Recent Gardening Journal Entries
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Recently, an automated sprinkler system has been installed at our house. Nothing fancy for the roses - it's an overhead watering system - not meant to be the primary watering means but good enough to allow us to go on a 10 day vacation in midsummer and not worry about watering the roses. We really out the sprinkler system in to water all the other gardens around the house - and we have 5 zones for all that. That will be a real timesaver.
Of course, now that I DO have a functioning sprinkler system, it has started raining regularly. The first 14 days of October has produced just over 2.25" of rain - that is two times that for all of September. Back to normal I hope for now and into 2022.
I just posted a picture of my Rainbow Niagara - the cooler weather has really brought out some vivid color in that bloom. No other photos of that rose look as colorful as mine,
Update on Rain: For September we had the grand total of 1.125" of rain. September is ordinarily a drier month but the average is still 3.2". So about 2" short of normal - consistent with all of 2022 except the last two weeks of June.
So far - 8 days into October - we have had 0.875" of rain - thus far close to a normal month.
Have seen some really spectacular growth in the gardens since the arrival of cooler weather. In the past 4 weeks or so it seems that most of the bushes have doubled in size. I'm getting really long stems on most of hybrid teas now. I think it's due to the alfalfa tea I started using a while back. Anyways, it's been very gratifying to see all of my hard work pay off in spades. I had my doubts there for a while - the mid-May freeze for 2 straight nights really set many bushes back (and even killed a few) but as they say, everything is coming up roses now!
My little blackspot outbreak on Gold Medal and 2 bushes of Sally Holmes is long gone. But in worrying about blackspot I only sprayed the bottoms of all the other bushes. Lo and behold right when I did that the weather started cooling off at night with sunny days which are prime powdery mildew ("PM") conditions. And sure enough I have a handful of bushes showing signs of PM - not too bad but it's somewhat visible on those still growing vigorously with red foliage. Not too bad though - I have sprayed fungicide and hard-misted with water so I think I have it under control. First rose to show signs of PM was Canyon Road. Next was Stiletto. It's more or less confined to one area of the garden. Live and learn I guess.
Have started thinking about 2022 Orders and even pulled the trigger on two orders. The wild card here of course is winter-kill. How many bushes will succumb to the Zone 5b winter? Will we get an insulating blanket of snow before the sub-zero (F) temps arrive? Last year we did but that was unusual. I will do all that I can to protect them but some will undoubtedly not make it to next year. I have 9 Ring of Fire bushes on own roots. I have read that ROF is notoriously winter tender - some in Wisconsin say it must be grown as an annual! I'm willing to bet that some of those 9 will not make it. So I ordered 2 ROF from Regan Nursery, along with a Rio Samba, Papa Meilland and Red Masterpiece. From Wisconsin Roses, Kristen Singer, Mohana and Hot Princess. In December I'll order from Palatine - Gemini, Lucille Ball and St. Patrick. A total of 11. That's me showing a lot of restraint! I can't wait to have Lucille Ball again - so happy to see Palatine carrying it for 2022. I grew it in the old garden over 20 years ago and it was outstanding - I won Virgin Queen with Lucille at our rose show in about 1996 (Virgin Queen is best rose by someone who has never won Queen before).
If I suffer more winter kill than expected I can always order from Roses Unlimited (Pat Henry) and/or Heirloom. Both firms do an outstanding job with own root cuttings actively growing. So I think I am covered.
This year my Föhr rose reached a height of 4m! I am looking forward to planting more of these, perhaps as climbers along a fence.