Presidents Letter

BY Joan Stoffer
It is a sunny and pleasant 42 degree day as I write to you on this March 30th, though I did hear a forecast for a bit of snow this weekend. At least for the time being, most of our yards are snow-free and freeze has fairly well left the ground. A rosarian friend recently reminded me that this is the time to take soil samples for testing – if it has been awhile since you have done that you may want to do it now. I have been growing roses for about seven years now, and have never had my soil analyzed; I will do that before I start throwing fertilizer and nutrients into soil which may need something other than what I usually give it.
Duane DeDene recently mentioned in an email that he is going to use a product this spring, which I sampled last year. Unfortunately, when I sprayed it, blackspot and insects were already in full swing, and so it didn’t really have a fair chance to prove itself. This winter, I ordered a gallon of Moisturin 5 from GSI Horticultural in Oregon to give it another try. Moisturin 5 was developed in 1991 as a joint project between Oregon State University and a chemical manufacturer from the State of Washington. At the time of Moisturin’s development, OSU was conducting a test of anti-transpirants and anti-desiccants. At the conclusion of the test, over a 4 year time period, the University concluded that Moisturin was more effective than any of the other products tested against plant stress. It was later discovered in lab tests that Moisturin is indeed effective as a long-term barrier to ward off infestations of diseases and insects. I did ask GSI if they had any idea of its effectiveness against Japanese Beetles; they didn’t know and are interested in what I may notice when the JB season begins in July. It is an organic, and therefore very safe to use. I will keep you apprised of its effectiveness in my garden and I’m sure Duane will let us know his findings also.
Editor’s Notes: The Franklin Inn in Bad Axe was the site for our Great Lakes District Spring Convention. Our Grand Valley Rosarian group arrived in the late afternoon of April 8. The evening was a social welcome time, and Harlan Schumaker presented one of his beautiful rose slide programs. Representing Grand Valley, besides Harlan & Kay, were Irma and I, John & Maggie Musgrove, Jan & Dan Powell, Jon Wier, and Rose Enders.
On Saturday instructive seminars were presented on pesticide use, Old Garden Roses, and updates on rules for exhibiting roses, and more pictures of beautiful roses. During the District business meeting, the members voted to spend up to $500 to match member and local society contributions to a fund to help bail out the financially challenged American Rose Society.


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