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RE: How low can you go? Grocery limbo (Follow-Up #50)

posted by: bud_wi on 11.13.2006 at 05:52 pm in Money Saving Tips Forum

Sandibluffs. I don't ever use syrup so I can't help you on that one. Butter only, on my pancakes and French toast.

Are you looking for a REAL ceasar dressing? Or a ceasar style dressing like they sell in bottles at the store?

I wait tables in restaurants and we do a ceasar dressing made tableside. This has raw egg in it so it CANNOT be stored. It's a PITA to make at home unless you are having a dinner party, or have a lot of time and like to pamper yourself.

3 Egg Yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons Prepared Mustard
10 tablespoons Garlic
2 Anchovy Filets
6 Capers
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano Leaves
15 drops Tabasco Sauce
15 drops Worcestershire Sauce
Olive Oil
5 tablespoons White Vinegar

That's what we use at the restaurant and it is a pretty basic ceasar. When I make it myself at home I leave out the capers as I do not care for them. Make sure you use FRESH garlic and not garlic salt or garlic powder.

Just like soups, dressing have a typical base. For instance, virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or you can use red wine vinegar) for Itallian, rice vinegar and peanut oil for Asian, olive oil and white wine and lemon for Greek, sour cream with buttermilk or goat milk for creamy dressing.

Once you get familiar with the bases you add what you need - sundried tomatoes, garlic, dry mustard, sugar, dried onion, oregano, pepper flakes, ginger, fruit and what not. Make them up the way you want.

I do not use "a recipe" for dressings I make at home. I just create knowing what end result I am looking for. I don't want to give you a list of recipes that you may not like. Do you like garlic dressing? A creamy gorganzola? Do you avoid sugar? Watch you fat intake? Do you like pineapples? What I like may not be what you like.

Tip: Use granulated sugar for O/V dresssing and powdered sugar for creamy dressings. Granulated sugar in a creamy will make it thinner. Powdered sugar has a bit of corn starch in it when you buy it to keep it from forming a lump and it works better as a binder. Powered sugar in O/V dressing will make it cloudy and change the texture a bit.

If you put soft cheeses in dressing make sure you puree them. If you just drop in the chunks they make the dressing watery. I think it is best to add crumbled or grated cheese on top of the salad just before serving rather than puree them into the dressing, but that is just my personal preference.

If you use parmesean cheese make sure you buy the REAL stuff not the stuff out of the green can. Yes I know it is expesnsive, about $14/lb, but you are only using a little bit grated. It's not like you are sitting down to eat a whole pound of it.

Use DRIED spices and not fresh in your dressings. You can dehydrate your own spices and have fresh dried spices that are packed with concentrated flavor. Avoid buying those dried spices in the jars at the chain stores if you can, or shop at a specialty spice shop where they prepare and dry them on a regular basis.

Let your O/V dressing sit at room temp for a while before you use them so that the flavors meld and the spices are not "crunchy". Creamy dressings should sit in the fridge for a bit before using.

Do not use low fat sour cream for dressings, use yogurt instead.

And remember, these homemade dressing do not have preservatives in them and unless it is a dressing with a lot of vinegar, it will spoil or grow fuzzy mold in no time. Don't made up more than you can use in a few days. If it has raw egg in it DO NOT store any of it. Cooked egg dressings are a bit more stable but still do not let these sit atound for more than a day or day and a half.

I've seen people keep those bottled dressings from the store around for MONTHS in their fridge. I do not think bottled dressing are even real food. They're scary. I saw one brand that said ZERO calories - then what is it? It can't be food. Is it plastic?

Using squeaky clean sterilized bowls and utinsils will help avoid contamination and delay degadation of the dressings.

And here is a recipe that I got when working at an upscale restaurant at one of the huge hotel chains. I am not going to say which one because I know it is a signature recipe of a certain certified chef. A waiter stole it and passed it around to the staff.

House Dressing 333

15 yolks @ room temp
32oz oil mix (7:1 corn to hazelnut)
1C granulated sugar
2T horseradish
2T marjoram
2/4T thyme
1/2T dry mustard
1/2T white pepper
8oz lemon juice (use fresh sqeeze not bottled!)
6oz champagne vinegar

Here is a tip. Gourmet recipes are more about technique than just mixing a bunch of stuff together. In this recipe it is very important to sloooooowly drizzle the oil in or you will have a clumpy oily mess. Transfer the oil egg mix to a bain-marie and add the remaining ingredients one at a time. This dressing tastes best when it is well chilled.

You can divide the recipe for a smaller amount although since the eggs are cooked it has a longer life. I guarantee your guests will RAVE about this dressing. Use crumbled feta cheese on this salad and of course use a good spring mix lettuce with a high ratio of 'crunchy' to 'soft' lettuce in it. I never buy those bags of mixed lettuce at the stores. I buy the greens I want and wash and spin them, and mix them to get the ratio I want.

Cooking is a hobby and an art. Have fun.


clipped on: 04.27.2010 at 01:59 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2010 at 01:59 pm

More recipe... (Follow-Up #51)

posted by: bud_wi on 11.13.2006 at 06:49 pm in Money Saving Tips Forum

I forgot to add my personal fav dressing that I made up myself. Maybe there is a simliar one out there, I don't know.

16oz sour cream
a splash of goat milk or Kifir
a big soup spoon of powdered sugar
a spoonful of dill
a spoonfull of cayenne pepper
about ten twists of fresh ground black pepper
a big pinch of dried onion flakes
a tiny bit of crushed garlic OR a pinch of garlic powder

* instead of goat milk or Kifir, you can also use buttermilk, or a dolop of commercial mayo with a squeeze of lemon.

Use this dressing on a crunchy bed of Romaine with some Spanish blue cheese or a gorgonzola. Options are also, boiled egg slices, croutons, purple onion slices, radishes, apples pieces, bacon (REAL bacon).

You asked about a sweet and sour Asian dressing. Basicly a sweet and sour is just sugar and vinegar base. You then add what style you want - ginger, soy sauce, pineapple, garlic, tamarind, carrot what ever.

Make what is known as a 'simple syrup' by bringing water to a simmer and adding granulated sugar until it is a thick syrup. You can make up a huge amount of this and store it for future use and for other recipes as it will not spoil readily.

To make the sweet and sour dressings, add simple syrup to vinegar to create your base and then add your seasonings according to your tastes.

Most bars make simple syrup to use in their blended drink recipes and Old Fashion Cocktails and Hot Toddies. I used to make this up 20 gallons at a time when I bartended. After it cooled a bit it was funneled into bottles and corked and stored. You might want to make up a big batch of this and be ready for holiday specialty drinks if you host events in your home.

Dressings are easy, and fun to make. Healthier and cheaper too.


clipped on: 04.27.2010 at 01:58 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2010 at 01:58 pm

RE: fairly new to gardening but this site was a big help (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: pnbrown on 01.03.2008 at 10:05 am in Organic Gardening Forum

Unexpectedly fascinating subject, in fact. Particularly that of "extra-floral nectaries" which some plants use to attract carnivorous insects which serve to repel plant-eating insects. Often the attracted insects are ants. I have seen this in cowpeas, and probably it happens with many other garden plants:

Plant-Provided Food for Carnivorous Insects

Food for protection:
an introduction


It has long been recognized that plants provide floral nectar and pollen to attract pollinators. In addition, plants also provide specific foods as part of a protection strategy. By producing extrafloral nectar or food bodies, plants attract predators that can act as bodyguards, clearing the plant of its antagonists. A wide range of arthropods with a primarily carnivorous lifestyle require plant-provided food as an indispensable part of their diet (Table 1.1). In some arthropod groups, the adult stages depend on nectar or pollen for survival and reproduction, whereas in other groups all stages feed on plant-provided food in addition to prey. Only recently have we started to appreciate the implications of non-prey food for plantherbivorecarnivore interactions. Insight into these food-mediated interactions not only helps in understanding the functioning of multitrophic interactions in natural ecosystems, it also has direct implications for the use of food supplements in biological control programs. In this introductory chapter we first sketch a historical perspective on the topic of plant-provided foods. Subsequently, we present an outline of the book and briefly introduce the different chapters.
The scientific discovery of plant-provided foods

Humans have always shared the sweet tooth of many arthropods. However, for long we lacked the ability to obtain sugars directly from plants, and thus were entirely dependent on insects as intermediaries. Therefore, it is not surprising that nectar and honeydew in connection with insects attracted the attention of naturalists early on.

The Old Testament provides the first accounts of honeydew. The biblical "manna" (Exodus 16:1336) is believed to be honeydew from the scale insect Coccus manniparus feeding on the shrub Tamarix mannifera (Bodenheimer 1947). In the Sinai, this honeydew is still collected as an alternative to honey under the local name of "menn" or "menu". Based on references by Al-Brn (9731051) in his book on materia medica, Persian and Arab scholars of the medieval period already knew that honeydew originated from insects. Nevertheless, European naturalists argued for many centuries about the nature and origin of honeydew, before Leche (1765), basing himself on observations in Ramurs Mmoires sur les insectes (173442), described the production of honeydew by sap-feeding insects as well as the fact that ants tend them to obtain the sugar-rich solution.

Written records on floral nectar date back to antiquity as well. The Greek physician Dioscorides (50 BC AD 10) wrote about floral nectar as the basis of honey production and the medicinal uses of the latter. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder (AD 2379) in his Naturalis Historiae provides detailed accounts of nectar types secreted by flowers as well as their collection by bees as a basis for honey production:

The honey that we see formed in the calix of flowers is of a rich and unctuous nature; that which is made from rosemary is thick, while that which is candied is little esteemed. Thyme honey does not coagulate, and on being touched will draw out into thin viscous threads, a thing which is the principal proof of its heaviness.

Both Pliny and Dioscorides already recognized that the phenomenon of toxic honey relates to its floral origin. They correctly attributed the toxicity of honey from the Black Sea region to the nectar from particular flowers (a.o. Rhododendron spp. and oleander (Nerium oleander)). The ecological role of nectar as a pollination reward was studied experimentally for the first time by Sprengel (1793), who did groundbreaking work on pollination ecology, recognizing and describing a range of pollination-related phenomena. Darwin (1855) built upon Sprengels work by placing nectar production in the context of plantpollinator co-evolution.

Hall (1762) is believed to have been the first to make the distinction between floral and extrafloral nectaries. In 1855, Glover reported that glands (extrafloral nectaries) of cotton (Gossypium spp.) secrete a sweet substance, which ants, bees, wasps, and plant bugs avail themselves of as food (Trelease 1879). Around that time, Darwin (1855) described that extrafloral nectaries on Vicia spp. are visited by bees, ants, and flies and suggested that they have a function other than pollination. Delpino (1873) recognized the specific functions of floral and extrafloral nectaries and proposed the terms "nuptial" and "extra-nuptial" nectaries as phrases that indicate their different ecological roles. He observed that "extra-nuptial nectar glands, by their secretion, attract to the plant that bears them, hordes of ants (rarely wasps)" and asserted that these "constitute a temporary and changing bodyguard". Around the same time, Thomas Belt (Belt 1874) argued that plants obtain a defensive benefit from insects visiting extrafloral nectaries and/or food bodies. The actual protective function of extrafloral nectaries was first demonstrated by Von Wettstein (1889). He excluded ants from bracteal nectaries on the flowering heads of two Compositae species, and was able to show that ant-tended plants suffered less damage to seeds by beetles and hemipteran bugs.

For almost a century following the seminal publications by Delpino and Belt, the protective function of plant-provided food was subject to intense debate (Bentley 1977). For many decades the concept of food as an indirect defense mechanism was discarded, before Janzen (1966) and others in the 1960s revived the idea. Through extensive experimental work, they were able to substantiate the fact that ants recruited to extrafloral nectaries and food bodies can benefit plant fitness.
Plant-provided food and biological control

The role of food supplements in plantherbivorecarnivore interactions is not only an important topic in basic ecology, but is also directly linked to the applied discipline of biological pest control. Defensive food provision has evolved repeatedly and independently, suggesting that it constitutes a powerful mechanism through which plants can enhance the effectiveness of carnivores. We pursue the same objective in biological control programs. Here too, we aim at enhancing the efficacy with which carnivores control herbivorous pests.

The possibility of using predators for biological control of insect pests was recognized in China as far back as the fourth century AD. Hsi Han (AD 304) described in Records of the Plants and Trees of the Southern Regions how bags holding ant nests were traded in southern China. The bags were placed in citrus trees in order to protect the fruits from insect attacks. Farmers interconnected trees by means of bamboo bridges allowing ants to move between trees.

In biological control textbooks, this example is widely featured as the first known case of biological control. However, it is much less known that it also represents the first instance in which food supplements were used to enhance the efficacy of the biological control agent. Farmers provided food supplements, such as intestines and silkworm larvae, to help ants establish (Beattie 1985). The use of ants for biological control was not restricted to the Far East. In the New World, Indians independently developed methods to use ants as biological control agents. Rather than bringing the ants to the crop, they took the opposite approach by sowing cotton plants in the vicinity of ant nests (Cook 1905). Here again, food supplements played an integral role. The effectiveness of this practice can be explained by the fact that cotton features a range of extrafloral nectaries (Mound 1962) that are eagerly visited by ants (Rudgers 2002). By sowing cotton in the proximity of ant nests the Indians exploited this natural food-mediated association between cotton plants and predaceous ants.

In the twentieth century, awareness grew among biological control workers that the absence of non-prey food sources in agriculture or forestry could impose a serious constraint on the effectiveness of natural enemies (Illingworth 1921; Schneider 1940; Wolcott 1942; Hocking 1966). Hocking (1966) pointed out that lack of food availability can also prevent introduced parasitoids from establishing in classical biological control programs. Adding food sources to agroecosystems could be a simple and effective way to enhance the effectiveness of biological control programs.

Three types of approaches have been proposed to alleviate the shortage of food in modern monocultures. The first approach involves the diversification of agroecosystems, either through the use of non-crops in undergrowth or field margins (Van Emden 1965; Altieri and Whitcomb 1979) or through mixed cropping, e.g., with crops featuring flowers or extrafloral nectaries. A second approach involves the use of food sprays or other types of artificial food supplements to cater for the food needs of biological control agents (Hagen 1986). Finally, some crops produce suitable food supplements themselves. Examples of extrafloral nectar producing crops include Prunus spp. (cherry, plum, peach, almond), cassava, faba bean, zucchini, pumpkin, cashew, and cotton. These crop-produced foods may suffice as food sources for predators and parasitoids. In other cases, there may be room for plant breeding to improve the timing, quantity, and quality of food production, to better match the nutritional needs of biological control agents (Rogers 1985).

Cultivated cotton also provides a prominent example in which the potential for negative effects of food supplements became apparent. Cotton extrafloral nectaries are not only used by predators and parasitoids, but several major cotton pest species are known to feed on cotton extrafloral nectar as well. The generous use of broad-spectrum insecticides in the mid twentieth century not only temporarily eliminated herbivores from cotton fields, it also proved effective in clearing the field of predators and parasitoids. As a result, the indirect defensive function of extrafloral nectaries became obsolete. Under these conditions, nectar-bearing cotton varieties sometimes suffered higher levels of herbivore damage than nectariless varieties (Lukefahr et al. 1965; Adjei-Maafo and Wilson 1983). The replacement of broad-spectrum insecticides by more selective control methods rekindled the interest in cotton extrafloral nectar as a food source for beneficials (Rogers 1985; Schuster and Calderon 1986). Whereas the conditions of cotton production during the green revolution were obviously a far cry from the conditions of modern-day conservation biological control programs, this example nevertheless shows that we cannot ignore herbivore benefits when studying the impact of food supplements on biological control programs.
Outline of this book

This historical overview indicates how the provision of food by plants, and its impact on the effectiveness of predators and parasitoids, gradually gained interest. In the last two or three decades this interest seems to have accelerated. This has stimulated us to compose a book that reviews the current state of knowledge, and indicates directions of future research on this specific aspect of multitrophic (plantherbivorecarnivore) interactions.

In the first section of this book, the spotlight is on the plants. What types of food supplements do they provide, why does food provision evolve and how does it affect plantinsect interactions? In the second section, the arthropods that feed on plant-provided food are at center stage. Why do they feed on this food, and how does it affect their behavior and life history? In the third section, we focus on the dynamics of the interactions between plants, carnivores, and herbivores. How do these interactions affect herbivore population levels, and what factors define the success of biological control?
Part I: Food provision by plants

Plants employ nutritional supplements to obtain a range of services. Best known are the mutualistic interactions in which sessile plants provide food in return for dispersal. This includes floral nectar to attract pollinators (Faegri and Van der Pijl 1979), and the fleshy fruit tissues and elaiosomes promoting seed dispersal. Other plant-provided foods, such as extrafloral nectar and food bodies, are likely to have evolved primarily to attract carnivores in order to obtain their protective services (Turlings and Wckers 2004). As such they represent the most suitable models to study the evolution and functioning of food-for-protection strategies. Plant-provided foods are not only used by the intended consumers, they may also be exploited by arthropods from other guilds. Some of these unintended interactions are to the benefit of the plant, others to the detriment.

A separate category of food supplements comprises those that have evolved for functions other than arthropod nutrition. Pollen, for instance, primarily serves as a vehicle for gene transfer, but may serve a secondary function in attracting pollinators. Honeydew, the plant-derived waste product of phloem-feeding insects, can also be an important food source for (predaceous) arthropods. When ants tend sap-feeders to collect the honeydew, this sugar source can serve a (secondary) defensive function that may benefit both the sap-feeders and the plants.

Finally, some predators can feed directly on photosynthetic or reproductive plant tissue without special adaptations from the plant. It is obvious that these different food categories will differ in their implications for plantcarnivore interactions.

In this book, Wckers (Chapter 2) presents an overview of the food sources provided by plants, and reviews their suitability in terms of their availability, detectability, accessibility, nutritional value, and mortality risks for the various arthropods that feed on them. The identified differences can be helpful in understanding the evolution and functioning of food supplements, and in selecting food supplements for use in biological control programs.

Koptur (Chapter 3) discusses the evolutionary origin of extrafloral nectar. A comparison is made between floral and extrafloral nectar, with respect to nectar composition, its consumers, and the ecological factors modifying its production. A strong emphasis is laid on antplant interactions.

Sabelis, van Rijn, and Janssen (Chapter 4) focus more closely on the evolutionary stability of extrafloral nectar production and of other nutritional rewards in the food-for-protection mutualism: how can they persist in the face of cheaters and other organisms ready to reap the benefits?
Part II: Arthropods feeding on plant-provided food

As most arthropod predators and parasitoids are able to feed on prey as well as on plant-provided food, they could actually be called omnivores. However, the need for plant food of these arthropods has long been overlooked. This has a number of reasons. Many species feed specifically on plant-provided food (nectar and/or pollen) and cause no visible damage to the plants. In some of these insects the stages that are carnivorous are not the stages that feed on plant substances. In other arthropods, carnivorous stages can also feed on plant tissue, but without obvious adaptations in their feeding apparatus.

In order to structure the great variety in plant-feeding among predators and parasitoids, we propose the following typology (see also Table 1.1).


Life-history omnivory. Many holometabolic insects change their lifestyle during metamorphosis, and some of these insects shift from carnivory in the larval stage to herbivory (or nectarivory) in the adult stage. The larvae of some hymenopterans, such as parasitoids, most ants, and social wasps, only feed on animal prey (or hosts). Some of the nutrients obtained during larval stages are transferred to the adult stage, allowing the adults to survive and reproduce while feeding on nectar or honeydew only. An ontogenetic diet shift from herbivory to carnivory is much less common. Nymphs of stink bugs may start life as herbivores and later become predators or mixed feeders (McGavin 2000). The term "life-history omnivory" was first coined by Polis and Strong (1996).

Temporal omnivory. Some predators and host-feeding parasitoids can supplement their carnivorous diet with plant food during part of their life cycle only. As an example, both juvenile and adult tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) forage on ground-dwelling prey, whereas adults also feed on plant seeds.

Permanent omnivory. Many plant-inhabiting "predators" can feed on both prey and plant material in their juvenile as well as their adult phase. Typical are the heteropteran predators that can use their stinging mouthparts to feed on prey and plant tissue. Other predators only use pollen and/or nectar to supplement their diet (e.g., predatory mites and ladybirds).

The impact of plant-provided food on arthropods, and on their role in plant protection (herbivore suppression), depends on the type of omnivory. For life history omnivores, such as parasitoids, the availability of the right plant material will typically extend survival of the adult insects, and will thereby expand their reproductive capacity. Olson, Takasu, and Lewis (Chapter 5) discuss the specific morphological and behavioral adaptations to this nectarivorous lifestyle and its ecological consequences. Heimpel and Jervis (Chapter 9) review the empirical evidence for nectar use by parasitoids under field conditions. They also address the impact of nectar feeding on parasitoid survival and reproduction, as well as on population establishment and pest control.

For real (temporal or permanent) omnivores, such as predatory bugs, the effect of plant-based feeding may be less clear, as it can be partly substituted by feeding on prey. The impact of plant food on the various life-history components (development, survival, reproduction) of these omnivores should therefore be studied at different, but fixed, prey densities. Another complicating factor is that plant feeding may go at the expense of the per capita prey consumption. Eubanks and Styrsky (Chapter 6) review the experimental studies on the various effects of omnivory, including its impact on herbivore suppression.

Not only predators and parasitoids shift their diets during development, also some herbivorous species change from tissue-feeding larvae to nectar or pollen-feeding adults. Romeis, Stdler, and Wckers (Chapter 7) review the foraging and feeding requirements of adult herbivorous butterflies, flies, and beetles. They discuss the implications of this adult feeding for herbivore reproductive fitness, herbivoreplant interactions, and pest management.

Table 1.1 Types of omnivory among "carnivorous" arthropods
Type Plant-feeding stage Arthropod examples can be found within: Type of plant food utilized Reference
Life-history omnivory Adult Neuroptera Chrysopidae (green lacewings) Nectar, pollen Stelzl 1991
Diptera Syrphidae (hoverflies) Nectar, pollen Hickman et al. 1995
Cecidomyiidae (gall midges) Nectar Opit et al. 1997
Tachinidae (parasitoid flies) Nectar Gilbert and Jervis 1998
Hymenoptera a.o. Ichneumonidae, Braconidae (parasitoid wasps) Nectar Jervis 1998, Lewis et al. 1998, Wckers 2001
Vespidae (social wasps) Nectar, fruit Cuautle and Rico-Gray 2003
Formicidae (ants) Nectar Beattie 1985
Coleoptera Meloidae (blister beetles) Nectar, pollen Adams and Selander 1979
Juvenile Heteroptera Pentatomidae (stink bugs) Plant juice McGavin 2000
Temporal omnivory Adult Hymenoptera a.o. Ichneumonidae, Braconidae (host-feeding parasitoids) Nectar Jervis 1998, Lewis et al. 1998
Coleoptera Cicindelidae (tiger beetles) Seeds Zerm and Adis 2001
Cantharidae (soldier beetles) Nectar, pollen Traugott 2003
Juvenile Araneae Araneidae (orb web spiders) Pollen Smith and Mommsen 1984
Permanent omnivory Adult and juvenile Acari: Mesostigmata Phytoseiidae (predatory mites) Nectar, pollen Van Rijn and Tanigoshi 1999a, b
Heteroptera Pentatomidae (stink bugs) Plant juice Ruberson et al. 1986
Miridae (mirid bugs) Plant juice Gillespie and McGregor 2000
Geocoridae (big-eyed bugs) Plant juice Eubanks and Styrsky, Chapter 6
Anthocoridae (flower bugs) Pollen Eubanks and Styrsky, Chapter 6
Neuroptera Chrysopa, Hemerobiidae (brown lacewings) Nectar, pollen Stelzl 1991, McEwen et al. 1993
Thysanoptera Aeolothripidae, Phlaeothripidae Leaves, pollen Kirk 1997
Coleoptera Coccinellidae (ladybirds) Nectar Pemberton and Vandenberg 1993
Pollen Cottrell and Yeargan 1998
Carabidae (ground beetles) Seeds Goldschmidt and Toft 1997
Part III: Plant-provided food and biological control

Food-for-protection strategies have evolved independently in many plants, suggesting that food supplements can be a powerful tool to enhance the effectiveness of predators and parasitoids in the reduction of herbivores. In biological control programs, we rely on carnivorous arthropods to control herbivorous pest insects. Therefore, it seems an obvious step to emulate the food-for-protection strategies in our cropping systems.

The use of food plants and artificial food sprays has been advocated as a means to enhance biological and natural control. Some of the efforts seem successful, but in general the results remain variable and unpredictable (Bugg and Waddington 1994; Landis et al. 2000). The strategy is certainly promising, but we need to improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms in order to increase the effectiveness of our efforts.

In theory, the enhanced performance of a carnivore supplied with plant food does not necessarily improve herbivore suppression. The positive effect on carnivore fitness can be canceled out by factors such as reduced attack rate or increased herbivore reproduction. Population feedback and modified distribution patterns may also reduce the effect on herbivore suppression. In a series of model exercises, Van Rijn and Sabelis (Chapter 8) investigate the conditions required for a positive relationship between food provision and plant protection. They consider food quality, life history, spatial structure, and food web structure.

The empirical verification of the food-for-protection hypothesis may be easier for parasitoids than for predators, for two reasons: the relative ease with which the strength of interaction between herbivore and parasitoid can be quantified (by means of percentage parasitism), and the fact that parasitoids often depend on a single food type (nectar). Heimpel and Jervis (Chapter 9) consider the assumptions underlying this nectar-limitation hypothesis, and discuss to what extent empirical evidence matches the predicted host parasitism and suppression.

When "companion" plants are grown, this may not only provide food for predators and parasitoids, but also other services such as shelter and alternative hosts. Wilkinson and Landis (Chapter 10) discuss the different spatial scales at which the plant resources can be present in the landscape, and how this eventually affects pest control.

Finally, Gurr and colleagues (Chapter 11) discuss how the implementation of food-for-protection strategies in agriculture can benefit from a directed approach that brings together general ecological theory, well-focussed empirical studies, and case-specific modeling.

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clipped on: 11.29.2009 at 09:10 pm    last updated on: 11.29.2009 at 09:11 pm

RE: horse manure for garlic (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: wcthomas on 10.03.2009 at 08:51 am in Allium Forum

According to Ron Engeland's book "Growing Great Garlic", nitrogen (blood meal) is the key nutrient for garlic, and additions of phosphorus (bone meal) and potassium are ineffective in increasing yield. Building strong leaves through nitrogen in early in spring nourishes the bulbs in June/July as they develop. Incorporating blood meal or manure at planting, along with 2-3 smaller side dresses in March through May, seems to be the most common recommendation.



clipped on: 11.01.2009 at 07:37 pm    last updated on: 11.01.2009 at 07:37 pm

RE: Before and After - Avocado Bathroom Update (Follow-Up #61)

posted by: moonshadow on 08.02.2009 at 10:59 am in Home Decorating Forum

equest, DH and I both lean toward oil-based poly. I have had occasions where I used water based (when I didn't want ambering up to occur), but he's 100% oil-based. He said to tell you he just scrunches up the pantyhose legs and does a couple light strokes back and forth if necessary. Any more than that and bubbles will appear. He prefers to work in very thin coats, scuff sanding with 220 grit in between so the next coat has something to grab. The final coat obviously no sanding. He does 2 to 3 very light coats in all.

I tend to agree with you that oil-based poly might be more self-leveling than water. And if it did amber, it certainly wouldn't fight your work, it might just add some extra richness and depth to it? Could be very cool looking. Tho it's hard to top what you've done there already, that's for sure!

BTW, DH said of your counter, when I told him it wasn't granite "Wow, that's cool." A high compliment from my DH, a man of very few words. Most things just get a "hmmmph". ;D


clipped on: 09.14.2009 at 03:06 pm    last updated on: 09.14.2009 at 03:07 pm

RE: Before and After - Avocado Bathroom Update (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: equest17 on 07.31.2009 at 06:58 pm in Home Decorating Forum

You all have really made my day! I wish now that I had finished all the details like the valance and the faucets so you could get the whole picture. We're young and have more energy and ideas than money most of the time, but I'm so glad to know it doesn't show!

As far as the details, I cleaned the counter well with a green scrubbing pad and homemade scouring powder (baking soda, borax, and salt), but any abrasive cleanser should work. I rinsed and wiped it down, then trimmed away some of the excess caulk around the sinks. I brushed on a coat of SW Adhesion Primer. Its pretty thin and goes a very long way, so a quart should be plenty. I let it dry overnight, but that might not be necessary. In the morning, I did two coats of satin base color SW Harmonic Tan. I didnt tape off for this, since I wanted to get really close to the wall and sinks. I let this dry for a day as well; again, that might be overkill, but I wanted to make sure everything was fully cured. I used blue painters tape along the wall and around the sinks after the base coat was set.

I bought a set of two sea sponges at Hobby Lobby; one was bigger and softer, the other smaller and a bit stiffer. I picked acrylic paints that coordinated with my fabric; I used Americana brand Raw Umber and Camel and Anitas All Purpose brand Black, Safari Taupe, and Olive Green. I dampened the large sea sponge, dipped it in the paint on a paper plate, and smeared it around on the plate to get off the excess. I dabbed on the black first, then raw umber, and then the lighter colors. Use a light pouncing motion and dont let it smear or it looks unrealistic.

I didnt wait long enough for each color to set at first and it started to look a bit muddied. So I sponged the base color on very generously over the whole thing to reset the stage a bit. This worked really well, but if I had waited longer between paints, it might not have been necessary. Then again, it might be what gave me such a realistic look! I went back over with all the colors again using the smaller, stiffer sponge to break up any big blotches of color and get into the tight places. I used very little green and khaki (Safari Taupe), just little bits here and there to tie in the room colors. The black, raw umber, and Harmonic Tan base coat were really the key players. I think you could use these paints and add an accent color or two of any muted shade and make it work with other fabrics or dcor.

After it all dried, I used three coats of water based polyurethane. It left some brush strokes I wasnt thrilled with, so I may experiment with a different product or application method if there is a next time. Also, I would recommend removing the painters tape before the poly coat if you have a steady hand. I neglected to and the tape peeled off a bit of the poly in some places.

Well, thats it in a nutshell. Hope that wasnt too many details, but since I had to figure it out as I went, I wanted to share as much as possible. Heres a close up picture so you can see the mix of colors.



clipped on: 09.14.2009 at 02:59 pm    last updated on: 09.14.2009 at 03:00 pm

RE: Before and After - Avocado Bathroom Update (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: moonshadow on 07.31.2009 at 10:34 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Holeeey COW! Amazing!
Now I want to try that on a countertop!
I truly thought it was granite.

Not saying you need to mess with it, but if the poly brush strokes bother you, check in woodworking or antiques forum for tips. What my DH does (when finishing furniture) is to lightly sand smooth each layer of poly with 200 to 220 grit paper. Since you're all done, no harm if you just sand the top. If it doesn't level the brush strokes, drop it down a grit to 180 if that doesn't get it. Doubt I'd go lower than 180, or you'll go too deep into the poly. Gentle touch.
DH applies poly with balled up pantyhose. He gets a smooth level finish, no bubbles. He got that tip from a woodworking magazine. I tried that method but just can't get the hang of it, so I stick to my usual wide black sponge brush well loaded and do one stroke, try not to drag it back through. But that's such a nice job you did, if you do opt to work on it anymore, maybe buy one of those sink cut outs ($1 at big box stores). Put your poly on there and practice on it till you get a feel for it.

Honestly, that's just unreal. I just can't get over that job. Well done! ;D


clipped on: 09.14.2009 at 02:58 pm    last updated on: 09.14.2009 at 02:59 pm

RE: Great new bulb that needs a little help... (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mariava7 on 11.05.2008 at 02:00 am in Amaryllis/Hippeastrum Forum

Scrape out the red mushy part with a sharp knife or blade. You do not have to peel the while scale. Seperate the bulblets from the mother bulb. Make sure they have a piece of the basal plate when you cut them from the motherbulb. They are big enough to survive on their own. Sometimes because of lesser air flow in between mother bulb and bulblet, rot starts in that area where they connect. Make a solution of 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide. Wet a cotton ball with this solution and wipe the whole bulb and basal plate (mother and bulblet). Let dry for a few hours. Make Captan paste and paint all over infected area and wounds. Dry for 1-2 days. Plant and enjoy your blooms. Hope that helps.


clipped on: 12.27.2008 at 07:00 pm    last updated on: 12.27.2008 at 07:01 pm

RE: What foods are cheaper to make at home? (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: grainlady on 11.09.2008 at 02:36 pm in Money Saving Tips Forum

jenica -

I'd love sharing the recipe. It's my friend, Mildred's, recipe (which I've tweaked). It's the best 100% whole wheat bread recipe I've ever made, and I've tried LOTS of recipes over the years. I make the dough in a Zojirushi bread machine, but it can be made by hand, as well. I believe the difference is using the sponge method rather than the quicker direct dough method.

I add the ingredients to the bread pan in the bread machine and let it work for 5-10 minutes on the dough cycle (until it's well blended). Unplug the bread machine and with the lid shut, let the sponge set AT LEAST 2-1/2-hours. Now that's it cooler in the kitchen, I let it sit overnight, or 8-12-hours. OR, you can mix the ingredients in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.)
3/4 c. warm buttermilk (I always use homemade kefir)
3/4 c. barely warm water
2-1/2 c. freshly-milled whole wheat flour
1/4 t. ascorbic acid (a must-use ingredient *see below)
2 t. instant yeast (I use SAF-Instant.)

Next morning, stir into sponge (with a spatula):
2 T. vegetable oil or butter (I use coconut oil.)
2 T. honey (I use agave nectar)
1 egg
(I also add 1/3-1/2 c. chia jel - warm the chia jel, coconut oil, agave nectar to luke warm and add the egg to the mixture and then add it to the sponge. Chia gel is a mixture of chia seeds and water 1/3 c. chia seeds to 2 cups water - stir - soak the seeds 8-10 hours before use - mix will last 3-5 days, refrigerated. Chia gel is a "secret" ingredient in my homemade breads that helps keep the crumb soft and fresh - even a week after baking. The seeds look like poppy seeds in the bread.)
Add to the top of the sponge (in the bread machine - or mix into the sponge in the bowl if making by hand):
2-1/4 c. flour
2 t. salt (on the top)
(I also add 2-3 T. flaxmeal.)
Set machine on dough cycle.
Here's where Mildred and I differ, and we both end up with big beautiful loaves. She lets the bread rise in the bread machine on the dough cycle (we both have a Zojirushi). I don't trust the bread machine when it comes to the rise of bread because it's timed (and what does a machine know about "double"), so as soon as the machine is done kneading, I slap the dough into a 2-quart dough rising bucket with the lid on. This recipe yields about 1-quart of dough and I let it rise to just UNDER 2-quarts - whole wheat dough doesn't have the extensibility that white flour dough has, so don't let it go to "double".
Punch down, divide, round the dough into balls and let it sit, covered, for 10-15 minutes to allow the gluten strands to relax.
Form (I form my dough on a Silpat - no bench flour necessary - and handle the dough with oiled hands; pan the dough in greased pans, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise. Bake in a preheated oven - anywhere between 350 and 375.
I usually make 2 loaves from the dough (8-1/2x4-1/2-inch loaf pans) - bake 375F for 25-30 minutes (or until around 195 - 200F when checked with an instant read thermometer).
For 3 small loaves - bake 350F for 20-25 minutes (same temperature for doneness).

*I add ascorbic acid (aka Vitamin C powder) to all yeast breads that include whole wheat flour or wheat germ. There is a substance in the wheat germ called Glutathione, which breaks down the gluten (hence - short loaves of whole wheat bread). By adding ascorbic acid powder (1/8 t. per loaf) in your dough, you will help to counteract the negative effects of Glutathione. Ascorbic acid will not only help prevent the gluten bonds from breaking down; but will help repair gluten bonds that have already been broken. Ascorbic acid helps sustain the leavening of the bread loaves during baking. It promotes yeast growth causing the yeast to work longer and faster in the acidic atmosphere. Do not add ascorbic acid to sourdough bread dough because it is naturally an acidic atmosphere and additional acid is not necessary.



clipped on: 11.11.2008 at 04:19 pm    last updated on: 11.11.2008 at 04:19 pm

Tulip and Hyacinth Bulb Propagation

posted by: stephen_e on 10.18.2008 at 06:23 am in Plant Propagation Forum

I've kept away from tulips and hyacinths because of the familiar reasons: lots of work and they don't come back reliably. However, someone told me about Darwin Hybrids, so I decided to give them a shot and also cultivating some bulbs. From what I heard, planting them deep (12") promotes return blooms from a single bulb and shallow (6") promotes producing daughter bulbs.

Has anybody else tried this with success?

I purchased 24 Apeldoorn Darwin Hybrids and 24 hyacinths on clearance late in the year; they were OK, but not in the best shape and the tulips were smaller (8 cm - 10 cm) than Top Quality size (12 cm+). I planted them in 24" x 6" x 6" plastic window planters, applied slow release high P and K fertilizer and put them outside in a sunny and exposed location. About March 1, I applied a second slow release high P and K fertilizer and as soon as vegetation broke the surface, gave them a weekly dose of liquid high N fertilizer for four weeks. Most bloomed, but not with vigor. After the vegetation withered, I moved them to a shaded and dry outdoors location and left them without water for the summer -- they were bone dry.

I did the same with a dozen tulip bulbs in clay pots, but those dried and fried. However, when I lifted bulbs the other day from the plastic planters, I ended up with a very good haul. 21 of the 24 hyacinths survived and most had up to 10 little daughter bulbs attached to the basal plate. The tulips did very well; I ended up with 19 >12 cm, 36 9-12 cm, 29 2-9 cm and 72 under 6 cm. I'll plant the 84 largest tulips this weekend and the 72 small ones are back in pots for more of the same treatment.


clipped on: 10.28.2008 at 12:26 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2008 at 12:27 pm

RE: Walk it off or let it rest??? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: ncgardengirl on 08.02.2008 at 02:55 pm in Exercise & Nutrition Forum

riverbud, I am by no means and expert, but I can tell you if there is tenderness and soreness, something is going on. You should have applied ice to the area off and on 15 minutes each for at least 2 hours, after the fall. Now you should be applying some heat. If you have something like icee hot, ben-gay, or Aspercreme use that too.
If you have a wrap, after you have applied heat, from a heating pad wrap, your leg. NOT with the heating gels though, but you can use a wrap with Aspercreme. Take it easy for a few days, do something else that will not futher hinder the knee, in the form of exercise. Whatever it is needs time to heal.

I have had knee problems for over 25 years, so in that aspect I am a pro. I fell on my knee when I was 14, refused to have surgery and uncle arthur set in buy the time I was, take my advice, stay off of it as much as possilbe, if it is still not feeling better in 4-5 days you my have fluid built up or something you doctor needs to take care not put that off if it is not any better.

Hope I helped...
:) Fran


clipped on: 08.04.2008 at 05:44 pm    last updated on: 08.04.2008 at 05:45 pm

RE: Finish for butcher block countertops -- NOT for cutting (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: bobsmyuncle on 07.07.2008 at 09:30 pm in Woodworking Forum

My opinion of "plasticky" is more at the handle end of the brush than the bristle end, if you catch my drift.

Waterlox Original has a dark amber cast to it. This would be the only disadvantage to choosing it, if you object to that. Last time I used it it was on a dry sink converted to vanity. It worked well, color wise, as the top (a new replacement piece) was stained and glazed to a burnt sienna red, so the Waterlox blended right in.

I used my standard varnish regimen:
- Two coats thinned 50-50 (Varnish to mineral spirits)
- Light sanding
- One coat thinned 60-40 more or less, light sanding when dry
- Two coats thinned 90-10

It's not going to burn in like a lacquer or shellac, but it sands well and you can clean, sand and recoat in the future.


clipped on: 07.29.2008 at 01:53 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2008 at 01:53 pm

RE: fungus gnats (Follow-Up #42)

posted by: karyn1 on 03.03.2008 at 08:13 am in Brugmansia Forum

Hawk you can fish out the chunk of the mosquito dunk that you've allowed to soak in the water, allow it to dry and use it again a couple times. I just soak the dunk for several hours or overnight. Sometimes I just keep topping off the jug that it's soaking in.


clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 04:26 pm    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 04:26 pm

RE: fungus gnats (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: karyn1 on 03.02.2008 at 12:16 pm in Brugmansia Forum

Bt is perfectly safe for human and animal consumption. The only organism that it will affect is insect larvae. You don't need a whole 1/4 of a dunk for 1 gal of water. You just need a tiny piece. After soaking the dunk can be removed, dried and used a couple more times. There's a whole thread about the use of Bt to control fungus gnats. You will have to treat the soil a few times about a week apart to stop the gnat cycle.


clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 04:24 pm    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 04:25 pm

RE: fungus gnats (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: blicon1 on 12.19.2007 at 01:35 pm in Brugmansia Forum

Seems to be some confusion over what your flies actually might be.

The most noticeable differences - fungus gnats have rounder wings and thinner backends. The wings are not always darker. As far as I know - BT will not work on shorefly larvae.

Hope this helps,



clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 04:19 pm    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 04:20 pm

RE: fungus gnats (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: grrrnthumb on 12.16.2007 at 07:54 pm in Brugmansia Forum

Poisons are a really poor choice to control fungus gnats. They are less efective, shorter lasting, and more harmful to humans than BTi (neem is a poison too). Even sticky traps, oil, soaps, etc. don't come close to being as effective as BTi.
It's Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, a strain of bacteria that is lethal to fungus gnats and mosquitos but has zero effect on humans.
Oxmyx your BT for catepillars is a different strain & doesn't work on gnats.
I use 2 drops of Microbe-Lift BMC in a 1 quart spray bottle of water(mosquito dunk water works too, Gnatrol, plus many other brands). I use one tiny spray for each plant, plus a little wherever else they may congregate. That lasts me a whole year! You do have to wait through 1 short life cycle for them to be all gone, but it's complete control. I would also avoid any treatments that would kill bacteria for a few weeks, like hydrogen peroxide water or insecticides.
It is less harmfull to humans than any poison, home rememdy, or even the glue on sticky traps, and it works so much better. You have to try it. :^)
- Tom


clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 04:13 pm    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 04:13 pm

RE: tea gardens (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: GardenLad on 12.27.2003 at 04:56 pm in Heirloom Plants & Gardens Forum

Love that lapsang, Jonathan. Surely you're not thinking of adding anything to it? Don't want to dilute that great smoky/tar flavor.

Earl Gray already has bergamot in it; that's what gives it its special taste. However, most commercial Earl Gray is made with tea leaves and oil of bergamot. You can mix your own using bergamot flowers, experimenting until you get the taste you want.

Chamomile is easy to grow. But you'll want quite a bed of it, in order to harvest a decent amount of flowers (that's what the tea is made from). Either jasmine or passionflower (or both) mixed with the chamomile is a nice blend, and very relaxing in the evening.

You didn't say whether you want to grow them just for the beverage (as all the commercial herbal teas are) or as medicinals. If you want to grow medicinal teas, I can give you a whole list of them that should do well in your garden.


clipped on: 03.01.2008 at 12:59 pm    last updated on: 03.01.2008 at 12:59 pm

RE: Beach glass Christmas tree (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: chickeemama on 12.09.2007 at 10:48 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

Wow Im surprised at the response..Im glad you all like it and I will try to answer the questions. You girls always say the best things to lift someones spirits!!!!

It is a styrofoam cone I got at Joannes fabrics I'd say its about 8 inches.

I tumbled (in my rock tumbler from Harbor freight) clear glass (wine bottle)and put it some course grit for about 3 days.(its the grit used for polishing rocks) Not full days either cause I only do it when Im home. It turns that frosted look after the glass drys. The green glass is still the left overs of a jager bottle that I tumbled awhile ago.

I started at the top of the cone and worked my way down. I started using GE II to put the pieces on but changed to a low heat glue gun which really worked great.

The star is just red scrap glass I had and cut out with my wet saw.Then I foiled and tinned the edges w/my soldering iron and soldered a piece of copper wire and stuck it in the styrofoam. The top of the cone was flat and I left that bare until I finished the star then hot glued the glass under it.

I want to make one with a clear base so I can put lights in it like others have suggested. It will look so great lit from within.

Hope that answers all your questions and cant wait to see how you all make them and the creative cool spin you'll put on them!


clipped on: 12.12.2007 at 03:22 pm    last updated on: 12.12.2007 at 03:23 pm

RE: Are you keeping a secret? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: cynic on 11.27.2007 at 02:24 pm in Money Saving Tips Forum

LOL, the more I think about this, the more I'm reminded of a relative who wants everyones special recipes, but refuses to give out one of her special recipes!

I guess I'm just the type who likes to give back when I receive. Especially this time of year, I enjoy the giving part most.

So in the spirit of the season, here's a little tip. Go out and clean off the terminals on your battery with baking soda and water. Use a terminal cleaner tool if you have it. When finished and reassembled, put some grease, vaseline or the like on the top to keep corrosion off the battery. Gives you full power from your battery and enables your alternator to charge the battery fully too. Nothing worse than getting caught with a dead battery somewhere in the middle of the cold. Been there, done that. Don't wanna do it again.

And a little, OK, VERY little savings tip: Charge your cell phone or other items you can, in your vehicle while you're driving. Over a period of time, it'll save, maybe a few cents, but more importantly, you'll have a fully charged phone if you need it for an emergency.


clipped on: 12.02.2007 at 02:48 pm    last updated on: 12.02.2007 at 02:49 pm

RE: basil (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: Ksha on 07.14.2005 at 04:49 pm in Herbs Forum

I have a recipe for pesto. For you and me, let's call it the Besto Pesto in the Westo!

2 med cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
About 2 1/2 - 3 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt

In a blender or food processer (I use a blender), blend olive oil, salt, and garlic. Add pine nuts and basil and blend until it forms a smooth paste. (Usually requires opening the top and pushing it down with a spoon several times. Remove mixture from the blender, add cheese and mix well with a spoon. The more cheese you use, the thicker it will be, so if you like it a little thinner, just use a little less cheese.

If you put it in an airtight container, it will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or even more. And it can be frozen and thawed as well.


clipped on: 08.05.2007 at 05:55 pm    last updated on: 08.05.2007 at 05:55 pm

RE: Birdbath (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: lusty on 07.24.2007 at 08:13 pm in California Gardening Forum

I went down to Home Depot and browsed until I found a square plastic container they called a "windowbox" planter, with no holes in the bottom. It's square, about 12-15" across, and about the same depth. For the grate, I picked up a grill meant as a replacement for a round bbq grill. The holes in this were quite large as compared to the gravel, so I covered it with some hardware cloth we had lying around, about 1/2" mesh. The whole grate assembly is painted with Rustoleum.

I did a lot of searching for solar pumps and panels, and found only two real options for the pump in the size I wanted (fairly small, only about 2 ft max lift). One was inexpensive, about $100, but the company selling them had numerous horrible reviews related to product quality and customer service. The one I went with was just over $400 for pump plus panel. The product is excellent, and the customer service was excellent as well. I got the OASE solar fountain pump 70, and OASE solar module 10, from The panel came with a long enough cord that I was able to run the cord over to the house and up onto the roof, where we have the panel sitting. It's a small panel, about 12"x18" or so.

If you build something like this with your big rock, Brenda, you'll want to be sure you get a reservoir big enough to catch all the water running down the side of the rock. Mine gets some splashing on the gravel that lets water escape from the system, so it might be a good idea to test the flow to see what sort of behavior you're going to get. I also found that if the grate wasn't perfectly level I had water run down the wires and drop outside the edge of the reservoir where the grate passed it. This could probably be resolved by just tying some drip wires around the edges of the grate (inside the edges of the reservoir) to direct the water down into the reservoir.

And I can't take credit for the idea on this, Joe :-) I saw a similar thing at another garden and went and did a lot of web searching before finding out that this basic setup is something you can buy for big buckolas with all sorts of objects sitting on top, some really large.



clipped on: 07.26.2007 at 01:37 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2007 at 01:37 pm

RE: ID asiatic vs. oriental lilies (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: hld6 on 06.12.2006 at 06:49 pm in Lily Forum

Hi minflick,

I don't have many asiatics, but I have a number of orientals and trumpets. leaf placement isn't that different between Oriental hybrids and Asiatic hybrids. Asiatic leaves tend to be more slender, though not as "grass-like" as the trumpets.

The best way to tell Orientals and Asiatics apart is by their blooms. The most dramatic difference will be bloom time and fragrance.

Asiatics are the earliest blooming lilies and are blooming now in my zone, (in your zone they may be already finished ). Orientals don't bloom until July-August.

Orientals have a strong "spicy" fragrance while the great majority of Asiatics have no fragrance at all. (There are some new hybrids with a very light fragrance - not likely to be found in a bin.)

They also differ in the shape of their blooms and their arrangement on the stem. Both blooms have a overall bowl shape with a little recurve to the petals, but Oriental lilies have a "ruffled edge" and Asiatics a smooth edge on their petals. Oriental blooms are carried sequentially along the stem, Asiatic blooms all come from the tip of the stem in an "upside down umbrella shape called an "umbrel".

Also, many Oriental lilies get quite tall in good garden conditions. There are a couple shorter hybrids, Mona Lisa (2') and Muscadet (2'-3') but in general 3' is small for an established oriental.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule (especially among the species lilies), but the wide separation in bloom time will be the most reliable rule to use to distinguish them.

As for digging them up most Oriental bulbs are a bright yellow when freshly dug (the color fades) and Trumpet bulbs are purple. I think Asiatic bulbs are white, but I'm not sure. Maybe someone else knows that.

If the flowers are the same as far as you can tell, they may all be Asiatics.



clipped on: 07.04.2007 at 07:54 pm    last updated on: 07.04.2007 at 07:54 pm

RE: Asiatic Lily Beetles (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: bonniepunch on 06.06.2007 at 04:22 pm in Gardening in Canada Forum

I always recommend Neem oil. It has been tested and found to be effective against the Asian Lily Beetle. I have found it works well myself, but I know several others have had different experiences - probably because in Canada it is not yet registered in for use anywhere but the forestry trade. The approval is in the works, but these things take time and until then there are no standards. Different Neem oil brands may contain different strengths and so some people will find it less effective that others. I have no ides what its status is in the US so it may be the same or it may be better regulated.

Neem oil will need to be applied every week of so. Be warned that it stinks to high heaven!

You should also do a regular inspection. Daily is best, but at least two or three times weekly, look for any signs of munched leaves. Look on the undersides of the leaves for little lines of red/orange eggs and wipe them off with a damp tissue. Look for wierd little piles of black crud on the undersides of leaves - they are likely the larvae (they disguise themselves by piling their poop on their backs) and they should be wiped off too. The adults are easy to spot and can be squished or knocked into a can of soapy water.

In the fall and again in the spring, carefully sift through (or remove and replace) the top couple of inches of soil around your lilies - you're looking for the overwintering adults. They're not that hard to spot against the black soil.

If you can't keep on top of them this way you may need to consider weather growing lilies is worth it to you. Heavy duty pesticides aren't proving that effective at long term control either and aren't worth the risk (in my opinion). These beetles are a major problem for a lot of people. I only have a little over a dozen lilies and I am able to keep the damage to a minimum - a daily check takes me only a minute and I only need to remove eggs or larvae once or twice a month.



clipped on: 07.04.2007 at 07:42 pm    last updated on: 07.04.2007 at 07:42 pm

RE: Asiatic Lily Beetles (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: bonniepunch on 05.21.2007 at 01:20 pm in Gardening in Canada Forum

Diazepam is a sedative that is more commonly known as Valium. The active ingredient in Bayer Rose and Garden Spray is Carbaryl.

Bringing it across the border into Canada is likely illegal.

There are several problems with recommending this spray. Firstly it is banned in many places. The entire province of Quebec has banned its use cosmetically, as have more than 60 municipalities across the country. Why it's banned - it's highly toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects, moderately toxic to many species of fish and wild birds, and moderately to very toxic to humans when it is inhaled or ingested. Contact with the skin can cause burns, and it is readily absorbed through the skin. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, which means it is a neurotoxin. Prolonged exposure has been linked to birth defects in some animals (including humans), and it is a suspected carcinogen.

Carbaryl has a half life of 3-10 days. That means you have to spray again after that because the chemical has broken down.

The threat to honeybees is probably the most severe one. Honeybees are declining in extremely rapid numbers, and they may be in danger of becoming wiped out in North America. Bees are the most important crop pollinators we have. If you eat an apple, have cereal containing grains, veggies with your dinner, you are eating foods pollinated by bees. Even the steak or chicken breast on your plate was fed by bee pollinated crops.

So before you dust your lilies, please think about what else you may be killing.

I'm a bit of a soapbox preacher about pesticides, but it's because most people really don't realize what's in the products they're using, and how dangerous some of them can be. The manufactures want your money and so have no interest in informing you about the dangers you may be placing your children and pets in. They don't care about the bees, or the water tables, or the fish and frogs living in our rivers and lakes. Most gardeners do though, so I try to inform whenever I can.

/puts soapbox away again


clipped on: 07.04.2007 at 07:35 pm    last updated on: 07.04.2007 at 07:36 pm

RE: Help! Wood front door looks terrible! (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: stanlie on 05.21.2007 at 01:34 pm in Woodworking Forum

Just a thought. You didnt say how far up the bottom was faded. How about a brass kick plate. Ive seen some that were two foot tall.

Theres other metals too if you dont like brass. Or if thats too traditional you could have one made. Hammered copper. Cast aluminium.

I can understand not wanting to paint your door. Im thinking since the top stays okay maybe you could come up with something decorative to cover up the bottom.


clipped on: 06.19.2007 at 05:42 pm    last updated on: 06.19.2007 at 05:42 pm

RE: Help! Wood front door looks terrible! (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: handymac on 05.13.2007 at 10:55 pm in Woodworking Forum

Yup, that base paint is a good idea---if you can get the right stuff. If you try that advice, just be sure to test paint a piece of wood to assure yourself that it does dry clear.

And make sure all those mildewcides/fungicides are actually included, and it is an exterior base---not an interior base.

As for the spar varnish turning black/etc----I can show you several doors I have done that have several years of time with the spar varnish applied as I outlined---no such problems.


clipped on: 06.19.2007 at 05:41 pm    last updated on: 06.19.2007 at 05:41 pm

RE: Help! Wood front door looks terrible! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: handymac on 05.13.2007 at 08:07 pm in Woodworking Forum

Sand the outside of the door until the color is even and all the finish is gone. Sanding will take a long time and a lot of sandpaper---use a random orbit sander---NOT a belt sander!!!!!---but will not hurt the surface of the wood. Start with 100 grit and finish with 150 grit.

Apply an outdoor deck type stain if desired.

Now, use 200 grit sandpaper on a hand sanding block---buy one or simply use a flat piece of wood/plastic---and knock down the fuzzies left by the stain.

Using a really good brush---I prefer brushes made by Purdy and use a manmade bristle variety---apply the first of three coats of marine spar varnish with UV protection included or added. I prefer spar varnish from Sherwin Williams paint stores, but any name brand spar will work.

Let dry 24 hours. Lishtly hand sand , wipe with a rag dampened with thinner to remove all the sanding dust/grit, and apply the second coat.

Let dry 24 hours and repeat sanding and the third coat.

Now, from this point, all you need to do is inspect the finish monthly. Once you see checking/crazing----that is when tiny cracks start to appear-----simply sand with 150 paper on the ROS(random orbital sander) and apply one coat of spar varnish.

The first job should last a year or more. The only caveat is that the spar varnish will add an amber tint to the door color----most folks call that tint a warm amber glow and prize it for interior finishes.


clipped on: 06.19.2007 at 05:37 pm    last updated on: 06.19.2007 at 05:37 pm

pathway finally done

posted by: DAVISSUE_zone9 on 03.23.2005 at 12:56 am in Garden Accoutrements Forum

Last year I posted pictures of the leaves I'd made in anticipation of making a pathway. I promised then I'd post a picture of the finished path. Finally last month I got those leaves in the ground. Here's how it turned out. The leaves were made using the formula provided in the faq section- white portland cement, white sand, buff liquid coloring. I used several species of leaves to make the steppingstones.


clipped on: 06.05.2007 at 07:25 pm    last updated on: 06.05.2007 at 07:25 pm

RE: Peach Tree (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: jellyman on 01.17.2007 at 02:15 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum


The first year, when you got 8 nice ripe peaches from your tree was your lucky year. You apparently had no insect pest activity on the tree.

Peaches in the mid-Atlantic, most of the Midwest and South, are subject to two relentless enemies: the plum curculio and the oriental fruit moth. We will call them PC and OFM. The level of PC and OFM infestation is usually related to the presence of other fruit-bearing trees in the area, at least at first. Soon enough, you can begin to hatch them out on your own trees, unless you carefully pick up all the dropped peaches that fall off along the way, and deposit them in the trash. The plum curculio is a small, black beetle-like creature, about one-fourth inch long or less, with a small snout. It is usually most active at night, although if you look carefully you can sometimes see them in the daytime. The female OFM, which causes the damage, grows wings and can fly during the mating season. The oriental fruit moth is a classic moth, which conducts nearly all its activity at night.

It is little difficult to distinguish between PC and OFM damage, since the symptoms are similar. PC usually leaves a small, flat, shiny area on the developing peach. OFM leaves more of a small blob of pectin oozing from the skin. In both cases, peaches damaged by these insects should be immediately removed and discarded in the trash, where there is no chance they could reach the ground and form pupae. Peaches with this type of damage will usually have severe decomposition around the pit if allowed to mature, together with the presence of larvae, and will often fall prematurely anyway. Brown rot spores frequently enter the wounds causing peaches to rot on the trees.

PC activity begins very early, as soon as the little fruits form, and continues for about 6 weeks. OFM begins a bit later, but has as many as four generations, so that this moth can continue to attack your peaches nearly up to harvest time.

The only way to deal effectively with these pests is to spray your trees with an effective insecticide on a weekly basis. Since Imidan has been removed from the market, the most commonly available product that would do the job on both these insects is one based on permethrin. The percentage of active ingredient on the label should be about 25%. There are many other insecticidal products on the market, including some that are claimed to be "organic", and if you can find one that works by all means use it if you prefer. I have not had much luck with "organic" pesticides.

Having to spray the trees weekly to get ripe peaches is a royal pain in the neck, and I have looked for years for alternative solutions. One that I have tried with some success has been bagging the peaches in ziplock sandwich bags while they are still very small, immediately after thinning. Some of my bagged peaches were perfect, but in other cases earwigs crawled in around the stems and caused some unsightly surface damage. But earwigs are much easier to deal with than the other pests, and can be controlled with only occasional spraying. Sandwich bags should be prepared by cutting off the corners of the lower part of the bag to prevent moisure accumulation. Installing a sandwich bag on a little peach that is stuck right up against a twig or branch calls for a deft touch, but it can be done. Zip it closed on both sides, as snugly to the stem as possible.

Finally, peaches must always be thinned to about 6-8 inches apart on the trees to grow to full size. So if your tree sets a lot of peaches, thin them early and often, leaving behind only the largest best-placed fruits. That will help them grow faster, and, because there are fewer to attract insects, make those you leave behind somewhat safer.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA


clipped on: 06.05.2007 at 06:32 pm    last updated on: 06.05.2007 at 06:33 pm