Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2004 – 7:14 p.m.
2004-09-14 7:14This weekend was pretty good for working in the garden and the yard. Saturday I did the second treatment of the roses with Mancozeb, the contact fungicide. I also have some grass that has infested several of the beds. I have been calling the stuff wiregrass but, looking up wiregrass on the web, that is not what it is. It is actually bermuda grass, I think. About half of my lawn is bermuda grass so it is not like I am going to get rid of it completely. You know what they say: A weed is just a plant grow where you don’t want it to grow. A little bit more research shows that maybe I have been going a little overboard here… It looks like a product called “Grass-B-Gon” by Ortho will do the job. According to the label, it can be used around roses. Of course, I will need to be careful because could also take out a fair share of my lawn. The good news is that it comes in a RTU (ready-to-use) bottle. No mixing, no sprayer to clean out, etc. So much of the time, I only need to spray a small section of bed anyway so it would actually be pretty good in a RTU sprayer. Now I just need to find a place that sells it… It doesn’t show up on either Lowes or Home Depot’s websites, nor Kmart, Walmart, or Target. Ace hardware doesn’t seem to carry it either. I guess I may have to mail order it. I will check with some of the garden centers around town to see if they carry it. Back to what I did this weekend… so I mixed up a batch of Vantage and sprayed the grass in the beds… the biggest patch is around the base of Queen Elizabeth. Now I just have to wait for it to die.
In the afternoon, I mowed the backyard and the “back forty” as well. The ‘back forty’ what I call the part of the lot that is behind the back fence of the back yard. It is all under the utility easement and periodically the utility company (I think it is the gas pipeline company) comes in and mows down the tall weeds. They did so about a month ago so I have been trying to keep things knocked down. My actual property is a triangular piece that is about 50 ft wide and maybe 40 ft long at the largest extent. I am thinking of planting some of the bigger rose bushes (like Chestnut Rose (R. roxburghii)). The site says 6 ft high and almost as wide but one of the local rose breeders (Almost Heaven Roses) said that once established it could get up to 12 ft. However, it is not fragrant so I may have to reconsider that. Maybe this is where the gallicas should go. I guess the biggest thing I need to do is make sure the guy with the tractor doesn’t just mow them down. That probably means extending the fence in some way. Have to think about that.
On Sunday, I got out while the rose beds were still in the shade and did some weeding. I filled up another of my trashcans and basically got the bed with the bed with Rosa Mundi/Madame Hardy/Rembrandt/Dolly Parton/French Lace/Glowing Peace/Europeana done. I pulled most of the existing mulch (that I could get to) out along with the dead leaves that had fallen. Madame Hardy is really looking bad. Most of the leaves are spotted or have just fallen off. [sigh] pulling the mulch out from around the Rosa Mundi is a chore and, to be honest, I didn’t do that much under that bush. This bush has spread quite a bit and I really can’t get into the middle of it. Therefore, those leaves will just stay. At this point, it is hard to tell what canes are Rosa Mundi and which are Rembrandt… they have kind of grown together. Rembrandt is taller so one can tell when one is looking up… but when one is faced with lots of long prickly canes at ground level, differentiating is a chore. Since Rosa Mundi is doing such a good job spreading so I took the opportunity to dig out two more smaller plants and put them in their own pots. This makes 4 potted Rosa Mundi plants. Under the Glowing Peace was one of the other infestations of grass but I went ahead and dug out this patch, at much as I could. I used the remaining 5 bags of pinebark mulch to remulch this bed and it looks pretty nice now… Now if the rose bushes themselves just looked better. At this point, only Glowing Peace and Europeana have blooms. Of course, that doesn’t mean as much for this bed because three of the bushes (Madame Hardy, Rosa Mundi, and Rembrandt) are spring-only bloomers. I also pulled the extra soaker hose out of this bed. I am thinking that I just need to pitch that hose because it has had a number of holes (big unintended holes) in it.
Today (Tuesday) I got up and, though it was threatening rain, went out and took care of doing the third Mancozeb treatment. I still think that I need to spray again on Saturday but that may also depend on what Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ivan will do. That’s about when it will get to us so it may just be pouring rain. Will just have to see. At least my current 2.5 gallon spray tank is just the right size for what I need to spray.
One of the things I have realized is that I need to find my long gloves. My forearms have quite a few scratches from catching on the bushes and I reach in and around them. I did have them in the truck but that was before going to Pennsic so they may have gotten taken into the house. I may also have to wear a long sleeve shirt to protect myself. Not very appealing in the summer time around here.
Well, enough for now…