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PREVIOUS DIARY ENTRIES
March 31, 2002
Completed pruning of all the roses this weekend. The mild winter is evident, very little
winter damage to the plants.

I drove to Florida in late February and could not resist picking up a couple
of blooming rose plants at Home Depot. Potted and blooming for less than $7. I have kept
them indoors (in New Jersey)for the last month,
bringing them outside when temps go above freezing. These plants were planted
in the garden today. They should have a good jump on the season.

I received three own-root plants from Vintage Gardens (CA) last week. Two smaller
ones were potted as per the instruction sheet. The larger one, San Fernando,
was planted in the garden today. San Fernando is one of the parents of
Red American Beauty, a greenhouse rose that I grew many years ago.
Red American Beauty is no longer available so I got what may be the next best thing.

Dec 29,2001
Pruned about half of the roses. This is the first time I have pruned at the end of the year instead of waiting till Spring. I won't know the results until next growing season is underway. July 24, 2001
WOW! there were many events in the rose garden and I never got them entered.
Early hot weather (May-June) brought in the spider mites and caught me off guard. The foliage was dulled from their activity. Spraying got them under control and I repeated the spray this past weekend.

We have used the Bayer 2 in 1 Systemic two times this year. It does not control mites but I have noticed a lack of aphids, good. It does not control the mites that invade my roses, they may be the resistant type.

Spreading Iron Sulfate on the rose beds has become a yearly event but this past weekend I added one teaspoon of Fe330 chelated iron per plant. This was mixed with a gallon of water and poured on the soil around the plant. I can see the difference, good. We picked up one of the new Sony digital cameras and will be able to get pictures of the roses when the crop returns. All roses were fed this past week with Milorganite, it does a good job improving the foliage color.


April 21, 2001
The weather has been beautiful and the roses show it. The new breaks have good color and are healthy.
I treated all of the rose plants with Bayer 2 in 1 systemic. I felt that the Bayer did a good job last year of controlling insects and a repeat is in order.
My wife and I picked up two more rose plants today from a local garden center. The plants were from J&P and were in boxes.
April 9, 2001
All rose bushes were pruned this past weekend. The condition of the plants, after the winter, was good.
Also done this past weekend was the planting of the new bare-root plants from J&P. The plant quality was excellent, the best bare root plants I have received from J&P.
Today the temperature reached the 80's and the cut back plants are sprouting. I am happy that I got them pruned prior to the hot day.
March 2, 2001
The rose trellis came in this week and it really is nice. I put it together in the garage with my wife and it was fairly easy to do.
A day or so ago, my wife called J&P to order a few more plants but was turned off by the shipping cost. She did not order the plants and was willing to take the chance of finding desired varieties at local garden centers. She was surprised by a call today from J&P who claims they were undersold and would offer plants to us at $9.00 each. She took five!! If you have had a similar experience, and it is still early March, try calling and see if they will sell to you at a reduced price.
February 24, 2001
THE END OF WINTER IS IN SIGHT!!!! My wife has ordered a trellis with gates, the one inside the J&P cover, along with the rose featured on the cover. The trellis will ship to arrive in less than three weeks....wow!
More snow has fallen on the rose beds providing additional winter protection and hopefully allowing the soil to remain unfrozen to slightly frozen.
I have some non-rose work to do outside to remind me that spring is near...fruit tree pruning. This is the time in my area of NJ. Not my favorite job out there but it has to be done now and then.
January 14, 2001
It's turning out to be a cold winter. This past week, the day time temperature has gone above freezing every day but the night time temperature has dropped into the teens. This is when the mulch pays off by protecting the bud union and lower canes from the freezing and thawing cycles.
The foot of snow that fell on New Year's weekend will do a great job in protecting plants from the cold. It insulates the soil from the cold and can keep the soil from freezing if it was not already frozen.
I have started to "plan" for the coming season. What roses to replace? Less pinching? More fragrance? Isn't if fun during the planning stage?
November 24, 2000
I started the winter protection yesterday. I will be using partially decomposed wood chips to cover the bud union. I am mounding it about 10 inches high.
After winter protection about all that has to be done is the selection of more rose plants.
I will be replacing Dolly Parton. It made great flowers but disease of some sort set it back every year. A few others will be replaced next spring, reasons vary..
November 3, 2000
The frost has ended the blooming season but the plants remain beautiful. This has been a good year for my rose garden.
Next year I will apply iron (FE330) earlier in the year by mixing it with the regular fertilizer.

September 10, 2000
Spoke too soon, spider mites are running on some of the varieties. I think that the Bayer is working to some degree but an application of mite spray is called for.
August 31, 2000
The roses plants are finally growing very well. Disease not a problem, thanks to weekly fungicide sprays.

Gayle applied Bayer rose systemic for the second time. I have not seen any spider mites this year. They always made an appearance, especially on some of the varieties. I feel that the Bayer systemic has kept the mites away.

The variety "Glory Days" developed chlorosis, some leaves almost white. This could be caused by wet-roots but not the case here. Applied a teaspoon of FE330 chelated iron in a gallon of water. You could almost watch the leaves green up after a week or so.

I will put a half-dose of Milorganite on the roses and that will be the last fertilizer for this year. I think the rule for this area is no food after July but there is a good amount of foliage on the plants and they should be using food. The heavy rains that have fallen in this western part of NJ have probably leached out much of the nitrogen fertilizer from the soil.


August 4, 2000
July was a dry month here until the end.
I did get caught up on soil additives. Epsom salts and Gypsum were finally done, should be done yearly.
One-half dose of Milorganite was applied to suppliment the Bayer Rose and systemic insectide.
The growth on the rose plants is excellent and if I can keep them disease free they will finish the growing season in great form.
The Bayer Rose food and Systemic has kept the roses free of spider mites and other insects. The Japanese beatle has not been a problem this year, I have only hand picked a few. Thrip were non-existant, good news since they did visit last year.

June 13, 2000
Change of plans. I had mentioned that I would feed with Milorganite but will use the new Bayer Rose food with systemic insecticide. I still feel that it is important to feed at least once a year with Milorganite but I saw some midge damage.

Bayer Rose does not list midge on the label but it does list aphids and spider mite. I get both but am hoping that it will knock the midge out during the five week effective time.

The growth on my plants has been excellent so far, quite amazing after suffering a major winter setback. As I said earlier, I am pinching the roses to build up the plants. Pinching is a good investment in your plants and everyone should consider performing the practice in the springtime.

Roses Inc., the commercial rose growers association, has changed their name and will now include all greenhouse flower crops. It is sad to see what has happened to commercial rose production in the USA. Imported roses have done the damage. A year or so ago, the President of Roses Inc testified before a Senate group - to no avail. I will discontinue my membership in the organization because of the limited rose information.


June 3,2000
Fed the roses again with 10-10-10. Less than 1/2 handfull per plant. The next feeding will be in early July and it will be Milorganite.

Milorganite supplies many micro nutrients along with the nitrogen. I feel that it results in darker green foliage.

The yearly addition of Iron Sulfate has made a tremendous difference in the growth of my roses. I wouldn't be growing many rose plants in my soil if I did not discover it. Every year the availablity of Iron Sulfate in Garden Centers has lessened. Places that used to carry it say they never did!! I found a source at Hydro Gardens and ordered 50 lbs. The cost is about the same as I used to pay at the Garden Centers but I must pay the freight. Colorado to New Jersey, about $30. Like I said, I can't grow roses without it.

If you are also looking for Iron Sulfate and have had no success you could try Hydro Gardens web sight.
Sprayed the roses with Daconil today, the temperature was in the low 70's so I should not see any damage to the leaves. I had used Orthene earlier in the week to control aphids.

I will be pinching the plants this year to build them up. I like to pinch half of the stems of the first crop. Pinching has a very benificial effect on the plants. It also splits up the "crop" so you will have roses over a longer period of time. It also adds foliage to the plant which improves the half that did not get pinched.

I have treated the soil with insecticide to eliminate any remaining rose midge. Rose midge were responsible for many lost flowers last year.


May 24,2000
Rain, rain, rain but it has been dry around here for the last few years. Six days of rain has left 5.7" and it is starting to rain now.

I had placed a heavy dose of 10-10-10 (2/3 handfull) around each rose plant a couple of weeks ago and I can see the difference. I will apply a lesser dose in a couple of weeks.

The deer have done a job on the roses this year and have hurt my effort to build up the plants. Last weekend I went to Home Depot and picked up some 7' steel fence posts and rolls of 7' netting. It is keeping the deer out. Mechanically excluding the deer seems to be the only effective way.
I have been unable to spray the roses due to the wet weather, wish me luck.


May 3, 2000
It has been a while since I last posted info but I have been busy at work in the rose garden.

The winter was tough on the roses, not unexpected because I lost foliage late in the season. Remember, it is very important to keep the foliage on your plants. Fungicide - insecticide, don't miss on your spray schedule. I have sprayed the rose canes three times with a fungicide this year. I want to keep the canes healthy. hr March 19, 2000
Started pruning the roses this weekend. I have been cutting lower than I normally would due to winter damage. It is important to cut out the dead and damaged wood.
As soon as the pruning is complete I will spray the rose canes with Daconil.


Feb. 27, 2000 Made a tour of the rose garden today, they are still alive.
I did notice some purple blotches on some of the canes and will plan on spraying Daconil within the next couple of weeks.
2/9/00
The sun is getting higher, a sure sign that the rose season is around the corner.
The heavy snows (NJ heavy) have done a nice job of winter protecting the rose garden. I took the snow blower and added more snow to the rose beds.
I am formulating the "ideal" growing plan for the coming season, or resolutions if you prefer. This will include one feeding with cottenseed meal and bone meal, spraying for Downy at least once a month, and not missing a weekly spray of fungicide.
Nov. 1999
I started winter protection today. Normally, this would be late in this part of NJ but it has been a strange year. My winter protection constists of a 10" to 12" mound of wood chips at the base of each plant. In May this will be gradually moved away, an inch or two every three or four days, becoming the mulch for the rose beds.
I sprayed again last week with Daconil. I don't want any canker or anthracnose to spend the winter on the rose canes.
?? The roses were coming back....then the deer came. Major defoliation!!! Winter protection is now mandatory.
I made an asparagus tea and sprayed it on the roses....logic, the deer don't eat my asparagus. I added some Dove dish liquid as a spreader, maybe the soapy taste will discourage them. So far, no deer damage but they may be waiting for more succulent growth to devour.
I will spray with Daconil this weekend, weather permitting. The intent is to destroy any type of disease that may want to overwinter on the rose bushes. The canes will also get sprayed. The 10/09/99 Daconil spray, at 2 tablespoons per gallon, did not burn the foliage.
October 9, 1999
I sprayed the roses with Daconil today, in spite of reports that this product will cause foliage burn.
Daconil was selected because it is effective against Downy Mildew, anthracnose, and some other rose problems. Not many fungicides are effective against Downy Mildew.
Downy and cool weather seem to go together around this NJ location. Downy will cause severe leaf drop, first you see some spots and then the leaf falls off while it is still somewhat green.
-Sept. 19, 1999-The last couple of weeks have been interesting in my NJ rose garden. Floyd dumped about 9-1/2 inches of rain (measured) but the winds associated with the storm did little damage.
Black spot, usually under control, got away from me, with some lost foliage as a result. I violated one of my major rules "NEVER WATER OVERHEAD" when I watered in the Diazanon granuals (see below). If I don't water from the top and spray weekly with fungicide, I will not have a blackspot problem.

There is not much time for the plants to build up more foliage but it should be sufficient to produce the necessary foliage to help build up "sugar" levels to get through the winter.

I picked up a 12 Volt sprayer from Tractor Supply with a spray tank. I use my lawn tractor battery for power. It produces about 50 pounds of pressure, which is ample for outdoor spraying needs. When switching from hand-pumping-a-sprayer to power-spraying I find that more material is needed (gallons) to do the same amount of rose bushes. The "coverage" is greatly improved, as should be the control.


Sept. 2, 1999
Looks like I finally have the rose midge under control. Wow, did they ever reduce the rose crop. At one time there were no roses in my garden of 150+ bushes.

I will continue to use granular diazanon on the soil and Orthene on the foliage. Next spring I will start the treatment shortly after pruning.

It has not been a good year to increase my rose photo library, dry hot weather the main reason. As us rose growers say....next year.

The roses, helped by rain and cooler days, are making a great come-back and once again there are cut roses on the dining room table.

I fed the roses, for the last time this year, with Ammonium Nitrate (available from farm supply stores, mine from Agway). It is a powerfull source of Nitrogen and can burn if used improperly. It contains about 16% of nitrate nitrogen which is immediatly available. The balance is in the form of ammonium. The ammonium must be converted to nitrates for use by the plant. Three pounds of ammonium nitrate per 1000 square feet of soil is all that should be applied.


(July 12, 1999)
Another feeding with Milorganite with the addition of Ironite from Home Depot.
I used the Ironite at 1/4 of the label dose.

Canker, midge keeping me busy this year. Using Benomyl for disease control with an occasional Funginex as the alternate. For midge, Orthene at the higher label dose, diazanon granuals for the rose beds.

First crop is finished, heat in NJ took it's toll on the flower quality. However, the foliage does look good and the next crop should be excellent.


Just when I thought that the roses were doing well the thrip came in. For most, thrip is not unusual. In the 30 years I have been growing roses in my back yard I have not seen a thrip.
I am familiar with the symptoms, brownish flower petal edges with the center of the bud distorted, from my greenhouse rose growing days.
In the greenhouse we used Meta-Systox, a systemic, for control. Spraying was done every five days. I will use Orthene, a systemic, outdoors to control that pest.
The early heat has taken away some of the beauty of the first rose crop. The first crop normally has the largest flowers with intense color. It has cooled down somewhat, better roses around the corner.
4/25. Did the alfalfa tea thing today.
Last week I placed 50 pounds of alfalfa cubes into two 30 gallon plastic garbage pails, filled them with water, and let it soak for a week.
Next year I will use only 25 pounds for the two 30 gallon pails, it was very thick at the 50 pound rate. The above 60 gallons were used on 150 plants.
4/3. Started pruning today, the forsythia is showing color, the rule applies this year.
I will follow up with a spray of Daconil for the anthracnose, purple blotches are on the canes and control is in order.
At this time, I am leaning towards an early feeding with cottonseed meal mixed with some Boron. Cottonseed meal is considered a "fast" organic which is best while the weather is still cold.
The boron is to minimize bud abortion, which I saw more of last year. Bud abortion can be caused by several micro nutrients in insufficient supply, Boron/manganese/zinc. There is also a Boron/Calcium relationship to consider, higher calcium levels will cancel a low boron level. Boron is toxic in small quantities, be carefull!! I will use 20 Mule Team Boraxo (detergent) at 1/2 (one-half) ounce per thousand square feet. That will do it for a year or two.
The rose midge will also cause bud abortion, be on the lookout for signs of them.