The problem with this forum!

fabaceae_nativeMay 1, 2012

I am very disappointed with the Southwest Forum right now. A half dozen posts without a response, followed by a long list of old posts with only one or two responses, and a few of those ancient ancient ones that have racked up a list too long to read.

This forum was the reason I got into Gardenweb a number of years ago, but it seems to have really lost it's members.

If the old faithful members are like me, they have gotten tired of seeing the same messages stay up for years it seems, without any new responses. They may also be tired of seeing posts that don't relate to the Southwest, but are added because they have to do with some genera of plants that happens to exist here.

I kind of see the Southwest Forum as filling a gap between the California and Arizona Forums and the Texas Forum. In other words, New Mexico and other nearby states without their own forums. It could be such a great source of regional dialog, but right now it just seems like a black hole into which one-time posters drop their questions that don't seem to belong anywhere else.

If you want to see a great forum, look at the Fruit and Orchards Forum, I only wish "ours" could be as useful.

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Everything you said is true. BUT the people who do frequent this forum probably dont for super long, they probably get burnt out. The reason is that gardening under the conditions that people here have to contend with is THE most challenging! My thoughts are that many people just give up so they dont stick around long. There are always new people with the same problems we have always faced in this climate including ants, scorpions, no rain, HOT, wind and cold. The new people come here when facing those problems and use the search, that's why the old threads get brought back up.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:38PM
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That's an interesting take on this forum stomp, I never thought about it that way before, and I think you absolutely right. I guess I'll have to just continue enjoying the other active forums and tailoring the info to my growing area.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:26PM
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The split of the AZ forum from this one took a lot of activity with it.

"Southwest" is too broad to be useful: Are we gardening in Taos, El Paso, Tucson or Gila Bend?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Yeah, you're probably right lazygardens, but I've not been too impressed with the AZ forum either. A lot of dead in the water threads there too.

Maybe all the regional forums are just not specific enough, and the best ones are on a specific genus (such as the Citrus or Passiflora forums) or a certain aspects of gardening (such as the Fruit forum, Soils and Composting, or Plant Propagation).

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:48AM
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greyghost61(8b SoWeGa)

I am from south west GA but I come here from time to time. We are typically in a terminal drought situation so part of my yard is done with cacti, yucca, agave, and various other plants native to the southwest arrid regions such as texas sage, ocotillo, etc... I have actually picked up some good pointers and ideas for my little "desert".

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:36PM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

I'm in complete agreement. I haven't been active lately because I'm up to my eyeballs in helping plan a statewide conference. But that's almost over and done with!
Perhaps we should narrow the focus of this forum? Southwest does cover a lot of widely varied territory.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 1:35PM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

Bumping up.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 1:41PM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

Since I have gotten over my zone denial and admitted to I am closer to being in zone 8, than 9 and in a Sunset Zone 11 than 18 I've become a vagrant and a forum hopper. The Gulf Coast forum mirrors my winter garden season, Oklahoma and the Rocky Mountains gardeners give great advice on gardening with harsh winds and late frosts of spring, Texas gardeners know that pain of trying to grow veggies in the blistering heat of summer and I depend on the AZ gardeners to give me a heads up on fall plantings.

But I don't know if my regional problems reflect those of the majority of posters here, or just my particular slice of the high desert. Are we all battling the same obstacles?


    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Jan, you sound like you are in my backyard! Argh! What did you think of those December north winds? Or the March winds in April? Ugh! Im working on a sort of Tuscany theme in an area of my yard, with Italian Cypress in the back probably pyracantha midway (mixed with a couple roses and/or desert bird of paradise) and lavender in front all in a row. I planted a few in early April and am keeping my fingers crossed and my watering hose turned on! After the hot is over I will resume my planting of that strip which is about 10'x75'

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 5:53AM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

"What did you think of those December north winds? Or the March winds in April? "

Hey, Stomp. I've come to REALLY appreciate why the homesteaders rushed to plant a tamarisk windbreak before anything else! Of course, now that we know it is a water thief and ground poisoner, we are trying to discourage throughout California, but it has a head start.

Your cypress should do well here, though.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 12:17PM
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Agreed about the tamarisk! After I moved here and set up my sprinklers I had one volunteer. I was enchanted by the purplish/pinkish new growth and conifer type foilage and how quickly it was growing. But after 3 years it was outgrowing it's spot and I learned what it was and what it was known for! Im not one for chopping down trees in the desert, but this had to go! I had a friend with a backhoe dig it out for me and now it is mulch :)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:28PM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

Right plant, right place.
Lots of beautiful SW native plants are just waiting to find a home in your garden!
Garden smarter, not harder.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:52PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I want to say that I am a sometimes vocal lurker from central Texas. I find that there are many of us that fall between the cracks of different forums. I lurk here and in the Arizona forum because. I live outside of the water system and I exist on rainwater . so there is not much water for irrigation. My soil has mor in common with western thin heavy caliche soils. I incorporate a lot of xeric plants and have collected a lot of New Mexican wild plants to add to the natves of Central texas and west Texas.

The Texas forum often deals in wet loving plants. The cactus forum deals in indoor type of cactus and not hardy outdoor species. Wildflower forum is mostly northern woodland plants.

I read here and there, but here often adds to my knowledge of your xerics.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:13AM
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Stompoutbermuda hit the nail on the head. I've gardened in the middle Rio Grande valley area for 22 years and each of those years has been not only challenging, but difficult and discouraging. I seem to be in a continual state of burning out. And I know of gardeners who have thrown in the towel and moved on. One was quite active on the forum some time ago. In the interest of disclosure I will note that my fit here is uncomfortable as I am a very hardheaded and limited gardener in that I, for instance, loathe xeric gardening and rarely use native plants--love 'em in their natural habitats but not in my garden, thank you. So I'm the author of my own misery. When I joined the forum ages ago there were a number of interesting contributors from the area--I exchanged seed with some of them--but I dropped out for a long while and now I see there are hardly any of them posting anymore. I don't know, maybe when you've said just about all you can say about your type of gardening, shared your general and specific gardening experience(s), learned what you could from others (actually less than I'd hoped for--books still rule), there's not much more to do but check in now and then for area-specific tidbits. And not a lot of those anymore.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 3:10AM
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Hey folks, don't give up! I've seen other gardenweb forums with members that have gone on for years. Just check in once a week, even if it is to say "hi." I thought Texas Hill Country was going to be the death of gardening for me, but I hung in there, and now I'm in Socorro and it's even worse than Texas lol. We all need someone to commiserate with about the wind, soil, heat, occasional snow, etc. Forum hopping is fun, but don't go away forever :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 2:30PM
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