis (browning of petals).

Good soil, and less chemicals is the key to healthy plants. Below is the base of Austin rose Evelyn, blooms well in my alkaline clay:

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Thu, Oct 24, 13 at 10:34


clipped on: 04.21.2014 at 10:46 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2014 at 10:46 pm

RE: Ways to grow healthy roses without spraying (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: JAOrganic on 08.30.2013 at 05:03 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Although there are occasional reports of both increasing and decreasing pH, researchers have found that gypsum, which is pH neutral, does not usually change soil acidity.
New Zealand research has found that a 60:40, lime:gypsum mix will raise pH without the sometimes harmful effects (leaching of iron and manganese) of gypsum alone.


clipped on: 04.21.2014 at 10:45 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2014 at 10:45 pm

RE: cutting in a potato? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: kayjones on 07.31.2009 at 06:49 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I did a search of Nandina's 'tooth pick' method of rooting and here is what she posted:

Posted by nandina 8b (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 23, 06 at 13:13
I have not posted this propagation method in several years. Time for a repeat. Just a reminder that all cuttings need to callus before they will root. This method allows the callusing to take place on the mother plant before the cutting is removed and is most helpful for those hard to root trees/shrubs. Plan to use the toothpick technique during the last weeks of August up until mid-September. This is a little known process and when I first posted it a number of growers contacted me, pleased to know about it as it requires no misting systems, etc.
A very sharp, small penknife or Exacto knife.
A small block of wood (to prevent cutting fingers!)
Some colored yarns or tape for marking purposes.
1. Select the stem from which you wish to take a cutting. Look along it until you locate a bud ON LAST YEAR'S GROWTH.
2. Place the block of wood behind that point and make a single VERTICAL cut all the way through the stem, just below the bud.
3. Insert a toopick through the cut.
4. Mark each cutting with colored yarn/tape so that you can locate it at a later date.
5. Walk away from your toothpick cuttings until the end of October or November. Leave them alone!
You will note that a callus has formed where you wounded the cutting and inserted a toothpick. With sharp pruning shears remove the cutting just below the toothpick. Trim off the toothpick on either side of the cutting.
7. Dip your cuttings in rooting hormone and set them in a cold frame. Water well and close up the frame for the winter. Water as needed. If you do not have a cold frame, set the cuttings right next to your house foundation on the east or north side. Lean an old window or glass pane up against the foundation to protect them.
8. Rooting should take place by mid-spring. Those with greenhouses can leave the cuttings on the mother plant into December/January before setting them to root. Commercial propagators will find this useful.
This method requires a bit of practice but works well. In August/September select the stem to be used as a cutting. Locate last year's growth on the stem and grasp it between thumb and forefinger. Snap the stem lightly until it breaks in half. Leave it hanging on the plant where it will callus. Then follow instructions above for setting cuttings. Snip the cutting off, when callused, at the wounded part. This is a useful technique for azaleas and many woody shrubs and Japanese maples.
Hopefully I have explained this method so it is understood. Reading it over a few times may be necessary.


Posted by nandina 8b (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 8, 07 at 10:00
I note that you are a professional so will take the time to post two techniques neither of which require misting. First, have you tried heel cuttings? Or the standard 'from seed' method?
The first rooting method I call the 'toothpick technique' which allows a cutting to callus on the plant before it is removed. For this you will need a small, thin, very sharp pen knife (or exacto knife) and a small block of wood. Locate last year's growth on a stem, place the block of wood behind that section and make one single vertical cut through the stem below a bud. This is done in August/late summer. Insert a toothpick through the cut, tie some sort of marking tape on the stem so you can find it later and walk away from it until October. At that time remove the cutting severing below the toothpick, trim the toothpick to the stem, dust with rooting hormone and stick in a cold frame. Or, cuttings can be placed in a greenhouse where they will root without misting. This is my favorite hardwood/shrub rooting method for all that type of plant especially difficult to root ones.
The second method is a variation of the first. It takes a little practice and azaleas are a good practice plant. One simply makes a downward snap below a bud on last year's growth in August partially severing the stem. Leave it to hang on the plant until October, then remove, dust with rooting hormone and set in cold frame or greenhouse. When I am working with a difficult to root plant I will also use this method, snapping the stem at a main branch creating a heel cutting.
Once you have worked with these methods you will find them easy and can expect a high level of strikes.

THANKS, Nandina - I'll give it a try and report back on this thread. If anyone else has tried Nandina's method, please post your results.


clipped on: 04.15.2014 at 04:02 pm    last updated on: 04.15.2014 at 04:03 pm

RE: Homemade Insecticide (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: rhizo_1 on 04.06.2014 at 01:44 pm in Garden Clinic Forum

Please heed Jean's advice regarding damage to many kinds of succulents, including jade, by the use of soaps. This is true with homemade or commercially manufactured (and usually much safer) insecticidal soaps.

Something that CAN be used, however, is rubbing alcohol. You've probably read about using a cotton swab soaked in alcohol to clean off mealybugs and other pests. You can also use a spray of one part alcohol to three or four parts water. It's very safe for cacti, other succulents, as well as a very wide range of other plants.

But, first of all, you need to find out what these things are! Identification of the problem is important. If you can take some good images, we'll probably be able to ID for you.


clipped on: 04.15.2014 at 10:23 am    last updated on: 04.15.2014 at 10:23 am

RE: Humor in the Garden (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: idabean on 02.08.2012 at 11:32 pm in Cottage Garden Forum

Oh goodie! A chance to introduce another generation of Gardenwebbers to the infamous "Dog in Elk" story. Nothing in my life could approach this. There's a manure pile one I'll look for.

It's long, but I think worth it is worth the time and ribs bruised from rolling on the floor laughing

Anne V - 01:01pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT
Okay - I know how to take meat away from a dog. How do I take a dog away from meat? This is not, unfortunately, a joke.

AmyC - 01:02pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT
Um, can you give us a few more specifics here?

Anne V - They're inside of it. They crawled inside, and now I have a giant incredibly heavy piece of carcass in my yard, with 2 dogs inside of it, and they are NOT getting bored of it and coming out. One of them is snoring. I have company arriving in three hours, and my current plan is to 1. put up a tent over said carcass and 2. hang thousands of fly strips inside it. This has been going on since about 6:40 this morning.

AmyC - Oh. My. God. What sort of carcass is big enough to hold a couple of dogs inside? Given the situation, I'm afraid you're not going to be create enough of a diversion to get the dogs out of the carrion, unless they like greeting company as much as they like rolling around in dead stuff. Which seems unlikely. Can you turn a hose on the festivities?

Ase Innes-Ker - I'm sorry Anne. I know this is a problem (and it would have driven me crazy), but it is also incredibly funny.

Anne V - Elk. Elk are very big this year, because of the rain and good grazing and so forth. They aren't rolling. They are alternately napping and eating. They each have a ribcage. Other dogs are working on them from the outside. It's all way too primal in my yard right now. We tried the hose trick. At someone elses house, which is where they climbed in and began to refuse to come out. Many hours ago. I think that the hose mostly helps keep them cool and dislodges little moist snacks for them. hose failed. My new hope is that if they all continue to eat at this rate, they will be finished before the houseguests arrive. The very urban houseguests. Oh, god - I know it's funny. It's appalling, and funny, and completely entirely representative of life with dogs.

Kristen R. - I'm so glad I read this thread, dogless as I am. Dogs in elk. Dogs in elk.

Anne V - It's like that childrens book out there - dogs in elk, dogs on elk, dogs around elk, dogs outside elk. And there is some elk inside of, as well as on, each dog at this point.

Elizabeth K - Anne, aren't you in Arizona or Nevada? There are elk there? I'm so confused! We definately need to see pics of Gus Pong and Jake in the elk carcass.

Anne V - I am in New Mexico, but there are elk in both arizona and nevada, yes. There are elk all over the da*n place. They don't look out very often. If you stand the ribcage on end they scramble to the top and look out, all red. Otherwise, you kinda have to get in there a little bit yourself to really see them. So I think there will not be pictures.

CoseyMo - "all red;" I'm not sure the deeper horror of all this was fully borne in upon me till I saw that little phrase.

Anne V - Well, you know, the Basenji (that would be Jake) is a desert dog, naturally, and infamous for it's aversion to water. And then, Gus Pong (who is coming to us, live, unamplified and with a terrific reverb which is making me a little dizzy) really doesn't mind water, but hates to be cold. Or soapy. And both of them can really run. Sprints of up to 35 mph have been clocked. So. If ever they come out, catching them and returning them to a condition where they can be considered house pets is not going to be, shall we say, pleasant.

CoseyMo - What if you stand the ribcage on end, wait for them to look out, grab them when they do and pull?

Anne V - They wedge their toes between the ribs. And scream. We tried that before we brought the elk home from the mountain with dogs inside. Jake nearly took my friends arm off. He's already short a toe, so he cherishes the 15 that remain.

Linda Hewitt - Have you thought about calling your friendly vet and paying him to come pick up the dogs, elk and letting the dogs stay at the vets overnight. If anyone would know what to do, it would be your vet. It might cost some money, but it would solve the immediate crisis. Keep us posted.

ChristiPeters - Yikes! My sympathy! When I lived in New Mexico, my best friend's dog (the escape artist) was continually bringing home road kill. When there was no road kill convenient, he would visit the neighbor's house. Said neighbor slaughtered his own beef. The dog found all kinds of impossibly gross toys in the neighbor's trash pit. I have always had medium to large dogs. The smallest dog I ever had was a mutt from the SPCA who matured out at just above knee high and about 55 pounds. Our current dog (daughter's choice) is a Pomeranian.A very small Pomeranian. She's 8 months old now and not quite 4 pounds. I'm afraid I'll break her.

Lori Shiraishi - Bet you could fit a whole lot of Pomeranians in that there elk carcass! Anne - my condolences on what must be an unbelievable situation!

Anne V - I did call my vet. He laughed until he was gagging and breathless. He says a lot of things, which can be summed as *what did you expect?* and *no, there is no such thing as too much elk meat for a dog.* He is planning to stop over and take a look on his way home. Thanks, Lori. I am almost surrendered to the absurdity of it.

Lori Shiraishi - "He is planning to stop over and take a look on his way home." So he can fall down laughing in person?

Anne V - Basically, yeah. That would be about it.

AmyC - No, there is no such thing as too much elk meat for a dog." Oh, sweet lord, Anne. You have my deepest sympathies in this, perhaps the most peculiar of the Gus Pong Adventures. You are truly a woman of superhuman patience. wait -- you carried the carcass down from the mountains with the dogs inside?

Anne V - The carcass down from the mountains with the dogs inside? no, well, sort of. My part in the whole thing was to get really stressed about a meeting that I had to go to, and say *yeah, ok, whatever* when it was suggested that the ribcages, since we couldn't get the dogs out of them and the dogs couldn't be left there, be brought to my house. Because, you know - I just thought they would get bored of it sooner or later. But it appears to be later, in the misty uncertain future, that they will get bored. Now, they are still interested. And very loud, one singing, one snoring.

Lori Shiraishi - And very loud, one singing, one snoring. wow. I can't even begin to imagine the acoustics involved with singing from the inside of an elk.

Anne V - Reverb. lots and lots of reverb.

Anne V - I'll tell you the thing that is causing me to lose it again and again, and then I have to go back outside and stay there for a while. After the meeting, I said to my (extraordinary) boss, "look, I've gotta go home for the rest of the day, I think. Jake and Gus Pong are inside some elk ribcages, and my dad is coming tonight, so I've got to get them out somehow." And he said, pale and huge-eyed, "Annie, how did you explain the elk to the clients?" The poor, poor man thought I had the carcasses brought to work with me. For some reason, I find this deeply funny.

(weekend pause)

Anne V - So what we did was put the ribcages (containing dogs) on tarps and drag them around to the side yard, where I figured they would at least be harder to see, and then opened my bedroom window so that the dogs could let me know when they were ready to be plunged into a de-elking solution and let in the house. Then I went to the airport. Came home, no visible elk, no visible dogs. Peeked around the shrubs, and there they were, still in the elk. By this time, they had gnawed out some little portholes between some of the ribs, and you got the occasional very frightening glimpse of something moving around in there if you watched long enough. After a lot of agonizing, I went to bed. I closed the back door, made sure my window was open, talked to the dogs out of it until I as sure they knew it was open, and then I fell asleep.

Sometimes, sleep is a mistake, no matter how tired you are. And especially if you are very very tired, and some of your dogs are outside, inside some elks. Because when you are that tired, you sleep through bumping kind of noises, or you kind of think that it's just the house guests. It was't the house guests. It was my dogs, having an attack of teamwork unprecedented in our domestic history. When I finally woke all the way up, it was to a horrible vision. Somehow, 3 dogs with a combined weight of about 90 pounds, managed to hoist one of the ribcages (the meatier one, of course) up 3 feet to rest on top of the swamp cooler outside the window, and push out the screen. What woke me was Gus Pong, howling in frustration from inside the ribcage, very close to my head, combined with feverish little grunts from Jake, who was standing on the nightstand, bracing himself against the curtains with remarkably bloody little feet.

Here are some things I have learned, this Rosh Hashanah weekend:
1. almond milk removes elk blood from curtains and pillowcases,
2. We can all exercise superhuman strength when it comes to getting elk carcasses out of our yard,
3. The sight of elk ribcages hurtling over the fence really frightens the nice deputy sheriff who lives across the street, and
4. the dogs can pop the screens out of the windows, without damaging them, from either side.

What I am is really grateful that they didn't actually get the damn thing in the window, which is clearly the direction they were going in. And that the nice deputy didn't arrest me for terrifying her with elk parts before dawn.


clipped on: 03.06.2014 at 03:09 pm    last updated on: 03.06.2014 at 03:09 pm

RE: Groundhogs ate my petunias. Arrrrggghhhhh! (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: glad2garden on 07.08.2010 at 07:14 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Topie, that's good to know about the minty plants. I don't have any monarda, but maybe I will sow some this winter.

Someone suggested putting smelly used cat litter in their burrows, so I cleaned out my cat's box and put it where I could tell they were coming out.

I also poured ammonia into mason jars and put a sponge in to act like a wick, then placed them around my cherry brandy ruds and coneflowers. I know this worked for raccoons when I was living in the city.


clipped on: 02.28.2014 at 06:03 pm    last updated on: 02.28.2014 at 06:03 pm

RE: 2013 Seedlings are about to bloom (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: the_dark_lady on 05.10.2013 at 06:09 am in Rose Propagation Forum

Thank you, Glenna!
Please try your own seeds, you will be greatly rewarded. On average, if I have germination after Christmas-early January, I will have blooms in early March (if used a seed from a repeat-blooming parent).
I sow rose seeds every winter - great entertainment which helps winter seem much shorter :)


clipped on: 02.25.2014 at 09:55 am    last updated on: 02.25.2014 at 09:55 am

RE: 2013 Seedlings are about to bloom (Follow-Up #47)

posted by: rosynut on 02.25.2014 at 09:02 am in Rose Propagation Forum

My first attempt at growing roses from seeds was quite successful and I have two in the trail grounds. I just harvested the seeds pods from the garden removed the seeds, put them in a plastic bag in the fridge for one month. But after the first success nothing since. Nothing sprouted at all. This season I put the seeds directly in a soil medium of compost, palm peat and perlite, added a tiny bit of household bleach in water to the mixture and placed the small plastic container in the vegetable drawer of the fridge for 2 months. Took them out and placed the container on a sunny window sill. Success! I have 15 baby roses for the first time in about 5 years!


clipped on: 02.25.2014 at 09:52 am    last updated on: 02.25.2014 at 09:52 am

RE: Burrito cuttings - the Advanced Burrito Modification. (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: Strawberryhill on 07.24.2012 at 12:30 pm in Rose Propagation Forum

Hi Overdrive: I'm very interested in your result. Folks in England also have little luck in rootings due to the damp weather.

Here's my exeriment with Paul Neyron, notorious for blackspots. Regarding the fungicide properties of lime: I bought Paul Neyron on purpose to do experiments 1) alkaline clay soil with alfalfa meal: lots of blooms, a few blackspots 2) I watered him with acidic water, blackspots got worse 3) Moved him to clay soil made acidic with peatmoss, HORRIBLE blackspots!

4) Moved him to lime with composted pine, peat, and perlite potting soil - he sprouted 100% clean leaves, not a trace of diseases for the past month. I also have "Heirloom" mauve HT rose, notorious for blackspot. It is also in the same lime-pine compost potting soil, it's 100% healthy even in humid and rainy weather.

We had all night rain, all morning rain today. I went out to check Paul Neyron and Heirloom - both are still clean.
Kim Rupert's obervation: "Interesting. So the soil borne lime killed the infecting spores, preventing them from infecting the leaves?"


clipped on: 02.22.2014 at 07:01 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2014 at 07:01 pm

RE: 'Dusty Miller' with pink blooms (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: mark4321 on 05.22.2012 at 08:11 pm in Cottage Garden Forum

I just ran across this thread. I picked up Centaurea gymnocarpa at Annie's Annuals few months ago and it just started blooming:

Centaurea gymnocarpa flower

The plant was $5.50 in a 4 inch pot at the nursery (probably higher online) and I finally put it in a larger pot. Here's a photo of it prior to repotting. It is growing in part sun and just flopped over:

Centaurea gymnocarpa May 22 2012

I also started a few small cuttings when I repotted it. Sandi, if you are still looking for the plant, you are welcome to one if some root. If they don't root I'll take bigger cuttings after it finishes blooming.

I've read that the Centaurea gymnocarpa that is common in cultivation does not make viable seeds. However, cuttings are supposed to be very easy. The ones I took were very small, though, so we'll see.

I don't think Annie's is selling the plant at the moment.

Here is a link that might be useful: Centaurea gymnocarpa at Annie's Annuals


clipped on: 12.20.2012 at 06:20 pm    last updated on: 12.20.2012 at 06:20 pm