Roses Tomatoes Vegetables

Roses & Tomatoes —-& Cats?

From time to time as a summer progresses blackspot may show up on my roses. When it does  – if it’s a bad case – I usually just cut back the bush and get rid of the parts with black spot.

I only have 3 bushes, but after Mrs. Hundley’s 7 guest posts on Tending My Garden in May,  I have plans to add 3 more floribundas.  (You will recall that Mrs. Hundley is an ARS Consulting Rosarian, a Master Rosarian and an ARS Horticulture Judge.)

Anyway — I was going through a little booklet today published in 1976 entitled Hints for the Vegetable Gardener. Over the years I’ve used a lot of information from this book.  Today I noticed their tip about blackspot on roses and it was just too goodto keep “under my hat”.  (You might want to bookmark this page or make a note somewhere.  It might come in handy.)

Here’s what they say:
” Experiments have shown that tomatoes grown near or among roses have consistently eliminated black spot on the roses.  Solanine, contained in tomato leaves, is a volatile alkaloid formerly used as an agricultural insecticide…but it apparently works as a fungicide, too.

For equivalent protection in spray form
1. Grind up tomato leaves with a little water in blender
2. To one pint of this solanine solution, add five pints of water and one ounce of corn starch
Keep solution refrigerated.
3. Spray roses once a week.”

At the end they say: “Try this, it works!”.  I believe them because they are usually right-on in what they recommend.

I’ll definitely try tomato plants near my roses.  And the spray sounds good because I can make it ahead and keep it in the refrigerator if I need it.

Another unusual remedy for fighting blackspot and other fungal diseases including mildew and rust was in Rose Magazine.  “Place one gallon of well-composted manure in a 5-gallon bucket and fill with water.  Stir well and let sit in a warm place for 3 days. Strain mixture through cheesecloth or mesh and use resulting tea to spray disease affected plants.”

And of course there is the age old home remedy of 1tsp of baking soda in a quart of water with a few drops of liquid soap to make the mix cling to the foliage.

Between the 3 remedies we should all be able to keep black spot at bay.

Now for the fun part of this post:
Bill enjoys photgraphing roses at every opportunity.

When he photographs in Mrs. Hundley’s rose garden her beautiful cats are always there to watch. I have included them along with a gorgeous rose called “Eden”.  I chose it because I feel sure the cats think they are in the Garden of Eden.

The first 3 pictures are of my old fashioned pink rose with onothera and our new rose, Livin’ Easy.


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  • Thanks for the great tips on black spot! My rose got it last year so I will have to try the tomato spray. Your roses are gorgeous!

  • Hi Christine,

    Glad you like the roses. We really have enjoyed them!

    Let me know how the tomato spray works for you.


  • I’ve not had to make it Jay because the roses have looked great. But — if I had had a problem — it sure would be worth trying.

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