Clippings by highalttransplant

 Sort by: Last Updated Post Date Post Title Forum Name 

RE: UPDATE: Secret Santa Swap (thread 6) (Follow-Up #113)

posted by: jas_il on 12.22.2010 at 07:50 pm in Round Robin Exchange Forum

Here is the html code for color change. When you put red, green or whatever color (font color=red) it will give the color and when you change the numbers of size=4 size=5 or any number you can change the size of the font.
Here is the code:
<font color=red size=5>Red</font>

<font color=blue size=7>Blue</font>

<font color=green size=8>Green</font>

It would look like this.



the img code for image would be something like this.
<img src="image url here">


clipped on: 12.22.2010 at 08:47 pm    last updated on: 12.22.2010 at 08:47 pm

HooHa! Seeds which need cold strat..

posted by: donn_ on 02.22.2007 at 03:25 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

I named this thread HooHa so you could remember it and search for it if you need the list. A better bet is to copy the list off to your PC.

This is 140 genuses of seed which need some period of cold moist stratification in order to germinate. It is distilled from the old T&M Germination Database, which I stuffed into a spreadsheet.

Eventually, I'll have a list available with the rest of the information on these seeds, like how long a period of cold strat they need, etc..

This is by no means complete, nor is it gospel.

Felicia Amelloi
Flower Lawn


clipped on: 02.22.2007 at 04:03 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2007 at 04:04 pm

RE: Can't find CGM, other options? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: deerslayer on 02.21.2007 at 12:10 pm in Organic Lawn Care Forum

Below is a link to the Colorado State Extension Service. At the bottom of the page are recommended nitrogen amounts and application timing for various situations.

Since SBM is 7% nitrogen by weight, 100 lbs of SBM contains 7 lbs of nitrogen. This information is used to calculate the amount of SBM needed. For example, for a 7,000 sq ft lawn at an application rate of 1 lb of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft, 100 lbs of SBM is required.


Colorado Lawn Care


clipped on: 02.22.2007 at 11:17 am    last updated on: 02.22.2007 at 11:17 am

RE: how about this colour scheme (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: wendyb on 02.13.2007 at 09:31 pm in Perennials Forum

I too like the arrangement you did. Nice way to visualize the garden.

I found another way that might work for some. A little cruder result, but no PowerPoint or Adobe involved. You can just paste pictures into a Word Document and move them around a bit. Not as easily as in PowerPoint, but it does help with some visualizations.

If you want to save it as a JPG, some photo editing software should do the trick. I have Paint Shop Pro. In the Word document with all the pictures I wanted, I did Select-All and Copy. Then I opened Paint Shop Pro and right-clicked to get a menu choice of Paste as New Image. Then I cropped it and saved it as a jpg.

I don't think I would want to design a garden this way, but it might help with some combination planning.

And if you do have PowerPoint, you can just keep them as a PP file. Easier to make adjustments in the future that way.


clipped on: 02.14.2007 at 10:21 pm    last updated on: 02.14.2007 at 10:22 pm

RE: Growing in Containers: Organic vs. Synthetic (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: tapla on 02.10.2007 at 01:43 pm in Container Gardening Forum

I was invited to discuss nutrient supplementation on another popular gardening forum very recently. The reply I left is rather appropriate to your wonderings, so I'll post what I left there: If what I leave you with finds you with additional questions - please ask.

I get asked this question frequently, or a variation like: "I want to feed my plants the best - what's best & how often should I feed?". Most people queried, would look right past the question and hand you a box or direct you to the fertilizer section of a plant store for "plant food".

Actually, you cannot feed your plants. Food provides energy - fertilizer does not. Plants manufacture their own food during the process of photosynthesis when the pigment chlorophyll traps the energy of the sun in a molecule of carbon dioxide and water. The result of this miraculous reaction, without which the earth would be uninhabitable, is a molecule of glucose - sugar - a carbohydrate - photosynthate. The molecule acts just like a battery, storing energy from the sun that can be translocated to all living plant parts for immediate use, or stored in living cells - roots, leaves, and cambium for later use.

In order for a plant to make and use food efficiently, certain elements need to be available to the plant. In fertile garden soil, it is likely, even probable that that the nutrients will be available in a usable concentration. In container culture, it is a virtual certainty that we will have to accept the responsibility for providing nutrients in usable concentrations for the term of the planting if we are to expect plants to grow at or near their potential genetic vigor.

The three main elements or compounds that are needed for plant metabolism are nitrates, phosphates, and potassium (NPK), and they represent the bulk of ingredients in balanced fertilizers. We term these ingredients macro-nutrients, sometimes referred to as "the majors". Also included in the macro-nutrient category, but necessary in lower concentrations are magnesium, calcium and sulfur. Rounding out the list of nutrients needed to keep plants healthy are the micro-nutrients, or "the minors". These nutrients include iron, boron, zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum, chlorine, cobalt, and nickel. Please note that some of the minor elements, or micro-nutrients are required in such minute amounts that deficiencies are rare in garden soils, but more common in container media. For that reason, it is good practice to insure that you use a fertilizer that is complete, including the minors. If the minor nutrients are not listed on the fertilizer package, and youre unsure that your soil contains an adequate supply, an excellent way of providing the minors while furnishing major nutrients is to use a granular soluble or insoluble product (e.g, STEM or Micromax). Organic fish and/or seaweed emulsions as part of your supplementation program can also be effective, but here I'll concentrate on the major elements.

Now that we've have seen that fertilizer is not plant food, but a way of delivering some of the raw materials or building blocks that plants need to make their own food and keep their systems orderly, I'll briefly say that it is important that we insure the soils we use contain adequate/appropriate volumes of air and water so as to make nutrient uptake possible and efficient, but that is another subject I won't dwell on today.

You can probably use a schedule or timetable to fertilize plants & have them be reasonably happy, but I use a different approach. If you do choose to fertilize on a regular schedule, it makes no sense to continue to fertilize when plants are quiescent due to chill, heat, or other unfavorable cultural conditions, Under these conditions, you might extend the preset intervals. Plants need more nutrients when robust and actively growing and less when they are "coasting".

I use a two-pronged approach to my fertilizing. The first thing I do is note leaf color of older leaves. N is a very mobile nutrient in plants. When it is deficient, plants "rob" it from older leaves to use in the production of new vegetative growth. So, when I see a lightening of leaves toward a lighter green or yellow, especially older leaves, and I'm sure that other cultural conditions are what the plant requires for good vitality, it indicates to me a need for supplemental nutrients.

A simplification of how I fertilize is: I attempt to get a higher percentage of N to foliage plants or those that are being grown for a reason other than blooms or fruit. Highly nitrogenous fertilizers support the plant during the growth of leaves and foliage. For flowering/fruiting plants, the phosphatic portion of fertilizers aid flower/fruit production, so I'll usually include the intermittent use of a fertilizer with higher percentage of P. Potassic compounds (K) stimulate the growth of roots and are included in adequate percentage in all complete fertilizers I use.

I use both chemical and organic fertilizers. As noted, but worth repeating, I determine the need for fertilization by leaf color. When leaves lighten and fertilizer is needed, I mix a recommended full strength solution of 20-20-20 soluble granular fertilizer and add a full strength solution of 5-1-1 fish emulsion in the same mix. This mix, I'll apply to foliage plants & plantings that are not dependent on blooms for their beauty. This is pretty much my standard for these plantings. For blooming plants, I'll use the same 20-20-20 fertilizer with a 2-3-1 fish emulsion included - UNLESS leaf color is good. If leaf color is good - I'll substitute a bloom-inducing, soluble formulation like 10-52-10 or 15-30-15 and still use the 2-3-1 emulsion. In all cases, I'll apply these solutions to well-hydrated plants growing in moist or damp soil, thoroughly saturating the entire volume of soil in the container.

I prefer the reliability and immediate action of the chemical soluble fertilizers for results, but understand the wont of some to remain organic. Generally speaking, organic fertilizers do release nutrients over a fairly long period, but there is a potential and considerable drawback in depending solely on them. They may very well not release enough nutrients to give the plant what it needs, when it needs it for best vitality. Organic fertilizers depend on soil organisms to break them down into elements the plant can assimilate, so most of them are effective only when soil is moist and soil temperature is warm enough for the soil organisms to be active. This soil organism population is a boom/bust proposition in container soils due to the extreme variables of temperature, moisture and pH. Nutrients in chemical form are immediately available for plant use and exhibit no dependency on soil biotic activity for availability. Plants do not care whether their elemental building blocks are provided in chemical or organic form.

Additionally, practices that promote high population numbers of soil organisms that feed on organic particulates hastens soil structural collapse, which is certainly counter-productive to your need for an extended-life soil. When I think of soils that must last long term, I immediately consider the percentages of organic:inorganic componants. If I want a soil to last several years, I'll use something with more than 2/3 inorganic parts, like Turface, pumice, perlite, Soil Perfector, etc., and only 1/10 - 1/3 organic parts - usually fir or pine bark. For plantings of 1-2 years, I'll use a mix of primarily bark, peat, perlite.

Well, I certainly never intended to go on so long; and I know I bored some into leaving before they got this far, but for those that made it to the end, I hope my thoughts were clear enough to provide some insight.

Al Fassezke


clipped on: 02.14.2007 at 12:18 pm    last updated on: 02.14.2007 at 12:18 pm

Container soils and water in containers (long post)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water Movement in Soils

Consider this if you will:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Soil

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

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

Big batch:

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

Small batch:

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

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

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



clipped on: 01.23.2007 at 01:46 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2007 at 01:46 pm

RE: The Grand View - RMG (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: jaliranchr on 11.10.2006 at 11:00 am in Rocky Mountain Gardening Forum

Great thread and links, everyone. Didn't mean to prattle, but I'd like folks to know that out here we have more than endless miles of ... well, endless miles and endless miles. ;)

Below is a link to the Klett book, Skybird it was about $13-15. I really like it because it has the handiest spreadsheets in the back showing when the various plants bloom. It has really helped me, and mine is so beaten up it is about time to replace it. It would be very helpful to some of the newer residents, I think.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Perennials of RM & HP


clipped on: 11.11.2006 at 12:20 pm    last updated on: 11.11.2006 at 12:20 pm

RE: Warm/Cool season and cutting back (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: gardengal48 on 10.18.2006 at 08:37 pm in Ornamental Grasses Forum

donn is correct. And to elaborate further, any deciduous grass (those that die back or lose color and look like straw or "dead grass" in winter) will benefit from cutting back in late winter or early spring whereas evergreen grasses do not require cutting back and in some cases, resent it.


clipped on: 11.01.2006 at 10:27 pm    last updated on: 11.01.2006 at 10:27 pm

RE: Basil Winter Indoors? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: acorn_ontario on 10.16.2006 at 09:02 pm in Herbs Forum

Jack, I have kept basil in my office over the winter. What I have done is I take cuttings from my best plant and I put them in water, in about 2 weeks I have some roots and then I pot these up. In 4 weeks I have a thriving little plant. I make sure I pinch them once the growth is strong to make them bushy. For light, I am restricted in my office to what comes in the window and the plants seem to like that enough. Good luck!


clipped on: 10.23.2006 at 09:52 pm    last updated on: 10.23.2006 at 09:52 pm

RE: Potential soil improvement technique or just BS? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: philes21 on 10.14.2006 at 08:13 am in Lawn Care Forum

It's basically a myth, Eddie. Here's a link to the specific article about such things:

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic amendment to soil


clipped on: 10.14.2006 at 06:03 pm    last updated on: 10.14.2006 at 06:03 pm

RE: Potential soil improvement technique or just BS? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: philes21 on 10.14.2006 at 04:41 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Many thanks, R.C. ...Dr. Chalker-Scott's column, Horticultural Myths is a personal favorite of mine. I find her work to be well reasoned. I learned a lot about planting trees from her column, and from the picture at the bottom of her index page. Here's the index, I hope all the members of this forum find the articles a good read.

Here is a link that might be useful: Horticultural Myths


clipped on: 10.14.2006 at 06:03 pm    last updated on: 10.14.2006 at 06:03 pm

a little something for Autumn

posted by: digit on 10.13.2006 at 05:15 pm in Rocky Mountain Gardening Forum

Here's one of the wife's wreaths which I refered to in another posting. Claimed there that she only required 30 minutes to turn one out but she said that it was about 45. So I kept an eye on her and it was more like an hour.

Not a small accomplishment that she can put something like this together but the process is quite simple: Gather a bunch of material as tho' you are making a tiny, hand-held bouquet; tie it together, then: tie it to wreath base (florist wire works best). Our wreath bases are often grape vines but it could be something like raspberry vines. I taught her but that took all of about 30 minutes (maybe that's where I got that idea) - she took it from there and goes far beyond my capabilities.

The wreath in the picture is composed of statice, gomphrena, and nigella. She also uses strawflowers, moonflowers, larkspur, acroclinium, and ect. (Highalttransplant and Charlene can use that achillea they are planting now.) Another wreath will utilize the wheat and millet you see there on the lawn. These 2 can be used together but don't work quite so easily used with the dried flowers - tend to hide the smaller material.

Hoping you'd like to consider these plants when you are planning your 2007 gardens. Its probably best to put your cutting garden in with the vegetables easier to harvest without concerns about damage to your landscaping. The enterprise really just requires weekly harvesting of material, bundling, and hanging to dry out of the sun. After the growing season comes to an end - the material is all at hand for use in wreathes or dry flower bouquets.

You can also run outside right now and gather all of your herbs - thyme, oregano, tarragon, sage, etc. Maybe you could even include some bright rose hips. It will probably take more than youd think necessary rather than less. Hang the material to dry for a couple of weeks. If you have straw or styrofoam wreath bases available to you, florist picks are probably easier to work with these larger bases.


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


clipped on: 10.14.2006 at 12:11 am    last updated on: 10.14.2006 at 12:11 am

RE: Differences between different organic fertilizers? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: deerslayer on 09.30.2006 at 12:20 am in Lawn Care Forum

Here's a link that describes the characteristics of the various meals:

Organic Fertilizers

I live 45 miles West of Chicago. Soybean meal, corn gluten meal, and alfalfa pellets are available at the Elburn Coop. The price is $10-12 for a 50 lb bag but the price fluctuates with the market. Interestingly, they also have a lawn care division that sells chemical fertilizers.

Here is a link:

Elburn Coop

I prefer soybean meal because of its relatively high N and ease of application. It spreads like commercial products. I may buy some soybean meal tomorrow (depends on the weather). I'll give you a price update if you are interested.



clipped on: 10.05.2006 at 09:03 pm    last updated on: 10.05.2006 at 09:03 pm

Plants and Bulbs in Bloom through the Year- Photos and Chart

posted by: arbo_retum on 10.04.2006 at 12:19 pm in Perennials Forum

I was looking for info to help Linnea2 in her request for what plants to go with early bulbs- and I found this. I'm telling you, this Kemper place in Missouri- is just amazing in the amount of info they have available. SO HELPFUL!!!
I use their site when i'm googling plant info- of all types; now i have another reason to appreciate them!I know their info is for their zone and area, but by comparing one's own info for a given time- with theirs- one can learn how to extrapolate their info for ones own garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: chart for bloom times throughout the year


clipped on: 10.04.2006 at 03:26 pm    last updated on: 10.04.2006 at 03:26 pm

Park Clearance Sale!!

posted by: mwieder on 05.30.2006 at 09:16 am in Perennials Forum

The prices at are unreal right now - and shipping is so cheap! I don't see any requirement on a minimum order ($100 gets you free shipping). What do y'all think?

Here is a link that might be useful: Clearance Sale


clipped on: 10.02.2006 at 10:01 am    last updated on: 10.02.2006 at 10:02 am

RE: Accurate hardiness zones for OG's (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: achnatherum on 09.24.2006 at 10:21 am in Ornamental Grasses Forum

deep roots,
posting pictures is really easy. Go to and set up an album or several albums. Then you just upload your pics to the photobucket site.
Each image will have three useful things;

copy and paste the 'URL' into any email and people can use the link to see your image.
copy and past the 'TAG' into a posting (within the text) on the OG forum and your picture will turn up in the post.

If you like you can go to my photobucket site and have a look at how I've set mine up.

(instructions are for photobucket but, you can use any other image hosting site or even your own web space)

on the hardiness site I would imagine that contributions of OG's, perennials and woodies would be more than welcome. Good thing for a winter day :o) AND ... it will help get your records in order ~ at least I am hoping that is what it will do for me ...


Here is a link that might be useful: my photobucket albums


clipped on: 09.24.2006 at 07:58 pm    last updated on: 09.24.2006 at 07:59 pm

Cuting Back Perennials- Do It In The Spring

posted by: arbo_retum on 09.15.2006 at 05:59 pm in Perennials Forum

Thanks to the U of Minn Yard and Garden email newsletter, I have just read their reasons for cutting back perennials in the spring, rather than doing fall cleanup. In our gardens,we started doing this a few years ago for really one simple reason: the amount of plant material that is left to dispose of- after the winter- is 1/10 of what it was in the fall(because of all the leaf dessication and loss).We just don't have the room to compost all that material in the fall. But as you will see below, they give many reasons for spring cleanup. My exceptions to the spring-cutting back rule are : Peonies because of diseased foliage(we always have botrytus problems on some plants) and siberian iris (spring iris foliage is very difficult to cut back because it's still somewhat turgid). Hope youall find the article useful.

Trimming Back Herbaceous Perennials- Should we do it in fall or spring?
David C. Zlesak, Regional Extension Educator, Horticulture

As we look out over the fall garden many of us see flowered-out perennials which were once glorious, but now are in decline. Some are succumbing to foliar diseases like powdery mildew or just going through the natural aging process and are losing their leaves and slowly turning brown. What can be done to both preserve the health of such plants so they will come back strong next season and clean up some of the unsightly material in our gardens? Each gardener needs to choose their own balance between these two objectives, weighing factors such as each particular plant species, their use of particular garden space for the winter season, disease pressure, and time availability.

As long as there has not been a freeze and there is green foliage to undergo photosynthesis, chances are there are still carbohydrates being generated and transported to the crown of the plant. Interfering with this process by removing stems and foliage will limit the amount of energy reserves the plant has going into winter and from which to fuel new growth the following spring. For the sake of the plant, it is typically best to wait to remove top growth until it naturally dies back or at least after a hard freeze in order to allow as much energy reserves as possible to be generated and stored. Some perennials when cut prematurely in the growing season may try to regrow from the base, especially if we have a long, warm fall. Such plants deplete stored energy reserves and may not survive the winter.

For especially marginally hardy plants such as mums and lavender, it is beneficial to leave old growth through the winter and remove it come spring. Stems can act as small windbreaks to accumulate snow, blowing leaves, and other materials which act to insulate the crown of the plant. In the University of Minnesota mum breeding program led by Dr. Neil Anderson, winter survival of mums were compared with those having top growth cut back in the fall after a few hard freezes versus leaving it through the winter. There was a clear trend that those with top growth present throughout the winter in these open research fields were much more likely to survive.

Another reason to leave top growth in tact through the winter is the winter interest it provides. Many perennials have relatively strong canes that do not readily lodge and provide interesting architecture, fruiting structures, or seeds desirable as food to wildlife. Some perennials which provide good winter interest include many of the daisy or composite flowers such as Echinacea (purple cone flower) and heliopsis, most ornamental grasses, and other sturdy plants with attractive fruit capsules such as Siberian iris.

For very hardy plants such as bee-balm, daylilies, hostas, and peonies, they are so durable that removing their foliage in the fall is generally no problem at all. In fact, removing foliage in the fall and carefully discarding it can help reduce disease pressure, if a problem, the following season. Even for the more tender or marginal perennials where diseases have been an issue, removal of diseased tissue in the fall is a wise choice. Mulch can be brought in as an alternative to help insulate the more tender perennials.

Barring disease pressure, leaving top growth on herbaceous perennials is the easiest way to manage herbaceous perennials and is what is recommended. Top growth can provide continued ornamental interest throughout the winter in itself and the wildlife it may attract. In addition, in spring top growth of many herbaceous perennials is more brittle and much easier to remove compared to the fall. Consider and weigh your particular perennials, winter garden preferences, and disease pressure and make the best choices for your situation.


clipped on: 09.15.2006 at 06:21 pm    last updated on: 09.15.2006 at 06:21 pm

RE: Red Twig Dogwood-how big are yours? (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: silvergold on 09.12.2006 at 06:39 pm in Shrubs Forum

Actually - removing 1/3 growth does control size. Think abuot it this way - you are removing 1/3 of the shrub each year. Mine are actually C. alba 'Elegantissima' so are variegated. (as an fyi, I have a yellow twig cornus servicea 'silver and gold' that I treat the same way).

Here is a helpful link regarding pruning dogwoods (i.e. cane growing shrubs) that explains the method.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning guidelines


clipped on: 09.13.2006 at 07:19 pm    last updated on: 09.13.2006 at 07:19 pm

RE: Best all around pesticide? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: digit on 07.22.2006 at 12:29 am in Rocky Mountain Gardening Forum

Dutch, on my shelf Ive got all Bonide products (of those under discussion).
* Thuricide (Bacillus Thuringiensis for caterpillars)
* Potato Beetle Beater (Bt)
* Rotenone-Pyrethrin Spray

I buy these locally at a garden center but see that they are sold online at the link below. I dont know anything about Planet Natural other than coming across their ads here and there.

Rotenone can work with some bugs on contact but others need to ingest the stuff - that's my understanding. It kills fish - - so that canal . . . ???

Haven't a clue as to what to use in standing water for skeeters.


Here is a link that might be useful: Planet Natural - Bonide


They sell seeds too.
clipped on: 09.10.2006 at 06:54 pm    last updated on: 09.10.2006 at 06:55 pm

RE: Best all around pesticide? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: digit on 07.19.2006 at 12:11 am in Rocky Mountain Gardening Forum

Putting it down in print might help me remember also, Dutch:

Pyrethrins - are insecticides that are extracts of the chrysanthemum flower, Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium and Chrysanthemum cineum. The plant extract is called pyrethrum.

Alternately, 'semisynthetized' derivatives of the chrysanthemumic acids have been developed as insecticides that last longer in the environment than the natural pyrethrum. These are called pyrethroids . . . (from the Rutger U website linked below).

Then from Colorado State U: "The compound acts rapidly on insects, causing immediate knock down. Flying insects drop almost immediately after exposure. Fast knock down and insect death don't, however, always go hand in hand; many insects recover after the initial knockdown phase."

I use pyrethrum/rotenone each season. Rotenone "is a botanical insecticide and acaricide obtained from the roots of several tropical and subtropical plant species belonging to the genus Lonchocarpus or Derris." I'm fairly sure that it continues to be considered an organic pesticide.

I learned something the other day about rotenone - it sometimes works best when used alone for hard to kill bugs. If they eat it, they should die . . . if you use it with pyrethrum, these bugs may get up off the ground after awhile and leave without eating any of the rotenone.

Now, having said that . . . I think usually it is best to use these two organic pesticides in combination. Most insects are killed thru contact. And, if the bugs leave without eating the plants - that may well be all that's necessary and intended.

One thing, these 2 are nondiscriminatory insect killers. They kill the beneficial bugs.

I keep Bt spray (Bacillus thuringiensis) handy (both the cabbage worm and the potato bug strains) but dont need to use it every year. Bt is a naturally occurring bacterial disease.

I'm doing a little more experimentation with soap. Insecticidal soap has worked well on aphids for me and I sprayed some sunflowers the other day that were covered with aphids with 3T PALMOLIVE/gallon water. I've seen dish soap cause a fruit tree to lose nearly all of its leaves but was assured on another GW forum that Palmolive (green) would be safe. After 2 days, I found neither an aphid nor any damaged leaves so this may have worked well - darn cheap, too.

Pyrethrum/rotenone is my choice when I need to blaze away with both barrels but I'm somewhat reassured that I'm getting the job done without using any real heavy artillery.

Steve - no pesticide expert and never sure about anything

Here is a link that might be useful: Botanical-based Insecticides


clipped on: 09.10.2006 at 06:44 pm    last updated on: 09.10.2006 at 06:45 pm

Information on bulbs...

posted by: titanhockey02 on 09.02.2006 at 11:29 pm in Bulbs Forum

I came across this article on bulbs and thought I would post on here incase if any of you want to read it. I think it sounds like good information

"Planting and Caring for Flower Bulbs"
by Michael J. McGroarty

There is nothing quite as welcome as those beautiful spring
flowers that seem to emerge from nowhere to welcome the arrival
of spring. Bulb type flowers are really unique plants, because
they spend most of their days resting quietly beneath the
surface of the soil. Then right on schedule, up they come,
full of bloom and vigor, and then almost as fast as they came,
they go.

Except for the green leafy part of the plant that tends to
linger longer than we would like them to. Despite their short
bloom time and unattractive foliage after the blooms are gone,
they are still a wonderful addition to any landscape. But how
should you care for them?

First let's talk about how to use bulbs in your landscape.
Flowers of all kinds are best when planted in groupings. Many
people buy 25 or 50 bulbs and just go around the yard planting
helter skelter. That's fine if that's what you want, but when
planted that way they tend to blend in with the landscape and
really don't show up well at all. When you plant them in large
groups they are a breathtaking showpiece.

In the early spring start thinking about where you would like
to create a bed for flower bulbs. Prepare the bed by raising
it with good rich topsoil, and if at all possible add some well
composted cow manure. Do this in the spring while you are in
the gardening mood, you may not be in the fall. Over the
summer fill the bed with annual flowers to keep the weeds down,
and to pretty up your yard for the summer.

Come fall all you have to do is pull out the annuals and plant
your bulbs to the depth recommended on the package. If you
think you could have a problem with squirrels digging up the
bulbs and eating them, there are a couple of things you can

You can wrap the bulbs in steel wool, leaving just the tip of
the bulb exposed so it can grow out of the little wire cage
you've created. Or you can just plant the bulbs and then
cover the bed with chicken wire or plastic fencing until the
bulbs start to grow in the spring.

When the bulbs come up in the spring and start blooming, you
should clip off the blooms as they start to wither. This keeps
the bulb from producing seeds, which requires a lot of energy,
and you want the bulb to use all of its available energy to
store food in preparation for the bulb's resting period.

Once the bulbs are completely done blooming you don't want to
cut off the tops until they are withered and die back. The
million dollar question is how to treat the tops until that
happens. Many people bend them over and slip a rubber band
over them, or in the case of bulbs like Daffodils tie them with
one of the long leaves. This seems to work because it is a
very common practice among many experienced gardeners.

However, Mike is about to rain on the parade. I strongly
disagree with this theory because back about 6th grade we
learned about photosynthesis in science class. To recap what
we learned, and without going into the boring details,
photosynthesis is the process of the plant using the sun's rays
to make food for itself. The rays from the sun are absorbed
by the foliage and the food making process begins. In the case
of a flower bulb this food is transported to the bulb beneath
the ground and stored for later use.

So basically the leaves of the plant are like little solar
panels. Their job is to absorb the rays from the sun to begin
the process known as photosynthesis. If we fold them over and
handcuff them with their hands behind their back, they are not
going to be able to do their job. It's like throwing a
tarpaulin over 80% of a solar panel. In order for the leaves
to absorb the rays from the sun, the surface of the foliage has
to be exposed to the sun.

On top of that, when you bend the foliage over, you are
restricting the flow of nutrients to the bulb. The veins in
the leaves and the stem are a lot like our blood vessels. If
you restrict them the flow stops.

You decide. I've presented my case. Bending them over seems
to work, but I've spent a lot of money on my bulbs. I want
them running at full speed.

What I do is clip the blooms off once they are spent, and just
leave the tops alone until they are yellow and wilted. If they
are still not wilted when it's time to plant my annual flowers,
I just plant the annuals in between the bulbs. As the bulbs
die back the annuals tend to grow and conceal them. If one
shows through I clip it off. It seems to work well for me.

Anyone else agree?



clipped on: 09.10.2006 at 04:05 pm    last updated on: 09.10.2006 at 04:06 pm

RE: Favorite Pesto Recipes/Freezing Pesto (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: herbalynn on 01.20.2006 at 01:23 pm in Herbs Forum

Howdy pwm...theres a search function on the forums here at gw, and I took the liberty of searching "pesto". Here's a link with the results; tons of recipes and ideas on that topic. Happy reading...Lynn

Here is a link that might be useful: Herbs forum Pesto search


clipped on: 09.10.2006 at 11:17 am    last updated on: 09.10.2006 at 11:17 am

RE: used wrong fertilizer for my tree plantings (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bboy on 09.08.2006 at 06:52 pm in Trees Forum

Two key points are

1. Do not amend planting holes

2. Fertilize on top of soil after planting, if indicated by soil test

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting Fact Sheet


clipped on: 09.09.2006 at 12:45 am    last updated on: 09.09.2006 at 12:45 am

RE: A True Great of the Garden World- Tribute to Fred McGourty (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: ginny12 on 06.16.2006 at 09:35 am in Perennials Forum

This book and most others are very, very easy to find. Just go to and type in the title or author. There are many, many copies of "The Perennial Gardener" available there, with many at the princely sum of one dollar. Hey, the postage will cost you more.

I also like his other book, "Perennials: How to Select, Grow, and Enjoy", which he wrote with Pamela Harper. Both of these books are well-worn in my library.

Frederick McGourty was one of the greats. He gave so much to gardening for many decades, as editor of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden handbooks (also available online) and as a garden writer, especially for Horticulture magazine. And of course his garden in Connecticut, which I was lucky enough to visit some years ago, and to have a nice chat with a nice man and a great gardener.


clipped on: 09.03.2006 at 05:38 pm    last updated on: 09.03.2006 at 05:38 pm