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watering a rose garden

Hightide Plumbing
6 months ago

automatic watering for a rose garden

Comments (32)

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
    6 months ago

    I have s couple of areas that are on sprinklers and it hapoens early in the morning so I have never had any isdue with BS

  • Moses, Pittsburgh, W. PA., zone 5/6, USA
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    This year I hand watered my 45 odd roses in my 8'x18' exclusively roses bed. Sitting in my "2x4 Basics," armchair (extremely comfortable), during watering the half nearest my patio, and standing at my garden gate watering the other half ish my usual routine. It takes a good half hour and about 120 gallons at the rate of 4 gal./minute max.

    I watered the living daylights out of them to both test them for their black spot resistance/immunity, and to make up for the three years of severe neglect they received while sickness kept me sidelined. I watered them right before sunset so that black spot could have every advantage of rearing its ugly head. They never suffered for lack of water this year.

    Now, int late August, I can happily report that replacing chronic black spotters with mostly ADR winners and a few Meilland stalwarts, plus a couple Knock Outs (Pink Double and the single White Knock Out, my two favorite Knock Outs), was a resounding success.

    My foliage is spotty here and there a very little bit, and only on the oldest leaves that matured in May, being the very lowest, first leaves emergent, at the bottom, and only on just a few varieties...very acceptable performances. When you enter my garden, which is southern facing, the lushness hits you right away, even in late August. I never had this before, ever, in my rose growing tenure.

    Now the blooms....well that's a different story. Since Rose Midge Fly populations grew exponentially over three years because of my inability to properly spray them, and because of a failed soil drench done in 2022 (still scratch my head on this one...did I apply incorrectly, get a bad batch of insecticide for the drench, I'll never know for sure...the drench worked wonders on an in ground bonsai apple tree which suffered a relentless wooly aphid attack every year prior), the flower production was and is still very sub par....BUT, there's next year!

    Moses

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  • Moses, Pittsburgh, W. PA., zone 5/6, USA
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    If you can hand water, do it. It's some of the best therapy there is: mental, spiritual, and physical.

    Moses

  • bart bart
    6 months ago

    Har, har , Moses, that depends! This summer, in order to do my hand watering, I've been forced to crawl around under low-hanging shade clothin the buggy, hot darkness, since it takes 4 hours to do, I start at sunset but finsh only around 11PM!!! So, I'm definitely looking forward to trying automatic watering. Still, for newly planted roses, etc, if one lives in a hot, dry climate, hand-watering for the first year is probably the best.

  • judijunebugarizonazn8
    6 months ago

    I’m with you, Moses, on the therapy of hand watering. Because I live in a very arid climate, (14” of precipitation per year, give or take), if I want very much growing around me, there’s a LOT of watering to be done. And I DO want a lot growing around me… trees, bushes, grasses, perennials, and of course, roses! I agree with Monet, “ I must have flowers, always, always.” But that means I must keep watering. I started out with solely watering by hand, but am slowly getting watering systems in place for my gardens. However, my husband still occasionally finds me out in my irrigated gardens with a hose and asks me why I’m hand watering? Just because I like to, my dear. And my plants like it, too.

  • ingrid_vc zone 10 San Diego County
    6 months ago

    Our gardener put in a sprinkler system for the trees/shrubs that were left after the epic squirrel chow down of a few years ago, and has added that to the roses in the back, and that works very well. In addition, because I (desperately) want my baby roses to grow, I'm out there several times a day spritzing them with a hose. In case that doesn't work, I just now spoke to Janet Inada at Rogue Valley Roses and added another Grandmother's Hat to my order of Conrad Ferdinand Meyer and Madame Bovary, due to arrive in September. GH is the rose I'm most obsessed with, although I'm also very much wanting Lady Ashe to grow again, as I'm sure Moses understands. Frankly, anything with petals and color would be greeted with hysterical, I mean significant joy.

  • Moses, Pittsburgh, W. PA., zone 5/6, USA
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Jacqueline,

    Where are your mini soaker hoses placed?

    1. In rows

    2. Circling bushes

    3. Above your mulch

    4. Below your mulch

    5. All lines connected to a main line controlled by an automatic battery operated timer?

    You sure have done tons of experimenting to get to where you are!

    Moses

  • Moses, Pittsburgh, W. PA., zone 5/6, USA
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Ingrid,

    Conrad Ferdinand Meyer is a beauty of a rose. I had it way back when I was no spray, old garden roses. Thorns upon thorns, so be careful! The downfall is its tissue paper thin petals and quick petal drop. Its big plus is repeat blooming with the best of them. Balances out leaning to the plus side because of the blooms beauty and excellent repeat. Its fragrance is renown. Black spotter, but in your climate should not be an issue. Foliage is not rugose, and leaflets are roundish, 'chubby,' a perfect foil for the opulent blooms.

    Moses

  • Moses, Pittsburgh, W. PA., zone 5/6, USA
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Yes, Ingrid, Lady Ashe was a gem. Her only fault was being a black spotter here, but the assets! Gorgeous high centered, strong petaled blooms that had had no give to them. Fragrance was above average here but not Double Delight level (so what!) A true climbing hybrid tea with long upright laterals, excellent for the vase.

    It's unbelievable that such a tiny mite could do in such a spectacular climber.

    Moses

  • jacqueline9CA
    6 months ago

    Moses - we put the mimi soaker hoses on top of the mulch, circling bushes at the drip line. If a rose seems to be getting too little or too much water, my DH makes them longer or shorter. However, after a while, what with natural mulch showing up from all of the plants, and squirrels digging, eventually they end up below some mulch.


    We have 4 master programable controllers, which are all plugged into the wall in our basement. Each one controls 6-8 "stations" in the garden. Each station waters a particular section of the garden - for example, half of a lawn with 3 sprinklers, or a third of the Side Garden containing 6 large roses close together with two large soaker hoses, or a line of roses in our New Garden with mini soaker hoses for each rose, etc. Each station waters according to how I set the time/day on the controller. I set it so only one station is running at a time, because the water pressure is only strong enough to handle one station. Almost all of the watering occurs at night, which saves water.


    We do still have two-three areas which are watered by "stations" controlled by those hand set timers which look like kitchen timers, and are attached to the hose bib - no batteries, they just work on springs just like manual kitchen timers. Those areas are places that I turn on my self by twisting the timer.


    Our climate is weird (as I guess all are). In a "normal" year (which is happening less and less lately), we get copious amounts of rain (last winter we got 48") between say, Nov and April/May, with mild temps between lows in the 40s, with an occasional 30s, and highs in the 50-60s usually. After that it heats up, and we get NO RAIN WHATSOEVER, none, nadda, until the rain starts up again in the late Fall. So, usually 6 months in a row with 100% dry sunny conditions, dry air (not humid in the summer), and high temps in the 70s - 90s and lows (thank heavens!) in the 50s at night. We usually turn on the irrigation system in May (which requires one day where we go out and turn on one station at a time, checking for leaks), and turn it off when the first rain storm comes in the Fall. Large areas of our garden are not irrigated - the many trees and wilder parts where there are some naturally occurring native plants, or ones which have naturalized in this area over the last 200 years. The irrigation is mostly for our 2 shrinking lawns and all of the beds in the garden which are planted with roses and other plants by us on purpose.


    Sorry so long, but you sounded interested. I had friends in PA, and when I visited (in the summer) it seemed to rain gently for short periods 2-3 times a week, and be humid most of the time. The garden plants all obviously loved that, and were lush and lovely and the hills were green - which astonished me the first time I went there when I was 16. I had never been out of CA before, and was visiting a girl my age and staying with her family - I remember asking her parents why they irrigated the hills, as our hills turn golden brown here by June each year. They thought that was hilarious!


    Jackie



  • ingrid_vc zone 10 San Diego County
    6 months ago

    I agree, Jackie, the sprinklers that are put right under the plants work fine but for some strange reason do sometimes turn themselves off. I've never figured that one out, but now when I turn on the water I go around to every plant to make sure they're working. Not such a chore as it would be in your garden and probably an excellent reason not to add many more plants. So funny about the "irrigated" hills but I totally understand!


    Moses, I'm so glad you had CFM and are able to give me detailed information. The tissue thin petals and quick petal drop do give me pause but your lovely description seems to bear out all the pictures I've hunted down of this rose in regard to the gorgeous blooms. Let's face it, there is no "perfect" rose except in our own minds, and others would likely often disagree. Lady Ashe, from what I know from having grown Aloha, would be just about perfect for me, although I recently read a comment from someone who sneered at the coarse blooms and lack of elegant fragrance. I say huge, sumptuous and decadent blooms and for that who cares about the fragrance. Roses are like people, and who among us is a vision of absolute perfection?

  • Moses, Pittsburgh, W. PA., zone 5/6, USA
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Jackie,

    Thank you for all that information! Your efforts at in depth explanations is just what I wanted to read. May I ask you a couple more questions?

    1. How and what do you apply as far as fertilizer goes?

    2. Do you liquid feed, and does the mulch create obstacles in liquid or granular feeding? Does your soaker system make fertilizing difficult?

    I greatly appreciate your knowledge shared.

    Moses

  • jacqueline9CA
    6 months ago

    Well, Moses - I am a lazy gardener for sure, and only prune my roses (except the teas and chinas, which don't produce hardly any dead wood, and only need trimming to keep them from eating the paths, or the driveway). I start pruning usually when it gets cool enough (for me) in the Fall. I theoretically should wait until Jan/Feb in this climate, but if I did I would never get finished in time for the Spring flush, which starts here in Feb!


    Anyway, after I prune any particular rose, and weed around it out to the drip line if there are any weeds, and after I have rescued the large or small soaker hose(s) out if they are buried under the mulch (which actually has turned to soil by then), I first give each rose 3 gallons of prepared MAXSEA 16-16-16 fertilizer, (I buy the concentrate in 20 lb tubs) diluted with water 3 TBL to 3 gallons. Then I put down a generous sprinkling of Osmocote 9 mo. time release fertilizer. I purchase 50 lb bags of that on Amazon, which is cheaper than getting smaller ones, and I can't find the 9 mo feeding ones in local nurseries anyway. Then I put down a 2-3 inch layer of my DH's wonderful, marvelous, compost which he makes from all of the leaves of our large trees. He cooks it in a sort of raised bed he constructed way at the back of our garden - it is sort of a rectangle about 8 ft by 12 ft, with boards 2 ft tall all around. He fills it with the leaves (which often have been sitting around our driveway edges in heaps for months first). Then in the Fall and Winter and Summer he waters it and turns it, and after 12 months bags it up to make room for the new Fall leaves. After it has been in a huge black plastic bag (which he stores behind our garage) for another 12 months, it is compost, and the new bags full of younger stuff take their place, and on and on. I have a plastic garbage can which he keeps full of compost for me. It lives in a nifty wagon on wheels, so I can roll it to where I need it. On top of the compost I sprinkle some sort of seed non-generating granules, like Preen, and water that in. That really keeps grasses and other weeds from germinating.


    That's it - no more food for another year. Since I only do it once a year, the mulch and the soaker hoses are not a problem - the old compost mulch has changed to soil and I just move the hoses out of the way and put them back. We do have 2 men who come to help us in the garden now, and when they come they do some of this work, and all of any digging holes for new plantings, but only under our supervision - my DH and I both work in the garden the entire time they are here, and they like to ask us questions, and like us to look at what they are doing. I must add that our property has been gardened by active gardeners in my DH's family since our house was built in 1905. I have been told that the soil has changed from being mostly clay (there are still a couple of tiny corners close to the house where you can dig clay you could make dishes out of!) to a lovely clay based loam, which helps. Hope this answers your questions.

  • DDinSB (Z10b Coastal CA)
    6 months ago

    @Ingrid - please tell how you got rid of the squirrels from the epic chow down...

  • ingrid_vc zone 10 San Diego County
    6 months ago

    Jackie, your care regimen plus that lovely compost explains why you have such incredibly large and gorgeous roses (and all plants, really). I'm glad I also have MaxSea, which someone else here also recommended, and my large bag of compost/manure has arrived that I'll have the gardener spread around the roses. We can only do what our energy levels and finances allow, the former of which makes such a great difference. Even supervising a gardener to any extent is more than I can manage, but he is a treasure, hard-working and responsive to my wishes and direction.

    Deborah, unfortunately I did not get rid of the ground squirrels, but I'm hopeful that since I stopped feeding them they may be fewer in number. The area where I had my main rose garden is now planted with oleanders, which bloom almost constantly but are very poisonous, and the ground squirrels have left them alone. Where I have my few rose plants now there is very little room for the ground squirrels to live since there is lots of paving and a very large deck. They did try to dig a burrow right next to one of the roses but I filled the hole with used kitty litter and a large piece of tile and I haven't seen any further evidence of digging. The roses are all surrounded with and covered by chicken wire, which of course will only work while the roses are small, so it will be a constant state of watchfulness on my part. I'll have no more than about ten roses, which wouldn't have satisfied me formerly, but which I now see as a small version of paradise.

  • Moses, Pittsburgh, W. PA., zone 5/6, USA
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Jackie,

    You have an extremely admirable system, a wonderful one. I like you enlisting your husband in the works, tell him from me, "Bravo!"

    Lord willing, next year comes for me, I intend to use osmocote, hands down. The growing season is considerably shorter here in zone 6b, Pittsburgh, PA. I suspect I fall into using the Osmocote Plus 6 month applied in March, right at spring pruning. We prune here when the daffodils start blooming, but no guarantee of spring frosts following a pruning which if severe enough means a repruning, lower down the cane may be necessary because of the upper growth that was killed.

    My problem is getting the Osmocote down to soil level because the pine bark mulch takes 3-4 years to turn to humus, and a 2-3 inch layer of it , moved about, is quite a task. Another thing about Osmocote is that while down under the cool mulch where it can release, rather than being above the mulch where it is released into the sponge like mulch surfaces, short circulating the roses, it releases as the soil heats up come July to August/September when the growth stalls above the ground because of the heat. So it is releasing the maximum fertilizer when the roses need it the least!

    Osmocote is great, but it works best here on bare soil, not munched soil. All things considered, it is still my best alternative to making fertilizing go easier. Otherwise, biweekly liquid feeding of Miracle Gro is my alternative. The rush of fertilizer in the water gets to the roots pronto, the mulch not having enough time to absorb the nutrients. However the drudgery of getting a liquid feed accurately to each rose bush is no easy chore. Every hose end fertilizer instrument that I tried was a disaster.

    I came up with setting up a 5 gallon utility bucket with a swimming pool cover pump in it delivering a steady stream of fertilizer solution coming out of the outlet hose as I direct the stream from bush to bush, judging the amount of fertilizer needed by bush's size and growth status....very tedious and time consuming, but pretty accurate.

    Obviously, I'm trying to break away from this liquid feeding system. I expect the Osmocote to be good enough, not perfect, but good enough.

    I also apply a year's supply of aged pigeon manure from my Fantails and Pigmy Pouters in the fall around Thanksgiving time, usually on top the mulch. It's so fine in particles that it works down into the mulch pretty well by March.

    See what we go through for our roses! But it is truly a fun challenge!

    Moses

  • jacqueline9CA
    6 months ago

    Yes, it is, Moses. I would love to see some photos of your birds - can you post some on here?


    Our climates are truly very different - our growing season is 12 months of the year - always something going on. When I do prune the roses, even in mid Winter, I am usually forced to prune off buds. We do have a dormant season, sort of, for some of the roses - they go dormant in the Summer when it gets hot for several weeks in a row. Others of them just keep growing and producing blooms - go figure.


    Jackie

  • DDinSB (Z10b Coastal CA)
    6 months ago

    Ingrid -- I feel your pain! Squirrels have got my veggie garden last 3 years in a row. I will try the kitty litter -- my friend has a cat! Or maybe I need to get a cat -- but seems unfair to have an outdoor cat in coyote/bobcat/mountain lion land. I have my roses in gopher wire cages to thwart those varmints, but a ground squirrel has been making holes right nEXT to the gopher wire cage -- so even if they can't get a main root, they are getting the smaller roots beyond the cage. It's quite depressing. About 4 years ago I trapped a few squirrels, but couldn't deal with the trauma after killing one, so took the rest elsewhere to dump them, but since learned that's illegal! Argh. Hope your 10 roses make you very, very happy!


  • mark_roeder 4B NE Iowa
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    My dad had a drip system for his roses in Tucson that worked very well for him - works very well still for mom. When I visit, I grab the hose, and overhead water when temps were going up, but my visits are infrequent as I am 1,500 miles away.

    When I installed my rose beds in Iowa 28-years ago I used a soaker hose system. I abandoned it within 5-years, because when I replaced roses, I often accidentally pushed my spade through a soaker hose. So, most of the past 23-years I individually water 34-roses, and move the hose from rose to rose. This year my grown daughter who has 28-roses at her home, installed a drip system, and when she was home noticed an old soaker hose receptacle in my rose bed sticking up I don't use that she didn't notice growing up because she was not interested in gardening growing up. She is interested now. Subliminal messaging to offspring takes about 27-years to develop into family tradition. She is 28, now.

  • ingrid_vc zone 10 San Diego County
    6 months ago

    Yes, Deborah, that's why I've never tried to grow vegetables, I knew they'd make yummy squirrel food. Kitties need to be inside, there's too much danger of every kind outdoors. I'm glad, though, that Jason's kitty litter turned out to be so useful as a squirrel deterrent. I don't think I'd want it around veggies meant for human consumption, though; that has an ick factor, and perhaps may also not be safe.

    Mark, that so often seems to be the case that the gardening bug kicks in fairly late. I know I was in my early thirties when I discovered antique roses, but after that you couldn't keep me away, no matter what else happened in my life. Beauty, in whatever form, makes life worth living.

  • jacqueline9CA
    6 months ago

    Yes, I know what you mean about "the gardening bug" sometimes only showing up when people are almost 30. Mine did not show up until I was almost 40, and moved in here with my husband. Of course, that might have been because I had been living in San Francisco in a studio apartment for 15 years before that, and then moved into a property with an old, established, overgrown, garden full of treasures. I do remember when I was in high school my step mother (who was English) spent hours and hours in the garden, and I was not interested at all. I was so not interested that I made a deal with her that I would be happy to help her in the house, with my little sister, and tidying, and cooking, if she did not expect me to do anything in the garden. So funny!


    Jackie

  • judijunebugarizonazn8
    6 months ago

    Jackie, I have another question for you about your watering system. I’m afraid I don’t know all the terminology, but I’ll do my best to make my question clear…
    So you mentioned the little drip emitters not “spreading” the water around well to the roots of the plants. I’m noticing that problem as well in my new garden that I just started using a watering system for. I’m trying out the mini sprinklers now and they are doing pretty well, but I hear y’all saying they aren’t too reliable either.

    And now you use mini soaker hoses and like them. So here’s the question; are they the ones that “sweat” all over or the ones that have little openings spaced several inches apart? I see that the “sweat” hoses are available in 1/4” size but wonder how you attach them? Do they attach with the little barbed couplings just like 1/4” tubing? And do you plug the ends with good plugs?

    I would so much appreciate your expertise on this before I put the next section of my gardens on a system. I have a lot to learn.

  • judijunebugarizonazn8
    6 months ago

    Uh oh, my question was supposed to say, do you plug the ends with goof plugs? Not good plugs.

  • jacqueline9CA
    6 months ago

    judijunebugarizona - I never even touch the irrigation - my DH does all of that. So, I just got a tutorial from him on the issues you asked about (he has been experimenting with these things, and collecting data. I will spare you all of the descriptions of all of his experiments which I just listened to - just giving you the results).


    1) Yes, you attach the little sweat hoses with the little barbed couplings just like the tubing, and you do plug the ends with goof plugs. (I think that is also true for the other 2 kinds - see (2) below).


    2) There are actually 3 different kinds of the 1/4 inch watering hose things: the sweat all over kind, a kind which is brown, and has emitters every 6 inches, and a kind which is pierced with holes about 2" apart. He says that the sweat all over kind puts out exactly twice the amount of water (per hour per foot) than the other two, which put out the same amount as each other.


    He uses little 1/4" solid hoses to get the watering ones where he wants them to be if necessary.


    Personally, I prefer the sweating kind, because you get more water per length of little hose.


    Hope this is helpful.


    Jackie



  • judijunebugarizonazn8
    6 months ago

    Yes, Jackie, it was very helpful information! Thank you (and your husband for answering my questions so well… just what I needed to know! I will pick up a roll of that soaker tubing next time I’m in town and try that out.

  • Moses, Pittsburgh, W. PA., zone 5/6, USA
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Jackie,

    Sorry for the persistent questioning, but you are definitely the 'Go To' person on questions both Osmocote use and automatic watering systems. Take a mature Julia Child for example, how much Osmocote, cup measure wise, do you give her a season? Thank you!

    Moses

  • jacqueline9CA
    5 months ago

    I don't grow that one, but I do have a Graham Thomas (which in our climate is 8-10 feet tall). I don't measure I am afraid - I just would throw about 4-5 handfulls of the "9 month" Osmacote all around the rose at the drip line, and water it in. I only do that once a year, sometime between late summer and Feb.


    Jackie

  • Moses, Pittsburgh, W. PA., zone 5/6, USA
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Jackie, I think that would equal about half a cup, maybe a bit more, like 5 oz. or even 6 oz.

    Moses

  • Eric Civault
    3 months ago

    I'm planning to plant a rose, is it advisable to place it where water flows always or should I place it where it will not be drowned in water? Thanks to those who will answer me.


    Local citations

  • jacqueline9CA
    3 months ago

    Roses do not like constantly wet roots. They need to have good drainage.


    Jackie

  • md sumon
    3 months ago

    Osmocote is great, but it works best here on bare soil, not munched soil.