With the temps dipping into the teens in Alabama for the past week or so, it is an excellent time to apply my winter dormant spray.
I use lime sulfur. It is a great spray for those roses that are more prone to disease such as black spot and powdery mildew. I always spray my David Austin Roses and Hybrid Teas. I typically do not spray a rose for any reason if it is doing well on its own. I can handle some black spot here and there.. Some people will say: why bother? I just like to be proactive instead of reactive. My mama use to say: “It’s better to prepare and prevent, than to repair and repent!” It’s also better for me to spray in winter, than to sweat in summer trying to correct a problem I could have prevented. So, I spray.
If you have been reading this blog for some time, you will doubtless remember my spraying fiasco last January. That was a lesson learned. Read about it here.
When I apply the spray, I do so according to the package directions. In this case is 4oz. of lime sulfur mixed in a gallon of water. Prior to spraying, I rinsed my sprayer with warm water and tested. Note to the wise: Lime sulfur will crystallize in your sprayer. Empty sprayer after use. I use some type of protective clothing, gloves and eye cover. Lime Sulfur will mess you up if it gets in your eyes and for some; on your skin…. It also stinks to “high heaven”. That’s a signal to me that it’s working….ha
During the blooming season I try my best to remove any fallen leaves. If you have any on plant or on the ground at spray time, remove them prior to spraying. It will only help to further cut down on the spread of disease. I spray to saturation, the entire bush and the ground surrounding it.
I only spray lime sulfur when my roses are dormant. If you use this product during the blooming season, it can do serious damage to your plants. Since it kills black spot on contact, some have suggested applying it during the summer early in the morning and then rinsing it off with the hose. I have not been brave enough to try that.
Hopefully, with some winter care, I go from barren canes, to ……