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Weather data

posted by: dennis1983 on 08.05.2014 at 11:59 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum


I think here have been talk about weather sometimes.

It is not easy to find weather data on internet that

is easy to use. In form that is easy to use i meant.

I can give those internet address so you can look to

them, if you want to see weather data. Hopefully

those are useful to someone. I have found some

temperature data on internet that is easy to use.

Temperature is probably the most important weather

information in gardening. Those sites have

temperature data and other data if you need past

weather data.

First site is . There is

weather data which you can see and copy to Excel. If

you want get that data to Excel, just select it then

copy it and paste it to Excel. It should make it

right way so you can in Excel do calculations. Many

weather station in U.S.A. report once per hour data,

sometimes there is more than one report per hour

because there might be rain or some other event that

have made more reports. There is temperature, dew

point. relative humidity in percent, air pressure in

sea level, weather conditions data. It also

calculates average high, average and average low

temperature when you have selected many days time

range. That site also calculates growing degree days.

It use formula daily high + daily low and then divide

it by 2 in fahrenheit degrees and result is then

reduced base of 50 fahrenheit. If that calculation is

negative then that day is zero growing degrees,

nothing growing degrees is reduced. When you choose

time range then growing degrees are sum of those days

calculated same way.



This site is global hourly weather data. Next link is

from same global hourly weather data site it couldn't

be selected from above link, so another link was

needed. I think i should mention this.

Before we start, i need to say something about this

weather data. Global hourly weather data use GMT

times, not local times. So you need to adjust times

in your head to local times. For example Miami,

Florida, U.S.A. is 5 hours less than GMT time so if

it says 17:52, local time is then 17:52-5 hours which

is 12:52. Also GMT time don't change to summer time,

so in summer time this difference is 4 hours less

than GMT time. So you need to know your time zone,

otherwise you might be thinking why highest

temperature occur in night or something other similar

situation. Global hourly weather data use 24 hour

time in day, that is good to know if you live in

U.S.A. which use a.m. and p.m. time. So 17:52 is 5:52

pm in GMT time. Global hourly weather data use year,

month, day way to write dates, not same way as in

U.S.A. where you write month first, then day,then

year, also dates are written in numbers, so you can't

write like month june. This site write year in 4

numbers, month in 2 numbers, day in 2 numbers, hours

in 2 numbers and minutes in 2 numbers. If month is

less than 10, you put 0 forward to it number, for

example 6 is june, you put 06 to number. Same way to

days, hours and minutes. For example 200806241752 is

24 day june 2008 time 17:52. That way all dates have

same amount of numbers, it is easy to remember that

they go from biggest time to smallest time from left

to right. Weather data is text format, so you can

search it by contol + f, just remember how dates are

written and don't search word like june. That was

idea to next link. I think that was about common

ideas global hourly weather data. I show you how to

get data, i got mine data and you can follow me same

time and do same things and get your own data. If i

say Miami data, you can choose your own location and

get your own data, way to get it is same. Many of

those data need your e-mail address where your

requested data link can be sent. It is free to get

data. Now we can go to statistic data.

Actually it is summary data, it is statistic weather

data. It calculates statistic from weather data.

First you choose where you want data, location in

other words. I suggest choosing country and in that

box country you want the data. For example if we want

Miami, Florida, U.S.A. let's choose United states

country and continue. Next page let's choose Florida

and continue. Next page let's choose Miami

international airport as it has newest data and click

continue. Dates are which data are available,

starting from first date and ending last date. Now we

need to make selections what time period we want

statistic to be calculated and choose which weather

observation we want to use. Number 3 section we can

choose time period from to which statistic is

calculated, everything between those date are

calculated to statistic. For example if we choose

from year 2008 month 01 day 01 hour 00 to year 2012

month 12 day 31 hour 23 everything between those are

calculated to statistic. If i remember right this

doesn't allow you to make statistic less than 1 year,

if you choose less than 1 year then results might be

made to 1 year statistic even you choosed less than 1

year time range. You can use section 1 times too but

those other give you more flexibility to make

statistic. You can use section 4 too, If you want use

other than section 3 remember change that button to

that section BTW forgot to say. Section 4 allows you

to choose selected times and dates. You can click

year, month and hour. You can select many dates and

times when you press Ctrl button and then select

them. Then statistic is calculated from them. On

section 3 there was also output format, single table

summary give summary of all year you choose. If you

choose multiple table summary i think it gives

summary of each selected year plus summary of all

years. That might be faster way to see years

statistic than doing one year search at a time.

Section 5 observation type, i would leave it as it

is. Section 6 now you select what kind of summary you

want. If you want temperature, then select

temperature statistic summary and continue. If you

select current year temperature data, then you don't

need to give e-mail address. Give your e-mail address

here, you get e-mail message to that address when

your statistic is ready which have internet address

to your statistic. After you gave your e-mail

address, you can leave or do another statistic

request if you want, you don't need to wait your

request to be ready. It may take little bit time to

do your request. If you requested temperature data,

results show temperature in celsius degrees. Left to

right you see first months and annual which means

yearly temperature. Then you see hours going down in

left column. Mean means average temperature, stdv

means standard deviation it is one kind of measure

how much there is variation in numbers around

average, smaller number means less variation and

bigger number means bigger variation, obs is number

of observation. For example jun hour 17 means on

average on years you selected in june time 17

temperature was that, had that standard deviation and

was calculated from that number of observation.

Annual column 17 means on all days that years you

selected on time 17 temperature, standard deviation

and number of observation was. Total in last is

monthly average, standard deviation and number of

observation and annual total is years you selected to

be calculated years average temperature, standard

deviation and number of observation. When i checked

Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A. weather data FM-15

and FM-12 observation was counted to statistic, but

not FM-16, i calculated it so. I think that has done

that way because that way statistic don't go bad so

easily. Don't worry i tell later what those are, if

you didn't understand them. Now we can go to next



In this site we have actual weather data which we can

look. We have advanced and simplified option. Let's

first look advanced option. Let's click advanced

option. Let's get Miami, Florida, U.S.A. so let's

choose country United States and continue. Then

choose Florida and continue. Then Miami international

airport continue. Now we can choose data we want to

get. Let's get temperature data, air temperature

observation. You can select many of those if you

want, tips to doing do is end of that site as you

see. All data elements give all data, not all of

those probably are not available but you can try it

if you want to see what data is available. You can

request small let's say 1 day all data to see what

those elements have data available. It is good to

know weather station reports different way extreme

temperatures which don't show in observations. Those

shows probably higher maximum and lower low

temperatures than weather observation because they

are maximum and minimum temperature. You can see them

if you select Extreme air temperature if you are

interested those temperatures. Let's get temperature

data so let's choose air temperature observation. Now

we can choose dates same way as in statistics. Let's

choose for example from year 2008 month 01 day 01 to

year 2014 month 08, day 05. I would leave those other

as they are. Then continue. Then it shows your

request, now you need to look inventory to see there

is data from period you selected. Inventory shows

your weather station name and year and 12 numbers

left to right, those are months, 6th number is june

for example. It shows we have over 83 000

observations available, which quite good amount of

observations. Those months numbers are how many

observation is in month. Usually there is over 1 000

observations in month. This is hourly weather data so

there is hourly weather observation and sometimes

more than 1 observation in hour. After that write

your e-mail and submit your request. This will give

temperature data in celsius degrees. Wait until next

page loads. Now you see your files. First is you data

file, it contains your requested data. You can click

it if it don't load it is not ready yet. it may take

some time to get it ready. You get e-mail when your

data is ready. You can write to that address to

notepad and save it if you don't want to wait. You

can make another request if you want, no need to wait

when your request is ready. Inventory shows your

station and time data which you requested. Station

list shows station you choosed. Now let's look

temperature data. It is text file, third from left is

date and then hours and minutes. Remember what i told

earlier about dates? They are not local times. Then

there is observation type. Now let's look Surface

Data Hourly Global format documentation, it is last

file on site, if you didn't close it. This explain

what are those information on your data. FM-12 is

hourly weather. FM-15 is routinely data many times 3

hours interval, those might have maximum and minimum

temperature data. Those 2 are calculated to statistic

as they are regular on their times. Sometimes we have

FM-16 observation too, they are special weather

report. Those are not calculated to statistic, if i

figured it right. Those are sometimes reported when

there is rain, or other things occuring which would

need more often observation in airport.

You can get this data to Excel if you want so you can

make calculations. You can't copy it to Excel as all

data goes A1 column. In your data save it .TXT file.

For example weather.TXT . Write txt in big character.

Then open Excel and open your file which you just

saved. Excel ask what you want to do with file.

Choose that way what makes difference is comma and

next choose comma and then ready. Now your data is

that way you can use it in Excel. It have . in

temperature go to edit and replace . with this to

this , so you can calculate temperatures, replace all

of them. Then you can calculate them. Now we can look

simplified option above mentioned address.

Let's choose simplified option. Then coutry United

States. Then Florida. Then Miami international

airport. Then choose time range you want to get

data. Next check inventory same way as above and then

submit request. This gives text file and HTML file

when it is ready. This gives temperature in

fahrenheit degrees. HTML file can be directly copy to

Excel, text file is same but without form. Those are

same data as above but showed little different way.

Those people in U.S.A. you might like more those

fahrenheit degrees than celsius. Wait when next page

loads. You can leave site, and do another request if

you want, no need to wait your request to be ready.

First link is your HTML files, it have one file for

each month you have, you see them when you click the

link. Text file have probably all your data in one

file. Station have station you choosed. Surface Data

Hourly Global format documentation tells you what

those numbers are and what they mean which is last

link on that site. It have temperature, dew point,

wind direction, wind speed, wind gust, sea level

pressure, snow depth, maximum and minimum


I forgot to say about extreme air temperature are not

alwayss from 24 hour period time, look how many hours

is calculated to it. Also 24 hour is not alwayss

calendar day from 00:00 23:59. In U.S.A. eastern time

time 4:59 24 hour period is calendar day because that

is last minute in that day U.S.A. eastern time for

example Miami, U.S.A.

Now lastly look NOwdata. This site have U.S.A.

weather forecast office. They have weather data.

Select place which is near location you want to have

weather data. Let's look Miami, let's click Miami.

Then you have NOWdata open. Now you can select Miami

international airport data or Miami area data and

then select daily data to get temperature data.

Select from those products and options your time and

you camlook yourself the data. It have temperature


Hopefully this is helpul someone and liked data i

found to you. Those are data i found on internet to

have weather data.


Good one!
clipped on: 08.07.2014 at 09:09 am    last updated on: 08.07.2014 at 09:10 am

fig leaf usage and recipe

posted by: ariel5 on 05.12.2007 at 08:18 am in Fig Forum

Hi friends
On my caprifig trees there are now thousands of nice fresh green leaves and I wondered about the possible usage of these

Does any one here know how to boil? steam? preserve? pickle ? stuff these leaves



clipped on: 04.01.2014 at 11:39 am    last updated on: 04.01.2014 at 11:39 am

RE: styrofoam or paper egg cartons for starting seeds (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: wildrose_SoCal on 01.14.2004 at 11:44 pm in Garden Experiments Forum

I found egg cartons much too small. They shouldn't fall apart in water, at least not right away.

I have had good luck w/ TP rolls cut in half, or thirds. Holding 6 together with a rubberband makes a dandy 6-pak. I keep them in a foil tray and water them by pouring water into the tray. The cardboard stays damp for many days, wicking up from the tray. Then transplant the whole thing.

I find this easier than making newspaper pots. Have trained family to discard tubes into brown grocery bag. Maybe have a hundred so far. Spring is coming, will need to use them up before family gets wise as to qty and stops saving them. hee hee



clipped on: 02.22.2014 at 07:16 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2014 at 07:16 pm

RE: Moringa oleifera/The miracle tree (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: tropicdude on 09.25.2009 at 02:11 pm in Growing from Seed Forum

I planted a Moringa seed last year, sprouted right away, and was growing fast, so I gave it to my father in law, who had a small lot with some plants, and was about 3ft tall, when a gardener that didn't recognize it, that it was a weed and pulled it out :(..

the following is from Moringa Farms.


If planting a large plot it is recommended to first plough the land. Prior to planting a seed or seedling, dig a planting pit about 50cm in depth and the same in width. This planting hole serves to loosen the soil and helps to retain moisten in the root zone, enabling the seedlings� roots to develop rapidly. Compost or manure at the rate of 5kg per pit can be mixed with the fresh topsoil around the pit and used to fill the pit. Avoid using the soil taken out of the pit for this purpose: fresh topsoil contains beneficial microbes that can promote more effective root growth. The day before out planting, water the filled pits or wait until a good rain before out-planting seedlings. Fill in the hole before transplanting the seedling. In areas of heavy rainfall, the soil can be shaped in the form of a mound to encourage drainage. Do not water heavily for the first few days. If the seedlings fall over, tie them to stick 40cm high for support.


If water is available for irrigation (i.e., in a backyard garden), trees can be seeded directly and grown anytime during the year. Prepare a planting pit first, water, and then fill in the pit with topsoil mixed with compost or manure before planting seeds. In a large field, trees can be seeded directly at the beginning of the wet season.


Use hard wood, not green wood, for cuttings. Cuttings should be 45cm to 1.5m long and 10cm thick. Cuttings can be planted directly or planted in sacks in the nursery. When planting directly, plant the cuttings in light, sandy soil. Plant one-third of the length in the ground (i.e., if the cutting is 1.5m long, plant it 50cm deep). Do not over water; if the soil is too heavy or wet, the roots may rot. When the cuttings are planted in the nursery, the root system is slow to develop. Add phosphorus to the soil if possible to encourage root development. Cuttings planted in a nursery can be out-planted after 2 or 3 months.


For intensive Moringa production, plant the tree every 3 meters in rows 3 meters apart. To ensure sufficient sunlight and airflow, it is also recommended to plant the trees in an east-west direction. When the trees are part of an alley-cropping system, there should be 10 meters between the rows. The area between trees should be kept free of weeds.

Trees are often spaced in a line one meter or less apart in order to create living fence posts. Trees are also planted to provide support for climbing crops such as pole beans, although only mature trees should be used for this purpose since the vine growth can choke off the young tree. Moringa trees can be planted in gardens; the tree�s root system does not compete with other crops for surface nutrients and the light shade provided by the tree will be beneficial to those vegetables which are less tolerant to direct sunlight. From the second year onwards, Moringa can be inter-cropped with maize, sunflower and other field crops. Sunflower is particularly recommended for helping to control weed growth.[1] However, Moringa trees are reported to be highly competitive with eggplant (Solanum melongena) and sweet corn (Zea mays) and can reduce their yields by up to 50%.[2]


When the seedlings reach a height of 60cm in the main field, pinch (trim) the terminal growing tip 10cm from the top. This can be done using fingers since the terminal growth is tender, devoid of bark fiber and brittle, and therefore easily broken. A shears or knife blade can also be used. Secondary branches will begin appearing on the main stem below the cut about a week later. When they reach a length of 20cm, cut these back to 10cm. Use a sharp blade and make a slanting cut. Tertiary branches will appear, and these are also to be pinched in the same manner. This pinching, done four times before the flowers appear (when the tree is about three months old), will encourage the tree to become bushy and produce many pods within easy reach. Pinching helps the tree develop a strong production frame for maximizing the yield. If the pinching is not done, the tree has a tendency to shoot up vertically and grow tall, like a mast, with sparse flowers and few fruits found only at the very top.

For annual Moringa types, directly following the end of the harvest, cut the tree�s main trunk to about 90cm from ground level. About two weeks later 15 to 20 sprouts will appear below the cut. Allow only 4-5 robust branches to grow and nib the remaining sprouts while they are young, before they grow long and harden. Continue the same pinching process as done with new seedlings so as to make the tree bushy. After the second crop, the trees can be removed and new seedlings planted for maximum productivity.

For perennial Moringa types, remove only the dead and worn out branches every year. Once in four or five years, cut the tree back to one meter from ground level and allow re-growth.


Moringa trees do not need much watering. In very dry conditions, water regularly for the first two months and afterwards only when the tree is obviously suffering. Moringa trees will flower and produce pods whenever there is sufficient water available. If rainfall is continuous throughout the year, Moringa trees will have a nearly continuous yield. In arid conditions, flowering can be induced through irrigation.


Moringa trees will generally grow well without adding very much fertilizer. Manure or compost can be mixed with the soil used to fill the planting pits. Phosphorus can be added to encourage root development and nitrogen will encourage leaf canopy growth. In some parts of India, 15cm-deep ring trenches are dug about 10cm from the trees during the rainy season and filled with green leaves, manure and ash. These trenches are then covered with soil. This approach is said to promote higher pod yields. Research done in India has also showed that applications of 7.5kg farmyard manure and 0.37kg ammonium sulfate per tree can increase pod yields threefold.[3]


Moringa is resistant to most pests. In very water-logged conditions, Diplodia root rot can occur. In very wet conditions, seedlings can be planted in mounds so that excess water is drained off. Cattle, sheep, pigs and goats will eat Moringa seedlings, pods and leaves. Protect Moringa seedlings from livestock by installing a fence or by planting a living fence around the plantation. A living fence can be grown with Jatropha curcas, whose seeds also produce an oil good for soap-making. For mature trees, the lower branches can be cut off so that goats will not be able to reach the leaves and pods. Termites can be a problem, especially when cuttings are planted.

Among approaches recommended to protect seedlings from termite attack:[4]

� Apply mulches of castor oil plant leaves, mahogany chips, tephrosia leaves or Persian lilac leaves around the base of the plants.

� Heap ashes around the base of seedlings.

� Dry and crush stems and leaves of lion's ear or Mexican poppy and spread the dust around the base of plants.

In India, various caterpillars are reported to cause defoliation unless controlled by spraying. The budworm Noordia moringae and the scale insects Diaspidotus sp. and Ceroplastodes cajani are reportedly able to cause serious damage. Also mentioned as pests in India are Aphis craccibora, the borer Diaxenopsis apomecynoides and the fruit fly Gitonia sp.[5] Elsewhere in the world, where Moringa is an introduced tree, local pests are less numerous.


When harvesting pods for human consumption, harvest when the pods are still young (about 1cm in diameter) and snap easily. Older pods develop a tough exterior, but the white seeds and flesh remain edible until the ripening process begins.

When producing seed for planting or for oil extraction, allow the pods to dry and turn brown on the tree. In some cases, it may be necessary to prop up a branch that holds many pods to prevent it breaking off. Harvest the pods before they split open and seeds fall to the ground. Seeds can be stored in well-ventilated sacks in dry, shady places.

For making leaf sauces, harvest seedlings, growing tips or young leaves. Older leaves must be stripped from the tough and wiry stems. These older leaves are more suited to making dried leaf powder since the stems are removed in the pounding and sifting process.


Fuglie, L., 1999. Producing Food Without Pesticides: Local solutions to crop pest control in West Africa. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Morton, J.F. 1991. The Horseradish Tree, Moringa Pterygosperma (Moringaceae) - A Boon to Arid Lands? Economic Botany. 45(3):318-333.

Ramachandran, C., K.V. Peter, and P.K. Gopalakrishnan, 1980. Drumstick (Moringa oleifera): A Multipurpose Indian Vegetable. Economic Botany. 34(3):276-283.

Sreeja, K.V. 2001. Horti Nursery Networks, Tamil Nadu, India. Personal email of 26/03.

Warndorff, T. 2001. Personal email of 22.03.

Perdew, Rodney, President, Moringa Farms

This really is a wonderful tree, so useful and could potentially save many lives.

Here is a link that might be useful: treesforlife international


clipped on: 09.10.2013 at 11:55 am    last updated on: 09.10.2013 at 11:56 am

RE: Snail rescue society (Follow-Up #69)

posted by: flyingdutchman on 06.13.2006 at 03:25 pm in California Gardening Forum

P.S. Always remove dead snails [if you wash them before the phase you are going to starve them, they will get very alive; before you put them into 8c/46F, you can check if they move (a little) in their shell].

A Spanish recipe to compensate mij P.S.
The mentionned common garden snail is a banded, bright colored, rather small snail. You can replace them with the brown garden snail, Helix aspersa, prepared as above. If you use common garden snails, do not cook them as long as 'petit gris' and you can leave them in their shells [nice to see, but you and your guests must appreciate the colorfull shells]; see my remark at ORIGINAL.

I left the translated poetic 'Spanish language' as intact as far as I could.

(For 4 persons)


800 grams of chicken
550 grams of rabbit
1 or 2 dozen of "vaquetas" (common garden snails, Cepaea nemoralis, Cepaea hortensis, small Otala punctata or - Helix aspersa)
400 grams of "garrof�" (butter beans or yellow beans)
200 grams of "tavella" (large white beans)
300 grams of "ferraura" (haricot beans, haricot's verde)
1 deciliter and a half of olive oil
1 bare and cut clove of garlic
1 mature tomato peeled without seeds and crushed fine equivalent to 125 grams approximately
1 spoonful of paprika (10 grams)
400 grams of rice
Saffron in fibers

We will cut the chicken and the rabbit in 8 regular pieces, salt them, set the oil to warm in the "paella pan" and fry slightly very well and slowly the pieces of chicken and rabbit.

First frie the meat, then give the vegetable an equal frie.
Next add the garlic, the paprika and the tomato.

[ORIGINAL : Then put on 2 liters of water and put the "vaquetas" in, exposed previously to the sun. This is allowed to cook during 10 minutes. REMARK : If you use common garden snails, first let them eat corn for a week and then starve them for 2/3 days in a ventilated basket. This is the same as 'exposed previously to the sun'. You can eat the entire flesh [intestines] of the snails, like so with the 'petit gris'/brown garden snail, but not of the Roman snails; if you use prepared snails, pass this phase]

Next put all ingredients on the rice which is distributed on the whole surface of the "paella pan", which [the rice] has the fibers saffron on top and this is allowed to cook on a very lively fire during 8 minutes, dimm the fire in order to cook on a slow fire during another 8 minutes until it eliminates the water, allowing it to rest on the mild fire during 4 more minutes, in order to which it takes the point of "socarrat" [toast lightly].

Eat well ... Igor - the Netherlands


clipped on: 06.30.2013 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 06.30.2013 at 11:59 am

RE: Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon' seeds?? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: bznursery on 09.20.2007 at 12:50 pm in Citrus Forum

Growing from seed isn't the only way to go. You can purchase seedlings already propagated. We sell Flying Dragon seedlings for 85 cents ea. Plus whatever the shipping charges would come to. We can bareroot them and ship them via UPS. That would give you about a year os so jump on your hedge. We also sell the seed by the quart. 1 quart runs $100.00 plus shipping and contains approx. 4200 seeds. If you harvest your own fruit let it fall from tree instead of picking. Cut fruit up and let it soak in water and baking soda to help release seeds.


source for seedlings
clipped on: 05.20.2013 at 01:21 pm    last updated on: 05.20.2013 at 01:21 pm

Garlon Questions

posted by: lioness_il on 07.31.2004 at 05:23 pm in Woodlands Forum

I have been using Garlon to paint cut stumps of buckthorn in my woodland. How long does Garlon remain in the soil, and how soon can I re-plant in the same area?

Also, does anyone know the best internet source for purchasing Garlon at a good price?

Thanks, Lioness


clipped on: 03.28.2013 at 11:16 am    last updated on: 03.28.2013 at 11:16 am

RE: Can someone tell me what's wrong? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: Pkhappy on 08.01.2012 at 09:22 am in California Gardening Forum

Hey silverwood,
My neighbor told me it looks like a fingus or something like that because a new bush i had just brought started having similar systems a few days after bringing it home, plus it developed powdery mildew. Her advice was to start removing the bad leaves as i find them and use 1 tsp of baking soda, a little dish soap and a few drops of cooking oil in a gallon of water and mist the leaves (early mornin) top and bottom every 2-3 days.

Well since i started doing it, both have been improving. The mildew is gone on the new bush and the one in the pic looks much better. See less and less problems.

The formula can be used as maintenance (once or twice a month i think) also. It's good for tomatoes also.

I am going to repot both to improve the aeration as Al (calistoga) suggested. Considering using Al (tapla) gritty mix for them.


clipped on: 08.01.2012 at 10:09 am    last updated on: 08.01.2012 at 10:10 am

RE: Newly planted fig has curly leaves next day - Lots of photos (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: jacqdavis on 07.04.2012 at 10:37 am in Fig Forum

Thank you noss!

I kind of combined two recipes that I found online to make this. I don't really measure too much when it comes to cooking, so you might want to adjust it to make it to your liking.

Ingredients for making Green Fig Preserve

  • unripe figs

  • sugar (use half the weight with the amount of fig you have, if you prefer less sweet, use a little less than half, I used about 1 cup of sugar for mine)

  • 5 1/2 cups of water (I guessed this would be the right amount for my figs)

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 2 whole cloves

  • couple broken pieces of stick cinnamon

  • pinch of sea salt

First wash, clean, scape and prepare the green figs by trimming the knobby stalks off the figs and cut off any imperfections on the skins. I used the blade of a pairing knife to scrape the surface to remove any dried saps and imperfections like brown spots (they would feel hard to the touch).

Then cut a cross in the bottom end of each fig.

Put the water and the sugar in a heavy based pan and bring to a boil, stirring all the time. Stir in the lemon juice and figs.

I boiled rapidly for about 45 minutes, until the fruit is clear and translucent, and the syrup has thickened. During this time your kitchen will begin to smell really delicious! If you have more figs, then you might have to go longer.

During the process to reduce the syrup, I transferred everything into a smaller heavy based pan to keep the liquid around the same level as the fig, as you can see from my photos.

Leave the figs to cool in the syrup, then pack the figs in clean sterilized jars, fill with the syrup and seal. You can give it a try now or leave them to stand for a day or two before eating them.

Hopefully this helps, I am not very good with giving recipe since I don't always measure during cooking process, so whenever I came up with something good, I am writing things down by memory~

There are recipes out there call for calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) and a much more complex process. I did not have slaked lime in my kitchen and it sounded kind of scary to me, so I went with the all natural route. :-)

Let me know if it turns out good for you when you try it!


clipped on: 07.27.2012 at 10:30 am    last updated on: 07.27.2012 at 10:30 am

Vines, mature vs. juvenile transformations, epiphitic behavior

posted by: purpleinopp on 06.08.2012 at 12:06 pm in House Plants Forum

After a few years of allowing heart leaf Philodendron to climb up and be wound a couple feet up a Dracaena tree trunk, it started making much bigger leaves. Although I really wanted to continue this situation and monitor the "maturity," this pot got blown around a few times and the trunk most of the vine was growing on was damaged and lost, I had to trim a lot of the vine away to get control over this pot while repotting, so it's kind of starting over. I've been keeping it more controlled the past year, so I can leave the more mature parts during the next repot. There are still a few of the old roots that go various amounts of inches down from the vine to the soil, and many new ones are making their descent.

Most Philos are epiphiteic or hemiepiphetic, a small number are terrestrial. I'm still not sure which type heart-leaf is, and there seems to be several almost identical plants, or synonyms, not sure. So not sure which my plant is, or that the discrepancies would matter in regard to which type it is.

"Secondary hemiepiphytes don't always start their lives close to a tree. For these philodendrons, what happens is that the plant will grow with long internodes along the ground until a tree is found. They find a suitable tree by means of growing towards darker areas such as the dark shadow of a tree. This trait is called scototropism. After a tree has been found, the scototropic behavior stops and the philodendron switches to a phototropic growth habit and the internodes shorten and thicken. Usually, however, philodendrons germinate on trees." - Wiki Philodendron article.

What? Germinate? Anyone ever have HL Philo flowers? Other Philo flowers? I know they look like Caladium or peace lily flowers but have never seen one in person.

Just like Monsteras, this sentence in the Wiki entry for Monstera deliciosa, "Wild seedlings grow towards the darkest area they can find until they find a tree trunk, then start to grow up towards the light, creeping up the tree." Never had one of these, they're always expensive. How strange, plants growing AWAY from the light. Makes sense though if the mission is to find a trunk to climb. Fascinating. Anyone noticed this? I move plants way too often to notice this from Philos.

Thought I knew about Syngoniums until I read the other day how they change dramatically upon maturity, changing leaf shape AND type! Not clear if dangling would induce this, or if it needs to be supported climbing? Who has a plant like this?

Then there's Hedera helix which also is supposed to completely change leaves if it makes it to the top of a tree in the right climate. Anyone ever have a potted specimen that "changed into maturity?"

Someone posted pic of an older Pothos on a support earlier this week and I noticed now big the leaves were on it. Made me wonder if being on the support was the reason for the exceptionally big leaves. Seems like similar stuff.

I'm going to start doing more with growing this stuff UP instead of dangling down. Please share your thoughts and experiences in this realm.


Monstera Deliciosa growth habits!
clipped on: 06.12.2012 at 10:37 am    last updated on: 06.12.2012 at 10:37 am

gritty mix: what is gran-i-grit in a mason's language?

posted by: zippelk on 08.31.2010 at 09:38 pm in Container Gardening Forum

I can't get gran-i-grit here. manna pro is way too expensive ($5/5#)! i am sure i could get the same stuff at the mason supply $5/50#, but what am i asking for...insoluble granite grit 1/8-3/16"? anybody else go this route and know what they call it? thanks!


clipped on: 09.01.2010 at 10:46 am    last updated on: 09.01.2010 at 10:47 am

It's August and time for the 'toothpick' technique

posted by: nandina on 08.23.2006 at 01:13 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I have not posted this propagation method in several years. Time for a repeat. Just a reminder that all cuttings need to callus before they will root. This method allows the callusing to take place on the mother plant before the cutting is removed and is most helpful for those hard to root trees/shrubs. Plan to use the toothpick technique during the last weeks of August up until mid-September. This is a little known process and when I first posted it a number of growers contacted me, pleased to know about it as it requires no misting systems, etc.

A very sharp, small penknife or Exacto knife.
A small block of wood (to prevent cutting fingers!)
Some colored yarns or tape for marking purposes.

1. Select the stem from which you wish to take a cutting. Look along it until you locate a bud ON LAST YEAR'S GROWTH.

2. Place the block of wood behind that point and make a single VERTICAL cut all the way through the stem, just below the bud.

3. Insert a toopick through the cut.

4. Mark each cutting with colored yarn/tape so that you can locate it at a later date.

5. Walk away from your toothpick cuttings until the end of October or November. Leave them alone!

You will note that a callus has formed where you wounded the cutting and inserted a toothpick. With sharp pruning shears remove the cutting just below the toothpick. Trim off the toothpick on either side of the cutting.

7. Dip your cuttings in rooting hormone and set them in a cold frame. Water well and close up the frame for the winter. Water as needed. If you do not have a cold frame, set the cuttings right next to your house foundation on the east or north side. Lean an old window or glass pane up against the foundation to protect them.

8. Rooting should take place by mid-spring. Those with greenhouses can leave the cuttings on the mother plant into December/January before setting them to root. Commercial propagators will find this useful.

This method requires a bit of practice but works well. In August/September select the stem to be used as a cutting. Locate last year's growth on the stem and grasp it between thumb and forefinger. Snap the stem lightly until it breaks in half. Leave it hanging on the plant where it will callus. Then follow instructions above for setting cuttings. Snip the cutting off, when callused, at the wounded part. This is a useful technique for azaleas and many woody shrubs and Japanese maples.

Hopefully I have explained this method so it is understood. Reading it over a few times may be necessary.


clipped on: 08.25.2009 at 01:03 pm    last updated on: 08.09.2010 at 11:17 am

How do you Modify Al's Gritty for the HOT Desert?

posted by: desertdance on 05.31.2010 at 10:41 am in Container Gardening Forum

In the thread in this forum on Smart Pots, I noticed that those with experience in hot areas say that these pots drain well with Al's Mix. Too well! They dry out in the heat FAST! I am in Zone 9b.

Cebury, Zone 9 states, and I quote, "I've got several Smart Pots as well as testing out a line of Fanntum Containers for my containerized fruit trees. I live in Central CA where the heat is crazy. However, only two of them have the gritty mix and I was betting I wouldn't make it through the summer in those. I suspect the gritty or 511 mix in a fabric container, in dry 100+ weather, will not work unless you are a watering maniac. I made it through last year in plastic containers with the gritty mix (added 20% more turface and reduced granite) but the hottest days did require container shading. Also the smallest containers, and one citrus tree where the roots were extensive and filled the container, required a cache pot or placing mulch around them. Those is my area scoff and say you *must* use peat or coir in every mix to survive the summer heat. Well I've certainly found that peat "bakes" (as does other media), when used in plastic containers in full sun. Just because a mix holds lots of water doesn't mean you can ignore root temps. There is not enough aeration in a heavy water-retentive soil in a plastic container for it to release the heat."

I plan to use root pruning pots for my containers because the roots don't circle, and the root mass is then much bigger causing the plants to grow faster.

Is there a way to modify the mix so that it still drains, but not so fast? I don't want the top to dry out, of course, and am going to put a piece of shade cloth over each container's top to shade the roots, and prevent evaporation, but I don't want my roots to dry out due to high heat and fast drainage, either, so any suggestions?

Will Cebury's solution of less gran-I-Grit, and 20% more Turface work?



clipped on: 07.29.2010 at 02:21 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2010 at 02:21 pm

Using lacto-bacteria to ferment peppers

posted by: david52 on 08.24.2006 at 09:44 pm in Hot Pepper Forum

On another forum I mentioned using Kefir starter to ferment roasted Hatch chili and make some seriously good hot sauce, and they thought I should mention it here where the True Believers congregate. The idea came a few years ago from a poster from Germany who thought everyone else was crazy to let the fermenting bacteria, like when making sauerkraut, just sort of randomly pick themselves out of the air in your kitchen, when one could introduce something that would guarantee good, if not spectacular, results. This is sorta what they do with wine and beer, and it made sense. So I tried it.

I buy a box, which is 2.2 bushels, of hot, roasted chili. It's put in a bag, I let it sweat and cool for a couple of hours, and collect the juice that inevitably drips through the plastic. When its cool enough to handle, I open the bag up, pull off the stems, and start layering the flattened, roasted chili's in a crock, an inch layer followed with a healthy sprinkle of salt. The object here is two tablespoons of salt to 5 lbs of chili, but a bit more or less isn't going to change much.

I get Kefir starter off the internet, or through a local health food shoppe. I get the powdered stuff. Kefir is a bacteria that will convert milk into a thick, drinkable curd, picture Gengis Khan and his horde snorking the stuff out of those leather canteens as they pillage villages looking for some decent chili. These days, Yoga practitioners sip the stuff with raspberries to bump their calcium, and I use it to ferment vegetables.

Anyway, I take the warm chili juice and whisk in a box of kefir starter, and pour it into the chili-salt crock, stir it up with a steel spoon, and then set a doubled, plastic bag full of water on top to seal it off. I set the crock in a cool (70 - 80F) spot, and I come back in 6 weeks. I run it through a food mill to mush it all up, and cut it with white wine vinegar so it pours a bit easier.

Its best like that. This is the 3rd year in a row I've done this, and its awesome. You'd have to try it to appreciate it, the smell alone will let you know that its very good stuff. It doesn't disappoint. Not surprisingly, it also corresponds when they slaughter hogs, so its pretty easy to make some awesome green chili pork for the freezer.

I will try, if I can, to use powdered yogurt starter in another batch this summer, and see if it works as well. I should also think that smaller quantities would do as well.


clipped on: 06.12.2010 at 01:42 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2010 at 01:43 pm

SWC Containers a la Mexico

posted by: brickza on 05.22.2010 at 05:41 am in Container Gardening Forum

I recently came across a very simple and cheap way to grow food in cointainers that originates from Mexico City that seems quite interesting:

It could not find it in any searches in this forum, so I assume that it hasn't been discussed before.

Apart from the use of LOF (read the article :-), I'm quite interested in the working of their containers. Basically, a container is filled 4/5th with leaves/grass clippings or similar, and the top bit with soil. Drainage holes are not made in the bottom, but only 10-15cm up, much like for a self watering container. I can't see that the leaves will wick water up to the top, but what do others think?

I'm going to try it since I have some suitable plastic containers that I had obtained for free and a whole lot of autumn leaves lying around (autumn in the southern hemisphere), so I have nothing to loose. I'll follow up some time in the future :)


clipped on: 05.22.2010 at 09:39 am    last updated on: 05.22.2010 at 09:40 am

Has anyone used figs leaves to make Rennet on here?

posted by: bricore_2007 on 02.26.2008 at 01:04 pm in Fig Forum

I love making cheese. I am also looking at growing some figs. I know you can use fig leaves to make rennet but I would LOVE to learn more about it.
If, anyone has done it please tell me.. I am a sponge when it comes to making my cheeses and really wanting to learn to do this.

Thank you for your time,

Dora Renee' Wilkerson


clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 09:42 am    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 09:42 am

Airlayer technique using potting soil in a bag

posted by: leon_edmond on 07.16.2008 at 02:27 am in Fig Forum

Some of you have expressed an interest to learn how to airlayer a fig tree. There are many variations to the technique however the one I prefer to use is a ziplock bag filled with moist potting soil. Some folks will use moist moss wrapped around the branch but I prefer the soil method because I can easily pot this up in a larger container without stressing the plant too much and I can also mail this airlayer to a friend as is, without removing the plastic as you will understand later on in this presentation. I apologize to those who may find this material repeated.

First, cut off the ziplock side of the plastic baggie (In this case I'm using a quart size bag for this size of airlayer).
Next cut off the bottom seam from the bag.
What you end up with is a plastic tube.
I've chosen this branch to become my airlayer. I'm going to remove a ring of bark toward the base of the branch (far right in the photo). As a rule, use the diameter of the branch size to approximate the width of the bark you will remove. The airlayer will set roots just above the ring so try to remove this piece just under a node. In this case, it doesn't matter because the nodes are close together and I can remove the ring from inbetween the nodes.
Make two parallel cuts around the entire branch and then connect those cuts with a line in the middle.
Using the tip of your knife or even your fingernail, it is pretty easy to peel away the bark from inbetween the end cuts.
This photo shows you how it looks once the entire ring is removed.
Next, I pull the plastic bag tube over my forearm and gather up the small branches and leaves in my hand. This way, it's quite easy to thread the plastic sleeve over the leaves and down to the rooting location.
Take a piece of twine or string and secure the sleeve just below the ring of bark that was removed. Make sure that the end of the sleeve is entirely air tight. The reason being, if there is even a small opening at either end of the sleeve, moisture will escape from the rooting medium and the root ball could dry out.
Next, fill the sleeve with moist (not soaking wet)potting soil of your choice. Shake the sleeve so that some of the folded pockets fill with soil. Then leave enough plastic at the end so that you can secure this with string just like the bottom end.
Wrapping the finished product with aluminum foil will help reflect the sun and keep your airlayer cool.
Depending on the fig variety and the conditions of the process, most airlayers will show roots in about 4-6 weeks(some sooner). Here is a photo of what to expect when you see roots forming inside the plastic sleeve. This is the time when the airlayer is ready to be removed from the mother tree and placed in it's own pot.



clipped on: 05.16.2010 at 04:10 pm    last updated on: 05.16.2010 at 04:12 pm

A Soil Discussion

posted by: tapla on 11.06.2007 at 12:18 am in House Plants Forum

A Soil Discussion

Ive been thinking about what I want to say about soils here, and how I should open. Im going to talk a little about soils primarily from the perspective of what is best for the plant - not the planter. ;o) More often than not, the two ideas are mutually exclusive, and the plant suffers loss of vitality for grower convenience. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Probably none of us can afford the time it would take to give our plants the best care possible, and we need to decide on an individual basis, how much attention we can pay our plants. Ill explain later.

Let me start by saying that whenever I say plants I mean a very high % of house plants and freely allow that there are exceptions to every rule; but, we need to learn the rules before we can recognize the exception. Im going to offer a few (of what I think are) rules I believe are difficult to challenge, and that Ive adopted in my growing practices after a fair amount of study and consideration. Im going to leave light levels out of this conversation after acknowledging that they are probably just as important as soil to a planting, the difference being, we can recognize and change poor light levels easily if we choose, but poor soils are not so easily remedied.

Rule: Plants need air in the root zone as much as they need light and water. The soils we usually buy in a bag either do not supply enough aeration from the outset, or they do not supply it for a long enough period. Most, or at least many readers are expecting their plants to live in the same soil for several years, when the fact is that most peat based soils substantially collapse within a single growth cycle. That is to say that the peat particles break down into continually smaller pieces. This reduces the number of macropores (large air pockets), causes compaction, and increases the amount of water the soil holds in root zone and increases the length of time it remains there.

What does this mean to our plants? Well, there is the specter of root rot, but even if we set that aside, there is something more subtle occurring. Whenever roots are deprived of oxygen (O2) they soon begin to die - incrementally. First, and after only a few hours in saturated conditions, the finest roots that absorb water and nutrients begin to die. Already, the plant is operating under stress. Gradually, thicker roots die unless the plant uses the water in the root zone or it evaporates and O2 is allowed back into the soil. When adequate aeration is restored, the plant is disadvantaged, because fine rootage has died. The plant begins to regenerate the lost roots, but guess what? It has to call on energy reserves it has stored because the roots cannot efficiently take up water and the building blocks from which it makes food (nutrients/fertilizer). This stored photosynthate that goes to root regeneration would have been used to increase biomass - flowers, fruit, foliage, stem thickness. See how subtly aeration affects growth?

Rule: Our number one priority when establishing a planting should be to choose a soil that guarantees adequate aeration for the expected life of that planting. We can easily change every other cultural influence if we choose. Light, temperature, nutrients, moisture levels .. all can be changed, but we cannot change aeration, so we really need to consider that as a priority.

It is here where we need to bring attention to the fact that, as alluded to above, convenience has costs. Im not saying that in chiding fashion. I simply want to make the point that when youre able to go several days to a week without watering, in a high % of cases, the cyclic death and regeneration of roots is taking place. The plant is growing under stress and is weakened to varying degrees, depending on the severity of O2 deprivation in the root zone.

Rule: A fast soil that drains freely will be far superior from a plant vitality perspective than a more convenient soil that stays wet. The cost: Youll need to decide if youre willing to water and fertilize more frequently to secure the added vitality.

I could go on for days about soil, but Im hoping that Ill be able to discuss HOW we can get to a better place with regard to our soils through answering any questions that might come up, and exploring options. Before I close, I would like to talk for a minute about another bane of poor soils.

Many of us recognize what we consider the main danger of overwatering - root rot, and do our best to prevent it. Most often, its by watering sparingly so the soil is never saturated, but let me explain what happens when we do this.

Plants best take up water and the ions dissolved in it when the ion level is very low. This ion level is measured by either electrical conductivity (EC) or the total amount of dissolved solids (TDS). Problems arise when the TDS/EC level is low, when the plant can take up water easily. It remains hydrated, but starves because there is not a high enough concentration of ions in the soil water. If the level of TDS/EC is too high, the process of osmosis is affected, and the plant cannot efficiently take up either water OR nutrients, and the plant can starve or die of thirst in a sea of plenty. Its up to us to supply the right mix of all the nutrients in a favorable range of TDS/EC.

Im sorry to be a little technical, but Im getting to a point. When using soils that are not fast enough to allow us to water copiously and continually flush the salts that accumulate from fertilizer and irrigation water something unwanted occurs. If we do not flush the soil, these salts accumulate. This pushes up the level of TDS/EC and makes it increasingly difficult for the plant to take up water and nutrients.

Imagine: A soil that is killing our most efficient roots, which stresses the plant and makes it more difficult to take up water due to the lack of those roots, while it insures that the level of TDS/EC will rise, making it difficult or impossible on yet another front for the plant to take up water and nutrients. Is it any wonder that our plants start to struggle so mightily toward winters end? Are we really seeing the effects of low humidity or do you think it might be drought stress brought on by either an inappropriate soil or less than favorable watering practices? Probably a little or a lot of both.

Rule: Whenever you consider a plant in trouble, you must consider not only the plant, but the rest of the planting as well - including the soil. The insect infestations, diseases, and stress/strain we so often need help with here, can almost always be traced back to weakening of the organism due to an inappropriate soil (or, as noted, inadequate light - though in an extremely high % of cases, it is indeed the soil).

This only touches on the cause/effect relationship of the soil to the planting. If there are questions, Ill try to answer them. If there is disagreement on a point or points, Ill offer the science behind my thinking and you can decide individually if the things I set down make sense.

I would strongly urge anyone who wasnt long ago bored to tears to follow this link to another thread I offered on the container gardening forum. If you want to get into the science and physics of what happens to Water in Container Soils, this will help explain it. You'll also come away with the knowledge of what makes a good soil.

I hope this starts a lively discussion and provokes lots of questions, but more importantly, I hope it eventually, and as the thread progresses, helps put a few more pieces of the puzzle together for at least a few forum participants. ;o)

Please forgive grammer/spelling errors. It's late here & I'm weary. ;o)



clipped on: 05.12.2010 at 11:13 am    last updated on: 05.12.2010 at 11:15 am

tanglefoot on plastic wrap

posted by: zach2024 on 05.04.2010 at 07:59 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

hello- I've installed some tightly wrapped plastic wrap around the base of my trees and coated them with tanglefoot. I couldn't get a tight seal with a paper band - the ants just crawled under the band.
I am wondering if installing saran-wrap too tightly can prevent proper tree growth, any thoughts on this?

Also - any reason to install tanglefoot on trees to young to fruit?


clipped on: 05.05.2010 at 11:07 am    last updated on: 05.05.2010 at 11:07 am

Use of diatomaceous earth in Al's soil mix?

posted by: katskan41 on 01.30.2009 at 08:28 am in Container Gardening Forum

Hello all. While in an auto parts store over the weekend and saw a 25lb bag of oil absorber. Normally I wouldnt have thought of using this in planting continers, but having read several threads on various bonsai websites recently I know that some people use this extensively in their soil mixes.

This particular soil absorber was composed of diatomaceous earth. I've heard that diatomaceous earth products are fairly stable and typically last much longer than cat litter or other non-diatomaceous earth oil absorbing products.

I'm wondering what the group thinks of using diatomaceous earth in container soil mixes?

The reason I ask is that some members cannot find Turface locally. If this diatomaceous earth oil absorber is a good product and won't break down in soil mixes, perhaps it could be a substitute for Turface? Nearly every town or city has an auto parts store.

Any thoughts on this?




clipped on: 04.27.2010 at 12:47 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2010 at 12:47 pm

RE: How Long To Form Roots? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: danab_z9_la on 04.05.2010 at 10:51 am in Fig Forum

How long depends on which particular cultivar is being rooted, the condition of the cuttings, the rooting temperature, and the rate of re-hydration of your cutting. My preferred rooting method can be broken down into three separate phases......and each phase takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks each:

Phase 1.....I prefer to use baggies for several reasons that will not get into right now. It will become obvious to you as you root more cuttings or strive to attain a higher rooting sucess rate. Make sure that your paper towel is NOT TOO DRY. There is a happy medium between too wet and too dry. Open your towels daily and LOOK at the cutting. If you see water droplets on your cutting....dab them off with the paper towel and re-wrap with the same towel. The wood on your cutting should look damp in all areas around the cutting. It should feel kind of sticky when gently touched with the tip of your finger. If there are areas on the cutting that look need a bit more water on your paper towel. With baggies at 70 to 75 degrees room temperature, I typically see nice root initials within 4 to 6 weeks and then move my cuttings to rooting cups.

Phase 2.......I prefer to use 16 oz clear plastic cups using a rooting mix which contains both nutrients and wetting agents (50:50 coarse perlite and Fertilome Ultimate Potting Mix). I keep them in these rooting cups until I see finer roots branching off of the larger main roots. Then I move them to trade gallon containers with a final potting soil mixture.

Phase 3.......After final potting, I harden off the starts to both heavy moisture and full sunlight.

ALSO.....cuttings that have too much wood below the bottom node sometimes take much longer to root. I have seen some that refused to root until I cut that extra wood off or cut into the cambium layer just below the bottom node.



This one is for figs!
clipped on: 04.06.2010 at 07:30 pm    last updated on: 04.06.2010 at 07:31 pm

Killing wasps on my berries!

posted by: leslie3200 on 08.30.2009 at 04:24 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I've finally found a way to deal with the paper wasps that not only suck berries (blueberries and blackberries) dry but deter me from even wanting to pick in the first place. I decided to use pyrethrin spray to squirt them and presumably kill them as pyrethrins are supposed to be very safe on edibles. When I find the wasps on a berry, I give them a squirt and they fly off to land nearby on a leaf or stem and start rubbing themselves. None have stung me while spraying, (although I have been stung when near their nests at other times). I am wondering if that is enough to kill them even though it may take a while? I've seen some of them fall to the ground and die but on my deck they usually make their way between the boards so I'm not certain they go ahead and die - anyone know for sure?

Next spring I will be hoping to kill them the minute they arrive and keep them from becoming so numerous in the first place. I've tried taking out their nests but there are so many inaccessible spots that I can't even make a dent. I'd also like to get some pyrethrin/synergist (piperonyl butoxide) concentrate but the sites I've located it on say that pyrethrins are in short supply this year. I get something like Garden Safe brand (Fruit and Vegetable or Houseplant and Garden, 24 oz) which is somewhat expensive compared to concentrate ($7.99) but well worth it to actually be able to harvest my berries.

They used to be on the fruit all night, during rain and I even popped a blackberry in my mouth with an attached wasp after neglecting to inspect it, (didn't sting me, thank goodness). I now am able pick in the evening after spraying in the day, as I've read that pyrethrins are degraded by sunlight. I then rinse them and eat them the next morning. I find only the occasional wasp still out there for some reason - maybe the repellent properties in action? Interestingly, I've always wondered about fly spray for horses and why no one seemed concerned about the amount the human applying it comes in contact with - turns out it's the same stuff, available in concentrate but I think it contains undesirable inert ingredients that make it undesirable for edibles.

Thought I'd pass this on as I have searched extensively on Garden Web and could never find a method to effectively deal with this problem!



clipped on: 08.30.2009 at 05:45 pm    last updated on: 08.30.2009 at 05:45 pm

Fertilizer Program - Containerized Plants (Long Post)

posted by: tapla on 10.23.2007 at 08:21 pm in Container Gardening Forum

This subject has been discussed frequently, but in piecemeal fashion on the Container Gardening and other forums related. Prompted by a question about fertilizers in another's post, I decided to collect a few thoughts & present my personal overview.

Fertilizer Program - Containerized Plants

Let me begin with a brief and hopefully not too technical explanation of how plants absorb water from the soil and the nutrients/solutes that are dissolved in that water. Most of us remember from our biology classes that cells have membranes that are semi-permeable. That is, they allow some things to pass through the walls, like water and whatever is dissolved in it, while excluding other materials. Osmosis is a natural phenomenon that creates a balance (isotonicity) in pressure between liquids and solutes inside and outside the cell. Water and ionic solutes will pass in and out of cell walls until an equilibrium is reached and the level of solutes in the water surrounding the cell is the same as the level of solutes in the cell.

This process begins when the finest roots absorb water molecule by molecule at the cellular level from the surface of soil particles and transport it, along with its nutrient load, throughout the plant. I want to keep this simple, so Ill just say that the best water absorption occurs when the level of solutes in soil water is lowest, and in the presence of good amounts of oxygen (this is where I get to plug a well-aerated and free-draining soil), ;o) but of course, when the level of solutes is very low, the plant is shorted the building materials (nutrients) it needs to manufacture food and keep its metabolism running smoothly, so it begins to exhibit deficiency symptoms.

We already learned that if the dissolved solutes in soil water are low, the plant may be well hydrated, but starving; however, if they are too high, the plant may have a large store of nutrients in the soil, but because of osmotic pressure, the plant may be unable to absorb the water and could die of thirst in a sea of plenty. When this condition occurs, and is severe enough (high concentrations of solutes in soil water), it causes fertilizer burn (plasmolysis), where plasma is torn from cell walls as the water inside the cell exits to maintain solute equilibrium with the water surrounding the cell.

Our job, because you will not find a sufficient supply of nutrients in a container soil, is to provide a solution of dissolved nutrients that affords the plant a supply in the adequate to luxury range, yet still makes it easy for the plant to take up enough water to be well-hydrated and free of drought stress. Electrical conductivity (EC) of the water in the soil is a reliable way to judge the level of solutes and the plants ability to take up water. There are meters that measure this conductivity, and for most plants the ideal range of conductivity is from 1.5 - 3.5 mS, with some, like tomatoes, being as high as 4.5 mS. This is more technical than I wanted to be, but I added it in case someone wanted to search "mS" or "EC". Most of us, including me, will have to be satisfied with simply guessing, but understanding how plants take up water and fertilizer and the effect of solute concentrations in soil water is an important piece of the fertilizing puzzle.

Now, some disconcerting news - you have listened to all this talk about nutrient concentrations, but what do we supply, when, and how do we supply them? We have to decide what nutrients are appropriate to add to our supplementation program, but how? Most of us are just hobby growers and cannot do tissue analysis to determine what is lacking. We can be observant and learn the symptoms of various nutrient deficiencies though - and we CAN make some surprising generalizations.

What if I said that the nutritional needs of all plants is basically the same and that one fertilizer could suit almost all the plants we grow in containers - that by increasing/decreasing the dosage as we water, we could even manipulate plants to bloom and fruit more abundantly? Its really quite logical, so please let me explain.

Tissue analysis of plants will nearly always show NPK to be in the ratio of approximately 10:1.5:7. If we assign N the constant of 100, P and K will range from 13-19 and 45-70 respectively. Ill try to remember to make a chart showing the relative ratios of all the other 13 essential nutrients that dont come from the air at the end of what I write.

All we need to do is supply nutrients in approximately the same ratio as plants use them, and in adequate amounts to keep them in the adequate to luxury range at all times. Remember that we can maximize water uptake by keeping the concentrations of solutes low, so a continual supply of a weak solution is best. Nutrients dont just suddenly appear in large quantities in nature, so the low and continual dose method most closely mimics the nutritional supply Mother Nature offers. If you decide to adopt a "fertilize every time you water" approach, most liquid fertilizers can be applied at to 1 tsp per gallon for best results. If you decide thats too much work, try halving the dose recommended & cutting the interval in half. You can work out the math for granular soluble fertilizers and apply at a similar rate.

The system is rather self regulating if fertilizer is applied in low concentrations each time you water, even with houseplants in winter. As the plants growth slows, so does its need for both water and nutrients. Larger plants and plants that are growing robustly will need more water and nutrients, so linking nutrient supply to the water supply is a win/win situation all around.

Another advantage to supplying a continual low concentration of fertilizer is it eliminates the tendency of plants to show symptoms of nutrient deficiencies after they have received high doses of fertilizer and then been allowed to return to a more favorable level of soil solute concentrations. Even at perfectly acceptable concentrations of nutrients in the soil, plants previously exposed to high concentrations of fertilizer readily display these symptoms.

You will still need to guard against watering in sips and that habits accompanying tendency to allow solute (salt) accumulation in soils. Remember that as salts accumulate, both water and nutrient uptake is made more difficult and finally impaired or made impossible in severe cases. Your soils should always allow you to water so that at least 10-15% of the total volume of water applied passes through the soil and out the drain hole to be discarded. This flushes the soil and carries accumulating solutes out the drain hole.

I have recently switched to a liquid fertilizer with micronutrients in a 12:4:8 NPK ratio. Note how close this fits the average ratio of NPK content in plant tissues, noted above (10:1.5:7). If the P looks a little high at 4, consider that in container soils, P begins to be more tightly held as pH goes from 6.5 to below 6.0, which is on the high side of most container soils pH, so the manufacturer probably gave this some careful consideration.

To answer the inevitable questions about specialty fertilizers and "special" plant nutritional requirements, let me repeat that plants need nutrients in roughly the same ratio. Ratio is an entirely a separate consideration from dosage. Youll need to adjust the dosage to fit the plant and perhaps strike a happy medium in containers that have a diversity of material.

If nutrient availability is unbalanced, if plants are getting more than they need of certain nutrients, but less than they need of others, the nutrient they need the most will be the one that limits growth. Whatever nutrients are available in excess, will be absorbed by the plant to a certain degree, and in some cases, this may lead to toxicity or even symptoms of shortages of other nutrients as toxicity levels block a plant's ability to take up other nutrients. Too much nitrogen will lead to excessive foliage production and less flowering. Too much potassium or phosphorus will not lead to ill effect, but will show up as a deficiency of other nutrients as it blocks uptake.

What about the "Bloom Booster" fertilizers you might ask? To induce more prolific flowering, a reduced N supply will have more and better effect than the high P bloom formulas. When N is reduced, it slows vegetative growth without reducing photosynthesis. Since vegetative growth is limited by a lack of N, and the photosynthetic machinery continues to turn out food, it leaves an expendable surplus for the plant to spend on flowers and fruit.

The fact that different species of plants grow in different types of soil where they are naturally found, does not mean that one needs more of a certain nutrient than the other. It just means that the plants have developed strategies to adapt to certain conditions, like excesses and deficiencies of particular nutrients..

Plants that "love" acid soils, e.g., have simply developed strategies to cope with those soils. Their calcium needs are still the same as any other plant and no different from the nutrient requirements of plants that thrive in alkaline soils. The problem for acid-loving plants is that they are unable to adequately limit their calcium uptake, and will absorb too much of it when available, resulting in cellular pH-values that are too high. Some acid-loving plants also have difficulties absorbing Fe, Mn, Cu, or Zn, which is more tightly held in alkaline soils, another reason why they thrive in low pH (acid) soils.

The point Im trying to make in the last three or four paragraphs is simply that nearly all the variables in a fertilizer regimen pertain to the plants ability to handle nutrients, not to the actual nutrient needs of the plant.

So, If you select a fertilizer that is close in ratio to the concentration of major elements in plant tissues, youre going to be in pretty good shape. Whether the fertilizer is furnished in chemical or organic form matters not a whit to the plant. Ions are ions, but there is one consideration. Chemical fertilizers are available for immediate uptake while organic fertilizers must be acted on by passing through the gut of micro-organisms to break them down into usable elemental form. Since microorganism populations are affected by cultural conditions like moisture/air levels in the soil, soil pH, fertility levels, temperature, etc., they tend to follow a boom/bust cycle in container culture, which has an impact on the reliability and timing of delivery of nutrients supplied in organic form.

What am I using? I start with a quart of 12-4-8 liquid Miracle-Gro all purpose plant food. To that, I add 3 Tbsp. of Epsom salts, 2 Tbsp. STEM (Soluble Trace Element Mix), and 1 Tbsp Sprint 138 Fe chelate and agitate until the concentrate is dissolved. I then try to fertilize my plants weakly (pun intended) with a half recommended dose of the concentrate and a little added 5-1-1 fish emulsion. The fish emulsion is for no particular reason except that I have lots of it on hand. This year my display containers performed better than they ever have in years past & they were still all looking amazingly attractive this third week of Oct when I finally decided to dismantle them because of imminent cold weather. I attribute results primarily to a good soil and a healthy nutrient supplementation program.

What would I recommend to someone who asked, for nearly all container plantings? If you can find it, a 12-4-8 liquid blend that contains all the minor elements would a great find and easy to use, but I dont think its available. What Im using does not have all the minors but I supply them with the STEM. Youll likely find a 24-8-16 product readily available in granular, soluble form with all the minors, which is the same ratio as 12-4-8, so if I had to pick one fertilizer for use on all my plants, it would be that.

The chart I promised:

I gave Nitrogen, because it's the largest nutrient component, the value of 100. Other nutrients are listed as a weight percentage of N.
N 100
P 13-19
K 45-80
S 6-9
Mg 5-15
Ca 5-15
Fe 0.7
Mn 0.4
B(oron) 0.2
Zn 0.06
Cu 0.03
Cl 0.03
M(olybden) 0.003

If you're still awake - thanks for reading. It makes me feel like the effort was worth it. ;o) Let me know what you think - please.


Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Water Movement and Retention in Container Soils


clipped on: 08.07.2009 at 08:13 am    last updated on: 08.07.2009 at 08:14 am

Posting pictures

posted by: xgrndpounder on 08.12.2008 at 06:30 pm in Fig Forum

Posting pictures with Photobucket (free acct)
This is for XP OS..I don't know about this working with Vista OS

1 Download pictures on computer

2 choose picture, right click and resize pic. to 480X640

3 Go to "bulkloader" in photobucket look for pic. that has "small" under it, ck. it,
go to bottom, it will say "save & continue, cl it, it will give you choices, pick "html"
it will read "copied"

Go to the Subject spot in the GW/FF type in what ever your subject is, then if you want to put a message in the message box
do so, then get your curser to blink under your msg. and right click paste, it will show up as links, then go to "preview msg.

your picture should show up below your msg.
There is no charge for steps I might have forgot in this process.



clipped on: 07.14.2009 at 09:42 am    last updated on: 07.14.2009 at 09:43 am

Posting photos here - How???

posted by: buyali on 06.15.2009 at 08:33 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Could some kind person give me a simple explanation of the procedure to post a photo with posts on this Forum. I've sent several requests to the Forum but no response?

Would appreciate any help. Thanks,


clipped on: 06.15.2009 at 09:41 am    last updated on: 06.15.2009 at 09:41 am

swc easier design?

posted by: tom_n_6bzone on 04.16.2009 at 02:20 pm in Container Gardening Forum

I've read where some are putting a cheap plastic colander on the bottom of a five gallon container. The colander is supposed to fit perfectly if you cut off the little part that extends outward of its diameter. They then put a plastic pipe downward from the top to the bottom so its the watering tube. They drill an overflow hole where the colander's height comes. Then they fill up the 5 gallon container and put plastic on top. I've read enough of others extolling this method to think it must work.

Here's my question. To me, the colander is very wide and leaves little room for a reservoir. In fact, the entire colander's contents of mix would be saturated. So, why even do this much? Why not just have a 5 gallon bucket with an overflow hole four or five inches from the bottom. Make the hole large enough that a plastic bottle filled with holes could be screwed into it from the inside. And why use a colander (or platform to separate the mix from the reservoir) at all? Just fill it up with a good peat based mix and fill up the plastic bottle with water. Wait for it to wick upward and fill again.

If that doesn't sound good, then leave out the bottle and fill the bucket full of mix and just water into the excess hole. one bucket. one hole.

Where's the drawback?
Tom in Western MD zone 6b


clipped on: 04.17.2009 at 06:53 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2009 at 06:53 pm

Easy Propagation Methods 2

posted by: JohnVa on 12.16.2005 at 01:37 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

Inspried by Jamie's "Easy Propagation Chamber" I decided to show you my methods :)

I use wick watering and grow under lights so my process is designed to fit those factors.

First I'll start with the wicking method:

You need the following: a 6 inch pot, a covered plastic bowl, and a nylon cord.

The cord will be pulled through the bottom of the pot and through the top center whole of the bowl lid (when you start using it). This picture is just to illustrate how it all fits together once you start using it. Keep in mind the cord just hangs out the bottom while the seeds and cuttings are getting started.

To start off, the cord is put in place in the pot with about 6-8 inches hanging out the bottom. The pot is then filled half full with potting mix and the wick placed around the other side of the pot as shown. The pot is then filled with soil to near the top. When starting seeds I leave about an inch of space below the top of the pot. With cuttings it doesn't matter.

For starting seed I use a plexiglas cover over the pot until the seedlings hit it. Once they reach the cover I remove it and attach the wick and bowl under it. Here is an example of some new seeds comin gup.

This next pic is an example of some tip cuttngs of Balloon flowers I took when they got too tall under my lights.

These cuttings are 4 days old and are being grown under a plactic 100 CD cover to keep the humidity high.

This last pic is some 10 week old Balloon flower seedlings using this method. They are grossly overcrowded but at the moment I have no place to transplant them to so they will just have to survive :) The above cuttings were taken from them. I do have several buds on them already.

Note the wick in the bottom of the plastic bowl.

One lesson learned is don't put too many seeds in. :)



clipped on: 04.07.2009 at 09:40 am    last updated on: 04.07.2009 at 09:40 am

New Video: How to Pillar a Rose

posted by: rosesnpots on 03.14.2009 at 09:54 pm in Roses Forum

For everyone interested in pillaring a rose. Paul Zimmerman, owner of Ashdown Roses has added a new video "How to Pillar a Rose" to his short (and free) Rose Care videos on YouTube.

The link is below.


Here is a link that might be useful: How to Pillar a Rose


clipped on: 03.22.2009 at 12:35 am    last updated on: 03.22.2009 at 12:35 am

Another Bake Day..... Pics

posted by: ann_t on 02.18.2009 at 10:49 am in Cooking Forum

My favourite kind of day. I started the Bagels early in the morning and they were out of the oven before 11:00.

If anyone is interested in baking Bagels here is the recipe that I use. And a How to Pictorial.

The only thing I did difference this time is to add a sourdough biga into the mix.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table


Source: Hors d'oeuvres Cook Book.

I have typed it exactly how the recipe is printed in the book. If you have a bread machine or kitchenaide by all means use it to do most of the kneading. I always like to finish the kneading by hand. You can also make these in to normal size bagels. I have used this recipe for over 20years. I have tried other recipes but this is my favourite one.

2 cups warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
about 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
3 quarts water with 1 tablespoon of sugar
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
about 2 tablespoons poppy or sesame seeds.

Stir together water and yeast in large bowl of electric mixer; let
stand 5 minutes to soften yeast. Stir in the Sugar and Salt. Gradually
mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat at medium speed for 5 minutes. With
a spoon, stir in about 1 1/4 cups more flour to make a stiff dough.

turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth, elastic, and no
longer sticky, (about 15 minutes); add more flour as needed to prevent
sticking - dough should be firmer than for most other yeast breads.
Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until
almost doubled ( about 40 minutes to 1 hour).

Punch dough down and divide into thirds. Set 2/3 of dough aside on a
floured board; cover with clear plastic. form remaining 1/3 dough in a
log and cut into 16 equal pieces.

to shape, knead each piece into small ball and poke thumbs through
centre. With one thumb in hole (hole should be at least 1/2 inch) work
fingers around perimeter, shaping ball into a small donut like shape
about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place bagels on a floured board or tray
and let stand 20 minutes.

Bring water-sugar mixture to a boil in a 4 to 5 quart pan; adjust heat to keep it boiling gently. Lightly grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Lift bagels carefully and drop into water (about 6 at a time) boil gently for 1 minute turning only once (30 seconds each side). Lift out with slotted spoon and drain very briefly on paper towels, and place on baking sheet. Brush with 1/3 of the egg yolk glaze, sprinkle with seeds and bake in a 400� oven for 20 minutes or until richly browned. cool on racks.

Repeat with remaining 2/3 dough (you may need to punch it down before shaping,) working with 1/3 at a time. Makes 48 cocktail size bagels.


Here is what I did to make Onion Cheese Bagels:

I sauted some onions in butter just until tender. Not brown.

After the dough had risen, I divided it into three parts. I took one of
the parts, flatten it out and topped with some of the onions and some
grated three year old white cheddar. Then I formed a log and divided it
into 6 parts. Then I just proceeded to make 6 bagels and let them rise
for about 20 minutes. After they were boiled I brushed them with the
oil that the onions were cooked in and then topped them with some of
the onions. The onions got a little more brown then I would have liked
so next time I would wait until half way through baking before adding
the onions. I sprinkled some grated cheddar on top about 5 minutes
before they were finished baking.

I took one batch of the sourdough bread that had been slow rising in the fridge for 30 some hours and set it on the counter earlier so that it would come to room temperature. Baked three loaves. I still have another batch in the fridge and if Moe can stand to eat another pizza I might use it for that.


clipped on: 02.18.2009 at 11:29 am    last updated on: 02.18.2009 at 11:30 am

Float valve in Self Watering Container worked

posted by: emgardener on 04.09.2008 at 02:30 am in Container Gardening Forum

Last year I put a small float valve in the bottom of a homemade SWC, made from a 19 gallon rubbermaid tote.

Planted an early girl tomato. It grew big with lots of harvest. And I never had to hand water. Had a 50 gallon brute rubbermaid trash can filled with water. Put 1/4" tube from the can to the float. And it worked all season. I was afraid the tomato roots might clog it up.

This spring I threw out the soil to use the SWC again and checked out the roots around the float valve. There were none, it was totally clean. Very surprising. I had expected some roots to be on the float valve but there were none. Some roots were at the bottom of the SWC but not a whole lot. I believe since water was always in the reservoir, the roots couldn't grow into it. In a SWC, that I hand watered, I saw more root growth in the bottom of the container. Maybe since the container dried out somewhat the roots could establish themselves better as the bottom of the container would have been damp, not totally dry or full of water.

Anyway, for me this is exciting. Freedom from watering without worries. For this year, I've added a float valve to one of my 5 GS SWCs to test out. If it works, I'll retrofit the others next year. Also put a float in a 5 gallon bucket SWC. Having a float in each container means I can put the containers at any level (versus a 1 float system that feeds many containers at the same level).

Wordy post, but the $12 Kerick plastic floats (MA252) are much more inexpensive than the Earthbox automatic watering system. And the floats can be put in GS or homemade SWCs.

If anyone is interested, I can post a picture of the GS SWC I retrofitted this year.


clipped on: 02.18.2009 at 10:07 am    last updated on: 02.18.2009 at 10:07 am

fruit for east-facing wall

posted by: aioli on 01.30.2009 at 02:50 pm in Citrus Forum

Hi everyone,
We are putting in a 4' tall East-facing retaining wall and hope to espalier some type of dwarf fruit tree (citrus, apple, pear, etc., 4-6' tall) along its width. The wall gets a few hours of morning light, then mid-day filtered light, followed by afternoon shade. Located in the East Bay hills (Richmond, CA) with sun, fog and wind. We realize full-sun trees probably won't be happy, but are there any that might work/produce for us? Or are we nuts? Suggestions please. Thanks!


clipped on: 02.04.2009 at 05:49 pm    last updated on: 02.04.2009 at 05:49 pm

RE: My Rose 'Babies' from seeds (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: celestialrose on 01.26.2009 at 11:31 pm in Roses Forum

THANK YOU ALL for your wonderful responses to my post! I always enjoy sharing my experiences and photos with you all and getting your feedback. It sures helps with the winter blues to chat about roses and you are all treasured friends.

For those who wanted to know how I went about the seed-starting operation, I kept it pretty simple, and anyone can do it. After collecting the ripe hips in the fall I immediately dug the seeds out of the hips, making sure to get all the pulp off the seeds and clean them well. I soaked them for a day or two in water with a little bit of hydrogen peroxide in it then put them between moist paper towels which I then placed in plastic ziploc bags. They stayed in the refrigerator for 3 months. I did not have any sprout during that time so I simply sowed them in peat pots using packaged sterilized seed starting mix. As for the flourescent lights I used regular shoplights suspended about 3 inches from the pots. I kept the lights on for about 16 hours per day/ off for 8 hrs. I had some germinations in as soon as 1 week after sowing which surprised me, but most seeds took about 2-4 weeks to germinate. As the seedlings grew I just kept adjusting the height of the lights, but made sure they were only inches away from the seedlings. I wasn't sure how well the seedlings would do just using regular flourescent lights but they didn't seem to mind that I didn't splurge on the more expensive grow-lights. Because the set-up was in my basement, the temperature was fairly cool but not cold. So that's basically it, nothing fancy or too scientific, just a lot of hovering over the pots and hoping and wishing.

Thank you Patrick & Jim for the suggestion and encouragement to join the RHA. I did pop over there as a lurker during my seed-growing upon occasion but haven't in a while since I no longer have my setup going. Someday I hope to get back into it because I truly enjoyed it. For now, my mom who has Alzheimer's is living with us so that I can care for her and my grown daughter moved back in, and I lost all available space. It's a hobby I know I will get back into when space allows.

Once again, many thanks for all of your words of encouragement.



good Rose breeding stuff
clipped on: 01.27.2009 at 03:16 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2009 at 03:16 pm

RE: Most uniquely flavored... (question) (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: rootdoctor on 12.17.2008 at 11:15 pm in Hot Pepper Forum

2 habaneros diced very fine
4 T butter non salted
1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk or cream
1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries

melt butter over low heat, add diced habs (no seeds)
cook and mash the habs for 3-5 minutes, add brown sugar stir constantly until melted, add vanilla and cream
cook stirring constantly until caramel like consistancy.

add strawberries and serve over vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

the combination of HOT and cold and HOT and sweet is simply amazing.

I like it better when I used my Red Savina hybrids - they have a slightly cinnamon after taste.

I sent a recipe to Ben and Jerry's but the bas..rds just now claim to own it and say they will prosecute me if I send it on to anyone, so here it is for everyone.

Even folks that are afraid of chili peppers enjoyed this, most asked for seconds heheheheheh.

Enjoy it!! TiMo


clipped on: 12.18.2008 at 11:09 am    last updated on: 12.18.2008 at 11:09 am

RE: I think I'm addicted (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mama2emma on 12.09.2008 at 04:19 pm in Harvest Forum

The pressure canner I ordered is a Presto 16-qt; I have a glass-top stove, and after lots of reading here chose the one I think (hope!) will work best for that. I've been doing my boiling water canning on a standalone electric burner, and it's worked pretty well.

The cranberry marmalade recipe is from "The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving." It's really easy, and delicious. My only complaint is that it's a bit sweet for my taste, but I'm not comfortable changing a recipe when I'm so new to the process. Can you reduce the sugar in a recipe?

Cranberry Orange Marmalade

2 medium oranges
1 lemon
3 cups water
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
4 cups granulated sugar

1. Remove thin outer rind from oranges and lemon with vegetable peeler and cut into very fine strips with scissors or sharp knife; or use a zester. Place rind and water in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and boil gently for 20 minutes.

2. Remove and discard remaining white rind and seeds from oranges and lemon. Finely chop pulp and cranberries in a food processor or blender and add to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add sugar to fruit mixture. Return to a boil over high heat and boil rapidly, uncovered, until mixture will form a gel, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

4. Ladle into hot jars and process for 10 minutes (boiling water canner).

Makes about 5 cups - which is exactly what I've gotten from both batches I made.

Thanks for the encouragement. Enjoy this recipe, I know I do!


clipped on: 12.15.2008 at 11:11 am    last updated on: 12.15.2008 at 11:12 am

Gluewein (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: coffeehaus on 12.14.2008 at 06:53 am in Wine Forum

Having just returned from our annual December pilgrimage to Munich where we renewed our love for "Gluewein" (and beer!), I've been making a batch every week. Gluewein is the hot, spiced red or white wine sold at every Cristkindlemarkt in all of the burgs and dorfs in Germany, and translates to something like "Glow Wine". It is such a treat to warm you up in cold weather! If you are making it in large quantities (i.e. for a party) use a crockpot. Here's my version:

In a medium saucepan on low heat, mix together 2 c water, 1/2 c sugar, 1 stick of cinnamon (crumbled), and 5-6 whole cloves. Simmer for at least 10-20 min. to bring out the spice flavors.
Add the rind and juice of one orange and one lime or lemon. Simmer for another 10-20 min. (or longer).
Add one bottle of inexpensive red wine (or white, if you prefer) and heat but DO NOT BOIL!
You can use a strainer or slotted spoon to remove the rinds and spices. Serve hot in cups. Zum Volle!

This is the perfect recipe for some of the boxed supermarket wines. I've been using Banrock Station Merlot. Don't use the good stuff won't be appreciated. You can also refrigerate it and reheat in the microwave. For an extra punch, add a bit of "schnapps" or liquor such as rum, to the cup before serving.


clipped on: 12.15.2008 at 10:55 am    last updated on: 12.15.2008 at 10:56 am

RE: can I just plant in paper cups or do I have to be fancy? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: v1rtu0s1ty on 12.12.2008 at 10:48 am in Growing from Seed Forum

I used a regular plate(ceramic), folded damp paper towel, then the seeds, then folded damp paper towel again. Then I put them in a ziplock.

Once it sprouts, I transfer them to the real dirt. This is also what I did to my Pampas and Foxtail seeds. The dianthus seeds took forever.

Below are the pictures of my seed germination experiment.

Dianthus seed germinated


clipped on: 12.13.2008 at 10:35 am    last updated on: 12.13.2008 at 10:35 am

'Instant beds'

posted by: donn_ on 03.28.2006 at 07:01 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Need quick bedspace for your new babies? Here's a surefire way to build them quickly, using nothing but lawn and cardboard.

Groundlevel beds: Cut the lawn/sod about 6-8" deep, in sections you can handle easily. In the space you dug the sod from, lay out sheets of cardboard. Soak the cardboard. Flip the sod chunks upside down, so the grass side is on the cardboard. You now have a new bed, which can be planted into immediately, with a little compost added to the back fill.

Elevated beds: Find a part of the yard that could use a new woodchip path (alongside a bed is a good spot, because it doesn't have to be mowed or edged, because there won't be any grass to grow into your bed). Dig out the same sod chunks outlined above. Lay out the cardboard where you want the new bed, and soak it down. Flip the sod chunks same as above. It's ready to plant. Put down some landscape fabric where you dug out the sod, and cover it with 6-8" of woodchips. You now have a weedfree path that will make compost at it's bottom, which you can harvest every year. Just rake back the top, shovel the bottom into adjacent beds, rake the top back into the bottom, and put a new layer on top.

The primary benefits of instant beds are that you don't need layers of greens and browns like with lasagna beds, and they don't shrink down like lasagna beds.


clipped on: 12.10.2008 at 11:33 am    last updated on: 12.10.2008 at 11:33 am

Easy Propagation Chamber

posted by: little_dani on 10.05.2005 at 08:34 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I make a little propagation chamber that is so easy, and so reliable for me that I thought I would share the idea. I have not seen one like it here, and I did look through the FAQ, but didn't find one there either. I hope I did not miss it, and I hope I do not offend anyone by being presumptive in posting this here.

That said....

This is what you will need.
A plastic shoebox, with a lid. They come in various sizes, any will do.

Soil less potting mix, half peat, half perlite, or whatever is your favorite medium.
A little clay pot, with the drain hole plugged with caulking or silicone. If this is a new pot, scrub it with some steel wool to be sure it doesn't have a sealer on it. You want the water to seep through it.
Rooting hormone powder or liquid, or salix solution from the willow tree.
Plant material, snippers. I am going to pot some Plectranthus (a tall swedish ivy) and a Joseph's Coat, 'Red Thread'. I already have some succulents rooted in this box. I will take them out and pot them up later, DH has a new cacti pot he wants to put them in.
You can see here, I hope, that I fill the clay pot to the top with rain water, well water, or distilled water. I just don't use our tap water, too much chlorine and a ph that is out of sight.

I pour a little of the hormone powder out on a paper plate or a piece of paper, so that I don't contaminate the whole package of powder. And these little 'snippers' are the best for taking this kind of cuttings.

This is about right on the amount of hormone to use. I try to get 2 nodes per cutting, if I can. Knock off the excess. It is better to have a little too little than to have too much.
Then, with your finger, or a pencil, or stick, SOMETHING, poke a hole in the potting mix and insert your cutting. Pull the potting mix up around the cutting good and snug.

When your box is full, and I always like to pretty much fill the box, just put the lid on it, and set it in the shade. You don't ever put this box in the sun. You wind up with boiled cuttings. YUK!

Check the cuttings every few days, and refill the reservoire as needed. Don't let it dry out. If you happen to get too wet, just prop the lid open with a pencil for a little while.
This is a very good method of propagation, but I don't do roses in these. The thorns just make it hard for me, with my big fingers, to pack the box full. All kinds of other things can be done in these. Just try it!



clipped on: 12.10.2008 at 11:15 am    last updated on: 12.10.2008 at 11:15 am

RE: can I just plant in paper cups or do I have to be fancy? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: token28001 on 12.10.2008 at 02:03 am in Growing from Seed Forum


clipped on: 12.10.2008 at 10:52 am    last updated on: 12.10.2008 at 10:52 am

RE: How can I get the most blooms on my citrus?? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: tsmith2579 on 11.18.2008 at 09:17 pm in Citrus Forum

My calamondin blooms several times a year. I encourage blooming by feeding it with superphosphate (1 tablespoon), Epsom salts (3 tablespoons), Miracid fertilizer (2 tablespoons) and 8-8-8 fertilizer (1 tablespoon) with trace elements. Then water, water, water. It doesn't take much superphos or 8-8-8. My cal is on a 30 gallon pot, about 7 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide. It is in the greenhouse right now after being outside all summer. It has so much ripe fruit it looks like a decorated Christmas tree with small orange balls. If I were you, around 8 weeks before last frost, I would fertilize with this combo. Be sure to consider the size of your tree and adjust the amount of fertilizer.


clipped on: 11.26.2008 at 11:57 am    last updated on: 11.26.2008 at 11:57 am

RE: Southern California Roll Call!!! (Follow-Up #80)

posted by: thinking_stomach on 11.23.2008 at 08:28 pm in California Gardening Forum

Howdy! My name is Christina, and my husband and I just moved from Pasadena to Altadena. In Pasadena, I had little room to grow the edible yard we both wanted, and now in Altadena, we have more room that we could have imagined. I grow all sorts of heirloom veggies; with the new house and its large lot, I'm also looking forward to growing much of our fruit. I haunt all the Kitchen Garden forums, soaking up as much info as possible.

I keep a blog about growing food and cooking it. If you want to know more about my garden and gardening/food interests, you can check it out at the link below:

Here is a link that might be useful: A Thinking Stomach


She has some interesting stuff on her blog
clipped on: 11.24.2008 at 05:27 pm    last updated on: 11.24.2008 at 05:27 pm

RE: Southern California Roll Call!!! (Follow-Up #62)

posted by: softmentor on 10.24.2007 at 03:37 am in California Gardening Forum

Arthur from Indio. the hub of the Coachella Valley. You will be hard pressed to find a hotter place in summer. I am a "gentleman" farmer, with 5 acres. We have about one acre in date palms and will eventually have about half the place in dates. We also have over 100 citrus trees, with over 40 varieties. We have a lot of Daisy tangerine along with Kadota fig, Wonderful pomegranates, and jujube, that we sell at local markets. We hope to be planting more citrus this coming spring, 30 more Kinnow tangerine and several Eustis Limequat. I planted one Eustis 4 years ago, not thinking it would do much, but have been pleasantly surprised by it. Not only does it have very nice small limes, very much like Mexican lime, but they bear 3 crops a year and almost always have some fruit, even when other limes are out of season. Perfect for my small local market customers. I stubbornly keep trying lots of things that really don't do well here and a few have done...ok... sorta. Every once in a while one works. But that's the fun of it, trying things. I'm also going to try pawpaw this year. Now that should tell you that I have completely lost my mind. Kind of like when I tried cherries... for the second time. I can confirm quite conclusively, cherries are not a good choice for Indio. but hey, you never know ::smiles his jolly smile::


Arthur has emailed me and I look forward to meeting him. Ask him about dwarf Mango.
clipped on: 11.23.2008 at 10:50 am    last updated on: 11.23.2008 at 10:52 am