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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 8:48 am 
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Hi. This is my first visit to this forum. Three years ago, we built a home and had knockout roses planted. I'm new to gardening, but I have discovered that our roses have rose rosette disease. :( I've followed the advice at http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Rose-Rosette-Newsletter_vq4743.htm, but I did have a few questions I was hoping someone more experienced than me (so, probably every other member of this board) could answer.

As I was pruning this weekend, I cut out all canes with the affected leaf pattern growing from them. I also cut out all canes that had dark spots, looked "dead," had discoloration inside, were touching other canes, or were growing so densely that no air and sun were able to get through, cleaning my trimmers several times with hydrogen peroxide during and after. What I didn't do, though, was cut back every single cane that had the proliferation of thorns he describes, because if I did that, I wouldn't have anything left, and the point is to try to rescue these bushes, although ... if I gotta pull them out, I gotta. I'm just trying to treat that as a last resort. Then this morning I sprayed them all (plus all my beds for good measure) with Garrett Juice Plus amended with peroxide and orange oil.

So, my question is this: is it possible, do you think, that my roses will come back? Or should I accept that I'll probably have to pull them out? Or ... lol, is it a tossup? Please note that not every cane with the "proliferation of thorns" seemed to have any diseased growth coming from it. But there's no mistaking that it was unusual thorn growth.

One final note: I have always been partial to the idea of organic plant care, but really we've left most of our lawn/plant to the professionals, an approach I am beginning to question. Also, a few years ago we had a friend staying with us. In an attempt to be helpful, he doused our beds with Roundup. By the time I realized what he was doing, he was already done. I believe that contributed to the issues I'm seeing now, and may actually have caused some of the damage (meaning maybe it's not ALL the rose rosette, although I believe at least some of it is, because of the thorns).

Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 9:06 am 
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I am not a rose person, so I'll leave that part of the answer to one of the moderators who handles them regularly. I'll keep my response to offering you a helpful link.

There are lawn care companies that will do an organic approach to your yard. Look in the business listings for a company near you. If you're interested in an organic approach then having chemical activity on the property to it is going to throw off the organic work you do. You'll need to work to boost the biological activity in your lawn, it's like eating regular nutritious food after living on vitamins alone.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:00 am 
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Thanks! I'll check it out. (Although ... I think I might do the work myself. It's relaxing to be out there, really. Only feels like a chore for the first few minutes.) We haven't actually had a lot of chemical anything done to our lawn lately, just mowing, but last summer was so dry it was just very very hard on it, so there are lots of weeds now. We had our water bills up to astronomical and it seemed to make little difference. Sprinklers are nice, but they can't replace even a short rain shower. :( (Plus, we were, until they started building a few weeks ago, next to an undeveloped lot, which of course was all weeds.)

Left to my own devices I'd probably just try to encourage clover and pull out the big ugly weeds. :D Clover is green, short, pretty (IMO), and makes the bees and butterflies happy. BUT ... we live in a subdivision that's kinda strict about grass.

I am still holding out hope for my roses. I didn't realize how attached I'd gotten to them until now. More than once as I was pruning, I said "I'm sorry. This hurts me more than it does you." :oops:


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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:10 am 
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Until the selective herbicides were developed that killed clover, it used to be a standard part of the American lawn. Only when the chemical became available did someone start marketing it as if clover in the turf was bad. I have tried to buy clover seed a couple of times, only to find the feed store was out. Someone still likes it!

Consider changing your watering pattern. No more than twice a week, and water longer, deeper at those times. (Use the tuna can measure - set a few around in your watering zones and see how long it takes to collect an inch of water.) If you water too often the roots become very shallow and show stress when they start to dry out. Deeper roots mean the grass is much more able to hold out for water only once or twice a week.

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