Sheliah checks in from high atop the mountains of Raymond Maine. Folks, if you can garden there, you can garden anywhere!
"I can't believe that in about a month I will be out examining my roses to see how they did over the winter. We have had lots of snow and the roses should be in pretty good shape. I like to uncover the mound of frozen dirt or compost that I mounded them with late last fall gradually. I never start cutting back dead canes at his time, though I know that some growers recommend this. I have found that waiting until I see leaves starting to push out in May is a better time to give those roses a good cut back. I have found over my many years of growing roses, that when you cut roses back too early in April there is a chance that a cold spell can kill them after they made it through a long winter. Once you see the leaves begin to grow it is time to use a fertilizer.
I rarely use chemicals in my garden but I have been known to use them on my roses. It's all out war when it comes to my roses! Rosetone is a great food for those of you who prefer not to use a chemical fertilizer. There are organic fungal sprays that should be used at this time. If you had black spot and other fungal problems last year you need to start early with a fungicide. I like the 3 in 1 products that are watered in and take care of bugs, fungal problems and feeding in one shot. There are also 3 in 1 sprays that work very well. I am excited to see what new products Skillin's will have to offer this year. If you lost a rosebush or two don't be disheartened, it happens. In the nursery this year we will be offering some beautiful shrub roses that need little or no care and bloom most of the summer. If you have never had good luck growing roses come by the nursery and we will recommend the perfect one for you! "
From Mike S.: Sheliah I had tremendous luck last year with my roses in battling leaf spot and fungus by using Messenger. Messenger is an all natural product that contains harpin proteins. Harpin proteins are used by plants to fortify their cells and thus to naturally fight diseases. Messenger "tricks" the plant into thinking that there must be a disease on the plant because of the presence of the harpin proteins supplied by Messenger. The plant then thinks it has a fight on its hands and starts to produce harpin proteins in overdrive. Thus the plant is very well protected from leaf spot, mildews, etc. This makes Messenger an awesome product for roses; spray Messenger monthly throughout the growing season.
Sheliah for Skillin's
March 4, 2009