Photo courtesy of Chicago IL 5a
Chicago IL 5a
Illinois, United States
My soil is alkaline heavy clay, pH 7.7, high in magnesium and lime stones. We average 40" rainfall and 38" snow in zone 5a. I don't spray - my soil and water is high in lime. Lime is a natural fungicide. All my roses are own-root. I killed some Knock-outs grafted on Dr. Huey since they got too big.
For my own-root Austins: only the Leander and Hybrid Musk groups like my alkaline clay soil. As own-root Eglantyne, Charles Darwin, and Crown P. Mag. are stingy in my alkaline clay soil. At Cantigny rose park nearby of over 1,000 bushes, Austins are very stingy, compared to their tons-of-bloom floribundas, Carefree roses, and Meilland French roses like Frederic Mistral.
I mulched with horse manure resulting in roses free of black spots. The stable here uses lime to deodorize their stalls, lime in the horse bedding is a fungicide, and corn meal is also effective against mildew. Lime sulfur, pH of 11, was used in the old days as a fungicide, but discontinued due to its causticity.
I put epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) in cut roses in a vase, with the result of darker bloom, but its scent went downhill. I put calcium citrate tablets in cut roses, this firmed up the petals and made the blooms last longer. Calcum spray is used for botrytis, and also in the canning industry to firm up fruits and veges.
The best wintering was when I mounded soil up to 4" on Radio Times, and put Corkscrew Willow branches on top. The mounding soil had alfalfa meal (promotes root growth), plus peat moss to keep moist. Corkscrew Willow branches have rooting hormone.
Experienced (17 years)
Last visit: Friday, May 24th at 3:48pm