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Pipe Pots

posted by: pls8xx on 01.20.2008 at 03:46 pm in Annuals Forum

Being inspired to give zinnia breeding a try by maineman and jackier_gardener, I am working on the system.

One of my hopes was to grow the plants to first bloom stage before setting them to the garden. I proposed to use 6 inch sections of 4" lightweight PVC pipe as open bottom pots. The pipe was to be cut lengthwise to allow the soil to be released and the pot pulled up and over the plant, resulting in a minimum of root disturbance.

The original concept

I bought a 10 ft joint of the pipe yesterday for a little under $5. The lengthwise cut was made in some of the pipe and then chopped into 6" sections. I had thought that in use I would need to use duct tape to pull the cut edges together, but after cutting them I found that the pipe tries to spring together on its own. If the edges are allowed to offset the pipe will bend to overlap about a half inch as shown below.


So it doesn't look like I'll need the tape after all.

I have made a design addition of two half inch by #10 sheet metal screws. The pipe was drilled and the screws set leaving a gap between the pipe and screw head as shown.

Photobucket Screws are a little above halfway up the pipe from the bottom.

Next a special planting tool was made from a shelf bracket as show below.


Shown below is a simulated use of the Pipe Pot and planting tool. The pot is set in the hole and the bottom point of the tool is placed between the two screws.


The tool handle is then pressed down which spreads the pipe open to release the soil block and the screws lock into the handle notches.


One hand is then used to pull soil around the plant as the other uses the handle to pull the pot up and over the plant.

Next I will need to make up a tool to lift the bottomless pots from the flat surface used for growing and transferring them to the garden hole.


clipped on: 12.26.2008 at 05:52 pm    last updated on: 12.26.2008 at 05:52 pm

catching snakes/ repelling them

posted by: ellix on 06.27.2006 at 12:31 pm in Georgia Gardener Forum

Please tell me of ways to catch snakes to remove from my yard. I have a water garden, lots of rocks around the back of my yard and I feed birds and such. I just cannot go outside any more without seeing a snake. This is simply to much! I would be very interested in ways to keep them away from my house? Surely something works. Heard 'snake away' does not work. Have heard goats in the yard does--what about goat manure? What about sulfur at 90%? Will it work after a rain and what is it not good for--frogs, toads, birds, etc? Anything? Please help.


clipped on: 09.11.2008 at 10:55 am    last updated on: 09.11.2008 at 10:55 am

My Flow Through Bins

posted by: splitsec002 on 04.10.2008 at 08:40 pm in Vermicomposting Forum

Hi all, I'd like to thank you for this forum. I barely found it and
because of this forum I was able to make myself some flow thru bins.
I've been worming for about a year now and visited worm digest and
gardenweb forums but haven't heard about the flow thru's till
recently. Finally got some god pics by wellsworms and decided to make
my own. He asked me to post pics so here they are! They're in the
photo section. I'm going to tell you how I made the bins because they
really are great and cheap to make.

Step 1: First of all you need your actual bin. My first one was made
from a 44 gallon trash can bought at home depot. It was around 35.00.
The 55 gallon drum I got from a friend that just gave to me. I used a
utility knife to cut the opening of the trashcan. It was pretty easy
and only required a few strokes. The 55 gallon drum however needed a
jigsaw with metal/plastic blade to cut the opening.

Step 2: I used threaded rods that were 3/8" thick and were zinc coated
to prevent rust. I don't think rust is a problem but my mom says she
heard that it was toxic in the garden so this is just precautionary. 6
foot rods are 5.00 each and you need 3 to 4 of them depending on what
size bin and how far apart you put the rods. I used a jigsaw with
metal blades to cut the rods to length. Drilled holes in the bin with
3/8" drill bit. Again used the drill to spin the rods through the
holes in the bin because it is a pretty tight fit.

Step 3: Put 6 layers of newspaper on top on rods inside of your bin to
hold castings, worms, and starter bedding. The paper will compost and
you can use a garden rake to scrap off castings when you need it.
Others have suggested 18" of castings from the rods to the top before
you start harvesting. I haven't harvested anything yet because I want
my bin to be almost full before I start harvesting.

Step 4: Add bedding and food scraps on the top and when the castings
is ready you can harvest!

A few words I have to say about this design. I've only had it for
about a month or so but so far I am loving it. I used to have worm
factories (2) but they just don't seem as efficient as these and I
hated harvesting because I had to seperate the worms from castings. My
hope with this design is that once the bins are pretty full that there
will be hardly any worms near the bottom of the bin. Hopefully
harvesting will be easier. Like I said I haven't had this long enough
yet so I can't comment on that. When I dig from inside the bin all the
way to the rods, the castings are pretty compact towards the bottom
and I don't have many worms down there. I think when the bin is full
there will be even less worms for a easier and faster harvest.

I have also noticed that the worms can take much more food than my
worms in the worm factories. I'm not sure why but the food disappears
pretty quickly. I might just have more worms in the new bins compared
to the worm factories. Whatever it is, the food is disappearing fast
and so is the bedding which prompted me to make the 2nd blue 55 gallon
bin. I'm going to try to sell my worm factories off to recoup the cost.

I do not add any water in the bins at all. It seems the open bottom
and closed top give perfect moisture level. There is a lot of water on
the lid when I open it but the worms seem to be thriving so I'm not
adding more paper.

Hope this helps people that want to try a flow thru bin! Btw you can
find 55 gallon bins on craigslist and pennywiser for around 25 bucks.
Cheaper than the trash can I bought at home depot. Some of them have
lids that are removable too so you wouldn't need to cut anything.

Wow that was a long post but after watching American Idol I just felt
like I should "Give back" to the forum members and everything I've



clipped on: 08.26.2008 at 09:46 pm    last updated on: 08.26.2008 at 09:47 pm

Cost of shipping

posted by: lovebnretired on 08.07.2008 at 09:50 am in Plant Exchange Forum

I have shipped plants in the $9.80 priority box at the US post office.
In some other peoples post the state they are shipping a $5.00 box.
So to save me money I went to the post office and ask for a $5.00 priority box. They did not have one and suggested I go on line to get one.
Went on line searched the USPostal site and never found such a box.
WHAT IS A $5.00 box and HOW DO I GET SOME????


clipped on: 08.07.2008 at 01:46 pm    last updated on: 08.07.2008 at 01:46 pm

WANTED: Cineraria maritima (disolves catarac in dogs)

posted by: heirloomkeepsakes on 08.03.2008 at 07:38 pm in Seed Exchange Forum

Saw in Herbs for Pets (Cypress library) author Susan C Wynn and I have 12 year old Pomeranian. I would like to try, but can't locate on daves_garden or on Garden web. CAN ANYONE HELP????? Contact me


clipped on: 08.03.2008 at 11:00 pm    last updated on: 08.03.2008 at 11:00 pm

Epson Salts

posted by: jan3421 on 07.01.2008 at 07:00 pm in Iris Forum

It's been years since I've used any on my iris, but remember I did and now can't remember when (at what time of year) & what for. Any advice out there appreciated. Thanks, Jan


clipped on: 07.13.2008 at 01:37 pm    last updated on: 07.13.2008 at 01:38 pm

soft coral sturdy independent rose wanted

posted by: idabean on 06.30.2008 at 05:39 pm in Roses Forum

Live in Mass. zone 5, winter snowcover very unreliable. This will one of two roses on a garden path. Pink knock out is one, and has worked very well, even though I know it is very utilitarian. I'm looking for a companion on the other side of the border, perferably perpetual blooming like KO, with similar height. (carpet roses too short)I don't see a soft coral in Knock Outs (really don't like Rainbow). I don't mind a pruning die back, but I will not spray because I keep bees. I'm looking for a soft coral, something that will tie the pinks and yellows in the garden together. White, Red, fluorescent anything will not work. Nor will anything as prickly as a rugosa.

Anyone care to give it try? (I did go to some rose sites, but was immediately overwhelmed.) Thanks in advance


clipped on: 07.09.2008 at 11:00 pm    last updated on: 07.09.2008 at 11:00 pm


posted by: tapla on 03.24.2006 at 07:55 pm in Fig Forum

Superthrive or Superjive

The question of the value of Superthrive as a miracle tonic for plants is often bandied about in horticultural circles. Several years ago, after reading claims that range from "I put it on and my plant, which had never bloomed, was in full bloom the next day" to "It was dead - I put Superthrive on it and the next day it was alive and beautiful, growing better than it ever had before", I decided to find out for myself. If you look for information on the net, youll find the manufacturers claims and anecdotal observations, totally lacking in anything that resembles anything like a control. Though my experiments were far from scientific, I tried to keep some loose controls in place so that I could make a fair judgment of its value, based my own observations. Here is what I did, what I found, and the conclusions I made about my use of Superthrive.

On four separate occasions, I took multiple cuttings from the same plant. The plant materials I used were: Ficus benjamina, (a tropical weeping fig) Luna apiculata (Peruvian myrtle), Chaenorrhinum minus (a dwarf snapdragon), and an unknown variety of Coleus. In each instance, I prepared cuttings from the same plant and inserted them in a very fast, sterile soil. Half of the cuttings were soaked in a Superthrive solution of approximately 1/2 tsp per gallon of water. The other half of the cuttings were watered in with water. In subsequent waterings, I would water the "Superthrive batch" of cuttings with a solution of 10 drops per gallon and the others with water. The same fertilizer regimen was followed on both groups of cuttings. In all four instances, the cuttings that I used Superthrive on rooted first. For this reason, it follows that they would naturally exhibit better development, though I could see no difference in vitality, once rooted. I can also say that a slightly higher percentage f cuttings rooted that were treated to the Superthrive treatment. I suspect that is directly related to the effects of the auxin in Superthrive hastening root initiation before potential vascular connections were destroyed by rot causing organisms.

In particular, something I looked for because of my affinity for compact branching in plants was branch (stem) extension. Though the cuttings treated with Superthrive rooted sooner, they exhibited the same amount of branch extension. In other words, internode length was approximately equal.

As a second part to each of my "experiments", I divided the group of cuttings that had not been treated with Superthrive into two groups. One of the groups remained on the water only program, while the other group was treated to a 10 drop per gallon solution of Superthrive. Again, the fertilizer regimen was the same for both groups. By summers end, I could detect no difference in bio-mass or vitality between the two groups of plants.

Since I replicated the above in four different trials, using four different plant materials, Im confident in drawing some conclusions as they apply to me and my growing habits or abilities. First, based on my observations, I have concluded that Superthrive holds value for me as a rooting aid, or stimulant if you prefer. I regularly soak the soil, usually overnight, of my newly root-pruned and usually bare-rooted repots in a solution of 1/2 tsp Superthrive per gallon of water. Second, and also based on my observations, I dont bother with its use at any time other than at repotting. No evidence was accumulated through the 4 trials to convince me that Superthrive was of any value as a "tonic" for plants with roots that were beyond the initiation or recovery stage.

The first ingredient listed as beneficial on the Superthrive label is vitamin B-1 (or thiamine). Growing plants are able to synthesize their own vitamin B-1 as do many of the fungi and bacteria having relationships with plant roots, so it's extremely doubtful that vitamin B-1 could be deficient in soils or that a growing plant could exhibit a vitamin B-1 deficiency.

Some will note that I used more of the product than suggested on the container. I wanted to see if any unwanted effects surfaced as well as trying to be sure there was ample opportunity for clear delineation between the groups. I suspect that if a more dilute solution was used, the difference between groups would have been less clear.

It might be worth noting that since the product contains the growth regulator (hormone) auxin, its overuse can cause defoliation, at least in dicots. The broad-leaf weed killer Weed-B-Gone and the infamous Agent Orange, a defoliant that saw widespread use in Viet Nam, are little more than synthetic auxin.

Al Fassezke


clipped on: 07.02.2008 at 12:30 am    last updated on: 07.02.2008 at 12:33 am

Which daylily has been your best performer

posted by: alicia7b on 08.02.2006 at 05:19 pm in Daylily Forum

this year? This question can be answered in the plural. I don't have that many daylilies but my new favorite is Ah Youth -- big pink flowers and good repeat bloom. Of course there's also Sparkling Orange, which I thought would be more orange than it is but I really like it....

Who's been the standout in your garden this year?


clipped on: 06.07.2008 at 07:29 pm    last updated on: 06.07.2008 at 07:29 pm

Largest worthwhile flower?

posted by: gnomey on 06.01.2008 at 11:55 pm in Daylily Forum

I'm making my wish list for spring since I'm just about done with planting for this year.. and about out of money too ;(

Anyway, I am looking for one to put on my wish list with an outrageously big flower. It has to be within my price range though.. I don't think I could honestly spend more than $50. My favorite colors in the garden are the warmer tones.. anything peach, apricot and the like drive me wild.

Anyone have any suggestions?


clipped on: 06.03.2008 at 04:03 am    last updated on: 06.03.2008 at 04:03 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: 05.15.2008 at 05:17 pm    last updated on: 05.15.2008 at 05:17 pm

Propagation Chamber

posted by: jbest123 on 08.14.2007 at 03:50 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

Let me start by saying that, I used the propagation box from with great success. The box filled with wet coarse sand and an aquarium weighed 60 to 70 lb, which was a little to heavy for me to be moving around (I'm almost 70 yrs old). I made 6 boxed and they are still in good use by my Daughter and Son in law. I liked the idea of little_dani's Easy Propagation Chamber but thought it would be a little to small for my use.
I found 2 food storage containers at Walmart one a 20 quart and one a 12 quart with the same dimensions around the perimeter. I drilled six 5/8 in holes for drainage in the 12 quart container, and lade a piece of hardware cloth on the bottom to keep the potting soil from washing out. (photo 1) There is a little gap at both ends of the containers, allowing for ventilation, no need for further holes. ( photo 2) . For the potting soil I use 50/50 peat moss and vermiculite. What I like about the near transparent container for the bottom is you can see root development and water needs. Photo 3 shows root development and beads of condensation which indicates adequate air space and water. Each container will hold 120 to130 cuttings and all seem to be doing well and pass the tug test. (photo 4) When I stick the cuttings, I will leave them outside in the shade for 1 week and then move them to the greenhouse. Six chambers fit on an 8 ft shelf very nicely. (photo 5). I also use a 24 in bungie cord to keep the two containers aligned.


Walmart List:

1. Rootone - Rooting hormone from the garden department. If they don't have Rootone, get some other kind of rooting hormone, but Rootone is preferred if they have it.

2. Pearlite or Vermiculite

3. Peat Moss

4. Sand

5. 2 food storage containers, one a 20 quart and one a 12 quart with the same dimensions around the perimeter. One deep, one shallow.

6. 24 inch bungee cord

clipped on: 04.29.2008 at 09:05 pm    last updated on: 04.29.2008 at 10:32 pm