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Excerpt from a Quarterly Gardening Article

Roses Without Pesticides.
$7.50, 24pp


BIRC research includes investigation of organic gardening and farming techniques. Quarterly and Practitioner reprints are available on organic and least-toxic approaches to gardening. The following is an excerpt from a Quarterly gardening article titled "Organic Control of Rose Insect and Mite Pests":

"Roses have enemies. These include many general garden and mite pests, as well as specialists that feed only on roses. The creepy crawly list includes leafhoppers, thrips, scales, aphids and mites. Common chewing insects found on roses include caterpillars and beetles. Despite this onslaught, roses can survive without any chemical intervention.

Just as with disease control, insect and mite control should start with resistant plants placed in the proper location. Species roses and other old roses are usually better adapted to local pest and growing conditions than exotic hybrids. Some, such as antique hybrid musks and Noisettes, are shade tolerant. Roses with red or orange flowers are less attractive to insects and mites than those with white, yellow, or other light-colored blooms.

Many rose pests are controlled by natural enemies already in the environment. These beneficial organisms, including insects, predatory mites, and birds can be encouraged to stay in your garden by providing a good habitat for them. Growing small-flowered nectar plants, such as sweet alyssum, baby's breath, asters, fennel, marigolds, and yarrow around the roses provides alternative food sources for beneficial insects. Pesticides should not be used, as they kill beneficials more effectively than pests. If your garden is recovering from pesticide sprays, or there is a particularly bad infestation, beneficial insects may be purchased and released." (See the 1999 Directory of Least-toxic Pest Control Products in Publications and Reprints for suppliers of beneficial insects and other organic gardening supplies.)





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