Learn how to select and care for roses at a free workshop March 31

SANTA CRUZ, CA--If this spring's rose blossoms have caught your attention, you may want to try your hand at growing your own--or get a refresher course on the techniques needed to cultivate healthy, productive plants. Rose expert Orin Martin will share his techniques for choosing and growing roses organically at a free workshop on Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to noon at The Garden Company on Mission Street in Santa Cruz.

Martin will discuss the importance of selecting disease-resistant varieties, providing essential fertility inputs, following an aggressive pruning program, and using organically acceptable sprays such as dormant oil to prevent diseases. He'll have an array of roses and rose books on hand for participants to survey, so bring a notebook to jot down information.

"This is a great time of year to shop for container-grown roses," says Martin. "They'll be 'pushing buds' or in bloom, so you can get a better feel for their shape and color than trying to select them from catalogs."

Martin will also provide tips on the year-round set of tasks involved in maintaining healthy, happy plants, from planting and watering, to pruning, mulching, and more.

Martin, who manages the Alan Chadwick Garden at UC Santa Cruz, has been growing roses in the Santa Cruz area for more than 30 years. He is the author of A Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection and Care, published by the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden and the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, and available at The Garden Company and local bookshops.

The workshop is cosponsored by The Garden Company, the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

The Garden Company is located at 2218 Mission Street in Santa Cruz. For more information, call (831) 459-3240, or e-mail jonitann@ucsc.edu.


Media contact: Martha Brown, (831) 459-3240, mtbrown@ucsc.edu