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Re: About this "having a war" business.... eBay, nematodes, and maybe Hostas...

  • Subject: Re: About this "having a war" business.... eBay, nematodes, and maybe Hostas...
  • From: "Diann Thoma" <diannthoma@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 05 Jul 2001 02:59:25 -0000

Andrew, some of this note is hilarious!  The part about matching 
shoes--ROTFL!!!  And such a wonderul piece of Andrew apologia.  Just about 
the time one thinks you should head out to the hosta patch and stay there a 
while, out you come with a gem such as this!  I'm trying to imagine (never 
having met Bob) how he likes being a Bobbsie with you!  Too wonderful!


>From: "Andrew Lietzow" <andrewl@hostahaven.com>
>Reply-To: hosta-open@mallorn.com
>To: <hosta-open@mallorn.com>
>Subject: Re: About this "having a war" business.... eBay, nematodes, and 
>maybe Hostas...
>Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 12:16:14 -0500
>Hi Bob and marvelous list,
>Thanks for the post, Bob.  And, I will apologize in advance, but this is a
>long reply--a tome as Mike Lemke likes to call them.  (And if you don't 
>this, Bob, you're going to miss my apology hidden deep inside this).
>RE:>>"If I need to apoligize to him for that, fine". Andrew told me himself
>he was having problems because he sold plants on ebay that he hadn't got
>from a tissue culture lab.
>I was thinking this was a problem on the supplier's part, not mine. You are
>correct. A long time ago, in what seems like another lifetime, I was naive
>enough to think that if a nursery supplier was a really big one, their
>chances of being very reliable were good.  I was mistaken.  I learned that
>lesson.  It was as much my fault as theirs because I have been a consultant
>to the W/D durable goods industry for 15 years and implement systems to
>prevent such inventory nightmares.  I expect people to post "out-of-stock"
>if they are on top of things, or advise people if an out-of-stock condition
>continues for long, but this did not happen.   If you are going to list it,
>but don't have any in stock, you're only going to make your customers 
>so why do it?   If you will look at my posting on eBay now, you will see
>that we try very hard to list ONLY product that we are 99% sure we have in
>stock at the time we list it.  And, while I have no trouble whatsoever in
>purchasing well-rooted liners as a plant for my garden, I know some in the
>industry frown on this and we have voluntarily chosen to limit such
>listings.  For those in the industry that have a problem with selling 
>because they might die over the winter, I lost plants last winter that I've
>had for multiple years but had few problems with my liners.  Guess the 
>saw the bigger ones as a bigger meal? Winter and voles happen.
>I have discovered that not everyone agrees regarding the definition of a
>well-rooted liner when it is shipped from a supplier.  There is no industry
>standard--well, maybe there is, yet how does one enforce such a standard?  
>now know that it is not anything that is universally followed and may even
>be ignored, though stated as policy.
>IMO, the main reason Bob and I have ANY problems at all is that we are too
>much alike.  Scary thought I know, but it's probably reality.  When I came
>to Waukon and saw what you were doing, working on a computer in your
>basement, purchasing the latest plants and falling in love with them, but
>more than willing to share them with other Hostaholics through sales and
>even as gifts, I started to see that you and I were entirely too much 
>Yikes!!!  I looked in the mirror and I saw... . YOU!  Oh NO!!!   (Shoot, I
>even enjoy that computer generated music on you web site!)
>Then, there is the deal with the shoes.  I saw those shoes as a simple
>solution to a problem I have with my wife about coming in to the house with
>dirt on my feet.  They were simple, slip-on canvas shoes, but I wanted a
>pair for myself.  When I got home, I was on a quest to find them and so I
>now have a pair just like them.  Oh, I wasn't saying "I want to be like
>Bob", but our personalities appear to be just too darned similar.  So
>unfortunately, my good Hostaman from Waukee, we look like the Bobbsie 
>We're both in the computer business and we both sell Hostas.  Now that I
>have said that, you'll probably go out outside, throw up and go buy a
>different pair of shoes. I think people who understand psychology know what
>a problem it is when you try to force two abstract random thinkers to get
>along.  Ain't gonna happen.  It's okay; we can deal with it.
>As for feedback on eBay, it's the toughest way to sell Hostas of which I am
>aware.  EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION is scrutinized and the buyer gets to
>comment on every single purchase.  Do we know how challenging that is?  If
>you go and purchase a Hosta at XYZ outlet, you get to see what you are
>purchasing.   To take it home and NOT like it you would have to admit that
>you are a moron!  Cognitive dissonant prevents this from happening.  The
>plant is right before your very eyes and you know you'll love it.
>When you purchase mail order you don't get to see the actual product and 
>are trusting the seller and their reputation. If you don't like it, you 
>to the vendor and you get it straightened out, but you don't typically blab
>that all over the internet (although that is changing, too).  With eBay, 
>now with the HL.org auction, things are totally different.  Your service 
>to be exemplary and your plants have to be excellent.  Perfect?  Probably
>not, but you should see the discussions that people have about ONE little
>plant from this seller or that one (e.g. Gardenweb.com forum) .  And Helen
>is right, the news travels quickly and it IS spread all over the 
>And Helen is right again because it is MUCH worse than taking out an ad in
>the newspaper.  On the internet, such comments are archived and people can
>find them for weeks or even years.  In the paper, hardly anyone would 
>and fewer would even try to find the comment.
>Now about these pests and predators of Hosta....
>As you recall, I was discussing this with you, Bob, in private and now it 
>public.  Now that it is public, let me say this about that.  I have visited
>with people all over the country about this issue.  Any commercial grower
>who is not aware of the potential problems with nematodes, especially with
>crops raised in the ground, is living under a rock.  Now, it is likely that
>Bob is 100% correct and all of your/his buyers are 100% correct, that
>they've never had any sign of nematodes.  Rather than blowing this all out
>of proportion, however, I had preferred to take a scientific approach to
>this issue.  Want to put some serious focus on an effort to combat this
>problem, whether it be shared or exclusively mine with just a couple of
>plants.   Alerting you only AFTER I knew what I was talking about was my
>Nemotodes are all over.  There are nearly 20,000 described species.  They
>are in the most of the ground you walk on while in your garden. 
>very few species attack the foliage of Hosta.  Aphlenchoides fragalaria
>(from memory, so possibly spelled incorrectly), is listed as the primary
>culprit for Hostas.  There are many curative measures that allow humans to
>control their populations, or maybe even eradicate them, though this might
>be too extreme a course of action.  Zerotol and Nemacur are options for
>those who are chemically inclined.  If you are not chemically inclined, 
>you can do like some growers recommend--throw your plants away, sterilize
>the soil, then start over.  IMO, that also is too drastic a measure because
>Nematodes tend NOT to kill Hostas but simply make their leaves look ugly.
>I believe with Zerotol you do not need a chemical applicators license. With
>Nemacur you do, as it is a restricted use pesticide.  I took Dan Nelson's
>advice and obtained a Chemical Applicators License, paid the $250 for a bag
>of Nemacur, bought the jump suit, and am ready to mount an assualt should
>the need arise.  They tend NOT to infest Hosta that are growing in
>containers, so this should not be a problem for that type of product (but
>those who grow in containers have other problems, primarily crown rot this
>for another day).  In your gardens, after a wet spring, look for them.  As
>we are having a very wet spring, likely be followed by a hot dry spell, the
>probabilities for infestation are getting much higher.  In Iowa, and I
>believe in many parts of the country, the occurrance of foliar nematode
>infestations is on the increase because of our decreased use of other
>I know there are all types of people on this list, from beginners to
>full-fledged Hosta mavens who will be recorded in the annals of history for
>their contributions to the field.  I have learned a lot from the folks on
>this list serve, and I am very open to learning more.  When I offend 
>it is not on purpose.  I ask a lot of questions, I make mistakes, and I
>hopefully learn from them.  I believe most people on this list are simliar
>in their desire to learn.  One old adage that I really like is, "To be
>successful faster, just make your mistakes quicker!".  Isn't that the 
>While I was watering at the greenhouse yesterday, I thought about this 
>with Bob, how Bob was reacting to it and how some of you folks are reacting
>to this. Bob and I are like magnets that are both North poles--perhaps like
>Jim Hawes and Ben Zonneveld.  Maybe that is okay because what would some of
>you do for entertainment were it not for such embroiled discussions?!?
>Sure, we should get divorced, but since it's an open list and we both like
>Hostas very passionately, we'll probably have more feuds in the years 
>Don't worry about it because I believe we'll both forget about it and drive
>on.   And, we learn from these types of interactions!  What a boring world
>if all of the scientists were to agree, all the computer jockeys, all the
>doctors, all of the Hosta gardeners, etc.  Who wants everyone to be devoid
>of passion?  Not I.
>I want to publicly state this to Bob.  I know it took strength to write 
>last message, and I appreciate it.  But I wonder if you KNOW just how much
>you are changing the world from your little oasis up there in Waukon,
>Iowa--at least the Hosta world.  Please accept MY apology for asking so 
>questions that tick you off.  I don't do it for any other reason than 
>a voracious appetite for learning.
>And one last thing, for Bob, or others who might have made it down this 
>RE:>>I would be in hot water then as well.
>Bob, if you aren't in hot water, and rather frequently, you aren't making
>much happen.  It's a fact.
>Hosta la Vista!
>Andrew Lietzow
>#1 Plantsman at http://HostaHaven.com
>1250 41st Street
>Des Moines, IA 50311-2516
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