Avery Park’s Rose Garden is the gem of the Corvallis city parks system. Frequented by rose enthusiasts, wedding guests, and children who want to smell the roses, the Rose Garden was created in 1956 and has 1200 plants featuring over 250 varieties of roses. The roses had been maintained with traditional fungal and insect control products until late summer of 2011. The Corvallis Parks Department made a switch to Earthfort products. These all-natural products are registered with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and made with close attention to quality control.
When she came to Earthfort for a local fertilizer source, the city’s Parks Landscaper, America McMillan, didn’t yet know that she would also save the city money by not using fungicides and other chemicals on the rose garden-- but that is exactly what she did. “All they’ve gotten is water,” she says of the roses after last years’ treatment with Earthfort’s ProVide and ReVive. She points out the Europeana roses that are particularly susceptible to powdery mildew, show new growth that is healthy, mildew-free, and more importantly, fungicide-free. Inoculation with soil biology appears to be improving the health of the roses so much that their scents are more potent. “When the rose garden was in bloom last year, I could smell them from the parking lot,” says McMillan.
The Park staff applies the products monthly with both soil-drench and foliar methods. The plants continue to exhibit strong growth and healthy blooms. Beneficial insects abound and are available to pollinate the flowers; harmful insects are controlled in a non-toxic manner. The staff does not need special protective gear during the application process, and park visitors can enter the treated area as soon as the staff is finished. McMillan is very happy with how the city’s roses have been responding to soil biology inoculation and is appreciative of the cost savings she has experienced in applying this effective organic treatment.