Australian and New Zealand Gardening: splinter1804 picture (BROMELIADS FOR NOVICES & ADDICTS MAY & June 2012)
Image Copyright splinter1804
In reply to: BROMELIADS FOR NOVICES & ADDICTS MAY & June 2012
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Hi everyone - Well at long last Iím finally back, but for how long I donít know. A young computer ďGuruĒ who I know and is just setting himself up in a part-time business said he could look at my old computer free of charge and tell me what was wrong with it. He has cleaned out some bugs but says itís long past retiring age and needs ďtossingĒ. I told him I was also long past retiring age and no bugger was ďtossingĒ me so he could go and take a running jump at himself. At least he didnít charge me for his advice or what he did and he was laughing when he left so I couldnít have insulted him too much.
Iíll pass this bit of info on as a matter of interest to you all (especially Tash if she still reads these posts) and perhaps you will understand why I wonít be on Face Book anymore. When my original Hot Mail account died, I had a message from administration to say it had been badly infected and had been cleaned, and that the viruses had been traced back to Face Book. (I still canít use that email account but thatís another story).
I opened a new account with GMX and everything was going along great until a ďpop upĒ appeared one day offering a link to connect to Face Book, I didnít do anything with the link but just the same the very next morning my emails died again, so you can see why Iím suspicious of Face Book. I have another friend in Queensland who has had similar problems which were traced back to Face Book and his ďcomputer doctorĒ told him itís not uncommon to pick up bugs from Face Book as there are so many millions of people using it, that itís impossible to police and keep the bugs away. So from now on, no more Face Book for me which is a great pity as Tash had developed a great site with the Brom Buy and Sell site and Iím going to miss that as I enjoyed it and like the people on it.
I had a very sad week last week as my little dog of seventeen years ďClydeĒ had a stroke and had to be put to sleep. The vet said 17 was the equivalent to 102 years of a human so he had a very good long life. Boy do I miss him as he was always by my side where ever I went, when I was potting in the garage he was always there beside me in his old bed and when I was on the computer he was in the corner on his old chair. It just wonít ever be quite the same again as he was really one of the family and a great little companion. Itís pretty hard at present, but life must go on so Iím burying myself in all of the overdue re-potting to try and keep busy.
I canít tell you all how much Iíve missed the company of you all and our little chats each morning and hopefully the old computer will hang on for a bit longer so I can continue to communicate with at least this site and the Bromeliad Forum which until now hasnít given me any trouble.
I havenít been able to read any of the past posts as this is the first time Iíve been able to look at this site since my last post, although I could still use D-Mail which is strange and I contacted Colleen and told her what was going on so no doubt she told you all about my computer saga. Anyway Iím back now so down to business.
Wendy Ė You make me very jealous having a nice warm sunny spot in which to do your potting and as you said it is a bit cool for me potting in the garage on the southern side of the house and I found that with my feet on a concrete floor all day, my joints ached terribly. My wife came up with a solution when she found a very thick bit of polystyrene in the garden shed which had been packing from our new TV. That was just what the doctor ordered as it was about two inches thick and really stops the cold creeping out of the concrete and into my old joints.
Wendy I think it would be a good idea if you and Jen both join the brom society. Iíve never regretted joining ours and have met some wonderful friends, picked up some valuable tips as well as great plants from the sales table. Unfortunately the ladies seem to make the afternoon tea into a competition to see who can bake the best cakes and itís certainly no good for a fat old bugger like me who needs to lose weight.
When you go down to ďPine Grove NurseryĒ please say gooday to Ross for me. Heís a good bloke with lots of reasonably priced good plants and Iím sure youíll both come away very satisfied with your purchases.
Shirley Ė Be very careful of any sprays which are similar to Rogor as it was taken off the market because it was too dangerous on vegetables and if thatís the case itís too dangerous on us as well. Personally I very rarely use insecticides and when I do I never spray with them as you have no control over where the ďdriftĒ is going. If I need to use an insecticide or fungicide, I will stand the pot in a plastic carry bag like you get the shopping in, and wrap the top of the bag over the top of the potting mix and tie it firmly with the bag ďhandlesĒ. It needs to be firm enough so you can invert the pot and the mix wonít fall out.
I then mix up the insecticide or fungicide in a container of sufficient size and completely immerse the whole of the plant in it making sure that the leaves (top and bottom) as well as the base are completely saturated. (If it is a new plant Iíve brought in, I will take it out of the pot and wash any mix from the roots and immerse the total plant, roots and all.) By doing it this way you are assured the plant is getting a complete treatment and you arenít spraying poison around which could kill lizards, frogs or small birds.
** I always first put a drop or two of washing up detergent (not dish washer detergent) in the bottom of the container as it helps the insecticide be absorbed into the plant better.**
I always use Confidor as I find itís a great systemic insecticide which is at the lower end of the toxic scale as far as humans are concerned, nevertheless it is still a systemic insecticide so it can also be absorbed into your system as well as the plants if you donít wear protective clothing and wash well after use.
I always use any insecticides and fungicides at the manufacturerís recommended strengths on the rare occasions that I use them. I have safely used Confidor on all bromís, so it would be safe for you to use on your Neoís, Vrieseas and Guzmanias, but donít forget that any plant you treat with an insecticide or fungicide needs to be kept in the shade until it is thoroughly dry as it will sometimes scald if exposed to the sun. I usually keep mine under cover in the garage and even if it rains they wonít be affected.
Well thatís about it for today and once agin Iíd like to say how good it is to be back.
All the best, Nev.
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