The Orchid Myths - What is the TruthWritten by Bob Roy
Here are some of popular orchid myths
#1 Orchids are Carnivorous They are not, in fact, they pollinate by luring insects to them but they do not eat insects. This helps orchid gardening
Orchid Myths#2 Orchids come from Tropics Some orchid flowers do come from tropical climates but they grow in any climate and in any country, even Alaska.
#3 Orchids are Expensive. Not anymore. Now with increased number of orchid gardening and growers, modern reproductive methods orchids now are reasonably priced.
#4 Orchids are Hard to Grow. This orchid myths is now furthest from truth. They are not anymore difficult than any other plant. They need basics, water, light, air and fertilizer. And you can have a beautful orchid flowers that last for years.
Some Orchid Questions
#1 Are all orchids same? On contrary o what most florists want you to believe, they come in over 28,000 varieties, they are largest plant family. There are estimates of 110,000 hybrids today. They grow from thimble size (Mystacidium) to over 20 feet tall (Renanthera storei)
#2 What soil do they grow in? Most orchids require no soil. In nature orchids are divided into 4 classes;
Summer Pruning / Pinch an InchWritten by Tom Ogren
Summer Pruning…Pinch an Inch
By Tom Ogren
Like most people who grow deciduous fruit trees (apples, peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, etc.) I used to do lots of serious heavy pruning every winter.Each winter I would head back dozens of those long, tall canes that had grown year before. On some trees, plums in particular, each year I’d often find myself cutting back a huge number of new branches, many of them well over six feet in length. I occasionally wondered: Isn’t this hard pruning cycle putting a big workload on tree? Each summer tree pours all its energy into growing those overly long new branches, and then each winter I’d chop them back, trying to keep tree’s overall height under some semblance of control. And then too, despite my best intentions and hours of work spent pruning, each season trees still seemed to be a bit taller than year before. However, each winter for decades I kept up this hard winter pruning, working with standard conventional wisdom that it was necessary in order to have a decent tree and a good set of fruit. At time it made perfect sense to me. Because of apical dominance, when a tip is cut off, next bud back from what is now tip, this bud will normally sprout next. The topmost bud on any strong branch has high concentrations of natural growth hormone, indole acetic acid (IAA). When we prune grapes (which unlike most pomes and stone fruits, set fruit only on new wood) we have to prune last year’s wood hard. We cut back to a few large, strong buds. The lower down on branch a bud is, larger and stronger it is. Thus, heavy pruning makes plenty of sense with grapes, or others that bloom on new wood, figs, mulberries, and roses. But does this same sort of hard pruning make sense with most fruit trees, trees that do not set their fruit on current season’s wood?
About a decade ago I read that in order to save money on high labor costs some orchard owners had resorted to pruning only every other year. Yes, they had to cut off more wood, and pruning work took a bit longer than normal, but overall they were saving some money. The interesting thing, too, was that this every-other-year-pruning didn’t seem to hurt fruit production all that much. I myself started this every other year dormant pruning and it beat pruning every year, but it still felt wasteful, wasteful of tree’s stored energy. Let’s go back to apical dominance for a moment: Because of apical dominance, when a branch tip is cut off, next bud back from new tip, this bud should sprout next. The lower branch is, thicker branch will be, and these lower placed dormant buds will also be larger and potentially much more vigorous. Thus heavy pruning, chopping back to these fat lower buds insures lots of vigorous new growth and makes plenty of sense with grapes, and of course with roses, which also bloom on new wood. But apples, pears, apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines and cherries don’t set fruit on new wood, they all bloom on wood that is at least a year old. A few years ago I made a major switch and started doing almost exclusively summer pruning, pinching really. Every few weeks from mid-spring on, whenever I noticed a new branch growing rapidly, I pinched off end of it. If you had to use a pair of pruning shears to do this, we’d call it a “hard pinch,” but what I started doing was a “soft pinch.” I merely pinched off, with my fingers and thumbnail, last inch or two of each fast growing branch.