A Gardening Carnival – September 26, 2008

carnival-ride.JPG Welcome to the September 26, 2008 edition of a gardening carnival.


GrrlScientist presents Visiting Darwin’s Home, Part 2: The Gardens posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “[photoessay] After touring Darwin’s Down House near London, England, I next toured the Gardens and photographed some of Darwin’s experiments. Includes information and lots of photographs.”


Melinda presents VIDEO!! Gardening 101: How To Hand-Pollinate Tomatoes & Peppers posted at One Green Generation.

Deanna Caswell presents Add PVC Hoops To Raised Beds posted at Little House in the Suburbs.

Piedro Molinero presents More About Butterfly Gardening posted at DIY Gardening Tips.

Deanna Caswell presents Build a Garden Cubby posted at Little House in the Suburbs, saying, “Thank you!”

P.L. Frederick presents Why I Hate Flies posted at Small and Big, saying, “Not sure if this is appropriate for your carnival but just in case. It’s a short, fun read!”


Jendi presents Problem Solved posted at Garden Vines.

organic gardening

Jamie McIntosh presents Sawdust in the Organic Garden posted at Jamie’s Blog, saying, “Put wood shavings to work in your compost bin or garden storage area.”

Marilyn Zink presents Benefits of Organic Herbs vs. Non-Organic Herbs posted at Herbal Collective, saying, “How organic herbs help improve skin care, bedding, cosmetics and shampoo, particularly for children.”


Piedro Molinero presents Rose Gardening posted at DIY Gardening Tips.


AdmirableIndia.com presents Pearl Valley or Muthyala Maduvu, Karnataka posted at AdmirableIndia.com, saying, “Cauliflower”

Chris Hinkelman presents What do you do with the mid-season glut? posted at Borage for Courage, saying, “One of my absolutely favorite recipes for using your fresh garden ingredients.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of a gardening carnival using our carnival submission form. The next edition will be posted on October 29, 2008.

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PODCAST: Identifying and Treating Growth Problems in Roses

podcast.jpgIn this week’s podcast, we are focusing on how to identify and treat growth problems in roses.  Today I will help you to ascertain which problems may be one of the common horticultural problems in your roses and how you can prevent them or treat them.  These tips will help you to create a rose garden that the entire neighborhood will be talking about.

We will discuss three different problems: 

  • Dry canes or roots
  • Sucker Growth
  • Herbicide Damage

If you have a question for us here at Her Gardening Blog, please leave a comment below the podcast.  We will be happy to answer your questions and build an entire weekly podcast around them.  Enjoy! 



Black Spot in Roses

Yesterday, I briefly touched on Black Spot in Roses. But I felt that this topic deserved a little more attention as it is a common problem for roses. Just knowing how to treat or even avoid the fungus disease Black Spot can help a home owner grow beautiful, healthy roses. And that is what we want, right?

Today I have provided a video that talks more about the disease and what to do if your roses should acquire it. In this video, Dr. Steve Vann, Extension Urban Plant Pathologist, tries to calm fears by showing how to control the devastating disease. He works for the Arkansas Extension office, but his advice will work in any area.

So, now that you have learned more about Black Spot in Roses, what are you going to do to prevent it in your rose garden? Please leave me a comment and share.

More Common Disease Problems in Roses

roses-5.jpgYesterday we began discussing the many disease problems which can affect your roses. We covered how to diagnose and treat three different disease problems such gall, powdery mildew and downy mildew. Today we are going to talk about three more diseases which are common in roses and how to treat them.

Symptom: Yellow blotches on upper surfaces of leaves, small powdery orange or black postules on underside of mature leaves.

Cause: Rust—This is a fungal disease that may appear when days are warm and nights are cool and moist.

Treatment: Ensure that the rose plants have good air circulation and ample sunlight. If further treatment is necessary, you will need to treat with a fungicidal treatment that is listed for rust control.

Symptom: Brown dieback of cut canes; brown fuzzy mold on debris around the rose plant. In severe cases, the entire flower bud rots.

Cause: Botrytis blight (grey mold)—This fungal growth favors rainy cool periods or nights with high humidity.

Treatment: Remove all of the damaged areas of the rose plant and clean up leaves and debris from below the plant to prevent the fungus from spreading. Maintain good air circulation around your roses.

Symptoms: Dark black spots with irregular edges on the leaves. The spots tend to be round, varying in size from pinpoint to quarter-sized. Half of leaf yellows or leaf drops completely from the rose plant.

Cause: Black spot—This fungal disease favors rainy weather, poor air circulation or improper watering.

Treatment: Spray-Dust-Watering technique. After winter pruning, apply a dormant lime-sulphur spray. Remove dropped leaves and other debris. During the growing season, spray with fungicides listing rose black spot as a target on a rotational basis. Fungus spores are found on the undersides of leaves, so spray upward from underneath the rose plant. Spray in the early morning when the weather is calm and cool. Water your roses early to allow the foliage to dry thoroughly.

Now that you know some of the most common disease problems in roses, which ones have you had experience with? What have you done to control or eradicate the disease? Leave me a comment and share.

Photo Provided by FreeFoto

Identifying and Treating Diseases in Roses

roses-4.jpgLast week we began discussing the many different problems which are common in roses and are caused by insects. We discussed how to diagnose and treat insect problems such as beetles, rose midge, leaf cutter bees, rose cane borers, aphids, thrips, leaf rollers and spider mites. This week we are going to address several more common problems which may be affecting your roses, such as disease and how to treat those problems.

Symptom: Tumor-like growths on canes, roots, or at the bud union.

Cause: Gall (aerial, crown or root)—This is a bacterial pathogen that enters through a wound on your rose plant or by a pruning tool that is contaminated.

Treatment: Prune away any sections which are infected if possible. Sterilize your pruning shears and other hand tools with bleach or alcohol to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Any plants which are seriously weakened should be destroyed. You will need to treat the soil with a bactericide or leave it fallow for two seasons before you replant.

Symptom: White powdery material appears on young growth.

Cause: Powdery Mildew—This is a fungal disease that is fostered by warm days and cool nights.

Treatment: At first you should try spraying the affected areas with a solution of baking soda and dish soap. Make sure that the plants have good air circulation and an ample amount of sunlight. If you need to treat your roses further, then you will need to treat them with a fungicidal product for powdery mildew control.

Symptom: Dark, irregular splotches on foliage, dropping of apparently healthy leaves, sections of yellow leaves.

Cause: Downy Mildew—This is a fungal disease that may appear when nights are cool and humid. This mildew can develop very rapidly.

Treatment: Water your rose plants early in the day to allow the surface of them to dry thoroughly. Avoid overhead irrigation and prevent water from collecting around the plants. Cut the defoliated plant back. Clean up any debris and then dust with sulfur. Then spray the roses with a fungicide that lists downy mildew as a target.

Which of the above problems do you have or have had with your roses? Which methods have you used to eradicate the disease? Leave me a comment and share. Tomorrow I will discuss problems with rust, blight and black spot in your roses.

Photo provided by FreeFoto

More Common Insect Problems in Roses

roses-3.jpgYesterday we began discussing the many different insect problems which are common in roses. We discussed how to diagnose and treat insect problems such as aphids, thrips, leaf rollers and spider mites. Today we are going to address four more insect problems which are common in roses and how to treat those problems.

Symptom: Leaves have been eaten leaving a skeletal structure. Unopened flower buds chewed and opened flower buds damaged.

Cause: Beetles—The most notorious of these is the Japanese beetle. These beetles are a metallic brown color with a green head. The same symptoms can also be caused by caterpillars.

Treatment: An effective and practical approach is to spread plastic or a cloth on the ground and gently shake the plants to remove the beetles. If you place them away from your roses, then traps are also effective. You will want to spray your roses with an insecticide that lists beetles as a target pest. Your roses will need to be sprayed when the problem is first detected, either in the spring or the late summer. If the beetles are in the larvae stage, then Spinosad will work very well on them or on caterpillars. Remember, that Spinosad is an organic chemical that will control most of the insect problems in your roses.

Symptom: Drooping, unopened buds, accompanied by a small discolored stem slightly below the bud.

Cause: Rose Midge—this is a small fly that pupates in the ground below the rose bush. Midges fly up and lay their eggs in the soft upper stem of the rose plant. The hatched larvae then eat the stems and cause breakage.

Treatment: Spread a systemic insecticide granule on the ground to control the pests. Sprays are of a very limited value with the rose midge because of their development below the ground. Spinosad may work to kill the active insects on the plant, and I would be willing to try it.

Symptom: Holes in pruned cane ends. Circular pieces cut from leaf margins.

Cause: Leaf cutter bees—these insects use the circular leaf pieces for egg partitions inside of the burrowed rose cane.

Treatment: Control by applying white glue to the cane ends. The leaf cutter bee is a beneficial insect in the garden as it is an effective garden pollinator. I strongly recommend against eradication of this insect. Instead, I recommend using the above preventative measure to lessen any damage to your roses.

Symptom: Wilting and dying foliage at the top of the rose bush. Leaves may turn yellow and drop off the plant.

Cause: Rose cane borer—These pests are the larvae of sawflies, some wasps and bees. The rose cane borer enters the rose from the top of any pruned rose canes. These pests search for freshly pruned stems of the rose plant to lay their eggs on in the late spring or early summer. The eggs then hatch and the larvae bore their way by eating into the center of the rose plant down the length of the rose cane.

Treatment: The most effective method of treatment is to prune the rose bush below any area of damage. You may need to prune the cane a couple of times to find an area that is not damaged. Then you will want to place a little dab of white glue over the pruning cut. This will prevent the insects from successfully laying new eggs on the freshly pruned rose plant. Another idea to aid in prevention is to try some companion planting. These insects do not seem to like Allium, so planting some near your rose bushes may help to repel them.

Now that you know some of the most common insect problems with roses, which ones have you had experience with? Leave me a comment and share.

Photo provided by FreeFoto

Identifying and Treating Insect Problems in Roses

roses-2.jpgWhen your roses are given the proper attention and a healthy environment, they will stay healthy and will flourish for many years. However, even under the best of conditions, your roses may on occasion suffer some form of disease or be troubled by common pests. Inadequate drainage, poor soil, insufficient water, lack of nutrition or other environmental problems may encourage pests and disease to take hold of your roses.

Roses may be affected by either environmental conditions or living pathogens. If you find that the damage to your roses is uniform, then it is usually an environmental or cultural problem that you are dealing with. However, if there is visible damage that is not uniform, then you are usually dealing with a problem with living pathogens.

Today and tomorrow I will discuss how to identify and treat the most common insect problems in your roses. Next week I will discuss how to identify and treat the most common diseases which may affect your roses.

Symptoms: Masses of small insects on the buds and leaves.

Cause: Aphids—these are green, red or black bugs which are soft and about 1/8” long. They can be found in clusters and will be found mainly on the new growth. These pests appear in the spring and can remain all summer.

Treatment: You will want to begin by simply hosing the insects off of the rose plant with water. Should you need to treat the problem further, then most of the commercial insecticidal sprays are effective. You can also use a solution of household dish soap and water. This is done by using just a few drops of dish soap in a quart spray bottle and filling it up with water. Then just spray it on your roses. There are also many aerosol insecticides labeled for plant pests that will also work. Just be sure to read the label on the product to verify which insects the product will control. Spray the product upwind and ensure that you apply a coverage that is thorough. Or if you want to just make life easy on yourself, go to your local garden center and purchase a product called Spinosad. This is an organic chemical that will control most insect problems in your roses.

Symptom: Buds are distorted and bloom tips appear discolored.

Cause: Thrips—these are light brown insects which are very slender and are about 1/8” long. These insects can appear inside petals and they move very quickly. They are spread by the wind.

Treatment: You will want to apply a systemic insecticide that lists thrips as a target. You will want to apply this when new growth of 1” or more emerges in the spring. Contact treatments can be used on a rotational basis when the rose buds are pea-sized. Or, just make life easy on your self and go and get some Spinosad from your local garden center.

Symptom: Leaves stuck together, unopened buds with holes.

Cause: Omnivorous leaf roller—this is a moth larvae that makes a cocoon type of structure with leaves.

Treatment: Remove all of the cocoon structures from your rose plant. If you need to treat your rose plant further, then apply a systemic insecticide that targets leaf rollers when new growth of 1” or more emerges in the spring. Contact treatments can also be used on a rotational basis when the buds of the roses are pea-sized. Personally, I just use the Spinosad as it is easier.

Symptom: Leaves appear fuzzy and yellow on surface; underside has small red specks, webbing or spider-like insects may be seen.

Cause: Spider mite (red spider or 2-spotted mite)—these insects are microscopic in size, but are visible to the naked eye. Spider mites thrive in hot weather.

Treatment: Apply an insecticidal soap, horticultural oils, miticides, or high pressure hose water, or my favorite product, Spinosad. All of the treatments must be applied to the underside of the leaves of the rose plant, in order to come into contact with the spider mites. Keep the roses well watered during hot weather and avoid dust on the leaves of your plants.

Tomorrow I will discuss Beetles, Rose Midge, Leaf Cutter Bees and Rose Cane Borer. Which of the above treatments do you favor for the treatment of your roses? Leave me a comment and share.

Photo provided by Major-Maróthy Szabolcs

Vines and Groundcovers

vines.jpgVines are typically used to grow up and along fences, walls and the sides of buildings. There are two types of vines: twining and clinging. The twining vines need something to twine around such as a trellis or a chain link fence. Clinging vines generally have suction cups that suction themselves to a wall or a fence.

Here are some of the vines and groundcovers that will grow in at least zones 3 – 5. I have included the minimum zone that these will grow in parentheses.


  • Dutchman’s Pipe—Vigorous, twining vine. Large, heart-shaped green leaves. Grows flat against a trellis. Offers dense shade. The flowers are brown and small and are usually hidden by the leaves, and resemble a Meerschaum pipe. It grows in sun or shade, and grows to about 30’ long. (Zone 4)

  • Honeysuckle, Dropmore Scarlet—Tall growing, twining vine. Bright orange=scarlet tubular flowers from June to September. Grows in full sun. Fast growing to 10 – 20’ long, 10’ wide. (Zone 3)

  • Honeysuckle, Goldflame—Woody, twining vine valued for fragrant, rosy-red and yellow flowers from June until Frost. Fast growing to 10 – 20’ long. Needs full sun. (Zone 5)

  • Honeysuckle, Hall’s—An extremely vigorous twining vine. The extremely fragrant white flowers fade to yellow. Needs full sun. Fast growing to 15 – 20’ long. (Zone 5)

  • Honeysuckle, Mandarin—Twining vine with orange-red flowers that attract hummingbirds. Masses of flowers bloom from May through July. Needs full sun. Fast growing to 15 – 20’ long. (Zone 3)

  • Hops, Nugget Ornamental—A vigorous climbing vine that will quickly wraps itself around any upright structure in a season. Produces papery cone-like hops later in the summer, typically used to produce beer. Will die back to the ground each winter, but grows back quickly each season. Grows 15 – 20’ tall. (Zone 3)

  • Ivy, BostonDense, self-clinging vine. Attractive green foliage and exceptional orange-red fall color. Blue-black berries. Excellent for covering masonry, fences. Full to partial sun. Fast grower to 30 – 45’ long. (Zone 4)

  • Ivy, Engelmann—Vigorous, climbing vine. Fall color is a deep, burgundy-red. Small blue fruits are attractive to birds. Rapid growing to 20 – 30’. (Zone 3)

  • Rose, Henry Kelsey—Beautiful climbing rose with medium red, double flowers with a yellow center. Rich, spicy fragrance. Small orange hips in the fall. Dark glossy green foliage tinted with burgundy. Needs full sun. Grows 6 – 7’ tall. (Zone 3)

  • Rose, John Davis—Climbing rose with medium pink, double flowers. Spicy fragrance. Needs full sun. Grows 6 – 8’ tall. (Zone 3)

  • Rose, William Baffin—Climbing rose with strawberry pink blooms all summer. Small red-orange rose hips in the fall. Needs full sun. Grows 8 – 10’ tall. (Zone 3)

  • Trumpetvine—Shrubby, coarse foliage on a vigorous, twining vine. Will climb in stone or woodwork. Showy, orange and scarlet flowers blossom in mid-summer. Grows to 20 – 30’ long. (Zone 5)

  • Virginia Creeper/Woodbine—Rapid growing, twining vine. Deep burgundy-red fall foliage. Small blue fruits attractive to birds. Full sun or shade. Fast growing to 30’ long. (Zone 3)


  • Juniper, Blue Rug—Low growing, evergreen groundcover. Forms a dense mat of blue foliage. Good as a groundcover or along banks. Attractive when used to drape over a retaining wall. Full sun to light shade. Grows 4 – 6” high, 3 – 5’ wide. (Zone 3)

  • Juniper, Calgary Carpet—Low growing, evergreen groundcover. Soft green foliage. Use along walkways or as a groundcover. Needs full sun. Grows 6 – 9” tall, 10’ wide. (Zone 3)

  • Juniper, Japanese GardenEvergreen groundcover. Beautiful bluish-green foliage. Nice accent in a rock garden. Needs full sun. Grows 6 – 10” tall, 3 – 5’ wide. (Zone 4)

  • Kinnickinnick—Excellent evergreen groundcover with waxy green foliage and scarlet red fruit. Thrives in sandy soil and hot sun. Pinkish-white flowers in spring. Fruits in August and September. Full to partial sun. Spreads 10 – 15’ wide. (Zone 2)

  • Mahonia, Creeping—Low growing, evergreen groundcover. Dull blue-green leaves in summer turn a bronzy purple for the winter months. Blooms in early spring with yellow flowers. Blue-black berries in August and September. Full sun to part shade. Grows 12 -15” tall, 3 – 4’ wide. (Zone 5)

  • Wintercreeper, Purpleleaf—Outstanding evergreen groundcover. Deep green foliage turns a beautiful, rich plum color during the cool season. Will climb nearby structures or walls. Full to partial sun. Moderate grower to 6 – 8’ wide. (Zone 4)

Now that you have some ideas for some great vines and groundcovers, which ones will you use in your yard? What other vines and groundcovers will you use? How will you use them? Leave me a comment about your vines and groundcovers.

Photo by Kevin Rosseel

Planting Bare Root Roses

You may have noticed that many garden centers have been pushing the purchase of bare root plants. These plants are generally cheaper as they have not been potted into pots and containers. There is nothing wrong with these plants; they just haven’t gone through the extra work of potting them up for sale. This is a great time to get quality plants for less money. If they are available at your local garden center, then grab them before they are gone.

Another way that many people purchase bare root plants is through the mail. This can be a great way to purchase bare root roses. You can find quality rose plants that are not weighed down by heavy pots, thus saving you money while shipping. In this short video, P. Allen Smith shows you how to plant bare root roses, ensuring great results and a garden full of fantastic blooms for you to enjoy all season long.

Now that you know how to plant your bare root roses, start saving some money and get them ordered or purchased now. You will find that the enjoyment that they bring will far outweigh the small cost you paid.

What are some of your favorite plants to buy in bare root and why?

Caring For Your Roses

roses.JPGIf you were to ask most people what their favorite flower is, more than likely their answer would be the rose. There are several things that you will need to consider when you decide to establish your own rose garden. One thing that you will need to think about when you are planting your rose garden is the amount of sunlight your roses will receive. Roses need to have a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day. They will also need to be planted in an area that offers good air circulation. This will help to prevent disease.

You will want to be sure to thoroughly water your roses when you arrive home after purchasing them. If you will not be able to plant your roses right away, then you will need to place them in a shaded area to keep them cool. You will need to continue watering them until you are able to plant them.

The following tips will help your efforts be successful as you establish your garden of roses:

Amending the Soil: Roses prefer a soil that is slightly acidic and well-drained. Prior to planting your roses, you will need to amend the garden bed with one part organic material. This can be a mixture of Soil Pep, Coco-Peat, Peat Moss or manure that is well-rotted to two parts soil.

Planting-You will need to dig a hole that is a minimum of 6 inches wider than the root ball. The hole should also be deep enough that it will cover the graft of the rose. In colder climates, USDA Zone 5 or colder, you will want to make sure that the graft is 2 inches below the level of the ground. This will help to protect the rose from dying back to the rootstock. Most hybrid roses are actually grafted onto a hardier rootstock. If the rose dies back to the roots, then a different rose will begin to grow than what you planted. You will want to apply a root stimulator to the root ball before you cover it with your soil mixture. This will help the plant to become established more quickly.

Mulching-The application of a mulch product such as a Soil Pep does several things. It will aid in the retention of water, help to prevent weeds, and keep the roots of the plants cool during weather that is hot. It will also help to give the roses an attractive and finished appearance.

Watering– A drip system is the best way to water roses because it allows the water to soak into the ground and keeps the water off of the foliage of the rose. This will help to discourage disease. It is okay to use an overhead sprinkler, but be sure to use it in the early morning. This will allow the foliage of the plant to dry and will help to prevent disease. Be very careful that you do not over-water your roses. The roots need air as well as water. Do not keep the soil soaked continually. If the soil is moist around 1 inch below the surface, you do not need to water.

Fertilizing-Roses prefer a fertilizer that is balanced. You will want to choose one that has a fertilizer analysis of 15-15-15 or 5-10-5. You will want to fertilize the rose plants when they are in full leaf. Fertilize them again after the first bloom and finally about six weeks prior to the first anticipated frost. Do not fertilize them later as they canes of the roses need a sufficient amount of time to harden off properly before winter arrives.

Pruning-Roses are pruned in order to not only give them direction, but to promote their health and vigor. Pruning gives the plants shape, removes wood that is unproductive, removes wood that had been damaged by winter and provides a good circulation of air. The best time to prune your roses is in the early spring before the new growth begins. This should be done sometime after the last killing frost.

You will want to prune out any wood that is weak or has been damaged by the winter. Cut the wood about 1 to 2 inches below the damage. Remove any branches that are crossing. Be sure to leave any of the new and healthy canes. Also remove any of the suckers that are growing below the graft. When you are pruning, you will want to cut ¼ inch above the dormant bud eyes that are facing to the outside of the bush. The new growth on the plant will come from these eyes.

Pest and Disease Control-For an easy control of insects, you will want to apply a systemic rose fertilizer about every six weeks. You will also want to spray your roses with a systemic fungicide to help prevent disease.

Winter Care-Your roses will need to be prepared for winter. You will want to prune them back to around 18 inches. Be sure to mulch around the rose plant. This should be around 6 to 12 inches deep and you will want to use Soil Pep, leaves or soil. In colder climates, it is also helpful to place rose cones or rose collars around your roses. If you choose to use rose cones, you will want to make sure that the cones are well ventilated.

Realizing that there are many acclaimed rose growing tips, what are some of yours?

Photo provided by: Vema