I've been growing roses for years, mostly hybrid teas, but I've never been able to beat back the black spot. That accursed black spot. How I hate it. I know my way around feeding, around insect infestations, around mildew, but every year this vile spore machine sits back and laughs at me.
It usually doesn't show up around here until August, but thanks to the unseasonably warm winter I'm seeing spots already. Since the fungus is starting its assault early I think I need bigger guns. Usually I just grab whatever's on sale at the local garden store since I'm on a slightly restrictive budget. Given that this year I'm going to be fighting this fight for the entire growing season I'm willing to spend a little more.
What tends to be most efficacious, and how often should I apply it? In the past I've aimed for every 2 weeks, should I apply more often? Should I apply a systemic along with a topical? Or should I just accept my inevitable defeat? On some level I've never really tried too hard to keep it away, because there never seemed to be any way to really succeed in keeping it away, but if it's going to be here for five months instead of the usual three it seems rather imperative to at least try to battle it.