It is time to catch up on some customer emails and comments:
First, KCB (check this Garden Log often for her awesome articles) checks in with an added comment regarding a question and answer with customer LJT regarding staking or fencing tall perennials to keep them from toppling. Frankly her answer is much better than mine as you would expect from the 2008 Master Gardener of the Year (congrats to KCB!)
At our Garden Happenings! Week of September 8 post customer LJT asked about how to tall perennials under control. KCB adds: "Mike, great suggestions for LJT and her less than sturdy perennials. I have found that peony rings place around some of the more floppy perennials and shrubs work well. The trick is to place them early as the foliage is emerging. Once in full foliage the rings do not show. Works great for anything from Stoke Aster, Endless Summer Peony, Larkspur even Dahlias.
Hopes this helps!
Frankly the peony ring idea is a much better one!
Good gardening friend JP has the following question about roses:
"Earlier this year I planted 2 knock-out roses. They have blossomed in fact there are a few flowers there now. But, something is eating the leaves. I’d like to have them be in good condition to endure the winter. I don’t think I should be feeding them now. Should I use Messenger?"
Our answer: I don’t think Messenger would do the trick here. I highly recommend Messenger as a monthly spray to protect against disease. I spray monthly starting in April and go right through September. My roses have had almost no black spot or mildew all year and have grown well in a year that is one of the toughest I have ever seen for roses.
If you have not fed your roses for awhile now would be a good time to put a natural fertilizer like Rose Tone by Espoma or Plant Booster Plus by Organica around the base of the plant. Although we are heading into the last part of the season now would be a great time to help the soil around your rose with one of these fine products. These products both do that without injecting a burst of nutrients into the roots only like some popular chemical fertilizers out there (Miracle Gro is an example of that type of food).
Remember to mulch well around your roses in late November once the ground starts to freeze up. The object is to keep the ground cold and your roses dormant over the winter. Also between now and then make sure your roses get some quality waterings each week.
As far as the holes in the leaves go I would certainly recommend sprinkling some Garden Dust by Bonide on the roses if the problem seems to be severe. If the overall condition of the roses is good in terms of color and new growth is still coming out you could probably bypass the dusting this late in the season. But if it is severe eating the garden dust would probably make the eating less severe.
If the eating is happening from the top of the stem down, it COULD be deer but that is probably not likely right now. They would not like the Garden Dust very much.
Customer CM checks in with a very nice note I would like to share:
"One of your employees called yesterday or the day before with an answer to my question, but I appreciate the additional information.
Mike, your store is run very well and I like to give it my repeat business.
As a small business owner myself (and even if I weren't), I realize the effort and dedication you put into everything. Certainly, you personally expend many hours toward the effort.
Thank you for all you do! "
Thank you CM and thanks to all of our customers!