I have roses are also a very old type and there are ball or masses all over it with worms inside. I tried a spray that the grange said it would work and sprayed three years in a row but it actually has gotten worse.
Alice, Southern OR
I would cut them down to a foot from the ground with four or five main stems and start all over. Galls balls harbor insect eggs. Throw away all debris. You need a spray program for insects and fungi. I would use an all purpose rose spray or the Home Orchard sprays. Follow directions on the labels. Roses need airy locations and organic fertilizers to have optimum results.
I had some pole beans come up in my bush bean patch. I have used a home made fish emulsion of fish, brown sugar and vinegar. My pole beans are doing fine but the bush beans are lush but have dropped their flowers. We had to plant late because of the flooding this Spring. What is going on?
Mike, Taneyville, MO
Because the pole beans may have rooted under the flood and they are genetically more favorable to more nitrogen, they have had a sufficient proportion of phosphorus to nitrogen. Pole beans are 80 days to maturity, while bush beans are 40 days to harvest. I would wait until another week or two before pulling them. I would also supplement both with 5-10-5 granular fertilizer to raise the ratio of phosphorus. Generally, fish have fair amounts of phosphorus but the dead flesh, which is accelerated by the sugar and vinegar has produced plenty of nitrogen. Beans and other legumes are nitrogen fixing. You have plenty of energy for vegetative growth but the stems need more calcium and phosphorus to hold the flowers.
Our apples are about the size of golf balls. Last year we lost them to insects. What organic sprays can we use to keep them safe?
Kurt, Marquette, MI
You can spray canola oil to keep away fly specks now. You need a complete spray program to keep the apples from falling to the ground
and feeding the worms. Neem is a natural oil that can be applied before bud swell in the spring and as a dormant spray in the fall. You could also put vaseline on the trunk near the root to prohibit
crawling insects from nesting in the stems. Lime wash above the vaseline line would be a second line of defense against the marauders. Do not use the canola oil to excess because it could close
the pores of the leaves, even when they are mature. Bordaux Mix is considered by many to be natural. This lime/sulphur compound can also
be applied before bud swell and now after fruit has set. Never spray any chemical while the flowers are on the tree.
We have a lot of limestone near our pond. Can we use that on our lawns?
Katie, Upper Peninsula, MI
Limestone is a soil sweetener. It is especially good for grasses, which like a pH over 7. Use 200 lbs per 5,000 sq.ft. every fall for the lawn. If you can pulverize it, you can reapply hydrated lime in the spring as well.