Tools and Stuff forum: Soil moisture detector

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 14, 2014 1:32 PM CST
Does anyone have experience with this type of gardening tool?


MotherRaphaela said:While on the topic of shopping: I'm sure other catalogs offer it, but I just noticed a moisture detector in McClure & Zimmermann's fall catalog. Has anyone tried one? If it works, that would get rid of the reason I drag my feet over all the stone mulch: how can you tell when the ground is dry? Confused

I've started putting mulch on some of the potted plants under lights that are particularly susceptible to those nasty gnats, and unless someone tells me it's a fraud, I'm thinking to order one of those meters in self-defense... As the catalog puts it, if you got one, you wouldn't have to put up with dirty fingers and nails from digging under the mulch to see how dry the dirt has gotten. Thumbs up
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 14, 2014 2:01 PM CST
I have a few of them. At HD I bought the one that tests for light, moisture and pH - cost was about $12.00. (first photo)

We've only had gnats when we watered from the top. The roots are at bottom and that's what wants water, not the surface.

Thumb of 2014-09-14/pirl/28616a

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 14, 2014 2:57 PM CST
Wow, I will have to give the bottom watering a try for the plants that will be coming indoors for the winter. Thank you so much for all the info Arlene.
I may have to go out and get a water meter.
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 14, 2014 3:58 PM CST
Thank you very much, Arlene. I don't bottom-water consistently, but it looks as if I will from now on!

Mother Raphaela
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 14, 2014 4:23 PM CST
There was a DG "person", aggravating as could be, who wanted to raise her amaryllis so I told her "One good watering, then NO more water until you see a stalk and NEVER water from above". All went well until she "felt sorry", watered from above and got gnats.

I keep the smaller, potted coleuses, in either a tray or on a boot tray - about $3.00 from Christmas Tree Shops. It's easier to see if the tray is damp so overwatering is avoided.

Boot tray:
Thumb of 2014-09-14/pirl/49210b

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Sep 14, 2014 4:50 PM CST
A boot tray! Now, that's just what I need for some plants I want to bring indoors for the winter! Thanks for mentioning that! Thumbs up
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 14, 2014 5:02 PM CST
I also must find a boot tray. No more water running from the bottom. Just pour the water in the boot tray. Hurray!
Thank you so much, again, Arlene
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 14, 2014 5:32 PM CST
My pleasure. The boot tray also doesn't crack or leak like typical watering trays do.

While we were away I did see some plants I thought you might like. No tags with these, sorry, Lynn.
Thumb of 2014-09-14/pirl/420cd0
Thumb of 2014-09-14/pirl/2dffd6
Thumb of 2014-09-14/pirl/46826f

Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 14, 2014 5:56 PM CST
A parish in Philadelphia was re-doing it's parish hall decor a few years ago and gave us stacks of indestructible pink cafeteria trays. They turn up all over the monastery, but especially around potted plants indoors and out. They don't really go with my green and yellow room, but they do work to keep all the plants in my light stand organized and they are deep enough to use for watering. I'll just have to pull the plants that dry out more quickly and give them a shot from a deep saucer or another tray from time to time... I'm definitely going to be more consistent about watering from the bottom. Again, Thank You! Arlene!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 14, 2014 6:04 PM CST
My wonderful Sister Mary Rosalita, O.P., would certainly approve!

As of 2009:
Thumb of 2014-09-15/pirl/9a4d60

As I knew her in 1959:
Thumb of 2014-09-15/pirl/e72ad9

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 14, 2014 6:27 PM CST
Oh this is such a wonderful world. Great photos Arlene, and your sister is beautiful. What does the OP stand for?

Arlene, did you put those arrangements together? What a feast for my eyes.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 14, 2014 6:40 PM CST
Sister Mary Rosalita, O.P. (Order of Preachers but they were all teachers and yet did some preaching to us teenage girls) was my English and Stenography teacher in high school. Now she's 89 and has been in the religious order for 65 years.

You give me far too much credit, Lynn!!! I spotted them at a Cape Cod nursery and thought you might enjoy them.
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 14, 2014 7:09 PM CST
Thank you for the photos, Arlene. When I first entered in 1964 (I had my 50th anniversary on Sept. 8th) I wore the starch and lots of extra layers, too. We do still wear a habit here -- let me see if I can find a photo of myself in choir robes someone took at a retreat recently -- but since I became part of an Orthodox monastery, our work habits are made of light-weight denim and are exactly the same as the Arab women wear in the Middle East. Orthodox nuns around the world dress like Palestinians under their choir robes, although when we go into chapel there are regional differences...

The only photo I can find now is of me in my work togs with my California brother and sister-in-law in our chapel the last time they visited. I'll post it over in the Semp chat & photo thread...

Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 14, 2014 7:16 PM CST
Congratulations on half a century in the religious community!

I'll look for the photo in the chat and photo thread.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Sep 14, 2014 7:45 PM CST
Thank you for the explanation Arlene. Smiling
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 14, 2014 7:47 PM CST
The plants were so healthy and such a bargain (4 or $12.00) but I had already bought some sedums and had coleus cuttings. I didn't want to come home to major planting.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Sep 14, 2014 7:52 PM CST
What was the long trough type planter made of?
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 14, 2014 8:03 PM CST
I'm not sure but it looked like cement. They do make a lot of wooden boxes, garden art, and such.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Sep 14, 2014 8:06 PM CST
Thank you Arlene
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 15, 2014 5:24 AM CST
:-)

Are those plants considered sempervirens or what? I pray I'm not getting hooked!

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