Roses need regular weekly applications of fertilizer, water and pesticides during the growing season if their flowers are to win prizes, says J. Benjamin Williams, rose consultant, Silver Spring, Md., who hybridized Rose Parade, a beautiful floribunda which won a 1975 All-America award.
They need this attention from the time the leaves come on in the spring until they drop in the fall.
New roses need no fertilizer during their first year, unless your soil is deficient in nutrients. After the first year, use any good dry fertilizer designed for roses or general garden use. Once a month, from May to September, sprinkle it around (not on) the plants at the rate indicated on the label.
Roses also respond readily to weekly applications of soluble fertilizer, most commercial formulations of which call for one tablespoon per gallon of water, the consultant says. Half a gallon of the mixture is poured around (not on) each plant once a week if you hope to grow roses of exhibition size.
It takes plenty of water to carry roses through the hot, dry summer and to produce the best blooms. Nature is not always helpful.
Light rains contribute little to the deep watering roses require, and even a half-inch downpour does not send a significant amount to the roots where you planted them - 18 inches deep.
Growing sod has become one of the largest agriculturally related industries in Rhode Island, says Dr. C. Richard Skogley, University of Rhode Island professor of agronomy and turfgrass specialist.
Municipalites have discovered it for airports, parks, public properties and roadside use.
But the biggest buyer is the home-owner, who has found that the advantages of a sodded lawn outweigh its initial cost, Skogley says.
Although the price of installing the long mats of sod is two or three times that of seeding a lawn - about $800 for professional installation of an average-sized lawn of 4.000 square feet - the turf system is relatively foolproof.
A regular seeded lawn, however, may have to be reseeded several times before it successfully takes root, with costs mounting each time.
You can get a fine lawn almost instantly by sodding: it can be installed in a matter of hours and used within a couple of weeks.
As we drive through suburbia we see many Lombardy populars planted by the homeowner to give a quick dense screen, says a research report by University of Maryland specialists.
In most cases the vertical emphasis of this deciduous tree is overpowering in most ornamental plantings and its screening potential is limited.
We do not recommend this tree not only because of its short lifespan but also for its lack of ornamental value.
As it matures it often acquires a canker disease or other problem causing it to die. Although slower growing, many of the pines can provide a much more attractive and longer-lived screen which is evergreen and natural.
It has been suggested that Leland cypress would make a good replacement for Lombardy popular. But again its strong vertical emphasis makes it difficult to blend into the landscape.