Natural is best for your roses
Diseases and pests are nature’s way of removing weak plants to make way for strong ones. Use of proprietary chemicals to combat pests and disease may seem to make things better for a season or two, but sooner or later the the law of diminishing returns applies.
These man-made chemicals are not good for us or our gardens. Poisons end up in the water, air and in our food.
My approach is to use only natural products to enhance the soil food web. For roses, use a base food consisting of animal manures including sheep manure pellets, blood & bone, Bio Boost, Dolomite, Wallys Neem Tree Granules and compost that’s not made from green waste.
Roses are susceptible to herbicides and green waste composts can have various herbicides used for weed control in lawns, as well as general weed killers that contain glyphosate.
If roses are showing signs of distorted, unusual or feathery looking new growths, that is herbicide damage.
To the base food, every six months add Rok Solid and even a little Ocean Solids for their rich mineral content. During the flowering season, once a month apply a little Fruit and Flower Power.
Starting in spring with the first sign of new growths spray twice weekly with a combined mix of Wallys Neem Tree Super Oil@ 5ml per litre, Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL)@ 10ml per litre, Mycorrcin @ 5ml per litre.
Every second spray, or once a month, use Perkfection Supa for Roses, 4ml per litre added to the above. Spraying of these products should only be done just before sunset.
If all is going well and the roses are looking great after a few months, change this regime to once a month.
If there’s any outbreak of disease, spray potassium permanganate at a quarter a teaspoon per litre, adding one mil of Raingard.
This will help arrest disease spores during winter. A couple of sprays of this while the roses are dormant can be good value. Include a spray of the soil in the root zone also.
Don’t use chlorinated tap-water as this really knocks back the soil food web and leads to leaf diseases and then more pest problems. It also creates the soil conditions that pathogens love.
At the tap, fit a 10 micron carbon bonded filter. The plants will love it and so will the soil life, including the earth worms.
To feijoas, and if you had a disappointing feijoa season, there are two possibilities.
Firstly, make sure the feijoas are getting plenty of manure along with Fruit and Flower Power.
Even so, if the tree has many fruiting branches that are producing lots of small fruit, it means too many fruiting branches are competing for the same food source. A smaller number of branches will promote bigger fruit.
Now that fruiting is about finished, it’s a good time to remove some branches, particularly any that are straggly, to open up the tree. Next season’s crop should see a vast improvement.
Getting the best results from roses starts at ground level.