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Love roses? It's time to rate some newcomers

Participate in national Roses in Review survey

Celestial Night, a popular new floribunda rose, is a prolific bloomer. It's on the Roses in Review list this year.

Celestial Night, a popular new floribunda rose, is a prolific bloomer. It's on the Roses in Review list this year. Courtesy Spring Hill Nurseries

Tried any new roses lately? How do you like those varieties? Would you recommend them to another gardener?
Here’s your chance to do just that in one of the nation’s longest-running citizen science projects.

The American Rose Society invites gardeners coast to coast to take part in Roses in Review, a national survey to rate newly introduced rose varieties.

This is the 97th time that rose growers have participated in Roses in Review, one of the oldest active volunteer gardener efforts of its kind. The results are compiled into the ratings used in the ARS handbook and for rose recommendations. That means your observations will help rose growers choose what to plant in their own gardens for generations to come.

Anyone who grows roses can participate. Not all roses are rated every year – there are too many! (Thousands of roses have ratings.) Instead, the roses on the review list are mostly new varieties or ones that had not yet been rated but are becoming known to a wider audience. Most first hit nurseries in 2018 or later.

Among the roses on this year’s review list: Celestial Night, a purple floribunda with very full blooms (and lots of them).

Deadline is 5 p.m. Sept. 26. The survey is conducted online at www.rose.org. That’s also where you’ll find the list of candidates.

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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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