Free Cuttings........

danab_z9_laFebruary 20, 2010

Now that I have your attention......

No this thread is not about "free cuttings" it is about something else. The real subject of this posting is "Establishing A Frequently Asked Question" section on the Fig forum. My "Free Cuttings" subject line is designed to get most people to open this thread (ha, you opened it!!), while the other subject line would likely be passed over quicker than two shakes of a lambs tail.

Anyhow..........I keep seeing the same questions being asked over and over again..... Other Garden Web forums have a FAQ (frequently asked question link) that newbies are encouraged to read to bring them up to speed guessed it......frequently asked questions about figs.

Two questions:

1) Has anyone ever tried to get a FAQ section for the fig forum?

2) Would you like to see such a section added to this forum?

Please respond to those questions. If enough people respond favorably in this thread, maybe we can get the GW administrators to add that FAQ link to the fig forum. There is a lot of good stuff we could put there and make it easier for newbies (and some oldies) to find. I have no problem with approaching GW about this......just need to have evidence that our forum members would like to see this feature added.


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1) Not that I know of.

2) YES!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 8:55PM
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Good suggestion.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 9:39PM
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jenia(5b NY)

Funny bit! This is going to be the most heavily hit thread ever posted!

Yes, I would love to see an FAQ. It would have saved me a lot of time searching old threads.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 10:00PM
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Great idea, Dan.
2)Yes it would be very beneficial.

Thanks, Sergio.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 10:04PM
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FAQ section...I vote Yes.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 10:29PM
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Yes! Please oh please!

If I had .10 cents for every thread posted where someone asked how to propagate figs I could retire. Wait a second, I am retired so I will just say yes I want some Faqs posted at the top of the Fig forum.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 10:46PM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

Hey. do I propagate figs?

Great idea Dan. Most definately a yes on the FAQ idea.



    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 10:52PM
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Of course it is always good to have FAQ and related answers. However, good thinking has to go into how this section is moderated to determine what actually is the correct one answer (or more than one answers) for a specific question. We have recently seen on a number of threads arguments between experts about specific issues about fig propagation and growing. The main question will be how answers are selected for inclusion for FAQ and those excluded from answers to FAQ that are answered by other experts.
Readers will need the benefit of different opinions with associated explanations and then make their own judgement.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 11:09PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I would say, yes, I would like to see one. My father told me often when growing up, "be thoughtful about what you wish for".

With that said, what I fear is, you will end up with a section which is full of "opinions" with a few hard facts here and there. By unthoughtfully trudging through with such a thing, you could cause more harm than good. So, in addition to open up the questions about "should we have it?", you should also ask, "what could be some problems with it, so we can take measures to prevent them?"

I say this because ... well, think about it ... as it is, there are at least a half a dozen popular ways to root cuttings. There are a dozen different products used for it, and many folks swear theirs is the best. This is just one way "FAQ - frequently asked questions" can turn into "FAB - Frequent-ass bickering" or "FAP - Frequent assertion of Preference" which equals "FSQ - frequent source of confusion" for the folks who would read it.

Anyone one some more TLA? (Three Letter Acronyms)

So, I say "yes", the FAQ idea is good, BUT only if an impartial moderator is able to modify some of the content to keep everything factual by "pruning" bad answers and opinion-based advice. I'm scared voodoo magic may start getting pushed around, and before you know it we will have Canadians and Central or South Americans paying $40/bag to have simple potting mixes shipped outside the USA because a few people in the FAQ said it's the magic nectar of the gods.

Just my thoughts...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 11:31PM
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Great idea Dan.I agee to this.My vote is YES.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 12:25AM
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lol wabikeguy. May all your trees produce beautiful fruit this year.

satellitehead you hit the nail on the head. With any luck there will be 4-10 different methods posted in a propagation thread with no bickering allowed and locked for posterity.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 12:37AM
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jenia(5b NY)

As a newbie,what has helped me the most is reading old threads. Yes, there are differing opinions, but the photos are priceless resources. Why not link to threads as part of the faq? For example, under rooting techniques, give links to the different methods? We have Jon's, Dan's, jose's, etc. They all work. Fertilizing is another one. In the fig world, there is more than one answer to many questions it seems.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 9:14AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The first question that needs to be asked is WHO is going to write these answers? They aren't going to appear on their own. The last thing you want is a bunch of posturing and misinformation finding its way into your FAQs, and there has been a LOT of that on this forum over the years, and recently in particular.

I was asked by a few forum members to do this a few years ago, and I wasn't interested. If (the collective) you decide to petition GW to set you up with a FAQ link, my suggestion is you avoid electing/appointing 'someone' (particularly a volunteer) to do the job. Make a list of the (say the top 20-25 to start) FAQs you want answered, and then either select 3 people to work out the best answers, or have the answers posted to the forum so the forum can select what they feel is the best answer. If the 3 people strongly disagree on an answer, it could still be brought to the forum for your review and input. I suggest, to keep things running smoothly, you allow no debate between those submitting on-forum answers to be considered for the FAQ - they get one shot. Those deciding on the best answer would be free to discuss the merits of each answer.

FAQs need to guard against the inclusion of opinion/guesswork and stick to verifiable facts.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 10:16AM
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xgrndpounder(Z 8 E. Tx.)

A brand new can of worms!

I can see it now......LIVELY..HEHE

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 10:28AM
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Yes to the FAQ.

It might be preferable to list several threads that address the question rather than have someone labor to write a specific answer.

Personally, myself a newbie, I don't read these threads to to see the incessant chatter of another excitable newbie. I read to learn from guys like Dan, Herman and the other experienced figgers that give of their time to share detailed comments.

It's like cooking - as a Cajun Man, I reference several cookbooks at one time to cook dishes taking a little from each book and assuring myself I'm on the right track when I see the procedures repeated in different books.

Again as there is more than 1 way to skin a cat - group threads that address the FAQ issue as the FAQ answers and let the reader choose his own method.

So. LA near Dan and Gene

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:26AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I dunno, sometimes "excitable newbies" bring the best advance and have a way of grounding people, putting them in check.

Especially when they bring almost 30 years of gardening and around 20 years of fruit tree rooting experience to the table.

It doesn't matter to me which method is chosen, but I do think it's important to think it out well. Execution of an idea without propert forethought and planning leaves you to rely on luck that the finished product is what it needs to be.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:43AM
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The more comments the better.......keep 'em coming.

I don't foresee any problems with working out the concerns noted. The biggest hurdle at this time is to have enough people just to express in this tread that they would like to see a FAQ section added.

Many members have already written some great answers to questions....and this is still happening today. Leon has a great tutorial on air layering that is buried somewhere in one of the threads. Al has a great recipe for a potting mix. Martin has a way of growing figs in containers. Etc, Etc.

The way it seems to be working on other forums.......whenever someone answers a question with sufficient clarity, it is often the "other members" of the forum who make the suggestion to add it to the FAQ section. Postings to a FAQ section is rare and is not meant to replace or function like a regular posting on the forum. I'm not sure of all of the other specific details of how a FAQ link works.....but, it can't be that complicated in comparison to how stuff gets written on Wikipedia.

If we can't get at least fifty people to express a desire to see a FAQ link established on this forum......let this thread die on its own. Hopefully, the "free cuttings" lure will continue to get the attention of others and we may see this thread get bumped up once in a while.

Thanks to all for taking time to comment.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 7:17PM
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Hi Dan, I think FAQ is a great idea. Would be a quick easy place for all levels of figgers to refer back to for basic information. I don't know about others, but the older I get the quicker I forget some of the important details. Tim

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 7:38PM
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frozenjoe(9 Arizona)


I also vote yes for a FAQ. When I first became interested in figs I ordered Ray Givan's New Fig Booklet. It was very helpful. But a newer (and maybe even more in depth) online FAQ would be a great free resource. Go for it! If anyone has the knowledge to write a reliable FAQ it's you.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 8:42PM
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My thoughts on this subject.
Actually there already is an FAQ section.
In order to get there look at the green bar at the top of each page and you will see Ask The Experts.
Click on that and you will see the catagories listed .
Ficus Carica is not there many others are such as roses, hostas,etc,etc.
Click on hostas for example and you will see a new window open and the subcatagories listed as FAQ'S.
This has been there for as long as i can remember and Garden Web staff and Members at one time contributed to it. If it were me that was interested in this type of venture i would send mail to Garden Web and ask and if no reply mail the editor and ask if a ficus carica entry may be added and any subcatagories when ficus carica is clicked on will ALWAYS be there then. Im sure they already have strict guidelines already set up if they agree to add another plant listing FAQ. Many newer members probably never went to some other sections of garden web.
One can also put up there blog if they wish in another section.
Also one can have there favorite picture added to the hortiplex data base, have an event ? You can add that as well.
As for me i just enjoy reading the forums and posting my good and bad experiences.
Best Health

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 8:46PM
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I am not against the idea but what is so bad about new people asking the same questions? What's the downside? Having to read a few "unnecessary posts"? I kind of like the idea of everyone throwing out suggestions and then deciding what I think makes sense and trying it out for myself.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 9:20PM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

The two issues/concerns raised by satellitehead and tapla are good ones.

A FAQ page could have two....or three....or more answers...different one question or issue, written by different experts, which would allow us uneducated boobs different options.

And as Al suggested...there could be a panel of two or three to determine what would be posted as answers.

I know that, personally, being able to look up information on a FAQ page would be much easier than combing through the different threads searching for answers.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 9:28PM
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Who decides the experts?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 10:25PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I vote for ejp3 as an expert! ;)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:21PM
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No expertise here, like I said I enjoy trying out others ideas such as Dan's AND Tapla's

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:27PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

Oh, I was totally joking around. But seriously, one thing I do like about you is that you're not afraid to ask questions about "why", and I really appreciate that. I think sometimes, too few people ask "why" things are done a certain way. This would be a quality for someone to have sayso in such a FAQ.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:43PM
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Calling the FAQ link......ask the "EXPERTs" is very misleading and I really do not like the connotation of that word label. Good, usual, practical information and answers to recurring fig related problems, methods, and procedures will come from many sources. It does not have be textbook or publication quality nor from any self proclaimed EXPERT. Herman2 is a guy that I consider to be an expert on the growing of figs.....I trust his fig related advice more than I trust any publication. IMO his pinching procedure used to make figs ripen sooner in colder climates would be one good item in the FAQ section. There is documentation that his method works and it works very need to know WHY. Take his advice and you too may be able to get figs to fruit for you in a northern climate. Would be nice to capture that gem of acquired KNOWLEDGE in a quick handy location. I gave some good advice on what I consider to be the proper storage of cuttings......I drew upon the acquired knowledge from many who might not like the lable expert put upon them. None the less, IMO that information should be in a FAQ section. Etc., Etc., Etc.

A FAQ section is really not that complicated and is not meant to be another section for further arguments and debates. I love to fish and appreciate worm bait; however, like Cecil suggests ....we sure don't need to open another can of worms. I get all the worms that I need from other areas. Right Cecil?


    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:17AM
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xgrndpounder(Z 8 E. Tx.)

Right Dan :-))))

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:33AM
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A FAQ would definately be handy, so, I vote yes!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:55AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

You know, if Ira Condit was still around, maybe we could inspire her to help with it?

Then again, she also produced questionable information over the years also, as well all get it wrong sometimes. No true expert is ever 100% correct, we all have our hangups. Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to point out flaws in logic and practice, and to question the fundamentals for relevance.

Something to consider if such a FAQ panel was chosen.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:56PM
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I think Ira was a man.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 1:12PM
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xgrndpounder(Z 8 E. Tx.)

Little John is spot on!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 1:16PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

Too funny! Good catch.

The name of the anesthesiologist who doped me up during my first colonoscopy (and hopefully last, for a while) was from Iran, and his name was Ira as well. It's only the second time I've heard the name.

I've never actually seen pictures of Condit, just read digital versions of his books. Does anyone have a picture? When you search for images of "Ira Condit", all you get is pictures of figs!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 2:21PM
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