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Cranberry Jalapeno jelly? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tracydr on 05.18.2010 at 10:21 am in Harvest Forum

Has anybody tried this one? I would like to try it but wondering how good it is. Also, would love to find a similar recipe in a jam as I prefer jam textures.
* Posted by SuzyQ2 MNz4 (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 30, 05 at 17:41

Here are a few from the Harvest Forum. I've tried them and they are good :-)

Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly

3 cups cranberry juice -- (or cran-raspberry juice)
1 cup jalapeno peppers -- chopped and seeded
7 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 pouches liquid fruit pectin (Certo) -- 3 ounces each
10 drops red food coloring -- optional

Prepare your jars and get all canning supplies ready (you'll need 8 half pint jars). Place cranberry juice and peppers in a blender; cover and process until peppers are fully chopped. Strain through a double thickness of cheesecloth. Pour the strained juice into a large kettle; add sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar and pectin; return to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; skim foam. Add food coloring, if desired. Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.


cranberry jalapeo jelly
clipped on: 01.27.2015 at 01:09 am    last updated on: 01.27.2015 at 01:11 am

Hot Pepper Ketchup

posted by: pepperdave on 01.28.2014 at 08:30 pm in Hot Pepper Forum

I make this every year using wax peppers and anchos.
3 gal. Hot peppers cut in rings
64 oz Ketchup
2 cups vinegar
2 cups Canola Oil
2 cups sugar
Heat Vinegar,Oil,Sugar,and Ketchup. Add peppers Heat to boil
[Cook until peppers are a little soft ]
Put in pint jars . Cold pack [Hot Bath] for 10 min.
This stuff in to die for . Try it on eggs
I also put a single Butt in a few jars but its too hot for most people
but I like it
Makes 14 pints of pure goodness


hot pepper ketchup
clipped on: 01.27.2015 at 12:28 am    last updated on: 01.27.2015 at 12:29 am

RE: Soil for containers for Peppers (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: shoontok on 03.20.2011 at 09:40 pm in Hot Pepper Forum

I dont grow all season long in pots, but i use potting soil to keep my plants alive and growing before i plant em in ground.

I use

Pine Mulch
Scotts moisture advantage
Miracle grow potting mix
Miracle grow organic choice

all mixed in equal quantities. so far , so good. All my plants are in 18 oz, pots so far and under flourescent lighting, and i have to water them about once every 4 to 5 days.

Happy growing


soil for peppers
small containers
clipped on: 01.26.2015 at 01:06 am    last updated on: 01.26.2015 at 01:07 am

RE: Large Amount of 5/1/1 Mix - Looking for Advice for First Time (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: tapla on 01.15.2015 at 03:28 pm in Container Gardening Forum

This bark is on the coarse side:
 photo 002.jpg
 photo 003.jpg
 photo 008.jpg

but it still makes a good soil.
 photo 013.jpg

The bark at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock will make a 5:1:1 mix like you see in the middle - what I consider ideal.
 photo Barksoil009.jpg

Your mix should be somewhere close to

2 cu ft of appropriate size pine bark fines
4-5 gallons of peat
4-5 gallons of perlite
1-1/2 cup dolomitic (garden) lime



5.1.1 gritty mix
clipped on: 01.26.2015 at 12:15 am    last updated on: 01.26.2015 at 12:15 am

RE: Pickling peperoncini (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: willard3 on 01.06.2014 at 09:57 am in Hot Pepper Forum

Good recipe uses a lot in Méjico

Clean chiles
boil water and immerse the chiles for 2-3 min
Squeeze oranges, grapefruits or other citrus fruit and put juice on chiles.
Put it in the fridge.


easy pickles w peppers
clipped on: 01.25.2015 at 11:42 am    last updated on: 01.25.2015 at 11:43 am

RE: carolina reaper (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: seysonn on 12.07.2013 at 05:48 am in Hot Pepper Forum

I think older seeds lose their viability. Or germination rate can be low.
I am test germinating some pepper seeds(not super hots) They mostly germinate in 5 -7 days. I do it in paper towel, in zip bag, on top of lampshade (with 20 wat fluorescent ). I cover the opening with a dish towel then place the bag on it. It can get up to 95F. So sometimes I double layer the towel to keep the temp under 90F. I have done couple of tests and right now doing Habanero. Works perfectly. This is good for small scale germinating.


germinating tip

coffee filter - zip bag - towel - lamp

clipped on: 01.25.2015 at 11:22 am    last updated on: 01.25.2015 at 11:23 am

RE: Dehydrator recommendations? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: RonnyB123 on 12.29.2013 at 09:03 pm in Hot Pepper Forum

Mine is just the oven in the kitchen. Works great. Its my poor mans dehydrator. LOL
Just heat the stove to the desired temp (150-200), turn it off... wait 5 minutes for all the coils too turn off, put them on a pizza tray- spread them out and cut if too thick and put it in the stove. Let the dwindling heat do the job. Redo from the beginning after the heat is gone, usually 2-3 hours.

Things to remember.
1. Take out the chilis before you turn on the stove again. If you forget, you cook them and when they dry the powder is dark.
2. Dont turn on the stove too high. A big mistake is if 200 degrees takes 8hrs, 400 takes 4. I have found that 200 is about the limit since the heat dissapates over time. Only use 200 when you start drying (maybe 2-3 times), 100-150 is the norm, about the same as a regular dehydrator. This keeps the color and capisum levels high.
3. Remember, the house will smell like caspium. Make sure you dont have guests coming.
4. As the chilis dry, remove the dry ones. They do not all dry at the same time. Just make sure they are crunchy/hard before you put in the batch back in. This way, the dry ones dont get overcooked in there.

It takes practice, so you could experiment with some extra peppers if you have, but I will admit it works great. It is a little more work then the regular dehydrator and you really will get to know your chilis, but hey, we use what is available when we need to improvise.

This post was edited by RonnyB123 on Sun, Dec 29, 13 at 22:05


dehydrating peppers
clipped on: 01.25.2015 at 03:42 am    last updated on: 01.25.2015 at 03:42 am

RE: Next Year's Pepper Jelly (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: jtight on 12.28.2013 at 11:05 am in Hot Pepper Forum

Below is my recipe/cooking strategy. You can vary to suit your taste.

2 cups of sliced peppers
1½ cups of apple cider vinegar
½ tbsp margarine
1 pouch of Certo
6 cups of sugar


Combine peppers, vinegar, margarine, a/ sugar
Bring to boil
Cook 3-4 mins
Stir in Pectin (Certo)
Boil add’l min (constantly skimming foam)
Add jelly to jars
Boil jar to seal for 3-4 mins

Place a/ let sit 3-5 days


pepper jelly alt recipe
clipped on: 01.25.2015 at 01:21 am    last updated on: 01.25.2015 at 01:22 am

Yellow Fever - Pineapple Ghost Jam - second batch....

posted by: greenman28 on 12.22.2013 at 04:25 pm in Hot Pepper Forum

Howdy! Happy holidays, merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year! Today I've been in the kitchen, doing some cooking with mom! Made a non-spicy batch of pineapple jam, then shifted gears to make the spicy Yellow Fever Pineapple Ghost Jam. This time, I only used three Yellow Bhuts instead of six...yeah, the last batch came out a little hot ;-)



pineapple ghost pepper jam

one pineapple, and one deseeded pepper, 3 tablespoons of no sugar needed pectin, and 3.5 cups of sugar.
Put the pineapple and the pepper in the blender together, blended until fine, then boiled it up without straining.

clipped on: 01.24.2015 at 09:19 pm    last updated on: 01.24.2015 at 09:22 pm

Early Christmas gift...pepper recipe book...

posted by: greenman28 on 12.23.2013 at 12:01 pm in Hot Pepper Forum

The woman with whom I work at the Farm during the summer gifted me this very nice recipe book on Friday...! Loaded with recipes for everything from oil infusions, salt rubs, soups, sauces, salsas, and spicy cocktails to eggs, burgers, and pasta dishes. One of my favorite puns....Ghostpacho (chilled vegetable soup...with Ghost pepper, of course). I can't wait to try some of these.



enough said
clipped on: 01.24.2015 at 09:13 pm    last updated on: 01.24.2015 at 09:14 pm

RE: Two more crosses (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: HippieZep on 04.28.2012 at 10:41 am in Amaryllis/Hippeastrum Forum

The curtain is falling on the season, so here's a summary of the new hybrids this year, using the Picassa collage function I've been playing around with. In each case, the host plant is above, and the pollon donor is below on the left, with the larger image of the offspring on the right.

Here are two Benfica x dancing queen - the first has produced single flowers and the second doubles:



Here are two different results from Bogota x Carmen. Again the first is single and the second double:



This one is Bogota crossed with San Remo:


This is carmen x giraffe:


Two very dark parents, royal velvet x Benfica:


A papilio crossed with a cybister - giraffe x Lima:


Lemon-lime x dancing queen:


And finally - giraffe x double white:


It's been a rewarding season, so looking forward to some more combinations next spring



HZs crosses
clipped on: 01.23.2015 at 09:54 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2015 at 09:54 pm

RE: Help Me Grow A Worsleya (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: bluebonsai101 on 11.07.2014 at 11:04 am in Amaryllis/Hippeastrum Forum

Hi, I haven't been on a garden site in maybe 2 years, but was killing time and saw this and perhaps I can provide some info. I will start by saying that I have flowered 6 different unique Worsleya plants and you can see many of my pics on this forum from a couple of years ago. I have had mine set seed 3 separate times. I have perhaps 40 seedling growing now that are a year old, around 10 that are 3 years old (I got rid of the rest) and I have a very large seed pod ripening right now. While this does not make me an expert, it does mean I have some idea of how to successfully grow these wonderful plants. I live outside Pittsburgh if that means anything.

1: Once it is growing they want absolutely as much light as you can give them…..mine are in full sun outside during the summer and are still outside during the day now as they do not mind 40's at all.

1a: During the winter they grow under very right grow lights so they continue to get as much light as I can give them. In front of a window is not enough in my experience.

2: They like a TON of fertilizer…..mine get fertilized every week during the summer. Less often during the winter because I am lazy.

3: They do not rot easily if they are planted correctly. During the summer mine get watered every single day.

4: My mature plants are potted in pure volcanic cinder that I get shipped in from Hawaii.

5: I plant my seeds in pure high-quality sphagnum moss, put a baggie over them and put them on a heat mat. They stay on the heat mat until they go outside for the first time.

6: When they get big enough I plan to transfer mine to pure volcanic cinder similar to my large plants.

7: When in peat repot every year as the peat sours in my environment. My large plants stay in their pots for years without being repotted. I have rather large, flowering plants in 8" (20cm) diameter pots. Next summer I plan to put these in 12" (30cm) pots as they are falling over they are so large.

8: Remember, Worsleya do not go dormant. If they lose all their leaves once they are growing they are dead…..yours is not of course, because you bought one that was apparently not shipped well. When I ship my small seedlings like you purchased I keep them in their pots so they suffer no loss when they arrive.

9: If I can answer any other questions I will try, but I can not guarantee I will check on here again. I no longer use my e-mail addy that is listed on this site either so will not see a personal message.

These plants are AWESOME so I wish you well with it :o)

Best of luck, Dan


worsleya care
clipped on: 01.23.2015 at 07:47 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2015 at 07:48 pm

RE: Germinating Pepper Seeds (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: northeast_chileman on 01.16.2015 at 08:12 am in Hot Pepper Forum

I see taproots on some of the seeds, pic below is of proper planting position.

This post was edited by northeast_chileman on Fri, Jan 16, 15 at 8:19


proper pepper positioning
clipped on: 01.23.2015 at 03:37 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2015 at 03:37 pm

RE: For reference: Footcandle measurements for a two-bulb T8 fixt (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: John_Z on 02.06.2005 at 03:58 pm in Growing under Lights Forum

Shrubs n Bulbs, thank you so much for linking me to the Chroma SPD site! A few disjointed comments and questions here: I'm curious about disputed definitions of PAR, although I haven't run into this yet. Photosynthetically Usable Radiation is a more accurate term to me considering that not all autotropic life forms are in the same Kingdom, and they often have peak absorption at vastly different wavelengths. We usually think in terms of "higher plants", not the needs of cyanobacteria. Does that have anything to do with it? A good site showing this was reached on 8/8/02 by keying in, "Absorption spectra of chlorophylls and bacteriochlorophylls". Voila. The wesite by that exact name appeared as I hope it still exists.

Also, as far as my lamp spectra choice go, I consider the principle absorption pigments in a specific order of % absorption (that of chl-a, b, and beta-carotene). The absorption value of B-carotene in the 500-600 nm range is highly over-rated by even PhDs in the field of horticulture. They never present evidence of their assertions when asked, so I get the impression it is just passed-along misinformation or an uncriticised belief system. While I would never state that the middle region of the visible spectrum is 100% or absolutely useless for photosynthesis, none of the pigments can pass onto the reaction centre any more photons than what they can absorb to begin with. I printed the molar extinction of beta-carotene at each nanometer (and fractions thereof) from the PhotochemCAD site. Beta carotene is not very efficient as an antennae in trapping and channeling photons at 500-523 nm or beyond, but absorbs quite well in the "blue" part of the spectrum. That's why I consider the lamp spectra for the 400-500 and around 630 - 680 nm ranges as priorities.

As for ft-c measurements, your definition agrees with my dictionary: "A unit of illuminance or illumination, equivalent to the illumination produced by a source of one candle at the distance of one foot and equal to one lumen incident per square foot". However, not once have I ever heard the later part of this definition given by any of my horticulture instructors, professors, or by those lecturing on the topic at conferences. It is consistently defined as the amount of light by one candle at a distance of one foot (period), at least in the U.S. Comment on the "lumen incident per square foot" part, and you'll always receive a puzzled look. The very well educated and skillful horticulturists I've met here are landscapers. But mention artificial lighting, SPDs, etc. - they are not informed or really interested in this.

Regarding the international definition, let me quote from a site on photometric units of measurement: "The intensity of electric light is commonly given as so many candlepower, i.e., so many times the intensity of a standard candle. Since an ordinary candle is not a sufficiently accurate standard, the unit of intensity has been defined in various ways. It was originally defined as the luminous intensity in a horizontal direction of a candle of specified size burning at a specific rate. Later the internation candle was taken as a standard; not actually a candle, it is defined in terms of luminous intensity of a specific array of carbon filament lamps. In 1948 a new candle, about 1.9% smaller than the former unit was adopted. It is defined as 1/60 of the intensity of one square centimeter of a black body radiator at the temperature at which platinum solidifies (2,046 degrees K). This unit is sometimes called the new international candle; the official name given to it by the International Commission of Illumination (CIE) is candela".

Zink, since you are collecting SPD graphs, have you seen the ones on These may or may not be of interest to you. Also you may already be familiar with the Joensuu site, if not the address is http:/// or just key in "The Plant Photobiology Notes + P J Aphalo". This is how I would like to see SPDs graphed for those of wanting PAR & PPFD measurement.

I printed and am re-reading your posting on 2/3/05 that is rich in info. I'm always grateful for your sharing. I'll be better able to formulate questions once my brain's absorption capacity is maximised with the bio-chemical from a pot of coffee and some sit-down time on the porch.


clipped on: 01.22.2015 at 05:58 am    last updated on: 01.22.2015 at 05:59 am

Hippi' Seed Production 'In Vitro' *ggg*

posted by: haweha on 01.21.2006 at 10:12 pm in Amaryllis/Hippeastrum Forum

ooops - don't take that toooo seriously,
dear GardenWebBulbForum readers Image hosting by Photobucket

However, I am looking forward to a major coup as I have pollinated one cut flower bearing 4 blooms with pollen (from one other cut flower but THAT is not so spectacular).

click the th_ Bildchens
Image hosting by Photobucket X Image hosting by Photobucket

The first almost black one is the prospective mother plant.
Pollination on the two older flowers was successfull, and the respective seed pods have developed very well until now and meanwhile, as common for after 3 weeks almost attained the final anticipateable dimension. Particularly the both individual stalklets which are carrying the surviving pods have doubled their length.

I have ventured this overconfidential-presumptuous project because the stem of this cut flower was so big, so weighty, making it rather probable to deliver nutrients to the uppermost point where the seed pods are demanding material supply.

The main - and I believe well known - problem is that the stem decomposes so rapidly - from the cutting point onwardly. This commonly clogs the water transport lines in the stem and causes it to collapse prematurely.

Therefore I had added a combined liquid cut flower nutrition (sugars I presume) and water fresh-keeping product (Copper++ ion I presume) but I notice that the stem is beginning to wilt schuscht now.

That is exciting.
Hold on, stem!
let's say 3 more weeks pleeeeeeeease Image hosting by Photobucket
(Photo-of-prooof is to come soon)

Liebe Gruesse


amy seeds
clipped on: 01.21.2015 at 08:43 am    last updated on: 01.21.2015 at 08:43 am

RE: Years for blooms? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: kaboehm on 10.13.2011 at 09:52 pm in Amaryllis/Hippeastrum Forum

Well...don't be so discouraged!! We had a fantastic list member (Laurier Nappert) in Canada who had blooms in under 1 year. Now, of course he did everything right for this plant and gave it the best of everything! It was Fairy Tale x Rapido....and the link below provides part of the story.

Unfortunately, this amazing man - who had so many talents - left us far too soon, but he had documented much of his methodology and it remains to be published. Until then...take what you can from his generous postings.

Does anyone know if he was growing under lights? I am assuming so since his bulb was 16 cm in it's first year...and to get it through a Canadian winter, I am assuming it was grown inside during the winter.

Please read his's not impossible!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Laurier's blooms in just under 1 year!


Lauriers amaryllis link
clipped on: 01.13.2015 at 02:32 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2015 at 02:32 pm

RE: Cybister potting medium? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: houstonpat on 10.23.2009 at 12:08 pm in Amaryllis/Hippeastrum Forum

Thanks much for all the input. My first Chico rotted in the center due to too cold storage. Twin scaled the remains. That's how I got the small ones. On this one I believe I'll briefly soak it in systemic pesticide, soak the roots in rooting compound, then plant as a Worsleya. Large Clay pot, excellent drainage single bottom layer coarse rock, then a round section of window screen, a few inches of Phosphate and Ironite enriched potting mix,then a half inch layer of sand. Place bulb in middle, then surround bulb with an orchid like mix blended with granite gravel, placing neck at ground level, capping with about an inch of straight, coarse granite gravel. ~Full sun.


potting medium
clipped on: 01.11.2015 at 08:55 pm    last updated on: 01.11.2015 at 08:56 pm

Building large containers

posted by: ysrgrathe on 01.06.2015 at 12:03 pm in Container Gardening Forum

I have recently started experimenting with building large containers from cedar. The walls are 7/8" actual thickness. I had a couple of questions for the experts here:

1. If I scale these up to 2' cubes, is there enough soil mass to avoid winter kills in my zone? (6b)
2. Is it worth lining the inside with rigid foam insulation (XPS)? I'm guessing this would help with fluctuations but probably not keep it any warmer than the average air temperature.

My potting medium would be a variant of Al's gritty mix (turface/pine fines/perlite). I would be planting trees in them. I'd like to try a z5 Kanzan cherry. My backup plan would be z2 Amur Maple.

For reference, I normally overwinter plants in much smaller containers, but I always move them in the lee of my house and mulch them.

Thanks for any input!


Container Gardening
cedar planter design
clipped on: 01.08.2015 at 04:23 pm    last updated on: 01.08.2015 at 04:24 pm

RE: Nobody gives a hoot (Follow-Up #112)

posted by: jacqueline3 on 01.02.2015 at 06:49 pm in Antique Roses Forum

One day one of my neighbors (who is slightly paranoid) called me to warn me that "there is a lady with a chair on the sidewalk painting your house!". I looked out, and saw a very elderly lady who lives in a retirement home around the corner - she is one of the people who would stop and tell me how much they liked the garden. I went out, and she said that her eyesight was not as good as it used to be, so she was just doing "a little sketch". A couple of days later she came by and gave it to me (see pic). She said that she liked to take short walks, but sometimes got too tired by the time she got to my house (it is about 4 houses away from where she lives). So, I took her into our little side garden where there is a bench, and told her that she could stop there to sit down for a while anytime she was walking by. She was very happy about that. I haven't seen her for a while, but I still have and love the sketch of our house and garden she made.

So, I still think there are many more people around who do give a hoot than we might realize.



such a sweet thing

artist who passed, drew a sketch of a garden

clipped on: 01.05.2015 at 11:06 pm    last updated on: 01.05.2015 at 11:06 pm

Spicy Vietnamese Fried Chicken Wings

posted by: jkom51 on 12.30.2014 at 11:43 am in Cooking Forum

This recipe came in one of my food newsletters, from our local PBS station (yeah, we're a little too food-obsessed in the San Francisco Bay Area, LOL). I haven't tried it yet but it sounds yummy...and of course the photos are killer when I haven't had breakfast yet!

Note the author uses rice flour. You could probably use regular wheat flour, no problem. Rice flour gives a nice crispness, however. Also, this is a good way to use up that bottle of fish sauce that many cooks have in their cupboards but seldom use.

If you want to sub soya for fish sauce you can, but that will make it more Korean/Japanese Fried Chicken style instead. Out here Korean Fried Chicken Wings are so popular, when Millennials say they want KFC they don't mean the Colonel!

Here's the recipe, but you may want to check out the link. She has great step-by-step photos so you know exactly what it will look like.


Spicy Vietnamese Fried Chicken Wings
KQED Bay Area Bites, recipe by Kim Laidlaw : December 29, 2014
You can make the marinade and sauce up to 3 days in advance; make sure to let the wings marinate for a day.

1 tbsp canola oil, plus 1 quart for frying
10 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 1/4 packed cup)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup fish sauce
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp roasted chile paste
2 lbs medium chicken wings and drummettes
1 cup rice flour

For serving:
Shredded mint and cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, vinegar, and 1/4 cup water. Bring gently to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, and chili paste. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes (or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days).

Put the chicken wings in a shallow baking dish that just holds them in a single layer. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the chilled marinade/sauce (reserve the remaining in a separate bowl). Toss to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, tossing the wings in the marinade occasionally.

When ready to serve, transfer the wings from the baking dish to a colander set in the sink and let drain for 15 minutes. Pour the rice flour into a shallow bowl. Add the wings and toss to evenly coat.

Fill a Dutch oven with about 2 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325F. In batches, fry the wings, knocking off any excess rice flour before adding them to the pot. Fry until golden brown, turning, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, bring the reserved sauce to a boil and cook for about 1 minute, or until slightly reduced. Add the wings and toss together to coat with the sauce. Transfer to a platter and serve sprinkled with the herbs.

Here is a link that might be useful: KQED food blog: Spicy Vietnamese Fried Chicken Wings


Vietnamese chicken wings
clipped on: 12.30.2014 at 08:36 pm    last updated on: 12.30.2014 at 08:37 pm

RE: Cauliflower: Any Interesting Ideas? (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: OklaMoni on 11.22.2014 at 04:29 pm in Cooking Forum

a friend of mine posted this on facebook yesterday, and no, I have not made it yet.

Roasted cauliflower? A whole head of cauliflower? This recipe has you slathering cauliflower in a spicy yogurt marinade and roasting it at a high temperature. The result is an amazingly delicious dish that’s as dramatic in presentation as it is easy in preparation. Serve it with a big green salad (we suggest lime juice and olive oil for the dressing) for an easy weeknight supper.

 photo 10603343_812758268745396_1416074082747763159_n.jpg

Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 head cauliflower
1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons chile powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.

2. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.

4. Dunk the cauliflower into the bowl and use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over its surface. (Excess marinade can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days and used with meat, fish or other veggies.)

5. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.

6. Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big green salad.

Thank you to PureWow for this wonderful photo



roasted cauliflower

clipped on: 11.28.2014 at 11:49 am    last updated on: 12.26.2014 at 11:31 pm

RE: Stollen help (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: cloudy_christine on 12.29.2011 at 11:55 pm in Cooking Forum

Try mine. This is our Christmas breakfast tradition. I adapted a Paula Peck recipe. Using candied apricots in stead of the usual cherries and peel makes a huge difference. You can use dried apricots if you prefer. Although I now make the dough in a food processor, I wrote out the recipe for my son when he didn't have one, so it uses traditional methods.

Dresden Stollen

Rich Sour Cream Dough

2 packages yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg yolks
5 to 6 cups flour
1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter

Dissolve the yeast in about 1/4 cup water. Combine all the wet stuff (not the butter). Add enough flour to make a medium-firm dough. Beat in the butter. Knead about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Put in a buttered bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for at least four hours before using. [I often shorten or even skip this. It’s a trade-off; chilling makes it easier to work in the sense of less sticky, but much harder to work in the fruit. All this depends on how firm you’ve made the dough. You don’t want too much flour or it won’t be coffee-cake-like, but too little and the butter and sour cream will make it very hard to work. I should mention that I have changed the original recipe by leaving out an additional stick of butter.]
If you don’t chill it, do let it rise before kneading in the fruit. Sometimes I chill it, then get out and let it warm up and rise a bit more.
It will rise in the refrigerator; keep it from over-rising by punching it down.

The Stollen

1 cup white sultana raisins
3/4 cup currants
1 to 1 1/4 cups diced candied apricots
1/4 cup cognac
1/2 cup blanched, sliced, lightly toasted almonds
Rich Sour Cream Dough
melted unsalted butter
powdered vanilla sugar

Mix fruit with cognac. Let stand at least one hour. Drain if there’s any excess liquid.
Knead fruit and almonds into dough.
Cut dough in half. Roll each piece into an oval. Fold almost but not quite in half lengthwise. Lightly roll the folded dough with a rolling pin. Place well apart on a large buttered baking sheet. Let rise until not quite doubled. Brush gently with melted butter.

Bake at 375 about 45 minutes, says the recipe, but start checking long before that. There are so many variables here, shape, density, etc.

Dust the cooled stollen heavily with vanilla confectioner's sugar. Wrap in foil.
Dust again before serving, in thin slices.




clipped on: 12.06.2014 at 10:40 am    last updated on: 12.26.2014 at 11:25 pm

RE: If you culd pass along only one recipe....what would it be? (Follow-Up #43)

posted by: plllog on 12.06.2014 at 12:59 am in Cooking Forum

Liz, thank-you so much for letting me know. I fixed the cake link. Sometimes "copy" doesn't doesn't quite. :)

Spinach Brownies
Not the spaghetti sauce but a very interesting thread, nonetheless, with recipes.
Another good sauce thread with hints about you-know-whose grandmother's you-know-what.
No stollen.
A blackberry crisp thread in which Ann T. posts a copy of Annie's recipe.
Moonwolf's Grandma's Lemonade.

Liz, if you want our borekes recipe, e-mail me, but you have to promise to use only sesame oil, and liberally, and only use real potato flakes (not fresh potatoes). And don't even try it if the humidity is low. Or boil a kettle until it's nearly dry or something...



various links

clipped on: 12.06.2014 at 10:44 am    last updated on: 12.26.2014 at 11:24 pm

RE: Sauerkraut..... what do I do with it?? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: angelaid on 06.22.2009 at 03:04 pm in Cooking Forum

What kframe said, open jar, eat with fork. Love the stuff!
This got rave reviews too:

Reuben Casserole

6 slices Rye bread 2 T butter or Margarine
8 oz. cooked ham cut in cubes or strips
(I used corned beef)
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 cup rinsed and drained sauerkraut

Spread one side of bread slices with butter, stack and cut into cubes. Place in greased 12X8X2" dish and add meat, cheese and sauerkraut and toss together.

3 eggs 1 cup milk
1 t salt 1/4 t peppet 1T mustard
Whisk eggs, milk, mustard salt & pepper together and pour over bread and bake at 350º 30 to 35 min or until lightly brown and well set.



reuben casserole

clipped on: 12.13.2014 at 08:04 am    last updated on: 12.26.2014 at 11:24 pm

RE: LOOKING for: Meatballs (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: amylou321 on 08.06.2014 at 07:34 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

This is my recipe for cheesy meatballs. I have to make this for every family event or im not invited! I should add that the seasonings are all approximate, as a tend to just throw things in, so just do it to taste.

1 lb ground beef
3 tablespoons grated onion with juice
1 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup FRESH basil, chopped
1 egg
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon worcheshire sauce

28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
8 ounces tomato sauce
8 ounces tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
pinch sugar

In a saucepan, combine crushed tomatoes,tomato paste,tomato sauce,chopped onions,garlic,salt, red pepper flakes basil and italian seasoning.
Keep sauce warm while making meatballs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine ground beef with all other ingredients, mix well.
Use small ice cream scoop to make uniform portions, form into balls.
Place meatballs on baking sheet lines with parchment paper.
Bake until cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
Put cooked meatballs and sauce together.
Keep warm in crockpot.



cheesy meatballs

clipped on: 11.29.2014 at 05:01 pm    last updated on: 12.26.2014 at 11:23 pm

A great idea for Tomato plants!

posted by: jasdip on 03.04.2014 at 01:25 pm in Kitchen Table Forum

I think this is a very cool idea. For tomato plants and other plants that need deep watering to their roots.


clipped on: 12.24.2014 at 05:47 am    last updated on: 12.24.2014 at 05:48 am

RE: LOOKING for: mamma mia's (west allis wi) homemade garlic bre (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: marcia7439 on 07.21.2009 at 02:59 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

Arizona lady....
I've had it, and have traveled 6 hours to get it...and it's taken me 40 years, but I have mastered the taste and texture...
I was there for a pick up one day, they recycle their cut's off their crusts, and roll them into loaves of which they re-rise.
I found this pizza dough recipe while I worked for a pizza place in Marshfield wi, in a pizza magazine...It took many of us to cut the recipe down to this...

Dough recipe...
3/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2-3 teaspoons gluten (found in most baking areas)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 (or one package yeast)

I mix the whole thing up and let it rise,
punch it down and rise again,
punch it down a 3rd time and divide into half
I roll into little logs about 2 inches wide and place in
length and place in a bread pan.
Butter the tops so they will split when pulled apart.
Let rise again. to the top of loaf pan
bake at about 375 for a glass pan till lightly golden brown,
Then brush with water for that crispy crust and bake until golden brown. Let them cool if you like. just heat and dip into lots of butter!
The gluten makes the dough stretchy and elastic....especially for flipping the dough and tossing
It also make the bread dough rise Up instead of like homemade bread.

Let me know if you try it!



garlic bread

clipped on: 12.23.2014 at 10:43 pm    last updated on: 12.23.2014 at 10:43 pm

RECIPE: Help! Flan

posted by: glenda_al on 12.23.2014 at 10:03 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

Friend from Dominican Republic served and gave me this recipe and I plan to make it, Christmas Eve and serve Christmas Day.

I'm so nervous, have never made one, and need someone to critique this recipe, please.

It was absolutely delicious, and she served it in a single dish, but I am a first time flan maker and she's out of state so I cannot talk to her again.

Rosa's Spanish Flan
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
4 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all together and place in refrigerator while you start caramelizing the sugar

For caramel It really depends on how much syrup you would like; but to keep it basic you can use 6 to 8 cups of water, 2.5 to 3 cups of sugar. Boil until it starts thickening, when it turns into a caramel color, pour into oven safe container. Swirl around the sides of the container to a height of more or less 2 inches. Let it rest until the caramel hardens then pour in the flan mix. Cook In a water bath at 325 degrees for 2.5 hours or until fully cooked. To check if its fully cooked, insert a knife in the center of the flan. If it comes out clean, it's done. Let it cool down and refrigerate until ready to serve.




clipped on: 12.23.2014 at 10:06 pm    last updated on: 12.23.2014 at 10:07 pm

I'm (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: Mary_Lu on 06.16.2004 at 12:28 am in Iowa Gardening Forum

So sorry I did not get the recipes emailed to anyone. Just so darn busy....poor excuse I know. For the past two weeks have been picking strawberries. About an ice cream pail a night. Made 72 half pints of freezer jam on Saturday.
Here's one good recipe...Hope this makes up a little bit?

Rhubarb Crumble:
1 c sifted flour
3/4 c oatmeal
1 c melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c brown sugar
4 c diced rhubarb
2 T cornstarch
1 c sugar
1 c water
1 tsp vanilla
Mix flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Put 1/2 of this crumb mixture in a 9 inch pan. Cover with the rhubarb. Combine cornstarch, sugar, water and vanilla. Cook until thick and clear. Pour over the rhubarb. Top with remaining crumbs. Bake until done at 350 about 30 minutes.

This is the receipe that I use the most. I love it.

Mary Lu



rhubarb crumble

clipped on: 12.22.2014 at 09:30 pm    last updated on: 12.22.2014 at 09:31 pm

RE: RECIPE: Nut filled crescent rolls (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: westelle on 11.09.2014 at 03:49 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

My friend sent the recipe by Snail Mail!

Frosted Nut Butter Horn Cookies


For Dough:
1 1/2 packages active Dry Yeast (or 1 oz. Compressed Yeast)
1/4 cup Water
4 cups sifted all-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/4 cups Butter
3 Egg Yolks, beaten
1 cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Powered Sugar - for rolling

For Nut Filling:
3 Egg Whites
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 cups grated Nuts
1 teaspoon Vanilla

1. Soften Yeast in warm water.
2. Sift flour with salt into mixing bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine meal.
3. Combine softened yeast, egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla. Blend into flour mixture. Shape into ball. Refrigerate several hours.

4. Make nut filling
5. Beat egg whites to a soft peak. Add sugar gradually. Beat until stiff. Fold in nuts and vanilla.
6. Sprinkle powdered sugar (instead of flour) on pastry canvas.
7. Divide dough into 5 equal pieces. One-at-a-time, roll each piece of dough into a 12 inch round, keeping the other pieces refrigerated until needed. Cut into 12 wedges.
8. Spread each wedge with 1 teaspoon of filling. Starting at the wide edge, roll each wedge toward the point. Place each wedge on a greased cookie sheet with the point tucked under the cookie. Bend each to make a slight crescent-shape.
9. Bake each pan immediately at 375ºF for about 15 minutes.
10. When warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost with Butter Frosting.

For Butter Frosting:
1/4 cup Butter
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 tablespoons Milk

Cream butter with 1 cup of the sugar. Add vanilla, milk, and remaining sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.

I hope this is what you are looking for.



butter horns

clipped on: 12.21.2014 at 07:26 pm    last updated on: 12.21.2014 at 07:26 pm

RE: Cranberry lemon meringue pie :) (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: EAM44 on 12.20.2014 at 11:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

Well I'll just come right out and say it. I ate your piece. There. Sorry. Here's the recipe.

Cranberry Lemon Meringue Pie

1 1/4 c Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free flour mix
1/2 t salt
1 T sugar
10 T unsalted butter
5 T ice water

Process flour salt sugar to mix, then dot with pieces of butter and process into pea sized crumbs. Empty into a bowl and add water. Press into a dough with your hands and flatten into a disk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll into a 12" circle and transfer crust into a glass pie plate. Roll edge under and flute. Refrigerate for an hour.

I got this bit from Cooks Illustrated - prick the dough surface with the tines of a fork then line with heavy duty aluminum foil and prick the foil. Bake on the bottom rack of a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, checking after 10 for ballooning. If the crust is puffing up, pull the dish out of the oven and with a gloved hand, deflate it. After 15 min, remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes until the crust has browned.

Cranberry Filling:
2 c fresh cranberries
1/4 c orange juice
1 T orange zest
1 c sugar
Pinch of salt

Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until all the berries have burst and the filling is thick enough that a spoon along the bottom leaves a trail in the pan. Remove from heat, and spoon the filling through a medium/fine mesh sieve to remove the cranberry skins and most of the seeds. Spoon warm filling into the bottom of the warm crust.

Lemon Filling:
1 c sugar
1/4 c corn starch
1/8 t salt
1 1/2 c water
6 egg yolks
1/2 c lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
2 T butter

Bring the first four ingredients to a simmer while whisking. When the mixture starts to become clear, whisk in egg yolks and return to a simmer. Add lemon justice and zest and return to a simmer while whisking. Remove from heat and add the butter. Cover the filling with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.

1 T corn starch
1/3 c water
4 egg whites
1 T vanilla
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t cream of tartar

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and place oven rack in middle position.

Mix the first two ingredients in a saucepan and whisk, bringing it to a simmer. When the mixture starts to turn clear remove it from the heat. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat eggs and vanilla until frothy. Mix cream of tartar with sugar, and spoon the mixture into the egg whites, beating till soft peaks form. Spoon cornstarch mixture into the egg whites and beat just until stiff peaks form.

Heat the lemon filling just to a simmer then remove from the heat and ladle it onto the cranberry filling. Spoon the meringue onto the edges of the crust first, then into the middle of the pie. Use a spoon to create peaks.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. It's going to take three hours to cool. The waiting is the hardest part.




cranberry lemon meringue pie

clipped on: 12.21.2014 at 07:18 pm    last updated on: 12.21.2014 at 07:19 pm

RE: Is there a base recipe for this? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: grainlady on 12.12.2014 at 04:32 am in Cooking Forum

Oh, dear, yes.... Quite a few of them, in fact. I like this one because I can make it gluten-free by using cornstarch instead of flour, and I make it shelf stable by using coconut oil instead of butter. I use LouAna brand coconut oil - which doesn't have any coconut flavor - and I can find it at WalMart in the shortening/cooking oil isle. Try half a recipe and see if you like it. It makes lovely pudding and Alfredo Sauce as well as gravy, Condensed Cream of Chicken, Mushroom, Brocccoli, Celery, and Tomato Soup.

Source: "I Can't Believe It's Food Storage" by Crystal Godfrey

"Magic Mix" was a recipe developed by the Utah State Extension Service, and you can find more information at the link below.

2-1/3 c. dry powdered milk
1 c. all-purpose flour, OR 1/2 c. cornstarch
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
Combine dry milk, flour OR cornstarch, and butter into a large bowl. Mix with electric hand mixer until it looks like cornmeal. Keep mix tightly covered in refrigerator for up to eight months. Yield: 5-cups

Condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 c. Magic Mix
3/4 c. 2water from cooking broccoli
1 c. chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
1/2 t. onion powder
dash garlic salt
Combine Magic Mix and water from cooking broccoli. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until mixture thickens. Add broccoli, onion powder, and garlic salt. Use in any recipe calling for canned cream of broccoli soup.

I use the base in the summer for making "Fudgsicles".

Gravy: 2/3 c. Magic Mix, 1 c. meat drippings and water or broth. In a saucepan, combine Magic Mix with meat drippings and water or broth. Stir rapidly with a wire whisk over medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.


Here is a link that might be useful: Magic Mix



cream soup base mix

clipped on: 12.16.2014 at 05:30 am    last updated on: 12.16.2014 at 05:30 am

House hunters ... how to make watching the show bearable

posted by: lazygardens on 12.07.2014 at 11:26 am in Buying and Selling Homes Forum

A drinking game for you:


ha ha
clipped on: 12.12.2014 at 07:16 am    last updated on: 12.12.2014 at 07:16 am

RE: You spent lots on one plant? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: davidrt28 on 11.26.2014 at 11:23 am in Perennials Forum

I think the two most expensive plants I've bought - per unit size - were both at Asiatica's going out of business sale. Yes, even with discounts for liquidation, he was still extremely pricey. Which is certainly his prerogative...I'm not being critical. He's been one of the most significant American horticulturalists of the past half-century and we owe him our appreciation for the various plants he brought to this country.

One was a Pyrrosia sheareri, and one was an incredible veriegated Daphniphyllum. The fern died its first winter and I'm skeptical of reports of it being zn 7 hardy. Alas, the latter died last winter in the big freeze, as did one belonging to Ron Rabideau of Rarefind. It's clearly much more tender than the species because they were all OK at the UDel arboretum, including the seedlings. Some of the PNW wholesalers probably still have this plant but it must be slow to propagate because I never see it for sale. I cannot remember the exact prices but I think the fern was something like $75 (marked down from over $100) and the Daphniphyllum something like $125. (marked down from $200) In retrospect I think the Daphniphyllum was worth it, the fern certainly not. (particularly as several places now list it for more reasonable prices)



rare fern: pyrrosia sheareri (felt fern)

clipped on: 12.12.2014 at 06:41 am    last updated on: 12.12.2014 at 06:42 am

RE: If you culd pass along only one recipe....what would it be? (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: beachlily on 12.03.2014 at 04:41 pm in Cooking Forum

OMG, Foodonastump, I wasn't referring to people on this site. I've included my great grandmothers pie crust in two wedding cookbooks I've made for children of friends and then distributed it to whomever wanted it. I just think people don't bake!!

Annie, your blueberry crisp is on the menu repeatedly as is your farmhouse bread. I know your family loves those and so do we. Both recipes have made it into the wedding cookbooks. One lady is a lawyer and the second one did apprenticeship at a bakery and she's a teacher.

OK, FOAS, here's the recipe as it appeared in the last cookbook. I won't hold you to using it, but if you do, hope you enjoy it. Makes wonderful pies. (As a side note to the Gardenweb, I did link to a number of sites that have great instructions for making pie dough. They way I learned was seeing this dough being made, and then I perfected it before the internet took off.)

(Understand there are as many pie crust recipes as there are bakers. Choose what you like.

I was told that this recipe is a German pastry crust. What did I know? It’s the one I grew up with in a strongly German family. The instructions are the exact ones I received and the ingredient list is in the same order. Sorta sketchy, you think?)

1 cup flour
1/3 cup shortening (I use the Crisco blocks)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk

Mix dry ingredients and cut in shortening. Add liquid.

Makes enough pastry for 8” single crust pie. Double the recipe to make a deep dish 9” double crust pie.



piecrust recipie

clipped on: 12.06.2014 at 10:37 am    last updated on: 12.06.2014 at 10:37 am

RE: are Dahlias easy to grow from seed? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: rootman on 01.12.2007 at 10:23 am in Dahlia Forum

They are extremely easy to grow from seeds. They are no more difficult to get to germinate and grow than Zinnias. You may encounter a number of blank (no contents), seeds but you can tell this if you press the seed between your fingers and it does not appear to have anything inside, but is empty. If you are unsure about doing this just plant all the seeds as they are and those that do not germinate were the blanks.

You have to start early, under lights or on a sunny windowsill. Right about now for you in Missouri would be a good time. Never put out young plants before all danger of frost is past. Dahlias are extremely frost sensitive, categorized as a tender, tuberous perennial.

Your seed source will determine what height, flower size, color, etc., the Dahlias will be. Seeds gathered from the large dinnerplate types seem to produce the most disappointing Dahlias, plants that grow enormously (often ove 5'), but have smallish, single to semi double flowers.

Seeds gathered from the short smaller flowered varieties seem to produce offspring closer to the parents. All in all, there is a strong reversion in seed grown dahlias from large towards smaller flowers, and from double towards single flowers. Colors are often very good, with rich and interesting shades. Still, there is the possibility that the next earth shaking, breath taking Dahlia is among your seeds. The Dahlia breeders cull hundreds if not thousands of seedlings to get just one very good, new Dahlia.

If you grow a particularly nice Dahlia then you can save the tubers like any other Dahlia grown from a tuber. You will be surprised what a nice clump of tubers come in the fall from a Dahlia that grew from seed. Also, the seeds saved from a particularly nice seed grown Dahlia could be prone to produce offspring of equal or even better quality.

How I would start the Dahlias is in a new, clean plastic pot using a good name brand seed starting mix, sterile is best but not necessary. Scatter all the seeds across the surface of the starting mix that has been pressed down gently, as densely, close to each other as the numbers between the parentheses here ( 1 1 1 1 1 1). Cover the seeds with fine vermiculite about 1/8th to 1/4 inch deep. Water well once then cover with a piece of plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band. Place in warm lighted area. As long as moisture droplets are seen adhering to the plastic cover there is no need to water. After it appears that most of the seeds have germinated remove the plastic cover, water, but do not overwater. Never allow pot to sit in water.

When Dahllia seedlings have two true leaves it is time to prick out each seedling into its own 4" pot. Use a good potting mix that drains well. You will see as the plants grow which ones will be tall, and which ones will be short. Leaf size and stem length and thickness are bigger and thicker with tall plants. It is recommended to pinch the main stem when 4 pairs of leaves emerge. This makes a bushier plant. Plant in the garden in full sun, in good soil that drains very well when all danger of frost is past. Support for the tall Dahlias is necessary, tomato cages are pefect for the task.

The Dahlia seeds, if fresh and having been stored correctly will germinate within a week if it is warm. Some seeds will germinate faster than others.

Growing Dahlias from seed is a lot of fun, since it is impossible to tell just what kind, color, form of flower will come until a Dahlia blooms, there is a lot of excitement and hopeful anticipation come bloom time.

Don't forget to give our Dahlias good care. Deadheading is essential for continuous flower production. If seed is to be collected the spent flowers must ripen on the plant so future bloom is dimished. Its a judgement call as to save seeds or not. You may even want to attempt to make purposeful crosses between dahlias by hand pollinating, but this is a skill I have not tried myself.

Some clues as to flower color are indicated by the depth of color of the foliage. Dark colored flowers having deeper green leaves and light colored flowers having lighter green leaves is the general rule, but with burgundy/bronze foliage you can get light gold and light pink blooms as well as dark reds and purples!

Dahlias grown from seed...culture is very easy...exceptional Dahlias, not so easy...entire experience is well worth the effort, its lots of fun.




growing dahlias from seed

clipped on: 12.04.2014 at 12:07 am    last updated on: 12.04.2014 at 12:07 am

RE: Let's cook! Sweet Potato Pie (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: okiedawn on 11.15.2014 at 12:32 pm in Oklahoma Gardening Forum

Bon, You can use any recipe for pumpkin pie and just substitute cooked, mashed sweet potatoes for the cooked (or canned) pumpkin.

This is the recipe I tend to use for both. It is from one of my favorite old-timey cookbooks (because the recipes in it are exactly the sort of southern cooking I grew up with), "Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook", published in 1993.

It will give you a beautiful, light, fluffy sweet potato (or pumpkin) custard pie. I prefer to use deep dish pie crusts because otherwise the pie crust is pretty full with pie filling and the custard sometimes overflows the crust. (I always put the unbaked pie on a foil-covered cookie sheet before I put it in the oven. This cookie sheet catches the overflow if a little pie filling sloshes over the edge as I am putting it in the oven, and the foil makes cleanup a snap.)

Tip: When making a pie filling from either pumpkins or sweet potatoes, if you want perfectly lump-free sweet potato or pumpkin pie filling, blend them with your mixer first to get the lumps out before you begin using the mixer to make the pie filing. When you mash the sweet potatoes, in particular, by hand, sometimes you miss the lumps and end up with a lumpy pie filling.


1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs, separated
1 and 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes or pumpkin
3/4 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 unbaked 9" pastry shell
whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter with electric mixer, gradually adding 3/4 cup sugar, beating well. Beat in the egg yolks. Stir in sweet potatoes and next 5 ingredients. Mix well. Set this mix aside.

Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until they are foamy (as if you are going to make a meringue topping, which you aren't). Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar to the foamy egg whites, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in the foam egg/sugar mix into the sweet potato (or pumpkin) pie filling. Pour into the 9" pastry shell and bake in the preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 40-45 minutes, or until pie filling is set.

Cool completely.

Serve with dollops of whipped cream, if desired.


If your memories of your grandmother's sweet potato pie include a meringue topping, I'd suggest the following recipe, which is from Paula Deen's cookbook "The Lady & Sons, Too!", published in 2000.

Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie

2 cups peeled, cooked, mashed sweet potatoes*
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla OR 1-2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup milk
one 9" unbaked pie crust
3 egg whites

* Mash the sweet potatoes with an electric mixer. This will produce a smooth, creamy pie with no lumps.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the pie filling: In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, ` cup of the sugar, the butter, eggs, vanilla, salt and spices. Blend thoroughly. Add the milk, stirring well.

Pour this mixture into the pie crust and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pie on a rack to cool and cool down to room temperature before covering with the meringue.

For the meringue: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, mix the 3 egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form. Continue beating the mixture until the sugar dissolves and the mixture has a glossy appearance and is stiff, but not dry.

Use a rubber spatula to spread the meringue evenly over the cooled pie, forming peaks and swirls to make it pretty. Be sure the meringue is spread evenly, touching the edge of the crust all around the pie's edge. Sprinkle with just a pinch of granulated sugar. Put in over and bake for 5-10 minutes until meringue is well-browned. Cool and serve.


You also can make a brown sugar and nuts (we use pecans) topping to use on either pie, substituting it, if desired, for the meringue topping on the second recipe. When I do that, I usually just look up one of the candied yam recipes that has a nut and brown sugar topping and use whatever that recipe says to make the topping for the pie.

Hope this helps,




sweet potato pie

clipped on: 12.01.2014 at 11:08 pm    last updated on: 12.01.2014 at 11:08 pm

RE: RECIPE: Looking for: Date Nut Bread Recipe (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: iris_gal on 11.23.2014 at 03:53 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

This was my mom's recipe. In those days flour was sifted before measuring and as I recall scant meant about 1 Tb. less than level with the top of the measuring cup. She was a stickler for preciseness so the 300 F. baking temp. is correct.

Date Bread

1 c. boiling water
1 tsp. soda
1 c. dates

butter, size of a walnut
1 c. sugar
1 egg
scant 1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees; Grease 5x9 loaf pan.
Combine water, soda & dates in flat bottom bowl; set aside.
Mix other ingredients in order.
Mash dates in water; add to dough.
Bake for 1 hour.



date nut bread

clipped on: 11.29.2014 at 03:04 pm    last updated on: 11.29.2014 at 03:05 pm

RE: RECIPE: Christmas Cookies (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: ginger_st_thomas on 11.08.2008 at 04:26 am in Recipe Exchange Forum

Odd you mentioned Penzey's because I made their Peanut Butter cookies last week when I got the catalog. I really liked the recipe & might get their magazine, One.

1 cup butter, (2 sticks) softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 TBL vanilla
1 cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
Dash salt
1/2 cup vanilla sugar or granulated sugar to roll cookies in, optional

Preheat oven to 375�. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets & set aside. Cream together the butter & sugars. Beat in the eggs & vanilla. Add the peanut butter & mix until well blended. Sift together the flour, baking soda & salt. Add to the creamed mixture & mix until blended well. Roll dough into 1" balls. At this time roll the balls in sugar, if desired. Place on the cookie sheets, 12 to a sheet. Using a fork flatten the cookies with a criss-cross pattern. Put 2 pans in the oven at a time. Bake 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 10 for crispy cookies, switching the pans, top to bottom-bottome to top after half the baking time.~~Penzey's.



peanut butter cookies

clipped on: 11.28.2014 at 08:05 am    last updated on: 11.28.2014 at 08:06 am

RE: T&T pumpkin cheesecake (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: solsthumper on 11.20.2013 at 12:47 pm in Cooking Forum

Rob, sorry I'm a day late. I had an appointment with the eye doctor, who advised me to stay away from computers, and any other eye-straining activities. The best I could do was hold out for 24 hrs - needless to say, the longest 24 hours of my life.

In any case, the recipe was inspired by my favorite queen of cozy, Susan Branch, but I've altered it so much over the years, that it barely resembles the original. Still, I prefer to give credit where it's due.

Be as fearless as you like with the bourbon, but if you'll be serving this to kids, omit the bourbon and use vanilla. Just don' t tell me about it, or I might cry.

Sorry I didn't look through my photo files to add here. But you won't need it, as this is pretty straightforward.

Bourbon Praline Glaze

¾ cup pecans, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup heavy cream
1 to 2 teaspoons bourbon

Place chopped pecans in a dry skillet and toast, over medium heat, until fragrant. (Keep an eye on the pecans, they'll toast very quickly).

In a small saucepan, combine next 4 ingredients, and stir over low heat, until sugar is completely dissolved (5-7 minutes). Do not let mixture come to a boil.
Remove from heat, and stir in bourbon and toasted pecans. Makes 2 cups.



Bourbon Praline Glaze
clipped on: 11.27.2014 at 11:33 pm    last updated on: 11.27.2014 at 11:33 pm

RE: So, what is your Thanksgiving Menu? (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: dancingqueen on 11.23.2014 at 07:20 pm in Cooking Forum

PrairieMoon here is the flourless chocolate cake recipe

9 inch cake pan, or springform pan wrapped well 2 x in foil
Parchment paper to line pan
1 1/2 tsp butter to butter pan
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped into soft peaks
6 Tbsp sugar
5 eggs and 2 more yolks
6 Tbsp strong brewed coffee
10 onces high quality bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350
Butter cake pan, line with parchemtn and butter again. Can also use a springform pan
Betw whipped cream until soft peaks, not stiff. Set aside
Mix eggs with sugar in bowl and heat over a pan of simmering water only to room temperature. Beat until quadrupled, 15 to 20 minutes
Melt chocolate and coffee in a bolw over simmering water. Set aside until sugar mixture is ready
Fold 1/4 egg mixture into melted chocolate, stirring well
Fold this mixture into remaining egg mixture and add whipped cream
Pour into prepared cake pan. Place cake pan into larger pan and add hot water up to 1 inch. I actually put my springform into another cake pan and put that pan into my roaster then fill the roaster with water. A tip I got on this forum!
Bake at 350 for 1 hour, Toothpick should come out clean
Turn off oven and keep cake inside for 30 minutes while still in water bath.
Remove from oven but keep in water bath for 30 more minutes
Serve at room temperature for the best texture. Serve with whipped cream. If you serve cold this becomes much more dense.


Flourless chocolate cake
clipped on: 11.27.2014 at 10:53 pm    last updated on: 11.27.2014 at 10:54 pm

RE: Looking for DanaIN (Marilyn) Pot Pie recipe. (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: publickman on 11.25.2014 at 06:39 pm in Cooking Forum

Chicken Pot Pie from Marilyn

1/2 cup frozen peas
2 carrots sliced diagonally
1 celery stalk sliced diagonally
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup whole milk or cream
2 cups diced cooked poultry
4 individual pastry shells, baked or pie crust rolled out and cut rounds to top the pot pie

Combine vegetables and steam over boiling water or in microwave until tender; set aside. Melt butter over low heat. Blend in flour until smooth, cooking for 1 minute.

Add salt and pepper, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in cold milk until blended and add broth. Heat to boiling stirring until mixtures boils; boil one minute. Stir in vegetables along with chicken. Pour filling into individual crust and serve immediately.

To make 4 individual pastry cups: Divide pastry dough into four equal parts; roll each into thin circle. Turn four oven-proof custard dishes upside down on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Lay crust over the out side of each dish. Or just put crust into 4 foil pie pans. Using a fork, pierce dough. Bake at 400° until crust is golden and crisp.

Remove from oven; cool and remove shell from dish. Fill with hot filling and serve immediately.

posted Marilyn (DanaIN)

***This is what I saved


pot pie recipe
clipped on: 11.27.2014 at 08:52 pm    last updated on: 11.27.2014 at 08:52 pm

Getting there from here, or how did it go so wrong?

posted by: live_wire_oak on 11.18.2011 at 03:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

You start your brand new journey into madness with a magazine pic. Your inspiration. That's IT! The ONE! I want my kitchen to look EXACTLY like that!

And yet, when you are done, your kitchen looks like this:

What the heck happened? Why doesn't my kitchen look like my inspiration?

1. Layout schmayout. Why do I need to move anything around? Yeah, so I only have 18" between my sink and stove and stand in that corner for everything I do in the kitchen. I've lived with this for 10 years and gotten used to it. It's fine.

2. Wow! cherry is expensive! I'll save $1200 by going with oak instead. It's close, so it'll be fine.

3. Full overlay doors are $800 more than partial overlay doors. No one will will ever notice the difference. It'll be fine.

4. I know the KD is recommending honed Absolute Black, but black counters are just so DARK! I want my kitchen to be light and bright. I'll go with a light countertop instead. It'll be fine.

5. Wood floors in a kitchen make me nervous. What if it leaks? Tile will stand up to a flood much better. I'll go with tile. But I hate cleaning grout, so I'll pick a dark grout that won't show dirt. I'm all about easy care and this will be fine.

6.That black crown molding is going to be dated at some point and I'll wonder why I spent my money on it. I'll just do the plain wood. It'll be fine.

7.I'll go ahead and replace the fridge, because the ice maker is shot, but why should I buy new appliances when the others I have are still working? It'll be fine.

8. Undercabinet lighting? Recessed lighting? Are they serious? I've lived without it all these years and I'm not spending money on that now. It'll be fine.

9. Wrought iron knobs? Nah, the black will show all kinds of dirt. Nickel will be a lot easier to clean. It'll be fine.

10.OMG! My kitchen is so beige and brown and boring! And it's dark with that dark wood. I'll hang that light in the spare room above the sink. And I'll paint the walls red for a POP of color. It's fine.

And, it's---well, fine. It's a new kitchen. With the selection of decent quality products, it will last you a while. It's not BAD. It's not ugly.

It's just not ANYTHING like it could have been!


it got all mucked up
clipped on: 11.22.2014 at 12:48 am    last updated on: 11.22.2014 at 12:49 am

I Just Have to Share what I Seen Today :

posted by: hijole on 09.20.2014 at 02:02 pm in Cacti & Succulents Forum

Very interesting idea that can be done with Palm tree trunks, this gentleman said he hones out the trunk then drills holes for drainage.

Many tree trimmers would love to share these with you, I think I just found my new pots.



palm pots
clipped on: 11.07.2014 at 09:02 am    last updated on: 11.07.2014 at 09:02 am

RE: Bake Day.... Cream cheese babka and sourdough........... (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: khandi on 01.21.2008 at 05:41 pm in Cooking Forum

Here's my Polish aunt's recipe for Bapka, which she makes every Christmas. How did you make your cream cheese mixture? It's looks so delicious!


(Polish Coffee Cake)

1 lb butter, softened
1 dozen eggs, separated
2 cups white sugar
1 ounce rum, vodka, or Grand Marnier
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Separate egg yolks and egg whites in 2 large mixing bowls.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks with sugar, butter, liquor, and vanilla. Mix well.

To the egg yolk mixture, gradually add stiffly beaten egg whites and flour (mixed with baking powder) until all combined.

Butter tubular pan and coat with breadcrumbs. Pour batter into the pan.

Bake in a preheated 325-350�F oven for approximately 1� hours.

When cooled, sprinkle with a little icing sugar.


polish coffee cake: bapka
clipped on: 10.29.2014 at 11:54 pm    last updated on: 10.29.2014 at 11:55 pm

RE: Pickles (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: annie1992 on 08.05.2014 at 10:46 pm in Cooking Forum

Tami, I like this one. It's higher in vinegar than LKZZ' pickles and comes from skeip, who posts here sometimes. I'm not a huge fan of dill pickles but Elery and Ashley both love these. I know you can't have the garlic, I'd leave that out.


4 Cups thinly sliced Cucumbers
1/2 Medium Onion, thinly sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, sliced
1 Teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
1/2 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Dill, or three Dill Heads

In a small saucepan, combine Water, Vinegar, Sugar and Salt, bring just to a boil and shut off heat.

In a quart jar place Peppercorns, Garlic, half the sliced Cucumbers, the Onion and Dill, and the rest of the Cucumbers, in that order. Pour in the hot Brine, leaving 1/4 inch headroom. Use a chopstick or knife to remove air bubbles. Store in the refrigerator. Best if allowed to stand a day for the flavors to come together. Makes one quart.



fridge pickles
clipped on: 08.27.2014 at 09:06 am    last updated on: 08.27.2014 at 09:06 am

Maple Oatmeal Pastry Recipe

posted by: ann_t on 05.30.2013 at 10:33 pm in Cooking Forum

Annie, Here is the recipe.

This is a very easy pastry dough to work with. Rolls out beautifully every time.

I tend to use this pastry when I make galettes or open faced tarts.

Maple Oatmeal Pastry

Source: Anna Olson


2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Might need to add a little ice water.

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter the texture of coarse meal. Stir sour cream and maple syrup and add to dough, Mixing until it just comes together. Chill dough for 15 minutes.


maple oat galettes
clipped on: 08.27.2014 at 08:49 am    last updated on: 08.27.2014 at 08:50 am

A question about scapes

posted by: DelawareDonna on 07.26.2014 at 05:25 pm in Hosta Forum

This is my Ginsu Knife last year with its scapes held high above the plant.
 photo a4e49baa-4031-40c0-8984-d6c83c47c71a_zps32cccf79.jpg

This is Ginsu Knife this year - a much larger plant with much shorter scapes. There is one actually starting to bloom under the leaves. What could account for this?

 photo 13e3b4b3-f786-4e84-ac8b-36711ffef318_zps39943237.jpg


This post was edited by DelawareDonna on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 17:41


scape weirdness
clipped on: 07.30.2014 at 09:21 pm    last updated on: 07.30.2014 at 09:22 pm

RE: XXXX rated hosta (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: moccasinlanding on 06.21.2014 at 02:20 am in Hosta Forum

I'm sitting here with my JAW dropped....BOTH of them.
What is in that soil? Good HOLY MOLE!

And the gunnera leaves were what Little And Lewis (near Seattle) made objects from....hypertufa or cement, they did great work. Still have a website up. They used to visit the GWeb Hypertufa forum. I have their book which has had its share of drooling on many pages.

Wanna see some fantastically painted gunnera leaves? their website....and some ancient ruins too....hypertufa ones. The first picture you'll see will make you want to look at them all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Little & Lewis made objects and gardens


little & lewis stuff
clipped on: 06.21.2014 at 07:04 am    last updated on: 06.21.2014 at 07:04 am

New Challenge: It's an About FACE!

posted by: Hostanista on 02.18.2014 at 10:14 am in Hosta Forum

Name a hosta and most people on this forum can picture exactly what it looks like.

Name a MEMBER of this forum however and well...... aren't you curious to put a FACE to the NAME?! Let's FACE it, I can't even tell if some of you are boys or girls!

Now that the Hosta Alphabet is over, and before the 2014 Hosta season gets into full swing, how about some FACE-to-FACE time? Take a selfie right now!


hosta folks
clipped on: 06.07.2014 at 02:09 am    last updated on: 06.07.2014 at 02:10 am

RE: Found Pine Bark Fines South Florida (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: love_the_yard on 06.02.2014 at 09:58 am in Florida Gardening Forum

Walmart purple bag - $2.68 - it's all I use:

 photo IMG_2874Large.jpg

Carol in Jacksonville


pine bark fines find
clipped on: 06.03.2014 at 01:01 am    last updated on: 06.03.2014 at 01:01 am

found pine bark mini nuggets - does this look right?

posted by: paula_b_gardener on 05.27.2014 at 02:48 pm in Hosta Forum

I finally found pine bark mini nuggets but they don't look very 'mini' to me. Here is the mix that I made today - does it look right? It was very 'barky' is that normal?
The mix is 3.5 buckets of pine bark, 1 bucket of BM1 potting mix, and about half a bucket of compost. I added a little compost because I wanted to get BM8 and it has compost in it but I all I could get was BM1 and it doesn't have any compost.

When I pot the plants and water them, it seems that all is left is the bark; that is okay for hostas to grow in? Should I add some BM1 on the top?

Confused, Potheads -
please help!
pot mix photo IMG_4272.jpg


the mix ... for paula
clipped on: 05.28.2014 at 06:45 am    last updated on: 05.28.2014 at 06:45 am

1000's Gold Standard in one hillside bed for impact

posted by: brucebanyaihsta on 01.13.2009 at 10:07 pm in Hosta Forum

This is Doris and Wayne Guymon's home in Chadds Ford PA, 2006, AHS National Convention garden tour.

Great story on this bed of 'Gold Standard'

I believe these plants have been in place since early 1980's - and yes it has stayed practically all true to Gold Standard with very few revisions to fortunei Hyacynthina

Wayne Guymon 'Gold Standard' bed 2006

Most clumps were 2-3 feet across



hillside hosta gold standard mass plantings
clipped on: 05.19.2014 at 11:27 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2014 at 11:28 pm

RE: Starting organic lawn care (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: kimmsr on 01.11.2014 at 06:43 am in Organic Lawn Care Forum

Compost is one source of organic matter that soils need and there are many alternatives to compost.
Start with a good reliable soil test that will tell you that soils pH and major nutrient levels so you can plan on what you need to do to make a good healthy soil that will grow a strong and healthy turf. Talk with the people at your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office about soil testing.
You may also want to use these simple soil tests to learn more about that soil,
1) Soil test for organic matter. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. For example, a good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains’ too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer your soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.

Once you have adequate information you can determine what needs to be done to the soil and what is the best way to get the soil a lawn needs. Cover crops? A lot of shredded leaves? Other forms of organic matter that might be available?

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Cooperative Extension


lawn care
clipped on: 05.11.2014 at 12:06 am    last updated on: 05.11.2014 at 12:06 am

RE: update: obf april 2014 swap: buried treasure (2) (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: toomanyanimals on 05.04.2014 at 08:40 am in Round Robin Exchange Forum

Susan and Anne, nice boxes.

Laura, I enjoyed the paintings, I liked the paper one the best, would really add a sense of fun to a room.

Anne, you asked if any of us do anything with gourds.
Well, I think I have posted these pics before, so it is good they are at the end of this swaps post.
But I did the black cat and my hubby, daughter and son the 'head' for Halloween. LOL

Halloween Bird House Gourd photo birdhousegourd_zps0d8c86f7.jpg
Halloween Black cat from gourds. photo IMGP0099_zpsaf013646.jpg


Gourds: splitting headache
clipped on: 05.04.2014 at 02:12 pm    last updated on: 05.04.2014 at 02:12 pm

RE: My order arrived, sooooo happy! (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: mountainy_man on 04.08.2014 at 10:59 pm in Hosta Forum

Ken, ok I understand, thanks.

I don't know, does it? will check. Yes I'm in north west Ireland.

I could suggest some Irishisms but you couldn't use them in polite conversation, the Irish are a very sweary people lol!

Here are a few.

Feck- the word is used as a polite version of the other F-word. A true Irish person uses this or the other one at least once per sentance, also used as a word for throw.Used for strenghtening an adjective.

Amadan- Irish for idiot.

Jaysus- used by people (inc religious) to take the lords name in vain without really doing it, very common.

Gobshite- an idiot. Gob meaning mouth and the other part means what come out of it.

Fanny- A lady's front bottom not the back bottom as you use it, We fall about with great hillarity when on a US comedy some one says they fell on their fanny, also fanny pack is a bum bag here.

Muff- same meaning as above, also a small costal village in County Donegal which is famous for its "welcome to Muff" sign and for "Muff Diving Centre" which I understand is a scuba school.

Arse- Bum,bottom or rear end, also used as a stand alone expletive.

Grand- great, also used in place of ok.

Polluted- drunk.

Ossified- very drunk.

Plastic Paddy - people who feel strongly connected with Ireland even though they were not born there and may have never been there, perhaps those who have Irish ancestors. It's mostly used when talking about Irish-Americans in a slightly-negative way.

Fag- Cigarette.

Janey Mack- gosh!

Savage- very good, as in "thats a savage cup of tea".

I think thats enough to give a flavour!

I will leave you with a clip from an Irish comedy.

(If any of this disturbs your sensibilities I will remove it)

Here is a link that might be useful: Father Ted, an Irish sitcom.


clipped on: 04.18.2014 at 09:55 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2014 at 09:55 pm

RE: "Aden" hosta (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: steve_mass on 04.17.2014 at 09:03 pm in Hosta Forum


I can't answer this question with perhaps the specificity that you require. I know much about it, but Bill Meyer, Kevin Vaughn, Mark Zillis and Don Dean know much more than I.

In some cases plants were seen as unnamed seedlings in Florences' garden. This is true of Sum and Substance. In fact Kevin Vaughn is sure he knows that the parents of this were Nigrescens x Bengee.

We also know through correspondence or interviews, what different hybridizers were working on at the time. Almost all of the work with variegation was being done by Florence or Kevin using Beatrice and another gold streaked plant. Kevin was the only one forcing plantaginea early. Florence was doing a lot of work with Gold plants and a number of different gold streaked plants were seen at Birchwood. In 1970 a plant like Elatior was extremely rare. It only existed in a handful of gardens, if that. So when seedlings showed up with Elatior characteristics in 1978, we know they came from Birchwood.

In some cases it's process of elimination. We know that Aden was not the originator of the plants that he registered. This was widely known among the Hosta congnescenti for years. No one ever saw any seedlings he created or evidence that he did any hybridizing at all. This despite many who visited "The Garden of Aden", which by all accounts was chock full of beautiful plants. There were only a few places that Aden could have acquired these plants from. Each of these possible sources were eliminated, or not, through records or face to face interviews.

In most cases we can say with about 90% certainty where the plants originated. There is always the possibility of a chance seedling or sport arising from a stolen plant. But frankly, I don't lose any sleep over that. The plants were stolen to begin with. The progeny weren't Aden's origination either, in my estimation. There will be plants about which we will never be able to prove the originator with 100% certainty. These may remain with an unknown registration.

In the case of Blue Angel, Blue Cadet and Golden Waffles, clumps of these plants were already established, in gardens other than Birchwood prior to Aden stealing them and registering them as his own.

But there are facts which are unassailable. 1. Florence died in June of 1975. During her illness in 1974 Aden had been accused of stealing plants from Birchwood by Florence's daughter. 2. Alex Summers reported in an early AHS newsletter that Paul Aden went to Birchwood shortly after Florence's death to help "sort things out." 3. The property of Birchwood was empty during the Spring of 1976 before it was sold in the summer to its current owner. 4. Several visitors to Aden's garden report the sudden appearance of numerous plants including mature clumps during the time that plants were going missing from Birchwood and Kevin Vaughn's garden. 5. The registrations by Aden begin in 1978 and they are voluminous. After registering all these plants as they mature over the next 5 to 6 years, Aden registers very few plants later on.

As for the Peanut/Lakeside Dot Com controversy, you should read the First Look essay on this situation.


Here is a link that might be useful: LDC vs Peanut


aden hosta
clipped on: 04.17.2014 at 11:45 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2014 at 11:45 pm

"Aden" hosta

posted by: bkay2000 on 04.17.2014 at 07:23 pm in Hosta Forum

How are "they" coming to the conclusion that "X" hosta that Aden registered was actually bred by "John Doe"? I understand that Kevin Vaughn is alive and well and can say that, "I had that plant in 1973 and it disappeared from my house". Florence Shaw is dead and apparently no hybridizing records remain. How do they know she first hybridized Blue Angel? How do they know he didn't steal it in England?

Then, along the same lines, how do they know that Jim of Jim's hosta registered Mary Chastain's plant? There are many very similar plants.



the notorious paul aden
clipped on: 04.17.2014 at 11:43 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2014 at 11:44 pm

RE: Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bcskye on 12.24.2013 at 07:51 pm in Cooking Forum

Here is the recipe from Allrecipes, Linda:

3 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. white chocolate chips
1/4 c. butter
3 c. confectioners' sugar
1 c. Irish Cream liqueur
1 1/2 c. chopped nuts
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
4 T. Irish Cream liqueur
2 T. butter
In the top half of a double boiler melt the 3 c. semisweet chocolate chips, 1 c. white chocolate chips and 1/4 c. butter until soft enough to stir.
Stir in the confectioners' sugar and Irish Cream until mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts. Place mixture in a prepared 8 x 8 inch buttered pan and lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top; press and smooth top down.
In the top half of a double boiler, melt remaining chocolate chips until soft. Remove from heat and with a fork beat in the butter and Irish Cream until smooth. Spread topping over cooled fudge with a knife. If a smooth top is important, place plastic wrap over the top. Refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours at least. This fudge can be easily frozen.

I didn't use a double boiler. I melted the chips in the Microwave 45 seconds at a time until they were melting. I also didn't put a top layer on it and the main layer turned out with a nice wavy look.. I put foil in a rectangular pan larger than an 8 x 8 inch one. Figured it would be easier to get out of the pan and cut.

Haven't cut it yet, but licked the bowl clean and it really tasted very, very good. Only have two kids coming over to keep away from the fudge, but will make rolo candies on top of pretzels for them.

So now make something sinful!!!



Irish Cream Fudge
clipped on: 12.27.2013 at 02:35 pm    last updated on: 12.27.2013 at 02:37 pm

RE: Christmas Eve Heavy Hors D'oevres Critique (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: caliloo on 12.20.2013 at 11:35 am in Cooking Forum

I would think 7 men who are heavy eaters will plow through that tenderloin easily. Can you add a side of crashed/smashed little tiny roasting potatoes? That may give them something else to focus on. The potatoes can be made ahead of time and reheated...


Crashed potatoes

◾12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
◾3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
◾ Kosher Salt To Taste
◾ Black Pepper To Taste
◾ Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Here is a link that might be useful: Crashed Potatoes


smashed tators
clipped on: 12.21.2013 at 12:14 am    last updated on: 12.21.2013 at 12:20 am

RE: Cookalong Extra! ****Holiday Cookies**** (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: ann_t on 11.27.2010 at 09:54 am in Cooking Forum

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Chocolate Chip Crescents

Source: Patty

1-3/4 cups pastry flour
3/4 cup pecans chopped
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup icing sugar
3/4 teaspoon rum
2 tablespoons cold water

Cream Butter and Sugar and rum. Add flour, salt, chopped pecans, chocolate chips. Add water if needed.

Shape into small crescents and bake at 325° For 23 minutes.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Truffles - Crisp Chocolate Truffles

1 jar 7 oz marshmallow cream

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

2 cups Rice Krispies

14 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

White chocolate chips.

In heavy saucepan combine marshmallow creme, butter and chocolate
chips. Cook over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is
smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir rice Krispies into hot mixture, mixing until thoroughly combined.
Drop mixture by rounded measuring teaspoons onto waxed paper lined
cookie sheet. Shape into round balls and Refrigerate about 1 hour or
until firm.

Melt bittersweet chocolate with shortening and dip each chocolate ball
in melted chocolate and place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Melt
white chocolate and place in zip lock bag. Cut tiny hole in corner of
bag and drizzle white chocolate over truffles. Refrigerate until firm.

Place in small candy paper cups.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Magic Chocolate Balls

3 (175G) packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract (or rum)

Finely chopped nuts,
Flaked Coconut
Chocolate Sprinkles,
Unsweetened Cocoa
Or Icing Sugar
. In heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with condensed
milk. Remove from hat, stir in vanilla. Chill for 2 hours or until
firm. Shape into 3/4 inch balls; roll in one of the optional coatings.

Chill until firm.

These can also be frozen.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table


Patty's Recipe

300 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes

1/2 cup butter
Pinch salt
Pinch baking soda
1/4 cup fruit sugar, (Same as Berry sugar or very fine granulated sugar)
1 cup flour
Sugar to dredge
. Mix together Flour, salt and baking soda.

Cream butter and fruit sugar. Add flour mixture and mix well.

Pat firmly into round cake pan. Use tines of fork to make a decorate
edge around the outside of the dough. Now use fork to poke holes all
over surface. (This stops the shortbread from rising up during
baking.. Bake in low oven until just starting to colour. Should not

Remove from oven and sprinkle with fine sugar. Let sit 5 minutes and
then Cut into wedges while still warm. Do not remove shortbread
wedges from pan until cool.


This recipe can be doubled and baked in a rectangle pan, and cut into
fingers rather than wedges.

Cream Cheese Brandy Cherry Balls.

Source: 1983 Oct/Nov. Entertainment and Recipe Booklet

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, quartered
2 tablespoons Brandy
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups flaked coconut
. Marinate cherries at least 4 hours or overnite in brandy Melt Chocolate
chips and butterscotch chips and add cream cheese. Stir in cherries,
marshmallows and walnuts and refrigerate until cold enough to roll into
balls. Roll in coconut. Refrigerate. The longer the better. The
flavours intensify.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips
. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, flour,
salt, and chocolate chips.
Roll into 1 inch balls. Dip fork in to white sugar and flatten cookie.

Bake at 325° until golden. Approximately 14 to 16 minutes. Do not let


various tasty cookies
clipped on: 12.15.2013 at 11:54 pm    last updated on: 12.16.2013 at 12:10 am

RE: Cookalong Extra! ****Holiday Cookies**** (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: plantmaven on 11.26.2010 at 08:06 pm in Cooking Forum

I bake these cookies and they are wonderful.
My DIL baked them for a cookie exchange. As they are pretty nondiscript, the ladies did not want them. Finally one tasted them. She said OMG these are wonderful.

Amish Sugar Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1.Combine butter or margarine, oil and sugars in large mixing bowl; mix well. Add eggs; beat 1 minute until well blended. Add vanilla; beat well. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Drop by small teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.

The recipe came from my SIL's mother to my mother and then to me.


amish sugar cookies
clipped on: 12.15.2013 at 11:48 pm    last updated on: 12.15.2013 at 11:48 pm

RE: lou's pizza dough question (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: hawk307 on 05.26.2008 at 08:34 pm in Cooking Forum

Hi Iris:
Here is the recipe and " how to."

: An alterative to baking on a stone is to use pans. A 12 inch round pizza will take from 8 to 12 ounces of dough. According to thickness you want. After the dough is made weigh it out and roll into balls. Oil the pans and place a dough ball in the pan and flatten slightly, working the dough towards the side of the pan, with the palms.
Then let it rest a few minutes. Repeat this every so often until the dough reaches the side and up, enough for a crust about � inch. Let it raise slightly , pinch the dough all over, with a fork and put into the oven to bake at 400 deg. If it bubbles while baking pinch it with a fork again. When light tan specks show ,take them out onto a rack to cool fast. Then you can use them right away or freeze , to use later.
When cooking the Pizza, place the Pre Baked dough back in the oiled pan ,
Or cook on your Stone.
put a latel of sauce on the dough and swish it around, sprinkle some Parmesan or Romano , put it in the oven for a few minutes. Take it out and spread the topping of your choice and the Cheese Topping. A good topping cheese is a mixture of Mozzarella and Provolone chopped and mixed. The provolone gives it a good flavor and doesn't get like rubber when it cools.
I use all Provolone. A little trick for baking. Keep a cup of water and brush handy, to baste parts that are cooking too fast. If you can get new pans, they have to be cured in the oven, so they won't stick. Coat them with oil and bake them for at least 6 hours. Never clean them with soap and water. Just rinse with water & wipe with a paper towel.

Dough recipe:
1 cup of warm water (not hot)
1 Package of rapid rise yeast 1 tablesps sugar ,in a half cup of warm water
1/4 Cup of Veg. Oil
1 teasp.Salt
About 3 1/2 cups Flour
� cup of Whole wheat flour

Place in a mixing bowl, the Water, 1 cup of flour, wheat flour , yeast if risen
Add the oil and salt and more flour.
Add enough flour to make a soft ball of dough, that doesn't stick to your hands.
Knead until smooth. Put it back in the bowl , Smooth side up and Rub on some Veg. Oil
Cover and set in a warm place to rise until it doubles in bulk.
I put it in a warm oven, Covered with a damp towel. It rises in about 1 hour.

When doubled, punch it down and knead it well.
Divide into Balls , about 11 to 12 ounces and place in oiled pans. 12" round
Dough should be about 3/16 " thick on the bottom and about �" around the edge.
For Sicilian Pizza , I used most of the dough in a 11" X 16" pan
Follow the previous instructions.
Good luck, Lou

I made one tonight using the Prebaked Dough, from the freezer.
I put it in What's For Dinner , Post.

As for thickness, that is a Personal choice. I don't like a Paper Thin Crust.

But I do like a thick end Crust that you can bite through and it's Crispy and Tender.

You don't really need a mixer to make good Dough.

Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, ask away.
Let me know how you make out.



pizza dough
clipped on: 12.15.2013 at 08:38 pm    last updated on: 12.15.2013 at 08:39 pm

RE: Cookalong Extra! ****Holiday Cookies**** (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: wizardnm on 11.26.2010 at 11:52 am in Cooking Forum

Here's my long time favorite cut out cookie dough. If I remember correctly it was originally in a BH+G magazine in the late 70's. I usually double it in my KA mixer and usually make at least three bowls of the dough. I have a very large tree shape cookie cutter (about 9") and love to make and decorate special cookies for those that love cutouts.
This dough is one that you can roll thick, if you like a softer cutout, yet still holds up.


1½ C sugar
1 C unsalted butter
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract
3½ C flour (I like unbleached)
1 tsp baking powder

In a mixing bowl cream sugar, butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
Add egg and flavorings, beat smooth'
Stir together the flour and baking powder, add to creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.

Chill dough. Roll out on surface dusted with a mixture of ½ powered sugar and ½ flour, ¼ to ½ inch thick depending on your preference. Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet ( I line with parchment paper) and bake in a 375° oven 8-10 minutes. Watch for the edges to just barely begin to brown if you like a moist cookie. Cool and frost.


Divide dough into portions and add desired colors. Force through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 375° oven 8-10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. Before baking brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with colored sprinkles if desired.
Note...I have added about 4 oz of almond paste to the dough when making the cookie press cookies.....yum!


2 c powered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp softened butter
¼ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract
1 egg white
¼ C milk or cream

Combine egg white and milk, set aside.
Beat together powered sugar, butter and flavorings.
Add small amounts of the milk mixture until icing is spreading consistency.
Tint with desired colors.
Using the egg white will give you a nice finish on the icing, the butter will keep it soft on the inside.



clipped on: 12.15.2013 at 05:07 pm    last updated on: 12.15.2013 at 05:07 pm

RE: Cookalong Extra! ****Holiday Cookies**** (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: donna_loomis on 11.26.2010 at 11:22 am in Cooking Forum

I cannot imagine making any other chocolate chip cookie than the one I m posting below. It is my family's absolute favorite and a given when we do our Christmas baking. It is a soft CC cookie. I got the recipe from a Woman's Day magazine sometime in the 70's. There is also a recipe for Oatmeal Pudding cookies from the same magazine that I sometimes make. But these CCC's are by far the most requested cookie when the subject comes up.


2-1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (4 serving size) pkg. vanilla* instant pudding
2 eggs
1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecan (optional)

*Can use other flavored instant pudding for variation.

Mix flour with baking soda. Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and pudding; mix in large mixer bowl. Beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture, then stir in chips and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonful about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Makes 7 dozen.


clipped on: 12.15.2013 at 12:33 am    last updated on: 12.15.2013 at 12:33 am

RE: Cookalong Extra! ****Holiday Cookies**** (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: booberry85 on 11.26.2010 at 10:25 am in Cooking Forum


This came from Penzeys One Magazine, issue one 2005. This is “sleeper.” They don’t seem like very much when you first make them, but you find yourself craving them. The recipe makes 72 cookies.


1 (2 ½ teaspoons) package yeast
1 ¾ cups milk, divided
½ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 cup butter
5-5 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

½ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat ½ cup milk to lukewarm (warm to touch). Pour into a small bowl with yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy.

In a large mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs with ½ cup sugar until blended. Melt 1 cup butter. Mix with 1 ½ cup warm milk. Pour milk, butter, yeast mixture and 2 ½ cups flour into the mixing bowl. Blend until just mixed. The dough will be very wet. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (1 to 1 ½ hours).

After the first rise, mix in 2 ½ cups flour. If the dough is still sticky, mix in another ¼ cup to ½ cup flour.

Grab a hunk of dough the size of a tennis ball and roll it in a circular shape on a lightly floured surface. Use as little flour as possible. In a small bowl, combine filling ingredients. Spread the filling, about a tablespoon, on the dough circle. Don’t spread too much filling or butterhorns will unroll during baking. Cut the circle into 8 triangles (like a pizza), and roll the butterhorns up, starting at the outside edge. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes until golden. Remove from baking sheet and let cool. Drizzle with icing before serving. For icing, beat together butter, milk, sugar and vanilla until creamy.


clipped on: 12.15.2013 at 12:23 am    last updated on: 12.15.2013 at 12:23 am

RE: Hosta Seed Growing? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: berndnyz5 on 12.10.2013 at 06:27 pm in Hosta Forum

I found the articles written by Josh Spece about growing hostas from seeds very interesting, see the link. Please note that seedlings will mostly not look like the parent plant, will mostly be green. There is a larger chance that you would get a streaked plant from a streaked parent, but seeds from other variegated plants will mostly produce single color kids. Bernd

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Grow Hosta Seedlings


growing hosta seeds
clipped on: 12.11.2013 at 01:18 am    last updated on: 12.11.2013 at 01:19 am

AHS Online Journal

posted by: steve_mass on 11.28.2013 at 08:28 am in Hosta Forum

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. That means that the AHS On Line Journal for 2013 is live and online as I type. This alone would be reason enough for you to be an AHS member, if you aren't already.

What's in it? I'm glad you asked. Here's a few hightlights.

Standout Hostas - by Josh Spece
Hot Hostas - by Rob Mortko
Tobacco Streak Virus - by John Fisher and Rob Mortko

Great Gardens - featuring Land of the Giants Hosta Farm and Randy Goodwin's garden.

Hostas of Korea - Glen Herold
The Origin of the Paul Aden Registrations

Hostaholism, the 12 stages described - RA Smith
Nematode Research Update
And, of course, lots and lots of gorgeous pictures including a cover shot of H. Nutty Professor.

Savor the reading along with the turkey!


AHS Online Journal


clipped on: 11.30.2013 at 12:54 am    last updated on: 11.30.2013 at 12:55 am

RE: Hosta with Yellow Flowers Coming in 2015? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: KUMAKICHI on 11.15.2013 at 09:21 am in Hosta Forum

By the way, such as "Kokuryu" Hosta red flower is not the only "Akane".
This is a variation of H.longipes. HYB


hosta red flowers
clipped on: 11.16.2013 at 12:31 am    last updated on: 11.16.2013 at 12:32 am

Very cool window shelving for orchids, etc.

posted by: pricem11 on 11.24.2008 at 10:16 am in Orchids Forum

Hi there,

I just wanted to share info about this very nice product I've recently come across to make the most of window space for my little collection of Neofinetas, Sedireas, Sophronitis, C. goeringii, D. moniliforme, etc.

These are plexiglass shelves suspended on a steel wire framwork that require only a small finishing nail in the top of a window moulding to mount and stabilize. The creator makes them to order in any number of ways and is a really nice guy to deal with. I'm attaching the link to his site.

Here is a link that might be useful: Window plant hanger


clipped on: 11.14.2013 at 01:29 am    last updated on: 11.14.2013 at 01:30 am

RE: Suspicious Phal from Trader Joe's (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: bradarmi on 02.05.2008 at 11:07 am in Orchids Forum

I agree with mehitabel, I always by phals from big box stores, and my collection grows exponenetially (which is why I usually have to sneak there when my girlfriend or mom isn't paying attention). Anyway, they always seem to be potted in compacted sphagnum moss, and never seem to dry out. I have found that a mixture of large chunks of wood, old wine corks (I ma a wino), and 70% sphag in a clay pot works best for my water routines. I like to put a few corks on the bottom of the pot, and a few in the center, and set the phal on top. Then I use loosely placed sphagnum around the edge of the pot. I think phals like constant moisture around the roots, but they also like air, which is kind of counter-intuitive, but orchid people understand that.


wine corks as spacers for potting orchids
clipped on: 10.25.2013 at 07:17 am    last updated on: 10.25.2013 at 07:17 am

Nasty Tospovirus Killing AVs

posted by: lathyrus_odoratus on 04.10.2010 at 02:39 am in African Violets Forum

Two long-time hobby AV growers/hybridzers and one grower new to AVs have recently lost their entire collections because of INSV - impatiens necrotic spot virus. This virus infects over 600 plant species, including African violets and other gesneriads. These growers live across the US in varying places: west coast, east coast, Michigan.

There isn't a lot of research regarding AVs and INSV. Please follow the link below for pictures of how it devastated one grower's collection.

For more information about INSV, an article will be coming out in the next AVSA magazine written by the grower whose pictures are shown.

Regarding diagnosis:
General information:

This is what seems most important to know:
1. The virus can be "silent" in some plants, yet can be spread to other plants through thrips or propagation.
2. The virus is only spread by one insect: thrips. It is possible, but not likely because of how the virus works, to spread it to another plant through infected tools (get sap of infected plant in cutting blade and use it on another plant). If you have one silent infected plant and you get thrips, they can infect every plant you have.
3. The virus is systemic; it lives in varying concentrations in all parts of infected plants, whether there are symptoms or not. If you plant a leaf from the infected plant, all resulting plantets will have it. If you crown the plant, the new plant will have it. If you take off suckers, the resulting plantlets will all have it.
4. Monitoring for thrips with blue sticky cards is essential. As soon as you see a thrip, take fast action. Please follow the guidelines in the article above.
5. Testing is not 100% sure. There needs to be enough virus in the part you test, so a plant with a low level could be positive and test negative.
6. No one knows how long it takes symptoms to show in AVs, so isolation may not be effective (some plants display symptoms in days, others in months). Also, if you have some silent carriers, you might think they were fine.
7. Tests are available at about $5 a test. For a large collection, it would simply be less expensive to buy new plants than to test them all. Also, since the plants might test negative when they were positive, some growers feel that throwing out everything is the best thing to do.

Here is a link that might be useful: CLICK here for pictures of INVS on AVs


INVS virus info
clipped on: 10.16.2013 at 09:32 pm    last updated on: 10.16.2013 at 09:33 pm

RE: Plant stands? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bragu on 10.12.2013 at 10:12 pm in African Violets Forum

one such¤tURL=%3FNtt%3Dshelves&facetInfo=



plant stands

clipped on: 10.12.2013 at 10:14 pm    last updated on: 10.12.2013 at 10:15 pm

RE: Phal re-pot (pics) (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: LunRTwilight on 10.07.2013 at 08:43 am in Orchids Forum

I bought it at Home Depot. It's endorsed by the American Orchid Society on the bag. It has good sized bits of charcoal in it also. Here's a pictue of the bag.


phal mix from HD
clipped on: 10.09.2013 at 04:54 am    last updated on: 10.09.2013 at 04:55 am

RE: Speaking of Behemoth (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: Ludisia on 06.12.2013 at 06:38 pm in Hosta Forum


I would recommend Mikado as a look-a-like for Behemoth.

Here is the link to a REALLY old post showing a very mature Mikado.

H. ‘Mikado’

This post is the reason I bought mine. I got it last year from Chick @ Bridegwood.

It seems to be a slow grower thus far, not putting on too much growth from last year when compared to some of my other first years. Then again, it also had some rotted roots this spring I noticed when I repotted it out of the topsoil mess I created. I imagine that set this year’s growth back a bit.

There are also hostas King Michael and King James, but I’m not sure you will be able to find those ones since they are such old cultivars.

There is some ongoing dispute that hostas: King Michael, King James, and Mikado are all really the same plant. Is this true ? I have no idea.

It’s the montana heritage you are after with the long languid leaves. So, if none of these I’ve mentioned come up on a vendor search, look for montana in the lineage.

Good luck in your search and let us know what you end up deciding on. :)


My youngling ‘Mikado’ on 05/30/2013


And a very old King Michael I saw while up in Michigan



mikado link
clipped on: 10.09.2013 at 04:30 am    last updated on: 10.09.2013 at 04:30 am

Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

posted by: malna on 07.21.2012 at 02:36 pm in Harvest Forum

Since it's salsa season, I thought I would post some additional notes I've made since the 2009 thread.

As far as I can tell, the NCHFP hasn't done any additional testing, so I am "assuming" this is the most current recipe and acidity requirements.

Please feel free to add any other notes - I've tried to address most of the other commonly asked questions.

Annie's Salsa Recipe

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2-1/2 cups onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups green pepper, chopped
3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup 5% apple cider vinegar
2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cups (16 oz.) tomato paste

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars, seal and process in a boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes.

Makes about 6 pints.

Additional Notes for Ingredients and Processing:

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
*Any type or color of tomato may be used (paste, canning, beefsteak, a combination of different types, etc.) The paste types will be meatier, the canners such as Rutgers are somewhat juicier than paste types and the beefsteaks the juiciest of all.
*Some prefer, as Annie does, to remove the tomato seeds and gel sacks. Some don't remove the seeds - this is personal preference.
*Measure after peeling, chopping and draining.

2-1/2 cups onion, chopped
*Roughly a 1/4" chopped size (this is the size used in the NCHFP testing - a little larger won't matter, but try not to have the pieces larger than 1/2" maximum).

1-1/2 cups green pepper, chopped
*Roughly a 1/4" chopped size.

3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped

**Pepper Notes: Any combination of green, red, whatever color peppers is fine. 3-5 jalapenos equates to roughly 1/4 cup, so total peppers cannot exceed 1-3/4 cups. For a spicier salsa, you can decrease the sweet peppers and increase the hot peppers by the same amount. Or you can use hotter peppers (such as habaneros or serranos) but the TOTAL amount of peppers cannot exceed 1-3/4 cups.

6 cloves garlic, minced or finely diced
*Do not increase. Small differences in size of cloves should not matter.

2 teaspoons cumin
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

2 teaspoons ground black pepper
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely. Any dried ground pepper such as cayenne may be substituted for a portion of or all of the black pepper.

2 tablespoons (same measurement as 1/8 cup) canning salt
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
*Can be reduced or left out entirely. Do not increase. Dried cilantro or other dried herbs may be added, but not more fresh herbs (fresh herbs change the pH - dried herbs do not). Add additional fresh herbs only after you open the jar.

1/3 cup sugar
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

1 cup 5% apple cider vinegar
*Can use any flavor vinegar (white, cider, etc.) as long as acidity is at least 5%.
*However, you can substitute bottled lemon or lime juice in any proportions according to taste (for example, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup lime juice) as long as the total equals one cup.

2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce
*Can be reduced slightly. See "Density" notes below.

2 cups (16 oz.) tomato paste
*For texture only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars leaving 1/2" headspace, seal and process in a boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes. Adjust for your altitude (see below).

Makes about 6-7 pints (I always seem to get 7 pints).

You may:
Process in pint jars (either regular or wide mouth) or smaller (12 oz., 8 oz. half pints, or 4 oz. quarter pints). Process all smaller sizes at the same processing time for pints.
You may NOT:
Process in larger jars (24 oz., 32 oz. quarts or 1/2 gallon jars). Testing was done only in pint jars.

The recipe for pressure canning originally specified 1/3 cup vinegar and copies of that recipe are still available on the Internet. Pressure canning salsa has not been tested, therefore it is not officially recommended.

If you wish to pressure can the salsa, you must include full 1 cup of vinegar. Processing time that is currently used by some is 10 lbs. pressure for 30 minutes. Adjust for your altitude (see below).

Because salsa is eaten out of the jar without heating and includes low acid vegetables such as garlic, onions and peppers, it is one of the riskier products to can at home due to two factors: the pH or acidity level (the normal cutoff point for boiling water bath vs. pressure canning is a pH of 4.6 and salsa can edge very close to that) and the density of the product.

The salsa should be thin enough for the liquid portion to thoroughly suspend the chopped vegetables so the very center of the jar heats up to the same temperature as the outer portion next to the glass during processing.

If you want it thicker, puree it AFTER you open the jar. DO NOT puree before processing - this would affect the density. Or add a thickener such as Clear Jel or cornstarch AFTER you open the jar.
DO NOT add other low acid vegetables before processing, such as corn or black beans. Only add them after you open the jar.


If you live above 1000' in elevation, you need to calculate your altitude adjustments for both boiling water bath (BWB) and pressure canning (PC). As your altitude goes above 1000 feet the atmospheric pressure is reduced. This causes water to boil at temperatures lower than 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

For safety in water bath canning, you must bring the contents of your jar to at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit. To compensate for the lower boiling temperature at altitude, you must increase processing time.

For this salsa recipe, BWB times at altitudes of (per the Ball Blue Book):

Up to 1000 ft. Processing time is 15 minutes.
1001 - 3000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 5 minutes to 20 minutes total.
3001 - 6000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 10 minutes to 25 minutes total.
6001 - 8000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 15 minutes to 30 minutes total.
8001 - 10,000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 20 minutes to 35 minutes total.

Adjustments for pressure canning can be found in the Ball Blue Book or on their website.

Do make sure you know the altitude where you do your canning. People that live in Denver know they are in the Mile High City and have to make adjustments, but portions of cities like Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Oklahoma City are all above 1000' and it may be something you're not aware of and need to be compensating for.


The pH scale runs from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline).

Each increment from 0 to 14 is 10 times more acidic/alkaline (remember the "magic" number of pH 4.6 for BWB vs. pressure canning). pH testing on fresh lemons ranged from 2.20 to 3.20, so one variety of lemon or even an individual lemon grown in a different orchard might be 10 times LESS acidic than another. Bottled lemon juice, which is processed to a standard acidity, is used for testing in recipes and is also pasteurized, therefore it also will not create any further enzyme reactions in your canned goods (per the folks at ReaLemon a couple of years ago).

Note: Bottled lemon or lime juices are only called for when canning borderline pH foods (tomatoes and salsa usually). If you are making jams and jellies with high acid fruits (any fruit excluding Asian pears, bananas, mangoes, figs and melons), feel free to use fresh lemon or lime juice.

Do I personally like using bottled lemon juice? Not particularly, but when a canning procedure SPECIFICALLY CALLS FOR IT, I use it without questioning it.

A very good explanation is in this publication from North Dakota State University - "Why add lemon juice to tomatoes and salsa before canning?"

Especially note the different pH values of individual varieties of tomatoes (and there are thousands more varieties).

and for the more science oriented, this 2004 paper from the NCHFP:

Studies on safe acidification of salsa for home boiling water canning

Hope this helps :-)


salsa ... needs more onion/pepper
clipped on: 10.06.2013 at 11:45 pm    last updated on: 10.06.2013 at 11:46 pm

RE: Jerry Baker's recipes (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: Hummingangel on 08.26.2004 at 10:53 am in Tips & Techniques Forum

My fiance' bought me one of Jerry Baker's books. There were 2 different Transplanting Tonics in them.

Transplant Tonic

When dividing perennials, soak the best rooted pieces in this Tonic for about 10 minutes just before replanting them.
1 can of beer
1/4 cup of instant tea granules
2 tbsp. of liquid dish soap
2 gal. of water
When you're finished transplanting, use a small pail to scoop up any leftover Tonic and dribble it around the new transplants.

Tree Transplanting Tonic

1/3 cup of hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup of instant tea granules
1/4 cup of whiskey
1/4 cup of baby shampoo
2 tbsp. of fish fertilizer
Mix all of these ingredients with 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket, and pour it into the hole when you transplant a tree or a shrub.

Hope this helps you out, Arina!



clipped on: 10.02.2013 at 11:32 pm    last updated on: 10.02.2013 at 11:32 pm

RE: Need help getting more sophisticated with the lights (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: whitelacey on 10.01.2013 at 11:14 pm in African Violets Forum


The seventh one on this page is your cool white: 2 pack cool white&Ns=None&Ntpr=1&Ntpc=1&selectedCatgry=SearchAll

The second one on this page is your warm white: 2 pack daylight&Ns=None&Ntpr=1&Ntpc=1&selectedCatgry=SearchAll



lighting tips
clipped on: 10.02.2013 at 08:35 pm    last updated on: 10.02.2013 at 08:35 pm

RE: Advice for starting not-quite-so-healthy leaves? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: bttrflii on 09.18.2013 at 08:36 am in African Violets Forum

debbya said in another thread:

"Soak dehydrated leaves in 1/4 cup water, pinch of sugar. Even overnight if needed, make sure you freshly cut stem too, so there is no callous preventing the leaf from soaking the solution. Rinse before planting. If leaf rots at all, cut off rotten parts with a razor, exacto knife- dust cuts with cinnamon. Cinnamon is a natural fungicide. Leaves need to be misted once per day for two weeks, up until roots form. I've read in various articles they are only able to soak up water through the leaf up until rooted.
I've received Silverglade leaves directly from Sylvia Harrison in South Africa, the leaves were in transit 2 1/2 weeks, they looked so dry and limp when they arrived, with the sugar soak I was able to save all of them. Some soaked overnight! As long as leaves are shipped dry they have a chance, if shipped wet- rot sets in and if its not cut out, stopped- you lose the variety."

thanks tim and deb. i emailed the ladies with both of your advice. :)


HOW TO START: for dried out AV leaves
clipped on: 09.18.2013 at 09:29 pm    last updated on: 09.18.2013 at 09:29 pm

Blooming its little head off!!

posted by: biologyteacher60 on 03.18.2010 at 03:09 pm in African Violets Forum

I just had to post a picture of my "Rob's Love Bite." It is blooming its little head off. I also posted some pictures of my set up and other violets.

Rob's Love Bite

My violets

My set-up


nice setup
clipped on: 09.12.2013 at 11:07 pm    last updated on: 09.12.2013 at 11:08 pm

RE: Tiger!! (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: irina_co on 10.18.2011 at 12:58 pm in African Violets Forum

You can order leaves for both Tiger and Tiger 's Son at Cedar Creek Violets - and they carry lots of interesting oldies - plus David Rollins is a hybridizer himself.


Here is a link that might be useful: cedar creek violets


cedar creek av link
clipped on: 09.08.2013 at 05:44 pm    last updated on: 09.08.2013 at 05:45 pm

RE: New to African Violets and multiple plants/suckers? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: JonBoyNY on 09.05.2013 at 11:46 am in African Violets Forum

I think suckers are new plants. I think it's a way for your main plant to reproduce vegetatively. 

Maybe this YouTube video can help you?


video link
clipped on: 09.07.2013 at 10:47 am    last updated on: 09.07.2013 at 10:48 am

RE: Should I transplant these Violets? More Books!!! (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: irina_co on 02.16.2010 at 06:10 pm in African Violets Forum

Guys - I just got a best book - a thick volume by Melvin Robey "African Violets - Gifts from Nature"- from Paid $49 - instead of $214 i saw before...

And his beginner book - African Violets - back to Basics - is available for $12 something.



find this book
clipped on: 09.06.2013 at 12:45 pm    last updated on: 09.06.2013 at 12:45 pm

RE: Should I transplant these Violets? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: donna_c on 02.15.2010 at 02:11 pm in African Violets Forum

Oakleyok, your plants are probably already growing new leaves and should be noticeably bigger in just a month or two. Look in the center crown area and you'll likely see tiny new leaves growing. How fast leaves emerge depends on many factors. Temperature (75� - 77� is optimal according to some studies) and amount and length of light are main ones.

I grow some AVs in windowsills and many of the plants do get a certain amount of direct light each day. You're right that a lot of sites advise against direct light because depending on season, window direction, and even the particular hybrid, the plants could get burnt to a crisp! I don't know what direction your window faces so I've attached a link below with good information about windowsill growing. Since you can control the light with your shutters, that might be a perfect spot for your babies. One thing I can add to what the article says about south-facing windows is that my plants do very well all year in one with obscured glass (a bathroom window).

Here is a link that might be useful: Cultivation of African Violets


informational AV link
clipped on: 09.06.2013 at 12:40 pm    last updated on: 09.06.2013 at 12:41 pm

Metro Mix Planting Results

posted by: stonesriver on 07.23.2007 at 05:31 pm in African Violets Forum

I posted a couple of months ago asking about Metro Mix. It is available at most co-ops and, at least here, is less than $20 for a four cubic foot bag.

Anyhow, my Streps, Chiritas, Columnea and AV trailers are doing astounding things!

They are growing well, no yellowing leaves (it's been three months), lots of blooms. Very healthy plants.

From web site: "Formulation with Canadian Sphagnum peat moss, horticultural grade Vermiculite, processed Bark Ash, Bark, starter nutrient charge, Dolomitic Limestone and our long-lasting wetting agent."

I used Metro Mix 360 and coarse perlite with a 1-2 ratio of mix to perlite. I may use a bit more perlite the next time just because I want an even lighter mix.

I still have some of my gessies in 1-1-1 peat, perlite, vermiculite and the ones in the Metro mix + perlite (sitting right next to the others) are growing better and carrying more blooms and reblooming sooner.

I reservoir water and use 1/4 tsb Dyna-Grow to a gallon of water on all of my gessies.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sun Gro Site with Metro Mix


metro mix 360
clipped on: 09.06.2013 at 01:03 am    last updated on: 09.06.2013 at 01:03 am

RE: Questions re: Plantlets & Leaves (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: kaslkaos on 12.15.2009 at 11:01 am in African Violets Forum

You won't want to leave them alone forever; they'll get ugly if they are crowded, but you can take your time.
I find they transplant best when I add a bit of a plastic cover (like saran wrap draped over toothpicks) for the first few days after transplant so that they get a chance to acclimatize to a new environment.


toothpick n saran wrap
clipped on: 09.02.2013 at 12:54 am    last updated on: 09.02.2013 at 12:54 am

RE: New Gritty Mix User Questions (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: tapla on 03.04.2012 at 10:42 pm in Container Gardening Forum

I'm unfamiliar with how they grade that particular brand of granite for size, but the cherrystone I use is graded #2, so it's possible it's a bit large. About 1/8" is ideal for the granite.

If 1 of the ingredients is larger than the other two, the soil will retain the drainage/aeration characteristics of the two smaller ingredients, but if 2 of the ingredients are larger, the soil will retain the characteristics of the two larger ingredients. So, if your granite and bark are larger than ideal, it means you'll be watering more than if the components were closer to the ideal size.

I don't think you'll have any pH of deficiency issues, so let's cross that bridge if we come to it. ;-)

You can use the Turface fines in small pots if you use a wick and you watch your watering. You want a large plant for the volume of soil so it uses water quickly. You can also double-pot until the plant is well rooted, then remove it from the larger pot.

Yous succulents & cacti will LOVE the gritty mix - even if you want to grow them in very shallow pots. All of your woody material will love it, too. It really makes things very easy - almost foolproof for you.

I can't tell you when to repot. On one hand, it makes no sense to wait if you think the plants are circling the drain. On the other hand, if you think they'll be ok til Father's Day, I'd wait. I realize there's a BIG gray area there, and all I can tell you is 'use your best judgment'.

Use sphagnum peat. It's the decomposing fine stuff that comes in bales by the cu ft and has pieces of sticks & stuff in it - not sphagnum moss, which is the whole, undecomposed material from the top of the bog.

Disregard the older post. It's from when I was transitioning over to the 9-3-6 and wasn't yet sure if you could eliminate the gypsum & Epsom salts.



more gritty
clipped on: 08.29.2013 at 11:33 pm    last updated on: 08.29.2013 at 11:33 pm

Picture of current mix (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mizbrendab on 03.04.2012 at 10:44 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Here's my current mix:


gritty look
clipped on: 08.29.2013 at 11:31 pm    last updated on: 08.29.2013 at 11:31 pm

RE: New Gritty Mix User Questions (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: tapla on 03.04.2012 at 02:45 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Welcome to the forum, Brenda! I'm excited for your plants and can't wait to see how you do with the new soil! ;-)

1) What are you using for granite? What did it say on the bag that might better give us an idea of it's size?

2) Rinsing isn't required (I don't), but it does help to remove dust. No need to allow anything you rinsed to dry before storing - just don't put a lid on it until everything is dry. Composting bark in the absence of O2 creates a lot of acidity.

3) You should be able to find bark (cheap) where you live. Call the mill at Shasta Forest Products (530) 842-2787 or email them [ ] to see who distributes the product near you. I'm guessing you should be able to get fir bark in 1/8-1/4 for under $15/3 cu ft.

4) Only in water purification systems that are throwbacks to the 50s & 60s will you find a volatile form of chlorination. This is because of it's short half life. Newer forms of chlorination use chloramine, which doesn't gas off like the previously used compounds of chlorine. The fluoridation process (of drinking water) has always used a compound that is nonvolatile, so it too, remains in any water left out to rest for any length of time.

In fact, since some evaporation will occur while water is resting (especially if it is in a container that has a lot of air exposure at its opening - like a pan or bucket) the level of chlorine, fluorine, and other solutes becomes more concentrated as water rests and a fraction of its volume evaporates, leaving the solutes behind.

Don't worry about pH. Trying to maintain a 'certain pH' is an exercise in futility. If a hobby grower tells you (s)he maintains a certain pH for certain plants, be extremely skeptical. It takes regular and very frequent testing and adjusting with a variety of chemicals that depend on regular soil analyses. If you're using FP and your pH is close, your plants will have access to everything they need.

Your other concern with tap water would be an accumulation of dissolved solids therein contained, but your use of the gritty mix should render that issue moot, so long as you take advantage of being able to water copiously when You DO water.

5) I use Turface fines in hypertufa projects, raised beds, for plants in VERY small containers,
and I recently started mixing it into the 5:1:1 mix in small volumes when I think I might need some extra water retention.

6) Where do you live, and what (specifically) are you wanting to repot?

Is the woody material @ 12:00 in the picture above redwood/redwood bark?



clipped on: 08.29.2013 at 11:26 pm    last updated on: 08.29.2013 at 11:26 pm

RE: Favorite Violet (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: irina_co on 10.31.2009 at 09:59 pm in African Violets Forum

Oops - wanted to post all chimeras - got The Alps only

Here is a link that might be useful: more chimeras


coolio linkio
clipped on: 08.29.2013 at 08:54 pm    last updated on: 08.29.2013 at 08:55 pm

RE: Reach for the sky! (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: donna_c on 12.10.2009 at 01:27 pm in African Violets Forum

Hi Meg,

I've found that extremely bright sunlight will cause brittle leaves on my plants. I have to rotate AVs that grow on my dining room windowsill to other places from time to time or the leaves will eventually get brittle.

There are other causes of brittle leaves too. The link below describes them and what to do about the problems.


Here is a link that might be useful: Possible Causes of Brittle Leaves


brittle leave RXx by Dr. O
clipped on: 08.29.2013 at 06:29 pm    last updated on: 08.29.2013 at 06:29 pm

RE: Cajun auctions (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: irina_co on 01.02.2013 at 12:38 pm in African Violets Forum

Allen -

to my regret I cannot find Fresh-N-Grow anymore. Before Lynn Lombard ("The Velvet Leaf") was selling it.

If It take fresh leaves - I just stick them in a soil and they root and produce with vengeance. If the leaves are not fresh - I will soak them in a weak solution of ST for 15 min - or more is necessary - then pot them.

Good Luck



using SUPER THRIVE for leaves
clipped on: 08.28.2013 at 07:28 pm    last updated on: 08.28.2013 at 07:29 pm

Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention XIV

posted by: tapla on 06.05.2011 at 10:17 pm in Container Gardening Forum

I first posted this thread back in March of '05. Thirteen times it has reached the maximum number of posts GW allows to a single thread, which is much more attention than I ever imagined it would garner. I have reposted it, in no small part because it has been great fun, and a wonderful catalyst in the forging of new friendships and in increasing my list of acquaintances with similar growing interests. The forum and email exchanges that stem so often from the subject are, in themselves, enough to make me hope the subject continues to pique interest, and the exchanges provide helpful information. Most of the motivation for posting this thread another time comes from the reinforcement of hundreds of participants over the years that the idea some of the information provided in good-spirited collective exchange has made a significant difference in the quality of their growing experience.
I'll provide links to some of the more recent of the previous dozen threads and nearly 2,000 posts at the end of what I have written - just in case you have interest in reviewing them. Thank you for taking the time to examine this topic - I hope that any/all who read it take at least something interesting and helpful from it. I know it's long; my hope is that you find it worth the read.

Container Soils - Water Movement and Retention

A Discussion About Container Soils

As container gardeners, our first priority should be to ensure the soils we use are adequately aerated for the life of the planting, or in the case of perennial material (trees, shrubs, garden perennials), from repot to repot. Soil aeration/drainage is the most important consideration in any container planting. Soils are the foundation that all container plantings are built on, and aeration is the very cornerstone of that foundation. Since aeration and drainage are inversely linked to soil particle size, it makes good sense to try to find and use soils or primary components with particles larger than peat/compost/coir. Durability and stability of soil components so they contribute to the retention of soil structure for extended periods is also extremely important. Pine and some other types of conifer bark fit the bill nicely, but I'll talk more about various components later.

What I will write also hits pretty hard against the futility in using a drainage layer of coarse materials in attempt to improve drainage. It just doesn't work. All it does is reduce the total volume of soil available for root colonization. A wick can be employed to remove water from the saturated layer of soil at the container bottom, but a drainage layer is not effective. A wick can be made to work in reverse of the self-watering pots widely being discussed on this forum now.

Since there are many questions about soils appropriate for use in containers, I'll post basic mix recipes later, in case any would like to try the soil. It will follow the Water Movement information.

Consider this if you will:

Container soils are all about structure, and particle size plays the primary role in determining whether a soil is suited or unsuited to the application. Soil fills only a few needs in container culture. Among them are: Anchorage - a place for roots to extend, securing the plant and preventing it from toppling. Nutrient Retention - it must retain a nutrient supply in available form sufficient to sustain plant systems. Gas Exchange - it must be amply porous to allow air to move through the root system and gasses that are the by-product of decomposition to escape. Water - it must retain water enough in liquid and/or vapor form to sustain plants between waterings. Air - it must contain a volume of air sufficient to ensure that root function/metabolism/growth is not impaired. This is extremely important and the primary reason that heavy, water-retentive soils are so limiting in their affect. Most plants can be grown without soil as long as we can provide air, nutrients, and water, (witness hydroponics). Here, I will concentrate primarily on the movement and retention of water in container soil(s).

There are two forces that cause water to move 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 container than it is for water at the bottom. 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; in other words, water's bond to itself can be stronger than the bond to the object it might be in contact with; cohesion is what makes water form drops. 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, and it will stop rising when the GFP equals the capillary attraction of the fibers in the paper.

There will be a naturally occurring "perched water table" (PWT) in containers when soil particulate size is under about .100 (just under 1/8) inch. Perched water is water that occupies a layer of soil at the bottom of containers or above coarse drainage layers that tends to remain saturated & will not drain from the portion of the pot it occupies. 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 surpass the GFP; therefore, the water does not drain, it is said to be 'perched'. The smaller the size of the particles in a soil, the greater the height of the PWT. Perched water can be tightly held in heavy (comprised of small particles) soils where it perches (think of a bird on a perch) just above the container bottom where it will not drain; or, it can perch in a layer of heavy soil on top of a coarse drainage layer, where it will not drain.

Imagine that we have five cylinders of varying heights, shapes, and diameters, each with drain holes. If we fill them all with the same soil mix, then saturate the soil, the PWT will be exactly the same height in each container. This saturated area of the container is where roots initially seldom penetrate & where root problems frequently begin due to a lack of aeration and the production of noxious gasses. Water and nutrient uptake are also compromised by lack of air in the root zone. Keeping in mind the fact that the PWT height is dependent on soil particle size and has nothing to do with height or shape of the container, we can draw the conclusion that: If using a soil that supports perched water, tall growing containers will always have a higher percentage of unsaturated soil than 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. From this, we could make a good case that taller containers are easier to grow in.

A given volume of large soil particles has less overall surface area when compared 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 simply drain better and hold more air. We all know this, but the reason, often unclear, is that the height of the PWT is lower in coarse soils than in fine soils. The key to good drainage is size and uniformity of soil particles. Mixing large particles with small is often very ineffective because the smaller particles fit between the large, increasing surface area which increases the capillary attraction and thus the water holding potential. An illustrative question: How much perlite do we need to add to pudding to make it drain well?

I already stated I hold as true that the grower's soil choice when establishing a planting for the long term is the most important decision he/she will make. There is no question that the roots are the heart of the plant, and plant vitality is inextricably linked in a hard lock-up with root vitality. In order to get the best from your plants, you absolutely must have happy roots.

If you start with a water-retentive medium, you cannot improve it's aeration or drainage characteristics by adding larger particulates. Sand, perlite, Turface, calcined DE ...... none of them will work. To visualize why sand and perlite can't change drainage/aeration, think of how well a pot full of BBs would drain (perlite), then think of how poorly a pot full of pudding would drain (bagged soil). Even mixing the pudding and perlite/BBs together 1:1 in a third pot yields a mix that retains the drainage characteristics and PWT height of the pudding. It's only after the perlite become the largest fraction of the mix (60-75%) that drainage & PWT height begins to improve. At that point, you're growing in perlite amended with a little potting soil.

You cannot add coarse material to fine material and improve drainage or the ht of the PWT. Use the same example as above & replace the pudding with play sand or peat moss or a peat-based potting soil - same results. The benefit in adding perlite to heavy soils doesn't come from the fact that they drain better. The fine peat or pudding particles simply 'fill in' around the perlite, so drainage & the ht of the PWT remains the same. All perlite does in heavy soils is occupy space that would otherwise be full of water. Perlite simply reduces the amount of water a soil is capable of holding because it is not internally porous. IOW - all it does is take up space. That can be a considerable benefit, but it makes more sense to approach the problem from an angle that also allows us to increase the aeration AND durability of the soil. That is where Pine bark comes in, and I will get to that soon.

If you want to profit from a soil that offers superior drainage and aeration, you need to start with an ingredient as the basis for your soils that already HAVE those properties, by ensuring that the soil is primarily comprised of particles much larger than those in peat/compost/coir.sand/topsoil, which is why the recipes I suggest as starting points all direct readers to START with the foremost fraction of the soil being large particles, to ensure excellent aeration. From there, if you choose, you can add an appropriate volume of finer particles to increase water retention. You do not have that option with a soil that is already extremely water-retentive right out of the bag.

I fully understand that many are happy with the results they get when using commercially prepared soils, and I'm not trying to get anyone to change anything. My intent is to make sure that those who are having trouble with issues related to soil, understand why the issues occur, that there are options, and what they are.

We have seen that adding a coarse drainage layer at the container bottom does not improve drainage. It does though, reduce the volume of soil required to fill a container, making the container lighter. When we employ a drainage layer in an attempt to improve drainage, what we are actually doing is moving the level of the PWT higher in the pot. This simply reduces the volume of soil available for roots to colonize. Containers with uniform soil particle size from top of container to bottom will yield better and more uniform drainage and have a lower PWT than containers using the same soil with added 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 on soil particles for water to be attracted to in the soil above the drainage layer than there is in the drainage layer, so the water perches. 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 employ 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, you can simply insert an absorbent wick into a drainage hole & allow it to extend from the saturated soil in the container to a few inches below the bottom of the pot, or allow it to contact soil below the container where the earth acts as a giant wick and will absorb all or most of the perched water in the container, in most cases. Eliminating the PWT has much the same effect as providing your plants much more soil to grow in, as well as allowing more, much needed air in the root zone.

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 suffer/die because there is insufficient air at the root zone to insure normal root function, so water/nutrient uptake and root metabolism become seriously impaired.

To confirm the existence of the PWT and how effective a wick is at removing 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 and allow the water to drain. When drainage has stopped, insert a wick into the drain hole . Take note of how much additional water drains. Even touching the soil with a toothpick through the drain hole will cause substantial additional water to drain. The water that drains is water that occupied the PWT. A greatly simplified explanation of what occurs is: The wick or toothpick "fools" the water into thinking the pot is deeper than it is, so water begins to move downward seeking the "new" bottom of the pot, pulling the rest of the water in the PWT along with it. If there is interest, there are other simple and interesting experiments you can perform to confirm the existence of a PWT in container soils. I can expand later in the thread.

I always remain cognizant of these physical principles whenever I build a soil. I have not used a commercially prepared soil in many years, preferring to build a soil or amend one of my 2 basic mixes to suit individual plantings. I keep many ingredients at the ready for building soils, but the basic building process usually starts with conifer bark and perlite. Sphagnum peat plays a secondary role in my container soils because it breaks down too quickly to suit me, and when it does, it impedes drainage and reduces aeration. Size matters. Partially composted conifer bark fines (pine is easiest to find and least expensive) works best in the following recipes, followed by uncomposted bark in the <3/8" range.

Bark fines of pine, fir or hemlock, 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 too quickly break down to a soup-like consistency. Conifer bark also contains suberin, a lipid sometimes referred to as nature's preservative. Suberin, more scarce as a presence in sapwood products and hardwood bark, dramatically slows the decomposition of conifer bark-based soils. It contains highly varied hydrocarbon chains and the microorganisms that turn peat to soup have great difficulty cleaving these chains - it retains its structure.

Note that there is no sand or compost in the soils I use. Sand, as most of you think of it, can improve drainage in some cases, but it reduces aeration by filling valuable macro-pores in soils. Unless sand particle size is fairly uniform and/or larger than about BB size, I leave it out of soils. Compost is too fine and unstable for me to consider using in soils in any significant volume as well. The small amount of micro-nutrients it supplies can easily be delivered by one or more of a number of chemical or organic sources that do not detract from drainage/aeration.

My Basic Soils ....

5 parts pine bark fines (partially composted fines are best)
1 part sphagnum peat (not reed or sedge peat please)
1-2 parts perlite
garden lime (or gypsum in some cases)
controlled release fertilizer (if preferred)

Big batch:
2-3 cu ft pine bark fines
5 gallons peat
5 gallons perlite
2 cups dolomitic (garden) lime (or gypsum in some cases)
2 cups CRF (if preferred)

Small batch:
3 gallons pine bark
1/2 gallon peat
1/2 gallon perlite
4 tbsp lime (or gypsum in some cases)
1/4 cup CRF (if preferred)

I have seen advice that some highly organic (practically speaking - almost all container soils are highly organic) container soils are productive for up to 5 years or more. I disagree and will explain why if there is interest. Even if you were to substitute fir bark for pine bark in this recipe (and this recipe will long outlast any peat based soil) you should only expect a maximum of two to three years life before a repot is in order. Usually perennials, including trees (they're perennials too) should be repotted more frequently to insure they can grow at as close to their genetic potential within the limits of other cultural factors as possible. If a soil is desired that will retain structure for long periods, we need to look more to inorganic components. Some examples are crushed granite, fine stone, VERY coarse sand (see above - usually no smaller than BB size in containers, please), Haydite, lava rock (pumice), Turface, calcined DE, and others.

For long term (especially woody) plantings and houseplants, I use a superb soil that is extremely durable and structurally sound. The basic mix is equal parts of pine bark, Turface, and crushed granite.

1 part uncomposted screened pine or fir bark (1/8-1/4")
1 part screened Turface
1 part crushed Gran-I-Grit (grower size) or #2 cherrystone
1 Tbsp gypsum per gallon of soil
CRF (if desired)

I use 1/8 -1/4 tsp Epsom salts (MgSO4) per gallon of fertilizer solution when I fertilize if the fertilizer does not contain Mg (check your fertilizer - if it is soluble, it is probable it does not contain Ca or Mg. If I am using my currently favored fertilizer (I use it on everything), Dyna-Gro's Foliage-Pro in the 9-3-6 formulation, and I don't use gypsum or Epsom salts in the fertilizer solution.

If there is interest, you'll find some of the more recent continuations of the thread at the links below:


Post XII

Post XI

Post X

Post IX


Post VII

If you feel you were benefited by having read this offering, you might also find this thread about Fertilizing Containerized Plants helpful, as well.

If you do find yourself using soils you feel are too water-retentive, You'll find some Help Dealing with Water-retentive Soils by following this embedded link.

If you happen to be at all curious about How Plant Gowth is Limited, just click the embedded link.

As always - best luck. Good growing!! Let me know if you think there is anything I might be able to help you with.



Perhaps one of the most important posts you will ever read. AL's GRITTY MIX
clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 04:15 am    last updated on: 08.28.2013 at 06:58 pm

RE: Questions about Ficus Elastica (Rubber Plant) (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: tapla on 07.10.2013 at 05:41 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Is the plant's capacity to support its unpruned upper compromised at all by any root pruning that takes place first? Yes, it is. To some degree that can be offset by siting the plant in the shade and keeping it out of the wind. Also, if you're repotting from a water-retentive soil to a well-aerated soil, the improvement in root function and the number of fine roots usually becomes quickly evident & additionally helps the recovery. If, for instance, you have a healthy 3 gallon tree and you reduce the roots by say 75%, you might need to remove a substantial volume of foliage to prevent the tree from seemingly indiscriminately shedding what it can't support. It's better to select the branches that don't compliment your vision for the tree's design than to let the tree decide. Also, you can partially defoliate if you remove a LOT of roots and the tree will quickly replace lost leaves as soon as the roots' ability to keep up with the canopy is back in balance. Everything revolves around the roots - the roots have to be able to support new growth before it can occur.

>> Best time to do extensive root work (repot) is between Father's Day - 4th of July.<<
Al, is this applicable to other trees or to other plants in general? I grow tropicals indoors with no direct light all year round. Does someone's zone affect this best repotting window?

Plants have internal clocks (search "endogenous rhythm" and/or "circadian rhythm") that tell them when they are supposed to grow. I keep all my tropical trees (about 75 of them) under lights in a basement grow area. There is only one window at the far end of the basement, so it supplies no usable light. Somehow, the trees know when the vernal equinox is eminent and begin to exhibit more vigorous growth, despite the only usable light they get is artificial and on a 16/8 schedule.

I don't think the Father's Day - July 4th rule of thumb is nearly as important if your trees were outdoors or living on sunlight, but I'd still say that even if there were no changes in artificial light intensity/duration throughout the year, that the time frame I suggested would still be the best time. If your trees grow actively all year and they're healthy under artificial light, repot any time you have a mind to. The most significant effect of that sort of 'out of season' repotting would probably be a little longer recovery before active growth can resume. For trees that AREN'T healthy, the timing is a more significant consideration.

I don't think a growers zone affects the best window much, but I would say that the closer to the equator you get, the wider the window becomes. In consideration of the best timing, I have a much narrower window than someone who lives in south FL or TX. Growers in those locales can repot with fast recovery anytime in Jun or July, and the effects of repotting in May or Aug - mid-Sep are much easier on the plant than they would be closer to the 40-45th parallels.



Original gritty mix and planting
clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 04:22 am    last updated on: 08.28.2013 at 06:57 pm

RE: Ut oh I've been bit! (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: lathyrus_odoratus on 10.16.2009 at 03:29 pm in African Violets Forum

Welcome to your new addiction! As Fred noted, many of us have it, too.

I'll second Fred's admonishment over isolation. To each of us this may mean something different. Because I am a bit paranoid AND I have a small house, I choose to isolate in plastic baggies - but that also means that I have to VERY carefully watch my watering or I'll kill them with too much moisture. Some people use another room, but I worry that I could easily transfer the pests on my person that way. At the least, get some covered clear containers that you can use to separate them from each other and your new plants.

It's especially hard when you first get started because you have some many new purchases from different places. I chose to buy a lot of leaves, hoping that I'd limit my exposure to some of the pests. Even with leaves, I still isolate them for at least two months.

Enjoy your new beauties. We'll look forward to hearing more from you in the near future.


isolate ... isolate ... ISOLATE
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RE: Potting Up (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: minimac on 10.18.2009 at 11:37 pm in African Violets Forum


Those are wicks. I use acrylic baby yarn 4 ply for standards that I split into 2 strands for minis and semis - cut about 8 ins. poke into hole in bottom of pot. I use solo cups. Melt holes in bottom of cup with soldering iron. Wrap yarn once around bottom let the rest hang below pot. Cut small piece of paper towel lay on top of yarn inside pot - this prevents soil from falling out of holes. Fill with wicking soil mix and plant. Submerge bottom of pot into water to get yarn and paper towel wet (wick must be wet before it can work)Then put it on reservoir. Reservoir - I use plastic container with a hole in top of lid (which I also melt with soldering iron) Put end of yarn though hole. End of yarn should touch bottom of reservoir which has water, fert. in it. Set solo cup on top making sure yarn is straight down hole and cup is not sitting on yarn. This is something to go by. There are also other ways to try. This so far is working for me. When you have several violets it saves a lot of time. Try it on a few at first. If your reservoir ever goes dry remember you must submerge the bottom of pot to get wick wet again, or top water making sure wick is wet. Good luck.


wicking plants
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RE: Perfect potting station (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: nwgatreasures on 10.27.2009 at 01:53 pm in African Violets Forum

I think I'd value any of the following:

-comfy chair that supports my back so the long hours of play/potting would be comfortable
- good music source (I prefer an iPod)
- a place to store the various tools that I use and have them within arm's reach and visible so I don't have to go looking for them
- a place for my AV buddy to join me if we want
- a container that holds soil to get me through a few weeks/months of repotting so I don't have to continually make my "mix"
- separate tray to hold my chemicals for prevention/treatment and the measuring devices for those chemicals
- place to store pots/supplies that I use
- place to hold the water (or at least a gallon or two)
- in the surface, I'd prefer a 'hole' so that I could sweep the used soil, trash, clippings, groomed parts, etc right off into the trash.
- a roll of freezer paper or blank newsprint so that when I'm needing a new/un-infected surface, I could just reach up/over and pull new paper to cover my planting surface
- a place to post inspirational pictures of various flowers, ribbons, etc...things that could keep me going

those are a few ideas off the top of my head. How wonderful to be able to have a dedicated "space" for a potting area. When we add our addition within the next 4-5 years, I'll have an entire upstairs room section that will house my plant stands and a potting area. Hopefully, by then, you'll have all the kinks worked out and I can copy yours, LOL

Be sure to share pictures, ok?


more potting ideas
clipped on: 08.28.2013 at 01:20 am    last updated on: 08.28.2013 at 01:21 am

RE: Perfect potting station (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: irina_co on 10.25.2009 at 05:02 pm in African Violets Forum

Barbara -

I have a small growing room in a basement - where I have a regular metal office desk - they were throwing the old ones at work - a narrow metal shelving on the top - and a potting tray. I swear by potting tray. I put some newspapers on the bottom - and just roll the top layer off every so often.
The main thing - you need to have a lot of shelves around - for clean pots, whatnots etc. You need to have a bucket for trash, a bucket for dirty pots and a low bench or box for the tray with repotted plants. I would say that if you can get a roll of linoleum to cover the area around your table -it helps too.

Do not forget a radio/clock.


Here is a link that might be useful: potting tray


potting area
clipped on: 08.28.2013 at 01:07 am    last updated on: 08.28.2013 at 01:07 am

Perfect potting station

posted by: bspofford on 10.24.2009 at 09:52 pm in African Violets Forum

I'm looking for some ideas for the new potting area I am going to have.

I currently do all my potting at the kitchen table. It has been great because there is lots of room, but it's the first thing you see when you come in the ell door. (Most New Englanders seem to have no use for a front door other than to hang a Christmas wreath on it.) Because I work with my plants a lot, it is usually somewhat messy looking, but I really don't want to pick up and stow everything every time I use it.

I have ample space in an extra bedroom used for an office, with an existing full wall of shelving where I have more plants. I am going to move the potting area to this room.

I will have a table that is 34"x34" and it will take a leaf if I want to expand it. The available space is 57" wide and I plan to put the table up aginst the wall. To my right is the wall of shelves with the plants on them, and to my left is the peninsula of a u-shaped desk. Hopefully you can visualize the space now.

If you were making your perfect potting area, what would you be sure to include?




potting station idea
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RE: Ut oh I've been bit! (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: okie_deb on 10.16.2009 at 07:13 pm in African Violets Forum

To cover isolation this is what I'm doing (and will do in the future). For awhile now I have been collecting beef jerky containers and other such containers from my near by quick shop. I started looking around while waiting in line and noticed all the possible terrarium possibilities. I asked the owner if she would start saving them for me and she did. I have all sizes. From plastic big pickle jars down to short beef jerky containers. If a violet won't fit in one of the containers I have the trusty gallon zip locks.
I have 5 mini's in a big round banana bite container with a lid. 2 more are in their separate gallon zip lock bags.
It's been years since I tried my hand at AV leaves but I think after soaking them in VF-11 for any stress I will try a dunk in the Bayer Rose and systemic to kill anything on the leaf. I wouldn't dunk the cut end just the leaf and stem. I'll let ya'll know how it does once I have leaves to dunk and try it on. haha. But it would kill anything crawly and alive.
The Russian Cosmic Legend 2 came and in bloom to boot. The flowers are actually as bright and beautifully colored as in pictures on the net! It's one to look into if you like the fantasy type. Alliance is very striking as well! It came also today.
Still have more coming and will let you know my thoughts when they get here.,,,,,Debbie


jerky 'tainers as iso wards
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RE: Ut oh I've been bit! (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: okie_deb on 10.16.2009 at 03:24 pm in African Violets Forum

Barbara - My mix for my Hoya's consist of potting soil, orchid bark and perlite so way different than for AVs. My Hoya's in the PB pots stay fairly damp but the orchid bark helps with that. I really yet don't know how the AVs will do but if you think of it the PB pots are no different than a self watering pot. So as long as you never water from the top and only into the reservoir these should stay evenly moist. The water will be draw up as needed by having the bottle spout right against the bottom of the reservoir.
I have made the PB pots with the holes burned in around the spout and without. I see no difference. The spout seems to do well enough if the soil is packed hard into the spout. I use my thumb and really pack it hard. The packed soil acts as a wick would to draw the water as needed. I think it would be best to use a potting mix with less perlite in the spout area for drawing reasons. You could use your regular more perlite mix above the spout in the growing area.
The problem is going to be finding small bottles for the mini and semi mini's. The 2 empty bottles my friend sent from Sweden are 2 inches across the bottom so perfect size for these. A mature standard could go into the 2 liter I am guessing. Ok all you constant drink bottle in hand people do you know of any perfectly straight small plastic bottles with no bulge around the rim before the spout we could use for the mini's??
Now that I think of it if a person could use a tiny drill bit in the lid you could thread a wick through the lid up into the soil planting area! That would be no different than how your most likely growing now! Duh me for not thinking of that before! haha.
Just imagine a mini or semi mini trailer in a small PB pot cascading down the side of the bottle! No need for a stand for awhile since the bottle sits up higher than a pot! I think it would be a very nice sight in bloom!
I am just getting into the AVs again so have no extra's yet to play with this all. But I guarantee you when I do from propagation I will.
Think of when you go on trips! No worries how the AVs are doing or if Hanna Neighbor is over watering them!

Dognapper2 - Thanks for the link! No telling what I will come up with after reading it! haha. I do have 2 young grandkids so will save the link for when they are older. They are 19 months and almost 2 months now!

Let me know what ya'll think of all this!,,,,Debbie


more pop bottle 'gainer thots
clipped on: 08.27.2013 at 06:09 am    last updated on: 08.27.2013 at 06:09 am

'Confessions Of A Plant Geek' Blog

posted by: Don_in_Colorado on 08.26.2013 at 08:13 pm in Hosta Forum

Just stumbled across this blogspot. Some of you may already know of it. A little info and some pics from the 2013 National convention, among a lot of other nice stuff.

Don B.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to the blogspot


cool link
clipped on: 08.27.2013 at 12:09 am    last updated on: 08.27.2013 at 12:10 am

RE: When to water a violet, is this true? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: fred_hill on 09.23.2009 at 09:00 pm in African Violets Forum

You ahould water an AV when thne soil is dry down about an inch from the top. Waiting for the leaves to will will put undue stress on the plant and cause it to go into shock. ITs then that a plant will start to sucker more.
Fred in NJ


and suckering
clipped on: 08.26.2013 at 11:17 pm    last updated on: 08.26.2013 at 11:17 pm

Bottle Biology (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: dognapper2 on 10.16.2009 at 01:39 pm in African Violets Forum

My daughter used the Bottle Biology design for growing Tomato plants for her 6th grade Science Fair project (she's 26 now ;).
You could use the same 1:1:1 mix as it is simply a wicking process using several cuts from recycled bottles.

You probably would not want to add all the sugar, salt, vinegar, oil, etc to the water as her experiment did.
But you'll be happy to know the one with Miracle Grow did the best. Big surprise!

There is a book with lots of ideas as well if you have a kid in need of a Science project; compost, worm farm, ecotat, fish bowl - okay maybe not the fish! Seems cruel.
Highly recommend otherwise!

Here is a link that might be useful: Bottle Biology


bottle biology link
clipped on: 08.26.2013 at 09:40 pm    last updated on: 08.26.2013 at 09:40 pm

RE: Ut oh I've been bit! (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: okie_deb on 10.15.2009 at 10:24 pm in African Violets Forum

Nice to meet you Fred! I've seen your posts while reading old threads. Thank you for your offer of help when needed!
I have these all in a terrarium by themselves for the time being.
I need to get my husband eating some yogurt so I can use the containers as reservoirs for my new babies. I also have a friend in Sweden that sent me some small empty water bottles so I can make self watering pots from them. The small bottles in the USA tend to bow out so the spout won't fit right into the bottom of the bottle. I use PB pots (pop bottle) for a bunch of my Hoya's. They are in 2 litter bottles. They are a recycle way to make self watering pots. I posted a link below in case anyone is interested. I think standard violets might do well in these.
I grew violets some 12 years ago and they did well and bloomed for me. I managed a greenhouse at that time and we had an older gentleman that came in and donated time now and then. He was into AVs and gave some leaves to the nursery so while propagating for the nursery I started a couple myself from leaves. I did so enjoy them then and am sure I will now also.
The violets came in a very perlite type potting mixture. Very light and airy. They were dry from the trip so I gave them a bit of VF-11 water. VF-11 helps with stress in plants. My Hoya's love it! It's not a fertilizer but nutrients and vitamins.
I take Bayer Rose and put it a tablespoon in a 2 liter pop bottle and let it sit and start dissolving and water my Hoya's and houseplants with this. It has a systemic in it. Will this be ok for the new violets too? It's very diluted. I use it to keep mealies and such off the Hoya's.
Thanks for the welcome!,,,,Debbie

Here is a link that might be useful: Pop Bottle Pots (PB pots) link


pop bottle pots
clipped on: 08.26.2013 at 09:35 pm    last updated on: 08.26.2013 at 09:35 pm

RE: AV health appears to be headed south (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: irina_co on 06.10.2013 at 05:56 pm in African Violets Forum

Shadonar - hello -

First - I think your wife is very lucky to have you - you are both - a romantic person and a handyman. ( I do not know what are your skills in fixing the plumbing - but your desire to figure out what makes the plant grow right - tells me about the logical approach to the issue).

Second - you already got 5 replies with bunch of useful information. There are also Q&A on Gardenweb on a main page of AV forum you can read - and there is a site I am going to give a link below.

Third - the recipe

soil - peat perlite vermiculite 1:1:1, repot every 6 months
air - soil should be light - 50% of the soil is air.
PH 6.3-6.8
Temperature 65-80F
Light - 400-800 foot candles for 12 hours a day
Water with AV fertilizer 1/4 of a teaspoon per gallon all the time, water temperature=room temperature, good water - like the drinking water you can get in a store.
Watering - should be barely moist - not dry - never wet.

Fourth - how are you going to achieve it - or close to it - read the material.

Six - your issues - you already got them explained by other members - but in a short -
your pot is way too large - your plant is overwatered -
your soil is not light enough -your plant needs a better lighter soil

Provided you work the kinks out - your wife will have a supply of blooming plants all the time - and you will develop your own routine - that will work in your conditions.

Keep the Good Works!


Here is a link that might be useful: violet newbie 101


irina's ABCs of AV
clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 11:29 pm    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 11:29 pm

RE: Greetings... my journey thus far. (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: nwgatreasures on 11.22.2009 at 11:37 am in African Violets Forum

I don't know about your local club, but ours carries almost all of the treatments/preventatives that we have spoken about on this board. That may be a more practical way for you to get your hands on this stuff.

When I bring things in, I put them in the isolation area for about a week (untouched) and give them time to acclamate to my growing environment. If they came with blooms, I take a picture of the plant and save it on my computer with the name/date and then remove ALL blooms and any buds/beginnings of buds.

After a week-10 days, If they are looking like they are ok, then I will repot them into my soiless mix and dr them with preventative stuff. I try to remove as much of the original soil as possible and really take a good look at the root ball, plant and leaves. If any more buds are coming up, I will remove them at that time again. i still keep them in the isolation area.

I have become a real stickler about planting only on fruitful days (and admit that sometimes things get neglected because of my schedule and not being able to play in the dirt on those days).

I will try to check the plant about another month after the repotting and if all appears well (visibly and growth wise) then I will usually put it on my shelf upstairs (the less valuable/non blooming things are up there). Once it begins to bloom, I try to move it to my downstairs stand in my kitchen so I can enjoy it every day.

My AV dirt buddy fusses at me for not planting when things need it but sometimes I am not home for longer periods of time and when it comes to choosing between sleep and planting - I will most often always choose sleep. Besides, then there would be nothign for me and her to do when we get together, LOL.

Check your local group. I bet Bob would be able to answer the question about which supplies that club has to offer.



how dora does it
clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 05:51 pm    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 05:52 pm

RE: Taking on Gritty Mix (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: Sugi_C on 03.01.2013 at 07:15 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Hi R -

It's not obvious AT ALL, haha. I've been reading and reading on this forum for a month and finally felt like I (might) know what to do and attempted it. I'd have felt better if someone who uses it confirmed that I have the right pieces -- but alas, it was time to make the jump. :-)

So, to explain -- and if I am mistaken, I am sure someone will correct me....

You can see the differently sized pieces of Turface below:
All of the little pieces should be removed, and all the larger pieces -- you will keep.

And then as part of the mix I put together after sifting:
Kumquat Tree in Al's Gritty Mix

All three components used in the mix shown have a lot of dust, and "smaller than desired" particles. For example, when the bark was sifted, out came a mountain of "bark powder" and tiny bits of bark that were in the bag from, I assume, the shredding process. Planted in the ground, it's less of an issue, but for Al's gritty mix -- the concept is to provide air (and thereby "space") within the soil/medium so roots can freely and healthily grow.

So if you imagine a clear cup and you throw in some small rocks, small pieces of bark and small pebbles of Turface (shown at 9:00 in the original photo -- ridiculously small) -- then you can push it down, shake it down and still you will have space where the rocks are up against the bark, which is surrounded by Turface pieces, right? That's what you want with this mix -- room for roots to cleanly and swiftly grow within the mix.

If these smaller particles and powder are NOT sifted out appropriately (and by no means do I kid myself thinking I got it all out) and are just used in this mix -- then they (the small bits and massive amounts of dust/powder) will settle into those spaces, creating a more typical soil-like environment eventually -- and thereby defeating the entire purpose of this gritty mix. I think Al consistently notes that if this (or mixing in compost, soil or what have you) is what you will do, you might as well use potting soil as this mix will end up "perching water" at the bottom of the pot due to the density of the "soil" down there -- and not having perched water in this mix is the very objective of this mix.

So, while it was a step I had hoped to skip due to not wanting the mess (my place looked like a meth lab yesterday and I'm still cleaning), it quickly became clear that I could not. Also, with bark -- you sift and then you should also remove the oddly large pieces to keep it pretty uniform.

After half a day of it and transplanting/repotting a bunch of plants, I caved and invested in bonsai sieves to make this process easier and hopefully cleaner. I started with a kitchen colander, then ran to OSH and while looking at screens, I had this brilliant idea to use these extendable window screens that were really cheap as a rectangular sieve. It works -- but my GOD, it's messy. So by nightfall, I bought the sieves and hope to make plenty more mix next week when it arrives. God bless Amazon.

Anyway -- here are some images of what got planted yesterday and this morning. The Dracaena and pitiful Azalea are planted in Al's 5:1:1 mix, and the remainder are in the gritty mix -- I just chose based on my own discretion.

The azalea shown below (in 5:1:1) is the only one that I pruned pretty hard on top as my friend was on the verge of throwing it out last week when I took it. It's coming back okay but it did need better soil than what it was in.
So far -- nothing is suffering, nobody has drooped or croaked on me and after a massive watering yesterday, all are still nicely moist today! It's really quite beautiful -- much more so than soil -- and I love that it won't harbor fungus gnats no matter how wet.

I should have probably waited to repot the ficus but that soil was definitely a little too wet. As you can see, I tied it together a little bit because it's too top heavy to stand securely right now, but hopefully, when it begins to root, it'll become more secure.

I would be having a blast if I had (1) a yard and (2) storage to premake this concoction, but oh well.







clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 05:13 am    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 05:13 am

Taking on Gritty Mix

posted by: Sugi_C on 02.28.2013 at 02:15 pm in Container Gardening Forum

These are the times when the less you read, the better off you probably are. But I can't unread what I've read, so for the last few days, I've felt compelled to attempt this gritty mix.

I have mixed feelings about Al right now, haha. I love his brain and knowledge but I'm pondering not reading his posts anymore lest this kill all of my otherwise perfectly fine plants because I tinker with them again and again due to learning something new! :-D (Kidding, Al. About me not reading -- not about me potentially killing my plants, which I very well may do at this rate.)

Mind you, I live in a 2 bedroom condo. I have two small balconies, no hose, and slight and non-diagnosed OCD issue with keeping the house clean, and sifting or watering over the railing is not quite as easy to do with two layers of plants hanging off the railing.

But I'm nothing if not a glutton for punishment, so I spent 4.5 hours yesterday driving around the Bay Area to procure the components needed. It was quite a sight to see me, who friends normally label with "princess syndrome" or "prissy", at best, shoveling up ROCKS from piles high as buildings at a landscape supply company. Quite a sight. And, after two scoops, I'd also have to google something else about Al's Gritty Mix, unsure if I was really buying the right thing or not.

Anyway, below is what I did buy.

Does the sizing look okay to all who are familiar with this?

In the photo to the left, at 12:00 is the fir bark (1/4").
At 3:00, is the 1/4" quartz.
At 6:00 is a significantly more pricey but pretty La Paz 1/4".
And at 9:00 is the ever elusive Turface which I finally found at Ewing Irrigation after driving to TWO John Deere locations that didn't have them in stock.

My intent, for purely aesthetic reasons, is to mix the La Paz and Quartz for the gritty portion of this mix. I'm presuming this is not a problem, and I liked that these two had CONSIDERABLY less dust and "bits" than the crushed granite that was also available.

As mentioned, sifting the way you guys do is really not a viable option for me right now. I will wash everything and manually remove what I can that's too small. But otherwise, this attempt will be made without the exorbitant sifting portion. I did what I could to pick the most equally-sized bits I could.

I just repotted a huge majority of my plants in a variation of the 5:1:1 mix and I'll have to hold myself back from redoing those for the moment until I can see I made this mix properly. (Then, all bets are off and I will probably repot those, too. You see what I mean? I am killing my plants!) I do have some succulents, a young kumquat tree and a Croton that need repotting. Washing the soil out of these will be an adventure....

Wish me luck!!



clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 05:12 am    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 05:12 am

RE: Question re: watering Al's gritty mix (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: loveplants2 on 07.07.2013 at 12:35 am in Container Gardening Forum

Hi EB!!!

Sounds like you have done your search and have found a wonderful mix that will make your plants very happy but most of all very healthy!!!

When you water with the Gritty mix, it will take some time to get comfortable on when and how to water. This is the best time to learn to water in the summer, since the water can drain outside without the worry of collecting the extra water inside during the winter. So, once you get the feel, it will be easier to water in the winter.

I will offer my 2 cents as far as how I water using the Gritty Mix. When I water, I use a watering can that has a small water spout that allows a small amount of water to come from the container. This will allow a small amount to be added to your containers instead of a large spray or just a huge amount at one time to pour on the surface. This will be easier to water over the entire surface of the container so you can get all of the mix moist. You don't have to add huge amounts of water all at once. Just use a controlled nozzle and add water to the entire area and let it drain from the bottom. Sometimes it will drain pretty quickly and seem to just run through.. that is why I water slowly.. i usually will water this way and move on to others containers and continue to water in the same manner. It is best to come back through and give it one more pass to make sure the particles get the proper moisture... I usually will add the foliage pro after the first watering. Then I know the mix is moist and then when I go back and add the next batch.. it is with fertilizer. I stop when I see it starting to come from the drainage holes.

It isn't a good idea to reuse the water coming from the bottom of the collected drainage.. since you are trying to flush out any build up of salts that are in your container..Think of it as "used" water and that you don't want to give your trees water that is used and full of things that you re trying to get rid of. You can always add it to the garden if you feel like you don't want to waste it, but I wouldn't add it back to the container.. Nope.. I wouldn't!!! ;-)

If you are worried about the deck and stains or the drainage issue.. you can always use the collection tray , but make sure you raise your container so it doesn't sit in the water. You could use blocks to raise your continer.. or large bottle caps.. I know Al uses some type of inch high aluminum to rise his trays in the winter to keep them out of the water. You could be creative to find things to lift the container.. In the winter, I use water bottle caps under the containers 4-6 per container. I then let the water evaporate and not worry.

When you are concerned about when to water, use the wooden dowel method.. If it is moist or wet, don't water.. if dry water. In the summer, I don't worry about over watering in the Gritty Mix.. I just know when my trees and plants want water and I give it to them. I personally use the hose with a special nozzle to give a gentle spray. Then I will fill watering cans with water and FP and fertilize once a week..when the mix is moist.

I hope this helps..

Please ask questions.. We have all been here and we all like to help!!! ;-)




clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 04:32 am    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 04:32 am

My first Gritty Mix and screening (how-to pics)

posted by: tcleigh on 08.25.2011 at 10:27 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Hello all--

Well, I finally did it. After reading about Al's Gritty Mix for the last two years, today I finally got up the motivation to track down the supplies and make some for myself.

Some other posters have previously expressed intimidation at the prospect of beginning the Gritty Mix process. Let me say that I shared this initial intimidation, which is probably why I waited so long to make Gritty Mix of my own. In the end, however, I'm glad I undertook this task and I look forward to it paying off with my plants.

In this thread I want to detail my personal experience with obtaining the Gritty Mix supplies and actually making the mix. I hope that some of the more experienced forum members will be able to identify any mistakes I made or supply helpful hints as to how to go about the process more efficiently in the future. I also want this thread to serve as somewhat of a how-to for those that are toying with the idea of making their own Gritty Mix, in effect de-mystifying the whole process. I wholeheartedly invite commentary and suggestions from anyone interested in this subject.


I began by locating the mix materials (see pic): crushed granite, turface, and fir bark. I'm happy to say that I was able to find all the materials in my vicinity. That is not always that case, however, and there are other threads that discuss different substitutes for these materials if they are not available in your area. I myself just moved to RI from GA, so finding these materials was a good exercise in getting my bearings in RI/MA.

Crushed granite -- I found this at a local feed store for use with poultry. It's called Gran-i-grit as you can see from the pictures. I made sure to examine the particle size before buying (see pic). I looked for Manna Pro brand, but only found Mount Airy. I don't think the brand matters at all. I got a 50 lb. bag for $10.

Turface -- I found this, like many other forum members, at a local John Deere Landscaping store. A 50 lb. bag sold for $17.

Fir bark -- Al discusses pine bark fines in his post "Container Soils: Water Retention and Movement", but many have used fir bark with good results and it was really easy to find fir bark at a local Petsmart. It's called Reptibark and it comes pre-screened in 24 qt. bags which sell for $12, if I remember correctly.

After I had gathered these materials, I went to Lowe's to buy the supplies to make a screening basket. The idea here is to wash your mix materials to eliminate dust and small particles which will retain too much water, defeating the whole purpose of the Gritty Mix. Here's what I bought at Lowe's:

--1 pine board (2x4x10) cut into 4 equal pieces (30 in. each)
*In retrospect, I probably only needed a 2x4x8 board
--8 three-inch wood screws
--Aluminum screening (found in the door/window section)

All of this cost me $14. I already had a staple gun and drill at home, but if you don't, you'll need some way of connecting the boards and screen.

Then I went home and assembled the screening box (see pics). This was a very simple process and anyone could do it.

First I assembled my materials:
I then used the wood screws to secure the planks to each other, making a perfect square:

I then laid out my aluminum screening and cut off the right amount. The screening basket will be stronger if you wrap the screening around the sides of the basket:

This shows the gauge size of the screening:

I then used my staple gun to secure the screening to the wooden box. Be sure to make the screen as taut as you can:

When you're finished, you're left with a screening basket:

As I currently have very little outside space, I chose to do the screening in my bathroom. I somehow convinced my fiancee that this was necessary, but, in the end, I probably won't do it that way again. It wasn't overly messy, but there is certainly that potential and if you can do it outside or in a utility sink, that would definitely be preferable.

I used a 2-qt. pitcher to keep my ratios (1:1:1) correct:

I set my screening box upside-down across my tub. I turned it upside down because it can hold more weight that way and because it made it easier to transfer the screened material to a plastic tub that I had placed underneath:

I then laid out 2 qts. of Turface and 2 qts. of crushed granite on top of the screening basket. I chose not to screen the bark because Reptibark comes pre-washed but other barks might need to be screened:
The basket easily handled the weight of these materials combined.

Then, using my movable shower head, I began rinsing the materials and working my hands through them to aid the screening process.

Here is a pic of the dust and fine particles you're trying to get rid of during screening:
*Note: Don't let these particles go down your drain! I used some surplus aluminum screen to cover my drain.

When I was done screening one round, I was too impatient to let it dry, so I transferred it damp into a plastic container.

I'll be using this mix in the next couple of days, but if you plan on storing for long periods, the mix should be allowed to dry.

I then added equal parts of the fir bark and my mix was complete! I was left with a decision to make: which plant to re-pot first. I sought out the Gritty Mix materials specifically for a ficus b. that desperately needs repotting, but it was getting late and I thought I'd save that for tomorrow. I settled on a strange little bald cypress tree. This tree was trunk cut for bonsai-ing 2 years ago, but I haven't had the time to devote to bonsai so I just let it grow out and I now like its unusual appearance. I need to do some pruning around the trunk base, but I'll take care of that tomorrow.

Anyway, the only ceramic pot I had available was a little too small for this specimen, but I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to practice root pruning, another thing I have long feared. I took the cypress out of its nursery pot and gently began working away the soil. When I had worked most of it away, I got the hose and washed the rest off. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the root ball before pruning but this is what I was left with:
I'd say I removed about 40% of the total root structure.

I then proceeded to pot it in the Gritty Mix and this is how it turned out:

The only thing I'm concerned about is the root coverage. As I said, the pot I transferred the cypress into was a bit too small, so I'm considering taking it out again in the next few days and do some more root pruning. I think this cypress wants to extend its roots, so a more severe root prune might be in order if I'm going to keep it in this pot.

Is it okay to leave a main root hanging out like that? It king of looks cool, but I certainly don't want to keep it that way if it's not healthy for the plant. Suggestions?

I have a lot of fig trees, succulents, and other houseplants that I can't wait to transfer to the Gritty Mix in the next few days!


--I know gypsum was in the original Gritty Mix recipe. Is this something I can add later?

--Is it advisable to use a generic water-soluble fertilizer with plants in the Gritty Mix? Any other suggestions regarding supplements?

So far this has been a rewarding and promising endeavor and I encourage those of you considering Gritty Mix to go for it! It's really not that hard and it's all a learning experience.

Feel free to respond with comments, suggestions, alternative techniques, or feeding tips.

Buena suerte!


clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 04:10 am    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 04:10 am

RE: Pine Bark Fines (Follow-Up #55)

posted by: serge94501 on 07.20.2013 at 08:33 pm in Container Gardening Forum

I just want to verify that this stuff is good for the "5" in the 5-1-1 mix.

...walked right by it at HD. DOH!


for al's gritty mix HD product
clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 03:48 am    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 03:49 am

RE: Pine Bark Fines (Follow-Up #34)

posted by: rnewste on 03.28.2010 at 01:31 am in Container Gardening Forum


After 31 different conbination trials of Turface, Cactus Mix, Redwood Compost, Potting Mix, Bark Fines, Perlite, etc, for a SWC application (and this may be totally different than your needs) but for what it is worth, I have determined that a 3:2:1 ratio of Potting Mix, Bark Fines and Perlite work best for me.


This is a Cherokee Purple tomato plant that is green from top to bottom. Again, your specific plant and watering technique may be different from this, but I simply post this as a point of reference.



3-2-1 ratio
clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 03:32 am    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 03:33 am

RE: Pine Bark Fines (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: jojosplants on 03.25.2010 at 10:24 am in Container Gardening Forum

Some people use it, but it is very unpredictable. Most of the time it breaks down as you say. Al suggests you freeze it over night, then see how stable it is by rubbing it between your fingers. If it is crumbly or a grey film comes off on your finger its no good.

I tried this, and the oil-dry just wasn't going to work.

Alot do use the Nappa Auto Parts brand floor dry. part # 8822.



clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 03:28 am    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 03:28 am

RE: Pine Bark Fines (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: lathyrus_odoratus on 03.24.2010 at 03:50 am in Container Gardening Forum

Since this is about pine bark fines, I wanted to share and experience and see what the community knows that can help me.

I bought pine bark fines at a local nursery, I don't recall the brand. I made 5-1-1 and gritty mix. I instantly killed the first African violet I placed in the gritty. I decided it was because I hadn't sifted everything, so I sifted.

The next plant died.

Since then, I've tested at least 15 AVs varying in size from just removed from the propagating leaf to ones with at least 19 leaves, and I've not had much success. The plant starts out fine. It grows initially. Within about 3-4 weeks, it's stopped growing. By 4-5 weeks, the outer leaves are soft and floppy. By 5-6 weeks, the inner leaves are soft and floppy.

If I take them out before they die I see the same thing each time: dead roots. They are soft, brown and easily pull off. When I repot these plants into a 70/30 perlite/peat mix, they start to respond in about 3 weeks and by about 8-12 weeks they are back to normal. I can see root growth in about 3-5 weeks - nice, white roots.

I use a wick for drainage and to verify the soil mix is dry before I water, so I am not over watering. I'm not under watering because I check them daily and these are small plants with small root systems, so they rarely need water more than every other day. I've sifted the ingredients, used exactly what was recommended here, the bark is the size as shown in the pictures, I have added what I'm supposed to such as gypsum, etc.

At one point I thought I'd figured it out. I thought the pH was too low as at 5.5 (testing the water after letting the water sit in the mix for about 10 minutes). I added lime to move the pH about 6.3 and tried again. Unfortunately, I just took those plants out of the mix about 1-2 weeks ago. Same problem. (And to those to whom I've promised young plants, please know that these are now a month behind because they didn't grow at all for the last month and will now take a month to start growing again.)

I still wonder if it's a pH issue. The bark tests 3.8 pH or thereabouts. That seems awfully low to me. I'm clutching at straws, but if the bark was resting against the roots, could it be so acidic that it harms them?

I created a mix tonight of screened oil-dri, perlite, granite and Growrocks. I thought I'd try a barkless mix just to see if the bark is somehow implicated. I won't know for at least 4 weeks after I plant something in it, however, if it's made any difference.


clipped on: 08.25.2013 at 03:26 am    last updated on: 08.25.2013 at 03:26 am

RE: Can you recommend any large African violets? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: irina_co on 06.30.2008 at 03:07 pm in African Violets Forum


Do not even put cyclamen and AV in one sentence. Cyclamens carry cyclamen mites - which are death to AV violets.

Usually large flowers come with a large plant. They can be single or double. Single I can think of right now - Rainman- blue star with white edge, Opera Romeo blue-white edge - fantasy, Super-Duper - huge very double pink, Beachcomber - semi-double white with blue shades.... these what I grow - there are many more of them - but the varieties I mentioned- the plants themselves can be easily grown to 20 inches in diameter and the leaves will cover most of the palm.

Good luck -

and do not mention cyclamens!



Large AVs
clipped on: 08.24.2013 at 12:42 pm    last updated on: 08.24.2013 at 12:42 pm

RE: RO water and repotting (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: lucille on 07.11.2008 at 07:11 pm in African Violets Forum

Reverse osmosis
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Reverse osmosis (RO) is a separation process that uses pressure to force a solution through a membrane that retains the solute on one side and allows the pure solvent to pass to the other side. More formally, it is the process of forcing a solvent from a region of high solute concentration through a membrane to a region of low solute concentration by applying a pressure in excess of the osmotic pressure. This is the reverse of the normal osmosis process, which is the natural movement of solvent from an area of low solute concentration, through a membrane, to an area of high solute concentration when no external pressure is applied. The membrane here is semipermeable, meaning it allows the passage of solvent but not of solute.

The membranes used for reverse osmosis have a dense barrier layer in the polymer matrix where most separation occurs. In most cases the membrane is designed to allow only water to pass through this dense layer while preventing the passage of solutes (such as salt ions). This process requires that a high pressure be exerted on the high concentration side of the membrane, usually 2�17 bar (30�250 psi) for fresh and brackish water, and 40�70 bar (600�1000 psi) for seawater, which has around 24 bar (350 psi) natural osmotic pressure which must be overcome.

This process is best known for its use in desalination (removing the salt from sea water to get fresh water), but it has also been used to purify fresh water for medical, industrial and domestic applications since the early 1970s.

When two solutions with different concentrations of a solute are mixed, the total amount of solutes in the two solutions will be equally distributed in the total amount of solvent from the two solution.

Instead of mixing the two solutions together, they can be put in two compartments where they are separated from each other by a semipermeable membrane. The semipermeable membrane does not allow the solutes to move from one compartment to the other, but allows the solvent to move. Since equilibrium cannot be achieved by the movement of solutes from the compartment with high solute concentration to the one with low solute concentration, it is instead achieved by the movement of the solvent from areas of low solute concentration to areas of high solute concentration. When the solvent moves away from low concentration areas, it causes these areas to become more concentrated. On the other side, when the solvent moves into areas of high concentration, solute concentration will decrease. This process is termed osmosis. The tendency for solvent to flow through the membrane can be expressed as "osmotic pressure", since it is analogous to flow caused by a pressure differential.

In reverse osmosis, in a similar setup as that in osmosis, pressure is applied to the compartment with high concentration. In this case, there are two forces influencing the movement of water: the pressure caused by the difference in solute concentration between the two compartments (the osmotic pressure) and the externally applied pressure.


Reverse Osmosis [RO] 'splained
clipped on: 08.24.2013 at 12:38 pm    last updated on: 08.24.2013 at 12:38 pm

RE: gritty mix questions (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: loveplants2 on 01.09.2012 at 09:59 am in Plumeria Forum

Hi Brian!!!

I use the Gran-i-grit crushed granite (chicken grit some call it) in the "grower size". I found mine at a local feed and seed store. Farmers use this with the poulty industry in the aid of digestion for poulty.

Others use Cherrystone #2 and they like that as well.

I would like to find another source of Pine Bark Fines myself, but i do use the Repti bark by Zoo Med for my Fir bark. I have heard of other growers use it straight from the bag, but i do like to screen mine using the 1/4 screen. I do lose about 1/3 of the bag with the larger parts. But i do use these leftover pieces and sprinkle them on the top of the containers just to use all of the product.

I have enclosed some picstures of my Screens that my DH made from pics that i found on line from what AL had made. My DH made them a little large... : ) But they work very well. I really only use the 1/4 inch screen more than the other screens and use a strainer that i picked up at the kitchen store to screen the dust from my Turface and the Gran-i-grit.

Here are some pics that i hope will help you!!!

Good luck!!

Im sure you will enjoy this mix. I know that i really like it and my DR's have grown like crazy and my Plumies really like it too!

Let me know if you need help!!!

Take care,





Mix in portions

Mixed together

I also do use the 1-1-1 ratio when making my mix

1 part turface
1 part granigrit
1 part fir bark

But in the spring when i make more mix ...i am going to change to this ... 4-3-2

4 parts turface
3 parts fir bark
2 parts granigrit

This gritty mix works can change to this ratio for the hot climate here. I will keep the DR in the 1-1-1 and the Plumiera in the 4-3-2

Tip.... i also like to spritz the mix before i pot up. This gets some moisture in the bark and keeps it all seperated when im using the mix... : )

Here is a picture just to keep us thinking spring!!!
One of my favorites.. Lani


Hope this help Brian!!!



clipped on: 08.24.2013 at 12:47 am    last updated on: 08.24.2013 at 12:47 am

RE: Zip Lock Bags and covering (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: irina_co on 03.14.2008 at 01:41 pm in African Violets Forum

Kathy -

there are 2 different issues. If you repotted your plant, rerooted the crown or put leaves down - it will help to put your plant or plants under the dome or in a plasic baggie - usually 2 weeks is enough- then you can start opening your ziplock bag or dome gradually adjusting the plant to outside air - in a week. Leaves - you can keep them covered until the babies show up.

Isolation - the best is to keep the new plant isolated for 3 months. Another room works OK. You can use a tray and a tall dome - if you need to keep new plants on the same shelf. I do not think that a ziplock bag will be convenient for such a long period of time.

Good luck



Zip bags for isolation, ICU
clipped on: 08.23.2013 at 01:31 pm    last updated on: 08.23.2013 at 01:32 pm

RE: wasp AF (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: seattlemarigene on 03.28.2008 at 09:42 pm in African Violets Forum

I have several wasp violets.If you want I can send you some leaves.I just had a Senk fantasy wasp bloom and Im totally in love with the spoon/bustle back leaves.I have several other wasp violets too....My email is if you want to send me your address...:0)...marigene


clipped on: 08.23.2013 at 01:04 pm    last updated on: 08.23.2013 at 01:05 pm

RE: mixing perlite uniformly in blends (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: bspofford on 03.12.2008 at 07:05 pm in African Violets Forum

When I mix up a batch, I use the gray tubs that are used for bussing tables. I wet the perlite (with the kitchen sink sprayer)AFTER I measure it and put it gently in the tub. This keeps the dust down. I then add the peat and vermiculite, add some warm water, and mix with my hands. Add more warm water as necessary, just until the whole mix feels damp. I then put it into a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. I add water as I use it and it dries out.

I like the results of wet mixing much better, the perlite doesn't float, and no perlite dust. And, I can get as dirty as I want!



clipped on: 08.23.2013 at 12:19 pm    last updated on: 08.23.2013 at 12:19 pm

Question about media

posted by: funnthsun on 08.21.2013 at 09:31 am in Hosta Forum

I have been searching through the forum trying to decide what potting media mixture that I want to go with. I want to go with the 5-1-1 (pine bark, peat, perlite), but noticed that one of the threads that this mixture was mentioned in led back to a thread on the container forum with the following mixture as the main suggestion:

The basic soils I use ....

The 5:1:1 mix:

5 parts pine bark fines, dust - 3/8 (size is important
1 part sphagnum peat (not reed or sedge peat please)
1-2 parts perlite (coarse, if you can get it)
garden lime (or gypsum in some cases)
controlled release fertilizer (if preferred)

My question is, would Hostas benefit from the added lime or gypsum in this recipe, or would it be better to forego that ingredient for Hostas in particular? Thanks so much!


clipped on: 08.23.2013 at 10:49 am    last updated on: 08.23.2013 at 10:49 am

RE: IGS shelving (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: irina_co on 09.29.2008 at 08:50 pm in African Violets Forum

Kathy -

If you want to accommodate many plants and have space and you are not worried about an industrial appearance - you can get about 3 times cheaper Metro shelving (Sams' club, Costco - $75, reduce to 3 usable shelves - 4 shelves including the very top, 3 48' shoplights with 2 tubes, timer and the extention strip with outlets - for about 1/3 of the price.

The only good application for 4 shelf would be if you grow minis and semi-minis. (I understand you want Sunlighter shelf with 4 24 inches lights.) They would really look good and grow well.

Standard violets - you even wouldn't be able to see them well. They will be hiding under the shelves - and you want to see and enjoy them all the time.

Thing is - the standards grow 12 inches wide, large - can be twice as large - so how many plants you can place on this shelf without squashing them together?

To answer your question - yes, you can adjust the light time so they will be OK.

I made the same mistake already. Just doesn't look right.

So - 3 shelves for standards, 4 shelves - for minis.

Good luck


clipped on: 08.23.2013 at 07:26 am    last updated on: 08.23.2013 at 07:26 am

RE: Using an aquarium (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: irina_co on 02.07.2008 at 09:54 pm in African Violets Forum

Golden =

it will work - if you put a very light soil - 1:1:1 plus even more perlite, wicks, and a mat on a bottom. You water the mat - just to keep it slightly wet. if you have a piece of acrilic blankie -it will work - but if you do not - you can use several paper towels or several sheets of a newspaper - at the time it will fall apart - your babies will be already going. The secret - is to keep them humid, but never sitting in water. You can put a layer of perlite on the bottom of solo cups with leaves.

I use plastic domes on the trays -with the same treatment- and when they are growing strong - I can gradually lift the domes.

Even when your babies are grown - your aquarium can host episcias - especially the variegated ones, miniature sinningias - and whatever likes terrarium culture.



clipped on: 08.22.2013 at 11:37 pm    last updated on: 08.22.2013 at 11:37 pm

RE: Size differences (standard, semi, mini, and micro) (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: fred_hill on 09.14.2009 at 09:09 pm in African Violets Forum

Hi Megan,
Most AV's are given a size by the hybridizer when they register them. According to AVSA minis are up to 6 inches, semis to 8 inches standards are over 8. The national does not as yet recognize a micro mini so they fall into the category of minis. The sizes are determined by the hybridizer when the plant reaches its optimum growth. Trailers are designated semi, mini and standard usually by leaf size. This is also another way to tell what size a plant is. However, many hybrids in the mini and semi classes are not always correct. Some hybridizers give a designation to a mini and just keep it small by removing leaves. Also there are many semis that should have been designated as small standards. So the true test of a mini is to grow the plant to its optimum size and then determine it's class. As for micros, many people call them micros and keep them in tiny pots to keep it small, it's sort of like what the Japanese do to bonzai a plant. But there are a few that are really tiny and could fit into a micro class if there was one.
Sorry to be so ambiguous about it but thats about the way it goes.
Fred in NJ


clipped on: 08.22.2013 at 11:22 pm    last updated on: 08.22.2013 at 11:22 pm