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Re: What makes the difference?

  • Subject: Re: What makes the difference?
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 16:51:19 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: "Margaret Streckenbach" <margarets@westside.com>
To: <hosta-open@mallorn.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 2:29 PM
Subject: RE: What makes the difference?

> Joe:
> That is one of the main reasons why I buy younger plants, if their price
> reflected by their age.  I like seeing it go through its childhood and
> teenage years.  There really is a sense of pride felt when looking at a
> grown mature plant that you have grown from infancy.
> I must also add, that the main reason for buying smaller plants is the
> that I have a very small yard.  So, having the young immature plants
> me to feed my addiction more.  I am planning to move to where I have some
> more space in the next few years.
> Chick:
> Thanks for your input on the growth rate of younger plants.  That makes
> complete sense.  I have been growing Orchids from TC for a decade or so,
> they behave the same way, it is funny how I take up a new plant, and for
> some reason think I need to start from scratch again. I have a feeling
> it may have something to do with my need for making things more difficult
> than they really are.
> Everyone's input has been helpful to me.  I hope Alttara has had her
> question answered also.  I seem to have hijacked her post.
> Margaret
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-hosta-open@mallorn.com
> [mailto:owner-hosta-open@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of halinar@open.org
> Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 8:52 AM
> To: hosta-open@mallorn.com
> Subject: Re: What makes the difference?
> Chick:
> >but frankly I disagree with Joe.  I'd rather have the big, beat up
> >plant than the small pretty one.
> I'll also take the big plant if the price is the same as for a small
> plant.  Given the choice of buying a large hosta for $20 and a smaller
> sized one of the same variety for $5, I'll take the smaller one and
> with the $15 I saved I'll buy three other smaller plants for $5.  Then
> in two years time I'll have four nice large hostas rather then one
> nice large hosta.  To me watching the plant grow and mature is just as
> enjoyable as the instant satisfaction of buying the larger plant.  For
> example, many years ago my neighbor had some small maple trees planted
> out in a wooded area where they just weren't going to do anything.  I
> dug one of them up and planted it next to his deck and now it is a
> large shade tree that greatly enhances the yard.  Everytime I go over
> and visit I can look at that tree and remember what it looked like
> when it was just a small tree.  There is a certain amount of
> satisfaction that comes from watching something grow that you don't
> get when you go the instant satisfaction route.  It's the same reason
> some people prefer to plant seeds of a particular plant instead of
> buying a potted plant.
> Chris:
> >I like soil with a ton of peat moss and cow manure that has been
> >mixed in really well.  I have also heard that spreading the roots out
> >helps and that you should unsnarl the roots if necessary.
> There use to be an old theory in horticulture that when you planted
> trees you should dig out a nice deep and wide hole and then fill it up
> with a well amended soil mix.  Well, there is something called boundry
> dynamics that isn't well understood, but has a significent effect on
> how plants grow.  Basically, roots don't like to cross well defined
> boundaries.  If you plant a tree in that hole with the well ammended
> soil mix and come by a few years later you will find that most of the
> roots are still within that original hole, and if you don't unsnarl
> the roots it's almost guaranteed that the rootsd will be in that
> original hole.  Another neighbor of mine had planted some juniper
> trees that he bought in one gallon containers.  Well, he just dug a
> small enough hole and put the junipers directly into the hole with out
> doing anything to the roots.  About five years later he noticed that
> they weren't growing and asked me to check them out.  Well, I pulled
> up on one of them and the whole thing came right up and the root ball
> was still the same size as it was 5 years earlier when it was in a
> pot.  Everyone of those plants could have been pulled up and put back
> into a one gallon pot with no effort.
> If you look at hostas that have been potted up, especially large sized
> hostas in small pots, you see the same tangled roots as you get in
> potted trees.  This summer I bought a one gallon pot of Elvis Lives
> that had about 7 fans total.  I recently unpotted it and I could have
> used it as a hockey puck!  Gardeners who don't know better might just
> drop it into a hole just like that and then wonder why the plant isn't
> growing well or increasing.  The roots will continue to grow in a
> tight circle even if they are planted in the ground.  It's very
> important to untangle those roots.  Spreading out the roots will help
> with anchoring the plant, but spreading them out isn't quite as
> critical as just getting them untangled.
> As to mixing in a large amount of peat moss or other organic matter,
> don't just mix in the organic matter in the hole where you are going
> to plant the hosta, and make sure there are no sharp boundries for the
> roots to cross.  A number of years ago Charlie Purtymun laid down a
> thick layer of organic mulch on the area next to part of his driveway
> where he planted some hostas.  The hostas grew quite well for awhile
> and then didn't do as well.  Well, what happened is that at first they
> did well in the organic layer, but as summer came along the organic
> layer dried out and the roots never crossed the boundry into the heavy
> clay below the organic layer.  One little tug and the plants came
> right up.  If you put down a thick layer of mulch before planting, it
> is important to make sure you dig it up a little to break up that soil
> - organic layer boundry.
> Joe Halinar
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