Episode 87 – Gardening Influences

We're ripping up the script in this episode!

A YouTube viewer recently asked about the people who influenced us in our gardening career, and we’re devoting this episode to sharing our stories. Please listen in on your favorite podcast platform or at the YouTube link above to hear our whole conversation. In the first segment, Rick talks about his influences, then Stacey shares hers in the second. 

Instead of our usual Plants on Trial, we talk about ways you can honor the influences in your life through plants. Is there a specific plant that you most associate with someone from your past? That’s a perfect thing to plant to keep their influence alive. 

Finally, Rick goes back to the previous episode about shade where Stacey brings up the word “etiolated,” which describes the pale, thin growth that occurs when a plant starts to stretch to reach more light. He returns with a very special Lim-A-Rick dedicated to one Eddie O’Lated:

Ode to Eddie O’ Lated 

His plants are stretched and faded,

Poor Eddie, Eddie O’ Lated,

Try as he might

He lacks good daylight

His daisies are barely foliated


His garden has him irritated

Poor Eddie, Eddie O’ Lated

His goals are far fetched

with plants that are stretched 

and sadly incapacitated. 


His home turf is undomesticated

Poor Eddie, Eddie O’ Lated

He needs some support

He’s battling mugwort 

He’s humiliated and frustrated. 


Goodwill needs to be cultivated

To keep our friend motivated 

Send letters, notes and cards 

Of encouragement best regards

To Eddie, Poor Eddie, Eddie O’ Lated. 

We then asked Bing Image Creator to imagine what Eddie O’Lated might look like…here’s our favorite from its responses:

Gardening Mail Bag - Stacey

Yes, we have also seen banana water on all sorts of social sites, being touted as some kind of miracle hack for plant health. And this is one of those things that just feels true but definitely is not. Bananas are notoriously high in potassium, which is indeed an essential plant nutrient. However, potassium on its own (i.e., not bonded with another element to make a compound) is not water soluble, so none of that potassium will come out and “supercharge” the water like adherents claim. It will just turn into a murky, slimy water that will indeed attract fruit flies or fungus gnats. 

If “banana water” seems to work and improve plant health, it’s almost certainly just a coincidence. There’s an old saying: “The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow,” and that’s what’s happening with banana water. The plant is being watered, it’s being cared for and monitored, and when you are engaging with your plant like that, you’re more likely to get, and notice, results. While there’s probably no harm in using banana water (except for the possibility of fruit flies and fungus gnats), it’s not going to do anything more than water your plants, so you’re much better off just composting that peel.

Lucky you! This is a perfect example of how we may use the term “annual” to describe a plant like Supertunias or Superbells, but often only treat them as annuals. If you live in an area where they can survive winter (and summer, for that matter, which previous guest Adam Mosely told us is the bigger challenge to them in hot climates), then they are likely to behave like perennials. It should be pretty easy to gently dig your plant up and move it to a spot where you prefer it – petunias generally have pretty shallow roots.

We also have some interesting comments from our listeners, like this one from Carrie:
My first years in central Fla. Zone B has brought me to tears many times being a hort major in the 70’s during, the original green plant craze.. my dad built me a greenhouse for my hort graduation. I had many varieties of greenplants, which now I am overjoyed being able to plant these same plants now in my yard and keep on my outdoor lanai. I wanted to share with you my discovery of my first papaya Tree in my front garden. I watched as she flowered like crazy, and I waited for fruit.. I was amazed to see with my own eyes how the white Stephanotis like flower tips eventually closed up to create the papaya fruit.. I enclosed some pics to share of my 🫢 amazement.
Totally love your show.. have turned many on to it.. Thanks for including all the warm zone ideas that you do.. A grateful gardener in the Sunshine State.

White papaya flowers protrude from the green tropical plant. Developing papaya fruits on a plant. A papaya plant against a blue house and blue sky.

Lisa shares: These are the biggest night crawlers I’ve ever seen, during the mornings last week. They were out in the dog’s area when I was out with the dogs. I counted between 4-5 of them stretched out in the yard like this. Going to have a bumper crop of night crawlers!A very long earthworm on the ground next to a yellow ruler showing that it measures over 12" long.

Do you have a question for us? We’re happy to help! E-mail us or use the contact tab above. Due to high volume, we may not get to your question, so if you need an answer quickly, please reach out via the Proven Winners website.