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Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Posted by loveplants2 8 (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 5, 11 at 17:30

Hello Everyone...

It's a cold and rainy day here in VB...so I decided to take a few pics to share with you!!

My hubby made some screens for me...I still need to find 1/8 inch hardware cloth...so then I should be ready to start!!! The funny thing is that he made the screens 2x2 and they are a little "large" for me...I really couldn't say that after the fact...but they are huge!! LOL...I guess that I will be building up my muscles...I guess that I will have to go to the GNC and buy some extra protein!! LOL...

Here are some pics of the new screens...he did a nice job on them...thanks Al for the photos!! They really helped him to make the "industrial" size screens!! LOL...I think that I can start a production line...LOL...Seriously...I am very grateful for them..they will be wonderful!!! Can't wait to see the final mix...
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Pumice for Plumeria...
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Turface for my "great" Mix!!!
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My dormant Plumeria still sleeping in my back room...
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Signs of them waking up!!!
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Seed pod still growing on the Dormant tree..
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Jodik...I did pick up some reptibark at the local pet store...thanks for the suggestion...I am still looking for the other fine fir bark..but this will do for now...

Question? What is the typical size of the perlite sold at most box stores? Is this the # 3 that I have heard others talking about? or is # 3 larger in size?

Thanks everyone...I can't wait to get this started...

Thanks again for your help... : )

Laura in VB


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

First of all, nice screens! They'll serve you well. :-)

Second, I'm glad you were able to get some Reptibark to start with... now we have to find you a fir bark supplier for larger amounts!

As for the perlite... the usual size sold everywhere seems to be the small stuff. The bags are loaded with dust and particles too small to do much good. I know you can get a larger, coarser size of perlite, but from whom, I'm not certain. I've found it listed on Ebay in small amounts, but we would need a lot more... I'm still looking for a local supplier, and just need to do a little more research and asking around.

As for the size #... I'm not really sure. I've never noticed it listed by size # on the bags. Perhaps someone else can field that question... anyone?

I'll probably end up finding it at our local garden center. We also have a greenhouse/grower supplier nearby, so I'll be calling them, too. I've been using the common size sold everywhere, and just screening out the waste, but I'd like to go with a coarser perlite, for sure.

Last, but not least... your Plumies look nice! They're all plump and ready for spring, it looks like! The seed pod is very interesting... a strange looking thing! Neat! Do you also grow them from seed? Is it easy? I've only tried from cuttings, myself.

Nice pictures, Laura! Thanks for sharing! We're still up to our eyeballs in snow, so it seems like spring will never get here... but we say that every year! :-)

I can't wait to get going on my own projects... building soils, re-potting, garden work, getting the greenhouse up and running... there's so much to be done! C'mon spring!


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 5, 11 at 19:24

Arghh! I should have offered more info - like what size the screens were! I'm sorry! I hope they're not too heavy for you to use comfortably. If they are ..... I remembered a post that might help transmit an idea better than I can try to describe. Follow the link at the end of the first post I linked you to to see the idea. We have HDPE at the shop, which is a plastic with anti-friction/anti-wear properties. I could easily send you the materials (n/c - I can cut them out of cut-offs) and help hubby with the 'engineering' part if it's required. Then, instead of you having to hold the weight of the screens, they would be supported entirely on nearly frictionless 'skids' and all you gotta do is shake it. Lol You know how to find me if you want to make it a plan.

The wholesale outfit I gave you the # for should have perlite in 3 or 4 cu ft bags. Try them first & ask for coarse, but also tell them you want it in around 1/8-1/4" sizes, in case 'coarse' to them is basketball-size. ;o)

Good luck.

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: Lookie here!


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Wow..I am thrilled to see how far you have come Laura:-))))))

Look at those nice screens! I wish I could make mine like that.

As for bark? If you don't mind paying shipping, I think I can get a deal for you from a man who sells huge bags of un-composted fir bark much less than you can buy in smaller bags.

Something tells me the sun at your house is a whole lot stronger than mine already.Yahoooo for you:-) Look at the plumes waking up!

I sent you an e-mail by the way and I will definitely take a picture of the DR you gave me this Monday. I can't wait till you see it!

You remind me so much of Jojo and Jodik when they starting posting pictures of their finds and exctement. It is so nice.

Mike


Also, I am going to worms way this weekend to get Foliage Pro. O don't mind getting some for you and saving you shipping because of what you have done for me.

As for perlite? I know that Griffiths greenhouse supplies sell it locally here for me and it is coarse. About the same size as that pumice and turface after screened.

Anything we can do to help we are here for you!

Look at all this plumies and DO I SEE AN INFLO my friend? I am already jealous..lol Oh boy those are going to look so nice this year. And now that you are going to use the gritty mix, wow.


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Hello Everyone,

Jodik...Thanks for the compliments on the Plumeria!! They are some really strange looking trees..especially during dormancy!! This is the first seed pod for me..so I'm realy excited to see it mature..hopefully it will continue to do well and prodce seeds for me this summer. I have grown some from seeds, they came from Maui Plumeria Gardens. I bought some items from them and they sent some seeds as a freebie! They were easy for me to grow..I had started them in the middle of the summer and they had a great chance to grow before I had to bring them in for the winter. They are still active and I currently have them growing on a heated seed mat inside.

This past summer I had purchased a large bag of perlite from a Hydroponics store in Maryland. The size of this perlite was pea size (or larger) and to large for me... I gave it away to a friend who liked the size... I will check at the local Feed and seed store for the coarse size and check on the Fir bark again. But thanks for the Repitbark idea!! That will help me get started..so I'm excited about that!!

Hope that the snow melts soon for you...I know that you are ready to start your projects...I cant wait to get mine started as well...especially with these new screens!! They are going to be helpful with making my mix...Did I tell yout that my middle name is "popeye?" LOL...all I need now is some spinach and I will be ready to produce...!!! LOL...

Al...Thanks for the link for the sifting idea!! That could be an option if I find that my back can't handle the weight of the screens...I could always use some of his ideas..I will let you know how it works....do you have any spinach? LOL...only kidding...I did have to tell my hubby that after this summer, I could enter some arm wrestling contest!!!
LMAO!!! I think its great that he made them for me...I just have to poke a little...he forgot that they were for me and not for him!!! : )

The VB Feed and Seed store is where I will go on Monday and purchase my growers grit...I will also ask them about the coarse perlite...not the gumball size that i had before!!
Like you had mentioned before, I will check again on the fir bark there...I had asked before and they just gave me the "look" so I will try again...this time with the info that you gave to me!! Thanks Again...I will let you know what I find!!!

They also have starter size grit and developer size grit...you say that you like the grower size right?

Thanks for all of your help!!! : )

Mike...Let me know the info on the fir bark..if I don't have any luck here...I will gladly pay for shipping to get what I need...Thank you for that!!!

The Plumies are still in the back room with the shades closed and the room closed off from the heat...They have not seen much light..I don't want them to become to active...It's to early for them to be knocking at the door to come out and play!!! LOL.. The DR's have not been in the back room...they have been out in my greatroom not in a sunny area, but just in a corner of the room. They have had more water than the Plumies though...

Yes... you did see an inflo...I just hope that it will stay small and not grow until I put them outside...My California Sunset that I have under lights has a huge inflo pushing up and I'm afraid that it will not makke it...we shall see..

I ordered some Foliage Pro on line and recieved it last week...so I shall be fine with this gallon for a while..Thank you for the offer...I certainly appreciate all that you do for me...That goes for all of you here on this forum...You guys and gals are wonderful people and I am so glad to be here with you!!!

Hope you all have a great Super Bowl Sunday!!!

The big question? Packers or Steelers?

I'll give you a hint who I'm rooting for...( I love Fromage!!!)

Take care everyone...

Laura in VB


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

When I first began looking around and asking about the various ingredients for gritty mediums, like fir bark, every clerk or salesperson I spoke with thought I was nuts. I got a lot of those "looks"! Once I explained what I was doing, I got a mixed bag of "Aha, I see! Great idea!" to "Huh? Why? I don't get it." You'll get a lot of those "looks"! :-)

I did, however, run into a few salespeople who were experienced gardeners and understood the concept once I explained what I wanted to do. They, too, complained about the lack of diversity within the retail sector. But, it's all about moving a product and making a profit.

For me, the ReptiBark saves a lot of work. I don't have to screen it, and I can use it directly out of the bag. I wish it came in larger bags! But for now, it works out nicely for the amounts I use.

It's a shame, but I think most of the coarser, more inorganic materials are used mainly by bonsai growers and people of like mind, and they're fewer and farther between... and because the growing industry is what it is, there's not much call for large portions of the items we like to use... pumice, crushed granite, turface, fir bark, coarser bits of various materials. It makes finding a steady supply of a good mix of ingredients sometimes difficult to locate. But it's so worth the extra effort to find everything we need!

I've pollinated and grown seed from many of my Hippeastrum bulbs, and it's quite a fun and easy project, though patience is required as it takes around 2-3 years for the first blooms to appear from seed grown bulbs! I was wondering if the Plumie seeds were also easy to grow, and how long they take to mature to flowering size? Do you make specific crosses, or is that seed pod from a selfing? How many seeds does one pod give, approximately?

I've made some interesting crosses of my Hippeastrums, and I'm trying to build up the species portion of my collection so I can get a little more involved in the whole thing. I find it highly interesting and rewarding!

Speaking of Popeye and spinach, I actually change my diet with the seasons to reflect the added activity. I have lupus, so I watch my nutritional intake, anyway... but I switch to a meal replacement shake diet, plus fruits and vegetables, for the summer months. I find it helps me to feel better, have more energy, and it helps to detoxify me after a winter of cheating and eating a lot of things I shouldn't! I use Optimum Nutrition items, made for athletes and body builders. Two shakes a day with whole milk, in double chocolate, and I feel like a million bucks!

Actually, I would think that the larger the screen area, the more product you could move through, which might help cut down on the time it takes to screen a large amount. My husband did the same thing several years ago... built a screen to fit him, and not me! I had needed to sift some huge piles of chipped mulch to remove the larger twigs and branches... whomever chopped it up did a poor job, and there were practically log sized pieces mixed in... anyway, I asked the husband to build me a screen to use, and it turned out man-sized! LOL! Oh, well... it worked! It got the job done! :-)

I'm not much for football, so I won't be watching on Super Bowl Sunday... I'm more of a MMA type girl! Full contact fighting is where it's at for me! UFC, Strikeforce, etc... or boxing! in fact, UFC 126 was last night. Wouldn't you know it... I was so tired I fell asleep during the undercard!

Anyway... that's why we're all here... to help and share! We're more than happy to help each other get the most out of what we do... grow stuff! :-)

Happy Gardening!


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 6, 11 at 16:36

I'm not a football fan either, but I usually watch the whole game & usually find myself getting caught up in it. I always let my wife pick her team, & we bet $5 - no spotting points or anything like that. We always make each other pay-up, too!

You're probably seeing that most of us really are anxious to help you succeed at whatever it is you want to do. I like being around people who are lifted by the success of others, and I find enthusiasm (anyone's) begets enthusiasm. Most of us are all willing to pitch in to encourage and help you 'git 'er done', or just hang out & have some fun. Mike gets a big 'attaboy' for dragging you over to the forum. I don't know if I ever said 'welcome' (I think I must have (?) when you got introduced on one of the long threads that have dropped off the front page) but I am (and I'm sure everyone else is) glad you're here.

Hey - I hope your team wins .................................... and that my wife picks the other team. ;o)

Best luck. Snowing like mad again, here. :-(

Al


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Jodi and JoJo...this is for you!!! I'm glad you like my "Thanksgiving" cactus!!!

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Baby DR...still on a heat mat...
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This is the DR that I sent to Mike...the little frog is the way that I met Al and all of you here...Thanks Mike!!! : )
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This is the same Agave outside last summer...
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Another offspring of the Granddaddy Agave...
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These are my other babies in my backyard...
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My other dear babies!!!
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Jodi...Thank you for your encouragement...It really means alot...I know how hard you work and I have to say how impressed i am with all you do...even with your illness...it doesn't seem to pull you down to much...Those protein shakes must really help!! I shall try something like that..when I work, I don;t eat the way I should..i do bring protein shakes with me just so i dont skip a meal..thats when I seem to get run down and very tired..but when working 14 -16 hour days in the air..can really do a number on me!!! I had heard in your post that you have had some good news...I hope that you have things under control and that you are feeling better!!! I have to say that i am very impressed in the way that you handle your farm (estate) kennels...roses and all of your other joys in life!!! Your are a joy to be around!!!

Al...You have said in your own way...and other ways that you are a very kind person and have been ever so kind and welcoming to me as well!!! I certainly thank you for that!!

I must say that I have gotten more from this forum that many other ones that i have visited and made friends with,,,while I still visit my frinds over here and there...I honestly say that I can't wait to come back here to get back in touch with you all...You have this way about you that makes me/others feel "warm" and comforatble...
Thank you for that...all of you!!!

Al...here is pic for you...hope you like it
my mother in my backyard

This is my mother walking in my yard...it's not me!!!
Thought you may light to see the palms!!!

Take care everyone..

Laura in VB


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

I almost forgot to mention to Jodi that my seed pods were all naturally crossed... They cannot carry the named variety of the mother plant...so they are labeled seedlings from XXX...they only keep the named variety if it is a cutting...so the Plumeria Society came keep them true to the mother/Father parent plant...the seedlings will take 2-3 years to bloom...but a friend "artictropical" (Kevin) has had great sucess with his seedlings..he had blooms the first year..but he has them under lights all winter long..come over to the PF side sometime and I can help you get you started!!! As far as the seed pods..and the number of seeds...I think that you can have hundreds from the pod that you had seen on mine...Once it starts to crack..i will have to put a knee hi stocking over it to collect the seeds...sounds funny, but it works!! I hope that i answered you questions...If i didn't , I have many friends over ther that can help with any questions that you may have..here are a few pics of some of my Plumies!!!
my first bloom on a unidentified plumeria
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New cuttings getting started in the beeginning of the summer...the paper holders keep the sun from burning the stems...
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my daughter with the little one!!!
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Take care everyone...

Laura in VB


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 7, 11 at 0:21

You're very talented ...... and ambitious when it comes to your plants, I see. I really enjoyed the tour. Thanks for showing us your plants - very nice. I wish I could gain a zone or two, but wishing ain't gonna git 'er done. ;o)

...... and I was just about to compliment you on the color of your flip-flops. Lol

Oh - Glad to see your team won!

Take care.

Al


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Hey AL...

Go PacK Go!!! What a game...I thought that The Steelers were going to pull this one off..especially with all of the dropped passes on the GB side...Wow..now i have to get the indigestion under control!!! LOL...I love sports..JoJo mantioned about the other type of fights..I did happen to see one last night...if this is what she is talking about.."anything goes" What a fight!!!

SO you thought that the blue flipflops were mine eh? My mother is a true beach lady...she loves flipflops!!! LOL..she loves to walk in the yard...especially now that she sold her house to go to a smaller condo...To much work for her...but she loves to play in my yard and help trim things...I do have to watch her though...LOL..she will start to trim just to trim!!! Love my Mom!! She's the best!!!

Thank you for the nice comments on my trees/plants...they are quite different from yours...I love all of your beautiful Bonsai trees...all of your different containers...you are the true talented gardener...We all love to see what you do in your yard...I cant wait for a new thread from your yard!!! ANd everyone elses yard!!! Love to see all of the different plants/flowers from all of the different zones!!! It's all great stuff!!

DiD I mention that i like Wisconsin Cheese!!! LOL...

Have A great day....everyone!!!

Thanks for the smiles... : )

Laura in VB


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Wow, Laura! That's quite a collection of Plumies you've got, there! They're beautiful! Your yard is just gorgeous! The palm trees give it such a nice tropical feel! Your pictures make me want to move south! :-)

I was curious about the Plumie seeds and their growth because I do a little hobby pollinating with my bulbs, and also with some of the Daylilies we have in the gardens. Yes, you answered my questions. The Hippeastrum seed pods can also be loaded with seeds. Since I grow them indoors, for the most part, I have control of the crosses made, and I can harvest the pods at the moment they're ready to crack open. The fun part is seeing the results of the various crosses!

The color combination of that cat pot and the Thanksgiving Cactus is so eye catching! I just love it!

I wish I could say that this was our farm, but it's actually owned by friends of ours. We're the caretakers. The woman and her husband are retired, and her husband isn't in the greatest of health, so we were "hired" to come down and be live-in estate caretakers. It works out well for all of us. My husband does all the mechanical and technical work, and I do the gardening, yard work, and help take care of all the animals.

As long as I eat right, and am able to adequately stifle the pain, the lupus isn't so bad. I don't have a choice, so there's no sense in crying about it... and I've always believed that life is what you make it. If you want to be unhappy and complain about life, it's easy to sit around and be depressed. But there's so much to be thankful for, and so much enjoyment to be had out of life, that it doesn't make much sense to lament the things we can't control.

Laura, you wouldn't believe the string of bad luck we've had... we joke about being followed around by a black cloud that keeps raining on our parade. My husband was partially disabled in an industrial accident, I was diagnosed with lupus, we lost our home to a fire and couldn't rebuild, and to top it off, we were both passengers in a bad auto accident that left us both with permanent injuries.

Life gives you lemons, you have a choice... you can either suck on a sour lemon, or you can get busy and make lemon meringue pie... we chose pie! No one said life would be easy or perfect... so, you do the best you can with what you've got. It's that simple.

So, living here and caretaking the farm is perfect for us. We make our own schedules, working around the animals, and we do as much as we can do. If we need time to rest, we've got it... or if I feel sick, there's someone else to help with chores... so it works out great!

Gosh, what I wouldn't give to have a small lap pool or a hot tub! Talk about being good for the bones! You must get a lot of great exercise swimming! That's one of the most fun ways to keep in shape, I think! I love swimming!

As for protein shakes... my husband spent his youth involved in martial arts and competing, and he studied nutrition as part of it all... most of what's on the market isn't truly complete. Through his research, he found two companies that he feels confident in recommending. One is Optimum Nutrition, and the other is Champion Nutrition. He gets the Optimum Nutrition meal replacement mix for me, in double chocolate flavor. It mixes up incredibly thick, and I honestly do not feel hungry in between shakes. It actually seems to help me feel better, and I have Greek yogurt and fruits and vegetables as snacks.

Cheating occurs as soon as Thanksgiving arrives... I can be healthy and fit all summer, and then we get together with family for the Holidays, and I blow it all by eating cookies and fudge and all the foods everyone brings out for Thanksgiving and Christmas... but who can resist? :-) Not I!

Anyway... your pictures are wonderful, Laura! And I'm glad I can inspire you with enthusiasm! Like Al says, enthusiasm is contagious, and it spreads... and besides, what we give comes back to us... so it's always better to give smiles and happiness! :-)

I can't wait to see Al's yard this coming year, too! His plant arrangements are glorious, and his yard always look like a showplace! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's growing skill this spring and summer! We're a diverse group from all areas of the US, so the different plants we choose to grow and the environments we grow in are all so interesting!

Chores call... I hope everyone has a great day!

Happy Gardening!


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Hi Jodi,

I think that I had mentioned in an earlier post about JoJo likeing the fights...Sorry, that was you!!! I did see some of those fights the other night...Unbelievable...

Sounds like you have a great setup with your arrangements with the farm...You still take good care just as if it was yours...The owners are probably very fortunate to have you there taking care of everything...you have the enthusiasm and the knowledge to maintain and build this farm into something even more grand!! I can tell!! They are lucky to have you!!!

You have more knowledge in cross pollination...I haven't really tried ..but I do think that I could really enjoy seeing what lies ahead!!! I just like to grow my tropicals, Plumeria, Citrus..and anything that makes me happy... Palm were my first love...I planted these palms about 16-17 years ago with the idea that I could look out my windows and think that I could be anywhere in the islands...They have now finally grown to block the view of the other yards and to give me some privacy and to feel like I could be in a different "zone" LOL..maybe a zone 10!!! I do love living here at the beach...born and raised...My kids love it too! They love surfing, fishing and everything that goes with the ocean!!!

The great joy in seeing everyones garden/yard is the time spent in there own creations...It gives us a great journey right here on this forum...It's so much fun to see all of the different designs, gardens...styles, ideas...etc!!!

Jodi...you talk of the string of bad luck that you have gone thru...I'm truly sorry to hear all of these terrible things that have happened to you and your hubby..I do agree with you that life is hard sometimes....but you also have to look at this "cloud" and think that it could be your saving cloud too! Someone or something has been keeping you safe thru all of these testing times...everyone of the incidents that you mentioned could have had a different outcome, far worse than what actually happened...maybe this cloud is a ray of "sunshine" that has protected you from greater problems...you both are still here...and loving life!! That makes for a great "sweet tasting" pitcher of "lemonade" LOL...

You can always fine people that are tired of hottubs....look in the paper or see if anyone has them on sale near you...they also make small portable tubs...I think that you both deserve one and you should benefit from soaking in the warm/hot water...you muscles will thank you!!!

I will check on the Optimum Nutrition "double Chocolate" mix...that sounds like a great plan..I need something like that to help me supplement my meals during the day...thanks for the info!!! I too like to bake during the holidays...but the problem is...I still bake throught out the year as well!! That's the real problem..LOL

Love to see more roses from your gardens...

I can't wait to see the new pictures from everyone come this spring...truly a great expectation!!!

Enthusiasm is contagious....thank you for your inspiration in growing and also for many others things too!

Have a great day Jodi!!!

Laura in VB


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Oh Laura!

Guess which pic I saved as my backround?lol

I LOVE your pics and your sandles..oops. Your mom's!

I think you or I should send Jodi a small plumeria. What do you think? We can tell her how easy it is to grow them and they require no room at all come fall till they go out again. One of those plants you can throw in the cellar and forget about it fo a couple of weeks at a time..

Thanks for such a fun read here you all!

Mike


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Well everyone and Laura, as I promised.

Here is a picture I took today of the DR you gave me.

I can only pray it looks as good as you had it! Since I watered, the ends have stopped collapsing and have stiffened up. Now I just wait for new growth.:-)
Should I threaten to kick it out in that snow if it doesn't start growing soon?lol

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Nite you all and many blessings to my friends!

Mike


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Hey Mike,

It looks great!!! You will see improvement soon...remember that these DR's like to be root bound..if you choose to repot..then make sure that you keep the Caudex up high when you raise it up!!!

You could even cut them back a little more...but I know that you don't want to do anything just yet!!! LOL...It will b fine..I'll bet that you will see some leafing in the next 2 weeks!!!

Great job!!! Next year...leave it upstairs or in a corner near a window...ater once a month...and it will be fine!!!
I don't treat them like the Plumeria...they have colder and little light for the winter...the DR's have some light and a little water....I have no worries that it will bloom for you this year...remember that it likes direct sun during the summer...loves it!!!

Also...you were asking about my citrus...I have a Carrie Mango, One Glenn and two Myer Lemons...I am looking to purchase a Ponderosa this spring!!! : )

I also would like the info that you offered me for the fir bark...I will gladly pay for the shipping..Thanks Mike!!!

My guess for the screen saver....the TC in the leopard pot?

Hello to ALL....Hello SIssy!!! XOXOXO

Laura in VB


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 7, 11 at 22:13

When you prune the ends of many succulents/houseplants/small trees in containers, coating the wound with waterproof wood glue while the wound is still fresh will prevent that tissue dieback, Mike. I do it all the time.

Al


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RE: Getting my screens ready...turface and other ingredients...

Well, Laura... I was raised to respect others and their property, so treating this place as though it were mine is as natural as breathing!

I never really thought about our string of poor luck as a ray of sunshine, but you're right... it all could have been much worse. I think that's probably why we laugh it off... because we know the alternatives wouldn't have had happy endings. For every step forward, we get knocked two steps back, or so it seems... what else can you do but find the humor and push forward!?

The beauty of living here and having this position is being so rural, which we love, and getting to work with the animals and the gardens. Who could ask for a better job? It's got its frustrations and its downsides, too... but for the most part, I can't think of a better way to keep a roof over our heads! :-)

There is actually a bathtub downstairs that has the jets and heater... and we use it on occasion. Of course, we can't swim in it, so a pool or being close to the ocean would be much better! Who knows... maybe one day we'll be able to take a vacation and visit the Gulf, or go to the ocean... one never knows what the future holds.

Mike, I have two Plumies, already. Once I get these two in decent condition, I'll take you up on another. :-) For now, I'm working toward learning more about them, and getting these two to branch and look as plump as Laura's! Mine look sickly compared to hers! And yes, they get enough light. ;-)

There's just something about that spotted cat pot and the contrast of the red Thanksgiving Cactus flowers, in shape and texture and color, that just blows me away! I don't blame you for saving it as wallpaper, Mike! Isn't it lovely? A feast for the eyes! :-)

Ok... chores call... again! I gotta get moving and take care of the horses and such. You all take care, and have a nice day!


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