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RE: anything eat eggplant flowers? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: violet_z6 on 06.21.2007 at 05:34 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Pest management is complex. If you want to learn, a good place to start is here:

Integrated Pest Management
This lecture is presented in two parts. Each part is 90-minutes in length. Recorded in Sacramento County in California's Sacramento Valley, this lecture is by Mary Louise Flint, Ph.D., Director, IPM Education and Publications, UC Statewide IPM Project and Extension Entomologist & Cooperative Extension Specialist.

B.S. Plant Science, University of California, Davis
Ph.D. Entomology, University of California, Berkeley

100% Cooperative Extension

Research Interests:
Integrated pest management of landscape, agricultural and garden pests; biological control of arthropod pests; alternatives to pesticides; adoption of alternative practices by practitioners; innovative delivery of pest management information.

Topics discussed in the Integrated Pest Management Lecture:

* IPM references and resources
* Preventing pest problems
* Natural common enemies
* Making less toxic pesticide choices
* Controlling aphids, scales, caterpillars, coddling moths, tree borers, snails and slugs, and lawn insects.

You can watch the programs now online:

Just make sure you have Real Player installed or download it free.

Real Player Logo
Integrated Pest Management Part 1 90 minutes

Real Player Logo
Integrated Pest Management Part 2 90 minutes

You'll want to bookmark the following link to Professor Flint's Lab Research on:
Controlling Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Vegetables and Melons

I promise you'll learn one or two things to put in your gardening bag of pest management arsenals.



clipped on: 06.25.2007 at 11:56 am    last updated on: 06.25.2007 at 11:56 am

RE: beginners ipe deck info (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: john_hyatt on 05.01.2007 at 09:27 pm in Porches & Decks Forum

The growth rings/bark up/down thing is an urban mith, it makes no differance. That idea was long ago proved to be silly. Put the good side up. J


clipped on: 05.02.2007 at 05:00 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2007 at 05:00 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: 04.04.2007 at 01:24 pm    last updated on: 04.04.2007 at 01:25 pm

review of rad system and twp #516 on ipe deck

posted by: sweet11395 on 07.28.2006 at 08:47 am in Porches & Decks Forum

Wanted to write a fairly extensive review so that everyone knew the entire background of the deck and its exposure limits.

Started building my two tier deck back on August 1st, 2005. The deck was to be a 12x24 upper deck and a 8x 8 lower deck. The upper deck was 33" above grade and the lower deck was anywhere from 7"-12" above grade due to the sloping nature of the yard. The deck contruction was beam atop posts.

I bought my lumber from Advantage Trim and Lumber in NY (aka IPEDEPOT). Ipe came in great condition with only 3 boards damaged and was the thinner 1x6 decking (not 5/4"). All lengths were exact (12 or 8) so that NO butt joints were needed. I used the IPE clips from Advantage Lumber.

Overall I am happy with the resultsalthough the lower deck as warned by J Hyatt an others has a few boards that cupped a little.even though the deck was ventilated with four vents.

The decking was completed in late September of 2005 and all that remained was trim work and a hip wall planter in place of railing on one in my spare time I worked on the deck sat untreated from September 2005 till July 21st 2006.of course it saw a northeastern winter with several snowfalls and one ice storm and PLENTY of rainfall. The deck weathered and you could see water soak into the boards.

So it was time to complete the project last week and I took pressurepros (Ken) RAD system and followed the directionsfirst the sodium percarbonate "stripper".WOW is all I can sawyou should have seen all the bubbling action!!! It looked like the head on a beer!! (we get a few weeks here where everything is covered in yellow pollen!)..with just a garden hose and a stiff bristle brush the grayed wood just washed away!!!! I performed this early in the morning while the deck was shaded to prevent drying out and minimize the need to mist with more solution. I know you always see those before and after pics but here are MY OWN pics and it TRULY works!!!

Followed that with the second step (neutralizer/brightener).again WOW brought back the color of the original deck and made it a bit lighter on some boards. Truly a remarkable product for restoring 1 yr old untreated IPE back to a more rich tonebut it did need stain/sealant to finish off that look.

In comes J Hyatts famed TWP.because I was in NJ I could only get TWP #516.the high solids version of his TWP #116. Directions stated to use ONLY ONE COAT ON NEW I forwent the "wet on wet" treatment touted by John with his #116.I used a brush for minor trim and 10" lambswool application pad on a pole. I ran down 4-5 boards at a time.being careful ALWAYS to keep a wet the way it was mostly sunny with a cloud here and there high of 88 degrees and 62% humidity. The stain went on flawlessly with little effort and soaked right in like a sponge!!! Very little stayed "floating" on the surface.I made a few passes to try and get a semi-wet glossy appearance to ensure full saturation and then a few passes with the applicator to feather out any possible lap marks and soak up obvious pools.I started the process at 8am..made it to the end of the upper 12x 24 deck by 12pm.about 4 hours.the stain had a slight glistening to it but no pooling.went back to the first boards and felt the stain and it was oily but NOT TACKY AT ALL after 4 hours!! So it seems that even in full sun at 85-90 degrees flashing of volatiles is not occurringhowever, make sure to keep a wet working edgethe very fist dip of the pad I had a few drops hit the deck and got to them about 2 minutes latera quick pass over them and they were still apparent.but like John H. said you can "burn" the coats togetherI rubbed the pad firmly over the spots with more stain and it evened out to where the spots are not noticeable.I could have gone back and tried to put more stain on and see if that would have soaked in but was worried about the one coat it appears J. Hyatt you could easily do your wet on wet with this #516 even hours after initial application! Seems to be fairly slow to set up.I would have figured with higher solids and lower solvent it would be the reverse but apparently not so.I took a spare board and applied this wet on wet (30 minutes between coats.1st coat was still oily and not dried or tacky) and am awaiting results today. I finished up the lower deck and all the facia boards and vents by 6pmschewwwwwww what a long day!!!.....but the color looks great!!!!.at about 8pm there were a few what I would call shiny areasnot pooling or defined spots.but undried stain.went back and smoothed out with a brush and some spots remained this morning but obviously drying and drying such that they do NOT remain shiny.a few spots looked liked they could use more stain but when brushed with more did not take anymore..Should hopefully by 100% dry by this evening (~24 hours)directions on the can state 24-48 hour dry time depending on wood and environment/weather. Update- hope it is dry as storms rolled in last night so minimum dry time was 26hrs and 23 min....I'll post update pics of deck after rainwater dries up
So I dont know if things would have been different had I stained/sealed it right away but I can say 1 year old Norhteastern weathered IPE soaks up that stuff like a sponge after the RAD treatment!!! put the brush down and you could actually see the capillary action pulling the stain out away from the brush!! It will be interesting to see how long the color lasts with one coat and how dark the next will be if applied directly without any RAD cleaning actionbut Ill decide that all I want is to enjoy a nice tall cold one on my IPE deck!!!!

So as it stands now I am EXTREMELY SATISFIED with Kens RAD system and J. Hyatts TWP recommendation.gave a GREAT colorI was a little worried that it might be too dark using the higher solids product..when poured into a paint tray it was jet black!! (see pictures).brown in a thin layer.
but despite that it lets those brilliant reds through the IPE and looks wonderful!!! Thanks a million guys!!! If you were closer Id buy you a beer or (tecate!) John!! But Ken Im in Philly often so you could take me up on that offer!!!...

Satisified DIYer

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of IPE deck related to story above


clipped on: 03.21.2007 at 06:24 pm    last updated on: 03.21.2007 at 06:24 pm

RE: Ipe deck - natural no stain. A viable option? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: njhandyman on 08.07.2006 at 10:01 pm in Porches & Decks Forum

Last year I had an ipe deck built around the hot tub. Before the construction, I belt sanded and sealed the boards with penofin. BAD CHOICE! An experienced ipe deck builder told me to not sand ipe as you remove the layers of dead cells which absorb the sealer. That was why it turned grey in about 4-5 months. Also, lay the boards end grain curving downward to drain better and avoid "cupping" after rain. I bought ipe to avoid splinters and because it looks great when new so I'm trying again. I plan to power wash the deck, then use Messmer's which is recommended by Thompson Mahogany, the hardwood wholesaler in the Philadelphia area. After reading all the comments, I'm resigned to an annual powerwash and staining as the deck is in direct sun half the day. Any thoughts/comments??


clipped on: 03.21.2007 at 04:30 pm    last updated on: 03.21.2007 at 04:30 pm

RE: Ipe Decking (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: plateaugal on 05.16.2004 at 07:00 pm in Porches & Decks Forum

I am just finishing reinstallation of an Ipe deck and want to pass along my experiences. Initially, I used a contractor and consulted with local experts to make sure the job was done correctly, but we made several mistakes. The gorgeous, picture perfect deck that he built was a mess just four months later.

My contractor sealed the boards with Australian Timber Oil after sanding with 60 grit paper and cleaning each board with acetone. Our local timber yard (Truitte and White) recommended this procedure. After four months, the finish was gone! This is consistent with what Geoffrey reported. DO NOT SAND BEFORE SEALING.

He did not seal the underside as several experts told us this was not necessary. After four months, the boards began to cup. I learned from Geoffrey that this was caused by moisture seaping into the boards from underneath, causing the bottom to expand more than the top. It is an obvious outome when you think about it! SEAL BOTH SIDES.

You must wax every freshly cut end of Ipe. Otherwise, cracks will quickly appear. My contractor tried to be careful but he forgot quite a few and each and every one that he missed developed several cracks from one to three inches long four months later. If you are having someone install Ipe, I would check the boards myself to make sure each has been waxed. You can tell because the wax works its way slightly into the board and is visible from the top. If there is no wax, the color is uniform to the very end. It is not hard to remove single boards and wax them, after the fact. Once you notice cracks, they are much harder to fix and your contractor may be long gone. WAX FRESHLY CUT ENDS

Finally, he used an expensive undermount system that was clearly not working. The screws were very short and could not prevent the cupping. The treated lumber was already beginning to corrode the metal strips after four months. AVOID UNDERMOUNTED SYSTEMS

Here is how the problems were solved. As my contractor was gone, I hired a laborer to help me. We cleaned the boards with clorox and brightened them with oxalic acid. (You can buy pricy brand products which are essentially these chemicals.) We resealed with Messmer's this time, both sides. It has a powerful smell, so be sure to wear a mask! We removed all the short screws and turned the boards over to bake in the sun for a week. The excess moisture was reduced and the cupping disappeared. We cut off ends that were badly cracked. We turned each board back over and drilled from the top two 3/8" holes near the edges and over each joist. Trim Star screws worked easily and quickly. We tried to use these screws without countersinking and wooden "mushrooms" arose that were rough and unsightly. Other screws I tried were harder to install. I tried several samples on a piece of scrap Ipe. A great tool is the Bow Wrench. It is so easy to use and let's you install boards without a helper. Most boards are a little warped and you need to line them up against the adjacent board (with 1/8" gap). The Bow Wrench pulls the board straight and holds it steady, quickly and simply. It does not require that you hold it down with your leg, as does the Board Bender.

The final stage will be to insert Ipe plugs in the holes which are all lined up very nicely since we drew pencil guide lines with a long ruler. The deck gives the appearance of strength and craftsmanship with all this care.

Other problems are annoying, but I see no way around them. As opposed to redwood, Ipe is very heavy which is more fatiguing to work with and wears out drill bits and saw blades. I bought the best, and they still wear out quickly.

I hope to save others the headaches I have had with this material. It is beautiful and strong but there is a lot of misinformation out there about how to handle it.


clipped on: 03.09.2007 at 05:34 pm    last updated on: 03.09.2007 at 05:34 pm

RE: Ipe Decking (Follow-Up #27)

posted by: Outdoor_Dreams on 04.02.2004 at 07:11 pm in Porches & Decks Forum

I have been using Ipe decking for many years (7.5) and have tried lots of different fastening methods. In fact, I will only offer Ipe to my customers after having been burned by composites. (too many callbacks) The two main fasteners that I use are Ipe Clips and Trimstar screws. Basically, if someone wants a hidden look I will use Ipe Clip (the bracket systems have failed on me) and for face screwing it's Trimstar because of the tiny tiny heads that are not noticeable. With all of these postings, I thought I would share a bit about attaching this gorgeous wood.

Now onto the finishing. Roughly 95% of my clients want to keep the color and it's Messmers that I use. It's important that the deck is clean before BRUSHING (not rolling or spraying)for max. penetration. DO NOT SAND BEFORE APPLYING THE OIL as you will have to re-coat in two months. Seems as thought the oil doesn't penetrate as well after sanding. I will typically send a crew back in 16 months to re-coat. Really good stuff! (I've tried them all)

Lastly, my supplier(partner). I buy the bulk of my material from Bannerelk Trading in Atlanta,GA because they carry EVERYTHING from the joist up. I use a local supplier in Denver for framing material and fill-ins. The guy that I deal with at Bannerelk is Bill. He knows his stuff and keeps me informed on new gadgets to make my life easier. Like the awesome Dewalt blades that cut this stuff like butter and the Cobalt drill bits.

Well, I hope this information helps. I consider this my contribution for all of the information that I've obtained over the years from this site. HAPPY DECKING!

Outdoor Dreams, Inc.
Colorado (God's country)


clipped on: 03.09.2007 at 05:24 pm    last updated on: 03.09.2007 at 05:24 pm

Stains: what to avoid...

posted by: andrewdsm on 07.31.2006 at 11:47 am in Porches & Decks Forum

We have treated thousands of decks in the Iowa regions. We have built hundreds of decks. Our suggestion to all Do-It-Yourselfers is never use any type of stain that has acrylic, latex, heavy paraffin (wax), or oil and linseed (as main ingredients) in it. Acrylic will form a hard shell on the top surface and will last about 6 months to a year if youre lucky. Latex is basically rubber and will last about the same maybe 18 months. Both will flake and peel away. Paraffin will eventually chip, peel and flake away; Linseed and oil will flake away within 3 months to 6 months. Acrylic and Latex are very damaging to wood and suffocate the wood much like placing plastic over your mouth and will not allow the wood to expand and contract as needed. The wood may buckle and cause nail raising and splitting of the wood. They both are also very hard to remove evenly. Recoating of the stains with several coats will only make things difficult and expensive to refinish or replace the damaged wood. Some stains we avoid are TWP, Flood, Behr, Cuprinol, Minwax, Wolmans, Thompsons Water Sealant, Olympic, & Rhinoguard. Some stain manufacturers claim 3 to 8 years on the longevity when they last only 3 months. Some claim that using more coats is better; when it really will not. Remember that one coat is ok, but better to use no more than two in any one year, and always use proper cleaning techniques prior to applying the second coat. If you have questions call (515) 974-9734 and we are happy to answer your questions. So I dont leave you hanging, we use Happy Staining! R & A


clipped on: 03.09.2007 at 03:19 pm    last updated on: 03.09.2007 at 03:19 pm

RE: one time stain (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: nra4usa on 07.20.2006 at 09:43 pm in Porches & Decks Forum

I have used a lot of this stuff and it works. Like the previous poster stated, ignore negative comments from people who have not actually used it!!

Here are tips I strongly advise you to take to heart:

1) Don't be stupid and build a deck out of cedar! Cedar is an extremely soft wood and will quickly be dinged and dented by normal traffic. Have you ever seen a cedar floor inside a home? Of course not - it's too soft! If cedar is not suitable for the weather protected indoors what makes you think it is suitable for the extreme conditions of the outdoors? Also, cedar is most certainly NOT rot or insect resistant! that's BS. The only thing that cedar has going for it is that it is a lightweight wood that is dimensionally stable. But like I said it is too soft for any foor.

2) One time wood works great BUT only in "Clove Brown". CLove Brown has the EXACT SAME pigment as One Time Wood Natural but 5 times the amount. This extra pigment in CLOVE Brown is what blocks the UV from reacning the wood fibers of your deck and turning it gray. I have had Clove Brown on now for over 3 years and it still looks great. Remember, it is the pigment that protects your wood from turning gray and the more the better.

All of the other deck products that contain various organic oils such as linseed, tung, etc. are antiquated crap. These oils brak down under the sun and simply become food for mold and bacteria.

Try One time Wood in CLove Brown on pressure treated pine or Ipe - you will like the results.


clipped on: 03.09.2007 at 03:18 pm    last updated on: 03.09.2007 at 03:18 pm

Sealing new cedar fence

posted by: kelleynelson on 02.20.2007 at 05:43 pm in Porches & Decks Forum

Hey folks,

I am building a new white cedar fence once the weather gets warm enough. (~45-50 degree daytime temps).

I want to keep the fence a nice 'natural' reddish cedar color and looking at Readyseal, Cabot's Clear Solution and Penofin. I'm leaning towards Readyseal based on what I have read so far, but I am waiting for some samples to come so I can test them on some cedar shingles I am using as test patches. I tested Olympic maximum but am ruling it out because it doesn't seem to be favored vs. the others and is a bit too orange.

Different products seem to have different temperature requirements, but Readyseal seems the most forgiving.

Do I need to look at anything other than the moisture content of the wood (and temp requirements of the sealer) in order to know when it is ready for sealing? (Looking for 15% or less) Is any certain amount of weathering time needed to open the fibers of the new wood? I read a lot of conflicting rhetoric.



clipped on: 03.09.2007 at 11:39 am    last updated on: 03.09.2007 at 11:39 am

RE: Cheap Seed Sources? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: naplesgardener on 02.09.2007 at 08:35 am in Frugal Gardening Forum

I looked but didn't see a FAQ for this forum that would list "frugal" seed suppliers., and are on my frugal list. the challenge comes when you want a PARTICULAR seed or plant not sold by one of these and the shipping cost really adds up.
That's when I start looking through members exchange lists and finding out what their wants are and getting the seed THEY want so I can get the seed I want. That's the fun part of being frugal. As long as you have patience you'll get there.


P.S. I know you were joking about stealing in the dark but in Florida plant stealing is big business with thieves. They will actually strip a yard.
I walk around my neighborhood looking for interesting plants with seeds and ask my neighbors for them. No one minds (so far). I think dedicated gardeners are happy to share and non-gardeners are mystified.


clipped on: 02.28.2007 at 06:37 pm    last updated on: 02.28.2007 at 06:37 pm

RE: Cheap Seed Sources? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: maryinpnw on 02.11.2007 at 02:36 pm in Frugal Gardening Forum

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Missouri has excellent prices and a beautiful paper catalogue. Sand Hill Preservation in Decorah, Iowa has excellent prices as well. You'll get lots of seeds. Both are family run businesses. Baker Creek is bigger. Sand Hill has a plain catalogue. No pictures. Some incredible offerings you won't find in many places. Both offer more heirloom vegetables, fruits than flowers or herbs. Sand Hill may not be a good idea this time of year. They really are run by one family. Dad, mom and the kids with help from neighbors. Quality of both is very high. I love them.

I forgot to mention that they are both on-line.


clipped on: 02.28.2007 at 06:35 pm    last updated on: 02.28.2007 at 06:36 pm

RE: Any 'lasagna' gardeners in Houston? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: srburk on 02.24.2007 at 12:51 pm in Texas Gardening Forum

Actually, you can plant in lasagna immidiately, you just have to be careful about which layers you have. I read the book and wrote all the pertinent parts in my gardening notebook where I write what does well, and what dies in the humidity and heat here.

I built a raised lasagna bed about six inches high, and 4' x 4' last spring. I did not want to start with a big garden in case things got out of control, lol. I know I used quite a bit of bagged compost (I don't currently have a compost barrel...need one of those heavy duty plastic thingys due to rodent problem.), and the recommended layer of peat (cheap bag bought at wallyworld I think), and some chopped up leaves (I have one of those things that sucks up leaves so you can bag them and hubby mows them first for me). As long as you don't use layers that are green or very hot, like fresh manure, the bed is not hot enough to burn plants. It does cook down, so if you build a raised bed, build it with the thought in mind that it will cook down two or three inches. I fill my board enclosed raised bed all the way to the very top.

This is how I think I built it up....wet newspaper first (not to be punctured at all, but to smother the vegetation underneath and act as a weed barrier), then a layer of the peat, then I think a thin layer of the leaves, then a layer of compost, then a layer of composted cow manure (also bagged...), and I repeated till I got to the top and put a pretty good layer of compost up there.

As long as it's a brown layer that decomposes slowly, and well composted compost or manure, it's not hot enough to do any damage. I had two foot basil plants and a six to seven foot cherry tomato with no problems until blight got the maters in July. (Of course, it rained so much, everything I had planted everywhere had some sort of fungus problem, so not too surprising....). When I pulled the tomato plant, I had to chop off at the ground and use a shovel because the stalk was several inches around and the roots pretty extensive. I will say that I did have some trouble with ants, who like the very loose mixture, but sprinkling cornmeal makes them move away (I don't use ant poison in the kids play there and eat the produce. :))

Have fun with it...the book is available at one of my local libraries, so you can probably find it in yours (went to the one in Clear Lake if that helps any). I like the lasagna method because I have the traditional gumbo that needs to be amended for years before it becomes sufficient for supporting most garden life...not to mention how heavy and compacted it is if it's dry, and the clay bowl it turns into when it rains. I can lift 40 lbs bags of dirt, but it takes me 45 minutes to dig a hole for a shrub. ;)


clipped on: 02.27.2007 at 04:22 pm    last updated on: 02.27.2007 at 04:22 pm