I’m ready to replace many dull, worn out and ugly tools with this great prize gift from Chris @CoronaTools. Thank you very much!
Before this season, I have never considered how my Shop vac could be used to make gardening easier. I had a long conversation with a friend and she said she does this every year! I asked people at a local Rose Society meeting and they looked at me like I was crazy! But I tried it and I do suggest it, with comments below.
First, consider the amount of loose soil is under your plant and if there would be a chance that much of it would get into and clog the vac.
Second, consider the amount of moisture currently in the garden. Leaves that are damp clog up the vac and tear the inner collection bag requiring replacement.
Third, consider the price of replacement bags. My model required me to go to Lowes for shop vac disposable bags at $15 for three bags.
If you choose to try this, one helpful hint is to position the vac suction hose in a linear way rather than coiled during use. It took me a few trials and jams to figure that out. Also, the tip of the suction end worked best by not hurrying and trying to get too much volume of leaves at one time.
Prevention is always easier than cure. All rose gardeners in all growing zones want to prevent growing problems in future seasons. The fungus spores I discussed yesterday will winter over if allowed to remain on the plant or on the ground. Cold and freezing conditions do not destroy these fungi. Removing all petals and leaves, diseased or not, should be goal in a well maintained rose garden. If you see disease, do not put them in your home compost because you most likely will spread the disease spores in the compost! Some roses naturally shatter petals, such as below.
Warm days, cool nights and dew in the morning means ideal conditions for fungi to make roses ugly!
Winter is coming to the Northern hemisphere, we all know it. I hope you had a successful rose growing season. Yes, we will all have a few more smaller roses with great color before the long pause, but it is time to consider best practices in the rose garden this fall.
Slowing down our roses means not encouraging tender, new cane growth in late September or later. Deadheading is a practice that stimulates new growth, so to slow down this process it is recommended that rose growers pull off petals of spent blooms before they shatter.
There is something very satisfying about making your own compost. Since I emptied my bin out on to a tarp for finishing a few weeks ago (think final drying out) I have been picking through it to learn what did not compost by the time I was ready to use it. Crocosmia and gladiola foiliage did ok, but the bulbs are still solid and sprouting. Grass, straw and leaves were good additions. A friend stopped over and asked when I was going to sift the compost. Honestly, I did not think about that but I did realize the benefit of getting out clumps etc. My friend talked about a frame for hardware cloth and that sounded nice but I was concerned about storage of something that would not get used often. So my solution was to wrap a few inches of the flexible wire hardware cloth around my wheel barrow. Now that I am done i can just roll up the hardware cloth for easy storage.