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Anything you wanna talk about?

Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 21, 12 at 12:18

Is winter, is slow, is bored outside ........ so if there is anything you feel like talking about, this is as good a place as any.

Break the ice by trying to think of a better title, or even a caption, for this photo. I think I might title it 'Forlorn'.

I think I made a wrong turn on the way to my cousin's pad.
Photobucket

Al


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I think "forlorn" is perfect. lol
It is a nice day here today. Wishing I had $$$ to spend on plants.

I am still a little lost regarding "gritty mix". When potting plants for the first time, wash the potting soil off the roots? Will they be shocked? Prune them? Wait to fertilize? How much and what type of fertilizer? How often to water? Same mix for all types of plants?

Continue reading...
Sharon


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Sharon, I am also in Orlando, near Waterford, and it is a beautiful day indeed. I was just wondering where you got your turface and what was the price.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Bob, still haven't found it...I am continuing my search today...frustrating isn't it?
Sharon


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hi Al,
Possible caption, "Ooops."

Trying to decide which veggies I'm going to grow this year in containers. And trying to stay warm and dry here in the Bay Area. Last week we had record lows in the 20s in my garden, and now we are having the first torrential rain since like, October.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Midwinter Greetings, Al!

Well, what's new, eh? School's back in session for us, and it finally feels like Winter.
After 34 days without precipitation, we are finally enjoying a series of storms -
three inches of rain in three days. Now we're talkin'!

In plant news, every time I walk past my Pachira, I hear your voice, Al (like Obi-Wan Kenobi) -
Don't prune it yet...


Josh


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Turface in Orlando

Sharon, palmers garden and goods (downtown-is off of Corrine) said they could get it but they have yet to tell me the price.


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Turface

Bob,I am considering ordering turface from this website.
http://www.repotbonsai.com/bonsai-potting-media/Turface.html
I don't have any experience with them but figured I would give them a try.


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Message Rejected?

Strange, when I tried to post another message here, I got a message that I had to change the "subject". Anyone else come across this?

Al, can you take a quick look at the website I posted and see what you think? I am always skeptical about ordering online.

Bob, I will check on how far that is from me and see,thank you.
Sharon


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

It's a lovely day in Texas. Just finished building a compost bin. Later I need to collect some manure to fill it up (Thoroughbred race horse manure--should make things grow fast!) Might build some nice soil screens I've been needing for a while, and there's always some seed starting to do this time of year.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Sharon, repotme is a fine source, but quite expensive. If you want to try a small amount to test on a plant or two, it's an option. I wouldn't suggest it for making gallons of gritty mix, though.

Roberts Orchid Supply - not sure of the name but that's good enough to find it on a google search - also sells small amount of bark, Turface and other items. They are usually less expensive than repotme. I love their smallest fir bark for African Violets and Streptocarpus. I don't use that much, so it's not that expensive to purchase it there.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

"This is the coldest bubble bath I've ever been in."

Memphis, Tn and the weather's crazy. One day is 30 degrees and the next is 70. I've got enough plants in the south facing windows to keep me occupied, but I can't wait to get outside and work on my trees and my garden this Spring. I don't ever feel as at home as I do when I've got dirt up to my elbows.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Not to make anyone feel jealous, but I just set my germinated tomato seeds into their vermiculite homes for the next four weeks.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 22, 12 at 2:04

Wow - you guys have been busy since I posted! ;-)

Sharon, Turface in Orlando should be easy ..... and with the following options, you should be able to compare prices. Ask for Turface MVP or Allsport at Howard Fertilizer & Chemical @ (407) 855-1841. All/any of the Ewing Irrigation branches should have it, too. Try Orlando first to see if the new branch is open (407) 292-3400. If not, there are branches in Kissimmee and Sanford, just look up their number. The John Deere Landscapes Dealer in Orlando (407) 839-3771 should have it, too. If not, there are JDL dealers in Kissimmee, Winter Park, and Longwood.

Let's talk about the different plants you'll be repotting. Generally speaking, winter is a poor time to repot houseplants, but some trees that will take some chill are best repotted in spring - like citrus, e.g. Most houseplants are best repotted in summer or late spring in FL - after they have recovered from the lower light of winter and have some energy stored. Repotting (as opposed to potting up) is always something of a shock, but it's required to ensure the plant's ability to grow to its potential in the future.

Probably best to take your questions to The Soil Discussion

Kristi - I have a friend in your neighborhood (Fremont) that I help with Citrus/Figs. She said the same thing - getting hammered with rain ...... and that it's about time - really late this year, yes? ..... and it sounds like your other neighbor, Josh, is enjoying the rain, too.

It's really funny ..... one of the bonsai clubs I belong to had an acquaintance of mine from CA as a visiting artist to put on a workshop & do a demo for the club. His name is Roy Nagatoshi, and he provided the bonsai trees for the Karate Kid movies. Anyway, you guys apparently don't see much lightning or hear thunder very often. We were in a converted greenhouse for a workshop when a T-storm hit. There was some degree of excitement because the wind came up quickly & the vents were difficult to close on the glasshouses. I thought he was going to jump out of his skin every time the lightning flashed & thunder rolled.

Time for bed. We had a party tonight - played charades for a while & then euchre & tonk rum.

Cool captions Kristi & FD!

Take good care, all.

Al



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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

There've been just two freezing nights this winter. Six inches of rain in one night is making everything flower early, and I'm starting to plant all sorts of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs right now in a specially-insulated plant cart. It's like winter never came, and I still have to do some repotting as well. The tobacco is flowering, too.

Plant cart insulated

Greenhouse end of December 2011

Hope this isn't too torturous.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Thanks Al, Bob and all. Sanford is the closest to me.

ykerzner, love the pics.

Sharon


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Bob, I found this in one of the gritty mix threads.
Found Turface MVP and Pine Fines at Ewing Irrigation.
Mon-Fri: 7 to 5
Sat: 7 to 11
300 Hickman Drive
Sanford, FL 32771-6901
Phone: (407) 330-2112
Fax: (407) 330-2119
This is probably the closest to me.

On a different note...shown below...

Ads by Google...?Urine speeds composting
Attractive container is both urinal & watering can
lol!

Sharon


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I've heard Ewing is a good source but can't find any list price, an I haven't got around to calling them, let me know if you do Sharon.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Is it spring yet?? :D. Just wanted to let Al know I re-potted my house plants that looked rather in need of help a few weeks ago. I used the 5:1:1 mix and my plants look great!! My dwarf banana plant was growing but all the leaves were looking terrible shortly after coming out. Now they are all green and healthy :D Thanks!!


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

"Hey Mom!!! Thanks for sending me to study abroad... IBIZA is what they truly say it is!!! My friends are with me somewhere...These nightclubs have the best bubbles anywhere!!! Please SEND MONEY!!!...Oh...i will find my friends later. They are somewhere below me!! : ) "

Spain is wonderful!!!!
yeeehaaaaa!!!!


: )

Laura


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

GO PATRIOTS!!!!!!

MIKE


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TOUCHDOWN!!! PATRIOTS!!!

: )


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I've got a question about bare root transplants. I'm new to the whole process, but I think I do a pretty good job at it. Over the last few weeks I've done a bunch of vegetables, annuals, and most recently my first citrus! Everything has done very well. My question, specifically, is about sun exposure. I've noticed that many of these transplants will wilt in the sun, but if placed back in the shade they come right back. I'm wondering what is actually happening in the plant that causes that reaction with the sun? And as a follow-up: As long as their soil stays moist and they come back when out of the sun, is this temporary wilting harmful to the plants in the long run?


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hello all, first, want to thank all of you for all the information I have gotten from not only this forum but all of the forums. My day is not complete until I have read all the forums. My question: My neighbor brought me some seedless (which did have very few seed) oranges. If I plant the seed will get anything worth eating? Are all oranges grafted? Thanks much. Larry


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Patrick,
after re-potting, you should place your trees in a protected location (no direct sun or wind)
for a transition period (two weeks is the number I use in general).

When you re-pot, you are taking the roots "off-line" for a while.
As a result, the roots aren't drawing moisture up as efficiently as they were,
and so the leaves wilt when the moisture is lost in the heat of the sun (or drying wind).

Exposing your re-potted trees to these conditions will certainly delay recovery.....
how much or how little is difficult to say. But there will be some cost.


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

That makes perfect sense. Thanks Josh.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Are we still suggesting titles for the photo? 'Cause I was gonna go with "Sad Trombone"... Just throwing it out there...


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 23, 12 at 22:48

Yup - we are!

How 'bout dem Red Wings?! .... laid down another whuppin tonight!

Go Wings! ;0)

Al


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Is $25.99 a lot for a 50 lb bag of turface?
Sharon, what is ewing charging?


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

$25.99 is quite expensive. I paid $12 for a 50# bag, and I think I've heard of others paying around $12-13 so I think that's a pretty average price.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

That's what I thought. I'll call John deere and see what their price is. I am anxious to try it for the first time, so I'll do some more looking.


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Using charcoal?

Al, since you use granite for the texture, do you think crushed charcoal could serve the same purpose? I know charcoal is used by many orchid growers and I use it for my tropical pitcher plant. My only concern would be the salt build up, charcoal has a decent CEC, whereas granite has none, and turface with charcoal might make the salt levels go through the roof. I would love to hear your thoughts.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

In other news, Michael Bisbing got his butt kicked by Chael Sonnen! Righteous! Rashad Evans won the decision over Phil Davis, which now puts Rashad in front of Jon "Bones" Jones... I think Evens might be in for a rude awakening! The entire card was a good one... it was in Chicago, though we were unable to attend.

Saturday, February 4th... Diaz vs. Condit, Nelson vs. Werdum, and Koscheck vs. Pierce headline the show broadcast from Las Vegas, NV. Should be an exciting night in the Octagon!

And that's the latest news for all you MMA fans!

As for a caption... "Can they see me? I hope they can't see me..."

This winter's odd weather, coupled with a few power outages and other uncontrollable inconveniences not normal or foreseen have caused the demise of yet another Phal orchid, one of my beloved Plumerias, and a few other precious items.

The Dendrobium orchid that had begun to bud did, in fact, drop them. I half expected it, though, given conditions this winter. On the bright side, I now know the plant is old and large enough to bloom in the right conditions, so I think next cycle will be more rewarding.

I can't wait to open and prepare the greenhouse, and with this in mind, I hope spring hurries!

I despise winter... the older I get, the more painful and difficult it is for me. For those unaware, I suffer with lupus, and permanent injuries from an auto accident. Gardening and plants have been a big part of my salvation, and I look forward every year to spring and summer.

Wishing everyone well... and a plethora of good things in 2012! :-)



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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

No one has anything else they'd like to talk about?

Well, for those MMA fans that missed Saturday's action, Condit took the win by judges' decision over Nick Diaz, which was a total robbery, and it makes you wonder which fight the judges were actually watching. Diaz spent 5 rounds chasing Condit around the octagon, unable to do much.

A boxer doesn't win a belt by running away from his opponent for 12 rounds, and this was the same, more predator chasing prey than anything else. Disappointing, to say the least. In my eyes, Diaz won, through maintaining total ring control throughout the fight, and a great takedown and almost an armbar submission in round 5. The unfortunate thing is that Diaz is so tired of Dana White, the UFC, and what the organization has become, corrupted much like the world of Boxing, that he announced his retirement. I can't blame him, though I will miss watching his unique skill in the octagon.

In other news... not much happening here, except a little hoarfrost on everything this morning due to heavy overnight fog and lowered air temperatures, or however that works. It was a breathtaking sight early this morning.

As for charcoal, it makes a decent absorber of impurities, but once it reaches holding capacity, it does no good, from what I've read... don't quote me, though. Think fish tank filters and how they operate. It's necessary to change the charcoal filter on a regular basis. I used to use horticultural charcoal in some of my medium mixes, but now that I know it becomes just another inert ingredient, and I don't know whether it can release those captured impurities back into the medium, so I stopped buying it... it's just one more item to spend money on that I don't really need.

The combination of fir bark, coarse perlite, and granite chips... and sometimes turface, or a handful or two of high quality potting soil from a bag... have served me well. It all depends on the plant type, its needs, where it will be positioned, and how large it is.

So... what's happening elsewhere?


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Jodik: I use charcoal for another hobby. Charcoal usually degrades in impurity holding capacity, but usually doesn't release impurities until it is heated. The usual process to rejuvenate charcoal is to boil it, then dry it, then put it in an oven at a temp that is just under the smoking point. That temperature is dependent on the type of charcoal. At normal temperatures, it wouldn't release significant impurities.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 7, 12 at 16:21

I don't use charcoal, but I have. I didn't notice any pluses or minuses, and I would treat it as interchangeable with perlite.

Was really disappointed to read that Diaz lost, and have a hard time imagining he lost to Condit in anything other than a Hail Mary blow in the first half of the first round. I've been following him since the beginning of his career & have a lot of respect for his ability and focus. I'll be anxious to see the fight when it comes to regular TV. He'll be unretired soon, I bet.

Al


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Well, the only real minuses I notice with charcoal are a lot of dust, and the inconsistency in chunk size, so the way I look at it is... if I don't really need it, why buy it? Thank you for the information, though. That seems like an awful lot of work to go through just to reuse a small bit of product.

Al, the retirement announcement wasn't official... it was more of a question/statement from Joe Rogan, trying to get an exciting interview. Nick mainly said, and I'm paraphrasing, "If this is how fights are going to be won, then I want no part of it. I'm tired of all the bs." You can check out the Skrapack FaceBook page for real quotes and info, or check out some links off that, or the Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu website... I'm sure you can find the real deal if you look beyond the usual UFC sites.

Honestly, it's like the UFC is turning into the Don King Boxing era, all over again. You can see the corruption and greed, the underhanded deals. It's not the UFC we've followed since its beginning.

Anyway... pure disappointment.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I've never understood why people use charcoal in potting mixes. What is it that people think needs to be removed from container soils? And what leads them to believe that charcoal will be effective in removing it? Charcoal is typically used to remove impurities by actively forcing air or water through it. Simply allowing it to sit in the soil doesn't seem like it would be very effective.

I suppose its physical characteristics would make it a decent replacement for perlite, but IME it's more expensive and harder to find.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Charcoal is often used in specialty mixes. A lot of premium orchid mixes contain it, I use for my carnivorous plants, and biochar (yes it's charcoal) has been used for hundreds of years to increase fertility. It doesn't filter unless it's activated charcoal, but it does have a decent CEC (where as perlite doesn't, why do you view them interchangeably Al? Just curious) and absorbs water for moister, which is why it is used in orchids and carnivorous plants.
I was curious if anyone used it for their standard mix, and if there were any perks other than those mentioned above.


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I once unwittingly believed the Myth that charcoal would "sweeten" the soil....
but once Al disabused me of that notion, I no longer added charcoal to my container mixes.


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I was just gonna mention the same thing, Josh... someone told me that a long time ago... that if I added charcoal, it would "sweeten" the soil, or keep it free of... what exactly, I'm not sure.

This is one of those commonly held myths that are often part of the public's early introduction to container growing. There is a lot of misinformation still being circulated by people who simply take things they hear at face value, or never really bother to check out a vetted source or two.

In my many years... decades, I should say... of growing potted houseplants, I've heard and read a lot of things that have turned out to be false, a half truth, or just not helpful.

As I've gotten older, and a little wiser, I've learned that you just can't take everything you hear, or read in a book or on the internet as vetted fact. You really need to check more than just one source to find the truth and sort it out from all the fallacy. Anyone can write a book and get it published, no matter how much misinformation it contains. And anyone can write an article or blog and fill it full of opinion or information that might not apply to your particular situation.

I think we owe it to ourselves to look a little deeper, check a few more sources... using cognitive thought and a little common sense... and do a little checking into what other growers have to say about the book, or blog, or whatever... taking it all with a grain of salt, as they say... mainly because our world today revolves around money, and half of what you read is a marketing ploy, or written by someone who has fallen for everything the industry at large has, or rather hasn't, taught us over the decades.

Experience counts for part of what we learn, too... so if we add all that together, we can usually come up with the truth of the matter. I like the fact that Al deals in hard evidence, science and physics, along with experience and research when he writes... his style of writing takes a lot of information, simplifies it, gives us examples we can relate to... and so far, I've found that everything he says about container growing, and his experiences with it, all come from a very logical perspective, and it all makes total sense.

For example, how many of us have heard that you should put a layer of gravel at the bottom of your pot before adding soil and planting? Probably a lot of us. I used to do it, thinking I was helping the plant by giving it better drainage. False. Having different layers of different sized materials within a pot only sets up the right conditions for perched water to sit where it's not wanted, and it's actually detrimental to the health of the plant's roots.

Notice how the industry does nothing to dispel this myth. From a perspective of physics, or how water behaves as it moves through soil, and the different layers within the pot, that water has a tendency to become trapped between the layers... as best as I can explain it. So, it's actually more beneficial to place a piece of screen over the drainage hole(s), and use one layer of the same medium throughout the pot.

So, within the general world of container growing and gardening, there still exists a lot of myth and misinformation... continually circulating as it's passed from one grower to the next... whether novice, or even some considered quite experienced, or "expert". A lot of things are subjective, and there are variants, and we simply have to take this all into consideration.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hear, hear, Jodi!

The list of gardening myths is a mile long!

This weekend, I was listening to a local radio program called "Get Growin'! with Farmer Fred."
Anyhow, Fred had on a guest, Jeff Gillman, the author of Decoding Gardening Advice. This
guy was great. As soon as he said Forget the Compost Teas! my ears immmediately perked up.
His entire gripe is that people blindly follow gardening advice without understanding any of the
science behind it. He explained that studies have shown mycorrhizae to be ineffective -
even when they actually arrive alive ;-)


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Interesting josh, I was just reading up on mycorrhizal fungi because of another thread I started in the soil forum, someone had mentioned it and I had not heard much about it for a while. After an extensive Internet search I found several university studies proving that if the inoculants are viable (a rarity acording to most articles) they are very effective in container culture, seeing larger yeilds and better tolerance. I was quit skeptical too, but I think I might try it on some of my plants just to see.

Here is a link that might be useful: AMF in containers


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Another link

Here's another link. There are more if you search the web. However, I have had a hard time finding experiments saying that it does not work, and if it were a true experiment that is repeated many times, there should be a few that show different results. The fact that they all have the same results is a little suspicious to me, and I am wary, but I would still like to try but can't do a side-by-side (not enough room on my balcony).

Here is a link that might be useful: Comparative study of comercial inoculants


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Bob, I've been doing some reading as well.

This is from Texas A&M. It's an actual study, but I only have the blurb, not that actual published results.

Anyways, they said in containers, controlled released inorganic fertilizers plus AMF (abuscular mycorrhizal fungi) did as well as organic fertilizers. This is contrary to some of what was suggested on the other thread (saying that precise chemical organics were somehow incompatible with AMF).

Begin quote:

'However, if the AMF is allowed to colonize, which they can under commercial nursery production sites, then it might mean you have a plant which has greater stress resistance - requiring fewer pesticide treatments during production - and a more marketable, 'valued-added' plant that does better in a landscape site,' Davies said.

The best growing media for AMF is often a mineral soil, he said, but AMF does 'just fine' in a 20 percent sand - 80 percent bark medium, a popular nursery mix, he said.

The researchers suggest that because the larger-sized AMF plants had higher total leaf tissue nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the greater nutrient uptake and utilization would reduce the potential risk of leachate runoff. In recent years, growers under pressure to reduce runoff have incorporated BMPs - best management practices - into their operations.

'While AMFs are not a panacea, they do have their niche and they do work,' Davies said. 'As we continue to apply BMP to improve pesticide, fertilization and water usage, there is every reason that the 'niche' of incorporating AMF - as a part of the system - will continue to increase.'

End quote.

Bob, I'd love to see a Gardenweber conduct a mini research on this topic. I guess I'm suggesting if you'd like to conduct such research :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: From Texas A&M


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I would love to try, but this season I am growing more than normal, and on my apartment balcony space is a high commodity that is in short supply. I am growing two tomatoes, but different varieties. I could separate the roots of my garlic chives, but it would not yeild a good controlled experiment. I think I'm going to just apply it to my plants and see if they do better than last year, but that would not be a real experiment.
I could do a very small experiment with my lettuce seeds. That might work. I'll let you know if I go through with it.


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Hi Everybody,
New user here and this is my first post.
I came across this site on a google search for "crushed granite".
I've been making and adding charcoal to my garden soil and containers for a few years now after reading about "Terra Preta du Indio" awhile back.
Terra Preta or biochar as it is now being called acts as a "reef" for microbes to inhabit due to the porosity and extreme surface area charcoal has.
Anyway the reason I'm posting is that I was looking to replicate the soil conditions for a scutellaria I want to grow that thrives on a "granite scree".
Al, your gritty mix sounds like it might be the ticket but I haven't seen the original formula you use, only other users mixes. Can you repost the recipe?
Go Wings!

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening with Biochar


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hello Spaceman,

This link will help you..

Welcome!!!

Laura

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Soils-Water Movement & Retention XV


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Thanks Laura!

Here is a link that might be useful: Saving the Planet While Saving the Farm


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 8, 12 at 20:50

Spaceman - often you'll find the reason a particular plant is found in a certain area or soil type is not the reason you might take for granted. For instance, where you may think your skullcaps prefer their feet in granite scree, the real reason may be that the plant is out-competed in other more favorable soils they would prefer by more vigorous species, or other obscure reasons. I have no doubt that the plant would do extremely well in the basic gritty mix.

Hopefully you'll find some benefit in the link Laura left you.

Best luck. My oldest son just got here so it's time to watch the game (recording it so we can FF through the breaks) that started @ 7:30. Go Wings!

Al


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 8, 12 at 22:41

Heh heh ...... how bout dem Wings (4-2). ;-)

Al


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Bob,
according to Gillman, 9 mycorrhizae products were tested.
In the rare instances when the mycorrhizae were viable, no benefit was noted.
Gillman also discussed the fact that folks use mycorrhizae in parts of the country
or with species that are inappropriate for the particular mycorrhizae.


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Josh, the peer reviewed articles also indicate that the type of MF used is important. One article said that inoculating with a native MF (for that particular area - I think it was Mexico?) accelerated pepper plants' production by 49 days, which is pretty incredible.

Gillman has also said in other publications that MF isn't useful when the plants are fertilized regularly, but I've read articles that said as long as you don't overdo it on the potash, MF is still effective.

The blurb that I linked to said the test containers were in 112F heat. It won't get that hot here, but it does get brutal in the summer and my containers last year were in a sorry state by August.

I'm interested in finding out whether a commonly available MF (not a native) has any effect on plants for a casual gardener like myself.


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Greenman, I am going to be running a test on lettuce this season to find out if one of thee best selling of these products is worth the $40 price tag. I don't think there will be much difference honestly, but if there is then that would be interesting to learn. I started a thread about it and would love all of you guys to chime in.


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question about repotting!

I have a question!

I've gotten some really good deals on houseplants lately, but unfortunately, they've all come in this horrible, compacted medium that looks like 100% peat.

I know it's not an optimal time to do so, but I may have no choice but to repot them now. How do nurseries keep them alive using this medium??? The water doesn't even soak in right away; it just beads up on top of the peat mix.

The plants that I'm most concerned about are foxtail asparagus fern, aloe vera, and ponytail palm. Should I leave them be for now, repot them, or do something else?


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I've found H&G Root Excelurator very effective for plants, especially ones that have had to deal with root rot (which is not much of an issue anymore with 5-1-1 soil). Even in 5-1-1, RE works very well. Not much is known about it, but it does contain beneficial root bacteria, but not mycorrhizae. I found it especially useful in side by side comparisons on smaller plants, especially cuttings. It also eliminated rot in hydro.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 9, 12 at 18:30

SS - I'd try to be patient for a while longer. You've prolly heard me preaching 'houseplants get repotted in late Jun or early Jul!!!!!' ;-) In most cases, it's not the end of the world if you repot earlier than is ideal, I think the bigger consideration was my difference of opinion with another person regarding what actually is the 'ideal' time to repot houseplants. The plant simply recovers much faster, leaving it vulnerable to insects & diseases (due to the added stress of repotting) for a much shorter period if you do it in summer when energy levels are peak. If you fear losing the plants or a major setback is in the making, by all means - get them into an appropriate medium & back on track. ;-)

Al


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Thanks, Al!

What's been reassuring about discovering your soil mixes is that now I know the problem wasn't me! ;-) Yes, I still kill houseplants in peat mixes, but ONLY the ones peat mixes! :P


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Al, just got my first bag of turface allsport, I spent the day sifting it and perlite, got my tomato transplants in these mixes and it looks great. I couldn't find any crushed granite, so I crushed and sifted some closed cell lava rocks for the extra weight, support, and drainage. The mix looks great and it soaked up a reasonable amount of water, but left plenty of open air space. I covered the mix with left over lava rocks (it makes it look nice, although the mix itself looks nice too with lots of red and brown, with little white specs) and everything looks great. Thanks for introducing me to turface and helping me develop a combo mix.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hi Al,
Thanks for the reply. For some reason all my posts yesterday went to a 404 page.
Anyhow I agree that the scuts will do just fine in your gritty mix. I'm going to a grain elevator tomorrow to get grower size granite. I'm in the Detroit area a mile fom Lake St. Clair, where did you say to get the other ingredients in Michigan?

Number 19 tonight! Yeah man them Wings keep rolling!


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Al, I was actually going to purchase the an an oil absorbent product sold by auto parts stores such as O'Reilly or Auto Zone, where I can get this for the price of approx $6-7.00 per 25 lb. bag, and which I thought contained Calcined Clay (CC). One question is that they sell both a "coarse" product or a "fine" product and I am wondering which would be appropriate, if I decide to use it.

Secondly, the oil absorbent product ingredient states it is diatomaceous earth (DE) and not CC as I had thought. From what I read, DE is a natural product, whereas CC is heat treated (1000 degrees), a process that hardens the exoskeletons of the diatoms to produce a better filtering agent. Exoskeletons are made up of amorphous silica which is then converted to crystalline silica and what makes me nervous is that crystalline silica can be toxic to humans and animals. So, do I want a better filtering agent, or do I want a safer product.

Can you give me your input on this issue, Al, or anyone else who has studied the advantages and disadvantages of using DE over CC, or vice versa, or if I am sucking straws here.

Susan


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susanlynne48, yes calcined clay is fired to very high temps making it form small pebble like aggregates. The important part is the "calcined" portion of the name (it describes the process of heat treating). Calcined diatomaceous earth has almost the same properties as calcined clay (I think Al has said it was superior, but don't take my word for it).
Any small crystalline particle can be very hazardous due to its ability to float in the air and be inhaled, the calcination process makes these particle stick together so there is no more danger. Any product you buy to replace turface should have "calcined" in the ingredients.


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The only products I would use are Turface and Napa Floor Dry. Others have been tested, and are frequently found to be lacking in durability. You could try some other brands and maybe you'll get lucky, but don't count on it.

DE is lighter than CC due to its greater porosity, and it holds more water because of that. So you may not need to use quite as much DE as compared to CC. The dust from DE is not something you want to breathe, but then again neither is any dust really. I always wear a respirator when mixing soil. I once did a marathon session of sifting and mixing pine bark which left me constantly smelling smoke for a couple weeks afterwards. It finally went away, but returned whenever I did more mixing. Since I started using the respirator, the smell has not returned.


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 11, 12 at 14:47

Spaceman - WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY YOU LIVE IN MI?

This might help you:

Granite or Cherrystone:
Dexter Feed Mill, 3515 Central St., Dexter, MI 48130, (734) 426-4621

Cutler-Dickerson Co., 507 College Ave, Adrian, MI 49221 (517) 265-5191
Johnston Elevator, 307 N McEwan, Clare, MI (989) 386-7271
Turface:
Turfgrass Inc, 46495 Humboldt Drive, Novi, MI 48377-2446 800-521-8873
John Deere Landscapes:
31691 Dequindre Road, Madison Heights MI 48071, 248-588-2990
51251 Simone Ind. Drive, Shelby Township MI 48317, 586-726-5441
35004 Automation Dr., Clinton Township MI 48035, 586-792-6180
13580 Merriman Road, Livonia MI 48150, 734-458-4770

Susan - If you use the oil absorbent or floor dry, opt for the coarser material. Turface is actually just a little too small to be ideal. I usually either do my screening outdoors when it's windy, or wear a mask whenever I work with the dry product. There is little danger from the material when it's damp or after it's been rinsed of fine particulates. Anything you use other than Turface, NAPA part #8822, or other material we KNOW is stable should get the freeze test for stability before you invest in putting a bunch of plants in a material that could revert to mud when it gets wet.

Whew - I shoveled (snow off) the drive & strained my back & neck, so I took a muscle relaxer on an empty stomach. Lol - I don't know if I made much sense, but I'm enjoying the ride. I think I see a nap in my future. ;-)

Al


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Thanks everyone, and Al, take care of that back and neck. I go for updated MRIs next week. I had a Laminectomy in 2004 and thinks are getting a bit rocky again. Sigh....I refuse to stop gardening.......

Susan


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Can anyone tell me if using Perlite in place of Granite in the Gritty Mix is ok?? I have Turface,Pine Bark, and Granite but just thought using Perlite may make a lighter overall mix.. but is there any beneficial difference in using Granite over Perlite? I was just wondering how much difference there might be since Granite is Al's Original ingredient.


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Both hold zero water, and are mainly used for aeration. I would think the main advantage of granite would be the weight (more support for the plant, and no floating like perlite). I have read, in many bonsai forums, that the jagged structure of chipped rocks help encourage branching of the roots, but have never seen any tests or research on it.


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Bob, Perlite holds a lot of water - it just holds it externally.
Because of this, one would use less Perlite than one would granite...or one would use less Turface.
You are correct that sharp edges cause root-abrasion, which leads to branching and fine root-hairs.


Josh


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Moisture Retention

Bob, here's a great link to a test by our very own Penfold.
Perlite holds nearly three times as much moisture as granite, according to Pen's test.

More Soil Substrate Comparisons


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 12, 12 at 13:04

I left this on another forum where they were talking about perlite & vermiculite. It may be of interest:

Perlite is actually a form of porous glass that is made from a mineral called obsidian (or an aluminum silicate rock). It's heated and kind of popped like popcorn. Vermiculite is mica that is treated in much the same way. Trapped moisture expands and creates lots of air pores in both products.

In soils, perlite's primary function is to reduce water retention. It's also effective for starting seeds & cuttings. Actually, perlite holds quite a bit of water @ about 3/4 quart per gallon of perlite. The dry weight of perlite is about 7 lbs/cu ft. Wet, it weighs about 18 lbs for the same volume, so it holds more than 2-1/2 times it's weight in water. Vermiculite is about the same density, and has a even higher capacity for holding water and a very high cation exchange capacity. It also contains magnesium and potassium that are available for plant uptake, but it is not very durable and will compress if handled when wet. It also has a slightly higher pH than perlite.

*****************************************************

If you're substituting perlite for granite, since perlite holds more water than granite, you would need to use MORE perlite and less Turface, which holds the most water in the gritty mix; that is, if you want the same amount of water retention as the 1:1:1, bark:Turface:granite.

It works ok as a substitute for granite, but you'll need to be sure you get the coarse grade and you screen it - because size is important. It's always a good idea to rinse perlite to help rid it of it's dust, which is what contributes the most fluoridic compounds ...... just in case you happen to be growing anything fluoride-sensitive.

Al


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thanks for the response, Im actually going to be growing Japanese Maples.. i have about ten trees between 2 and 5 feet and would like to try growing them in containers. Some of the containers will be around ten gallons and thought perlite might make them a little easier to manage


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Thanks for the correction guys. I didn't think perlite held that much water, but I was comparing it to vermiculite, so, bad comparison.
I always wash perlite, then sift once dry. The dust can be quite dangerous.


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Thanks Al.
I thought I did, must've been on another thread.
I lost a few postings here already, I'm gonna have to use Notepad to pen my posts.
Sorry about the back, we had a bit of drifting here that made my arms sore. With all the rain we had this Fall I thought for sure to have lots of snow this season. What part of the state are you in Al? Sounds like you had much more snow than we did.

Went up to New Haven Farmers Elevator yesterday and bought their last 4 bags of growers size Grani-Grit, $7.10/bag they'll have more in a couple weeks. Best to call ahead.

Number 20 tonight fittingly against the team that shares the record. Philly shoulda tried staying out of the box.
Boston won 20 in the '29-'30 season but with only a 44 game season.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Haven Farmers Elevator


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

We also have to take into consideration that the gardening industry is like any other... it exists to make a profit.

So, we have to be very careful about where we get our information from. There are a lot of authors, labs, studies, and even universities and educational facilities that are paid by certain manufacturers to reach certain conclusions regarding the work they're doing or the products they're using.

In other words, not everyone is ethical and/or honest in their dealings.

A lot of people, especially media and/or celebrity sources will endorse a product... not because they use it and think it's great... but because they get PAID to endorse it! The corporation may be one of their sponsors.

There's a lot to slog through, information-wise... but I think that as true growers chasing optimal results, the time and effort invested in learning the truth can really pay off!


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Al, your notes on perlite and vemiculite makes me wonder of some alterations I can do.

I don't have this issue with rainwater, but inside I use tapwater (260 ppm) which seems to cause magnesium deficiencies. Best I can tell, this is being caused by excessive calcium in my water.

To compensate, I am using a multipart fertilizer that has separate cal/mag supplement. I find my plants are growing much healthier if I drop the cal/mag part of the formula and put epsom salts in it's place for mag only, since the water is supplying the calcium.

My question is, could I change the 5-1-1 to use some vermiculite (you said it contains magnesium) and reduce perlite and peat to compensate, or maybe do something like 5-1-1-1 adding just vermiculite for mag? Then I could just use ferts that don't have cal/mag such as my current without the supplement or MG 24-8-16... Is there enough magnesium in vermiculite to supply all a plants needs as part of the mix?


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 14, 12 at 22:22

I suppose it depends on how much vermiculite is in the mix. ;-)

I think you can still use fertilizers like MG, Peter's, Schultz .... that don't have Ca/Mg, but you'll need to watch close for anything that looks like a Mg deficiency & be ready to jump in with some MgSO4 as needed if the Ca:Mg ratio is too out of whack.

Just got done watching the Detroit Red Wings set a NHL record with 21 straight wins on home ice - quite an accomplishment.

GO WINGS!!! ;-)

Al


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  • Posted by filix z5 maine (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 15, 12 at 7:09

Hello Al and everyone. This is the time that I start making some 5-1-1. Its been a warm winter. Now that the sun is getting high, the greenhouse is getting in mid 70s. I'm still recovering from the new england patriots chokeing again. oh well its gardening time! filix.


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Thanks for your reply Al.

Let's say I use 5-1-1 as is. If I am using water that is high in Ca and pH, should I make any adjustments to the addition of dolomite to the 5-1-1 mix? I realize that's it's not just for the addition of Ca/Mg, but to also raise/stabilize the pH of the soilless mix. Normally, I have to pH adjust my calcium rich water as it is between 7 and 8. I usually use phosphoric acid for this. It seems redundant to pH down after adding dolomite which raises the pH.

Would I be able to skip the dolomite, use my high calcium water without adjustment at it's native pH, and just add MgS04 as needed? My concern is that between the water and the dolomite, my calcium levels might be too high, and adding magnesium to balance it out may cause other deficiencies due to high Ca/Mg and possibly phosphorous levels overall.


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Thanks for your reply Al.

Let's say I use 5-1-1 as is. If I am using water that is high in Ca and pH, should I make any adjustments to the addition of dolomite to the 5-1-1 mix? I realize that's it's not just for the addition of Ca/Mg, but to also raise/stabilize the pH of the soilless mix. Normally, I have to pH adjust my calcium rich water as it is between 7 and 8. I usually use phosphoric acid for this. It seems redundant to pH down after adding dolomite which raises the pH.

Would I be able to skip the dolomite, use my high calcium water without adjustment at it's native pH, and just add MgS04 as needed? My concern is that between the water and the dolomite, my calcium levels might be too high, and adding magnesium to balance it out may cause other deficiencies due to high Ca/Mg and possibly phosphorous levels overall.


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Al, I had to do emergency repotting of 2 more plants today. They were once again in hard compacted peat. Why would the nurseries pot their succulents in 100% peat?

I'm so thankful that I've found your posts. You have given me the opportunity to successfully grow houseplants for the first time in my life!


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Ssmdgardener, about those succulents in peat....
well, peat is cheap - and that means profit. In warm greenhouses, the problems associated
with peat are lessened...but how many of us have greenhouses, right? Also, in my cynical mind,
I think there's more at work: if a plant dies, you'll have to come back to the nursery to get another -
and, again, that means profit. I'm sure Jodi would agree ;-)

I have a very low opinion of nurseries that use peat as the main fraction of their potting soils.
I discourage it at every turn, and I mock those who blindly recommend its use.


Josh


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As I'm sure know, Al, boxing and MMA are the only sports we follow. Strike Force has some awesome female fighters, too! I'll never understand why the UFC refuses to showcase their talents, but I'm beginning to see the UFC of today as the corrupt era of Don King boxing... we may start to follow particular fighters, and not so much the clubs they're contracted with.

Anyhoo... have a great day!


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Where can I find information on what container size should be use for a given mature Species (and or Genus) of plants ???


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Malveo,
what species are you considering? Many species can be maintained in a variety of container sizes.


Josh


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I would, indeed, agree with you, Josh... and even in greenhouse environments, peat has a tendency to gather unto itself icky things... like fungus gnats, fungi, molds, specific fungi like botrytis, damp off, uneven wetting and drying...

I much prefer mixing my own durable mediums that aren't quite so susceptible to these issues.


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 23, 12 at 7:42

Hi guys - I know I owe you a letter. ;-)

Malveo - this was written for another thread, but you should find your answer in what it points out. Containers usually grow progressively bigger as the plant matures, but HOW big they MUST be is determined by the size of the root mass and how much attention you've paid to root maintenance. How large they CAN be is determined by soil choice. More:

How large a container "can" or "should" be, depends on the relationship between the mass of the plant material you are working with and your choice of soil. We often concern ourselves with "over-potting" (using a container that is too large), but "over-potting" is a term that arises from a lack of a basic understanding about the relationship we will look at, which logically determines appropriate container size.

It's often parroted that you should only move up one container size when "potting-up". The reasoning is, that when potting up to a container more than one size larger, the soil will remain wet too long and cause root rot issues, but it is the size/mass of the plant material you are working with, and the physical properties of the soil you choose that determines both the upper & lower limits of appropriate container size - not a formulaic upward progression of container sizes. In many cases, after root pruning a plant, it may even be appropriate to step down a container size or two, but as you will see, that also depends on the physical properties of the soil you choose.

Plants grown in "slow" (slow-draining/water-retentive) soils need to be grown in containers with smaller soil volumes so that the plant can use water quickly, allowing air to return to the soil before root issues beyond impaired root function/metabolism become a limiting factor. We know that the anaerobic (airless) conditions that accompany soggy soils quickly kill fine roots and impair root function/metabolism. We also know smaller soil volumes and the root constriction that accompany them cause plants to both extend branches and gain o/a mass much more slowly - a bane if rapid growth is the goal - a boon if growth restriction and a compact plant are what you have your sights set on.

Conversely, rampant growth can be had by growing in very large containers and in very fast soils where frequent watering and fertilizing is required - so it's not that plants rebel at being potted into very large containers per se, but rather, they rebel at being potted into very large containers with a soil that is too slow and water-retentive. This is a key point.

We know that there is an inverse relationship between soil particle size and the height of the perched water table (PWT) in containers. As particle size increases, the height of the PWT decreases, until at about a particle size of just under 1/8 inch, soils will no longer hold perched water. If there is no perched water, the soil is ALWAYS well aerated, even when the soil is at container capacity (fully saturated).

So, if you aim for a soil (like the gritty mix) composed primarily of particles larger than 1/16", there is no upper limit to container size, other than what you can practically manage. The lower size limit will be determined by the soil volume's ability to allow room for roots to "run" and to furnish water enough to sustain the plant between irrigations. Bearing heavily on this ability is the ratio of fine roots to coarse roots. It takes a minimum amount of fine rootage to support the canopy under high water demand. If the container is full of large roots, there may not be room for a sufficient volume of the fine roots that do all the water/nutrient delivery work and the coarse roots, too. You can grow a very large plant in a very small container if the roots have been well managed and the lion's share of the rootage is fine. You can also grow very small plants, even seedlings, in very large containers if the soil is fast (free-draining and well-aerated) enough that the soil holds no, or very little perched water.

I have just offered clear illustration that the oft repeated advice to "only pot up one size at a time", only applies when using heavy, water-retentive soils. Those using well-aerated soils are not bound by the same restrictions.

Al


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Again, thanks, Al... plus, at the same time you kind of dispel the rumor that plants "prefer" to be pot bound as it makes them flower or "grow better".

That would be like saying people like shoes that are too small because it makes them happy. Well, we know that's not true... it pinches your toes, makes for uncomfortable wear and can also cause bunions and other issues. The only upside is that you appear to have smaller feet in the fashion world.

When a plant is pot bound, it can't function optimally at the root zone, therefore it may receive a signal that reproductive time is now or never as the space is too cramped and decline or death is imminent. So, it goes into flowering mode trying to make seeds, or growth mode trying to offset, because reproduction to carry on its genetic material is its only purpose in life. That's the built in genetic message of every living thing... survival.

What I notice about all the typical rumors and myths we hear and discuss all the time is that the growing/gardening/plant industry, itself, does nothing to help dispel any of them... but why?

We hear all the time, "they don't make anything like they used to", or "it gets harder and harder to find a quality made product, by a company that stands behind what they make". And in many cases... too many cases... it's true.

But the gardening industry, too? Yes. Let me explain why. Any corporation is in business to make money. Profit is the name of the game. And companies that have figured out how to raise the bottom line at any expense make more profit... even at the expense of quality. When it come to bagged potting mixes, there aren't a lot of known brand names... so in a way, there's a kind of a monopoly going on. And we just grab the first thing on the shelf, never thinking for a minute that even the gardening industry operates like any other large corporation, profit uppermost.

But if we take the time to think carefully about root function and health, how water moves through soil, and how that root health creates plant health, we can see that many of the fallacies circulating throughout the growing world in general are false, and are left that way so the industry profits.

Depending on the plant type we purchase, we'll notice different mediums being used. Annuals and small perennials are usually grown in peaty, crummy soil because it's cheaper for the grower, and they know the plant won't be staying in it too long. You'll get it home, and within a short amount of time, you'll be transplanting into the garden or a larger container. Notice trees, though, or some plant types that may stay longer in their original pot... it usually is made with more bark and is a bit more durable.

But the finer and peatier and more moisture retentive the soil is, the quicker you should rethink what you're going to do with the plant long term... mainly because decline is imminent.

I truly wish there were a different set of commonly circulated ideas regarding plant growing care. The first of which is... growing within the garden is extremely different than growing within the confined space of a container. The two environments are totally different. I could have saved myself oodles of time and been way further ahead in growing success if I had heard that fact first.

If I had only looked a little deeper into what makes and keeps roots within a container healthy, and all that really is thinking a little bit about the basic science and physics we all learned early on in school... again I'd be so much further ahead. I wouldn't have wasted all that time listening to commonly held myth that is without basis.

I also notice that different plant catalogs and websites cheat a little when it comes to accurately naming the zones a plant can tolerate. So, I've learned that it's always best to check out several sources and see what the general consensus is.

I hate to say it, but I think we have to assume that not every company out there is automatically ethical and has our best interests at heart. We have to do a little research on our own... but the results are well worth the effort.


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And you know what gets me?

No matter how much anyone tries to explain the 'science' and 'truth' behind it all, there will always be people that think they will defy this truth, science, logic, or whatever one wants to call it, and STILL bring the backyard into their containers.

Those that do succeed for any amount of time will be the first to try and and dissuade others from excepting the truth that container growing and garden growing are two very different worlds.

I actually know people that put worms, coffee grinds, bannana peels, bat poop, pee, powdered microbes, compost, and many other things to try and mimick the earth.

Does this work? A very rare, few group of people will swear by this, but in my case, it has never happened.

By the way, what's up with everyone telling me to grow my orchids in tight pots? I know many who have lots of root room in their pots and still get the most amazing flowers and growth.

I have been told by just about everyone that owns a nursery that my succulents, hoya, jade, and Epi cacti must be grown in tight pots in order for the roots to stop concetrating on themselves and encourage bloom.

Thanks to threads like this I am finally freed from all the false misconceptions!

Mike


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"I have been told by just about everyone that owns a nursery that my succulents, hoya, jade, and Epi cacti must be grown in tight pots in order for the roots to stop concetrating on themselves and encourage bloom."

Because it is true.

" Thanks to threads like this I am finally freed from all the false misconceptions! "

No misconceptions, it is a fact.


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 24, 12 at 14:14

Lol - if it's a fact, who is out in nature tying all the root systems into tiny knots so they become congested enough that plants can bloom?

It's NOT a fact. The added STRESS of tight roots can send chemical messengers through some plants, warning that something is WRONG and doom is eminent, so some plants hop to it and concentrate a little more energy on things related to passing on the genes - like blooming and eventually fruiting.

Stress is what it is ..... stress; and it's no better for plants than it is for humans. Stress is a condition caused by interference in the plant's ability to manage or allocate energy in the manner it normally would, or by the plant operating at or near its genetically programmed limits. Stress unchecked always leads to strain, a more serious condition which causes injury and is not reversible.

Roots don't 'concentrate' on themselves. Plants are in the energy conservation business and not interested in wasting it. They will neither grow more roots than the foliage can support (with photosynthate/energy) nor grow foliage or photosynthesising machinery the roots can't support. If something happens to cause the plant to lose balance so the energy loop starts to wobble, the plant becomes a shedding organism and sheds either roots or photosynthesizing machinery to restore balance.

Plants in our landscapes bloom beautifully with root systems as widely spread as benefits the plant. To believe that plants NEED tight roots to bloom in containers is actually a pretty silly idea, one that probably fits nicely into the horticultural myth slot.

Al


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

If a plant is potted up from container to container the structure of the plant increases allowing more fruite sights.

"I have been told by just about everyone that owns a nursery that my succulents, hoya, jade, and Epi cacti must be grown in tight pots in order for the roots to stop concetrating on themselves and encourage bloom. "

I agree with them 100%. How many nursery owners have told you this? Why would they all have this "misconception"?

"Orchids transferred to overly large pots tend to concentrate their energy on root growth and may not show new growth or foliage for several months"

Source:www.beautifulorchids.com/orchids/orchid_care_tips/.../repotting.htm...

I just would not want anyone to be mislead because they listened to an unriliable source.


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 24, 12 at 21:54

Nor would I want others to be misled, again, which is why I felt compelled to debunk what you would present as fact, and then back with a very uncompelling link. You might try explaining away the reasoning in my post above, reasoning that would make sense to virtually any grower considering the information thus far presented. If what you said was factual, plants in the landscape would not be able to grow until their roots became congested. What folly is that? We know with certainty that tight roots are stressful and have a limiting effect on growth AND vitality.

Your "source" is like most of the other sources you've produced in support. This time it's something you read on a website operated by someone selling orchids. Just because one person or even a number of people tell you something is no indication the information is based in fact. There are a LOT of common misconceptions (horticultural myths) that have appropriated the undeserved mantel of fact due to nothing more than repetition by those who don't know any better than to parrot them. Even w/o a working knowledge of plant physiology, reasoning alone is enough to dispel the assertion.


Al


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I found this just looking around.

"Professional Secret: Do not repot unless it is absolutely necessary. Nearly all potted plants will grow more vigorously and bloom more profusely if their roots are "tight" in the pot. This means that there are lots of healthy roots growing throughout the interior and around the outside of the rootball. Optimally, root systems should occupy three quarters of the volume of the pot. "

Then this.

"All orchids prefer being somewhat root-bound with their roots protruding from the top of the media"

www.wikihow.com ... Gardening Indoor and Patio PlantsCached


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When I see the word "vigorously" misused in the quote above, I call into question the advice, too.
"Vigor" is a measure of a plant's genetic endowment (DNA). A plant can't grow more "vigorously"
than its genetic code dictates. "Vitality" is a measure of the variable health of a plant. And vitality
is the term that should have been used above.

Secondly, how do those roots magically stop growing when the pot is three-quarters filled?
They don't. The roots continue right on past that three-quarter point, and straight to congestion.
Once congested (root-bound), plant vitality is compromised. This compromise, as Al explained,
shows forth as lost growth potential. In extreme cases, when roots are lost as a result of congestion,
the plant begins to shed foliage in order to balance the energy storage and energy production mechanisms.

Thirdly, speaking in superlatives is a dangerous game. All, none, always, never....seldom applies
without lots of qualification. For example, you may not be aware of this but there are Orchids that
grow in the ground, with the whole world as their container. So, clearly, not *all* orchids must be
grown root-bound.

My grandfather is a well-known Orchid collector and hybridizer and I doubt he'd ever
dispense this advice.


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I am only posting this because Mike is getting into Epi plants and to give him the correct info of how to grow them to enjoy the end result of blooms and to give the plants what it will need to grow and bloom.

Myth....
We know with certainty that tight roots are stressful and have a limiting effect on growth AND vitality.

You have to understand the genus of plant you are growing to understand how to grow the plant.

The little knowledge we know from a few houseplants that we grow is not a answer that ALL plants have the same growing needs.

The Epiphyllum Society of America.........

These plants come from the dense tropical forests of Central and So. Amer. live in humid jungle conditions. They do not spread their roots....their roots live in a very small confined area. They live high in the crotches of trees, in pockets of humus, getting partial sun or shade under the swaying branches of the trees.

Myth (as above explains) These plants do not grow in landscapes......
If what you said was factual, plants in the landscape would not be able to grow until their roots became congested. What folly is that?

TRUE.....
There are a LOT of common misconceptions (horticultural myths) that have appropriated the undeserved mantel of fact due to nothing more than repetition by those who don't know any better than to parrot them.

This is the part that I find very true.... the undeserved mantel of fact due to nothing more than repetition by those who don't know any better than to parrot them

I could never be anybody's parrot it is too demeaning as a thinking human being. You can only make yourself as the forum town clown . I have a parrot and you are right I say things over and over and every time I walk in the room he repeats it. It happens on forums all the time. You are right, as you know, people will be your parrot.

Because of my extensive travel I have had the wonderful opportunity to see so many plants growing in their natural habitat. It is a very educational experience and it can change your way of thinking beyond a narrow perspective of growing ALL plants.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Sorry to say this but it is even brought up in E-How.com :)

"Epiphyllums bloom better when slightly rootbound, so keep them in small pots"

Read more: How to Care for Epiphyllum : eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5242621_care-epiphyllum.html#ixzz1nQ0P3NKu

I think I said this before E-How would not use unreliable information.

Someone of plant knowledge and experience should not have a hard time understanding this concepet.

I just would not want anyone to listen to a source they thought was reliable but really is not.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

"The Epiphyllum Society of America.........

These plants come from the dense tropical forests of Central and So. Amer. live in humid jungle conditions. They do not spread their roots....their roots live in a very small confined area. They live high in the crotches of trees, in pockets of humus, getting partial sun or shade under the swaying branches of the trees."

Thanks for bringing that up because it is very true.


Someone of plant knowledge and experience should not have a hard time understanding this concepet. I guess when you know it all, you have nothing new to learn.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I grow jungle cacti, as well, Christmas Cacti in particular.

These plants grow in the crooks of trees and the roots can clamber all over the bark...
they are most certainly not confined to those pockets of detritus.

If you give an arboreal cacti a large pot full of properly sized bark, it will happily colonize the
substrate with roots.

Now, in direct response to Marquest: you must have missed Wantonamara's excellent reply
in Mike's Thread. She describes the outlay of energy and the energy cost in terms of foliage,
blooms, and roots involved in down-sizing. This is exactly what Al mentioned earlier.

"I grew my monster Epi oxy in a 15 or 25 gal.pot and it bloomed its head off with fish fert for food.
It was too heavy to move and lift up to its winter spot so I DOWNSIZED it to a 10 gallon for manuverability.
It stopped blooming and developed dead areas in some leaves. I clipped them off and I did get a
smaller plant. It was over 8' in all directions and was a bugger to house in the winter. It gets 30 blooms
at a time. It did get 50 blooms before, but it is smaller. I have not broken my back. Now it is 6'.
"


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

"These plants grow in the crooks of trees and the roots can clamber all over the bark...
they are most certainly not confined to those pockets of detritus. "


"All orchids prefer being somewhat root-bound with their roots protruding from the top of the media"


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 25, 12 at 13:50

MG1 - I don't doubt that you could easily find another hundred websites or vanity press-published books to support your claim. You'll also find stern advice widely parroted by many thousands to only pot up one size when repotting containerized plants, advice to use bloom booster fertilizers on containerized plants, that rocks or packing peanuts in the bottom of containers aids drainage, that Superthrive and Eleanor's do what they claim, that plants need to be rootbound to grow and bloom ....... none of which hold up to even casual scrutiny, no matter how many anecdotal references provided.

Posted by TheMasterGardener1 none (My Page) on Sat, Jun 11, 11 at 23:11

"Thank you again for this good information. I can't express anymore just how perfect this mix [5:1:1] truly is. I have used peat based mixes (like most potting soils are) and found that it just hold too much moisture. Thanks for this great mix."

then, more recently:

Posted by TheMasterGardener1 none (My Page) on Fri, Feb 24, 12 at 0:13

"Miracle gro potting mix can be found easy. It is what I use and stand by it. It holds water very well."

I've come across dozens of your posts in which you postulate positions 180* opposite of each other, only a few of them soil-related. I just happened to remember this particular conflict.

As far as how reliable anything I might say is, I'll let the forum decide.

I was careful to qualify what I said by mentioning that some plants might bloom better because of the stress of tight roots. We can make the trunks of trees fatter by beating them with a hammer too, but that doesn't mean they would be growing better or that they would respond favorably to the treatment as an organism.

***************************************************

Lets try to stay on track and not turn this into a discussion about one particular plant because that one plant comes closest to supporting an assertion.

Also, that a singular species or many species may have a root system that stays compact in situ is a genetic trait. The roots of these plants are not restricted from spreading, they are programmed not to spread. It's a logical leap to suggest they NEED to be root bound to grow or bloom.

The question posed was Where can I find information on what container size should be use for a given mature Species (and or Genus) of plants ???

My subsequent reply addressed that question well. Feel free to expand or scrutinize. The question is unanswerable w/o more information, but the person did get information that should enlighten him/her.

Al




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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hey! I got a great idea! Per the thread title, let's talk about something else! What do you say, Al?! ;-)


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I am using both the 5-1-1 and Miracle potting mix?

What is the point? I am going to show how much faster the 5-1-1 grows plants at side by side of soil (I know it has been done). I am going to do it with peppers. Same size pot 5-1-1 vs potting mix. I am sure we know what the winner will be but I will take nice pictures, at least try anyway. :) The closest might be a 50/50 mix of perlite and peat but the 5-1-1 will still beat that I am sure.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 25, 12 at 15:12

Great idea, Jodi. We're digging out from under a big storm here. You prolly got all rain by what I saw on the radar, but we got almost all snow. It was a mess yesterday, but I got everything cleared of snow now & the wife was out shopping today - she should've been a mail person. (Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays m'lady from the swift completion of her appointed rounds.) ;-]

I have all kinds of stuff up in the garden (a month early cuz of soil temps) under a foot of snow right now. There is NO frost in the ground, and I don't think we had any more than an inch at any one time so far. This is the strangest winter I can remember.

Was really disappointed by the Red Wings losing 2 games in a row, but especially so because the most recent loss snapped their NHL record-breaking at-home winning streak. Waaa! Hopefully they'll turn things around tonight.

Still waiting to see what that last Diaz thing looked like .....

Oh yeah - I have this nagging question I could use some help with, and parts of it are sort of personal ..... think I should ask it? anyone? ;-)

Al


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Yes Al ask away!!! :) Like I said I only hope to add to the many pictures of the best plants grown in the 5-1-1 and hope to soon try the gritty mix. I think there needs to be even more pictures of plants thriving in the 5-1-1 or bark based mixes.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Master Gardener, you miss the point.
Marquest was discussing *confined roots* in trees - however, my comment was pointing out
that the roots aren't necessarily confined when they can spread out across a large surface area.
Due to more frequent rains, these roots don't need to be buried in substrate to remain moist.

Secondly, why are you re-posting that inaccurate statement?
It doesn't refute what I've written, if that's what your copy & paste was meant to prove.
To compare the air-roots of an Orchid to the fine roots of Christmas Cacti would be a bit of stretch.
In addition, why did you avoid my previous message, where I mentioned terrestrial Orchids?
Orchids that grow in the ground are certainly not bound.

That fact flies in the face of this statement:

"All orchids prefer being somewhat root-bound with their roots protruding from the top of the media"


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Al: Please ask your question. This is your post, and I am sick of the troll feeding.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

"Master Gardener, you miss the point."

I think I did and I am not being smart.

"In addition, why did you avoid my previous message, where I mentioned terrestrial Orchids?"
"Orchids that grow in the ground are certainly not bound. "


"These plants come from the dense tropical forests of Central and So. Amer. live in humid jungle conditions. They do not spread their roots....their roots live in a very small confined area. They live high in the crotches of trees, in pockets of humus, getting partial sun or shade under the swaying branches of the trees."

Can I stress this point:"They do not spread their roots....their roots live in a very small confined area."

Orchids roots climb up trees bark same thing as small pot with "their roots protruding from the top of the media"

"I am sick of the troll feeding"

I think it would take a lot to tell the many that "owns a nursery that my succulents, hoya, jade, and Epi cacti must be grown in tight pots in order for the roots to stop concetrating on themselves and encourage bloom " that they are wrong.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Here is something to prove me wrong.

"Aside from rainforest climate, they also grow in grassland areas such as pastures. These orchids adapt to many different types of environments which is one of the reasons they are so easy to maintain!"

But then this:

"In tropical climates, Phalaenopsis orchids tend to grow on tree branches and between rocks, usually near a source of water for moisture"

Them growing in between rocks is like using a small pot.

Sorry no more two posts, just wish there was a edit option.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hey Jodi!!!

I totally agree with you!!! Let's talk about something else....

Alright Al, You have us all wondering about your "nagging question..." : ) Please feel free to ask your friends,,,since it sounds like it could be personal...

I think that we are setting ourselves up...or is it just me? LOL... Can't wait to here this one?

Give it to us Al... : ) Ask away....

Laura

Hello Jodi, Mike, Josh and everyone else... : )


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

It is hard to explain things to those that do not understand so I will let others do it for me.
That is just what I am doing now in the Orchid forum under "Orchid container question".


greenman28,

You should check out the Orchid forum, you might find some interesting information there that pertains to this. Hint- "Orchid container question" or even "Is it time to repot? (pic)"


I am only doing this to help anyone who really might be interested in plants, not interested in ones "credibility".


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I've been on the Orchid Forum for a while now, but I thank you.
I grow an Orchid - an Orchid that was hybridized and named after me by my grandfather.
I grow it well in a mix of bark, perlite, and lava rock, and it is currently in bloom.
With the proper mix, there is no reason that one can't pot an Orchid in a large container.
What you'll notice at the Orchid Forum is that folks are constantly killing their Orchids
due to water-retentive mixes, rather than pots that are too large.

Secondly, I wanted to address the point you emphasized yesterday. The point was that
certain plants *do not* extend their roots. If the plant does not spread its roots, despite
having the room to do so, then it is most likely genetically predisposed to a small root-system,
which Al mentioned previously. This is different than *preferring* tight roots, as you can see.

You can also see, given the variety of Orchids and growing conditions, that not *all* Orchids
prefer tight-roots with roots on top of the media. That was my point. The advice is incomplete
and, thus, inaccurate - as blanket statements tend to be.

Lastly, I invite you to the Hot Pepper Forum. What you'll notice is that folks recommend larger
containers to get better blooms and yields from their plants. If plants preferred tight-roots,
then pepper growers would be using 1 - 3 gallon containers...but they don't. They advise
5-gallons or bigger for the best results.


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Would you say someone in zone 9a would use the same size pot for GROWING PEPPERS as someone in say zone 5a even?

Because I can tell you right now they would be much different considering peppers are perennials and last for years, but those that grow up north consider them a annual and they last only months, unless overwintered. Peppers in the south grow like trees.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I know many who do use the same size containers, north and south - 5-gallons or larger.
In hot climates, where peppers remain outdoors year-round, larger containers are indeed
used to allow the plants to continue growing. Bigger containers, more root-room.
In the heat, that extra container volume helps to regulate temperature (and moisture).

The only difference is that those who overwinter peppers in colder climates, such as myself,
downsize our containers to make for easier management during the winter. I prune the roots
of my peppers when I bring them in, which revitalizes the roots and, thus, the plant. It is easier
for me to fit a pepper on a window-sill in a 1-gallon container than a 5-gallon...plus, I don't
use supplemental lighting, so my plants aren't growing as vitally as they do during the summer.


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Yea I know someone who used a 3 gal for Jalapenos and found it to be perfect for their climate. When he used a 5 gal the roots did not make it to the outside of the container. I think the amount of sun the area gets could be a reason.

This season I am using #2 pots for my pepper garden and also i have 9 #1 pots I am using to grow in just to see how the size in harvest differs from size pot. I will have the on self watering with a good complete fertilizer program and they will be supported by bamboo.

I have seen an NFT set up with 18 Jalapeno plants in a 2'x4' area outside.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I've grown peppers in .71-gallon, 1-gallon, 2-gallon, and 5-gallon.
I can tell you anecdotally that both pod-size and quantity of pods improves with larger containers.
As for the fellow who grew Jalapenos in 3-gallon containers, I don't know what the cause
of the roots not reaching the outside of the container was. It could have been related to
the choice of soil, or perhaps something else. Without eliminating variables, it's very hard
to make correlations.

Just for fun, here's a video I made back in November, showing the roots of a pepper.
If I had pulled the plant out of the pot before it was subjected to several hard freezes,
the roots would have been even more prominent and white. This also demonstrates how easy
it is to bare-root a plant in the 5-1-1 mix.

The last pepper standing.....


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Josh I really like your vid and I have seen your pics too. Way to go I am so happy I found the joy of growing peppers.
I guess if the plants outgrow the #1 pots I will re pot them which I know is not the best to do to them in the middle of them trying to flower.

Take my word I will not post anymore on here untill I really have some pics and I mean it 100% this time everyone.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I'm in, Al... your stories are always interesting!

Weatherwise, we go from too cold to right around the 50's... we have had some frost... but not too deep I don't think.

I've been more worried about my perennials and items that require a cold dormancy...

So... from what we hear, Vegas pulled their usual stunt, and Diaz took a suspension. Always in Vegas... only in Vegas... reminds me of the corruption that city is built on... anyway, he'll be helping Nate train, working with their school, etc... he'll be back, but not sure when.

So, now... the floor is yours... tell us a story... :-)


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 28, 12 at 10:55

Lol - I'll get around to it when the mood is lighter. You prolly already know of/remember my situation anyway. ;-)

I've been too busy to pay much attention to the weather, but I know they've BEEN talking about a potential ice storm here soon. Dunno ..... We'll see

I know the Red Wings play tonight & they lost the last 3 games in a row after their 23 game home winning streak was snapped.

Go Wings!

Have a good day, everyone!

Al


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I have to concur with the pepper pot size for MY climate. I'm in zone 5a, I have used several different sizes of pots on several different peppers. I used 5-1-1 and had very good yields on peppers. I also had peppers in the ground, and the potted peppers were better and earlier. That being said, the 3 gallon pots did as well as 5 and 7, but better then smaller pots. I think the reason is simply my climate and length of season. If I was in a different zone, with a longer season, I may have been able to get larger plants in larger pots, but the 3 gallon seems to be all I needed to get maximum yield for my climate. I don't think the plants could have done much better.

On the blooming argument, I don't think plants "like" being rootbound. But many plants bloom as a stress response, thinking it might be their last chance to reproduce. This might be why many people think rootbinding a plant is better for blooming. This may actually be true for some plants, but not because the plant is liking being rootbound, but it may be freaking out and blooming as a survival response. Whether this is healthy for a plant, I suspect not, but doesn't matter for annuals, but may affect the long term health of a perennial.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Thanks Capoman for bringing that up.
", but the 3 gallon seems to be all I needed to get maximum yield for my climate. I don't think the plants could have done much better"

"That being said, the 3 gallon pots did as well as 5 and 7"

Good point.

"Whether this is healthy for a plant, I suspect not, but doesn't matter for annuals, but may affect the long term health of a perennial."

^A point I was trying to bring up this whole time, you worded it quite well, Thanks!!!!!!

When I ask what "your climate is" in response to a question about suggested pot size for growing peppers. People start to wonder. But then talking to someone like Capoman that understands zone 5 like I do.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 28, 12 at 13:43

Annuals respond to tight roots in the same way as perennials. We've all purchased cell packs of plants with congested roots, planted or potted them w/o correcting their being so root bound, and witnessed them do nothing but survive, if that, for the entire summer or growth cycle.

Capoman's peppers grew in 3 gallon pots as well as in 5 & 7 gallon because the roots never grew enough to get congested. Had the roots become congested in the smaller pot, it would have impacted growth and he would have seen better growth in the larger pots - other potentially limiting factors being equal.

It also looks like you got told the same thing over at 'orchids' we told you here, repeatedly, so why not let the issue rest instead of insisting on continuing the inflammatory posting? A number of individuals on multiple forums in multiple threads have called you on your behavior that appears to the casual observer to be innocent, but to those who post regularly is obviously trolling.

Al


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I just think if you want to get an increased harvest in a given area, stress blooming will give you more yeild. When the plants are going to come down anyway. Allowing them to be in a huge pot where roots can keep growing you will not have that same effect. Point is stress blooming is not good for a plant but will increase the harvest at the end of the season.

Yes large pots grow large plants, but they take up room thus not getting the same yeild per square foot.

As many call me on here, the troll, here I am. I really look like a troll or even a fat elf, literally. ;)

My GTI, Me next to my GTI


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Al, you are correct. The pots smaller then 3 gallon did get rootbound, and the plants were smaller and yielded less. The ones larger then 3, didn't root out to the edges of the pot.

TheMasterGardener1, I don't think stress blooming will give you more yield, although your qualifier of "end of season" may pull it ahead of frost, but that is not what you've been saying. I think it just makes a plant bloom sooner then it normally would. Timing.

Al, my reference about it not being as important for annuals was simply a reference to the fact that if you stress bloom, you don't care about the long term health of the plant. You just want to bloom sooner. I do think it matters more for perennials as you affect the long term growth and health of the plant by stressing it.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

One other note TMG, I personally do not deliberately attempt stressing plants to make them bloom. To compensate for my zone, I start peppers early (Feb), grow them under strong indoor lights and place them outside already in bloom. I got tons of peppers in July by doing this. This is a much better method rather then trying to stress plants into blooming early by under potting or other similar methods. I just use artificial light and a small greenhouse to extend my season. I did try several different sizes last year to figure out the ideal pot size for future reference and education.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Yes indoor hydroponics is way different then outside growing. With that said, If a grower using nft DECREASED the number of plants and INCREASED there size and life time they would DECREASE their over all harvest.

Found this from some other forum. It is someone real, not some source online.

"When in Vietnam I noticed, that the gardener in one of our hotels kept the Bougainvilleas in pots with very lean soil. Noting, that his were all bloom and few leaves, I tried the same with mine here and achieved much better bloom than before. "

In other words are going by GROWER convenience or what is best for a plant. Because when it comes down to it, its grower convenience.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

The grower in the hotel stressed the plant out to get all bloom and no leaf so the people visiting could look at it
and say how nice it is. If it was not stress bloomed it might not have the same amount of flowers and more leaves and growth which IS NOT GOOD INSIDE. So would you want the plant to really reach its full? No.

Talk to some interior landscapers.
The industry is not intersted in what is good for a plant.

I will say no more.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

In my experience last summer, ALL my pepper plants did HORRIBLE left in smaller pots and I am in zone 5.

Why? I couldn't get them into larger containers before the roots filled them and became root bound. What did happen was that I got TONS of blooms and yes fruit, but half the size as my peppers last year and very yellow leaves. What peppers I did get this past summer were hard skinned, bitter and crunchy and I tossed them.

As for my tomatoes, same thing. I got tons of little hard tomatoes, many that ripened much to early, many green ones that fell off before they could ripen, dry tasting ones that were not juicy at all, and week foliage growth.

I promise I will NOT let my roots ever get congested in their pots again unless I break my other foot. It was the worst harvest I ever had in my life. Sure I got something, but not half as good as the ones I grew last year when I gave them plenty of root room.

NOW, MG1, I have a question for you if you don't mind. Please pay attention so I can see if you understand this concept, ok?

Why do plants do well when there is plenty of roots to roam in the ground, if it's warm of course, but I am told not to let the same plants, in particular peppers, have the same opportunity in a pot? There is this mind set that plants perform better in very tight pot or root bound and yet not the same for those planted in the ground.

Example: I grew 7 fig trees in containers and of the 7, one gave me double the amount of fruit and grew twice as big, plus the fruit was much sweeter!
When bringing them back inside in the fall, the 6 were terribly pot bound, and the one that did 'awesome', I couldn't pull up from the ground because the roots had busted through the pot and had taken hold into the ground. Why is that?

Al thus far to me has answered my question over and over again. If you find the answer, I will be proud of you:-) By the way, looks like it is almost spring there, nice.

Mike


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Cant you hear my example about the the gardener in vietnam that deliberately used small amount of soil in the pot to get a easy to manage plant with a lot of bloom?

I am not sating stress your peppers I am going with the 3/4 of the container filled with roots is when I see fastest growth. Maybe because I always used potting soil.


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RE: AAnything you wanna talk about?

MG1 You change your thoughts so many times, that my head is spinning.lol

I didn't see that one though. I am just not sure of how to take you since your viewpoints are always changing. Sorry:-)

But you still have not answered my question?

Mike:-)


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I am not saying stress your peppers I am going with the 3/4 of the container filled with roots is when I see fastest growth. I was making an instance where stress blooming is used. To answer your question.

I stress this: Maybe because I always used potting soil.


I am growing in 5-1-1 this year and never have. I have seen plants grow faster when their roots take up at least 3/4 the pot, maybe because of the medium that everyone uses. I am using potting mix in my smaller pots for that reason.

Here is what I am using in my larger pots, thanks to Al!!!

Bark

I will try to get a shoot of the 5-1-1 medium.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hey MG1.

I think you are so caught up trying to make a point, you are missing mine and that of others. To help you understand what I would like from you, I will re-post the question?-)

Here you go.........................Please read below.

NOW, MG1, I have a question for you if you don't mind. Please pay attention so I can see if you understand this concept, ok?

Why do plants do well when there is plenty of roots to roam in the ground, if it's warm of course, but I am told not to let the same plants, in particular peppers, have the same opportunity in a pot? There is this mind set that plants perform better in very tight pots, or root bound, and yet not the same for those planted in the ground.

Example: I grew 7 fig trees in containers, and of the 7, one gave me double the amount of fruit and grew twice as big, plus the fruit was much sweeter!
When bringing them back inside in the fall, the 6 were terribly pot bound, and the one that did 'awesome', I couldn't pull it up from the ground because the roots had busted through the pot and had taken hold into the ground. Why is that?

****MG1...Just a bit of advice. I would use smaller pieces of bark varying from 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch or maybe 1/4 but not much bigger. Your pieces look way to big and should be screened. The sizes you may use is NOT what Al has taught us.
What he has taught us is linked below:-)

If the 5.1.1 mix is not made correctly, it may disappoint you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bark fine sizes pictured here


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

"Why do plants do well when there is plenty of roots to roam in the ground, if it's warm of course, but I am told not to let the same plants, in particular peppers, have the same opportunity in a pot? There is this mind set that plants perform better in very tight pots, or root bound, and yet not the same for those planted in the ground."

How come growing in containers you achieve more harvest per square foot then in ground? How come in ground you use more fertilizer and water?


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

"The sizes you may use is NOT what Al has taught us."

Same mid size bark mix. One week old cactus pod.


roots


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz-ufjBj0YU

Speeking of figs...Check this out, he explains how many figs he gets in his small containers. Go 3/4 in the vid.

Sorry for so many posts but this may help you get an understanding.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hi Laura, Al, Josh, and Jodik along with many others that I know.

I was wondering, how has your weather been?

It's been very strange here and in fact a rest bit from last winter when we got over 130 inches of snow. This year, excluding Halloween, we have had about 6 inches.lol

Today we might get 3 or 4 then back to the 50's this weekend!

How did the WINGS do Al?

Have a great day and I can't believe I am saying this, but pray for snow so we our ground plants will get refreshed before the spring pounces upon us.

MIke


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 29, 12 at 7:45

I'll take spring pouncing any day! We're in the middle of a mess - snow, rain, sleet, freezing rain ...... yuk. Luckily, the temp's supposed to start rising around midday & get into the 40s, so it will be short lived.

Wings won last night 5-2. ;-)

Al


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Meyermike: What size pot worked best for you for peppers? I am also zone 5. 3 gallon pots seem to be in the sweet spot as going larger didn't really help much. Less then three and my plants were stunted.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I am just going to change the subject now. Mozart- Klavierst�ck Kv 33b. One of my favorite pieces.
Just learned to play it. I am sure you have heard it, if not prepare to hear a masterpiece. No sound as beautiful
as the harpsichord.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Mozart- Klavierstuck KV 33B

I am very sorry, I posted it and it did not come out right. This is it.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hey Capoman!

I found that the 5 gallon worked best for me too.

My growing season doesn't allow enough time for the whole container to fill out, and, allows the roots to stay moist for a few days at a time.
This year in 3 gallon ones, I had to get my neighbor to water EVERY day. It was aweful. My poor mother even tried to help but tripped over the hose at teh beginning of the growing season, first week of July, and broke her arm a week after I broke my foot. What a mess.
I was so afraid they would go bone dry, and in fact, a few pots did. I lost a few plants that was upsetting.
I had kept kicking myself in the but with the good foot, lol, wishing I had planted them into bigger pots.
They were looking so nice up until about the middle of July, and to watch them helplessly deteriot was an aweful experience. In fact, I had to let many tomatos ripen and rot as I couldn't pick them.

They were growing so nice and lush, and then just all of a sudden stunted! I hear you on that.

Al....Congrats buddy ! Maybe they will be on their way to another winning streak?

That same weather is heading here. Did you see all the tornados just south of you? What a mess. I hope we get some good rains at least, since we have had less than an inch or two most of the winter. The next thing you know they'll be putting watering bans up if we don't make up for the deficit, then I have to worry about my perennials and shrubs.

???
Al,I was wondering if I went to my local store and snapped a couple of pictures of pots, if you would help me decide which one to put my, what I want to be possible Bonsai maple into?


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hey Mike,

AL, Jodi, Josh and everyone ...

Our temps here have been just crazy as well! Two days ago we had 83 degrees and then the next day it was 53* for the high. Rain today with thunderstorms and wind. Temps into the mid 70's for tomorrow. The trees dont know what to do. Cherry trees, Forsythia, Quince are all blooming now and it not even March yet. That makes me worried for the blooms..

Al,

Glad to hear the Redwings won.. That does make you happy!!!
Sorry to hear of all the weather you are having...hope it breaks for you soon. Im sure you have had a mild winter compared to last year?

Seems we all have had a mild winter. We still need a good freeze to kill the insects (fleas) that are an issue here in Virginia Beach.. UGGG! ALl of my beloved pets are flea free, but when they go outside for a walk..they have to be checked. Its a pain in the *** !!!

Hope all is well with everyone. My trees are doing great and the Goldfish plant looks like it has little fish all over it. I cant believe how cute this little one is!! Thank you!! : )

Mike...I picked up an Orchid the other day and smelled the fragrant ones and thought of you...they are very impressive. I did have to buy just one!! LOL...

Take care everyone,

Laura


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hey, Mike, Al, Laura, and all!

Work's been busy and, frankly, I can't keep up with 101 topics all in the same Thread.
Too much noise to signal ratio.

Last night we had a wild wind and rainstorm blow through. Snow is falling just up the hill
from me, right above 2000 feet elevation. It seemed like I was awake all night listening to
the wind. My citrus cold-frame survived, whereas it blew over last year...so that's a success ;-)

I'm almost ready to start my hot pepper seeds...more arrived in the mail this afternoon.
Talk to ya'll soon!


Josh


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Mike: Yes, I had to water the 3 gallon pots every one to two days during periods without rain. The 5 gallon would go two to three days between waterings, something people need to consider when deciding on a pot size. I didn't mind that as part of my ritual was checking plants daily, and I had a rain barrel hose that reached my plants so watering was a non issue for me. As far as health and yield though, they were exactly the same.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

I wish blow molded nursery pots commonly came in white.. I think there are some UV resistance issues though. I have large 15 gallon pots for some tomatoes, but I'm going to have to paint them white to prevent the roots from cooking in the Texas sun. Thing is, the spray paint recommended for plastic is silly expensive, especially considering I went with black nursery pots to lower costs.

I've considered using cloth, but I'm not as talented with a sowing machine as I'd like to think - and it doesn't seem cost effective either. I even considered using hydrated lime to whitewash... silly idea.

Al, or anyone with a better understanding of container gardening physics - can the insulating characteristics of a plant container ever be counter productive, by slowing the cooling down of the soil at night? Or is virtually all of the cooling due to the transpiration of the plant, as I suspect? By insulation, I mean both radiative and conductive..because some have suggested using cheap mylar emergency blankets to cover the container.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Interesting that you need white pots. Where I live at elevation away from the lake, it actually gets very hot in summer, over 90F quite often in July/Aug. I still need the black pots for peppers to do well. I suspect the watering and evaporation still keep the roots cool enough to do well. Probably the big difference is the night temperature, which drops quite a bit in my area.


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heat

This past summer in Houston was record setting, as I'm sure you've heard (with almost three months of highs regularly over 100 degrees), but temps have always hovered near 100 in the summer months here. And you're right, night temperatures don't drop much, because of humidity and other factors. The humidity also means evaporative cooling through transpiration is less effective. Anyway, it all conspires to make even peppers weak and stunted in growth when in containers. In the ground though... it's gangbusters. You should've seen the okra we got from just three plants (in the front yard ;) this past summer. Fortunately, my family likes okra a lot... and I think the tons of yellow hibiscus-like blooms are gorgeous.

Is it wrong that part of me is almost hoping someone complains about the front yard food gardening...I have so much righteous indignation on behalf of my plants that I never get to use. My hatred for lawns grows with each passing day.


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

GT,

I was looking for something similar for my peppers and found these white pots (see link below), which seem pretty reasonably priced plus there's free shipping. Just need to drill some holes into the bottom and they'll be ready to go. By the way, I posted a similar question here a few days back and got a couple of interesting answers ("How do you shade the pot?").

I'll also take a shot at your question. I don't think you want to thermally insulate the container; if you were to do so, you are correct that it would both warm slower (in the day) and cool slower (at night). Painting it white (or using foil, shadecloth, other shade, etc.) serves to reflect the sunlight and thereby prevents the sun from warming the black pot, but would have no impact on pot temp. at night.

Here is a link that might be useful: 5 gallon white buckets


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Laura!! You didn't? lol. What kind of orchid is it? Ok, now I will have you getting orchid fever in no time.lol
I am surrounded by the smell of the most fragrant orchids I have ever had:-))
Now I just need a great plumeria and another gardenia..Hint, hint:-0)

Today it's 32, dark, and snowing after 50's and sunny yesterday. Yuk!

Josh..WONDERFUL that your greenhouse held up. You did good buddy! You certainly prepared this time knowing in advance how bad your winds can be. Great job.
To think you could go skiing right up the road from your house while you have rain amazes me.

The pot thing black verses white is very interesting.

Have a great day all:-)

Mike


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

GT, sounds like you have a climate I wouldn't want to live in. I can barely stand the daytime heat here in summer... I look forward to the evening cool off each day. If I was living where you are, I'd probably just be growing in the ground, which sounds like the best option for your climate... Mind you, at 100+ degrees, I probably woudn't want to go outside at all... LOL


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Hi Mike,

Yes, i did buy one..LOL Hopefully i can limit myself to just a couple. Im taking my mother to a garden show tomorrow and they have lots of Orchids and DR's and other things. On Saturday i am planning to head up to PHL for flower show that has the theme of "Hawaii" I hope that i can carry all of the goodies back on the plane!!! I will let you know what i can't live without!!! : )

Greentiger,

I also have the same problem with my containers during the summer here in Virginia Beach. My collection of Plumeria like to be in black pots during the spring and fall. But during a few weeks of the hottest part of the summer, we can have temps in the triple digits which can fry my roots. I also had to think of options to protect my trees. Sometimes i will sink my pots snd that really helps, but i have so many trees that i did try and place white contact paper around the outside of the containers to reflect the heat. It did work, but i didnt like the look ... So... I decided to place the black pots inside larger containers and place mulch in between the pots. This seems to work very well when the temps reach over 100 degrees. They are all on my back deck facing the western sun and it gets very hot out there.

Thought you may want to see what i did to my containers...

The first pic is of my containers (black) The Plumeria love the heat during the spring and early summer. Then once August comes around and we cant breath with the humidity and the heat, i place them inside the other contaner.

Just thought i would let you see.. : )

Photobucket

Inside the other container with mulch to protect the roots..
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J-105 (Thai)
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Photobucket
Photobucket

This really helps my trees with the heat..Plumeria love the heat, but cant take high triple digits..any roots would cook in the heat that we have.

Hope this helps..

Take care,

Laura


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RE: Anything you wanna talk about?

Those really are gorgeous Laura! I've used that approach for smaller pots, but it really isn't feasible with 15 gallon pots. I've been toying with the idea of plumeria in the ground as a companion for my roses, hoping that I can protect them through the winter by cutting them down and putting them under bell jars. Probably wishful thinking, but we'll see :P

I think I'll just go with spray painting the pots. It's an investment I suppose.. thanks for everyone's advice!


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