Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

Soils, Soil Mixes, and Drainage Issuesby Tapla (Al).

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

By my invitation--Tapla (Al) has semi-agreed to join us on the MAF and help out with any information
anyone would like on soils, drainage issues and mixing your own.

We have been chatting a bit on the Beginner Houseplants Forum as someone had a dying plant
and it was deemed to be a soil issue and lack of drainage.

Al is SOOOO knowlegeable on all this! Many of you already are familiar with his name.
We will be privileged to have him on here to tutor us a bit.

Please ask away when he pops in. Gita

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Awfully nice of tapla to offer. I have studied his lengthy posts/ threads several times over and am a 'true believer."!!
I would recommend anyone to look those up and read before we make Al repeat himself ad infinitum. I think they are in Indoor Plants forum.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Here is Al's simple explanation of why Pro Mix (which I suggested to the Beginning Houseplant person)
Is not all that great.
I c/p 'ed his reply here.
*************************************
When you try to amend a soil, like MG or Promix, it doesn't work. To see why, you need to envision the large particles of bark or perlite in the soil before the small particles of peat or compost are added. Let's say there are 25% large particles. When you add in the 75% peat or composted forest products (small particles) that make up the rest of the soil, you can see in the mind's eye that the larger particles are floating in a sea of fine particles. Nothing is accomplished - the flow-through rate, and most importantly, the height of the perched water table remain unaffected.

Now, in the mind's eye, start to remove some of the small particles. Eventually, you'll come to a condition where all the large particles are touching each other. This is the threshold proportion - the point where drainage and aeration DO become affected by the preponderance of large particles as you continue to remove the fine particles. You'll find that this occurs somewhere between 65-80% larger particles in most soil applications.

I understand that every ingredient suggested for soils isn't always available to everyone, and not everyone will be motivated enough to search them out, but that doesn't change the science behind why soils with predominantly fine ingredients cannot offer the potential offered by soils with better aeration and less water retention - particularly water retained as perched water.

I also understand that presently, few gardeners mix their own soils, but I see that changing quickly as the word spreads through the gardening community. Once growers understand how much difference it makes when you make the effort to grow in soils you don't have to fight, a fair % of them are more than willing to expend the extra effort it takes to provide their plants with greater opportunity to reach their potential, and save some $ along the way. I've yet to have anyone that has tried soils that have far superior drainage and aeration to most bagged mixes based on peat and composted materials, say they prefer the more water-retentive soils and return to them. What I'm used to seeing is growers so excited over their new found success they can't wait to share it with others.

Take good care.

Al

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Here is Al questioning the type of pot her dying Burros Tail (Donkey Tail) was planted in.
This was before the above Post I c/p'ed. Doing it backwards here.....:o(
You can go to the Beginner Houseplants Forum and read the whole thing. "Help with my Donkey Tail"
****************************************************
I asked what the pot was made of because it looks like it's hypertufa, and hypertufa needs to cure in the weather or by filling it with or soaking it in a mildly acidic solution before you plant in it - to prevent the pot from affecting the pH of the soil solution. Your plant has the look of one growing in a soil with a high level of dissolved solids or a very high pH - but it might be tat you're keeping the soil too wet. Rotted roots cause drought stress, as does a high level of soluble salts in the soil, even if the soil is appropriately moist.

Clay or hypertufa pots are good choices because they are gas permeable, which means they allow water vapor to pass through pot walls. The benefit therein comes from the fact that if you're using a soil that holds too much water, the excess water disappears faster, due to the permeable walls, so the plant is affected by the excess water in the soil for a shorter time.

So far, my advice has generally paralleled Gitagal's, but I'm going to take a different approach where soils are concerned. I think Promix, and other soils whose primary fractions are peat moss or composted forest products, hold too much water - if your goal is maximizing your plant's potential, and that is even more true when you're discussing plants that are known to not tolerate wet feet well. Instead, it would be much better, sand less expensive to make your own soils from ingredients that are chunkier than peat/compost, etc. Basing your soils on larger particles, like pine bark, grit, screened Turface, perlite ... offers a much better opportunity for your plants, and a much greater margin for grower error.

If you don't wish to make your own soils, you might be able to get a local greenhouse or nursery op to order one of the heavyweight Fafard mixes for you. Pine bark is well represented in these mixes, and they support much less perched (excess) water than soils based on fine particles.

The first picture is what I grow all my houseplants in. The second picture is the soil I use for all my mixed garden display plantings. Either are very structurally stable and hold little or no excess water. They are extremely easy to grow in too, btw.

Al

Thumbnail by tapla Thumbnail by tapla
Click an image for an enlarged view.
***********************************************

Thumbnails do not copy/paste...sorry! Gita

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

Thanks, guys! I'll have a look around the forum.

The missing pictures:

Thumbnail by tapla Thumbnail by tapla
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Hey Al! Your gritty mix recipe is fantastic for citrus, by the way. I have a young Meyer lemon tree that's perfuming the whole house with its blooms and has its first fruit. :)

My biggest issue with the gritty mix is that it's so heavy. I need to move the lemon tree several time in the spring/fall to gradually acclimate it to full sun conditions outdoors, but I can't move it on my own, and DH is really rough when handling the pots. He's already broken two of my pots.

I have a ponytail palm which loves the gritty mix as well, but It never made it outside last summer. I just couldn't lift it!

I want to leave the ponytail palm in the gritty, since it's so well draining, but I'm thinking about switching over to the 5:1:1 for the lemon when it's ready to be repotted, which probably won't be for a couple of years. What do you do when you want to reduce the weight of the gritty mix?

Also, what is your potting mix recipe for starting seeds indoors under lights?

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

SS--

I put my heavier, big plants on a wheeled dolly--and others, inside, on a Lazy Susan.
Makes it easier to move them around. Inside--it is easier to rotate them around for even light exposure.

Your amazing DH could build you some big ones....Yes?
G.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Welcome Al, most of our potting soil is Promix BX, but we also use a good bit of garden soil that we have amended with compost. I generally use about a 4" pot of lime per bushel of compost when amending our red clay. It usually test out as pretty balanced. Our clay was so bad before we started, it would take a 5 gal. leaky bucket to dig a hole. LOL We've been amending our little plot for 30 years. Having up to 5 ponies and horses for years gave a a good amount of material to work with. Bec-No-Va teases me, telling my compost is as big as her backyard, but we like it just fine. If we need a yard for a new project we just go get it. Again welcome! I hope you enjoy this group as well. Since your new to us I'll sign as Ric, Hollys'guy, we both use this post.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Hey Al, great to see you over here!... when you get here. ;) I have LOVED reading your explanations on soils and I will look forward to reading more.

Getting ready to start school... (tomorrow!), Learning How To Play In The Dirt Professionally, and I'm sure at some point I'll be picking your brain a bit as well.

Pull up a muffin and a cup of coffee, we've made it all comfy here for you! =)

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Hi Al! I'm your biggest fan! I love your soil mixes -- it was a huge eye-opening moment for me to learn why regular potting soil mixes don't work well in containers.

Here is the first of Tapla's 3 loooong threads in the container gardening forum. Incredibly useful. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/527353/

For anyone who needs it, I have a handy source of Turface near my house, very reasonably priced.

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

Hi, everyone. I enjoy talking about soils because I think understanding how to make them work for us is the most common and most significant obstacle to overcome on our way toward maximizing our proficiency as container gardeners. I'm ardent about nurturing plants, and I think that affection naturally extends to helping others with the same enthusiasm whenever I can; so it shouldn't be a surprise that I spend more time on the topic of soils than any other.

If we do end up having a conversation, I think it would be helpful to remember that I tend to put what's best for the plant - what gives the plant the best opportunity to achieve the potential with which it was genetically endowed - foremost, and grower convenience second. That doesn't mean that I don't recognize the importance of grower convenience in making decisions about soils, or that I some how think less of a decision to put convenience at the forefront. We all order our priorities differently, and I would never suggest what is right for someone else. That said, I have a pretty good idea what's not so good, what's good, and what's better for plants, so try to limit my discussions to that perspective.

We all want to feel like we've made the best choice when it comes to our soils, even though in many other aspects of our lives we're perfectly willing to recognize that we compromised. We don't own the biggest or best of everything, we may not have gone to the best schools, and we don't all prepare a gourmet meal for our families each night. We may not have the time to spend on lavish meals because we have other priorities (like a job) we consider more important, so we compromise and prepare something fast, nutritious, and within our budget. The point is, soils are different and they can't all be best, or even good, in many cases.

There are a few factors that allow us to make certain observations about our soils, but chief among them are the size of the particles/pieces/chunks that make up the soil, and how the particles are dispersed (ratio of small:medium:larger particles). When it comes to container soils, their structure and durability are key factors. How dark and rich they look aren't very meaningful. Many factors we would look at as attributes in a garden soil are meaningless or even detrimental when it comes to container culture. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being growing in the garden or beds and 10 being growing hydroponically, container culture is probably a 7 or 8 - much closer to hydroponics than growing in the earth. As such, container culture requires some considerable deviation from the 'gardening in the earth' practices many of us are more familiar with.

Questions/comments?

Al

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I have a question!! ***raises her hand obediently***

Would you mind coming to school with me please? =) heeheeheee

OK, really, a real question: When it comes to feeding our container plants, if we should go the route of non-organic feedings, what about the salts? (as many chemical plant "foods" contain salt(s)). Or, is that a non-issue with the improved drainage?

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

If you equate nutrients with plant food (plants make their own food [sugar] during photosynthesis), salts are what a plant 'eats'. It's safe to say the mineral nutrients we supply in organic or inorganic form are taken up as salts. The only difference is, the hydrocarbon chains in the organic nutrients must be broken down into elemental form before they can be utilized by plants. In the end, the nutrients are exactly the same when assimilated by the plant, and the plant doesn't care where they came from. The grower might, but the plant does not.

Having salts in the soil solution is not an issue unless there is an excessively high concentration. Since osmosis (water movement through permeable cell membranes) is driven by the level of solutes in the solution and the solution always moves from the lower concentration to the higher concentration, if the level of the total of all solubles in the soil solution is too concentrated, it makes water movement into the cell more difficult. If the level of solutes in the soil solution is higher than the level of solutes in cells, it can actually pull water from cells, collapsing cell walls and pulling plasma from the walls as the cell collapses. The scientific term for this 'reverse osmosis' is plasmolysis, but we commonly call it 'fertilizer burn'. It can occur, btw, when using either organic or synthetic forms of fertilizers.

Generally speaking, unless you make a serious miscalculation or use bad judgment, a high level of salts is uncommon when using highly aerated soils; this, because you're flushing the soil regularly as you water. It's much more common in soils that require you to water in sips to avoid the soil remaining soggy so long it impairs root health/function. Watering in sips leaves all the salts from both fertilizers and tap water to accumulate in soils. Not only does this raise the level of solubles in the soil, it badly skews the ratio of nutrients to each other. The ratio of nutrients in the soil solution is important because an excess of one nutrient can make another unavailable (antagonistic deficiency), even if that nutrient is actually present in a normally sufficient amount. For instance, using bloom-booster fertilizers can quickly add so much P to the soil solution that deficiencies of iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, copper, or manganese are virtually assured. Think long before you use a fertilizer with a higher middle number than the first number - more (P)hosphorous than (N)itrogen. They won't/can't do what they promise. On average, plants use 6X more N than P, and there is not a lot of variation in that from plant to plant, so it's very difficult to justify using a fertilizer that supplies more P than N.

Al

This message was edited Jan 24, 2013 8:46 AM

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

OK, that makes PERFECT sense to me, thank you sooooooooo much!!! I've been thinking and thinking on this subject since I started working at the nursery .. what, 4-5 years ago; I'd had one of the landscapers tell me about organics vs chemicals in container plants, and about the salts etc... I guess he didn't have a good or full understanding of the container's soil content and properties.

Excellent explanation, thank you Al!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Great information, Al!

hey Suze, if you kept up with that, you're in fine shape for your new classes!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes Ma'am, that's the whole idea, stick as close to Al's posts as I can, maybe some of those smarts will sink in eventually. ;) I seriously think, once the 'real' classes start, I will print out many of his posts and keep them handy at all times.. and maybe share them with classmates as well. =) (if they're nice to me! HA!!)

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I am thinking I will do the same--even if i have to go back and find the "Beginnings" of it all.
I already have so many things bookmarked--it is not funny.

Hmmmmm....how could I c/p loads of information so that--if I ever want to send it to someone
all I have to send is a link--like we do on DG????
Could I just open my bookmarked article(s) and copy the URL and send that?
Can, say, links from something on DG also be passed on as links that will open on, say. an e-mail?

Or--would that be restricted if the one receiving my link is not a DG subscriber?

Gita

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

This might be a bit labour-intensive the first go-around, (but just the one time), BUT, may I suggest:

Copy/paste all the articles that you want to reference, and save them in a document (WORD, or Notepad, whatever program you like). That way all you'd have to do is reference your saved document(s).

ALSO, send yourself an email with all the links to the preferred articles (or ALL of the articles). SAVE that email!! Then, any time you want to refer a DG friend to a certain link, you have the whole list of them in one place. You could even "forward" that email to friends, if you like. While you're at it, you could print out that email with all the links; that way, should you ever have computer troubles, you'd at least have a hard-copy of the links to refer to.

Like I said, yes it would take time and some work to do it, but you would only have to do it ONCE. Putting in the time and effort ONCE usually turns out to be worth it in the long run. =)

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

That's alll very good advice speedy.

Non DG people might not be able to open links to subscriber-only threads.

I save brie things , like Al's Neem Spray recipe, in my DG blog/ diary/ the thing where you save notes, not the Journal with all your plants.

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

Speedie (Suz?) - I do that. I have 1 document with links to posts I've made that I often search to copy all or parts of the text, and I save copies of things I've written that come up frequently on the forums. It's really convenient and saves a lot of searching. Hmmmm - if you're interested, I could explore posting the whole list of url addys to my threads that I use all the time. The only problem is, most of them are on the GW site.

Al

This message was edited Jan 25, 2013 9:09 AM

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--

Unfortunately--I do not have a Blog--nor a Diary --nor do I keep a Journal of any sort on DG. Just my Trade List.

i DO keep everything worth saving in Bookmarks-by categories--You should see all the saved stuff under the
"Gardening" category!!!!) in My Documents (in separate folders),
eg. My recipes--My Pictures--> subclass--Garden Pictures by dates-->month and year--easier to find--say, a Daffodil.
I also have "Downloads"--where things get saved from asst. sources--like pictures I like or need of a certain plant,
old pictures of my younger days--scanned from a photo and saved there, etc...

speedie--I need to re-read all you suggested. My old brain does not comprehend things too technical.
For that matter--I probably do not use 80% of all things computer has available. Very simple track:
DG---E-mails--Google etc...

Right now--the thing I can imagine doing is just c/p-ing all the relevant texts and putting them in a folder
named "Tapla's advice on soils" in my Documents. Since this is Microsoft Word-based--I can always add things to
a particular folder.
Now--if I want to send some part of it to someone--I would have to c/p it out and the attach it in its full length.

Tapla---I also started out on GW--about 12 years ago. I think I was on there for about 2 years--
ALL my early fascination with Brugmansias and learning all about them started on GW.
There was a member called TNGreenthumb--if I remember correctly. He was especially helpful.
From what I have read--"Spike" pretty much caused many people to leave GW due to his
terrible personality. Who took over after HE left????

Then someone, from somewhere suggested I try out DG. The rest is....history!
I should check GW out again--if my old password still works.......Gita

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Quote from Gitagal :


speedie--I need to re-read all you suggested. My old brain does not comprehend things too technical.
For that matter--I probably do not use 80% of all things computer has available. Very simple track:
DG---E-mails--Google etc...

Right now--the thing I can imagine doing is just c/p-ing all the relevant texts and putting them in a folder
named "Tapla's advice on soils" in my Documents. Since this is Microsoft Word-based--I can always add things to
a particular folder.



That is EXACTLY what I was suggesting. Well, ONE of the things. ;)

The other thing I had suggested is this:
1: Go to one of Al's posts.
2: Copy the URL (in the address bar at the top of the page.. example: the URL for the page we're on right now looks like this: davesgarden.com/community/forums/fr.php?pid=9397120 )
3: Paste that URL onto a new page in your Microsoft Word.
4: Go to the next of Al's posts that you want.
5: Copy that URL
6: Paste it beneath the one you just pasted.
7: Repeat
8: Repeat until you have all the URL's you want saved on ONE Microsoft Word document.
9: Save the document. (title it whatever you want: The Great Magical Al) =)

You may wonder "how do I copy the URL?". Simple. First, locate it. Next, left-click on a blank spot in that bar ONE TIME. You will see the text 'highlight' blue. Next, RIGHT click it (anywhere in the bar) and choose "Copy". That's it! =)

D-mail me if you have any questions about it, I'll be very happy to help!

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

Here are some of the threads I most commonly link people to:

Container Soils XV
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg1221344425812.html?15

Fertilizing Containerized Plants
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg0416300720216.html

Trees in Containers
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg0417334631829.html

Ficus Trees in Containers
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg0605413419276.html

How much P is enough?
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg042303237749.html

China Doll Reduction:
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg0419422025802.html

VF-11
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg0416280524942.html

Rootbound Myth
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg101158189184.html

How Plant Growth is Limited
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg0921071615772.html

Dealing with Water-retentive Soils
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg0914024623640.html?37

Synthetic vs. Organic
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg111632373684.html?13

What Better Way to Say “HI”
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg0716251211309.html?150

Be a Plant P.I.
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg1215043526101.html?10

Annual/Perennial
http://theseedsite.co.uk/perennialannuals.html

BER in Tomatoes
http://www.vintageveggies.com/information/carolyn_ber.html

Schefflera pruning
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg0320455819774.html

Turface vs. calcined DE
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg062030238912.html
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg0615095523869.html?1

Good Growing Practices - An Overview
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg101400289284.html

Oedema
http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h113oedema.html

Keep them looking good (pruning)
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg1121320026752.html?36

Al

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Absolutely priceless Al, thank you ever so much! OK, see y'all in about a month, I've got some really meaty reading to do! < =D YUMMMMM!!!!!!!!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Shcefflera pruning is a good one Well I bet they're all good. But I remember seeing that picture of "10 yr old Schefflera at office" and it is such a beautiful plant.

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

These must be what you're talking about:


Al

Here's the thread: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/843962/

Thumbnail by tapla Thumbnail by tapla
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes!!! Is that not just so lush and beautiful? The pics of the root surgery are amazing.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have had my green Sheff. for about 22 years.
It started out as a small 5" plant at the wholesale growers i worked at in 1991.
It was all smushed against the GH plastic. Not salable at all. The poor thing!
So--I asked if i could have it--and my boss said "yes"...Over time--it got potted up and potted up.

It has now resided in a 14" plastic pot for a long time. I take it outside for the summer
and stick it somewhere where it will fit. Seldom pay any attention to it. Water it when i water my garden.
About every 2 or 3 years--It has grown too big in the house-- and I chop it down as far as i can.
It always re-grows while outside in a nice, full plant.

Right now--it is sitting in the corner of my LR near a window. All crowded between the sofa,a tall Snake Plant
and a huge Aloe.
I seldom water it in the winter---just now and then. It is doing quite well--as usual.
I don't remember the last time I potted it up....

Wonder what it would do if I sawed the root ball in half????? Then again--why should I?
Don't fix what ain't broke! It IS a bit dusty! I moved the Aloe so you could see it.
Just took this pic.

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

I regularly saw up to the bottom 3/4 of the rootballs off my potted trees. The sequence below culminated in the tree being sent to NY of Boston (I forget which) to bail out a guy who killed his fiance's tree while she was away on vacation or something. He got involved in a thread and was so desperate I offered to send him the tree. I did, and eventually she learned the story & sent me the picture of the tree in it's new home. Originally, I'd received the tree from one of the members of the congregation at church because it was too unruly, so my intent was to rehab it and give it to someone anyway. ;-)

Al

Thumbnail by tapla Thumbnail by tapla Thumbnail by tapla Thumbnail by tapla Thumbnail by tapla
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

speedie---You are too funny!!!!

Of course I know how to copy/paste a URL and put it somewhere!
How do you think I post all the links on the Threads to something i want people to see?
Or--post a recipe of mine that is in my Documents?
Or--when I start Part #2 of a Thread--I know how to link the two...."we came from here"....

I think copy/pasting is one of the most useful things on the computer. Same for cut and paste.

There ARE a lot of things I do not know--and i am not ashamed to ask for help.

You ARE forgiven!....:o) Gita

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

haha Al, that sure was one unruly Schefflera! And sweet to be part of their little crisis/ resolution.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Not something I could say just anywhere but, my goodness, what a lovely rootball! =)

Gita, Haahahahaahaahaaa!!! Well, I certainly stuck both of my feet in it, eh? My apologies Dear Lady. Let's look on the bright side, maybe someone else will come along whom it may help. =) Now, I think I will go shuffle off to the corner and blush for a while. ;)

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh speedie, your instructions were just the right thing to post. I thought that was what Gita was asking for as well. We all have things we know, and things we don't. For example, I can take apart and put together computers pretty readily, and I love math -- but I can't for the life of me insert a quote in a DG post with a nice box around it the way you do.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Quote from happy_macomb :
Oh speedie, your instructions were just the right thing to post. I thought that was what Gita was asking for as well. We all have things we know, and things we don't. For example, I can take apart and put together computers pretty readily, and I love math -- but I can't for the life of me insert a quote in a DG post with a nice box around it the way you do.


Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I just learned too---

See the small "quote" word at he bottom where your name is?
Click on that--and...and...your last post just jumped into the box...

How you edit just what line you want there---and which one not--I haven't tried yet.
Somewhere there are directions to all these tricks.....
Gita

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Quote from Gitagal :
I just learned too---

See the small "quote" word at he bottom where your name is?
Click on that--and...and...your last post just jumped into the box...

How you edit just what line you want there---and which one not--I haven't tried yet.
Somewhere there are directions to all these tricks.....
Gita


Well look at that -- it worked! Thank you, Gita!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Quote from Gitagal :


How you edit just what line you want there---and which one not--I haven't tried yet.
Somewhere there are directions to all these tricks.....
Gita


How to edit the quote: First you have to understand what makes a quote. To "open" a quote, you type [ quote = "name" ], all run together with no spaces. To "close" it you type [ / quote ], all run together with no spaces. Anything typed in between there will be found inside the quote box, so, all you have to do is delete the text that you don't want.

Example: Gita's entire post above was a bit longer than what I quoted here, but I didn't want to quote the whole post, just a bit of it. I used the "quote" link talked about earlier, which made the ENTIRE quote show up in my little text box here (where I type stuff), then I just deleted a little bit of it from between the opening brackets and closing brackets.

If you just want to do a generic quote, then you type [ quote ] (all together, no spaces), type out your text, then close it with [ / quote ] (all together, no spaces). That way it looks like this:
Quoting:
how are you?


If you want to see what it looks like when someone does it, just click on the post # of that specific post... for example, on the left side of THIS post, you'll see my name, zone, area I'm from, then a blue clickable link which is the post number of this post, then beneath that is the "quote" link. You won't be able to edit others' posts that way, but you will be able to see how they typed out something. (that's how I learned how to italicize .) =)

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

speedie---

I know that you know what to do--but your explanation sounds confusing.....
Maybe I am just not awake yet....have to take my car in and sit there an hour and wait
to see what's wrong. My "check engine" light has been on for 2 days now....
Luckily--my garage is only a mile and a quarter from home.

I used to just walk home--but no more....hips bugging me AHHH! Old age!!!
G.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I think maybe I wasn't awake enough before I posted that, need more coffeeeeee.

BIG HUGS to your hips! =( (sounds like a funny visual). < =D

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Speedie -- makes perfect sense to me -- so it is just like doing italics or bold face -- you don't have to click the "quote" on the left side of the screen if you remember the trick to use [/ quote] (with no brackets or space).

This message was edited Jan 30, 2013 10:24 AM

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