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RE: Beyond Tephlon and Unhealthy Non-stick (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: localeater on 11.11.2012 at 07:30 am in Kitchens Forum

I use my cast iron skillet, I can only do 3 pancakes at a time, but that's what warming drawers are for.
I don't mean to offend, but I think you may not know how to treat your cast iron pan right, you should not need to use a lot of butter. I use one or 2 spritzes of oil for a double recipe of buttermilk pancakes.
Re-season your pan. This entails heating it on the stove, adding a high temp neutral oil, like peanut. Rub the oil around with a cotton rag or a wad of paper towels. Stick the hot smoking pan in a hot 350 oven for 45 minutes, turn the oven off. Leave it in there to cool.
After this, never let it soak in your sink, soaking is the enemy of seasoning and as you found out, really bad for your sink. And, don't use soap. If you have to use soap, you may need to re-season. After you use the pan, wipe it out with a paper towel, then run it under the tap, to rinse rinse it. You can aid the rinse with a soapless scrubby. If it still looks dirty or has a lingering odor, think fried fish, then put in 1/4 inch of water, bring to a boil, dump the hot boiling water, rinse and put the pan back on a burner to dry or dry it with a rag. cast iron cannot air dry, air drying = rust. If there is stuck on stuff, dump a handful of salt in the pan and scrub with the salt and a nylon bristle dish brush. A clean pan should look shiny and smooth, if it looks dull and dried out, it needs to be re-seasoned. I probably cook 70% of our meals in my two large cast iron skillets, last night I made roasted brussel sprouts with chili oil and agave nectar, washed as I told you and this morning we will be scrambling eggs for breakfast burritos.
In my house, no one is allowed to clean the cast iron pans except me, because they screw it up. If I am not around to clean it, it must just stay on the stove burner. I find if I have a cold pan to clean the pores of the metal are more open and so some of the seasoning seems to leach out. For cold pans, after boiling and drying, I wipe with a thin coat of oil and heat on stove top, skipping the oven part.

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 11.12.2012 at 12:14 am    last updated on: 11.12.2012 at 12:14 am

RE: Christmas Cactus fail (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: Ron4310 on 09.30.2012 at 07:25 pm in Cacti & Succulents Forum

To root my Christmas cactus cuttings and all other cuttings I use Vermiculite. I put it in my container, usually a discarded plastic food package with a clear lid and I have made drain holes with my soldering iron. I soak the vermiculite with water and drain well. Then I LAY the cactus cuttings on top and pin them down gently so there is contact with the vermiculite and close the lid. If I don't have anything to pin them down I will just put a couple of nickels on the leaf. The cactus will root from each leaf joint and you can get more than one plant from each cutting. My cuttings are usually 3 or 4 leaves long. I check the moisture every couple of day and make sure it is damp, not soaked. Never lost a cutting in over 60 years. Good luck and good growing.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 11.11.2012 at 12:25 am    last updated on: 11.11.2012 at 12:25 am

RE: Looking for an apple brunch dish for tomorrow morning..... (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mustangs on 09.15.2011 at 07:17 pm in Cooking Forum

Alexa, I'd be freaking right now! This is always requested for brunch in our family:

German Stuffed Toast:

  • 1 1/2 loaves cinnamon raisin bread
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (2 pkgs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup raisins or pecans
  • 1 can apple pie filling or make your own apples
  • 2 cups half- &-half
  • 8 eggs (large)
  • 1 cup maple syrup (1/2 cup + � cup)
  • 1/2 cup butter
    Grease 9X13 baking dish or larger. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

    Cube bread (approximately 1 inch x 1 inch)
    Mix cream cheese with vanilla and pecans
    Layer: bread, cream cheese, apples, bread

    Mix in mixing bowl: milk, eggs, 1/2-cup maple syrup
    Pour over casserole, making sure that bread is saturated
    Cover and refrigerate overnight
    The next morning: Sprinkle casserole with cinnamon. Bake for 1 hour.

    Before serving, mix melted butter and 1/2 cup maple syrup in small saucepan. Pour mixture over baked casserole, punching holes in casserole to allow sauce to penetrate.

    Serves: 10.

  • NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 10.22.2011 at 10:19 pm    last updated on: 10.22.2011 at 10:19 pm

    RE: LOOKING for: Looking for Friendship Cake Recipe (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: Ginger_St_Thomas on 11.22.2005 at 04:56 pm in Dessert Exchange Forum

    Is the recipe you mean by the base? It's from the University of Illinois Extension.
    How to Make a Friendship Cake Starter
    There are a least a hundred versions of the starter and the resulting bread or cake recipe going around. There is one with fruit, one with nuts, one made with whole wheat flour and raisins and the list goes on and on. Here is one method for starting the starter.

    Friendship Cake Starter Recipe

    1 package active dry yeast
    3 cups warm water (105� to 115�F), divided
    2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
    2 tablespoons sugar
    Starter food

    Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water, stirring well; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.

    Combine remaining water, flour and sugar in a medium size, non-metallic bowl; mix well. Add dissolved yeast and stir well.

    Cover loosely with plastic wrap or cheesecloth and let stand in a warm place (80�-85�F) three days, stirring 2-3 times daily.

    Place fermented mixture in refrigerator at this point. Stir daily and use within 11 days. Always bring starter to room temperature before using in cake recipe. Allow to set in a warm place for one hour or longer before using. Stir well, then measure amount needed for recipe.

    Or on day 10 divide the mixture. Measure two to three cups starter for recipe. Divide remaining starter into one cup portions. Place in plastic or glass containers, loosely cover with plastic wrap. Keep one cup for yourself and give one cup each to friends along with the "Nurturing Your Starter" instructions and cake recipe.

    Nurturing Your Starter

    Starter Food--Your starter should have a sweet yeasty smell. If at any time you notice signs of spoilage toss the starter and begin again. Do not add milk, cream, or eggs to starter or it may produce harmful bacteria.

    Day #1 -- The day your receive your 1 cup of starter, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, let it sit on a counter, loosely covered with crumpled plastic wrap or wax paper for one day. Do not refrigerate at this point. Use a nonmetallic container.

    Day #2, 3, 4 -- Refrigerate, stir the mixture each day, keep loosely covered.

    Day #5 -- Transfer starter to a larger glass or ceramic jar or bowl. Add the following "starter food."

    1 cup water
    1 cup flour
    1 cup sugar
    Stir to mix, cover loosely and return batter to the refrigerator. Mixture will expand. Your container should not be more than half full. Refrigerate the starter at this point.

    Day #6, 7, 8, 9 -- Stir only and keep refrigerated, loosely covered.

    Day # 10 -- You may need to transfer the batter to an even larger container.

    Add more starter food and stir. Allow starter to sit at room temperature for one hour. Remove 3 cup for three friends, and measure 3 cups for the following recipe.

    Note: If you keep a cup for yourself, start over, beginning with Day #1.

    Fruit & Nuts Friendship Cake

    1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 cup sugar
    2 cups all purpose flour
    2/3 cup vegetable oil
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup chopped apples
    3 cups starter
    1 cup raisins or chopped nuts
    1 egg plus 2 egg whites

    Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.
    In another large bowl mix starter, egg and whites, sugar, oil and vanilla.
    Add flour mixture, apples and raisins or nuts.
    Pour into a greased and floured tube pan or 9 x 11 loaf pan.
    Bake at 350�F for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool, dust with powdered sugar.
    Note: Any combination of fruit and nuts can be used as long as the total equals 2 cups. Try crushed, drained pineapples, dates, pecans, or almonds.

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 08.27.2011 at 12:37 am    last updated on: 08.27.2011 at 12:38 am

    RE: Gel Stain Recommendations (Follow-Up #14)

    posted by: amj0517 on 06.15.2011 at 02:57 pm in Home Decorating Forum

    BKW - after I read your response, I just though duh - GEL! I got hung up on oil-based vs. water, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Grandmaof3 - I found celticmoon's directions on google. They must be hidden on this forum because I could not find them here. Anyway, she suggests a light sanding.

    Following celticmoon's instructions (which I plan to follow):

    I have posted a way long 'how to' a bunch of times here. Search engine isn't pulling it up, so with apologies for the repetition here's more than you need to know:

    It is a very doable project. You just need time, $50 in supplies, and patience. No skill.

    My cabinets were frameless, good condition and good layout. But the finish had gone orange and ugly, with the oak graining too busy for me. Cabinet were 18 years old, very poorly finished oak veneered slab doors. Plain with no crevices. They didn't even take the doors off to finish them!!! No stain or finish was even put on the hinge side edges. Bad workmanship.

    I looked into changing out cabinets, but that was way too much money, since my layout was OK. Painting didn't seem right because the doors were plain slabs. I considered new doors but that still meant a lot of money. For a few years I tried to figure a way to add molding toward a mission look, but the rounded door edges made that impossible. Then trolling in a kitchen emporium showroom this last year I noticed dark wood slab doors, kind of like mine, but darker. That was the answer.

    First I tried Minwax Polyshades. Dicey product. Hard to brush on neatly, then gummy, then seemed to leave a sticky tacky residue. I did a thread on the Woodworking Forum "Evil Polyshades to the Rescue" which elicited a lot of conflicting "expert" opinions and arguments that one must strip to bare wood. (Thread may still be around as that Forum moves slowly.) Long ago when I was young and stupid I properly stripped acres of woodwork in an old Victorian. Never again! Jennifer-in-Clyde (in the same boat) and I stumbled around on that woodworking thread to get to this method.

    SHOPPING LIST:
    -electric screwdriver or screw drill bits
    -mineral spirits to clean the years of gunk off the cabinet
    -miracle cloths (optional)
    -fine sandpaper
    -box-o-disposable gloves from Walgreen�s or the like
    -old socks or rags for wiping on coats
    -disposable small plastic bowls or plates, and plastic spoons or forks for stirring/dipping (optional)
    -General Finishes water base Espresso stain (pretty thick, but not quite a gel) NOTE: This one may not even be a needed step if the Java gets it dark enough.
    -General Finishes Java gel stain (poly based)
    -General Finishes clear top coat (poly based)
    -old sheets or plastic sheeting or newspaper

    Rockler woodworking stores are a good place to find the General Finish products. Or some larger hardware stores. Quart of each was more than enough for my 60 doors and drawer fronts and goes for $12-14 at Rockler. There are smaller sizes if your project is small.

    SETUP AND PLANNING:
    You will need a place to work and leave wet doors to dry overnight - I set up 2 spaces: garage for sanding/cleaning and basement for staining/sealing. Use newspaper or plastic to protect the surface and floor. Figure out how you will prop doors to dry. Plan blocks of 20-30-minutes for sanding/cleaning bundles of, say, 6 doors at a time. Then just 10-minute sessions to wipe on coats. The coats will need to dry for about 24 hours, so figure that each section of the kitchen will be doorless for 4 or 5 days. Divide the job up into manageable chunks.

    PREPARATION:
    Take off doors and drawer fronts. Try using screw drill bits on an electric drill if you don't have an electric screwdriver. Remove all the hardware. *Mark alike things so you know what goes back where.* Clean the doors thoroughly. Not with TSP but with something pretty strong and scrub well. There's years of grease there.
    Sand LIGHTLY, just a scuffing really. Just enough to break the finish and give it some tooth, no more than a minute a door. A miracle cloth is good for getting most of the dust off. Then wipe well with mineral spirits to clean and get the last of the gunk off.

    STAINING:
    In order, we're gonna put on:
    -General Finishes Espresso water based stain (1 coat) - optional
    -General Finishes Java gel stain (couple coats)
    -General Finishes Clear urethane gel topcoat in satin (couple coats)
    But first put on work clothes, tie up your hair and pop your phone into a baggie nearby (you know it will ring). Glove up.
    ***First do a trial on the back of a door and check if Java coats alone suffice. If the Java alone is to your liking, just skip the Espresso and return it.

    Open and stir up the Espresso stain, then spoon some into a plastic bowl. Close the tin so it doesn't get contaminated. Slide a sock over your hand, grab a gob of Espresso and smear it on. Wipe off the excess. Let it dry well - overnight is good. It will lighten as it dries, but then darken again with any other coat or sealer. A second coat might result in a deeper tone at the end - though it seemed like the second coat was just dissolving the first. YMMV.
    Repeat with Java gel. This is thicker and poly based (*not water cleanup!*= messier). Color is a rich dark reddish brown. Wait for the second coat to judge if the color is deep enough for you. I wanted a very deep dark color, like melted dark chocolate. So I went pretty heavy on these layers. I did not sand between coats.
    Repeat with clear gel topcoat. This will give you the strength you need in a kitchen.
    Do the same process with the cabinet sides, face and toe kick area. Might need to divide that up also, and stagger the work: doors/cabinets/doors/etc.
    NOTE: The cloth or socks used for the gels are very flammable! Collect and store them in a bucket of water as you go and then dispose of them all properly.

    FINISHING AND REASSEMBLY:
    I suggest you put the doors back up after one clear coat, then you can check everything over and darken an area with more Java if needed, followed by a clear coat. When it all looks right, go over it all again with another clear gel coat. Or two. (See my follow up notes below). Install your hardware.
    The feel of the finish should be wonderful, really smooth and satiny. Color deep and rich - way nicer than that faded, beat 80's oak color.

    FINAL THOUGHTS:
    Definitely experiment first with the back of a door or drawer front to be sure it is the look you want. Yes, this takes a couple days to coat, dry, recoat, dry, etc but you may discover that the Java alone does the trick and this will save you a LOT of work. Front-end patience is worth it.

    This is a pretty easy project to do. Hard to screw it up. The worst is the prep - relative to that, smearing on the coats is cake. I had over 60 pieces (big kitchen) AND island sides and book shelves, etc and I admit I lost steam partway through. Had to push myself through the last of it. But it was worth it. Folks think I got all new cabinets - it looks that good.

    Now the finish will not be as durable as factory finish - go at it with a Brillo pad and you WILL abrade it. But it has held up pretty well. And after a year of pretty heavy use, I had just a few nicks, easily repaired.

    (6/08 Add: I'm now (18 months later) seeing some wear near the pulls on the most used cabinets. Will add color with Java if it bugs me.)

    (9/09 Add: Never did bother to touch up those couple spots. Bugging me a bit more, and I will get to it soon. It is the drinking glass cabinet and the snack cabinet, LOL. And the garbage pull-out. The rest still looks perfect. Lesson: Use an extra coat or 2 of gel on the way frequently used cabinets.)

    (12/09 Add: I did finally touch up the spots that were worn. Used just Java to get the color right, then a bunch of top coats. Looks perfect again.)

    I added smashing hardware, raised my pass-through, resurfaced the Corian (also simple but messy and tedious) and replaced the DW and sink. It looks gorgeous to me and I really enjoy the space - how it sits all quiet, clean and serene, then gets all crazy with the food and folks du jour. I couldn't be happier, especially that I didn't have to work another year just to pay for the update!!
    Link to cabinets in progress: http://photobucket.com/albums/b45/celticm00n/kitchen%20cosmetic%20update%20project/kitchen%20during/
    Link to almost finished cabinet pix: http://s16.photobucket.com/albums/b45/celticm00n/kitchen%20cosmetic%20update%20project/finished%20bit%20by%20bit/?start=20

    Good luck with your project!! And let me know if you try it and how it turns out.

    Here is a link that might be useful: more before during and after pix

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 06.22.2011 at 09:13 pm    last updated on: 06.22.2011 at 09:13 pm

    Gel Stain Instructions

    posted by: buehl on 01.03.2011 at 05:28 am in Kitchens Forum

    How to Gel Stain Your Cabinets


    From CelticMoon...


    You just need time, maybe $50 in supplies, and patience. No skill.

    Here's more than you need to know:

    My cabinets are frameless, good condition and good layout. But the finish had gone orange and ugly, with the oak graining too busy for me. Cabinets are 18 years old, very poorly finished oak veneered slab doors. Plain with no crevices. They didn't even take the doors off to finish them!!! No stain or finish on the hinge side edges. Cheezey, huh?

    I looked into changing out cabinets, but that was way too much money, since my layout was OK. Painting didn't seem right because the doors were plain slabs. I considered new doors but that still meant a lot of money. For a few years I tried to figure a way to add molding toward a mission look, but the rounded door edges made that impossible. Then trolling in a kitchen emporium showroom this last year I noticed dark wood slab doors, kind like mine, but darker. That was the answer.

    First I tried Minwax Polyshades. Dicey product. Hard to brush on neatly, then gummy, then seemed to leave a sticky tacky residue. I did a thread on the Woodworking Forum "Evil Polyshades to the Rescue" which elicited a lot of conflicting "expert" opinions and arguments that one must strip to bare wood.

    (Thread may still be around as that Forum moves slow.) I properly stripped acres of woodwork in an old Victorian when I was young and stupid. Never again! Jennifer-in-clyde (in the same boat) and I stumbled around on that woodworking thread to get to this method.


    Shopping List:

  • electric screwdriver or screw drill bits
  • mineral spirits to clean the years of gunk off the cabinet
  • miracle cloths (optional)
  • fine sandpaper
  • box-o-disposable gloves from Walgreens or the like
  • old socks or rags for wiping on coats
  • disposable small plastic bowls or plates, and plastic spoons or forks for stirring/dipping (optional)
  • General Finishes water base Expresso stain (pretty thick, but not quite a gel) This one may not even be a needed step if the Java gets it dark enough.
  • General Finishes Java gel stain (poly based)
  • General Finishes clear top coat (poly based)
  • old sheets or plastic sheeting or newspaper

    Rockler woodworking stores are a good place to find the General Finish products. Or some larger hardware stores. Quart of each was more than enough for my 60 doors and drawer fronts and goes for $12-14 at Rockler. There are smaller sizes if your project is small.


    Setup and Planning:

    You will need a place to work and leave wet doors to dry overnight - I set up 2 spaces, garage for sanding/cleaning and basement for staining/sealing. Use newspaper or plastic to protect the surface and floor. Figure out how you will prop doors to dry.

    Plan blocks of 20-30-minutes for sanding/cleaning bundles of, say, 6 doors at a time. Then just 10 minute sessions to wipe on coats. The coats will need to dry for about 24 hours, so figure that each section of the kitchen will be door-less for 4 or 5 days. Divide the job up into manageable chunks.


    Preparation:

    • Take off doors and drawer fronts. Use screw drill bits on an electric drill if you don't have an electric screwdriver. Remove all the hardware. *Mark alike things so you know what goes back where.*
    • Clean the doors thoroughly. Not with TSP but with something pretty strong and scrub well. There's years of grease there.
    • Sand LIGHTLY, just a scuffing really. Just enough to break the finish and give it some tooth, no more than a minute a door. A miracle cloth is good for getting most of the dust off. Then wipe well with mineral spirits to clean and get the last of the gunk off.


    Staining:

    • In order, we're gonna put on:
      1. General Finishes Expresso water based stain (1-2 coats) - optional
      2. General Finishes Java gel stain (couple coats)
      3. General Finishes Clear urethane gel topcoat in satin (couple coats)

    • But first put on work clothes, tie up your hair (Tom, you may skip this step, LOL) and pop your phone into a baggie nearby (you know it will ring).
    • Glove up.
    • *First do a trial on the back of a door and check if Java coats alone suffice. If the Java alone is to your liking, just skip the Expresso and return it.*

    • Open and stir up the Expresso stain, then spoon some into a plastic bowl.

    • Close the tin so it doesn't get contaminated.

    • Slide a sock over your hand, grab a gob of Expresso and smear it on. Wipe off the excess. Let it dry well - overnight is good. It will lighten as it dries, but then darken again with any other coat or sealer. A second coat can end up with a deeper tone at the end - though it might seem like the second coat is just dissolving the first. YMMV.
    • Repeat with Java gel. This is thicker and poly based (*not water cleanup!*=messier). Color is a rich dark reddish brown.

    • Wait for the second coat to judge if the color is deep enough for you. I wanted a very deep dark color, like melted dark chocolate. So I went pretty heavy on these layers. *I did not sand between coats*.
    • Repeat with clear gel top coat. This will give you the strength you need in a kitchen.
    • Do the same process with the cabinet sides, face and toekick area. Might need to divide that up also, and stagger the work: doors/cabinets/doors/etc.
    • NOTE: The cloth or socks used for the gels are very flammable! Collect and store them in a bucket of water as you go and then dispose of them all properly.


    Finishing and Reassembly:

    • I suggest you put the doors back up after one clear coat, then you can check everything over and darken an area with more Java if needed, followed by a clear coat.

    • When it all looks right, go over it all again with another clear gel coat. Or two.

    • Install your hardware.

    • The feel of the finish should be wonderful, really smooth and satiny. Color deep and rich - way nicer than that faded, beat 80's oak color.


    Final Thoughts:

    • Definitely experiment first with the back of a door or drawer front to be sure it is the look you want.

    • Yes, this takes a couple days to coat, dry, re-coat, dry, etc but you may discover that the Java alone does the trick and this will save you A LOT of work.

    • Front end patience is worth it.
    • This is a pretty easy project to do. Hard to screw it up. The worst is the prep - relative to that, smearing on the coats is cake. I had over 60 pieces (big kitchen) AND island sides and book shelves, etc and I admit I lost steam partway through. Had to push myself through the last of it. But it was worth it. Folks think I got all new cabinets - it looks that good. Now the finish will not be as durable as factory finish - go at it with a Brillo pad and you WILL abrade it. But it has held up pretty well. And after a year of pretty heavy use, I've just had a few nicks, easily repaired.
    • I added smashing hardware, raised my pass-through, resurfaced the Corian (also simple but messy and tedious) and replaced the DW and sink. It looks gorgeous to me and I really enjoy the space - how it sits all quiet, clean and serene, then gets all crazy with the food and folks du jour. I couldn't be happier, especially that I didn't have to work another year just to pay for the update!!

    Link to cabinets in progress:

    http://photobucket.com/albums/b45/celticm00n/kitchen%20cosmetic%20update%20project/kitchen%20during/

    Link to almost finished cabinet pix:

    http://s16.photobucket.com/albums/b45/celticm00n/kitchen%20cosmetic%20update%20project/finished%20bit%20by%20bit/?start=20n

    Good luck with your project!! Feel free to ask me any questions as you go.
    And let me know if you try it and how it turns out.


    Thread: Celticmoon, are you out there? Gel stain question (OT)

    Thread: Celticmoon?

    Thread: Evil Polyshades to the rescue????

  • NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 02.08.2011 at 05:49 pm    last updated on: 02.08.2011 at 05:49 pm

    RE: Gel Stain on Stock Kitchen Cabinets (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: steff_1 on 01.22.2011 at 05:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Clarification on lazygarden's advice for staining. Gel stain is applied with a brush and not wiped on or off. If you approach gel stain like a paint you will get the best results.

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 01.22.2011 at 08:43 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2011 at 08:44 pm

    RE: Gel Stain on Stock Kitchen Cabinets (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: lazygardens on 01.22.2011 at 04:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I've done ALL the cabinets in this house ... one section at a time, staining from a corner to the next corner to minimize matching problems. it took less than 2 quarts of stain and 1 quart of gel top coat. And every old white t-shirt I had.

    I did some testing in the laundry room and then mixed up a HUGE batch of stain so the whole project would match - it's 2/3 Java and 1/3 red cherry. I put small quantities in 1/2 piint jelly jars so I wouldn't have the stain drying out

    1 - Remove doors and drawers
    2 - Wash them and the frames thoroughly with soapy water to get the grunge off, then wipe with mineral spirits to get any old polish and grease off.
    3 - Wipe on the stain with a white cotton knit rag, starting with the center panels and moldings, end with the outer edges.
    4 - You can apply quite a bit and wipe it off until you are happy with the color, or wipe on thinner layers. I wipe on thin layers and sort of fake the grain by varying the pressure and dabbing.

    Change rags when it gets sticky.

    To avoid wipe marks, follow the grain. Work from small pieces to large ones. Wipe the shorter pieces of the door or cabinet, then end with the top-to bottom framing bits. If you have an arched panel, go straight across it, with the grain, not around the arch.

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 01.22.2011 at 08:42 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2011 at 08:42 pm

    Come on people now /

    posted by: diinohio on 10.15.2010 at 06:28 pm in Cooking Forum

    Smile on your brother/Everybody get together and try to love one another right now, right now, right now!

    One of my favorite cookies - I need to make them again soon!

    World Peace Cookies


    Photobucket


    World Peace Cookies

    Excerpted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin, 2006). Copyright 2006 by Dorie Greenspan.

    Makes about 36 cookies

    I once said I thought these cookies, the brainchild of the Parisian pastry chef Pierre Hermé, were as important a culinary breakthrough as Toll House cookies, and I've never thought better of the statement. These butter-rich, sandy-textured slice-and-bake cookies are members of the sablé family. But, unlike classic sablés, they are midnight dark �" there's cocoa in the dough �" and packed with chunks of hand-chopped bittersweet chocolate. Perhaps most memorably, they're salty. Not just a little salty, but remarkably and sensationally salty. It's the salt �" Pierre uses fleur de sel, a moist, off-white sea salt �" that surprises, delights and makes the chocolate flavors in the cookies seem preternaturally profound.

    When I included these in Paris Sweets, they were called Korova Cookies and they instantly won fans, among them my neighbor Richard Gold, who gave them their new name. Richard is convinced that a daily dose of Pierre's cookies is all that is needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness.

    * 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    * 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
    * 1/4 cup sugar
    * 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    * 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    * 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

    1. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

    2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

    3. Turn off the mixer. Pour in the dry ingredients, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek �" if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough �" for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don't be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

    4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you've frozen the dough, you needn't defrost it before baking �" just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

    Getting Ready to Bake:

    5. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

    6. Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you're cutting them �" don't be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

    7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes �" they won't look done, nor will they be firm, but that's just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 10.15.2010 at 10:14 pm    last updated on: 10.15.2010 at 10:14 pm

    RE: New Recipe Review - October 2010 (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: jojoco on 10.05.2010 at 10:37 am in Cooking Forum

    I made Lakemayor's (Karen) Lofthouse cookies today. They taste just like the ones you find in the grocery stores, only fresher. They are quite good and are being packed in a care package for my dd. Lofthouse cookies are her absolute favorite.
    lofthouse cookies




    lofthouse cookies



    The only problems I had was that the recipe said to roll the dough into balls. My dough was more like a stiff cupcake batter. I was able to drop it onto the cookie sheets, but it was a very soft and sticky dough. I will try it again, but will add more Jiffy mix to the dough and see if it holds its shape better without affecting the taste.
    Lakemayor's cookies:
    Found my other recipe. My mistake, it's made with Jiffy Mix not Bisquick.
    2 cups Jiffy Mix
    2/3 cups sugar
    1/3 cup milk
    5 Tbsp.soft shortening
    1 egg
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 tsp. almond extract

    Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and press slightly flat with a sugar covered glass.
    Bake at 350 degress for 8-10 minutes.
    Then just like the above cookies, I use icing made with powdered sugar, butter, a little milk and 1 tsp. of almond extract.
    (above are Karen's notes).

    Thank you Karen for a great recipe.

    Jo

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    clipped on: 10.15.2010 at 09:54 pm    last updated on: 10.15.2010 at 09:55 pm

    The first prize goes to ... Sol's Chocolate Chip Cookies!

    posted by: happygram on 03.15.2010 at 01:48 pm in Cooking Forum

    OK, so I'm kind of nuts, but I was assigned the job of baking many many many cookies for a big party my daughter was having for her 13 year old daughter. I decided that chocolate chip cookies were the perfect food but used 3 different recipes because I didn't want to make them all the same. So...I chose 3 recipes: one from the NYT food editor, the second one was from a favorite food blog, and the third was...drum roll, please, Sol's. The cookies were on separate plates, and there was a "ballot" so that the favorite could be checked.

    The overwhelming vote was for Sol's!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't have pictures because they were gone too quickly for me to change the battery in my camera.

    The recipe is below:

    Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies
    2 1/2 C. AP flour (I used King Arthur because that's what
    I had in the house)
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 C. light brown sugar, packed
    2 large eggs
    1 T. vanilla extract
    2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional...I didn't use nuts.)

    Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar till light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix till barely blended. Add the chips (and nuts). Drop onto
    a sheet pan and bake in a 350 degree oven, for approx. 12-15 minutes. (Note: I made really large cookies, and so they cooked longer than the suggested time. Also, because of time constraints, I made the dough on one morning and didn't make the actual baked cookies till the following evening...about 48 hours later.)

    They were absolutely perfect as evidenced by the opinions of about 45 people.

    Thank you, Sol.

    Mary

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 10.15.2010 at 09:52 pm    last updated on: 10.15.2010 at 09:52 pm

    RE: Embracing the Bundt Cake! (Follow-Up #37)

    posted by: claire_de_luna on 09.21.2010 at 05:09 pm in Cooking Forum

    Well, I copied a Dorie Greenspan recipe yesterday for one that's probably really good. (I trust her recipes.) Here it is:

    The Best Banana Bundt Cake
    Dorie Greenspan

    The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, "Baking: From My Home to Yours".

    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature ( 1/2 cup or 2 sticks)
    2 cups sugar
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
    About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed ( 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups)
    1 cup plain yogurt or 1 cup sour cream (or a combination of the two)

    Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9- to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan. (If you use a silicone pan there's no need to butter it.) Don't place the pan on a baking sheet - you want the oven's heat to circulate through the Bundt's inner tube.

    Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.

    Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes inches Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don't be disturbed when the batter curdles), all the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to deflate any bubbles in the batter and smooth the top.

    Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after about 30 minutes - if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature. If you have time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit overnight before serving - it's even better the next day.

    Optional Lemony Icing: Sift 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar into a bowl and squeeze in enough fresh lemon juice (start with 2 teaspoons and add more by drops) to make an icing thin enough to drizzle down the Bundt's curves.

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 10.15.2010 at 12:43 am    last updated on: 10.15.2010 at 12:43 am

    RE: Bringing houseplants back inside (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: tapla on 09.13.2010 at 08:57 pm in House Plants Forum

    I'm not sure how to answer the question. It breaks down quickly in sunlight, but any insects that come in contact with it are permanently affected and eventually die. It also has some systemic properties and works in concentrations as low as 1 ppm, so insects ingesting it after applications are affected as well.

    It's probably a good thing that it breaks down quickly in sunlight and water, that way is has minimal affect on benificials. It's usually recommended to apply at 2 week intervals. My guess is it's actively effective topically for a much shorter period; systemically, it's probably effective longer, though I'm not sure how long that might be. My suggestion would be to read the label carefully & then follow directions. Lacking directions:

    In a 1 quart spritzer bottle, mix:
    1 pint very hot water
    1 teaspoon neem oil (cold-pressed/virgin oil only - Dyna-Gro packages a very good product)
    4-6 drops Murphy's oil soap (or dishsoap)
    Shake well and add 1 pint of 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.
    Spritz
    Shake frequently while spritzing. Be sure to cover the entire plant. Don't spray in full sun. A little more Murphy's is ok, but unnecessary if using the isopropyl. Repeat at 2 week intervals as needed.

    Al

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    clipped on: 09.29.2010 at 04:00 pm    last updated on: 09.29.2010 at 04:00 pm

    RE: What to do with the Dish Towel?!?! (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: rmlanza on 03.14.2008 at 11:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

    You get yourself a towel pig! Shoulda read those towel threads Mystery!:)
    Photobucket
    I can't take credit for him though. I stole the idea from another Robin on this forum.
    Robin

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 06.15.2010 at 08:44 pm    last updated on: 06.15.2010 at 08:45 pm

    I just did general finishes gel stain and am SO HAPPY. (Follow-Up #13)

    posted by: tntw on 01.24.2010 at 04:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

    We're not planning to replace the cabinets ever.

    I posted many pictures and details on a thread called 'general finishes gel stain update' I think. too tired to look it up. but here's a couple pics.

    BEFORE

    AFTER

    I used Brown Mahogany.

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 05.02.2010 at 01:53 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2010 at 01:53 pm

    Gel stain vs. Polyshades

    posted by: sherry74 on 01.23.2010 at 01:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

    My kitchen has ugly orange oak cabinets. Replacing them is not an option now but likely in 5 or 6 years. I just want something other than paint to give them an updated look. No sense sanding or priming as they are junky "builder grade" cabinets.

    I tried Minwax gel stain in Mahogany and was very disappointed. I cleaned and lightly sanded and rubbed on and off the stain. Very minimal color change and nowhere near the color shown on the can.

    Tried a thicker coat and it was mess. No way to get an even coat no matter how I applied it whether by natural bristle brush, foam brush or by rag. Just too streaky and some bubbles. I called Minwax customer service and they said I should try Polyshades.

    So, should I try another brand of gel stain? I heard General Finishes is a good product but I have to travel almost 30 miles to get it. Or should I give Polyshades a chance?

    Im not looking for perfection but I just can not stand those cabinets any longer. My husband just installed a beautiful new laminate floor and it really showed just how bad those cabinets are. Thanks for any suggestions or tips.

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 05.02.2010 at 01:50 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2010 at 01:50 pm

    RE: Al's mix (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: tapla on 03.08.2010 at 02:22 pm in Container Gardening Forum

    Were you talking about the fir bark at Tindra's, GG? If so, it looks like it will work, though a little on the large side and VERY expensive. I pay about $15-17/ 3 cu ft bag (depending on whether I buy 20 bags or less) which figures out to around $5.50/cu ft. She is charging you about $36/cu ft + shipping, if that needs to be factored in. If you just want to try the soil, it might not be so bad, but I think I'd still keep looking in the meantime - for something suitable that is much less expensive.

    The gritty mix is formulated so it holds no perched water if you screen it. If you don't screen the Turface, it WILL hold some perched water, but you can still get excellent results if you just use a little care. I would increase the grit and back off a little on the Turface to compensate. Maybe:

    3 parts bark
    2 parts (unscreened) Turface
    4 parts crushed granite or cherrystone

    Al

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 03.17.2010 at 08:15 pm    last updated on: 03.17.2010 at 08:15 pm

    RE: Need help with citruses+pics multiple problems need help and (Follow-Up #18)

    posted by: thisisme on 03.11.2010 at 06:43 pm in Citrus Forum

    Tasty if you can find the ingredients for Al's mix get it. If not try this.

    2 parts pathway bark.
    1 part sphagnum peat moss.
    1 part coarse sand.
    1 part potting soil.
    1 teaspoon Ironite granules for gallon.
    1 teaspoon Osmocote Citrus and Avocado food per gallon.

    It will drain well while still holding water and nutrients. The ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find and the soil will hold up for a long time. It won't last as many years as Al's Gritty mix. However your trees are small and you are likely to need to re-pot them a couple times before this mix breaks down anyway.

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 03.16.2010 at 05:26 pm    last updated on: 03.16.2010 at 05:27 pm

    RE: Cleaning Duet pleated shades (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: cearab on 02.28.2009 at 12:54 pm in Cleaning Tips Forum

    I have had my blinds cleaned twice just like etienne said above. About 3 years ago, I called a local blind/drapery store to see if they could 'restring' a few blinds since the interior string had broken and I could no longer get the blinds to go up and down. The people at the store were very nice and helpful, and I asked them if they also cleaned blinds. They told me I could do it at home myself. I have Duet pleated shades as well. What they told me to do was to take down the blind. Fill the bathtub halfway with warm water, some detergent like Dawn, and 2 cups of bleach. Put the blind in, one blind at a time, and open it up. Allow the blind to soak for about 20 minutes, then swish it around, gently squeezing and pressing on the fabric. You won't believe how much dirt comes out. Drain the tub and fill it again to cover the blind. Squeeze the fabric to get out the bleach and the soap. Drain the tub again. Leave the blind in the tub and do a final rinse using the shower head, and cold water. Afterwards, squeeze the fabric to remove as much water as possible. Use some big towels to help remove water. Place outside, fully extended to dry (on some towels to prevent dirt. Alternately, you could put the blinds on a clothing line extended, if you have one.
    This really works, but it's a bit time consuming. The bleach did not damage the color of my blinds, which are a light yellow. The people at the store told me the fabric was polyester, which would not be damaged by the bleach.

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 12.14.2009 at 12:42 am    last updated on: 12.14.2009 at 12:42 am

    RE: Modified Swiffer Wet Jet (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: mustangs on 05.20.2009 at 10:11 pm in Cleaning Tips Forum

    I have been using my own solution in the WetJet for about a year. Here is the recipe that I have been using:

    Swiffer Refill-33 ounces

    1. Soften lid with hot water - 30 to 45 seconds
    2. Use pliers to lightly squeeze the base of the lid (not the upper part) as you twist it off. You will then see the teeth on the inside that "prevent" you from refilling it yourself.
    3. Refill with solution below:

    • 2 tablespoons of ammonia
    • 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol
    • 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap
    • 28 ounces water

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 12.14.2009 at 12:22 am    last updated on: 12.14.2009 at 12:23 am

    RE: Anybody make Kitchen improvements with Oak Cabinets? (Follow-Up #8)

    posted by: worldmom on 11.01.2009 at 12:01 am in Kitchens Forum

    Celticmoon's instructions are awesome (as are her results!), but since I asked my mom to write up some info, I feel like I've got to post hers, too. ;o) Here they are:

    Supplies
    Verathane Gel Stain - color is Cabernet (Home Depot)
    Minwax Polycrylic water based protective finish - There are several finishes
    available - I used the clear semi-gloss
    TSP or similar product
    100 grit sandpaper
    Palm sander
    Sponge brushes - several sizes
    1 natural bristle brush
    1 synthetic bristle brush
    1 small artist's brush
    Turpentine
    Small paint pad and extra pads

    Steps
    1. set up work station in garage or outside
    2. remove all hardware, hinges, doors, and drawers
    3. wash with TSP - allow to dry
    4. lightly sand all surfaces - edges and grooves also
    5. vacuum to remove sawdust, then wipe with damp absorbent cloth and allow
    to air dry completely
    6. stir gel stain
    7. begin with a drawer - dab on the stain in about 8 places with sponge
    brush
    8. quickly spread gel over entire surface with natural bristle brush
    working in one direction
    9. remove any excess gel with synthetic brush - as you do this brush lines
    will become less noticeable but will not completely disappear
    10. allow to dry overnight
    11. finish with 3 coats of polycrylic finish

    Helpful hints
    Wear a mask
    Assembly line speeds up the process - remove everything, wash everything,
    sand everything and so on
    For large areas such as pantry cabinets use the paint pads instead of the
    brushes
    Use artist's brush to touch up missed spots
    Don't rush think of it as eating an elephant one bite at a time
    Do insides of drawers for a finished look
    Label doors and drawers for easy reassembly
    If cabinet doors have design, grooves, edges, the stain will collect in
    those places. If you don't like this effect, you can minimize it by
    brushing out from those areas and toward the center - use a light touch -
    think "feathering"
    Don't worry if you don't like something - sand off the stain and start over
    Cost
    Gel stain $15-$17 per quart
    Minwax finish I think it was $17 per quart
    I used three quarts of stain and 1 1/2 quarts of the finish for 25 cupboards
    and 20 drawers (kitchen and 2 baths)

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 11.23.2009 at 06:18 pm    last updated on: 11.23.2009 at 06:18 pm

    RE: Anybody make Kitchen improvements with Oak Cabinets? (Follow-Up #6)

    posted by: celticmoon on 10.31.2009 at 01:13 am in Kitchens Forum

    I gel stained mine as well. For about $50 and a bunch of hours I went from this (that's not me, that's the prior owner in 1998)
    1998 side wall

    to this

    desk and baking 2

    two years later tow hall
    It is a very doable project. You just need time, $50 in supplies, and patience. No skill.

    Here's more than you need to know:

    My cabinets were frameless, good condition and good layout. But the finish had gone orange and ugly, with the oak graining too busy for me. Cabinet were 18 years old, very poorly finished oak veneered slab doors. Plain with no crevices. They didn't even take the doors off to finish them!!! No stain or finish was even put on the hinge side edges. Bad workmanship.

    I looked into changing out cabinets, but that was way too much money, since my layout was OK. Painting didn't seem right because the doors were plain slabs. I considered new doors but that still meant a lot of money. For a few years I tried to figure a way to add molding toward a mission look, but the rounded door edges made that impossible. Then trolling in a kitchen emporium showroom this last year I noticed dark wood slab doors, kind of like mine, but darker. That was the answer.

    First I tried Minwax Polyshades. Dicey product. Hard to brush on neatly, then gummy, then seemed to leave a sticky tacky residue. I did a thread on the Woodworking Forum "Evil Polyshades to the Rescue" which elicited a lot of conflicting "expert" opinions and arguments that one must strip to bare wood. (Thread may still be around as that Forum moves slowly.) Long ago when I was young and stupid I properly stripped acres of woodwork in an old Victorian. Never again! Jennifer-in-Clyde (in the same boat) and I stumbled around on that woodworking thread to get to this method.

    SHOPPING LIST:
    -electric screwdriver or screw drill bits
    -mineral spirits to clean the years of gunk off the cabinet
    -miracle cloths (optional)
    -fine sandpaper
    -box-o-disposable gloves from Walgreens or the like
    -old socks or rags for wiping on coats
    -disposable small plastic bowls or plates, and plastic spoons or forks for stirring/dipping (optional)
    -General Finishes water base Espresso stain (pretty thick, but not quite a gel) NOTE: This one may not even be a needed step if the Java gets it dark enough.
    -General Finishes Java gel stain (poly based)
    -General Finishes clear top coat (poly based)
    -old sheets or plastic sheeting or newspaper

    Rockler woodworking stores are a good place to find the General Finish products. Or some larger hardware stores. Quart of each was more than enough for my 60 doors and drawer fronts and goes for $12-14 at Rockler. There are smaller sizes if your project is small.


    SETUP AND PLANNING:
    You will need a place to work and leave wet doors to dry overnight - I set up 2 spaces: garage for sanding/cleaning and basement for staining/sealing. Use newspaper or plastic to protect the surface and floor. Figure out how you will prop doors to dry. Plan blocks of 20-30-minutes for sanding/cleaning bundles of, say, 6 doors at a time. Then just 10-minute sessions to wipe on coats. The coats will need to dry for about 24 hours, so figure that each section of the kitchen will be doorless for 4 or 5 days. Divide the job up into manageable chunks.

    PREPARATION:
    Take off doors and drawer fronts. Try using screw drill bits on an electric drill if you don't have an electric screwdriver. Remove all the hardware. *Mark alike things so you know what goes back where.* Clean the doors thoroughly. Not with TSP but with something pretty strong and scrub well. There's years of grease there.
    Sand LIGHTLY, just a scuffing really. Just enough to break the finish and give it some tooth, no more than a minute a door. A miracle cloth is good for getting most of the dust off. Then wipe well with mineral spirits to clean and get the last of the gunk off.

    STAINING:
    In order, we're gonna put on:
    -General Finishes Espresso water based stain (1 coat) - optional
    -General Finishes Java gel stain (couple coats)
    -General Finishes Clear urethane gel topcoat in satin (couple coats)

    But first put on work clothes, tie up your hair (men, you may skip this step, LOL) and pop your phone into a baggie nearby (you know it will ring). Glove up.
    *First do a trial on the back of a door and check if Java coats alone suffice. If the Java alone is to your liking, just skip the Espresso and return it.*
    Open and stir up the Espresso stain, then spoon some into a plastic bowl. Close the tin so it doesn't get contaminated. Slide a sock over your hand, grab a gob of Espresso and smear it on. Wipe off the excess. Let it dry well - overnight is good. It will lighten as it dries, but then darken again with any other coat or sealer. A second coat might result in a deeper tone at the end - though it seemed like the second coat was just dissolving the first. YMMV.

    Repeat with Java gel. This is thicker and poly based (*not water cleanup!*= messier). Color is a rich dark reddish brown. Wait for the second coat to judge if the color is deep enough for you. I wanted a very deep dark color, like melted dark chocolate. So I went pretty heavy on these layers. *I did not sand between coats*.
    Repeat with clear gel topcoat. This will give you the strength you need in a kitchen.

    Do the same process with the cabinet sides, face and toe kick area. Might need to divide that up also, and stagger the work: doors/cabinets/doors/etc.

    NOTE: The cloth or socks used for the gels are very flammable! Collect and store them in a bucket of water as you go and then dispose of them all properly.

    FINISHING AND REASSEMBLY:
    I suggest you put the doors back up after one clear coat, then you can check everything over and darken an area with more Java if needed, followed by a clear coat. When it all looks right, go over it all again with another clear gel coat. Or two. (See my follow up notes below). Install your hardware.
    The feel of the finish should be wonderful, really smooth and satiny. Color deep and rich - way nicer than that faded, beat 80's oak color.

    FINAL THOUGHTS:
    Definitely experiment first with the back of a door or drawer front to be sure it is the look you want. Yes, this takes a couple days to coat, dry, recoat, dry, etc but you may discover that the Java alone does the trick and this will save you a LOT of work. Front-end patience is worth it.

    This is a pretty easy project to do. Hard to screw it up. The worst is the prep - relative to that, smearing on the coats is cake. I had over 60 pieces (big kitchen) AND island sides and book shelves, etc and I admit I lost steam partway through. Had to push myself through the last of it. But it was worth it. Folks think I got all new cabinets - it looks that good.

    Now the finish will not be as durable as factory finish - go at it with a Brillo pad and you WILL abrade it. But it has held up pretty well. And after a year of pretty heavy use, I had just a few nicks, easily repaired.
    (6/08 Add: I'm now (18 months later) seeing some wear near the pulls on the most used cabinets. Will add color with Java if it bugs me.)
    (9/09 Add: Never did bother to touch up those couple spots. Bugging me a bit more, and I will get to it soon. It is the drinking glass cabinet and the snack cabinet, LOL. And the garbage pull-out. The rest still looks perfect. Lesson: Use an extra coat or 2 of gel on the way frequently used cabinets.)

    I added smashing hardware, raised my pass-through, resurfaced the Corian (also simple but messy and tedious) and replaced the DW and sink. It looks gorgeous to me and I really enjoy the space - how it sits all quiet, clean and serene, then gets all crazy with the food and folks du jour. I couldn't be happier, especially that I didn't have to work another year just to pay for the update!!

    Good luck with your project!! And let me know if you try it and how it turns out.

    -Kris (aka Celticmoon)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Celtic's oak kitchen update albums

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 11.23.2009 at 06:17 pm    last updated on: 11.23.2009 at 06:17 pm

    RE: Potting Mix for the N. Eastern States (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: greenman28 on 09.07.2009 at 01:28 pm in Cacti & Succulents Forum

    Hey, Norma! Thanks for the recipe!
    I wonder if there are any here who are using this formula?

    Growing in California seems to make things a bit easier; but, if I were attempting to build
    a potting mix for a more humid part of the country, I would do this:

    1. Start with small gravel (like granite or aquarium rock) that holds very little moisture.

    2. Add perlite to off-set the weight of the gravel. At this point, you have the majority
    of your potting mix assembled.

    3. For the "brown stuff" in your mix, add particles of bark (pine/fir preferred). Bark will
    hold moisture, but its structure will also promote very fast-drainage. Gravel, Perlite, and
    Bark will dry out quickly, and so it is important to add something to increase water-retention.

    4. For this, I add pumice (which holds a lot of moisture, so be sparing at first!). One could also
    use Turface or a Diatomaceous product (like Napa #8822). Stable ingredients will hold moisture
    without compacting.

    Josh

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 10.29.2009 at 04:46 pm    last updated on: 10.29.2009 at 04:46 pm

    RE: Controlled release fertilizer w/ majors and micronutrients? (Follow-Up #15)

    posted by: tapla on 01.23.2009 at 09:07 am in Container Gardening Forum

    Hey, Dave. I just answered this question (it was in my e-mail). I thought it was you that sent it? Maybe you didn't believe me? ;o)

    If you're asking about CRFs, like Osmocote, 5 lbs per cu yd of soil is a medium application rate. This calculates to about .4 oz (by weight) per gallon, so you should be fine with a level tbsp per gallon of soil. Use 1/3 cup per cu ft if you're making larger batches.

    I would still add a teaspoon of gypsum per gallon of soil & use 1/8 tsp of MgSO4/gal every 2-4 weeks.

    Al

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 09.21.2009 at 08:40 pm    last updated on: 09.21.2009 at 08:40 pm

    RE: my first plumeria (newbie question) (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: tdogdad on 08.11.2009 at 07:15 pm in Plumeria Forum

    Go to the Flowerdale on Bristol where it goes under the 55 and the 73 onramp. They have the best cactus mix. Pick up a bag of pumice or perlite (pumice best). Pick up a envelop of rooting compound and a small bottle of B-1. Get a one gallon black nursery pot (home depot sells or people at Flowerdale might give you one. ask.) Now with your cutting hardened up for at least five days, soak the end 3" in B-1 and water for 1-2 days. Mix your cactus mix and pumice about 50-50 and put about 2 inches in the bottom of the one gallon pot. Remove the cutting and dip the end 3 inches into the rooting compound and shake off any excess. Position the stem on the soil mix in the center and fill the soil mix up in the pot lightly packing. Pour the B-1 water mix around the top of the soil mix and let it soak in. Place the pot on a sunny location on concrete or rocks and do not water. Cut off any leaves that are on the plant now as the plant needs roots to support leaves. Mist the top of the plant in the mornings daily and do not water until leaves grow about 5-6" long. Watering too early will cause the stem to rot. It has a water supply in the stem to get it rooted. Rooting can take several months so be patient. It may go dormant and drop any leaves in a few months but in March it will come back. As long as the stem is hard it is ok. If it grows leaves, begin watering it once a week until it drops its leaves then stop watering until spring. You have time to get it rooted where you live but protect it from frost or freezing weather in Dec/Jan (Put under an overhang or bring inside.) Good luck. Bill

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    clipped on: 09.17.2009 at 09:57 pm    last updated on: 09.17.2009 at 09:57 pm

    RE: Question for tapla - 100% turface mixtures (Follow-Up #42)

    posted by: tapla on 03.26.2009 at 09:18 pm in House Plants Forum

    The pH of calcined DE (the floor-dry) is neutral at 7.0, and Turface comes in at around 6.2. Granite offers SOME additional nutrition, but the pieces are so large (o/a surface area has a huge impact on how much of the mineral component ever becomes available, and an ounce of large pieces has tremendously less surface area than something fine granular or in powder form) you might as well consider it as 'none'. We actually shouldn't rely on any soil component in container culture to deliver nutrition because delivery is extremely unreliable from organic and insoluble sources.

    "Will this 1:1:1 work for everything from Bromeliads to Succulents to sub-/tropical plants too?"

    I really believe that you can grow anything from pond plants to Lithops in it if you pay some attention to watering, and I've yet to find a plant that doesn't thrive in it. Remember that the 1:1:1 ratio is adjustable. If you keep the organic component at 1/3 of the mix, you can vary the water holding ability of the rest of the mix

    3 parts bark
    4 parts Turface
    2 parts grit
    will give you a soil that holds LOTS of water w/o it occupying valuable macro-pores in the soil.

    A mix of
    3 parts bark
    2 parts Turface
    4 parts grit
    will give you a soil that retains much less water and which might be more suited to plants that don't tolerate wet feet. It's soo easily adapted to suit individual plants - just an extra handful of this or that will tailor the soil to fit your needs.

    Al


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    clipped on: 09.12.2009 at 12:41 pm    last updated on: 09.12.2009 at 12:41 pm

    RE: What kind of paint for bathroom & kit cabinets, other woodwor (Follow-Up #14)

    posted by: mnzinnia on 08.31.2009 at 11:25 pm in Home Decorating Forum

    I used both Impervo and Pro Classic in an extensive home project including kitchen cabinets,and both new and old trimwork. I found the Pro Classic to leave a nicer finish--it leveled out better. Both looked good but the SW product had an edge in ease of application and appearance. You will probably be happy with either. Be sure to stay away from the Behr stuff with nanotechnology--inferior finish.

    FYI SW is having a 25% off sale this week on all paint. I'm off to get some more Pro Classic to repaint a bunch of old dark trim in a different home. Did you know that at SW you can get custom tinted sample quarts for about $4 (on sale) to check out colors? It won't be the same paint line (like duration or PC), but allows for painting a big sample board or wall area to compare colors easily. I find that to be really helpful. I just use half a piece of poster board for walls and cut a piece of width for trim. Painters tape it up, check it in day and evening light before deciding.

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    clipped on: 09.07.2009 at 01:48 pm    last updated on: 09.07.2009 at 01:48 pm

    RE: Restoration Hardware at a Discount?? (Follow-Up #46)

    posted by: designerdreams on 06.14.2009 at 04:14 am in Furniture Forum

    Searched FOREVER and finally took the jump and bought a Lancaster at couchseattle.com. Ameer (the owner) was super knowledgeable and friendly. The Brompton is NICER than what they're using at Restoration now (has anyone else noticed that they've crossed the line from distressed leather to just plain beat up leather?) and I got the featherblend and the 8-way hand tie. I paid $2950 for mine incuding delivery to Salt Lake City and couldn't be happier. I'm also pretty darned happy I bought a Los Angeles made sofa not one made in China. That might have been the biggest thing for me. I just won't pay $4,200 for a Chinese sofa and I can't believe Restoration has the gall to do that! Another really interesting thing about this store is that Ameer said he could change the dimensions of the sofa! I stayed with the original size of 95'x48 but I thought that was a really interesting capability for all the people in apartments and awkward spaces.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Couch Seattle

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    clipped on: 06.29.2009 at 02:17 pm    last updated on: 06.29.2009 at 02:17 pm

    RE: Anyone have a LATEX mattress? (Follow-Up #12)

    posted by: sippimom on 03.31.2008 at 01:09 am in Furniture Forum

    I am the OP and we have had our (Jamison) latex mattress going on 6 months now. I can definitely say that it is NOT hot at all. My DH is like a furnace and he loves it. I have also had back problems (slipped disc) and it this bed has been amazingly comfortable. It is heavenly to lay down on it each night.

    Unlike latex, the tempurpedic beds are HOT. That material is temperature sensitive and heat from your body is what makes it compress. When we tested them it felt like laying in a bed of sand. Some people really like that feeling of having the foam comform to your body. It wasn't for us. Just don't let a salesperson try to tell you that tempurpedic or memory foam is the same as latex - it's NOT.

    Latex comes in different firmnesses. (called ILD's. A 44 ILD is quite firm...a 24 ILD is very soft) Ours can be flipped. It has a very firm core with a softer layer on one side so that if we want softer, all we have to do it flip it. For now with my back issues, we're using the firm side.

    Memory foam does not spring back right away when you get up from it whereas latex does.

    Latex does not harbor mold or dust mites. The holes in the core make it very breatheable. I did read somewhere that you shouldn't get it wet so we bought a water-proof mattress pad first thing just in case someone spills a glass of water on it, etc.

    To anyone considering a mattress of any type, take a book in with you and just lay on them for a good long while. 30 min if you think you've found the one you want to buy. Yes, it's time consuming but you spend 1/3 of your life in bed if you sleep for 8 hrs each night. It's worth taking the time to test them thoroughly before you buy. I did find out in my search that the Sealy SpringFree, Stearns and Foster, and the Basset Carrington Chase latex beds are all identical - they just have a different name and price tag. They are made by the same company.

    We ended up switching to latex pillows and between the mattress and the pillows, it's like laying on a cloud. We never wake up stiff or sore anymore.

    Hope this helps - Good luck! Sorry this is so long - we're definitely sold on latex mattresses and won't be buying any conventional coil mattresses anymore.

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    clipped on: 06.29.2009 at 01:00 pm    last updated on: 06.29.2009 at 01:00 pm

    RE: Ready to cry... painted cabinets... (Follow-Up #19)

    posted by: circuspeanut on 06.21.2009 at 09:58 am in Kitchens Forum

    One thing to note is that you're using Aura paint, which is a different beast from most others. I have my whole house done in Aura in different sheens (mostly matte, kitchen walls are eggshell and bath is semigloss) and I can say that the Aura matte is actually easier to scrub than the Aura eggshell or semigloss. Their product info says this is because it has more ceramic in it? So depending on your sheen desire, you might actually go for the matte for another coat.

    But I wanted to encourage you to try the Aura 'Bath and Spa' formula which is a brand-new product and made especially to withstand moisture and stains. You can have it made up in the same BM and affinity colors as the other Auras. A friend just tried it in her kitchen (walls) and has been raving about it.

    If you're intent on doing a poly layer, another product I can recommend is a poly finish called PolyWhey by Vermont Coatings. It's waterborne and uses whey (of all things) rather than petrochemicals. I just used the satin on my stairway, and it's amazing! Each coat dried in an hour, it's super easy to apply, and they claim it's twice as hard as regular poly. Since it's waterborne it is non-yellowing. And the best part is that there is NO odor at all. (Just thought I'd throw that in if you've got kids or creatures sensitive to the smells.) It's pricey, but I think I'm a convert and won't ever use regular poly again.

    I'm so sorry for the paint stress, it stinks when things don't perform as expected, and there are enough other worries to deal with in a kitchen remodel.

    In any case, pictures of the fresh white cabs! We demand pictures! :-)



    from the Aura literature:
    "Benjamin Moore New Aura Bath and Spa Paint Gallon Matte Finish. This brand new paint extends the new revolutionary color science technology of Aura to offer superior bathroom and spa paint in a matte finish. Now you have achieved features and benefits previously unavailable in paint. This new paint offers guaranteed two-coat coverage with any color over even an unprimed new sheetrock wall. It is super durable, low odor, super coverage, super-time saving paint!
    Baths and Spas require a special kind of paint. Wet environments like bathrooms and spas place extra demands on paint and need extra durability, more mildew resistance, more washability and resistance to surfactant leaching.

    If you have bathroom with a shower, more than likely you've noticed drip marks on the wall that just doesn't come off. This is due to two things: first, the water itself has minerals in it that remain on the surface once the water evaporates. And second, the water leaches surfactants from the paint film. These surfactants come from the universal colorants that paint companies use to tint colors. The Benjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa paint uses revolutionary new paint technology that doesn't rely on surfactants and therefore won't create these drip marks. Moreover, this new paint is extra washable and durable and therefore will improve your ability to remove any mineral deposit build up from your walls. It is also super mildew resistant."

    Here is a link that might be useful: PolyWhey

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    clipped on: 06.23.2009 at 06:37 pm    last updated on: 06.23.2009 at 06:37 pm

    RE: What brand dimmable CFL flood light do you like best? (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: granite_man on 12.05.2008 at 10:10 pm in Lighting Forum

    My favorite, by far, is the new cold cathode 18W PAR bulb from Ushio. The model is 3000538. It is not cheap, but it works which is saying a lot when it comes to dimmable CFLs.

    Make sure that you are using a Lutron or Leviton dimmer made after 1995. This goes for all dimmable CFLs.

    We have used the GE21716 which is a dimmable R40 CFL. It just didn't cut it. Neither GE or Feit are at the cutting edge when it comes to dimmable CFLs.

    Granite_Man

    Here is a link that might be useful: Ushio 3000538

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    clipped on: 06.02.2009 at 11:20 am    last updated on: 06.02.2009 at 11:22 am

    RE: Painting plastic planters to look less plastic? (Follow-Up #8)

    posted by: merryd on 10.02.2005 at 12:20 pm in Garden Accoutrements Forum

    Sorry I havn't replied till now but thank you for your suggestions. Since these are new pots and the slick finish will most likely not take direct painting very well, I'm going to use the spray paint for plastic. I have my heart set on a ceramic look so I've been experimenting with whats available. I looked in some faux painting books and I'm surprised I couln't find a ceramic glaze technique.

    I've played around with colors, just practice spraying onto cardboard, but what resulted looked so much like a pottery glaze I can't wait to try it on the pots!

    First I used a base of navy and followed very quikly with a light spray of the Hyicinth color by Krylon's Fusion, done so when the little specks hit the still wet base they sort of 'melt' in. That creates a mottled cobalt blue. Then as quickly as possible spray about an inch and a half of metallic light green around the top edge, enough to have it drip and then follow with a thinner band of metalic gold on top of that.

    My sample has the metalics dripping just enough that the reactions with the base look like real glaze-even the color variations! I'm waiting until next weekend after I go to a Home Depot clinic on paint techniques. The woman who teaches the classes was working when I asked about splatering on mineral spirits for a mottled efect. She's going to focus the class on my pots so I can get some expert advise if things don't work out like my cardboard samle. My main concerns are paint compatability in he long term-don't know if the metalics are compatable with the base paint and whether the thicker application will hold up.

    I've never done pictures on the net so if they turn out I'll try to put them up here.

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    clipped on: 04.12.2009 at 08:19 pm    last updated on: 04.12.2009 at 08:19 pm

    RE: succulent soil mix (Follow-Up #31)

    posted by: tapla on 03.31.2008 at 07:37 am in Container Gardening Forum

    Be careful, B. You're likely to find crushed shellfish where you live and I'm referring to crushed/rotted granite when I mention 'grit'. I'm usually careful to use that term.

    I grow all my houseplants & succulents in a mix similar to the one at the top of this thread. It's really not all that heavy. Turface is pretty light, and the only other heavy ingredient is the granite (you could replace this with the largest silica sand you can buy from a pool supply store or a masonry store. It should be 1/16-1/8 diameter.), and that only makes up around 1/4 of the mix.

    You could use the 5:1:2 bark:peat:perlite mix and just add 3-4 parts of Turface to it, too. I'm certain you'd be very happy with that mix if you think the other might not suit you. ;o)

    Al

    Here is a link that might be useful: A Soil Discussion - Houseplants

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    clipped on: 04.06.2009 at 07:15 pm    last updated on: 04.06.2009 at 07:15 pm

    RE: Question for tapla - 100% Turface mixtures (Follow-Up #37)

    posted by: tapla on 03.23.2009 at 08:01 pm in House Plants Forum

    Ohhhhh - it's too fine for soils. :o( You want Turface MVP or the same product Profile packages for John Deere Landscaping called 'Allsport'.

    You could also use the calcined DE from NAPA auto parts stores that they sell as 'floor-dry'. Are you also going to use crushed granite in the soil? The 1:1:1 is uncomposted pine bark: Turface: crushed granite grit. If not, you should use 2 parts Turface or calcined DE and 1 part bark and screen the Turface or DE through a kitchen strainer with holes about the size of insect screen.

    Al

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    clipped on: 03.30.2009 at 03:04 pm    last updated on: 03.30.2009 at 03:04 pm

    RE: Al's Gritty Mix (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: tapla on 01.16.2009 at 04:36 pm in Container Gardening Forum

    Since you have provided a big, black, bold header for the thread, I'll just post the recipe here. ;o)

    The basic mix is 1:1:1, pine bark fines:Turface:crushed granite. This is what I grow all my woody plants in that go 2-3 years between repots and I usually keep it that simple (1:1:1). I'll list it a little differently so you can see what I use for houseplants, but you can note that the 3 parts of all the primary ingredients still works out to a 1:1:1 ratio. If you're puzzled after you look at it, just ask & I'll explain in more detail.

    3 parts pine or fir bark fines
    3 parts Turface MVP (or equal)
    3 parts crushed granite (turkey or chicken grit - not crushed shellfish)
    1 part vermiculite
    1 part coarse silica sand
    1 tbsp gypsum/gallon of soil (1/2 cup per cu ft)
    if you use gypsum instead of lime, add 1/8 tsp Epsom salts/gallon of water each time you fertilize

    If you want to increase water retention, use 4 parts Turface and 2 parts granite, To reduce water retention, use 4 parts granite & 2 parts Turface. If you vary the recipe to suit yourself, try to keep the organic component at 1/3 or less. No peat/coir is necessary or even desirable in this mix.

    Though there are a few exceptions, most plants will perform extremely well if you use a 3:1:2 ratio fertilizer (24-8-16, 12-4-8, 9-3-6, are all examples). Fertilizing frequently at lower doses works better.

    Al

    Here is a link that might be useful: Click me & I'll take you to another conversation - pictures, too.

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    clipped on: 02.22.2009 at 01:05 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2009 at 01:05 pm

    RE: best soil for sedum (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: tapla on 05.08.2008 at 04:18 pm in Container Gardening Forum

    Noooo newspaper please. It's almost all cellulose & will break down into sludge very quickly.

    Here's the deal with sedum. They demand good drainage, which means that you need a coarse soil in most containers and a very coarse soil in shallow containers. I grow them in the same soil I use for succulents & they do very well.

    3 parts Turface (Schultz soil conditioner is the same stuff)
    3 parts crushed granite (farm feed store)
    3 parts pine or fir bark
    1 part coarse silica sand (masonry supply company)
    1 part vermiculite
    gypsum or dolomitic lime (I use gypsum)
    a micronutrient source or use a fertilizer with all the secondary macros and all the micros. You can skip the gypsum or lime if your fertilizer contains Ca and Mg. When you decide what you're going to fertilize with, I can help you decide on good program, if you like.

    Good luck!

    Al

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    clipped on: 06.08.2008 at 12:12 am    last updated on: 11.16.2008 at 12:35 pm

    RE: Best medium for moisture retention in hanging baskets and pot (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: tapla on 03.30.2008 at 12:26 pm in Container Gardening Forum

    The problem with compost and vermiculite is that they lose their loft and compact "after about .... ohh, .... say 10 minutes." Credit to Rhizo for first using that line In soils, perlite promotes drainage and improves porosity. 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, but since it's soo light, that's not much. It also gives its water up quickly, so has a steep water retention gradient.

    Vermiculite is about the same density, and has an even higher capacity for holding water and a very high cation exchange capacity. It also contains some 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.

    Turface is a baked clay granule and the Schultz Corp bags it and labels it as their "Soil Conditioner". This product has more than 13 acres of surface area per lb, which translates to very good water/nutrient retention.

    My suggestion for a soil that will hold very good volumes of water and still drain well is:

    6 parts Turface or Schultz Soil Conditioner (same thing)
    3 parts fine pine bark
    1 part sphagnum peat
    1 part vermiculite
    1 tbsp garden lime (dolomite) per gallon soil
    a micronutrient source or use a fertilizer that has all the minor elements.

    The compaction factor that makes vermiculite a suspect choice at any notable volume in container soils is a minor issue when the total volume is kept somewhere near 10%, so it's no accident that the volume of vermiculite suggested works out to around 9% in the above mix.

    Al

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    clipped on: 07.09.2008 at 11:40 pm    last updated on: 07.09.2008 at 11:40 pm

    RE: Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention IV (Follow-Up #90)

    posted by: tapla on 02.08.2008 at 03:09 pm in Container Gardening Forum

    The Utilite 'fines' would be approximately equivalent to Turface MVP and would be good for use in your soil as a Turface replacement (I would screen over insect screen & discard the fines/dust if you find it too fine). The other grades would be too coarse or too fine. If you cant find the granite, try:
    3 parts Turface
    2 parts appropriate sized bark
    1 part perlite.

    Use the gypsum at 1/2 cup/cu ft or 3 cups for a 6 cu ft batch - use Osmocote at 2/3 - 3/4 cup/cu ft or 4 - 4-1/2 cups for the 6 cu ft batch - use Micromax @ 2 tbsp/cu ft or 3/4 cup for the 6 cu ft batch.

    Once you have a batch of basic soil mixed, it's very easy to add another handful of this or that to suit individual plants. I think you'll be thrilled to have developed your own soil that you can rely on to perform the same way, every time you plant in it. There is much to be said for consistency. ;o)

    Take good care.

    Al

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    clipped on: 05.27.2008 at 07:14 pm    last updated on: 06.08.2008 at 05:14 pm

    RE: A Soil Discussion (Follow-Up #56)

    posted by: tapla on 11.17.2007 at 07:43 pm in House Plants Forum

    You're not the only one who sent condolences after reading the post. I'll leave it at that (he says with a devilish grin) ;o) ;o)

    W/o knowing the size of the gravel, I can only guess, but here's what I would do: Screen the finest particles from the kitty litter with a metal kitchen strainer & discard the fines. Then:
    2 parts screened litter
    1 part gravel
    1 part soil
    1 tsp gypsum/gallon soil (if you need a little - I'll send)
    Use a soluble fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio. 24-8-16, or 12-4-8 are good choices. Be sure what you use contains micronutrients. This blend is an excellent choice for houseplants, whether they flower or not.

    I suggested gypsum as a calcium source because the pH of this soil will be close to neutral and gypsum will not elevate it. You will need to add a little Epsom salts (a tiny pinch in a gallon of solution) when you mix fertilizer. If you really want to get fancy for this one plant, and for very best growth:
    mix fertilizer at 1/8 strength in a gallon of distilled water and add a pinch of Epsom salts. Water freely at every watering so some water (10-15%) drains from container. I promise you'll be well pleased & your only extra effort will be the need to water a little more frequently.

    Let me know if there are more questions - and we'll want a full report/assessment later. ;o)

    Al

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    clipped on: 06.07.2008 at 04:48 pm    last updated on: 06.07.2008 at 04:48 pm

    RE: Growing Medium for Potted Figs (Follow-Up #45)

    posted by: oxankle on 03.06.2008 at 10:50 am in Fig Forum

    Just a note for those of you who are interested. I've been trying to learn how I could duplicate Al's growing medium without using granite.

    Using crushed granite (poultry grit) in large quantities of potting mix is not practicable here. There are no local granite sources, so the grit must be bought in sacks at around $250 per ton. This translates to about $l5 or so for the grit in any one half-barrel.

    In my search I learned that water filtration gravel of for municipal systems is almost exactly the size that Al specifies and is washed free of fines so that the municipal systems can use it. The gravel plant man I talked to called it "4 over 8". What this means, he explained, is that it passes thru a #4 screen (just less than a quarter inch) and is held back by the #8 screen (just less than 1/8th inch) In most areas of the country it should be easier to find than granite.

    Dirt cheap, and the size matches the expanded clay (light weight aggregate) manufactured locally so that Al's mix can be duplicated. The granite will contain some micro nutrients that river gravel does not but, as Al has stated, we do not depend on this mix for plant nutrition.

    Hope this helps some of the rest of you who may want to try the mix but are put off by the cost of granite & Turface.
    Ox

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    clipped on: 06.06.2008 at 11:56 pm    last updated on: 06.06.2008 at 11:56 pm

    RE: succulent soil mix (Follow-Up #54)

    posted by: tapla on 05.29.2008 at 10:21 pm in Container Gardening Forum

    Hi, Masanchez. I must be slipping. I missed your post - guessing it's addressed to me.

    Yes - the gritty mix will be great for both plants. If I was starting your seeds (this is how I sow pine and other tree seeds), I would use the gritty mix above - with a twist. I would screen the Turface through insect screening & save the fines. The coarse part of the Turface would be used to make the soil. I would sow the seeds directly on top of the soil and then sprinkle/cover with 1/8-1/4 inch of the Turface fines. I would then mist the surface of the fine Turface over-layer whenever it dried out & began to lighten in color.

    Jessz - The coarse sand just increases the surface area of the soil particles and temporarily holds on to water that can then diffuse into the bark instead of flowing right through/over the bark w/o actually wetting it. If you're using starter grit, you can easily skip the sand. Don't gnash your teeth over it. ;o)

    For about 1 gallon of soil:

    1 quart plus a cup of Turface
    1 quart plus a cup of starter grit
    1 quart plus a cup of uncomposted fine pine bark
    1 cup vermiculite
    1 tbsp gypsum
    1 tbsp CRF
    Somehow, you need to be sure your plants are getting all the nutrients they need, so try to select a fertilizer complete with all macro and micronutrients, or use a micronutrient source to supply. You'll need to include some Epsom salts in your fertilizer solution unless it's supplied in the fertilizer you use. If you use a fertilizer like Foliage-Pro 9-3-6, which contains Ca and Mg, you can skip the gypsum in the soil and the Epsom salts in the nutrient solution.

    Al

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    clipped on: 05.31.2008 at 08:01 pm    last updated on: 05.31.2008 at 08:01 pm

    RE: succulent soil mix (Follow-Up #20)

    posted by: tapla on 11.20.2007 at 11:45 pm in Container Gardening Forum

    Ohh - you're welcome, HD. If I can make a suggestion? .... for fertilizer, use either a 24-8-16 (Peters, Schultz, Miracle-Gro all make it) or 12-4-8 (Miracle-Gro). All these blends have micronutrients. If you mix it up a gallon at a time at 1/8 strength, you can use it every time you water (with the soil I sent) and you'll have no salt build-up problems. Just be sure to water until about 10-15% of the total water applied flushes out of the drain hole.

    If you have questions - don't hesitate to ask. Since you're using a soil I made, I have a special interest in wanting to see that you're successful. ;o)

    Al

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    clipped on: 05.29.2008 at 05:36 pm    last updated on: 05.29.2008 at 05:37 pm

    RE: Soil mix (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: joscience on 05.22.2008 at 12:36 pm in Cacti & Succulents Forum

    Sand is a bad choice. It discourages drainage and aeration. There is essentially no reason to ever add sand to a potting mix. Beyond that, here is my advice concerning soil...

    In general, I follow very simple "recipes." These recipes don't need to be very exact, but they are intended for good growing conditions (bright light, warm weather). When you start buying more challenging/expensive plants it is worth trying to do some research on individual the species you are interested in. The secret to success is taking these basic recipes and adjusting the particular ingredients for different conditions and locations.

    One to two parts drainage material to one part organic material:
    Good for leaf succulents. It is perfect for Crassulas, Sedums, Aloes, Echeverias, and most other leaf succulents. The vast majority of plants you could buy in big-box nurseries (Home-Depot, etc) will do well in this mix.

    Two to three parts drainage material to one part organic material:
    Good for stem succulents. Euphorbias and Haworthias both like this more freely draining mix. The majority of Cacti would do well too.

    Four parts drainage material to one part organic material:
    This is what to use for really touchy species. Anything that people say is prone to rot should be planted in this. Lots of caudiciform and pachycaul plants (Pachypodium for example) want this extremely fast draining mix. There are a surprising number of plants that actually do best in 100% drainage material!

    Important note: All plants tolerate more drainage material better than less drainage material.

    Organic material:
    Peat moss is pretty much the devil. It compacts easily, holds too much water, actually *repels* water when dry, and to top it off isn't environmentally sound. Whatever you or anyone else does, don't ever use peat moss! Organic compost (composted wood, composted bark, and forest humus) is without doubt my personal favorite. You can get 1.5 cubic foot bags at my local nursery for about $10. Coir (pulvarized coconut husks) is gaining in popularity, and can be found at most garden store here in the U.S. If you go for coir, make sure you use the ground up kind instead of the stringier shredded stuff. If all you can get is the stringier stuff, just be really carefully to thoroughly break it up and mix it in to avoid a compacted soil.

    Occasionally, if it is on sale, I will buy peat free commercial "cactus mix" but ignore the almost insignificant amounts of drainage material they include and just consider it pure organic material. In reality, organic material isn't needed so much to provide nutrients but instead to just hold water and release it in a controlled way. Contrary to the dominate advice, the best time to water a succulent is just *before* the soil dries out, not after. If the drainage material remains slightly damp, but not soggy, that "watering window" is extended by quite a bit.

    Drainage material:
    For this you are usually limited to what is available at the local nursery or hardware store. However, some good choices are pumice, crushed/decomposed granite, pea gravel, cinders/lava rock, pearlite, and orchid bark. In the ideal material, every single piece would be between 1/4 and 3/8 of an inch. The more jagged the pieces, the better the drainage and resistance to compacting. Pumice is great, but unfortunately it is almost exclusive to the west coast. You can find it for sale on eBay, but it is pretty expensive. Very well stocked feed stores will carry huge bags of pumice marketed as "Dry Stall". The pieces are a little smaller than optimal, but it is still a good find. Also, look for gravel sold for landscaping at nurseries and hardware stores. That is typically where I get mine. Pearlite is good, but I think it is too messy. It also doesn't hold up over the lung run if you intend to reuse your soil. Keep in mind that the more porous a material is, the more water it holds. Pumice and pearlite actually hold enough water that I always toss in extra to offset the effect. For a cooler, more humid region, a non-porous material like pea gravel will probably do the best.

    Adjustments are pretty much made by adding more drainage material to a standard recipe. If it is colder than ideal, add more drainage. If it is darker than ideal, add more drainage. If it is more humid than ideal, add more drainage. Depending on exactly where your plants are and what your weather is actually like, you might find 2 parts drainage to 1 parts organic to be the minimum. Again, remember that plants tolerate more drainage material better than less drainage material, if in doubt, just add more drainage. It will also take some experimentation to find the blend you are most happy with.

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    clipped on: 05.23.2008 at 01:00 pm    last updated on: 05.23.2008 at 01:00 pm

    RE: Hydrogen Peroxide,the miracle cure??? (Follow-Up #14)

    posted by: tapla on 05.01.2008 at 02:36 pm in Container Gardening Forum

    Hi, Kev. I'm really sorry. I had already saved the little article I wrote about H2O2 when I later discovered the chart about how to mix it. I also meant tbsp instead of tsp in what I originally wrote. Here's the piece, amended:

    H2O2 has an extra O atom (compared to H2O) in an unstable arrangement. It's the extra atom that makes it useful in horticultural applications. Generally, we're not concerned with aerobic forms of bacteria normally occurring in container media or on roots. Since H2O2 is an unstable molecule, it breaks down easily. When it does, a single O- atom and a molecule of water is released. This O- atom is extremely reactive and will quickly attach itself to either another O- atom forming stable O2, or attack the nearest organic molecule.

    Reduced O levels and high temperatures encourage both anaerobic bacteria and fungi. Many disease causing organisms and spores are killed by O, and the free O- H2O2 releases is very effective at this. Additionally, when plants growing in water-retentive media are treated with H2O2 it will break down and release O into the area around the roots. This helps stop the O from being depleted in the water filled air soil air spaces until air can get back into them. High O levels at the roots will encourage rapid healthy root growth and discourage unwanted bacteria/fungi.
    .
    I know H2O2 comes in several different strengths, the most common of which are 3% and 35% solutions. Least expensive is the 35% product which you dilute (to an approximate 3% solution) by mixing 1:11 with water. I have used the 3% solution at 1- to 2 tbsp per gallon as a cutting dip/soak, and have mixed it into irrigation water for plants in extremely water retentive soils at up to 3 tbsp per gallon, both with good results and nothing adverse apparent.

    H2O2 in high concentration is a powerful oxidant and quickly oxidizes almost anything it contacts, so be careful with it if you use it. A solution that is too strong can destroy any organic molecule it contacts.

    I have seen this chart posted several times as suggested strength solutions for use in watering plants. You may wish to start at a lower concentration , such as I have used, and experiment.

    TO THIS AMOUNT OF WATER ADD THIS AMOUNT OF 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE --OR-- ADD THIS AMOUNT OF 35% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

    1 cup, add 1-1/2 teaspoons 35% - 7 to 10 drops
    1 quart, add 2 tablespoons 35% - 1/2 teaspoon
    1 gallon, add 1/2 cup ....... 35% - 2 teaspoons
    5 gallons, add 2-1/2 cups 35% - 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
    10 gallons, add 5 cups ... 35% - 6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons
    20 gallons, add 10 cups 35% - 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon

    Al

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    clipped on: 05.08.2008 at 04:00 pm    last updated on: 05.08.2008 at 04:00 pm

    RE: Has anyone tried this, I have mites?? (Follow-Up #5)

    posted by: mentha on 12.13.2007 at 04:10 pm in House Plants Forum

    I used to use Fit veggie wash, then would run out quickly. Now I use homemade veggie wash for mild cases of mites, it will work if used a few times in succession, about once a week for a month.

    here are a few recipes I've found since I can't seem to find the one I use which is basiclly lemon juice, baking soda, a drop of dish soap, and water. I spray on then about ten minutes later rub the leaves under running water, either sink or tub. I would be leary of using vinegar though since it is used as a natural weed killer.

    #1
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    10 drops grapefruit seed extract
    2 tablespoons low-sodium baking soda
    1 cup purified water
    3/4 cup vinegar

    Mix well in a sprayer bottle.
    Shake before use.
    Spray produce (except mushrooms) and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
    Rinse well.

    #2
    Combine 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to 2 Tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water. I put this mixture in a sprayer bottle and keep it under the sink. Spray fruits and veggies and allow them to sit for a few minutes then wipe with a towel. This also makes for a safe cleaner to let your children use as they "play" scrub the kitchen with you!

    #3
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    2 tablespoons baking soda
    1 cup water
    Put this mixture in a sprayer bottle.
    After spraying, let produce sit for a few minutes.
    Rinse well.

    #4
    add a few tablespoons of vinegar to a bottle of clean, cold tap water. Shake well and spray on veggies and then wash under flowing clean water as usual.

    Another thing you can use is a spray of fish emulsion which will suffocate the little nasties, but will also have to be repeated. I prefer the citrus type because it doesn't smell as much.

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    clipped on: 12.16.2007 at 06:42 pm    last updated on: 12.16.2007 at 06:42 pm

    Container soils and water in containers (long post)

    posted by: tapla on 03.19.2005 at 03:57 pm in Container Gardening Forum

    The following is very long & will be too boring for some to wade through. Two years ago, some of my posts got people curious & they started to e-mail me about soil problems. The "Water Movement" article is an answer I gave in an e-mail. I saved it and adapted it for my bonsai club newsletter & it was subsequently picked up & used by a number of other clubs. I now give talks on container soils and the physics of water movement in containers to area clubs.

    I think, as container gardeners, our first priority is to insure aeration for the life of the soil. Since aeration and drainage are inversely linked to soil particle size, it makes good sense to try to find a soil component with particles larger than peat and that will retain its structure for extended periods. Pine bark fits the bill nicely.

    The following hits pretty hard against the futility of using a drainage layer in an attempt to improve drainage. It just doesn't work. All it does is reduce the soil available for root colonization. A wick will remove the saturated layer of soil. It works in reverse of the self-watering pots widely being discussed on this forum now. I have no experience with these growing containers, but understand the principle well.

    There are potential problems with wick watering that can be alleviated with certain steps. Watch for yellowing leaves with these pots. If they begin to occur, you need to flush the soil well. It is the first sign of chloride damage.

    One of the reasons I posted this is because of the number of soil questions I'm getting in my mail. It will be a convenient source for me to link to. I will soon be in the middle of repotting season & my time here will be reduced, unfortunately, for me. I really enjoy all the friends I've made on these forums. ;o)

    Since there are many questions about soils appropriate for containers, I'll post by basic mix in case any would like to try it. It will follow the Water Movement info.

    Water Movement in Soils

    Consider this if you will:

    Soil need fill only a few needs in plant culture. Anchorage - A place for roots to extend, securing the plant and preventing it from toppling. Nutrient Sink - It must retain sufficient nutrients to sustain plant systems. Gas Exchange - It must be sufficiently porous to allow air to the root system. And finally, Water - It must retain water enough in liquid and/or vapor form to sustain plants between waterings. Most plants could be grown without soil as long as we can provide air, nutrients, and water, (witness hydroponics). Here, I will concentrate primarily on the movement of water in soil(s).

    There are two forces that cause water movement through soil - one is gravity, the other capillary action. Gravity needs little explanation, but for this writing I would like to note: Gravitational flow potential (GFP) is greater for water at the top of the pot than it is for water at the bottom of the pot. I'll return to that later. Capillarity is a function of the natural forces of adhesion and cohesion. Adhesion is water's tendency to stick to solid objects like soil particles and the sides of the pot. Cohesion is the tendency for water to stick to itself. Cohesion is why we often find water in droplet form - because cohesion is at times stronger than adhesion, waters bond to itself can be stronger than the bond to the object it might be in contact with; in this condition it forms a drop. Capillary action is in evidence when we dip a paper towel in water. The water will soak into the towel and rise several inches above the surface of the water. It will not drain back into the source. It will stop rising when the GFP equals the capillary attraction of the fibers in the paper.

    There is, in every pot, what is called a "perched water table" (PWT). This is water that occupies a layer of soil that is always saturated & will not drain at the bottom of the pot. It can evaporate or be used by the plant, but physical forces will not allow it to drain. It is there because the capillary pull of the soil at some point will equal the GFP; therefore, the water does not drain, it is "perched". If we fill five cylinders of varying heights and diameters with the same soil mix and provide each cylinder with a drainage hole, the PWT will be exactly the same height in each container. This is the area of the pot where roots seldom penetrate & where root problems begin due to a lack of aeration. From this we can draw the conclusion that: Tall growing containers are a superior choice over squat containers when using the same soil mix. The reason: The level of the PWT will be the same in each container, with the taller container providing more usable, air holding soil above the PWT. Physiology dictates that plants must be able to take in air at the roots in order to complete transpiration and photosynthesis.

    A given volume of large soil particles have less overall surface area in comparison to the same volume of small particles and therefore less overall adhesive attraction to water. So, in soils with large particles, GFP more readily overcomes capillary attraction. They drain better. We all know this, but the reason, often unclear, is that the PWT is lower in coarse soils than in fine soils. The key to good drainage is size and uniformity of soil particles. Large particles mixed with small particles will not improve drainage because the smaller particles fit between the large, increasing surface area which increases the capillary attraction and thus the water holding potential. Water and air cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Contrary to what some hold to be true, sand does not improve drainage. Pumice (aka lava rock), or one of the hi-fired clay products like Turface are good additives which help promote drainage and porosity because of their irregular shape.

    Now to the main point: When we use a coarse drainage layer under our soil, it does not improve drainage. It does conserve on the volume of soil required to fill a pot and it makes the pot lighter. When we employ this exercise in an attempt to improve drainage, what we are actually doing is moving the level of the PWT higher in the pot. This reduces available soil for roots to colonize, reduces total usable pot space, and limits potential for beneficial gas exchange. Containers with uniform soil particle size from top of container to bottom will yield better drainage and have a lower PWT than containers with drainage layers. The coarser the drainage layer, the more detrimental to drainage it is because water is more (for lack of a better scientific word) reluctant to make the downward transition because the capillary pull of the soil above the drainage layer is stronger than the GFP. The reason for this is there is far more surface area in the soil for water to be attracted to than there is in the drainage layer.

    I know this goes against what most have thought to be true, but the principle is scientifically sound, and experiments have shown it as so. Many nurserymen are now employing the pot-in-pot or the pot-in-trench method of growing to capitalize on the science.

    If you discover you need to increase drainage, insert a wick into the pot & allow it to extend from the PWT to several inches below the bottom of the pot. This will successfully eliminate the PWT & give your plants much more soil to grow in as well as allow more, much needed air to the roots.

    Uniform size particles of fir, hemlock or pine bark are excellent as the primary component of your soils. The lignin contained in bark keeps it rigid and the rigidity provides air-holding pockets in the root zone far longer than peat or compost mixes that rapidly break down to a soup-like consistency. Bark also contains suberin, a lipid sometimes referred to as natures preservative. Suberin is what slows the decomposition of bark-based soils. It contains highly varied hydrocarbon chains and the microorganisms that turn peat to soup have great difficulty cleaving these chains.

    In simple terms: Plants that expire because of drainage problems either die of thirst because the roots have rotted and can no longer take up water, or they starve to death because they cannot obtain sufficient air at the root zone for the respiratory or photosynthetic processes.

    To confirm the existence of the PWT and the effectiveness of using a wick to remove it, try this experiment: Fill a soft drink cup nearly full of garden soil. Add enough water to fill to the top, being sure all soil is saturated. Punch a drain hole in the bottom of the cup & allow to drain. When the drainage stops, insert a wick several inches up into the drain hole . Take note of how much additional water drains. This is water that occupied the PWT before being drained by the wick. A greatly simplified explanation of what occurs is: The wick "fools" the water into thinking the pot is deeper, so water begins to move downward seeking the "new" bottom of the pot, pulling the rest of the PWT along with it.

    Having applied these principles in the culture of my containerized plants, both indoors and out, for many years, the methodology I have adopted has shown to be effective and of great benefit to them. I use many amendments when building my soils, but the basic building process starts with screened bark and perlite. Peat usually plays a very minor role in my container soils because it breaks down rapidly and when it does, it impedes drainage.

    My Soil

    I'll give two recipes. I usually make big batches.

    3 parts pine bark fines
    1 part sphagnum peat (not reed or sedge peat)
    1-2 parts perlite
    garden lime
    controlled release fertilizer
    micro-nutrient powder (substitute: small amount of good, composted manure

    Big batch:

    3 cu ft pine bark fines (1 big bag)
    5 gallons peat
    5 gallons perlite
    1 cup lime (you can add more to small portion if needed)
    2 cups CRF
    1/2 cup micro-nutrient powder or 1 gal composted manure

    Small batch:

    3 gallons pine bark
    1/2 gallon peat
    1/2 gallon perlite
    handful lime (careful)
    1/4 cup CRF
    1 tsp micro-nutrient powder or a dash of manure ;o)

    I have seen advice that some highly organic soils are productive for up to 5 years. I disagree. Even if you were to substitute fir bark for pine bark in this recipe (and this recipe will far outlast any peat based soil) you should only expect a maximum of three years life before a repot is in order. Usually perennials, including trees (they're perennials too, you know ;o)) should be repotted more frequently to insure vigor closer to genetic potential. If a soil is desired that will retain structure for long periods, we need to look to inorganic amendments. Some examples are crushed granite, pea stone, coarse sand (no smaller than BB size in containers, please), Haydite, lava rock, Turface or Schultz soil conditioner.

    I hope this starts a good exchange of ideas & opinions so we all can learn.

    Al

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    clipped on: 09.07.2007 at 09:31 pm    last updated on: 09.07.2007 at 09:31 pm

    RE: Help...Jade plant with brown circles on leaves (Follow-Up #10)

    posted by: tanyag on 06.03.2007 at 09:40 am in Cacti & Succulents Forum

    The white spots if they looked depressed into the leaf are not mealy bug. They are the pores of the plant excreting minerals it is getting too much of in the water. It's kind of like the hard water stains you get in your sink. You know the way they are white. It could be calcium or sodium.

    Get rid of the Miracle grow moisture control and don't water once a week. Your plant will die. You must have FREE DRAINING soil. That means that about half of your soil needs to be some sort of soiless aggregate- oil dri, dry stall, aquatic soil, pea pebbles, unpainted fish tank gravel, perlite, pumice, etc. My personal mix is 2 parts landscapers mix (pine bark fines), 2 parts aggregate, and 1 part soil. Do a search on soils and you will get a multitude of threads to read up on and choose what works best for your needs. If you get the urge to water that often, don't. Jades, and most other succulents, survive on neglect. Now, out in the summer heat, with the right soil, you may water once a week. I bought a water meter at Wal Mart for $4. When it says Dry, in the red zone, then I water and water well. Sometimes this means letting it soak in a bucket with water about 2/3 up the side of the pot. If your collection is huge, this is unpractical. If you have only a few, it works. As far as fertilizers go, the only thing I've ever used is Schults Cactus Fert. It is low in Nitrogen which is what you need. I mix it as indicated for feeding with every water, but I only fertilize every other water (if I remember to =0). They really don't need a lot of fuss. I do tend to fuss over my Bonsai Jade, and she does get more fertilizer. She is a bit spoiled as compared to my outside multitude that get rain water. They get a lot more of what they need just from that. Where these guys grow naturally, the soil is not rich at all. In fact, it is mostly depleted. I think they grow better with some help, but don't overdo it or you'll burn the roots. Make sure your soil is already slightly moist when you fertilize. I actually water and wait two or three days and then fertilize. Good luck and know that it can quickly become an obsession.

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    clipped on: 07.12.2007 at 08:31 pm    last updated on: 08.31.2007 at 08:08 pm

    Homemade Feeder

    posted by: ctnchpr on 06.14.2007 at 03:01 pm in Hummingbird Garden Forum

    It's OK to laugh, the DW did. She called it a
    contraption. I call it the "Hummer Happy Hour
    Feeder". Everything (except the Tequila bottle)
    is from the hardware/plumbing/electrical dept's
    of Home Depot. Threaded plugs on each end allow
    access for cleaning. This pic was taken at midday,
    a slow time for the bar. The regular crowd will
    shuffle in later.

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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    clipped on: 08.10.2007 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 08.10.2007 at 12:50 pm

    RE: Giant jade cutting, will this root? (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: dufflebag2002 on 07.29.2007 at 10:59 pm in Cacti & Succulents Forum

    Yes or course,when it has roots then plant, Just place the piece in a bright shaded area, you will see the roots come down in a few weeks at most. Then take a picture and show the group what I mean. It will be fun. Plant then water, do not water again until Oct. prune again and shape the plant, cut off the tips of leaves it will flower on new growth. Norma

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    clipped on: 07.30.2007 at 01:34 am    last updated on: 07.30.2007 at 01:34 am

    RE: Repotting a large jade tree (Follow-Up #4)

    posted by: tanyag on 04.06.2007 at 10:28 am in Cacti & Succulents Forum

    I make a soil that seems to be liked by all of my cacti and succulents. It is two parts pine bark fines (soil conditioner/landscapers mix), two parts high fired clay (I use OilDri from Sam's Club marketed for cleaning up oil spills in automotive shops and for ammending soils), one part C&S soil, and one part tiny pea gravel. Many are against the soil conditioner/landscapers mix because it does break down over time, but I think the break down is slower in C&S because they aren't watered as often as other container plants. I use the same stuff in my mix for veggies but different ratios. For veggies, I have to change the soil every year or two, but those get watered everyday. You could replace the soil conditioner and the C&S mix with coir. I just bought two blocks of this stuff called Bed a Beast from Petsmart. It is coir (coconut husk). It is $5 a block and each blocks make 7-8 gallons of soil. It was suggested to me last year because it doesn't become as hydrophobic as peat based soils do between waterings. I am also not a fan of the perlite because it floats to the top. I use it in my veggies and ornamentals. I have a container right now that is nothing but white perlite on top with almost none mixed in the soil. I am going to make some soil with it and go ahead and repot. It is also my understanding that it doesn't break down nearly as quick. I think I am going to try two parts coir, two parts high fired clay, and one part small pea gravel and see what happens. A lot of times, I mix my soil and put it in a pot without a plant. I water it and make sure that it is draining properly. I also see how many days it takes to dry up, assuming that that time might be decreased with a plant in it actually using the water! ;0) Just be careful using too much peat based soil of any kind. It became so hydrophobic last year for me that if I let it dry out between waterings, I couldn't water from the top. You will most certainly have to water from the top because it is not feasable to pick up a 25 gallon container with a 50 lb five foot jade in it so that you could bottom water. You also don't want it in a saucer because if you get extra rain, you don't want it sitting in water. I would put it up on those little feet if you can. It helps keep the bugs from crawling into the hole. I use window screen on the bottom to make sure that minimal soil washes out the drain hole. If it is a huge pot with only one huge hole in the center, you might consider drilling some more holes around the main hole towards the outside of the ring. All of this, of course, is only what works for me.

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    clipped on: 07.12.2007 at 08:27 pm    last updated on: 07.12.2007 at 08:27 pm

    RE: I'd Like To Encourage My Jade Tree to Bloom (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: dufflebag2002 on 08.08.2006 at 02:43 am in Cacti & Succulents Forum

    Okay, I'll try this again. Here in Calif. if planted in the ground we don't water at all. The rain takes care of it. They flower profusely in December. We do cut them back in October, because they flower on new growth. They like to be crowded and stressed to flower. We have very sandy light loam, and even if potted they will flower with no special attention given. When you fertilize use a 0-10-10 formula, start to fertilize in Sept. after each watering. This works for me. Crassula ovata ('Jade'
    Crasulady

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    clipped on: 07.12.2007 at 06:56 pm    last updated on: 07.12.2007 at 06:56 pm