The Orchid Myths - What is the Truth

Written by Bob Roy

Here are some ofrepparttar popular orchid myths

#1 Orchids are Carnivorous They are not, in fact, they pollinate by luring insects to them but they do not eatrepparttar 140945 insects. This helpsrepparttar 140946 orchid gardening

Orchid Myths#2 Orchids come fromrepparttar 140947 Tropics Some orchid flowers do come fromrepparttar 140948 tropical climates but they grow in any climate and in any country, even Alaska.

#3 Orchids are Expensive. Not anymore. Now withrepparttar 140949 increased number of orchid gardening and growers,repparttar 140950 modern reproductive methods orchids now are reasonably priced.

#4 Orchids are Hard to Grow. This orchid myths is now furthest fromrepparttar 140951 truth. They are not anymore difficult than any other plant. They needrepparttar 140952 basics, water, light, air and fertilizer. And you can have a beautful orchid flowers that last for years.

Some Orchid Questions

#1 Are all orchidsrepparttar 140953 same? Onrepparttar 140954 contrary o what most florists want you to believe, they come in over 28,000 varieties, they arerepparttar 140955 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 Inch

Written 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 grownrepparttar 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 onrepparttar 140925 tree? Each summerrepparttar 140926 tree pours all its energy into growing those overly long new branches, and then each winter I’d chop them back, trying to keeprepparttar 140927 tree’s overall height under some semblance of control. And then too, despite my best intentions and hours of work spent pruning, each seasonrepparttar 140928 trees still seemed to be a bit taller thanrepparttar 140929 year before. However, each winter for decades I kept up this hard winter pruning, working withrepparttar 140930 standard conventional wisdom that it was necessary in order to have a decent tree and a good set of fruit. Atrepparttar 140931 time it made perfect sense to me. Because of apical dominance, when a tip is cut off,repparttar 140932 next bud back from what is nowrepparttar 140933 tip, this bud will normally sprout next. The topmost bud on any strong branch has high concentrations ofrepparttar 140934 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 prunerepparttar 140935 last year’s wood hard. We cut back to a few large, strong buds. The lower down onrepparttar 140936 branch a bud is,repparttar 140937 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 onrepparttar 140938 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, andrepparttar 140939 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 ofrepparttar 140940 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,repparttar 140941 next bud back fromrepparttar 140942 new tip, this bud should sprout next. The lowerrepparttar 140943 branch is,repparttar 140944 thickerrepparttar 140945 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 offrepparttar 140946 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,repparttar 140947 last inch or two of each fast growing branch.

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