September Consulting Rosarian Advice by Ellen Nielsen, Master Rosarian
With cooler temperatures of fall near, the roses are preparing for the change of seasons. Reduce watering as the temperature subsides, continue to check soil moisture. This will get the roses ready to think about the winter. Begin deadheading hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas and miniatures just at the peduncle, the long part of the stem just below the bud. This should encourage the rose to start storing energy for the winter months. Shrub roses, if left alone, will have wonderful hips for the birds and winter garden interest. By the time you read this note, the last fertilization should be completed. If you haven’t fertilized, please do so now. You want the roses to have a healthy start for the fall and winter months. Fertilizing late into September will promote new growth that will not make it through the winter. The Japanese beetle population should begin to diminish. A welcomed relief for those who have been picking these off since July. What is happening in the Nielsen yard? Western flower thrips have plagued our yard for years. Several years ago I found an article in the American Rose magazine using WD-40 and blue Solo® cups for thrips extermination. I’ve been placing sprayed cups throughout the yard with much success. This is the first year we’ve had beautiful blooms, especially the white roses. Feel free to contact me if you would like more details. The rose curculio and spotted cucumber beetle have been few. I still find earwigs with JBs, that are knocked into the sudsy water twice a day. I’ve already broken last year’s record for JBs. Three ‘Morden Sunrise’ and three ‘Winnipeg Parks’, all on the east side (front yard) host 65% of the beetles killed in the last 5 years. The west side yard (back yard) with about 55 roses suffers less infestation. Why JBs like the front better than the back is a mystery to me.