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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – June 10

My roses are starting to bloom, and they’re looking fantastic. The ‘Collette’ climber, my favorite because it repeat blooms, has come into flower in the past week, and now the others are bursting into color as well. The Home Run, Sunny Knockout and the Oso Easy series are not only flowering, but so far seem free of black spot. Other varieties in my garden already have this disease.

I’m using the “Oh well,” approach to rose care. I beef up the soil with organic matter, give them some organic fertilizer and hope for the best. I don’t have the time or inclination to spray them, although if there is some Serenade or Actinovate left in the sprayer from other purposes I might use it up by spraying the roses. Some years my plants look great and some years not. The ones that are infected most get dug out and tossed. When it comes to rose bushes, it’s tough love, all the way.

There are many times in life when we have to let go. I’ve let go of weed control in my lawn…if it’s green I mow and enjoy it. And I’ve released any illusion that I can easily prevent black spot on my roses.

Do your roses have black spot or mildew? Oh well.

The Sunny Knockout are, so far, disease free in the fragrance garden.

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