Clippings by GreenDreamhome

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Hard white areas on my bell peppers

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 10.12.2014 at 01:04 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Here in the Phoenix area we just finished with a month of incredible rainstorms, and we're still unusually humid. I lost some bell pepper branches, but overall they are still doing well and producing nice peppers. In fact, they are growing bigger than they did before.

Yesterday I noticed hard, bright white areas on a few of the peppers. What is causing this?

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clipped on: 10.12.2014 at 01:04 pm    last updated on: 10.12.2014 at 01:04 pm

Plastic, paper in bagged mulch -- problem?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 08.16.2014 at 09:36 am in Soil Forum

I don't have enough homemade compost for everything I need to plant this month. The nursery recommended a bagged vegetable mulch that they said was gathered from scraps from local restaurants. (I thought he meant local to our city, but the back of the bag says it's from a nearby state.) I bought a bag to try it, and started mixing some in the with the soil I was preparing for a cherry tomato plant in a giant clay pot.

It seemed to be fine, but as I was finishing (I mixed in batches because this is a BIG pot) first I encountered what seemed to be wadded-up paper, and then a few strips that looked like the ends of a bag -- the part that comes off when you open the bags of compost. (No, they weren't from MY bag; they were farther down in.)

I was nearly done, so I finished and planted the tomato, but now I'm wondering what else is in that mulch that I can't see, and if it will be bad for the plant. I tried to call the company twice, but had to leave a message and didn't get a reply. The nursery says they haven't had any reports of this. I'm reluctant to use the rest of the compost, and do I have to replant that tomato? That will be not only a waste of time, but of money, because I had mixed peat moss, hard-to-find worm compost and bat guano in, too.

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clipped on: 08.16.2014 at 09:37 am    last updated on: 08.16.2014 at 09:37 am

"Skunky" bell peppers

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 07.11.2014 at 09:57 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

We harvested our first orange bell pepper the other day. It looked nice, but it had an odd flavor; I think it tasted a little like a skunk smells! What would cause this?

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clipped on: 07.11.2014 at 09:57 pm    last updated on: 07.11.2014 at 09:57 pm

Oil bad for leaves/plants?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 07.03.2014 at 08:20 pm in Garden Clinic Forum

I recently read that having an oil coating on leaves is bad for plants. However, that seems to be the way all pest-control works, whether it's an all-natural spray like olive oil, natural soap and garlic, or something chemical that you buy to spray on. What's the real scoop?

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clipped on: 07.03.2014 at 08:21 pm    last updated on: 07.03.2014 at 08:21 pm

Percent nitrogen in corn meal

posted by: GaetanoL on 11.11.2005 at 10:14 pm in Organic Gardening Forum

I'd like to start using organic fertilizer for my lawn. I thought I'd try corn meal. What is the percent nitrogen by weight in corn meal? I'm about to send out a soil sample to my county extension and I want to be able to apply the corn meal at the appropriate rate.

Thanks in advance.

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clipped on: 07.01.2014 at 09:28 am    last updated on: 07.01.2014 at 09:28 am

RE: Percent nitrogen in corn meal (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: username_5 on 11.13.2005 at 10:28 pm in Organic Gardening Forum

To apply any source of nitrogen at the proper rate involves knowing the percentage of nitrogen (as it appears you are aware) and the amount of nitrogen recommended per feeding.

Typically 1 lb of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. is recommended per feeding on lawns. If a product is listed as 10-0-0 that means 10% of it's weight is nitrogen. So, one pound per 1,000 sq. ft would be 10 lbs of the material scattered over 1,000 sq. ft.

With that in mind here are some common organic sources of nitrogen:

blood meal Hideously expensive source of nitrogen. Around 12% nitrogen by weight making it very attractive, but way over priced per unit of nitrogen. Typical analysis 12-0-0

Poultry manure If you have access to a free source of this it is the organic nitrogen source to have, but it isn't only nitrogen making it easy to overload the soil with other nutrients when used exclusively for a lawn fert. Typical analysis 3-4-3.

soybean meal almost impossible to score for free, but great stuff. Typical analysis 6-1.5-2. Ideal ratio for lawns. Try to find at feed stores and the like in bulk.

fish products If you are a commercial fisherperson or know someone who is, this is great, otherwise terribly expensive. Typical analysis 9-7-0. Should be enough to make anyone stop tossing fish leftovers into the trash.

alfalfa meal Can be found overpriced as rabbit food at pet stores or in bulk at farm/grain stores more reasonably. Typical analysis 3-.5-3.

corn gluten This is not to be confused with cracked corn or ground corn. Gluten is an isolated portion of the kernel and is not available everywhere. Where it is available prices vary dramatically depending on how it is packaged. Typical analysis 9-0-0

Brewers grains Certainly not easy to come by for everyone, but if you are buddies with a person running a microbrew, then big score time. Typical analysis of 'spent' grains 1-.5-0

cottonseed meal Not available in my neck of the woods, but for those who can get it inexpensively the typical analysis is 6-1.5-2.5. The waste from cotton mills is typically 1.3-.4-.4 so much lower, but around the same levels.

egg shells Typical analysis 1.4-.4-.2 Pretty much impossible to find commercially, but should be reason enough to not send them to a landfill. Very high in calcium, a minor plant nutrient as well.

feathers Doesn't much matter what creature the feathers come from. Typical analysis 15-0-0 making them a super source of nitrogen. Good luck finding them in bulk, but yet another source that shouldn't be sent to the landfill if you have them.

hair, human or otherwise 12-0-0. Breaks down very slowly, but a rich source of nitrogen. Again, good luck finding it commerically, but if you are friendly with a barbershop and don't mind running it through a blender to make it break down faster and not blow away, a terrific source of N.
If you are a parent cutting your kid's hair at home, you know what to do ;-)


Now let's discuss manures. Typically manures are available in two forms. Fresh and composted. Here it is really, really important to remember one all encompassing, unavoidable fact. Composted anything is very low in nutrients. They get used up/leeched out in the composting process. Compost is great, just not as fertilizer for the big 3 N-P-K. Composted manure regardless of whether it comes from horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep or something else has a typical analysis of 1-1-1. Not coincidentally compost made from all plant ingredients has a typical analysis of 1-1-1 as well. Also not surprisingly the pH of compost is nearly always neutral regardless of what went into the compost. In other words, compost is compost is compost regardless of what ingredients went into it. Please keep this in mind or you will get ripped off.


Now, lets take a look at some controversial sources of nitrogen you are almost certainly producing in quantity and throwing away. WARNING, the following is not for the faint of heart.

Dog and human manure are rich in nutrients. They also carry the potential for disease causing organisms. Nevertheless if you have a dog you might want to consider smashing the poop with a shovel to spread it out and speed decomposition rather than sending it to a land fill. It is terrific fertilizer and the round worms, if present in the poop, are already in your soil so don't give it another thought.

urine Golly gee wizz (pun intended) if there is a higher nitrogen source than urine I don't know what it is. According to some sources urine is 45% nitrogen. Think about that. 45-?-?. That is a super high nitrogen source. So high that dogs peeing in the same spot can fert/salt burn the turf. Imagine how great it could be if highly dilluted and used over the entire lawn as a nitrogen fert. Well, imagine no longer. For those willing to stomach it, you can quite literally fertilize your entire lawn at no cost. Buy one of those containers you attach to your hose to fertilize with and fill it with urine, your own or from whatever source. Water the lawn. All done. ;-)

Gross? I guess. Highly efficient and cost effective? You bet. Quite literally humans flush away one of the best sources of clean nitrogen available to us several times per day. I understand it is kind of gross, but think about it.

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clipped on: 07.01.2014 at 09:26 am    last updated on: 07.01.2014 at 09:26 am

Apple Blossom Mystery

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 06.25.2014 at 08:26 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I live in the Phoenix area. We have a baby Anna Apple tree. For those of you who don't know Anna Apples, they are made for the Phoenix climate and they bloom and have fruit early. The apples are ready in the late spring and early summer.

We were surprised that our tree produced three apples this year. When I picked the third apple I saw this: a lone blossom! Why did the tree create this flower so late in the season? Is it going to make another apple for the fall?

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clipped on: 06.25.2014 at 08:26 am    last updated on: 06.25.2014 at 08:27 am

What is this grass?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 06.25.2014 at 08:18 am in Lawn Care Forum

I live in the Phoenix area on irrigated property. This broad-leafed grass has been growing in a few areas on my lawn. This photo is from an area that gets good irrigation and gets part sun/part shade. I like it, but I wonder what it is. Does it get really big? It's almost time to mow the lawn, and I wonder if it will look really dumb if it gets mowed. The rest of the lawn is officially Bermuda, although the weeds would disagree.

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clipped on: 06.25.2014 at 08:18 am    last updated on: 06.25.2014 at 08:18 am

What grout color?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 06.16.2014 at 08:29 am in Home Decorating & Design Forum

We're remodeling a bathroom. The shower floor and the countertop will have a bright-red, somewhat shiny, non-iridescent mosaic tile. Each individual tile has an individual gradation of color from a medium red through a richer dark red. I'm having trouble choosing a grout color. Once I get it down to two or three colors I'll make a test board, but I need to figure out where to start.

We definitely want a medium-to-dark color. Ideas so far a medium-to-dark grey and dark brown. I don't think beiges look right, but I could be wrong. I need suggestions! I can't get a good photo with my phone; I'll try later with my good camera.

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clipped on: 06.16.2014 at 08:29 am    last updated on: 06.16.2014 at 08:29 am

What's causing these two problems?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 06.10.2014 at 07:49 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

The first photo is of a leaf from one of my old, established roses. I don't know what kind it is (it came with the house.) What could be causing the drying of the leaves like this? The rose bush farther down on the same wall doesn't have that problem.

The second photo is from another my old, established rose in my back yard. Not all of the leaves are like this; just a particular patch up on top.

I'm in the Phoenix area where it's in the hundreds every day now.

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clipped on: 06.10.2014 at 07:50 pm    last updated on: 06.10.2014 at 07:50 pm

What's wrong with this bell pepper?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 05.29.2014 at 04:55 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

This is from a yellow bell pepper plant. What's going on? The brown area feels soft. There's another young pepper on that plant that looks fine. There aren't any holes or spots on the leaves of the plant.

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clipped on: 05.30.2014 at 11:03 am    last updated on: 05.30.2014 at 11:03 am

What is this mystery "weed"?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 05.14.2014 at 10:52 am in Name That Plant Forum

Look what I just found growing in the container with my marigolds! I suspect a seed for it was in with the dirt from my yard that I used in my homemade potting soil mix.

The man who cuts my lawn at one time pointed out an edible weed that was growing around my house. I don't remember what it was, though. Does anyone know what this plant is?

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clipped on: 05.14.2014 at 10:54 am    last updated on: 05.14.2014 at 10:54 am

Need ground cover for shaded, irrigated area

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 05.13.2014 at 11:45 am in Gardening in Shade Forum

I live on an acre in the Phoenix area (zone 9) and we have flood irrigation. There's a section of my back yard that's shaded most of the day by large mulberry and cottonwood trees. It's especially dark under there in the summer, when we irrigate every other week. (In the winter we irrigate once a month and there's a six-week dry-up period w/ no water in December.) No grass and very little in the way of weeds grows there, so in the summer it stays muddy most of the time unless it's really hot out. What kind of ground cover would grow there to keep the ground more solid?

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clipped on: 05.13.2014 at 11:46 am    last updated on: 05.13.2014 at 11:46 am

Total newbie to trimmers/edgers is very confused

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 05.13.2014 at 12:54 am in Tool Shed Forum

I've never used a trimmer or edger. I need an electric cordless trimmer and/or edger, and I can't seem to find any information about what some of the parts are and how they're used.

What's the difference between a "bump feed" and a "manual feed"?

Does anyone make a "plug and play" model, or am I looking at assembling something that I've never used and don't know how it's supposed to work? (As you know, assembly instructions are usually awful and you usually have to rely on experience to figure out how the product is actually supposed to go together.)

As far as I can tell, stringless trimmers are all corded. Is that really the case?

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clipped on: 05.13.2014 at 12:54 am    last updated on: 05.13.2014 at 12:54 am

What is this common desert garden plant?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 05.12.2014 at 03:51 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

I specifically searched for and bought this common desert flowering plant which grows well with roses. When I got it home, I realized the nursery had removed it's identification tag! I want care suggestions, so I need to find out what it is. I'm sure a lot of you in the Phoenix area have it in your gardens.

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clipped on: 05.12.2014 at 03:51 pm    last updated on: 05.12.2014 at 03:52 pm

Mulberry/Cottonwood shoots for my compost bin?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 05.10.2014 at 11:57 am in Soil Forum

Our mulberry and cottonwood tree roots are putting up shoots like crazy. I've cut down a bunch of them and I assume they would be good greens, but I wanted to make sure, plus I'm not sure I should add so many greens at once. Should I let some of them dry out and become browns?

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clipped on: 05.10.2014 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 05.10.2014 at 11:58 am

Need a new double-oven electric range

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 05.09.2014 at 02:47 am in Kitchens Forum

Our fifteen-year-old electric range is on its last legs. It's been slowly losing functions, and this evening the lower oven didn't want to heat. (It heated fine this morning!) We turned off the breaker in hopes that restarting it might help, but no.

I've already been looking at a replacement. The two best-rated electric double-oven ranges in Consumer Reports are by GE and Frigidaire. Any experiences with these ranges, these brands, or double-oven ranges in general? (Our current range is a Maytag with unequally-sized ovens and old-fashioned coil burners.)

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clipped on: 05.09.2014 at 02:47 am    last updated on: 05.09.2014 at 02:48 am

How do I know when the tomatoes are ready?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 05.08.2014 at 12:17 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I know that my cherry tomatoes are overcrowded in their containers, but there's nothing I can do about that now. There are some tomatoes that are now bright red and bright orange. I don't know if they're going to get any bigger because of the overcrowding. How do I know if they are "done" or if they will grow larger?

I got them in the middle of March, and at the time they had no tomatoes on them.

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clipped on: 05.08.2014 at 12:17 pm    last updated on: 05.08.2014 at 12:18 pm

Need opinions about Rohl

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 05.05.2014 at 06:36 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We're remodeling a bathroom. We already have a Rohl faucet that I love (long story.) What about Rohl quality for the shower (thermostatic valve, shower heads, etc.)? Rohl is expensive, so I want it to be worth the money! Does anyone know how they compare to California Faucet, which has been recommended to us?

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clipped on: 05.05.2014 at 06:36 pm    last updated on: 05.05.2014 at 06:36 pm

Growing lavender outdoors in Phoenix

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.25.2014 at 08:14 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

Our local Sprouts has some fairly large (for a food store) potted lavender plants for sale. I have no idea if this is a good time of year to plant them, or if they really do well in Phoenix. If I got one, it would be planted in the ground. Any thoughts?

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clipped on: 04.25.2014 at 08:15 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2014 at 08:15 pm

What kind of hedge is this?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.25.2014 at 09:39 am in Name That Plant Forum

Here's a closeup of the leaves of a privacy hedge around the edge of our front patio that's been growing at our house for at least forty years. It's very tall -- far taller than the roof of our one-story ranch house.

It lives on irrigation water. It likes sunlight; the side that gets more sunlight grows thicker than the side that gets less.

In the spring it gets tons of clusters of tiny, thickly-growing white flowers. (I don't have a picture of that right now.) The flowers only grow on the "sunny" side. (Note, there isn't any "shady" side, just the northeast side that gets less intense sun than the southwest side.)

This post was edited by GreenDreamhome on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 9:41

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clipped on: 04.25.2014 at 09:41 am    last updated on: 04.25.2014 at 09:41 am

"Marmalade Skies" roses are pink/white instead of orange!

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.24.2014 at 09:38 am in Roses Forum

I have a young "Marmalade Skies" rose plant (a floribunda variety.) It's supposed to have "clear, red-toned orange colors" that "last well through the life of the flower."

What actually happens is that the buds and very young flowers are orange. Then they turn a pinkish orange, then pink, then the petals are both pink and white!

In the same bed I have a new "Shockwave" yellow rose plant whose flowers also get paler with time, but which says yellow, and a very old, large rose plant with bright red roses that don't have a problem (not sure which kind, but could be Liberty Bell.)

What could be causing this? Could I be overwatering? Under fertilizing? Something else?

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clipped on: 04.24.2014 at 09:38 am    last updated on: 04.24.2014 at 09:38 am

Frequency for fertilizing with worm-casting tea

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.23.2014 at 10:07 am in Organic Gardening Forum

I make "tea" from worm castings (otherwise known as "poo.") I can't seem to find an answer to the question: how often should I fertilize with it, and can it be overused? I know it varies by plant and whether the plants are in containers or in the ground, but after that, I haven't found any guidelines.

I have tomatoes in containers, bell peppers in containers and in the ground, petunias, geraniums and marigolds in containers (and some petunias in the ground) and rosemary, thyme and oregano, mostly in containers with one rosemary in the ground. Oh, and roses, two new this year.

I'm mainly concerned with my tomatoes, peppers and new roses. The tomatoes and peppers did a little growth-spurt thing a week after I fertilized them. Now I'm wondering about frequency.

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clipped on: 04.23.2014 at 10:07 am    last updated on: 04.23.2014 at 10:08 am

What is this mystery ground cover/weed?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.21.2014 at 11:26 am in Arizona Gardening Forum

Does anyone know what this is? I've been treating it like a week (pulling it out) but maybe it might be a nice ground cover around my garden beds. It pops up everywhere; easy to grow, easy to remove (but of course it comes back.) Is it an icky weed that will harm my plants and invade my lawn, or something cute the former owners planted long ago?

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clipped on: 04.21.2014 at 11:26 am    last updated on: 04.21.2014 at 11:26 am

Unhappy Rosemary

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.27.2014 at 10:32 am in Herbs Forum

I have three small herbs growing in a massive clay pot: oregano, thyme and rosemary. All three had been living in their original little containers for about a month on my eastern-facing, afternoon-shaded patio for a month before I was able to move them to their new home in full sun in my southern-facing back yard.

On the patio, my oregano and thyme didn't grow; they just sat there looking unhappy. The rosemary grew a little and looked fine.

They've been in the big pot for a week now. There's no change to the oregano and thyme, but the rosemary is actually droopy.

I'm keeping the soil the same as I did in their little pots. I hear they all like their soil on the dryer side, like a wrung-out sponge. I've put a layer of dried leaves over the top of the soil. (Maybe they don't like that?)

It's been in the 60s at the night and the 80s at the hottest in the afternoon, so it's definitely not too cold or hot for them.

Here's a photo from this morning. They were watered last night.

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clipped on: 04.18.2014 at 06:46 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2014 at 06:47 pm

Cornmeal for Brown Patch Disease Works

posted by: bettyfb on 05.30.2009 at 09:01 am in Organic Lawn Care Forum

Hi,

I just wanted to share that I had Brown Patch Disease on my lawn for the past 10 years and even resorted to trying Daconil on the lawn last summer.

This year I decided to try only organic on the lawn. One member from Texas, I forget his name, suggested I use nothing but Cornmeal monthly as a preventative through the end of May. I have followed his suggestions. This month I have applied the cornmeal to my 3,000 sq foot lawn every three weeks along with Dried Molasses.

This day I am happy to report that my Fescue lawn has no Brown Patch Disease, and the grass is so long today, I have to mow again for the second time this week. In the past, by the end of May, the lawn was in pretty bad shape from the Brown Patch Disease and to me it is nothing short of miraculous. Also note we have had a lot of rain this spring in Louisville, Ky.--which normally makes the Brown Patch worse. Let me also say that this spring my two Dogwood Trees have had more blooms than ever before in the past 15 years, since I planted them. I started using Soybean Meal last year and I love that stuff too.

For the one in Texas, who suggested monthly treatments of nothing but Cornmeal as a preventative for Brown Patch Disease---thank you again!!!

Betty

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clipped on: 04.17.2014 at 12:48 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2014 at 12:48 pm

Need a tall heavy iron plant hanging rack like this

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.13.2014 at 04:25 pm in Garden Accoutrements Forum

Attached is a photo of a tall, heavy, iron multi-hook free-standing plant/display stand that I saw at the Desert Botanical Gardens gift shop. They don't know where their corporate office bought it, and the corporate office won't return my calls. I really need something very heavy and sturdy like this to hang my tomatoes. I have been searching the Internet for days, including Google image searches, and have found nothing. Any suggestions?

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clipped on: 04.17.2014 at 12:35 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2014 at 12:36 pm

How often should I use my soap/garlic spray?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.17.2014 at 12:22 pm in Organic Gardening Forum

I've had good luck using a water/soap/oil/garlic juice spray on my roses, petunias and marigolds that were being attacked by spider mites. (The garlic is supposed to deter them in the future; I have no idea if it actually does that!)

That was a small infestation compared to the group of eight neglected-until-this-year rose bushes at the side of our house. I sprayed them last night, and am now wondering how often to do it. For the other flowers, I sprayed every three or four days, but I'm wondering if it would hurt anything to do an experiment and spray every night for several days, each time "getting" bugs that didn't happen to be around the night before.

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clipped on: 04.17.2014 at 12:23 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2014 at 12:23 pm

Do all garden hoses contain a chemical biocide?

posted by: peterk312 on 04.17.2014 at 11:53 am in Organic Gardening Forum

I was interested in buying one of those "Neverkink" 50 foot hoses -- until I found out the manufacturer uses a chemical called "Microshield" to prevent mold and mildew from forming. I see there's something called "Microban" used on garden hoses, and this is actually a chemical called Triclosan. Triclosan has scared the heck out of me ever since I found Lysol was adding it to those sponges people use to wash their dishes. The stuff is actually used as a pesticide. But with garden hoses, they must add it to the plastic, and I do not want to use anything with an impregnated biocide chemical.

Does anyone know if these chemicals are standard now on all plastic garden hoses?

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clipped on: 04.17.2014 at 12:14 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2014 at 12:14 pm

Are we at the end of kale season in Phoenix?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.17.2014 at 12:05 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

I planted my kale in January, and until now, whenever I harvested some, more would grow. After the last time I harvested, nothing new has grown. The kale that is left looks very healthy and I'm going to harvest it for Easter. I'm wondering if it's just too hot in the afternoons now and it's simply not going to grow anymore. Or is there something I can do?

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clipped on: 04.17.2014 at 12:06 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2014 at 12:06 pm

I need suggestions for this bush

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.12.2014 at 12:48 pm in Shrubs Forum

I don't know what kind of bush this is, but it's been growing there for at least thirty years. It's never been deliberately watered, but the property is irrigated, and it gets some rain. You can see how it's decided to lean way out, probably to get closer to the sun. (This is the north side of the house, and that area doesn't get direct sunlight.)

If I cut it way down and start watering it, will it grow back normally, or will I just kill it?

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clipped on: 04.12.2014 at 12:48 pm    last updated on: 04.12.2014 at 12:48 pm

Is this a hybiscus flower?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.11.2014 at 10:38 am in Name That Plant Forum

Look what just showed up! It's growing on a vine. Is this a hybiscus flower? It looks like some of the photos I found online.

The reason I'm guessing hybiscus is that twenty years ago there were hybiscus vines there, growing against the chimney. We thought they had died, and we've always had cat's claw growing there. I don't remember the flowers being yellow, but that was a long time ago.

In January, as part of our remodeling, we dug out a lot of cat's claw and made garden areas to the right and left of the chimney. We didn't dig out the cat's claw in front of the chimney -- we did cut it down to the dirt -- and there's a big pile of dirt in the front-of-chimney garden area waiting for me to screen. The cat's claw is growing back, and maybe something activated the hybiscus? Maybe the big pile of dirt keeping the ground moist?

If it's hybiscus, I'm wondering how to separate it from the cat's claw.

This post was edited by GreenDreamhome on Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 10:39

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clipped on: 04.11.2014 at 10:40 am    last updated on: 04.11.2014 at 10:40 am

Overcrowded tomato question

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.05.2014 at 12:41 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I have four cherry tomato plants that were especially developed to grow in hanging baskets. Unfortunately, the same nursery that told me to overcrowd my bell peppers also gave me bad advice about my tomatoes. I have them two to a basket, and since they aren't growing much despite looking just fine, I checked the website of the company who developed them, and they're supposed to be planted 12" apart. Oops! They are just too crowded! 1 to a basket would be perfect.

But the thing is, they've been in those baskets for a month now. I'm afraid that if I separate them, I've kill them all. These are annual plants, so should I just settle for a tiny tomato harvest and make better plans next year, or should I take a chance at losing everything and repot?

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clipped on: 04.05.2014 at 10:03 am    last updated on: 04.05.2014 at 10:03 am

Augh! Aphids and spider mites!

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 04.02.2014 at 11:20 am in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Two days ago, all of a sudden, the plentiful roses on my beautiful bush suddenly all had dark, dried-out petal edges, including brand-new buds that had yet to open! I saw this at dusk, and I ALSO saw for the first time little green things flying around.

I mixed up a combination of 1 tsp Dr. Bronner's fragrance-free liquid castille soap and 2 tsp vegetable oil in a spray bottle filled with water. I also added and dissolved granulated garlic. (I know you're supposed to make garlic "tea" or oil, but I didn't have time for that.) I sprayed down the rose bush really well.

Last night I didn't see any flying green bugs. However, my little baby orange rose bush, which has its first flowers, also had developed the brown, dried petal edges. So does one of my pots of petunias. (The other petunia pot doesn't have brown edges, but does have some holes in the petals.)

I called the nursery and they said I probably have spider mites. And sure enough, for the first time I saw a little web at the bottom of my big rose bush. The nursery said to wash the plants down very well and then apply my spray. I realized that I would be washing away yesterday's heavy coating of spray, and also that the oily spray might not stick well to wet plants, so I did a little experiment:

I didn't wash the giant bush, but instead resprayed it.

I thoroughly washed the little orange rose bush, and didn't spray it (I'll do it today when the morning sun leaves the area.)

I thoroughly washed AND sprayed the petunias (both of the pots.)

I thought I would get opinions here about what to do, and also ask if the garlic is truly helpful.

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clipped on: 04.02.2014 at 11:20 am    last updated on: 04.02.2014 at 11:20 am

RE: Which brand of faucet do you think is good value? (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: OldTimeCarpenter1 on 03.26.2014 at 11:30 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Guys,

The best value on a faucet today is probably Delta.

To clarify, I don't have any association with Delta or its parent Masco. I buy faucets in connection with remodeling kitchens and baths as a profession, and investigate faucets in connection with the review site I edit. That's my ONLY connection with any faucet company.

Delta styling used to be, and still is to some extent, dull. But, that's changing. Delta borrowed designers from Briso and Hansgrohe (also owned by Masco), and the new line of Delta/Brizo faucets is something to see. If you have not looked at Delta in a while, take a peek.

The new Delta Diamond Seal® ceramic cartridge is a good league ahead of everyone else's cartridge. A cartridge is typically tested through 500,000 on/off cycles without a failure to be certified for use in the U.S. or Canada (ASME A112.18.1, in Europe the testing is just 40,000 cycles). Delta had the cartridge tested by a independent testing lab through 5 million cycles -- or about 700 years of ordinary use of a kitchen faucet, without a failure.

I like other faucet lines. I think California Faucets, Waterstone, Sigma, Phylrich, Elkay, Symmons, Chicago Faucet, Watermark, Kohler, KWC, Graff, Hansgrohe (which has never been part of Grohe, sorry) and especially Moen all make good faucets, and Delta makes some real clinkers. But, on average I will take a Delta faucet over all others as the faucet that delivers the most enduring value for the most years at the least cost. It also has one of the best customer and warranty service departments, second only to Moen, Unless you beat the damn thing with a hammer, Delta is going to send you the parts to fix any broken Delta faucet for FREE for the rest of your life. Try to get that deal from Cadillac.

Notice that I left out American Standard and Eljer, now the same company (American Standard Brands) owned by a Japanese holding company, LIXIL. Made in Mexico from Chinese components, the quality has plummeted.

Price-Pfister, same thing. Thirty years ago Pfisters were a good all brass pfaucet made in California from American parts and one of the pfinest pfaucets made. Now they are mostly zinc and plastic,made in Mexico from Chinese parts, and a piece of junk.

Franke is out , it;s also made primarily in China now, but still sells for a "Made in Switzerland" price -- far more than I want to pay for a Chinese faucet.

Grohe was acquired by LIXIL in 2013 and is now, like American Standard, Japanese. Its quality has dropped a bunch.

Mico Designs is also made in China now except for a bare dozen of the old designs from 2002 still made in Italy. Its quality is down, and its customer and warranty service almost non-existent.

My second choice: Moen. Sorry to be such a dull bunny, but after investigating faucets for 10 years, I think America still makes the best faucets for the best prices.

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clipped on: 03.31.2014 at 01:18 am    last updated on: 03.31.2014 at 01:18 am

Best brands of thermostatic valves

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.31.2014 at 01:06 am in Bathrooms Forum

Which are the best-performing, most reliable thermostatic valves? One of our large plumbing supply companies says Grohe is the best of the lines they carry (including brands that are more expensive than Grohe) but I'm very unhappy with the Grohe trim choices. Does anyone recommend any other companies through personal experience?

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clipped on: 03.31.2014 at 01:06 am    last updated on: 03.31.2014 at 01:06 am

Want to be sure my peppers are doing okay

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.28.2014 at 03:30 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

These are bell peppers: large orange ones and small, round red ones. I've had them for at least a month.

A few weeks ago one of the plants got a little flower, and a few of the others have little bud-things, but nothing else has developed along those lines. The plants have gotten taller and their leaves are bigger, but that's all. Is that a normal rate of growth?

I'm wondering if they need more sun. They have afternoon shade that starts mid-morning, because pretty soon the afternoon sun (in Phoenix) will be killer, but if necessary I can move them to a place where they get a longer amount of morning sun (until 11, 12 or even almost 1pm.)

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clipped on: 03.28.2014 at 03:54 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2014 at 03:54 pm

Are my roses doing okay?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.25.2014 at 03:36 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

I'm in Zone 9, Phoenix area, where it's in the 80's during the day and 50s-60s at night right now.

The photo is of my little Shockwave yellow roses about a week ago. I bought it as a very small young plant a few months ago. It grew these three yellow flowers and kept them for about two weeks. Now they are gone, and I don't see any other buds.

It has another young friend, a larger orange Marmalade Skies. It started larger, grew faster, and has had lots of little green buds for a few weeks, but it was only just today that I saw a little sliver of orange on one of the buds.

Are they behaving as expected? My 20+ year old mystery rose bush (I just posted about it in Name That Rose!) has had flowers for about three weeks.

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clipped on: 03.25.2014 at 03:36 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2014 at 03:36 pm

What should I grow here?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.25.2014 at 03:22 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

This is an east-facing stretch of grass outside of our backyard wall. We can let some irrigation water onto it, but since the land slopes UP to the street, it won't get a lot. I'd like some trees for privacy, but we have a problem: the irrigation pipe runs underneath. Our neighbors have a row of pecan trees along their wall, and nothing has happened to the pipe, so I guess trees are possible. I will ask them about it.

In the meantime, what fruit (not nut) trees or regular, privacy trees might be good here?

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clipped on: 03.25.2014 at 03:22 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2014 at 03:22 pm

What's this cat-tail-like thing

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.25.2014 at 03:13 pm in Name That Plant Forum

I'm in Zone 9, the Phoenix area. What is this mystery cat-tail thing? They're growing outside of our wall. How can we encourage them to spread?

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clipped on: 03.25.2014 at 03:13 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2014 at 03:14 pm

What is this pink rose?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.25.2014 at 03:05 pm in Name That Rose Forum

This rose bush came with our house. I cut it way back this winter, and now it's growing great and has lots of blooms. What kind of rose is it? The blooms last a long time, and it keeps getting them. They have a fruity smell.

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clipped on: 03.25.2014 at 03:06 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2014 at 03:06 pm

Butterflies in Phoenix

posted by: BasilGirl on 03.23.2014 at 06:28 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

I pinned a few things on attracting butterflies. I do companion planting and have zinnia, gazania (I think), lantana and nasturtiums all in my 9' x 9' corner plot (pictured). Plus I have a lemon tree that is buzzing with bees.

However, I really wanted to attract butterflies. Based on something I saw on Pinterest, I added a yellow plate that is hanging low to the ground and put some cut orange slices on it.

I tried googling what butterflies are in season but all I get is the butterly exhibits.

So, GardenWeb, what is appealing to butterflies this time of year...or ever...in suburban Phoenix?

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clipped on: 03.24.2014 at 03:25 pm    last updated on: 03.24.2014 at 03:25 pm

Questions about growing leeks and chives in Phoenix

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.24.2014 at 03:18 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

I've read that aphids really hate leeks and chives (as well as onions and garlic.) It's easy to plant those in my container garden or ground-garden area, but what about around my young fruit trees, which get irrigated? They are getting little holes in their leaves, which could be caused by a kind of caterpillar or could be caused by aphids.

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clipped on: 03.24.2014 at 03:18 pm    last updated on: 03.24.2014 at 03:18 pm

What is this bush/tree/flower?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.24.2014 at 02:55 pm in Name That Plant Forum

I'm in the Phoenix area (zone 9.) What is this plant? I have a close-up of the flowers, which smell flowery but not really sweet, and a photo of the whole tree/bush, which is growing funny because until recently it was completely dominated by other plants.

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clipped on: 03.24.2014 at 02:56 pm    last updated on: 03.24.2014 at 02:56 pm

What is this plant?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.17.2014 at 11:49 pm in Name That Plant Forum

What's this plant (the one with the wide leaves, not the cat's claw!) I just noticed it growing.

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clipped on: 03.17.2014 at 11:50 pm    last updated on: 03.17.2014 at 11:50 pm

Am I having a problem with soil that's to "heavy"?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.17.2014 at 10:31 pm in Organic Gardening Forum

I have two pots of geraniums living next to each other. The older one has a combination of soil from my backyard, worm poo, and the soil it came with, which has some perlite. The newer one has soil from my front yard, which is more clay-like, and worm poo.

The older one is looking nicer and it's soil stays "fluffy," while the soil for the newer one always seems hard, and it's not growing as well. It seems to dry out faster and need more water.

Should I repot it with perlite?

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clipped on: 03.17.2014 at 10:31 pm    last updated on: 03.17.2014 at 10:31 pm

Pale green kale lower leaves

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.14.2014 at 02:57 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

So far my kale has been doing well. I've been able to harvest some and it grows right back. Yesterday and today I noticed that a few of the lower leaves are a very pale green. What could be causing this? Could I be overwatering them? They're in large container.

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clipped on: 03.14.2014 at 02:57 am    last updated on: 03.14.2014 at 02:57 am

Need electric riding mower suggestions

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 03.13.2014 at 04:27 pm in Tractors Forum

We're on an acre, so a riding mower is essential! Important features are a good mulching option and an option for edging (if that's possible; I may be just making this up. I've never owned my own riding mower.) Any suggestions for a high-quality electric riding mower? We're not basing our decision on price, but rather performance and reliability.

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clipped on: 03.13.2014 at 08:19 pm    last updated on: 03.13.2014 at 08:19 pm

List of GMO-free Foods & allergies and genetically modified food

posted by: Strawberryhill on 02.26.2014 at 11:45 am in Cooking Forum

There's a rise in allergies with GMO (genetically modified foods). I became allergic to my favorite food (tofu & soy milk). My sister developed a severe allergy to sesame seeds. Both are staples in our native country.

The link below explains how genetically modified (GM) foods give rise to food-allergies: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_5296.cfm

"Levels of one known soy allergen, trypsin inhibitor, were up to 27% higher in raw GM soy. In addition, although cooking soybeans normally reduces the amount of this protein, the trypsin inhibitor in GM varieties appears to be more heat resistant. Levels in cooked GM soy were nearly as high as those found in raw soy, and up to seven times higher when compared to cooked non-GM soy.[8]

Another study verified that GM soybeans contain a unique, unexpected protein, not found in non-GM soy controls. Moreover, scientist tested the protein and determined that it reacted with the antibody called IgE. This antibody in human blood plays a key role in a large proportion of allergic reactions, including those that involve life-threatening anaphylactic shock."

HERE'S A LIST OF GM-Free foods:

�Arrowhead Mills
�Eden Foods
�Natural Choice Foods: GMO-free roviders of frozen dessert products.
�Purity Foods: GMO-free makers of spelt-based noodles, snacks and other goodies.
�Rapunzel: chocolate & speciality oils.
�Spectrum Oils:
�Genisoy
�Earth�s Best: Baby food
�Healthy Times: Baby food
�Bob�s Red Mill
�Pamela�s Products: gluten-free
�Whole Foods Store Brands
�Cascadian Farms: frozen foods.
�Imagine Foods: soy and rice milk & broth .
�Muir Glen: canned goods
�Thai Kitchen
�Amy�s Kitchen: canned soups, chilies, frozen meals.
�Nature�s Path: Cereals and snack bars
�Annie�s Naturals: dressings and condiments
�San J: soy sauce, shoyu and tamari.
�Tradition Miso:
�Barbara�s Bakery: cookies & cereals
�Lundberg Family Farms: no-lead rice
�Walkers: sweet treats.
�Fantastic Foods: hummus, falafel, risotto couscous
�Vitasoy
�Clif: energy bars
�Kettle Chips: potato and tortilla chips.
�Que Pasa: Mexican foods
�Garden of Eatin: chips, salsas and other snack foods.
�French Meadow Bakery:
�White Wave: tofu and soy
�Bearitos: snack foods and dips
�Chaffin Family Orchards: olive oil.
�Cultures for Health
�Grindstone Bakery
�Pure Indian Foods: grass-fed ghee.
�To Your Health: sprouted breads and sprouted flours.
�US Wellness Meats: grass-fed meats
�Zukay: condiments
�Wisconsin Healthy Grown Potatoes

Here is a link that might be useful: List of organic & non-genetically modified foods

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clipped on: 02.27.2014 at 04:52 pm    last updated on: 02.27.2014 at 04:53 pm

Best use of powdered eggshell

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.27.2014 at 10:08 am in Soil Forum

I've been using a coffee grinder to turn my washed, dried and crushed eggshells into powder.

I know I can add them to my compost pile, but I wondered if they might be more useful adding them directly to the soil in my containers, or into the soil in which I'm going to plant tomatoes.

If I add them to the soil, how much do I add? (How much is too much?)

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clipped on: 02.27.2014 at 10:09 am    last updated on: 02.27.2014 at 10:09 am

My compost pile is too cool

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.27.2014 at 10:04 am in Soil Forum

I have an Earth Machine, and I started composting in it a month ago, at the end of January. (Remember I'm in Phoenix, so it was in the 60's in the afternoon then, and it's in the 80's in the afternoon now.)

When I started I had nothing but dried leaves, and over the past month I've been adding all of our fruit and vegetable peelings and ends. I haven't added any grass clippings because we haven't cut the lawn.

At first I was adding green materials and mixing it up daily, but after asking about frequent turning here, I've been saving up the green materials and adding them every two to three days.

I always try to keep the pile the wetness of a wrung-out sponge.

For the first few weeks, I could feel that the center of the pile was very warm, but lately it hasn't felt very warm. I got a composting thermometer yesterday, and it read exactly 80 -- the very lowest reading before the materials are too cool to break down into compost.

Why is my compost pile too cool?

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clipped on: 02.27.2014 at 10:04 am    last updated on: 02.27.2014 at 10:05 am

Need multi-spray nozzle with GENTLE mister

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.25.2014 at 10:17 am in Tool Shed Forum

I've repaired my Nelson 6-spray nozzle a few times, and I think it's on its last legs. I just bought a replacement from Dramm, and while the Dramm is very good in many respects, its "mist" setting isn't gently and misty!

Before I buy a brand-new Nelson or other brand (because Nelson could have changed over the past few years) I'd like to know if anyone has any recommendations for a multi-sprayer with a truly gentle mist-y mist.

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clipped on: 02.25.2014 at 10:18 am    last updated on: 02.25.2014 at 10:18 am

Almond Tree Questions

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.23.2014 at 11:16 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

1. I was just reading that almond tree blossoms smell like honey. Is that true? That would be cool!

2. I've read that there are self-pollinating almond trees, or you can plant two young almond trees in one hole, and they will intertwine like one tree but still pollinate each other. Which is the best option?

3. I've read that almond trees grow to about 20 feet. Other fruit trees can be pruned to limit their height. Is it the same for almond trees?

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clipped on: 02.23.2014 at 11:17 pm    last updated on: 02.23.2014 at 11:17 pm

What are these white flowers

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.21.2014 at 09:03 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

What are these white flowers? They just appeared. They're in a few other places, too, but those are on single stalks.

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clipped on: 02.21.2014 at 09:03 pm    last updated on: 02.21.2014 at 09:03 pm

Need composting thermometer recommendations

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.20.2014 at 09:32 am in Soil Forum

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good composting thermometer? There's a wide range of prices, and few reviews. Of course I want the thermometer to be accurate, but I also need it to be durable. Extra points for one made in the USA.

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clipped on: 02.20.2014 at 09:32 am    last updated on: 02.20.2014 at 09:32 am

Can you use manure of horses who get dewormer

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.19.2014 at 06:28 pm in Soil Forum

All was all excited to add my horse's manure to my compost pile, when I read that the compost made with the manure of horses who receive dewormer can kill the beneficial worms I want in my garden. Bummer! Is this true?

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clipped on: 02.20.2014 at 12:16 am    last updated on: 02.20.2014 at 12:19 am

Should I give up on this poinsettia?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.19.2014 at 10:48 am in Balcony Gardening Forum

A neighbor gave us a poinsettia for Christmas. It's currently on my east-facing patio in a new, large pot, but I think I waited way too long to repot it. (We're in Arizona, and the temps are currently in the 50s-60s at night and 80s during the day.)

I was just reading about caring for poinsettias though the year, and it sounds very labor-intensive and fussy. The plant is currently looking very sad, with its leaves all droopy (which may be normal the far from Christmas.) Is there a way of keeping it alive so it will bloom again next year? Or is that impossible because we won't get the darkness it needs and we're too hot in the summer?

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clipped on: 02.20.2014 at 12:18 am    last updated on: 02.20.2014 at 12:18 am

Is there such a thing as stirring compost TOO often?

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.07.2014 at 02:58 pm in Soil Forum

I've had my earth machine composter for about a month. I started by filling it about a third of the way with dried crushed leaves, and I've been adding fruit and vegetable ends, peels and scraps every day. Every time I add wet ingredients I stir things up very well with a shovel. All the composting articles say to stir often, but they seem to be geared at getting people to stir a few times a week. Is stirring daily better -- will my compost develop faster? -- or am I messing with it too much?

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clipped on: 02.10.2014 at 10:05 am    last updated on: 02.10.2014 at 10:05 am

Kale Watering Question

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.09.2014 at 07:23 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I have two kinds of kale in a large terra-cotta container. The nursery where I bought it said not to keep it too moist, that kale likes thinks drier like my herbs. But I've been reading several articles about kale, and they all say that kale likes lots of water. Are there any successful kale-growers here who can tell me which is right?

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clipped on: 02.10.2014 at 09:57 am    last updated on: 02.10.2014 at 10:05 am

New fruit tree watering question

posted by: GreenDreamhome on 02.08.2014 at 02:05 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

Just this morning we planted four young trees, racing to finish before irrigation! We planted an Anna apple, Earligrande peach, Katy apricot and a triple-pluot. They all got soaked by irrigation this morning.

The next irrigation is a month from now. Since they're young, do they need water in the meantime, and how much?

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clipped on: 02.10.2014 at 10:04 am    last updated on: 02.10.2014 at 10:04 am