Volume 14, Issue 6 ~ February 9 - February 15, 2006

The Bay Gardener

By Dr. Frank Gouin

All-American Roses the Real Thing

Years of testing guarantee the best in class

It takes 20 to 30 years from the time a rose breeder has made a selection from his or her breeding program until the new variety is released under the “All-American Selection” title. The American Rose Society maintains 10 to 15 rose test gardens throughout the U.S. and cooperates with the International Rose Society, which maintains test gardens in England, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Australia. Hopeful roses are grown in these test gardens for a minimum of five years and are rated at least three times each year. The new varieties are also compared with standard roses in the same class and color currently in the trade. In order to receive an All-American recognition, the new rose must perform better than what is already recognized in its class. It will take an additional two to three years before a sufficient number of plants can be propagated for sales to begin. If the new rose gains international recognition, it will then be marketed with the society’s trademark gold medallion with blue ribbons attached.

To reduce dependency on pesticides in recent years, there has been more emphasis on developing roses that are disease and insect resistant. This has resulted in far fewer new rose varieties being released. All American Roses include not only Hybrid Ts and Floribundas, but also patio roses, climbing roses, mounding roses and rugosa rose. It is also interesting that the mounding roses, in particular, are grown from rooted cuttings and not grafted, as is the case of most roses. This means that if mounding roses are killed by cold, they can regenerate from the roots. It also means that when pruned by the lawnmower, they will come back true to form. This is not true of most roses.

Battling Beetles

Q I haven’t seen any Japanese beetles in years, but my sod peels back due to severed roots. Is it likely sod webworm or some other grub? I’m not near any water. What should I use and when?

George lambert, Severna Park

A Last year was the worst Japanese beetle infestation in years for me in South County. They destroyed the nectarines on the top branches of my trees. They were all through my Christmas trees.

To make certain Japanese beetles are not the problem, dig down into the soil where the roots are eaten, about six to eight inches. If you come across grubs that are gray-white with either a brown or a black head, you have Japanese or June beetles. June beetles are just as damaging as Japanese beetles.

This spring, treat your lawn with Milky Spore, which is a lifelong biological control system. Make certain that you apply the powder as described.

Ask Dr. Gouin your questions at frgouin@erols.com. All questions will appear in Bay Weekly. Please include your name and address.

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