Every other Monday, I break out my trusty Mantis Spraymate 12-gallon sprayer to spray my roses with fungicide. Blackspot is a fungal disease that is a huge problem in this area, and many of the roses I grow are susceptible to it. A quick spray of fungicide every two weeks is all it takes prevent most blackspot infection on my roses.
I use Honor Guard, a super-concentrated systemic fungicide ... available HERE. (For smaller gardens, I recommend Bayer Advanced Disease Control, which is a fungicide-only spray, available at Lowes and at specialty nurseries.)
In addition to helping protect the roses from blackspot, Spray Day also gives me the chance to be up close and personal with each rose in my garden. Most of the time, each rose receives a quick spray of fungicide and I'm on to the next one. Sometimes I notice things that need attention ... like finding a cane on 'Comte de Champagne' that is infected with Rose Rosette Disease, or seeing this little guy:
The first Japanese Beetle of the season.
For those who say that spraying roses is too labor intensive, takes too much time, etc., etc., I timed myself this morning. I put on my shoes and walked out of the house at 8:30, and I put away the sprayer and walked back into the house at 9:45. One hour and fifteen minutes, start to finish. In that time, I mixed 11 gallons of solution and sprayed approximately 400 of my 700-or-so roses. (I did not spray any roses in the Rose Field, or any of my ramblers in their three locations in the garden.)
One hour and fifteen minutes, twice a month, to help insure the health of my rose garden ... not bad at all!
(Remember, when I say "spray" I am talking only about fungicide. I do not use ANY type of insecticide in my garden ... no chemical, organic, soap, etc. My motto is "no insecticides, no exceptions" ... I let the good bugs eat the bad bugs and things balance themselves out nicely without any interference from me. In the case of the Japanese Beetles, I will probably go after them by hand in the more visible areas of the garden ... or not, depending on my mood.)