Should we give our new seedlings an aspirin?



I’m a believer. Last spring I gave one baby (they were seedlings, right?) aspirin to each of about 60 seedlings, which totaled one table, out of 5 tables, each with approx. the same number of seedlings. I tried this on a whim, just because I read one of the postings that Henry had posted some time before. I used it on 60 because that was how many baby aspirin was in the small size bottle. When the seedlings were starting to bud up they got hit with downy mildew. Almost overnight every one of the untreated tables showed extreme symptoms-complete with spores, leaf drop, etc. (Unknown to me at that time, a recently vacated home down the street, with approx. twenty mature roses, had developed a severe case of DM; this house is still vacant, the roses are still there, almost dead, lots of die back-a victim of the housing bubble/foreclosure thing, and they still have the DM). My roses are uphill of these, and the only group of my seedlings to survive were the ones I had planted an aspirin in. They were also the first ones to bloom, but only by a few days. Of these 60 seedlings, approx. 35-40 survived, and I kept around ten. After the aspirin wore off, several of the ones kept, developed DM, which I am fighting to this day. As an aside, I believe someone is moving in to this house-as soon as I see that, I will be down there to have a discussion with them about getting rid of those roses. And I don’t want to be pushy or nosey, but I am having to spray my roses every 10 days to two weeks, and as soon as the weather gets humid, (which it has been unbelievably) I see some symptoms even on my mature roses. I have been applying an aspirin to all my roses, but apparently not often enough. It seems to work quite well on the plants as an added resistance thing before they are infected, rather than as a curative measure. I will definately use it again this year, and have already purchased several bottles, but I also hope the roses down the hill get removed. I don’t think many roses can take that kind of disease pressure. I do have three seedlings that seemingly have never shown any symptoms, and of the mature roses I have only three or four that have not shown any, but with regular doses of aspirin.