»Diaper your minis: Moisture Retention
»Keep it Clean: Easy Japanese Beetle killer
»Garden Bloom Protector
EXHIBITING »Spill proof transport container
»Where's my kneeler?: Perfect wedging material
»Show "cheat sheet"
PROPAGATION »Save a bundle : Multiplying rootstock
ARRANGING »Pizza time: Cheap Oasis holder

Suggestions and additions to this page (including diagrams or photos) are welcome.  Email me.



Soil Moisture Retention
Carol Ann Rogers has found that the newest disposable diapers have gel that can be used in the soil to retain moisture in the soil for her minis.

Easy Japanese Beetle killer
Manny "Big Boy" Mendes recommends spraying Windex  (with ammonia) directly on the beetles in the affected bloom. 

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Click to enlarge


Garden Bloom Protector
     A Clarence Rhodes design.  Cut the bottom off a wide gallon juice container, save.  Remove the cover.  Use 3 vertical wires to secure the cut-off bottom piece above the top of the container like a little umbrella.  Screw on 2 adjustable pipe clamps onto the side of the juice bottle.  These let it slip onto a 5 foot pole and make it adjustable for height.  Use this over your prize blooms before a show to protect from rain. Another clamp can be added to the pole with a thick piece of flexible wire on it, to secure to the stem of the rose to keep it from whipping in the wind.
      John Shelley has a variation on this design.  He uses short pieces of bungee cord knotted through holes in the plastic jug, instead of clamps (cheaper and doesn't rust).

Spill proof transport container
A Clarence Rhodes design.  Cut a 1 liter soda bottle in half.  Wedge the top half upside down into the bottom half.  Cut a piece (maybe 2 feet)  of 4" PVC  drain pipe (the thin walled stuff).  Chamfer the outside bottom edge of this with a utility knife so it will fit into the soda bottle construction to protect the rose.  When it's upright, the rose will be kept watered.  If it falls on its side, the water will flow between the 2 pieces of soda bottle rather than spill (unless you over fill it)

Perfect wedging material
"Secondary Products" (Clarence Rhodes and John Mattia) suggest buying the cheap light green kneeling pad at home depot and cutting it up for wedging material when exhibiting.  It compresses easily, is easy to cut and doesn't crumble.   It can be partly wrapped around the stem before putting it into the vase, which secures it perfectly and makes it simple to remove from the vase when done.

Show "Cheat Sheet"
In the winter when you're not busy, make a simple "database" of all your rose varieties in Microsoft Word or a similar program.  Just make a table with at 5 columns.  Label them variety, type, year, AARS and color.  Add all your roses, noting their ARS official color designation and whether they're AARS winners.  Print this out for a show so you'll have all the info you need. You may even want to highlight which varieties you brought.  For planning challenge classes, you can sort this database beforehand by any of the headings, just by clicking on it and hitting table then sort.  Suggested by Patsy Cunningham


Multiplying Rootstock
John Mattia

I hate to describe a new rose technique I discovered until I can repeat it at least two, if not three times. But here's one that worked for me for the first time last winter which I plan to repeat this year, which is even easier that the rooting of multiflora I described a few years back.
1 -- I filled 10 two-gallon pots with good garden soil.
2 -- I cut 10-12 inch long multiflora sticks and gouged out all the eyes except the top three of the stick. (If your variety of multiflora has thorns, I recommend you remove them only to facilitate budding next summer.)
3 -- Recut the bottom of the stick just under where you gouged out the bottom eye of the stick...and then lightly score the opposite side of this stick for about 3/8 inch up from the bottom. (This increases the callusing from which roots will occur.)
4.-- Push the stick about 2.5 - 3 inches into the soil, and firm the soil around the stick.
5 -- Place the pots in a "semi-protected" area...I put them out in the heavy woods among the trees at the end of my yard.
All 10 plants took and were solidly rooted by mid July for grafting.
One other observation. Sticks that are about the thickness of a pencil to slightly larger make better budding plants than thicker multiflora sticks. The former tend to be more succulent and the skin separates easier in T-budding. The skin on the thicker sticks becomes harder to separate as the summer progresses, and the skin also tends to develop  vertical cracks in it as its grows. Thus it is harder to find a clear area for budding.

Cheap Oasis holder
Donna Fuss suggested saving the little white plastic "tables" that come in some pizza boxes.  Use glue or floral clay to secure it to your container with the "feet" sticking up.  A small piece of Oasis then can be pushed onto the prongs.

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