Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I began growing Old Roses on their own roots and all-organically in 1989 in my Denver gardens and those of my landscapes clients in Denver and Tampa, usually with stellar results vs. those I'd see elsewhere that were budded and routinely sprayed. I used my gardening columns in The Rocky Mountain News, The St. Petersburg Times and in several magazines to promote this "green" approach to rose growing since most folks think of roses as being fussy and NEEDING pesticides. But 'Probiotic Rose Growing' relies instead on introducing a mix of beneficial microbes and fungi to create a stable, complex ecology that crowds out pathogenic ones. And it is MUCH less expensive and hassle. Tampa is in year eight of water crisis, and I've seen my beloved home state dry up since the late 60s. As a water conservationist and urban farmer growing much of my own food, with watering allowed just once weekly, I now grow nearly all my roses in buried home made Water Wise Container Gardens. This allows me the joy of growing roses while GREATLY reducing my use of precious water. John Starnes

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