Category: Tropical Style

Palo Azul Herb Plant

Palo azul (Eysenhardtia orthocarpa or even Eysenhardtia polystachya) is a large shrub or small tree native to Mexico and portions of the southwestern United States. This plant, also referred to as kidneywood, palo santo and palo dulce, works nicely in landscapes, particularly in warm, dry regions.


Palo azul can be grown as either a tree or a small tree, reaching heights of between 6 and 24 feet. In young plants, the branches are covered with tiny hairs. The leaves are divided into many small fronds and have a feathery form. The palo azul plant produces clusters of fragrant white blooms that later produce light brown pod-shaped fruit


Palo azul plants require relatively warm, dry climates and grow best in United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 11. Obviously, this plant grows as part of desert scrub or tropical deciduous woods, but it’s also frequently cultivated in gardens. The plant can survive short periods of cold weather, withstanding temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit in some cases. In the warmer parts of its range, the plant is an evergreen, but it will become deciduous in colder areas or when water levels are low.


Palo azul is native mainly to Mexico, especially the Chihuahua Desert. In addition, it grows naturally in parts of Arizona and New Mexico. This small shrub works well when planted as an ornamental throughout the Southwest, especially in drier parts of Texas and southern California.

Landscape Use

Palo azul does best in dry landscapes with no extreme artificial cedar. According to the Desert Botanical Garden website, it should be implanted as a blooming tree. Despite its hardiness in dry conditions, palo azul needs reliable moisture levels and should be watered immediately after planting and once or twice weekly thereafter to a thickness of about a foot. Expect flowers to appear sporadically during the growing season, especially in response to rain.

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A Spray for Apples With Brown Rot

Brown rot is a minor disease on apples from the United States. It is caused by the fungus Monilinia fructicola, and if discovered on apples, it’s normally connected with nearby infected stone fruits that are more vulnerable to the illness. The brown rot fungus survives the winter inside dead fruit or regions of dead timber, called cankers. In spring, the fungus produces spores, which are spread by rain and wind. The spores can infect the blossoms and young fruit on stone fruit trees, but apple infection generally occurs when the spores enter through through breaks in the skin of maturing fruit. This fungus can be controlled with fungicide sprays and dirt around the infected trees.


The most common fungicide spray for apple juice rots is captan. Captan is a contact fungicide that stays on the surface of the apple and stops energy production in the fungus. It has low toxicity at normal levels and rapidly degrades in water. Apply a fine spray that covers the fruit, leaves, and branches. Heavier sprays will not increase or prolong the effectiveness since, even if dry, captan’s half-life on fruit is significantly less than 13 days and it easily washes off with rain. Captan sprays can begin 10 days after petals have fallen and continue in 10-day periods through May, then at 14 day intervals throughout August.


Captan can also used in conjunction with thiophanate-methyl for more comprehensive protection. Thiophanate-methyl is a xylem-mobile fungicide that penetrates into the apple tree and travels through the tree liquid-transport system. Similar to captan, apply a fine spray that covers the fruit, leaves, and branches. Thiophanate-methyl travels upwards from the apple tree, so it’s necessary to adequately cover the lower portions of the tree. This spray can begin 10 days after petals have fallen and continue at 10 day periods during May, then at 14 day periods during August.

Organic Spray

Dilute solutions of copper fungicide mixed with liquid lime-sulfur can help to control infection, but does not completely eradicate brown decay. Sulfur products do not control apple rots and high levels of copper will harm the fruit. Many sulfur and copper products are not labeled for use after petal fall, when most of the brown rot in apples occurs. Though approved for use in organic apple production, these fungicides have to be combined with careful sanitary measures.

Sanitary Control

Other spray options exist for stone fruit trees, however they’re not all approved for use on apples. Use sanitary controls, alongside these sprays, to boost their effectiveness. Infected fruit can remain on the tree and will harbor the fungus until the following calendar year. Remove all infected branches and fruit with cankers in the tree, then bury or burn them to isolate and destroy the fungus. Do not allow dropped apples to remain under the tree since injuries suffered in the autumn can allow infection. After you have picked the apples, block the development of brown decay by rapidly storing the apples in a refrigerator.

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Do I Need Bone Meal to Fertilize Fruit Trees?

Despite the fact that you’ll find bone meal in most garden supply stores, you won’t necessarily require this natural fertilizer for optimum fruit tree growth and creation. Bone meal provides phosphorus to fruit trees. As one of the three important macronutrients for crops, phosphorus promotes early growth, root formation and fruit development. But many soils have a sufficient amount of potassium, therefore adding bone meal might be a waste of money.

Nutrients in Bone Meal

All fertilizer package labels have a three-number fluid level printed on them. The typical fertilizer grade for bone meal is 3-15-0. This implies bone meal comprises about 3 percent nitrogen, 15 percent phosphorus and no potassium. When used as a fertilizer, bone meal discharges the phosphorus and the small amount of nitrogen over a one- to 12-month period.

Fruit Tree Nutrient Requirements

Fruit trees are heavy metals of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. When the soil is deficient in one of these nutrients, it is possible to correct the deficiency by employing an appropriate fertilizer. You’ll need to apply a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content each year since many soils are deficient in nitrogen. Conversely, you probably wo not need to use a fertilizer like bone meal to give phosphorus because most soils contain sufficient potassium for fruit trees.

Recognizing a Phosphorus Deficiency

To determine if the soil is deficient in phosphorus, collect soil samples in the region around the tree. Utilize a home soil test kit to test the soil samples for phosphorus content. If a test isn’t available, look for signs of phosphorus deficiency in the fruit tree. You’ll see that a tree deficient in phosphorus grows slower than anticipated. The old leaves could have a lighter, abnormal color and the tree may produce few blooms.

Utilizing Bone Meal for a Fertilizer

In case a phosphorus deficiency is detected from the soil, you may use bone meal as a fertilizer for some soils. But before you apply bone meal, it’s important that you know the pH of the ground. Bone meal is alkaline and should just be applied to soil with a pH of over 7 days. Do not apply to soils with a pH greater than 7 since the phosphorus won’t be available to the trees. Utilize a home soil test kit or pH meter to find the soil pH of their soil near the tree. If the pH is less than 7, apply bone meal once in the time of planting. Place 3 pounds of bone meal in the base of each planting hole. Mix the Sea supper using a handful of soil and plant.

Other Sources of Phosphorus

Many other fertilizers also supplies potassium to fruit trees. The compound fertilizer superphosphate using a fertilizer grade of 0-45-0 provides a massive amount of phosphorus. Place 1 pound of superphosphate in the base of the planting hole before planting the tree. Balanced fertilizers, like those with a grade of 20-20-20, supply ample amounts of potassium and nitrogen in addition to phosphorus. Since many fruit trees require an application of nitrogen every year, you may use a balanced fertilizer to likewise provide phosphorus. Do not place the balanced fertilizer in the planting hole. Rather, spread the fertilizer within an 18- to 24-inch circle around the tree back in August or early September and water the tree as usual. Apply about 2 pounds of this balanced fertilizer to your little fruit tree and up to 5 pounds for a large, mature tree every year.

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I Have a Lemon Tree That Is Two Years Old and Has Never Bloomed; Is There Something Wrong?

Lemon trees (Citrus limon) are self-pollinating citrus plants which may be grown year-round. Lemons, like other citrus trees, typically keep a complete crop set within 3 decades of planting. When you purchase a orange tree in a pot, then it has generally been growing for approximately 1 to 2 decades, but this pre-planting age doesn’t count towards the tree official age. If your tree has been in the ground for many years and isn’t thriving, then there are different chances to investigate like an environmental imbalance or disease.

Complete Maturity

It is possible that a 2-year-old lemon tree hasn’t reached maturity. The average time from putting a citrus tree until plants can be picked is just 1 to 2 decades, but it may be as long as 3 years to 4 years depending on individual growth patterns. Trees will not bloom until they reach maturity, because it’s the initial step in reproduction. Blooms also just emerge on a schedule throughout the year. They’re generally most abundant in the spring, but small flourishes can happen in fall and summer.

Environmental Factors

Lemon trees have a very low cold tolerance. If the tree is situated in the improper hardiness zone, it might never bloom. Citrus trees grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. Late frosts, drought or intense heat may kill young blooms and lead them to fall off or shrivel until the tree has a chance to develop the fruit. In this case, the tree might bloom, but you never see the blossoms. Improper water balance may also cause a delay in or lack of blooming. Lemon trees like routine water with quick drainage, so a very rainy season may cause problems.

Soil Requirements

Lemons require just the right balance of nutrients within their soil. A lack of blooms can be a sign that your tree is suffering from mineral deficiencies. Spread 2 tablespoons of nitrogen under a tree less than 4 years old, indicates the University of California Riverside Research Facility. Duplicate this application three to four times throughout the year, followed by a freezer. Double the amount to 4 tablespoons from the next year of treatment, irrespective of age. Together with nutrient worries, the pH level may also affect a tree’s overall wellness. Citrus trees prefer soils with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of between 6.0 and 7.5.

Rootstock Compatibility

If all else appears normal, it is possible that your lemon tree has a bad graft. Like many other vegetables, lemon trees are most frequently the product of grafting to keep them true to cultivar type. This process requires a scion, a piece of small branch from a donor tree, and attaches it to the roots and trunk of another tree, the rootstock. There’s usually some benefit the rootstock offers the scion, such as faster growth or an alteration in tree size. There are a few combinations of lemon cultivar rootstock and scion which are incompatible in addition to a few viruses that may attack a graft and cause it to fail. A physical malformation is the defining symptom of a bad graft. The area location between the scion and rootstock might split, crack, bump or appear otherwise abnormal. In this case, there’s very little you can do besides buy a new tree.

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The way to Add Soil to My Perennial Garden

An established garden benefits from the inclusion of fresh dirt, particularly in the kind of compost, on a regular basis. Compost improves water retention in sandy soil and decreases soil compaction in clay soil, enhancing the garden. Simply adding topsoil does little to improve the dirt in a perennial garden, but it’s helpful for replacing dirt lost through erosion and to raise the soil level.

Benefits of Topdressing

The simplest way to add soil or compost into a perennial garden is by way of topdressing, which involves spreading a thin layer of the material throughout the garden bed surface. With that procedure, no need is to incorporate the new dirt or compost to the current soil, a process which can disturb plants’ roots. Rain and earthworms take the new material deeper into the garden throughout the course of the growing season. Regularly adding compost in this manner helps improve the garden total quality by stabilizing the soil’s pH level and helping the dirt maintain nutrients.

Topdressing Procedure

When topdressing your perennial garden with soil or compost, apply a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of the material throughout the garden’s soil surface however involving the plants. The job requires 8 to 16 cubic feet of compost per 100 square feet of garden area, and also the number of cubic feet of topsoil needed may fluctuate. Compost supplies nutrients in addition to other natural material, and a annual application of it in spring can remove the need for supplementary fertilizers in a perennial garden. Perennial plants which require a lot of fertilizer may benefit from a summer feeding in addition to the spring compost application. It can be supplied with a fibrous, all-purpose plant food with an nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 24-8-16. Mix 1 tbsp fertilizer per 1 gallon of water for every 10 square foot of dirt surface at the perennial garden, and use the mix to water the dirt of just the perennials that need extra fertilizer.

Addition of a Larger Amount

If topdressing does not add enough fresh dirt to the perennial bed, even more extreme measures are required. Taking away the perennials before adding soil is imperative to avoid burying the plants. Fall is the best time for raising perennials out of the garden to add dirt, even though it can be carried out in spring if necessary. Work fast to add the desired amount of dirt prior to the plants’ roots dry. An option is to function in stages by lifting a few plants from the bed, then adding dirt, and then replanting those perennials prior to moving into a different part of the garden to repeat the process. Water perennials’ dirt well after replanting, and continue watering it as needed to keep it moist for the next few weeks.

Soil and Compost Selection

When adding soil or compost into your perennial garden, then the material you use is equally as important as how you apply it into the garden. Use only adult compost, which can be compost which has thoroughly decomposed. Partially decomposed compost which isn’t well-aged has a greater level of soluble salts than adult compost and may harm garden plants. Well-aged compost also includes fewer weed seeds. When selecting new dirt, choose a dirt mixture described as “topsoil” or “garden dirt.” Bagged mixes typically contain high levels of organic matter.

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Garden Care Tips on How to Kill Crabgrass Without Killing Plants

Crabgrass is an annual grass that invades flower beds and lawns, but a range of methods provide control without harming plants. Also called summer grass, crowfoot grass and watergrass, crabgrass varieties include smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum) and large or hairy crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum). Controlling crabgrass involves removing or spraying the plants and preventing crabgrass seeds from sprouting.

Spreading Mulches

Mulches effectively control crabgrass in garden beds. Crabgrass is shallow rooted and easy to pull up, but crabgrass seeds in the soil sprout year after year. Covering the soil with a mulch blocks light in the seeds and prevents them from invading. Remove crabgrass plants, and a spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of fine mulch or a 3- to 6-inch layer of coarse mulch, avoiding plant stems. Fine mulches contain leaf mold, garden compost and well-rotted manure. Wood chips, shredded bark and straw are a few examples of coarse mulches. Rake the mulch surface to disturb any stray crabgrass seedlings, or pull them out. Top up the mulch layer since it thins out, which is usually annually or semi-annually.

Using Herbicides

Selective herbicides control crabgrass without harming plants. Fluazifop and other selective herbicides control grasses but do not affect broad-leaved plants. Lightly spray a ready-to-use product containing 0.48 percent fluazifop-p-butyl over the middle of the crabgrass plants when they’re actively growing. Spray the plants after seven weeks and repeat as often as required. Don’t spray crabgrass herbicides near ornamental grasses. Pre-emergent herbicides like pendimethalin avoid crabgrass seeds from sprouting. Spread ready-to-use granules containing 1.71 percent pendimethalin at a speed of 4 oz per 125 square foot over the bare soil in early spring. Water the granules if it does not rain within 48 hours. Pre-emergent herbicides produce a chemical barrier on the soil surface, so don’t disturb the soil because this makes them less successful. Don’t sow seeds for four months and then do not plant sprigs for five months later using pre-emergent herbicides because they affect most other seeds and very young plants.

Solarizing the Soil

Soil solarization commands crabgrass plants and seeds to a depth of 6 inches or heavier. This process works well when you’re preparing a crabgrass infested area for a garden. Soil solarization involves covering bare soil in transparent plastic, which heats up the soil as deep as 18 inches below the surface, making conditions where weeds and other pests can’t survive. Dig a trench 4 to 6 inches deep across the crabgrass-infested area, and water the soil until it’s moist to 12 inches deep. Place a plastic sheet 1 to 4 millimeters thick over the ground and repair the borders in the trenches by covering them with soil. Solarization controls crabgrass very best when the weather is clear and hot for four to six weeks, like over the summertime.

Controlling Crabgrass in Lawns

Crabgrass is a frequent weed in lawns, but you can control it without harming turfgrass. Scatter pre-emergent herbicide granules to prevent crabgrass seeds encased in spring, and mow, irrigate and fertilize your lawn frequently so the turfgrass grows strongly and out-competes crabgrass. Be sure to read the herbicide label to make sure the product does not injure the turfgrass you’re growing. Set your mower blades at the correct height to the grass type, like 1 to 1 1/2 ins for bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon). Irrigate your lawn weekly during dry weather so the soil is continually moist but never soaked, and feed it frequently. For example, employ a 10-0-5 lawn feed at a rate of 8 ounces per 100 square foot six times over the growing season, or use the product based on the directions on the label. Bermudagrass rises in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10.

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How to Get Rid of Weeds Out Of Basalt Driveways

Basalt is occasionally utilized in driveways in the form of crushed rock or pavers. Its dark, durable and dense, rich shade provides a attractive driveway — but it also means that dinosaurs stand out sharply against the dark rock. You may prefer methods — particularly if the compounds run off down the drive and into a yard or plants although weeds will be killed by chemical controls. Hand-pulling can be powerful, but it can be time-consuming if you’ve got lot of weeds. When the weeds are prevalent, try something you might already have in your kitchen cupboard: vinegar or salt. Salt ruins the dirt for any plants. It is a fantastic method to use on driveways, but make sure you don’t receive any of the salty or salt water on neighboring plants. Vinegar will not ruin dirt, but plants will be killed by it use the very same precautions when spraying vinegar — a still day with no wind is best so the spray doesn’t drift.

Salt for Weeds

Pour into a bowl.

Scoop out the salt using a spoon, and then sprinkle it directly.

The plants that are succulent using some water. The weeds will dry out , killing them.

Pull up the weeds that are dead and eliminate them, or sweep them away.

Hot Salty Water

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

Add 1 cup of salt.

Pour the boiling water on the weeds, taking care to protect your hands, and skin. Salt and the hot water both will work to kill the weeds.

Eliminate by sweeping them off or pulling up them of the driveway.

Vinegar for Weeds

White or apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle. Do this if there isn’t any rain forecast for 48 hours.

Spray the vinegar onto the middle of each pot, or onto the blossom if it has not yet produced seeds.

Spray the foundation of each pot using the vinegar.

Pull up or sweep away the weed when it is dead.

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Purple Shade Plants

Brighten up the darkened corners of your backyard with all the shade of purple. Many purple flowers flourish in the shade and bloom. Some are small and are perfect for containers onto a porch. Operate and others spread nicely as ground covers under a shade tree. Others are shrubs — perfect for filling up that cool, dark spot in your yard.


Trilliums (Trillium spp.) Are native wildflowers that grow well in the shade. Attempt”Trillium Purple,” that will bloom from spring through the summer. All these perennials, which grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3-8, are desirable for their distinctive, three-petaled purple blooms. They grow to a maximum height and width of 12 inches, and will fill a container well. Violets or pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) are a popular with home gardeners for their delicate faces. They can also be used as cut flowers. They grow best in USDA zones 8 to 11. Because they don’t like warmth, they are perfect for shade gardens in those zones. The purple shamrock (Oxalis triangularis) is a perennial notable for its own purple foliage. The triangular-shaped leaves also add interesting texture to a shade garden. Easy to grow, this plant thrives in USDA zones 6 to 10 and prefers shade.


Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.) Are a choice with home gardeners who need a big shrub that will bloom even in shady conditions. They come in many colors, but try Rhododendron catawbiense if you need one with authentic blooms. This plant grows best in USDA zones 4 to 8. Hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.) , such as rhododendrons, have big clusters of flowers. Also they grow best in shade, as stated by the Clemson Cooperative Extension site. Try out Hydrangea macrophylla”Royal Purple” for a splash of lavender. This plant grows best in USDA zones 6 to 9.


Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) are hardy annuals that thrive in shady areas. Because they are annuals, they can be grown in most USDA zones. Frequently used as border or container crops, they spread and will blossom long in cool conditions. Attempt”Celebration Light Lavender” should you desire a light purple that almost glows. Wax begonias (Begonia semperflorens) also grow well in the shade. “Party Pink Bronze Leaf” includes purplish-pink flowers and leaves that are green on top and dark purple beneath. Wax begonias, in most USDA zones, will grow such as impatiens.

Other Plants

The Purple Dragon lamium (Lamium spp.) Is a tough shade-loving floor cover which includes flowers that are vivid and leaves. The plant grows in USDA zones 2 to 9 and will reach a height of about 8 inches. The grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) is an early spring-blooming shade bulb notable for its clusters of purple, bell-shaped flowers. This plant thrives in USDA zones 3 to 9, as stated by the University of Wisconsin Extension site. Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) is a hardy ground cover grown primarily for its foliage. The cultivar”Atropurpurea” has bronze-purple leaves and grows well in the shade, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden site. This plant grows best in USDA zones 3 to 9.

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How to Boost Chipotle Chilies

Chipotle chilies are earthy peppers that pack a strong, smoky punch when added to a dish. These chilies are out of a common jalapeno plant (capsicum annum). When they’re chosen, they may be dried and smoked, creating a chile flavor — chipotle — that fuels the spice level in many Southwestern and Mexican cuisines. If you are sensitive to temperature and light conditions chipotle chilies is as easy as growing tomatoes.

Pull to protect your hands and spread about 1/8 into 1/4 cup of 12-12-12 fertilizer onto a area. Peppers absorb the fertilizer and nitrogen is nitrogen- and phosphorous-rich. Should you would like to use compost spread about two lbs of compost in the exact same place.

Work the fertilizer into the ground with a shovel. When it’s thoroughly incorporated, dig a hole that is double the width and thickness of this plant’s pot or root ball.

Fill enough of those dirt that is removed back into the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the ground. Place the plant into the hole and fill using the soil that is displaced, creating a mound of earth covering the origins that rounds this plant’s stem up to hold it in position. Set them about 12 inches apart to allow ample room for expansion, In case you have more than one jalapeno pepper plant.

Water each plant generously to about 3 feet deep, ensuring that the roots are well-fed.

Cover the plants using a cap or bell jar if the nights stay cool. You won’t have to use the cap once the plant evolves or if the nighttime don’t become overly cold.

Water every four to five times once the top 1 to 1 1/2 inches of soil is dry. Overwatering destroy the plant and can rust tender roots. Water weekly from the lack of ample rainfall, If the peppers grow to about 10 inches high.

The pepper plants with two teaspoons of liquid seaweed added to 1 gallon of water every two weeks. After about 60 to 70 days, you are able to cease fertilizing.

Put bet or a tomato cage the plant once it reaches about 12 to 18 inches tall to make sure it grows upright and heavy branches are not weighed into the ground with the growing fruit.

Harvest the jalapeno peppers when they turn red, about 150 days after planting. Chipotles are dried and smoked by the jalapeno chilies. To make certain you do move the heat from the peppers into your mouth or eyes, use gloves while harvesting.

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How to Boost Red-Stem Spinach

If you want to enjoy create, think about planting a house vegetable garden. Many leafy greens flourish in the Bay Area, and red-stem spinach (spinacia oleracea) is a sweet-tasting, cool-weather vegetable full of iron, calcium and vitamin A. This assortment of spinach is appropriate for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s zone 9, including sun-scarce San Francisco.

Soak seeds in a cup of compost tea for 20 to 30 minutes. Germination is hastened by soaking the seeds.

Pour of soil that is humus-enriched or compost throughout your garden bed’s topsoil. Before the humus is completely incorporated, to the upper 6 to 8 inches of dirt, work the humus Having a garden spade. From the Bay Area, plant spinach seeds outside in February. Spinach requires at least six months of cool weather to flourish and is cold-hardy.

Add a chopstick or an unsharpened pencil about 1/2-inch deep to the tilled soil. Create more holes approximately 1 inch apart until you have enough holes.

Put one seed and cover the holes with displaced dirt.

Saturate the floor with a mister so you moisten the floor but do not disturb the seeds.

Water the plants every few days depending on rain. Spinach grows when it will even withstand bolting and remains wet.

Thin the seedlings to approximately 6 inches apart when they are 2 inches high. Spread mulch around the seedlings to keep moisture.

When the plants begin to grow at about 35 to 50 days harvest the leaves. The plant will continue to grow, providing you with leafy greens for several weeks. Harvest the poultry plant by cutting it below the leaf, when the weather warms.

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