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Okayokayokay, OSG…

I get the picture. No postie…

I’ve been kinda busy…Finally got the process figured out for the books and I’m trying to get Destiny and Intrigue ready to go up. There was always a weird inconsistency between the two (won’t tell what it was!) And I’m trying to make sure that’s sorted out this time. I think most of the changes need to go in Destiny, but I’m not putting Intrigue up until I’ve made it through Destiny.

Anyway, I’m working on that in the morning…been skating, then working in the garden until I can hardly see straight. I come in, have dinner, then just sort of stare vacuously at the TV.  Then there’s that infection I’ve been carrying…fortunately Someone, whose initials are OSG, came to my rescue last week. Feeling much better and sleeping much better, so hopefully the VacuousitySyndrome will soon be a thing of the past. Mostly, it’s just not leaving me with much to talk about.

Work progresses in the front. Carolyn has been bravely wielding the mantis on our front yard while I dug after and wrestled with the excess sprinkler heads, capping them off, so we can get the sprinklers going on the roses without encouraging the grass we don’t want. Also trying to get ahead of the weeds in the back. Now that it’s warmed up, they’ll ‘splodin’ out there. I don’t want to do much with Preen because I’m hoping the alyssum and Johnnie Jumpups will continue spreading.

It’s sooooo much fun seeing things coming back to life.

But my Big Job this weekend was moving Audrey. Audrey is a very large, very unproductive climbing peace rose that came with the house, and lived right beside the front door…giving us, like, two flowers a year. We’ve cursed that thing regularly. Problem was, it was tucked into the L made by the house and front stairs, with several other well-established roses in front of it. Oh…and the tall sprinkler head in the one place to put your feet next to the stairs. So, capped the sprinkler head clear down and filled in the hole to give me someplace to put my feet and began digging…squidging in for a shovel-full, trying not to take out the roots of the other roses, then carrying it around the big rosebush to find a place to pile it. It was one of my better contortionist moments. As I dug, I began to think that maybe Audrey’s problem was nutritional. Her roots were tucked right up against the foundation and the soil was all gravel. I don’t think we could have fed her enough to bloom. So, I took pity and tried to salvage her roots, which meant even more contorting as I got down with a trowel. Well, I got her out and moved her to the back to better soil and I’ll give her a year to get reestablished. Next year…if she still only gives me two blooms…she’s outta there!

Later!

11 comments to Okayokayokay, OSG…

  • smartcat

    AUDREY!! Love it. I don’t suppose there was any opportunity for pics? Some times tough love is just what plants need.

    Any suggestions for planting roses? I was given one for my birthday….on line advise is all over the place…..hole three times the size of the roots ball…small hole, lightly amended soil….this is all new to me as I have never grown roses….as with so much growing it looks like a crap shoot. 😉

  • Roses are one of the few I know anything about, but I can’t claim to be an expert. Best luck I’ve had is from bare root. Like any plant, once those roots start intertwining, it’s hosed. I like bare root because you can put them in dormant and control the main roots’ positioning. That being said, the roots don’t want to drown so don’t let the soil be too heavy, but if you’ve got serious drainage, you might want to give it some richer garden type soil in a hole…oh…two feet in diameter, maybe? Maybe two and a half. Any rose that gets a root system bigger than that is old enough to fight its own battles. Oh, and deep enough so the graft is just above the soil without squishing the roots. The roots tend to spread along the surface rather than going very deep. Either way, mix the yummy soil in with the ground soil so it’s not an abrupt transition between the two.

    If you want them to bloom…and they will all season, you’ve got to feed heck out of them. I’ve always used both a timed release and miracle grow…and our rose garden down in OKC was downright glorious. (I’ll try to find a pic) Feeding also keep them growing fast and healthy and helps stave off the various fungi and bugs.

    Aphids are the biggest problem. They crawl up the stems, so if you can rinse them off then spritz the plant with a mild dishwater soap solution, it will usually keep that under control (they can’t climb a slippery stem), but a timed release with a systemic bug-getter is a good idea.

    I’ve treated black spot and other fungi very effectively with a simple dusting sulfer. That also acidifies the soil, which they really like.

    Hmmm….what else do I know…oh…snipping blooms…Always look for the five-leaf node to cut from. The rose will continue growing from that spot and the five-leaf joint is usually a good strong joint. If a cane demises and needs to be cut off, or if two have come in too close together and are duking it out for room, have some clear fingernail polish at hand to seal the cut and keep bugs out.

    Did I forget anything, anybody?

    As for pics…I’ll have to see if I have a before with Audrey being her obnoxious self. I took one of her this AM along with some of our other early birds. I’ve got to get back to work right now, but I’ll go through those and get a few up tonight.

  • smartcat

    Thanks for the information re: roses…..mine is in a pot but the roots look healthy.
    Please….don’t go crazy over pics…..you have higher priorities. 😆 :biggrin:

  • 82Eridani

    Problems with roses depends on where you live. Aphids can be shot off with the hose (or wait for the lady beetles to eat ’em). In the midwest it’s fungus that’s the challenge, especially black spot. Pick a variety that is resistent to whatever is prevalent in your area.

    I don’t baby perennials – if they needs spraying every 10 days, it ain’t happening. It’s a blanket feed, and watering with the soaker hose when its too dry. Needless to say I’ve lost 3 of my 5 roses, and one came back from the root stock and is not as attractive but is a lot more hardy. I plunked an estate sale bird cage on top of it, added a clematis, and have something interesting to look at instead of a dying rose. :biggrin:

    • Best thing for black spot I ever found was dusting sulfer sprinkled liberally around the base. But you’re right. If your neighbor has gorgeous roses, find out what kind and/or what they look out for.

      Theoretically I like to spray my roses regularly. Practically speaking, regularly is probably once or twice a month. 😀 Fortunately, there are these sprayer/feeders that work on the hose. Back in OKC, I had to mix it all by hand. UGH!

  • kokipy

    I got advice from a rose expert once that works pretty well in the North east. She said dig the hole about six inches deeper than you would need if you wanted the union just above the surface, so the plant is down in a hole, if you see what I mean? Then when you water and feed, the water and food will stay on the rose, where you want them . in the fall, when you cut the rose back for the winter, you fill the hole with mulch and mound it up to cover the union, which helps keep it all from freezing. in the spring you just pull the mulch away out of the hole and start over. I dont have much luck here with tea roses but the hybrids seem to have lasted over a couple of winters now with this technique.

    • You know….thinking about it, that’s really what I do. Duh. And I forgot to say about covering with mulch. Although this last winter was so mild, I think I did more harm than good with my mulch…sigh…They’re slowly coming around.

  • skitterling

    Back when I lived in Seattle, we had a house with a rose bush out front. This was a rental house for many years and the thing had just gone wild – it didn’t even bloom anymore. I didn’t even realize it was a rose before we moved in. Well, I went out one day with the intention of “trimming it back” to encourage it to bloom. After a long thorn-filled war, I realized I’d “trimmed” it down to the trunk and three or four short branch stubs. I thought I’d killed it for sure, but kept postponing pulling it out. The next spring, damn if the thing didn’t throw out about 20 blooms and look just about glorious.

    Go figure…

    • Oy another thing I forgot to mention. Absolutely, you want to trim the canes back each fall, and clear out the overlapping ones. Generally, in the spring the very ends will likely have kinda died back, so you want to trim those as the shrubs wakes up. This seems to stimulate growth. So I leave a bit more (maybe an inch?) in the fall than I’ll actually start with in the spring.

    • smartcat

      Tough love, skitterling, tough love! Or as we say Plant Boot Camp! 😉 :w00t:

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