By Patti Spezzaferro
“The magic in new beginnings is truly
the most powerful of them all.”
Celebrating the new year makes me hopeful for better days ahead. Each year is a gift to start afresh armed with a new perspective, a resolve, and a strength to find answers to my garden problems. Even Oprah starts the year by saying, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” That is precisely how I feel. Looking back at how my garden performed in 2021, I vow that 2022 will be my best year yet in the garden by preventing any further losses of roses due to water issues.
The first thing I will do is pay close attention to my roses. A plant’s stress presents itself with such symptoms as leaf wilt, folded inward leaves, change in leaf color to gray-green, leaves may drop, and the size of the petals may appear smaller than the standard leaf size. Before I reach for my watering can, I will check the soil for moisture by conducting the “feel” test where you dig down six to eight inches, grab a handful of soil, squeeze it in your hand, and check the moisture content. Moist soil will feel very cool to the touch. Different soil types will feel different. For example, sandy loam has poor moisture retention. Once squeezed, it will feel moist and will form a weak ball. Clay, on the other hand, is excellent at retaining moisture, so it will form a tight ball and feel slick when there is adequate moisture in the soil. I could also check for moisture content using a soil moisture sensor meter available at local nurseries.
Seasonal irrigation checks are also essential. I plan to inspect sprinkler heads that are not working correctly, check for low and inconsistent water pressure during sprinkler cycles, watch for leaks and pooling water at the water zones, and investigate leaky valves and clogged irrigation filters. I feel confident I can have a healthy and adequately watered garden using good observational skills and a dedicated testing schedule.
This year at Peninsula Rose Society, we will continue to strive to bring you excellent zoom presentations at our monthly membership meetings. We will be reducing our social Zoom Thursdays to the first two Thursdays of the month. Stuart Dalton and his team are working hard to bring you our Annual May Rose Show. Our annual picnic is set for the first Sunday of August. I am excited to announce we will be adding garden tours to our repertoire this year. We have a new Foothill intern, April Thompson, joining our pruning team. If you would like your roses pruned in January, let Lydia Truce know.
We wish to thank our members for their dedication and willingness to share their love of roses with us. Our outstanding and generous Board of Directors wishes you all the blessings a heart can know for 2022. Take good care, be safe, and don’t forget to smell the roses.