BRIAN KIDD: Act now to prevent your roses succumbing to nasty blackspot

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to blackspot. Brian advises to act now.
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to blackspot. Brian advises to act now.
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BRIAN KIDD: Readers’ questions and jobs for this weekend

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It’s been a very good year for most plants in the garden but now the evenings are drawing in, the fungal problems on the roses will become a nuisance.

Prevention is better than cure so we need to arm ourselves with some fungicides which will help prevent mildew, rust and the dreaded blackspot.

It has become very clear that if the same product is used all through the growing season the diseases become resistant to the single product so it’s a good idea to ring the changes.

Are you prepared to spray the roses once a week for the next eight weeks? I thought not.

But just in case you may consider this idea, here is a well established programme for preventing these diseases.

Always spray late in the evening when things have quietened down and there is no direct sunshine on the leaves.

Add a measure of Maxicrop Complete garden feed which is made from seaweed, this will feed the plants through the leaves and make the chemical even more effective.

The first product is called Copper Mixture. Dilute the powder in water following the instructions to correct copper deficiency.

It’s quite cheap and if applied over the foliage it prevents fungi from entering the leaves as it leaves behind a copper covering which ‘burns’ the spores as they try to enter the plant cells. This is organic and safe to use.

A week later, spray with Systhane which is the best product available to domestic gardeners because it prevents rust which seems to be getting worse every year.

If there is already rust on the leaves, remove them before spraying with the Systhane.

The following week spray Rose Clear 2 or Dithane 945 or Multirose, I have given you a choice because it’s very likely you have one of these products in the shed.

I am ever mindful that people like to save money.

Cleanliness is very important.

Before spraying, give the rose bed a good weeding and pick up all the dead leaves, these are often crammed with spores which fly back onto the healthy growth.

Wouldn’t it be good if we could use a vacuum cleaner to do this job?

Well, have a look at your instruction book, if it’s a cleaner which will suck up water, it will suck up rose leaves.

Just to finish, you aren’t throwing the dead petals onto the rise bed are you?

They too hoard blackspot and rust spores and are best put into the compost heap.

THIS WEEK’S TOP TIP

The next two weeks provide the best opportunity of sowing a lawn from grass seed. Keep an eye out for the weather because it will be good if it rains as soon as the seed is sown.

Look at the mixes available and don’t buy the cheapest. Modern rye grasses in good quality seed grow well, keep green and don’t need so much mowing.