|Cats can be captured simply by putting a box out,|
the tighter the fit, the better.
Yesterday promised a real thunderstorm, and more will be coming. Rain and hail delivered around 2 am. My first thought yesterday was to get some major rose pruning done, to see which roses were serious about growing this year.
The crepe myrte was already pruned - to use the old branches gone to seed as additional mulch.
|Aphids knocked out the white KnockOut roses,|
but only for a short time.
Roses need to have their cuttings removed because they are devilish to walk through and may spread disease. The initial pruning with the big shears for tough canes can be followed later by more precise pruning. Every prune is good for the roses, so no one should hesitate, thinking, "Oh, this will hurt the plant." Just the opposite is true.
Pruning and rain are two ways to spur growth, so I brought buckets of rainwater from the barrels to pour on favorite roses, in case the storm was over-reported and unable to deliver significant rain.
I was in the peasant-hauling-water mood, so I did the same with all the roses along the fence. I knew the rain barrels would be filled and overflowing in the next few days with nowhere to put the excess.
|Cardinals love the crepe myrtle bush for their nests|
and for the seeds formed by the flowers.
Our neighbor came over with two bare-root roses as a gift. They were in a plastic bag and looked good, so I dropped them in a rain barrel. I was hoping for semi-floating, but both sank to the bottom. I thought, "A search deep in ice-cold water tomorrow is on the schedule."
Sometimes my wheelbarrow has enough water for a plant soak. I use that or a barrel with stored tapwater. Rainwater delivers natural fertilizer and a complete absence of chlorine, so that is always the preferred treatment for all new plants in pots or bare-root roses.
I am inclined to let them soak overnight, whatever the plant. Anything shipped, bagged, or from a store is bound to be dehydrated.
Really Bad Ideas for Roses - And Why These "Experts" Should Study Creation and Organic Gardening
I have the opportunity to read or hear truly awful suggestions for planting roses.
- "Soak the roses in chlorine bleach water, to remove all pathogens." Microbes are good for plants, and bacteria are the staff of life for the other microbes. The chlorine will halt all the beneficial aspects of microbes and probably add the chemical blast to the soil as well. We do not need to manage the Manager.
- "Soak the plants in a mix of chemical fertilizer and water." Yes, this chemical engineer showed me how to fill the hole in the soil with tapwater, stir in Rapid-Gro, and plant the rose. This plan is not as bad as chlorine, but the effects are similar. Fast-growth from chemicals will be countered by the effect of the fertilizer nuking the microbes.
- "Use systemic poisons to kill anything on or near the plant, because the plant moves the toxic around its vascular system." Systemic toxins will be in the soil and move into the water table, suppressing microbes and who knows what else in the long run. This ends the work of the spiders and beneficial insects that live from the pests on the rose bush. If you hate the destruction of aphids, you will love the way various beneficial insects eat them or lay eggs on and near them. I let the aphids attack the white and Peace roses on the first round of blooming. "Aphids, you are merely feeding the new generation of aphid-eaters in my garden. You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting." A summer of nearly perfect roses follows my refusal to kill all beneficial beings by aiming at aphids.
- "Use pre-emergent weed killer, according to directions." This is another wide spread attack based on fears or pure laziness. Gardeners weed and take some pleasure in weeding or complaining about weeding. My systemic approach to weeds starts with a layer of cardboard - followed by a layer of leaves, shredded wood, or pine needles.
- "You must spray fungicide all summer long. I got tired of that." Here is the hated word - blackspot. Almost all roses are vulnerable to blackspot, because the Persian Yellow rose introduced colors and blackspot into the hybrid gene pool. I never spray fungicide because that will knockout the delicate fungal strands feeding and protecting the roses. I get leaves with blackspot, but the overall health of the roses keeps them from being overwhelmed. If the leaves are ugly, I cut them off before placing them in a vase. Some leaves are great, and they remain.
| This revolutionary book explains how microbes are the|
foundation of all soil life and plants.