Ask Al a Question forum: Talk to Al

 
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Imagetapla
Feb 3, 2010 5:26 PM CST
Name: Al
5b-6a MI
I have been studying and enjoying many facets of container culture, as well as helping people with their container gardening pursuits for many years. If you think there might be something I can help you with, or if you would just like to visit, please don't hesitate ....
Imagebeckygardener
Feb 3, 2010 5:48 PM CST
Name: Becky
Florida Zone 9b/10a
Awesome cubit, Al! You have all the information here and right at my fingertips! :-) You know I will be back with lots of questions come Spring! ;-)
Another Day in Paradise!
Imageangele
Feb 3, 2010 6:05 PM CST
Name: Angele (zone7b/8a)
Elephant Butte, NM
Yeah! I'm a Charley's girl!
ooohhh I echo Becky's awesome. I love container gardening & have so much to learn (all I know is I love them)
I've joined your cubit
Imagebeckygardener
Feb 3, 2010 6:15 PM CST
Name: Becky
Florida Zone 9b/10a
angele - Al is awesome! Full of knowledgable and interesting ideas on how to make your own potting mix - a LOT cheaper than buying pre-mixed potting soil. Be sure to check out his entire cubit and all the threads. :-) Lots of info already here! ;-)
Another Day in Paradise!
Imageangele
Feb 3, 2010 6:32 PM CST
Name: Angele (zone7b/8a)
Elephant Butte, NM
Yeah! I'm a Charley's girl!
will do Becky!! :-)
Imagetapla
Feb 3, 2010 7:33 PM CST
Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Thanks guys!!! You're so kind. As soon as I get squared away here, I'll come look you up. ..... still learning the ropes. ;o)

Al
Imagevalleylynn
Feb 5, 2010 12:02 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR zone 8
Thanks Al for this great Forum. I will be coming back for help. I have only done a few containers in my life and have a lot to learn about how to take care of them. Love you Cubit.
Lynn
Imagetapla
Feb 5, 2010 4:27 PM CST
Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Well THANK YOU, Lynn. I'll certainly be looking forward to your return and getting to know you and your plants. I've been container gardening and helping people to learn about it for a long, long time. Welcome!

Al
Imagevalleylynn
Feb 5, 2010 4:39 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR zone 8
Then this is the place for me. The only thing I've had much luck with container growing is succulents, they thrive on neglect. Not so good on flowering things. *Blush*
Imagetapla
Feb 5, 2010 4:45 PM CST
Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Your choice of soil is probably the most important decision that affects your quotient of satisfaction:frustration you will make. If you understand soils, you are already well ahead of the crowd. If you concentrate your efforts there, it will make things soo much easier.

TTYS, I hope.

http://cubits.org/containergardeningwith/thread/view/1084/
Imageangele
Feb 5, 2010 4:46 PM CST
Name: Angele (zone7b/8a)
Elephant Butte, NM
Yeah! I'm a Charley's girl!
Al, is it practical or possible to plant a container that looks good for at least 3 seasons?
Imagetapla
Feb 6, 2010 1:45 PM CST
Name: Al
5b-6a MI
I want to be sure you mean 3 seasons of one year, and not 3 years?

Then, I'm going to ask you if you're talking about mixed plantings or specimen plantings?

Al
Imageangele
Feb 6, 2010 1:47 PM CST
Name: Angele (zone7b/8a)
Elephant Butte, NM
Yeah! I'm a Charley's girl!
Three seasons of one year and mixed plantings. Thanks
Imagetomatofreak
Feb 12, 2010 9:25 PM CST
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
I have a question: Isn't your avatar the Little Prince of St.Exupery? If I'm way out in left field, sorry, but I always enjoy meeting fans of S.E. (Although the L.P. is my least favorite of his work.)
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
Imagetapla
Feb 13, 2010 8:53 AM CST
Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Yes it is. I love that book, my all-time favorite. I was given a copy as a young man; the more often I read it and the older I get, the more I appreciate it. On its face, it seems trite, but every time I read it, I'm forced to stop and think about the many facets of life and love it touches on. I've shared the book (gifted) with many close friends. Lolol - I even have one friend that gave a copy to one of her single girl friends and told her, "Here, read this, and give it to any man you meet you might be serious about. If he reads it and thinks it's a kid's story - move on." I laughed so hard .......

I've read "The Rose", which I thoroughly enjoyed, and the book of his quotes is very thought provoking. I've always wanted to read his other works, and your asking is an excellent reminder for me to get after that. I think he's genius. I've been on a novel binge lately for want of weather nice enough to make being outside anything but a chore, so the next book I start will be one of his. Thanks for the reminder.

I wondered how many would notice the avatar and ask about it. I've forged several very strong friendships that grew out of casual discussions about "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Take care TF.

Al



Imagecoconut
Feb 16, 2010 6:37 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
I want a screen house, or green house that has one big water reservior, with lots of ? holes so the pot/containers can be exchanged. Rather than have individual boxes or buckets. I'd hook up the water to a tilapia tank.

I saw kind of what I am thinking about at our ag fair yesterday--- Not a very good pic. The fish are in the tank, in front, with the pretty window, the pump and I think they have jazzy filters of some kind in the metal box, and the plants are in a long low flat container, floating on styrofoam. The plants are a bog plant from Thailand that are eaten as greens.

Thumbnail by coconut

Melissa

Imagecoconut
Feb 16, 2010 6:41 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
The plants: A type of Ipomea. Grows rampantly.

Thumbnail by coconut

Melissa

Imagecoconut
Feb 16, 2010 6:43 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
The fish: This is an expensive setup, I know. University people are spending grant money, and have no idea about reality. They have a presentation in which they claim someone can make 250,000k a year. IF labor is free, land and buildings are free, and trucks and refrigeration is free, and electricity and water are free. hahaha.

I think I'll start with a small pond liner....

Thumbnail by coconut

Melissa

Imagevalleylynn
Feb 19, 2010 6:04 AM CST
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR zone 8
My DIL gave me the book several years ago. It was her favorite childhood book. She also reads it occasionally as an adult. I think it is time for me to read it again. : )
Al, what would you recommend for a potting mix for plants like zinnias and penstemon? You've got me going now on making my own potting mix. This may be the beginning of a love afair with container growing. In the past I have not had very good results.
Imagetapla
Feb 19, 2010 8:51 AM CST
Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Please - if you find time to read it again, I'd love to know what you think of it now. ;o)

For all my annual plantings, or those that will be in the same soil for a maximum of 2 growth cycles, I use what everyone refers to as the 5:1:1 mix, which is:

5 parts of partially composted pine or fir bark fines
1 part sphagnum peat (not reed or sedge peat)
1 part perlite
dolomitic (garden) lime @ 1 level tbsp/gallon of soil or 1/2 cup/cu ft

Read more about it here: http://cubits.org/containergardeningwith/thread/view/1084/

There is a thread at GW (same info as the one here @ Cubits) that has been active since early '05. It has around 1,500 posts to it. You can find what people think of it here: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg02141642...

Let me know if you have questions.

Al

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