Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vintage African Violet book excerpts

* From 1001 African Violet Questions Answered by 12 experts

Helen Van Pelt Wilson, Editor ~1958
My edition only has 12 experts. I think a later version has 20...

Question 156.  I am asked, is egg-shell water beneficial?

Mr. Sheldon Reed answers: It might be useful to chickens, as they need to get their calcium back again in order to make more egg shells. Violets do not crave calcium. (SCR)

My curiosity about different ways to use egg-shells remains!
In the AVSA magazine dated July/August 2004 - Volume 57 (page 53) an article reprinted by David Buttram on PLANT NUTRITION indicates Calcium is an important element not usually found in fertilizer, but is normally added to the soil in the form of Dolomite Lime.
Wouldn't dry, pulverized egg-shells make a suitable substitute?
This topic, along with a kid-craft project was posted on my other blog when I first came across the egg-shell question from this book. When extra plants are available on my shelves for experiments my inner mad scientist will play!

Mr. Sheldon Reed answers some more questions: 
(P.S. I sense a touch of sarcasm in some of the answers in this section, but it could just be me... ;)   
149. [Do you plant seeds by the moon] - "I tried it once but the light was so poor I couldn't tell the seeds from the sand! Since then I have always planted on Sunday morning when the rest of the family is in church..." 
150. [My neighbor says to spray plants with sugar water...what does this do for them?] - "It makes them sticky, as well as the kitchen floor." 
155. [On cutting leaf stems a different length to control characteristics of offspring] - "At this point the sophisticated reader should be able to answer this one without a book."
On cross-pollinating:
135. [Which For the Seed Plant?] - "... If you want to have variegated plants, you must use the variegated parent as the mother."

* I started a thread on Violet Voice in 2009. Rather than bounce it back to the top I'm going to expand here as I go through more of the book.

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