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Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Richard Paradon, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    For most of my life I have hated gardening as everything I have tried decides to die within a week or so. The only exception is up in my jungle place in Northern Thailand. I have tossed a lime seed on the grown and it has taken root. I think because of the humidity, everything must grow and even I am not looked at a danger from nature!
     
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  2. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    I, too, had that problem. My mother and brother were both gardeners, but every time I bought a houseplant it would die - too much water, not enough, or I'd put it in direct sunlight or whatever. When I met my husband, who had grown up gardening, he helped me when we got our first place - I was skeptical about the whole process, but to be honest, it was fun to be working outside with him, so I didn't really care if things grew or not.

    Anyway, we planted a bunch of veggies, including cucumbers, from seeds. I was amazed that they actually sprouted and then a few weeks later, to my utter amazement, a cucumber grew. I remember, I was in my mid-20s and was a serious professional (can you say yuppie). Anyway, I was so happy and pleased that I actually grew a cucumber, I picked it and was running through the yard, waving it around and screaming, "Look, a cucumber, I grew a cucumber". Needless to say, my husband thought I was deranged - of course, he's had that same thought many, many times since!!

    Since then, I have absolutely loved gardening. For some reason, growing plants outside is so much easier than growing them inside.
     
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  3. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    That is so funny about the cucumber! I guess it is people like me who keep the little vegetable markets flowing!
     
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  4. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    Gardening is fun, I must laugh at your story. So many people make caring for plants harder than it is. I have indoor plants and a garden during the summer. Some people have animals I have palnts.
    w
     
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  5. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    I think it is much better than I have an animal or two rather than a plant. At least they let you know when the are thirsty or hungry!
     
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  6. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    A large part of that is because outdoors is their natural environment. When I first got involved with bonsai, I wanted to keep my trees indoors, but I soon discovered that it was impossible for some species to live inside for more than a few days at a time. Nowadays I've got a small greenhouse for some of my more sensitive trees but the rest are kept out in the open.

    I sometimes even take my houseplants outside to water them because that way I can let all the excess water drain away instead of having to go around emptying the run-off from their saucers. If one doesn't take care, over-watering can be a serious problem as the roots of many species will rot if left standing in water for too long.
     
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  7. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, I always tease that when they're outside, I let God take care of them. I've found that if I plant them in the right spot (considering their sun requirements) and I mulch them well, they don't really require a lot of care. I just dead-head them when needed and if it gets too dry, give them a drink every few days. I cut them back in the winter to "put them to bed".

    Any plant that requires extra special care, doesn't last long in my garden. Thankfully, there are enough beautiful plants that are not divas, and my garden is always a pretty, peaceful place.
     
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  8. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    The plants in our garden are mainly left to take care of themselves too. We have a garden service that comes around for about an hour once a week, and they water the garden, but the rest of its water requirements have to be met by nature. Thankfully summer is our rainy season, so that's not a big problem.

    When it comes to my bonsai trees however, I water ever day in summer, and ever second day in winter. In their small pots they can dry out quite quickly even if it does rain, and many of them stand close to walls, so if the rain comes down at the wrong angle, they may not get any water naturally. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I sometimes water my trees while the rain is falling.
     
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  9. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    That was a problem I had when trying to grow bonsais - the watering and the sun requirements. Because they are planted in such small containers with so little dirt, like you said they dry out so fast, and they get baked by the sun if you're not careful. I would always forget to water them, or I'd leave them somewhere we they got too much sun. And once they start to die, there was no saving them.

    With flowers on the other hand, I can see them start to droop a little, and think, "Oh no, they need water, they're going to die" and I water them really well, and the next day, they're good as new. If you watch them, they do kind of tell you what they want.
     
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  10. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Many years ago, I bought a geranium at the store, and took it home and put it in the window. I enjoyed watching it, and made sure to faithfully water it anytime that it looked dry to me. It was probably my first plant ever; so I really didn't know what I was supposed to do with it, and in spite of my attempts tocare for the geranium , it began to die.
    Whatever was wrong seemed to not be fixable because it finally lost all of the leaves, and of course there were not any pretty red flowers any more either.
    My husband had a job out of town for a week or two, so we rented a small cabin there, lockedup the house, and I went along with him. Before we left, I put the dead geranium outside on the porch so maybe it might still survive, although it seemed to be a lost hope.
    When we returned home, the wind had blown the geranium off of the porch, and it had started growing (totally sideways in the pot) and not only had green leaves, but actually looked like it might bloom again.
    I still don't know what I did wrong; but after that the geranium happily lived on the porch, and finally straightened itself upright in the pot even.
     
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  11. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    I can't say for sure but I can think of a couple of possibilities. One is that it was getting too much water. It's not recommended to leave a plant standing in a saucer full of water, though some species will tolerate that better than others. Another is that it wasn't getting enough light, or even that the sun coming through a window could have burnt it. And some types of plants just can't survive indoors for very long. I'm not sure whether that applies to geraniums or not as I've never had one, but I know that's been the cause of a lot of beginners losing their first bonsai tree.

    I'm glad your story had a happy ending :)
     
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