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No need to spray, Titchmarsh tells organic rose fans

12 July 2011
No need to spray, Titchmarsh tells organic rose fans

Organic gardeners often wrongly believe they’re “stuffed” when it comes to tackling rose diseases, telly gardener Alan Titchmarsh has claimed.

The biggest issues for organic rose-lovers are rose rust, blackspot and mildew, Alan told gardeners in Birmingham last month.

“Years ago, we sprayed roses with all sorts of things that killed off beneficial insects,” said Alan, who is currently presenting Love Your Garden on ITV1.

He urged gardeners to think about cultural issues that would prevent roses succumbing to disease in the first place.

“Preventing roses from being under stress is very important, especially in a dry spring and summer,” Alan said.

“Stress can be caused by plants trying to suck moisture from the ground. But be sensible: don’t put a sprinkler on. Keep a can of water handy and water thoroughly.”

As well as using michorrizal fungi when planting new bushes, Alan advised gardeners to track down varieties with thick, leathery leaves – as these are more likely to resist blackspot and mildew.