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Old 2021-05-19, 07:46   #12
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooMoo2 View Post
Sometimes (maybe more often than not?) cost != quality.
Often cost is an indication of the difficulty of propagation.

That is why rampantly spreading bamboos tend to be much cheaper than slowly growing clump-forming bamboos. The latter have to be grown on for years before they can be split up to form new clumps. Care and storage costs money.

It is also why Araucaria araucana trees are much more expensive than Cupressus ร— leylandii.
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Old 2021-05-22, 12:02   #13
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooMoo2 View Post
Sometimes (maybe more often than not?) cost != quality.

Out of all the plants that my mom and I bought over the years, the ones that did the best were the ones that we acquired cheaply and had low expectations for.
<snip>
Having low expectations probably enhances the enjoyment when the plant thrives.

Last year, I bought a number of prairie plants, including two specimens of Dalea purpurea, AKA purple prairie clover. The prairie clover plants were tiny. I set the little square plastic containers down and started to dig where I wanted to plant it. I accidently knocked one of the pots over, and much to my surprise and horror, instead of the roots being potbound as they are with most such plants, the root system wasn't much bigger than the above-ground part. The poor little thing was lying on the ground, roots not even half an inch long, clinging to a tiny amount of potting soil, the rest of the soil still in the container. The other prairie clover plant was the same way. I figured they were both goners, but I planted them anyway.

Amazingly, they both survived, and later in the season actually grew to respectable size. They sprang back up this year, and are doing very well.
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Old 2021-05-22, 14:11   #14
xilman
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Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I accidently knocked one of the pots over, and much to my surprise and horror, instead of the roots being potbound as they are with most such plants, the root system wasn't much bigger than the above-ground part.
When I buy plants for planting out I always try to pick up the pot and see whether roots are coming out the bottom. Quite often I will buy a plant with better roots over one with better tops. It's the roots that suffer from transplanting; the tops will generally grow back much more easily.
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Old 2021-05-22, 15:48   #15
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Originally Posted by xilman View Post
When I buy plants for planting out I always try to pick up the pot and see whether roots are coming out the bottom. Quite often I will buy a plant with better roots over one with better tops. It's the roots that suffer from transplanting; the tops will generally grow back much more easily.
Not possible in this case. I bought the plants from a volunteer organization devoted to restoring and maintainng natural areas. Due to COVID restrictions, it was order in advance, pick up plants later. In one, possibly two cases I had ordered two different species of the same genus, but got two of the same species. C'est la vie!

But in the case of the Prairie Clover, all's well that ends well!

When I transplant I water the plant in the container before removing it. I have sometimes used a root stimulator (vitamin B-1 solution) to reduce transplant shock.

Meanwhile, one of the prairie plants I got the year before last has thrived beyond my wildest imaginings. I got a single specimen of Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, and planted it in one of my front yard garden beds. It grew a bit that year. Last year, it bloomed and, as hoped, attracted Monarch butterflies. And it spread a bit, which it does by sending horizontal underground runners around a foot deep.

This year, it has spread out of control. From next to my steps, it has gone under my porch and come up outside the south end. It has gone under my sidewalk and come up in the other garden bed. I don't want to put in an underground barrier (it's tight quarters for digging) so I'm going to remove it from that location. I'll dig out and give away as much as I can, and ruthlessly poison the rest.

I already transplanted some to my back yard last year, and more this year. It has plenty of room to spread back there, and the heavy clay soil there is keeping it in check.

I've also got another native milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa, in my front garden. It is a good garden plant. Last year it had at least one Monarch caterpillar on it.
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Old 2021-05-24, 23:40   #16
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That would be "down!" I was continuing my efforts against the unwanted trumpetcreeper (Campsis radicans), and it occurred to me I could show what a formidable foe I was battling.

Last year and the year before, I contented myself with sawing or lopping stems to short stumps, and treating the stumps with either glyphosate (20 - 50%) or concentrated brush killer (triclopyr 8.8%). Some stands did expire, but new shoots appeared this year. As mentioned earlier, I have taken to digging, trimming, treating exposed rootstock with concentrated brush killer, covering it with plastic, and reburying it.

The rootstock in the pictures is about as big around as a man's thumb. The underground reserves of these specimens are amazing. One wonders how long they've been growing. The practical answer is, "Too long!"
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Old 2021-10-22, 11:20   #17
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The Amorphophallus decus-silvae in our Hortus Botanicus in Leiden is in bloom!
It is thought to be only the 3rd time that this has ever happened in Europe.
Dutch press release: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/ni...s-gaat-bloeien
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Old 2021-10-22, 11:29   #18
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The Amorphophallus decus-silvae in our Hortus Botanicus in Leiden is in bloom!
A friend of mine grew this plant at home. Sometimes it bloomed. The aroma of this plant resembled dead meat. It was so intense that even the neighbors complained about the bad smell.

I love exotic plants and flowers, and to be honest, I also thought about getting one. But my friend said - no way.
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Old 2021-10-23, 07:23   #19
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I live in Oregon. We have a snapdragon plant that has bright pink petals when in bloom. It is very pretty. My wife and I also have a food garden. I have made applesauce two years in a row now. We also have more blueberries than we can eat. Our cherry tree only produces a few cherries per year. I even planned a rose bush in our back yard.

Cheers
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Old 2021-11-02, 13:29   #20
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This year's pepper harvest is over. This morning, my outdoor thermometer was reading around 27 degrees F (-2.8 C). Yesterday, I picked as many unblemished orange and green Tabasco peppers as I could fit into a pint jar, and used them to make "Peppa' Sauce," with a recipe that can be found at "Our Daily Brine" here.

The day before yesterday, I did the same with most of the last harvest of the red, ripe Tabasco peppers. The remainder of that harvest went through a dehydrator, and is currently sitting in a small jar with a dessicator pack for further drying, awaiting its fate of being ground to powder.

I smoked a previous harvest of red, ripe Tabasco peppers with applewood before dehydration, and have already ground it to powder.

Seeding Tabasco peppers is impracticable because they're so small, and the pulp clings to the seeds. So they got used whole, seeds, veins, and all. I rate the heat level of the Tabasco pepper powder at "El Scorcho!"

Some midseason harvests of red, ripe Anaheims and purplish-brown, ripe Poblanos were also smoked, dried, and pulverized (I used Pecan wood for those). The Anaheims were disappointingly mild this year, but one benefit is, the smoked Anaheim powder is very similar to smoked paprika!

Most of the Anaheims and Poblanos were picked green, fire-roasted, peeled, seeded, and frozen during the growing season, to await the chile pot.

I also had Habaneros. I seeded [and deveined] them (using nitrile exam gloves and a small scissors). Some got farmed out to be made into Habanero jam. It looks sort of like orange marmalade, but it doesn't taste like it, though Habaneros do have a citrusy aroma and flavor. The seeding cut down the heat level quite a bit, but it does pack a punch.

Most of my Habaneros got seeded, applewood smoked, dehydrated, and ground to powder. I didn't rate the heat level, but it is quite hot. If I hadn't seeded the peppers, it would have been a lot hotter!
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Old 2021-11-02, 16:09   #21
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Just picked in the past 3 days several gallons of green tomatoes to strip the plants before yesterday's forecast freeze could damage them. Not sure what I'll do with them all. Removed most bean plants, all muskmelon vines, and both tomato plants. Raspberries' second round production has been winding down; probably the last picking of the year will be today. A few tiny (yellow and orange when ripe) peppers were missed when I picked unripe dark green ahead of the freeze forecast. (Mild bell peppers for a German palate.)

Potatoes have already been dug, but there are some carrots to dig yet before the ground freezes. Onions were dormant and stored long ago, and corn is already consumed. Freezer is already pretty full of raspberries, beans, tomatoes and beets.
One (or more?) of the neighborhood squirrels was a frequent visitor, hollowing out melons, eating the seeds, costing at least 1/3 of melon production. Melon seeds came from one I bought at the store in spring, so I certainly got my money's worth from that one. I have ~a dozen small melons in the fridge, 1 or 2 servings each. Still have some radishes left in the fridge from early summer, but lettuce is long gone, as are peas. Had more grapes than the birds, bugs and I could handle, and gave away gallons to relatives. It smelled like grape juice and wine beneath the canopy, and the ground had a bluish hue from all the fallen grapes.

It's been interesting to manage storage space this year to keep barely ahead of the production.
Much more productive than the previous 2 years. Emptying 1 of my 5 compost bins onto the garden this spring seems to have paid off. Will likely do the same next spring before repositioning the large dual bin for easier future access. Each half of a dual bin is 4'x4'x4.5' (~1.2 x 1.2 x 1.4 m) The other dual is now beyond full of grass, leaves, and vines. A smaller bin gets kitchen scraps, and apples not suitable for human consumption from the 2 remaining fruit trees.
It's possible that opening the sky up more by removal in March of some emerald-ash-borer-afflicted trees helped the garden too.

Next spring I may have some early lettuce, since many lettuce plants were allowed to bolt and go to seed. (Couldn't keep up with them all.)

One year I replanted spinach late, and it was too small for harvest as the freeze neared, so I made a soft tent greenhouse from clear plastic sheet with tomato cages for support. Edges of the plastic were weighted down with garden soil. Snow weight crushed the tomato cages, but the next April before even asparagus emergence, I had the best sweetest spinach ever.
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Old 2021-11-02, 19:34   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
Just picked in the past 3 days several gallons of green tomatoes to strip the plants before yesterday's forecast freeze could damage them. Not sure what I'll do with them all.
<snip>
If canning is an option, green tomato relish is one possibility. For such a large amount, the only alternative to canning that comes to mind is freezing (requires some prepping). A few could be used for fried green tomatoes and/or green tomato pie.
Quote:
Emptying 1 of my 5 compost bins onto the garden this spring seems to have paid off.
<snip>
It's possible that opening the sky up more by removal in March of some emerald-ash-borer-afflicted trees helped the garden too.
<snip>
Compost and more sun surely helped the vegetables grow.

Good luck next year!
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