Article: Upgrade Your Brown Thumb to Green: Interesting concept

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Image Upgrade Your Brown Thumb to Green
By Larry Rettig on November 22, 2010

I’ve been gardening for 55 years now, I know a thing or two about plant care, and I don’t need a fancy gadget to tell me what to do, thank you very much!

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ImageZanymuse
Nov 21, 2010 10:33 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
This is a very interesting concept. I will be looking forward to your results from it. Their database alone looks as if it would be worth the cost.
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ImageSharon
Nov 21, 2010 11:45 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Good information, Larry.
Think I'll wait for you to test drive it, too.
ImageLarryR
Nov 22, 2010 12:33 AM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
Thanks for your comments, Brenda and Sharon. It'll be fun to see how and if this really works!

Special thanks to you, Brenda, for helping me to embed a video in an article for the first time.
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/
Imagegardener2005
Nov 22, 2010 12:40 PM CST
Name: Karen
Zone 8b
It looks like it would be a interesting research tool for difficult areas of a garden. I think it would take a season of every 4 to 6 week readings to figure out what plants would do well. Some plants might do well in spring and then die from the heat later in summer so a season of taking readings could be a way to get some insight on different planting areas. If I got one of those and placed it outside I`d have to put it in a cage or something to keep critters or stray dogs from stealing it or digging it up.

Karen
ImageLarryR
Nov 22, 2010 5:38 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
Thanks for your comments, Karen. You're absolutely right. The claim is made that climate, zone, and time of year are taken into account, but there would seem to be enough variability even within these parameters to make it necessary to take a number of readings in the same spot during the growing season. If all the recommendations for that one spot turn out to be the same, fine. If not, then the question becomes: Which recommendation should I go by?
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/
Imagegardener2005
Nov 22, 2010 6:29 PM CST
Name: Karen
Zone 8b
I`m unsure exactly but it seems what might make a good guess for a plant would be one that was compatible with all the different readings for the expected seasons in which it survives optimally. I have found one year to the next can be drastically different to the point I can lose plants that normally thrive for me and so will need to replace plants. I think even with the most sophisticated learning gadgets gardening it still going to be a guessing game of chance though it would be really nice to be able to improve your odds with some research and keep things interesting with experiments and discoveries right in your own garden.
ImageRidesredmule
Nov 22, 2010 7:01 PM CST
Name: Charleen
Alford, Florida
Walk in Peace.
Well, this is a new on me. May be interesting to try and since you got one, Larry, you can let us know how it works. So you are growint plants in your computer. I watch the video too. Let us know what happens...
Charleen
ImageLarryR
Nov 22, 2010 11:55 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
Gardener--Exactly. And what about perennials that are short-lived? Not all gardeners are aware that some perennials only live for several years. When these plants don't come back in the spring, it's easy to think that you've done something wrong.

Hi Charleen--Thanks for your comments. I'll be sure to let everyone know!
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/
Imagegardener2005
Nov 23, 2010 10:25 PM CST
Name: Karen
Zone 8b
That is true about the perennials. There are some varieties that need started new or you lose them after a few years like you said. One of my favorite elephant ears gets to a certain size and then I already know about 3 years the base of the plant rots for no good reason other than age. That is why every year I pot up some babies and get ready to replace the old ones and knowing this in advance saves time and money!

I`ll be watching to see the results! Karen
Imagestarlight1153
Nov 24, 2010 6:48 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Great article. First I have heard of this gadget. What I wonder with it is this. After opening and closing so many times what is to say that at some point moisture will not be able to get in and corrode the computer parts.

Seems like it just a bit more fancier tool to and replace soil testing areas. I think I would rather so that. With a soil test, you tell them the plants you plan on growing and the soil report will tell you just about everything you need and at what amounts to add to your soil.

If the plant seems sick, a quick trip to any Extention service will give you a diagnosis and recommendations of how to treat and what chemicals or natural practices to use depending on your gardening practices.

Also, if you have a problem going on with a crop, a quick call and somebody from the Extension service will come out free to help you.

I'll be waiting to to see what happens if you have a sick plant or a problem area and what the gadget says. Maybe if you have the time and are able, you could us e the gadget and soil testing or plant pathology reports to compare and see what or who does the best analysis.





ImageLarryR
Nov 25, 2010 12:37 AM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
Thanks for your comments, Karen and Starlight.

Like Karen, you bring up some interesting points, Starlight. It would be fun, indeed, to see whose best, man or machine! Smiling
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/
[Last edited Nov 25, 2010 12:37 AM CST]
Quote | Post #492881 (11)
ImageTwinLakesChef
Nov 26, 2010 1:51 PM CST
Name: Arlene Marshall
Twin Lakes, IA & Orange, CA
Zone 4B
I tested my soil through Iowa State University Extension Service and it cost me more than $60. You got me interested in this tool. Thanks for the enlightening article.
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ImageLarryR
Nov 26, 2010 10:33 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
Thanks for your interest, Arlene. Stay tuned!
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/

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