Use newspaper to prepare a planting spot. In the fall, mow a patch of lawn to make room for a dedicated bed. Cover it with four layers of newspaper, then a four-inch layer of shredded leaves or bark mulch. Hose it down. Come spring, the compost blanket will have smothered the grass roots, and the bed will be primed for planting.
According to author and horticultural professor Jeff Gillman, who has conducted extensive research on blackspot remedies, a spray composed of one part milk and two parts water is the best answer to the disease. He says this simple solution, if applied weekly, will control blackspot as well as any synthetic fungicide, including Chlorotalonil.