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Member rose garden Listing last updated on 19 Apr 2019.
Long Island, New York
USDA Zone: 7a
I am very interested in growing naturally healthy roses. I don't use any pesticides except horticultural oil on occasion. When people spray fungicides or insecticides, they are basically trying to sterilize their gardens (which is impossible), and they always seem to be fighting a never-ending battle against diseases and insects. Beneficials can do most of the work for us, but a chemical regimen usually wipes out the beneficials before it even makes a dent in the target pest population. Limited intervention lets the natural processes take over and restores equilibrium. If your garden is infested with pests, it probably means that you've tipped the balance in their favor.
Two easy ways to tip the balance back and reduce rose maintenance are:
1. Avoid using industrial pesticides and grow disease-resistant roses that are suitable for your climate.
2. Attract insect-eating birds and other beneficials to your garden by creating a wildlife habitat. See "Attracting Birds" at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/attracting/
My favorite roses are those by the innovative and daring hybridizers like Kordes and Sam McGredy.