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Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Posted by sandandsun 9a FL (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 1, 12 at 11:05

Sherry, I hope you don't mind. I started this thread for you and others based on your following post:

Posted by sherryocala 9A Florida (My Page) on Fri, Dec 30, 11 at 12:53

Chris, I hadn't read about the "barren area starvation method", but that's basically what I've done. My front garden is almost surrounded by pavement with weed-cloth covered graveled areas in the middle, and the beds are amended to the extreme (more than 50% soil replacement) and very fertile. The back garden has no pavement nearby but lots of gravel and similarly amended beds. I also don't like the look of fort-grafted roses. I only have one left - Mrs B R Cant. Like you said, if a gardener has only sand and doesn't want or can't go the total excavation/amend route, grafted makes sense. The problem is availability and then expense.

My other concern/doubt/question is the ground below my amended beds. My roses are old enough for their roots to have penetrated into that horrible, compacted, limey, cement-like native ground (Ocala has lots of limestone geology, making it excellent horse country but not so good for roses if you happen to have calcareous soil), and a few roses are suffering chlorosis and thin foliage. I may resort to lifting them, re amending the area and replanting. The organics don't seem to "flow down" sufficiently to alter the original ground. I don't know if nematodes are present in my area or if their habit is to come up from the bottom even if surrounded as you describe with starvation areas. It would be easier to assess the nematode situation if I didn't have the crappy native cement-like sand to complicate the issue. Growing roses well in Florida is certainly doable but definitely not easy. Determination, passion and a strong back (the gardener's or someone else's) are definitely required. But then, of course, people are plopping Knock Outs into the ground all over the place. I wonder what they will be looking like in a few years.

Thanks for commenting about this. I have kind of felt alone in what I have done. You explained it well.

Sherry


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Posted by sandandsun 9a FL (My Page) on Sat, Dec 31, 11 at 12:35

Sherry,
Thank you and you're welcome.
I don't live near Ocala and your description of the soil - cement sand confuses me. Sand as I have it is very much like what one finds on beaches. Cement sounds like clay. Although I know sand is a cement additive....
Hmm, how about the old test question: when it rains (heavy Florida type) do you have standing water in your yard and if so for how long?
Chris


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Maybe since you started this Florida thread we could take a survey? I have long been curious about how own root, Fort. grafted, and Huey grafted do in average gardens over time. So if any Florida growers read this could you please answer these questions. I filled in my answers.

1. What is your oldest own root rose? Natchitoches Noisette
How old is it? maybe 5 years
What are its growing conditions like? part-sun, partially amended soil, next to the northside of my house
What is its current condition? Very healthy and large

2. What is your oldest Fortuniana grafted rose? Don Juan
How old is it? 8 years old
What are its growing conditions like? part-sun, partially amended soil, next to the northside of my house

What is its current condition? large, partially defoliated, just finished bloom cycle, in a resting phase

3. What is your oldest Dr. Huey grafted rose? Queen Mary 2
How old is it? 7 years old
What are its growing conditions like? part-sun, partially amended soil, next to the northside of my house
What is its current condition? pretty good, looks like a typical hybrid tea and not worse than it did originally.

4. Oldest potted rose? Gruss an Aachen.
How old is it? 4 or 5 years old
What are its growing conditions like? part-sun, large pot, westside of my house
What is its current condition? just finished a beautiful bloom cycle, looks ratty now and needs tending


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Amberoses: Okay by me.

Sherry,
I haven't waited for you to agree to my input on the situation your roses are in. I hope you don't mind.
First the disclaimer: I know that I do not know for certain about your particular rose situation because I don't live with your garden as I do mine. That said what I offer you is my best "educated guess."

I have periodically read your blog. My last visit was in late summer, I think, and you had just posted photos and remarked something to the effect that others shouldn't feel bad about their roses.... You also wrote, if I remember correctly that in response to their state you had fertilized heavily.
My first inclination is that I think your roses are probably okay. What? Well, they're alive! When I was trying to find out about whether the late Frank Bernardella's work was preserved, I asked Ladyrose65 since she had mentioned her friendship with the family and she led me to the information that indeed a wholesale nursery had acquired his stock. She had given up roses after a disaster. I often like to use the wisdom of other folks' experiences so I asked Ladyrose65 to share hers. See below linked thread.
And before making any statements of my own, I refer you to the information in the copy and paste link - a post where Paul Zimmerman references Professor Linda Chalker-Scott, Ph.D. Washingtion State Univerity.

Zimmerman references Professor Linda Chalker Scott PhD:

http://www.finegardening.com/item/20230/roses-and-that-cup-of-bone-meal-in-the-planting-hole

Here is a link that might be useful: Overhanded with fertilizers and lost all my roses?


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Sandandsun, sorry I'm late to read your post. I never have standing water. In fact, today I removed a sunken rectangular bucket that had served as a reservoir for a fountain for a couple of years. It left a firm hole about 7" deep in the moist composted earth of that bed which I filled with the water from the bucket. It took about 5 minutes to drain through. I was kinda surprised it lasted that long.

I do have some white clay in streaks, not much, but I removed as much as I found, thinking it was alkaline. Later I wondered if the water-retention properties would have been good to keep. My yard has a lot of limestone rock in it. Nothing larger than 3" diameter. When dry, the native soil looks like gray cement mix and is very hard. I've used a mattock on it. It comes out in hard chunks of clearly granular coarse stuff. I don't know what holds it together. When damp, it is more easily penetrated with a shovel. In my shade bed under some oaks that was very dry before I irrigated it I have found areas of white/light gray powdery fine stuff that azaleas didn't like. The land that is my subdivision was woods, oaks and some pines about 7 years ago. I know my native soil is calcareous. I'm doing more reading on it now.

I try to fertilize at least every 6 weeks. I believe the problems with my roses this summer were due to lack of rain and, therefore, excess heat. We're still in a drought. No afternoon rain meant temperatures remained higher all night than with normal rains so the roses were stressed and unable to keep their foliage. Once our fall temps arrived the roses perked up, got leafier and had a good fall flush.

Amber, my oldest roses are only 4 years old, one on Fort, all others own-root. No Dr Huey rootstock.

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

I have Don Juan, Elina, Penelope, numerous Belinda's Dreams, and Mrs. B.R. Cant on Fort. Everything else is own-root. The oldest ones are about eight years old, including the roses on Fort. Like Sherry, I have heavily amended my beds, but I have totally replaced the soil in the rose holes with composted horse manure. My roses are mostly in full sun and my soil is sugar sand before amending.

If I could get more roses on Fort I would, but it's a time-consuming and
expensive proposition. I'm holding my breath and hoping mine are able to fight off the nematodes. They are all heavily mulched and other than those listed are teas, noisettes, and Chinas for the most part.

So far, the oldest own -roots seem healthy and still bloom heavily after eight years. However, I lost quite a few roses to a fungal cane die-back. This was not limited to the own-roots roses, though, and I still have some
on Fort that have not fully recovered from the cane die-back.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Amber and Floridarosez9,

My eldests are over 3 yrs. in my yard now. It's been very difficult continually reading that they are on death row even when all my research, experience, and observations tell me otherwise. Thank you. 8 years exceeds even the worst forecast of "several years."
Floridarosez9, could you provide more info on the "fungal cane die-back?" To which fungus do you attribute the problem for example?

Chris


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Chris, as I'm sure you know, there aren't a lot of rose growers in central Florida, so I was kind of on my own with the die-back problem. My husband was extremely ill during this time, and I was not able to go to any of the rose meetings at Fl. So. I'm sure Dr. Manners would have been able to diagnose it. I was given diagnoses of everything from chili thrips to nematodes, none of which was correct.

Finally, I talked to an old man who has a rose care service who told me to repeat spray with copper, and eventually, it took care of the problem for the most part. He couldn't tell me more than it was fungal. The dieback started in four huge, healthy Belinda's Dreams covered in buds. I walked out one morning and the tips with all the lovely new growth and buds were badly wilted and by the next day were brown and dying. Every single cane continued to die from the tip all the way to the graft. I pruned all the way into healthy wood, and yet the canes still continued to die back. By the time I got a diagnosis, almost all my roses were affected. Some recovered, some did not, and even now, the Belinda's Dreams have not achieved their previous size and still have some cane die-back.

A few roses like Louis Phillipe, Bon Seline, Ducher, Pink Pet, and Brightside Cream stayed healthy and apparently were immune to whatever it was. Rosette Delizzy died totally to the ground, and came back from the roots, but is half the size it was before. Marachel Neil totally died and did not come back from the roots. I was a total newbie when this happened and very preoccupied with my husband's health, so it was totally out of hand before I even realized I had a serious problem.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Thanks for the info everyone. Personal rose growing observations are hard to come by in Florida.

Floridarosez9, I also had the cane fungus problems for the first time this year. Overnight, literally, formerly healthy canes started to wilt and there was a black fungus circle at the bases of the cane. It wasn't a root problem. This happened to two small newly planted roses in the same area of the yard. All my other roses remained healthy. I saved reine des violettes by taking a cutting of a healthy cane and excellence von schubert still has the problem, but is producing healthy canes.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

If I'm recalling correctly, Botrytis causes canes to die back from their tops. Downey kills from the bottoms up. Google Botrytis and see if it appears to be what you're observing. Kim


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

  • Posted by saldut 9-10 st pete, fl (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 4, 12 at 16:02

Could it have been Brown Canker ? I think that is what killed many of my roses... it was back a few months when we had all that rain, rain, rain.. and no drying-out between rains... I lost 4 of my 8 Don Juans, they were huge and old, several were over age 30, and developed a dark-brown blackish , in some places oozing, on the canes, and the ones where the stuff girdled the c ane it died, within a week or so... some roses had it, and still do now, partly around the cane but not all the way, and they are still struggling... and most go all the way to the ground.... when first found it I went on Google and Canker looks to be the problem.. I've taken some samples to FSC and have been told it looks like Brown Canker, now I intend to find out if there is anything can be done, and/or how to prevent it in the future.... apparently the constant wetness(from the rain ) contributes to it....sally


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

"the tips with all the lovely new growth and buds were badly wilted and by the next day were brown and dying. Every single cane continued to die from the tip"

floridarosez9, I too lost a couple of roses having these same symptoms this year. Both were healthy, established plants when the wilting began on the new growth, and the disease moved rapidly. I could not find any information online describing these symptoms. Fortunately, this did not spread throughout the entire garden for me - in fact the two roses that died were no where near each other and no other roses close to them were affected. I am glad that some of yours recovered.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Sounds horrible! I'll keep my eyes peeled for this nasty stuff.

Floridarosez, that rose man was a blessing, giving you such good advise!!

Sally, thanks for sharing the name of it.

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Sherry, this man is not educated at all in terms of knowing technical names of rose diseases or what causes them, but he can look at a cane or even hear your description of the problem and tell you what will fix it. He's been working with roses so long, he seems intuitive about what they need, unlike me who just goes bumbling along in my trial and error way.

Kim, possibly, but I have seen it before on my blooms after three days of
rain, but it did not affect the canes. Also there was absolutely none of that yucky grayish stuff on these bushes at all. The bushes looked beautiful and healthy except for the wilt and then the canes rotted from the inside out. We were in drought at that time also, and I always thought botrytis was due to damp conditions.

My sympathies to anyone who gets this stuff, whatever it is.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

As I read and reread this thread it would seem the question is not whether my roses are on death row, but rather which method of execution will be approved by the supreme court of Nature.

Nature has few more furious forces than Florida's.

Even so I read with joy: " Rosette Delizzy died totally to the ground, and came back from the roots..."

Its own roots.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Chris, your comments about nature in Florida are so true.

I have decided I'm going to quit worrying about nematodes, and if I lose my roses, I lose them. I've lost hundreds of other plants here to freezes (I've learned the hard way I'm in a cold pocket) before I started growing roses. As a matter of fact, the annual chore of covering up all of my cold sensitive plants for every freeze is what finally helped fuel my switch to roses, and I have no regrets. There is no concern about winter protecting roses here in central Florida.

An own-root plant doesn't cost much more than a shrub from Wal-Mart or a local nursery, and I've lost many of those plants before they were eight years old. I try to root cuttings of each of my OGRs so I have backups in pots in case of a disaster. I had duplicates of Rosette Delizzy, as a matter of fact, but not for M. Neil. I hadn't had success in rooting him from some reason. I just recently bought a replacement for him.

I plan to continue keeping everything heavily mulched, well-watered and well-fed, and hopefully I can beat the odds.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

You know I feel the same about rose longevity. Is anyone really disappointed if a rose ONLY lives 8 years here in Florida? I've gotten rid of several fortuniana grafted roses because they got diseases or failed to thrive. Personally, I choose my varieties first and if they are available on Fortuniana then I get them, but if they're not that's fine too.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Amberroses, I have had the same experience with roses on Fort. As a matter of fact, My B's Dreams on Fort. were the hardest hit by this fungus out of all my roses. I find they do, however, grow larger faster on Fort. than own-root.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Yes, I do prefer Fort. because I also believe they grow faster and larger, but I think own root plants and Dr. Huey grafted plants have merit also. Some people think the only rose you should ever buy in Florida is a Fort. grafted one, but personally I don't agree with that. I just like all roses :)


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Here is an interesting observation. I've had Austin's Mary Magdeline own root for years. I recently had two grafted on fort at K&M. I planted those two and one of my own root MM'S in the same bed in a full sun area. The grafted MM's love it and are growing and blooming like crazy. The own-root MM languished until I moved it to a shadier spot where it once again started flourishing. It makes me wonder if maybe the grafting is about more than just the nematodes.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Teka, I believe the rootstock does affect how the rose performs. All of my Austins are on Fort.

I just realized I left out one of the major effects this disease had on my roses. Any new canes were an odd rubbery texture and a strange blue-green color. The new leaves were almost fern-like and the flowers deformed, and on very short stems. I guess in a wild attempt to save themselves, the roses sent out an amazing profusion of the deformed canes. These canes would soon start to rot from the tips. Once I started spraying with copper, the deformed canes ceased to appear.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Despite anything you may read or be told to the contrary, selection of root stock DEFINITELY affects the performance of the budded scion.

Roses will vary tremendously in their vigor, ability to form decent root systems to support themselves and their adaptability to various soil types and pH ranges. The selection of a standardized root stock addressed that problem for much of the country for many, many decades. The most universal root stock for the vast majority of the soil, climate and cultivar types has been Dr. Huey. That stock possesses the greatest compromise of cold hardiness, soil and drainage type compatibility, scion compatibility as well as the longest period in which it could be budded and the least proclivity to abort the scion due to water stress. It will accept virtually any type of rose variety you attempt to bud on it. Not all will.

Some varieties of roses appear to be widely adaptable to many climates and soils own root. Many are not. The reported experiences here on these forums over just the past few weeks have provided very good evidence of this.

Different stocks are more suited to different special circumstances than the most widely adapted. Fortuniana imparts great vigor to the budded variety due to its extensive root system. It is highly nematode resistant, which Dr. Huey isn't. But, Fortuniana is also tremendously less cold hardy than Huey or multiflora, partly due to the fact that much of its root system is so close to the surface of the soil, a great trait for sandy, more semi tropical areas. Multiflora is a great stock for acidic soils, particularly where its greater cold hardiness is desired, but it absolutely HATES the alkaline, desert south west. Like Rugosas, it will be terminally chlorotic and fail to perform. Canina hates the alkaline desert south west, but I suspect that is due more to the heat levels than alkalinity based upon its performance in colder alkaline climates.

You will see fewer improvements in rose performance caused by budding as the vigor of the variety increases. Stocks will definitely impart vigor to the budded rose, as long as the stock selected is suitable for the individual variety, soil and climate type in which it is selected to grow. Weak growing rose varieties can often nearly be made acceptable garden plants by budding. Many older HTs (think early Twentieth Century through World War 11) definitely benefit from budding, particularly if grown in more northern climates where the seasons are shorter and more cold damage is experienced. Many of these will grow and perform beautifully in more benign climates. Read back through the own root HT thread where many complaints were stated that own root HTs were not suitable for colder climates by those who have tried growing them there. Many of these same roses are splendid in warmer California. Budded, these same roses are even better here.

Teas and the yellow Tea-Noisettes are often very slow to get started. They will seem to languish, even in these more benign climates and soils where warmth and long seasons benefit them. Budding them enables them to almost perform like HTs, with rapid growth and development instead of two or more years time required to develop into the garden plants expected. They may well become much longer lived plants in these benign climates own root, but they definitely perform tremendously faster and better for at least their first several seasons when budded. Translate that to Florida where you have a greater danger of nematodes and you not only pick up the faster development into decent garden plants, but also resistance to the nematodes.

Try growing weaklings such as Grey Pearl, Fantan, Fantastique, Angel Face, Dove and their like own root and you'll quickly see what I mean. One of the most illustrative photos I've been fortunate to take to demonstrate this is linked below. Burling Leong propagated Grey Pearl both own root and budded. These two plants were created from material from the same plant and were the same age. They were grown side by side in identical soil and cans in the green house. The variety grows tremendously better under glass than it does outdoors. You can easily see the difference being budded has made between these two plants. If that doesn't provide a good idea of what a more vigorous root system can do, I can't think of what would. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Grey Pearl, own root and budded at Sequoia Nursery


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

An English master's comments on the subject over a century ago: see below link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gertrude Jekyll's comments


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

I got divorced about 4 years ago and left my rose garden behind. The ex isn't a gardener, so the garden went completely untouched. No water, fert., weeding, nada. These plants were about a year in the ground at the time so were not completely established yet, but it was interesting that some survived on their own while others did not.

The survivors were:
Mutabilis- china,healthy
Old Blush- china,healthy
Carefree Sunshine on Fort.-healthy
Knockout-had lost most of it's lower leaves, looked like an umbrella
Gemini on Fort.-barely alive, one 6 inch twig

Among the dead:
Mrs B.R. Cant
Mrs Dudley Cross
Souvenir de la Malmaison
Belinda's Dream
Granada on Fort.
Ingrid Bergman on Fort.
Marie Pavie
Bermuda Spice
Lafter
Westerland
Maggie
Madame Isaac Pereire
Livin' Easy
and several other mostly tough types that I'm not remembering the names of.

I was surprised some of the Fortuniana grafted ones died, they had great vigor and flower power, but I think those shallow roots don't give the best drought tolerance. The only Fortuniana plant to do well was Carefree Sunshine which was also the largest plant I had. Maybe if the plants had been completely established the results would have been very different. I'm not completely sure what killed these plants, but I suspect the murderer was drought along with his evil sidekick nematode. Dr. Manners has mentioned old china roses are about the only roses that are long term survivors in Florida and I think I agree with this. If well cared for however, other types are probably OK also. My 2 cents.


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

After considering that Gertrude Jekyll discussed the topic over a hundred years ago, my thoughts turned to history.

I'm not well versed about recent rose history, but I understand that "rose rustlers" and other preservationists undertook the rediscovery of lost roses growing here in the US providing us with nurseries that now make these antiques commercially available.

I'm curious. What percentage of those rediscovered mother plants were grafted?


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Earthkind

Ccstpete's post turned my thoughts to even more current rose history. The Earthkind project (in my simplified translation/analogy) is attempting to find tomorrow's "cemetery roses" today by testing roses in much the way that Ccstpete describes, although as I understand it allowing a full year to allow them to establish.
Are Earthkind roses tested on their own roots or as grafted subjects?


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Providing diverse and excellent support for a valid point can hardly be overdone, IMHO. And continuing the chronological march to the very recent, I bring Paul Zimmerman's comments.

I love the way Mr. Zimmerman thinks. It is clear to a thirty year gardener like myself that he is a rose gardener which I would distinguish from a rose fancier, a rose hybridizer, a rose grower, etc. This can even be inferred from the title of his blog: "Roses are plants too."

I recommend the entire commentary - there are links to 3 of his previous discussions of the topic at the beginning of the article.

The copy and paste link is:
http://www.finegardening.com/item/21624/do-own-root-roses-make-better-plants-in-your-garden

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Paul Zimmerman on Own Roots


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

In the below linked thread is found the statement: "...if I wanted own root plant, I should bury bottom of the graft and let the sun hit the top part."

Of course, the most correct answer is if one wants own root, one should buy own root. Otherwise, it's akin to buying uranium when one wants lead, IMHO.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Observation. What Do You Think?


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

In her extraordinary tribute to Ralph Moore, Emily Green of the LA Times mentions his own root advocacy:

Here is a link that might be useful: The Giant of Miniatures


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

Great article. Thanks for the link.


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Seeing both sides

If you must have grafted or budded roses, then this Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society article will help you know what your getting and why - link below. As Kim (roseseek) points out in an earlier post in this thread, all rootstocks are not suitable for all areas and rootstocks are requisite for roses which are too genetically inferior (weak) to survive or to thrive on their own.

Here is a link that might be useful: Back to Your Roots


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

A post from The Garden Professors blog by Professor Chalker-Scott on the adverse effects of overfertilizing shrubs. Roses are shrubs not crops. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizers, crops and landscapes


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RE: Own Roots, Soil, and Fertilizer in Florida

In a subsequent post to the one I linked to earlier in this thread, Professor Chalker-Scott documents that what 30 years of gardening has taught me is substantiated by that much or more ("decades") of scientific evidence. Namely that fertilizers are not good for the soil or for plants. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fast food is unhealthy for plants, too


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Florida's furious nature (And mine)

My most productive and rewarding activity over the past month has been murder. Yep, quite literally killing. And I must admit it gives me great pleasure to see the tiny brown specks which only the day before were an inconspicuous green. No longer sucking the life out of my rose buds, but in my imagination that life is drained out of them back into the roses. They are purely and plainly parasites. Aphids are to plants what fleas and ticks are to animals.
And what pleasure it is! There's the challenge of the hunt. Without proper equipment (very good reading glasses) they'd escape detection. And then spritzing them with insecticidal soap!
Ah, the joys of gardening.
Similarly, the slight crunching sound as I squish the rose beetles under foot on the walk is somehow very very satisfying. As is the gentle search of myriad petals to find them nuzzled there. Gotchya! I understand the primates who preen their kin.
And it's good practice for the next war. The one against the arrival of new fire ant queens who learn that they are sadly mistaken. My garden is NOT prime real estate for the likes of them.


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Frying Time

Well it's frying time again
They're gonna leave me
I can see that season's done look in their buds
I can tell by the way they drop their petals
That it won't be long before it's frying time....


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