The 3 D's

Greetings Lincoln Terrace gardeners,

After a mild winter, roses around the neighborhood were showing their faces by mid-March.  But harsh weather in April and May, including strong winds, left some bushes struggling and others bare.  Although a quick drive through the neighborhood is proof that our colorful friends have fought back, with a spectrum of shades on each street.  In case your rose bush has suffered over the first half of 2012, here are some tips to keep your rose garden going strong.

Be sure to water during the early morning to avoid black spot and mildew.  Avoid wetting the plant’s leaves during regular watering, which can spread disease.  However, about once a week, give your rose a”shower” with a spray nozzle hose attachment. This treatment not only adds water and humidity, it clears leaves of dust, dirt and spider mites or other harmful insects. Never sprinkle bushes in the afternoon or evening, which can promote disease.  Where possible ensure good soil drainage and ventilation for your roses.  If you come across black spots, remove and destroy infected leaves during the season and remove infected twigs when pruning.  If powdery mildew is your trouble, thoroughly ap­plied fungicides can effectively control the problem.

Regardless of the type of bush you’re pruning, you’ll always want to remove the three “D”s:  dead, damaged, and diseased wood.  There is no wrong time to do this; the three “D”s can be removed at any time.  You’ll want to remove diseased wood as quickly as possible, however, to prevent it from spreading.  Diseased wood is either discolored or deformed; remove it and either bring it to a nursery or cooperative extension center for treatment advice or dispose of it in the garbage.  Do not put it on the compost pile, or you will risk spreading the disease to future flower beds.

Be sure to check back next month for additional gardening tips.  Until then, stay cool out there neighbors.

Your fellow gardener,

Erica Perryman

For additional info visit the OSU Extension Office webpage at http://www.oces.okstate.edu/gardening-insects-pest-management

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