GARDENING BY RONELLA; How would Ma react to gardening today?
by Ronella Stagner, Columnist
Jun 12, 2013 | 149 149 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When I read about, or hear about, the newest innovations in growing flowers or vegetables, I wonder, “What would Ma think of that?” This week I learned some very exciting news about insecticides/fungicides, which I want to pass on to my readers. I had several calls asking what to do about black spot or mildew. Fortunately, there are two new products on the market to use for treating both insects and fungi.

The first one is an organic which is a fungicide, insecticide and matricide. Since this is an organic treatment, it can be used on vegetables as well as flowers. It controls Japanese beetles and aphids and others and also controls black spot and powdery mildew. This is a three in one spray and, since it is organic, can be sprayed on your vegetables.

The really interesting treatment is a systemic drench, called Rose X 3 in 1. It is not designed for vegetables but controls just about everything, including Japanese beetles, aphids and other insects plus black spot and mildew. You sprinkle it around the base of the plant and since it is systemic, it goes into the stem and leaves from the soil. This is the one I would prefer because of its ease of application. It cannot be used for edible plants, however.

Bonide makes both of these treatments. I am not sure how long this treatment lasts but it is well worth checking out.

If Ma could know about the latter drench, I am sure she would say, “ Oh, mercy, Honey. What will they come up with next?” And that is how I feel.

About the middle of June, we gardeners are bedeviled by all kinds of problems and, from my calls, it seems that black spot, or mildew, is everywhere this spring. I received a most unusual call from South Carolina. It seems a woman with a problem of black spot on some flowers was wondering what to do and thought of Epsom Salts. She googled the word, Epsom Salts and my column came up with some facts about the Salts. It didn’t answer her question but she noticed my phone number at the end of the column so she called me. I was able to tell her what her problem was and how to solve it. As Ma would say, “Oh mercy, what next?” Then this woman got interested in my column and I agreed to send it to her in South Carolina.

I received a letter from the twins in Texas, regular readers who get my column in the Cadiz paper and they were interested in the column about the Decoration Day story. Another caller today is having mole problems. I “meet” many interesting people through the column.

If you have wondered where the spores come from that cause black spot, I understand that the spring storm winds bring spores from the Deep South where the spores abound. I wouldn’t want to guarantee that this is true but it sounds reasonable.

One complaint is that the new Knockout rose has been having black spot on them. I guess that no rose will be immune to that dreaded disease.

Several readers are interested in propagating some of the shrubs that are in bloom now and also want to learn how to start roses from cuttings. This was covered in a recent column but since some readers may have missed it, here is the low down.

You need a “cutting” from the shrub or rose you want to propagate, a hole about six or more inches deep and water. Keep the cuttings in a glass of water for a week or more. I use a shovel to go down to the depth I want, rock the shovel a bit, stick the stem in the hole and cover with your heel or hand. To get the cutting, pull downwards on a stem about the size of a pencil and at least 10 inches long, or more. You want to have the “heel” where the stem is attached to the main stem and the heel is the part that goes into the ground. Find a partly shady spot for your starters and keep them moist all summer. For every success in rooting, you may have several failures so start many to cover your losses. There is a rooting hormone called Rootone, which aids in the rooting. You can find Rootone in any garden center.

The above method is exactly the way my grandmother started flowering shrubs and even roses.

Next week’s column will help you plan a flower garden that has fewer insects and disease.

Please feel free to call me at 270-522-3632 or write to: Ronella Stagner, 137 Main Street, Cadiz, KY 42211.
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