Monday, June 16, 2014

Spray Day

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.)


  1. Your system sounds excellent, and not too time consuming.

  2. What do you do about aphids? Sometimes my buds get totally covered in them. I tried olive oil and it fried the plants.

    I've been enjoying a pair of cardinals that come to garden each evening at dusk. Even when I'm sitting on the porch just a few feet away, they bravely scavenge the garden until they each pick a snail. They carry it over to the a fence post where they pluck it from its shell and have dinner. So I'm board with not wanting to anything that might poison them.

  3. I can't even imagine owning that many roses! That's amazing in itself! I spray a product on my roses (all three of them) because of rose chafers that completely eat the flower and the the plant. They show up when it's nice and hot and destroy what little i've got. I guess we all have to find what works best for us. Your mantis sprayer is quite professional!

  4. Steve, and anyone else who has noticed aphids in their garden, Aphids in the garden rarely get to the point where they will do anything to rose buds if there is an ample supply of predators to feed on them ... even though it may look like the aphids are out of control. You can squish the aphids if you want, but avoiding insecticides (even the organic ones) will allow nature to take its course and the good bugs will come do their thing. Bye bye, aphids.

  5. Whoops, gotta look out for those beetles. But, it seems you have the situation in hand.

  6. Wow! How do you fertilize all those roses? I'm assuming you use a slow release?

  7. Only my modern roses and Austins get fed. Teas, Ramblers, Chinas, etc., don't need it.

  8. Connie, That is the handiest sprayer I have ever seen. Nice large wheels. It looks like an excellent choice.

  9. When I was a child, the elderly German gentleman who lived across the street would amble through the neighbors' yards -- including ours -- with a coffee can with some kerosene in it... and pluck off the Japanese Beetles from our roses.

    He was a very popular guy. -- Cass


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