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Australian and New Zealand Gardening: Bromeliads for Novices and Addicts February 2012, 1 by splinter1804

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In reply to: Bromeliads for Novices and Addicts February 2012

Forum: Australian and New Zealand Gardening

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Photo of Bromeliads for Novices and Addicts February 2012
splinter1804 wrote:
Good morning everyone,

Shirley – Many years ago I had a dog with exactly the same traits as yours, he ate everything that stank! Even when I was mixing orchid compost, he would walk around the base of the heap and get the little lumps of blood and bone as they rolled down the side and eat them as quick as he could. My dog was always well fed and still always seemed to be hungry (like yours), so I took him to the vet who diagnosed a “tape worm”. After treatment he lost all these bad habits and his continual hunger disappeared. Apparently it’s the tape worm that eats everything and the animal doesn’t get the nourishment and still remains hungry, that’s what I was told anyway.

Colleen – I had the very same problem with the key to our side gate many years ago, I overcame the problem by fitting a combination lock with a simple four digit combination. They’re usually the same price or a bit cheaper of keyed locks of the same size and with a squirt of WD40 every month, it’s still doing the job now, thirty years later.

Your babies are looking good and I’m pleased to see you didn’t make the same mistake that most of us do when we first start growing brom seeds. (By the way, what are the seeds from?)...... Usually we tend to sow far too many causing them to be grossly overcrowded and therefore don’t grow properly. Yours are well spaced and looking good. I found the same thing as you with the sphagnum moss; it grew much faster than the seeds and choked them out of existence. The hybridizers I know in America and Hawaii use sphagnum moss but it’s been compressed and dehydrated. Once it’s rehydrated again, it’s a great seed sowing medium because it won’t grow.

When sowing seed we should never lose sight of the fact that they will all grow into adult plants eventually and you’ll need somewhere to put them so never sow too many. True, some will die and you’ll get rid of some by “culling” but if you’re anything like me, you’ll find it extremely hard to toss out perfectly healthy little brom plants simply because you have too many; and finish up being in a "pickle" like me with a heap of potting well over due to be done as shown in the following pictures.

We had a bit of respite from the rain yesterday but I still didn’t get any work done as I had to go to our first Brom Society meeting for the year and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with brom friends again who I haven’t seen since the December meeting. Once the meeting business was finished, one of the younger members gave a great “Power Point Presentation” on different insect pests and diseases which was illustrated with lots of colour slides and a second member gave a very interesting talk on Catopsis, which was illustrated with various flowering examples of this genus. This genus isn’t widely grown in our area and it was quite interesting to see examples of something different. The plants on the point score table were of very high quality which is surprising for the first meeting of the year and considering all of the rain we’ve had, and there were some lovely Nidulariums as well to add another dimension to the display. There were of course as usual lots of very reasonably priced plants on the "sales table" as well as pots, name tags, pot hangers and other associated brom growing equipment. The library also proved to be very popular after being closed over the Christmas break and just reopened at this meeting. We then had the monthly raffle with prizes ranging from pots to plants and this was followed by afternoon tea nicely prepared by the ladies from "plates" brought in by the members.

If any of you have the chance to join a Bromeliad Society or Study Group I can certainly recommend it as a great place to learn about these plants and to make good friends from like minded people who are all willing to share information at a most enjoyable get-together each month.

I’ll finish now with a couple of pic’s I managed to get early yesterday when it wasn’t raining. They show the little shade house where I grow my seedlings and shows just how this part of the hobby can get away from you if you aren’t able to keep up with all the potting.

All the best, Nev

This is an area I call “The Kindergarten”, which is a section built in the centre of the Neoregelia Shade House. This is where the seedlings are moved to from a covered area on the back porch of the house

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