Start a new thread (topic)
1. From the main forums page, find the most appropriate forum.
For example, if your question is about conservation, click on the link to the Plants: Conservaton Forum. If you don't see an appropriately titled forum, click on the link to the HortForum at the top of the forum listings - that's our catch-all forum. If a moderator thinks there is a more appropriate location for your posting, it will be moved, but your notification with a link to your posting will still work.
2. Click on the Post New Thread button at the upper right corner of the page.
This will load a form where you can enter your posting text and photos.
3. Enter a descriptive title for your message in the title line.
This helps people with an interest in or knowledge about your topic know that they want to look at your posting.
4. Enter your message in the big message box.
With their first message, most people ask questions (as opposed to starting a conversation / discussion). To help others answer a question, be sure to include enough description and relevant details. If you want to add one or more photos, click the Upload a File button under the message area. There are instructions for that in the Attach photos and files thread. Note that the photos need to be your own, or ones specifically licensed for sharing.
5. Click on the Create Thread below the message box.
That's it! Here is a video that demonstrates this.
Still feeling a little uneasy about doing it right?
Experiment with posting and the forum tools by doing a test posting in The Test Bed. You can practice uploading photos too.
Do note that other forum members cannot reply to your posts in The Test Bed.
Reply to a posting
The process is similar to doing a posting in a new thread. After the last posting, in the blank area that says Write your reply..., type in what you want to say, and click Upload a File to add photos if you want. Further instructions follow, but an important thing to note: you need to click the Post Reply button for your reply to be saved.
To quote message text in your reply:
If you want to reply to specific text in a message in the thread, you can highlight the text you want to quote, and a popup will appear under that text that says Quote/Reply. Click that, and the code for the quote will appear in the posting reply area, ready for you to start typing your reply.
If you want to reply to specific text in more than one message, position your cursor in your message where you want the new quote to go and do it again - highlight something else and click the Quote/Reply button.
OR, you can click the Reply text at the end of all the messages to which you want to reply. That will put all the text from those messages in your reply area. You can then type after each message your reply to that message. You can even delete some of the text in the quotes that is not relevant to your reply. Be sure to not remove the [ QUOTE ] and [ /QUOTE ] tags.
Here is a video that shows the two basic reply methods.
I'm not sure what + Quote (Toggle multiquote) does, the option before Reply at the end of messages. It seems to take you to the same entry screen you get to when you click More Options ... . That effectively prevents you from doing another quote in that message. It's hard to guess what the advantage of that would be. Well, it does the quote and takes you to More Options ... in a single step, and you can do your typing and previewing there.
Complete your reply
When you think you are finished, you can click More Options ... if you want to preview your message, or, most importantly, when you are really finished, click the Post Reply button.
If you clicked More Options ..., your options are Reply to Thread, Upload a File, or Preview... . Preview will show you what your finished posting will look like. You cannot type in the preview area, but under that, you will see an entry area just like the one you were typing in, and you can make changes there.
This screen is also where you can change the default options to watch your thread (have it come up under Watched Threads) and/or be notified when someone replies.
No need to put your email address in the posting. You can put contact information you want to share with people in your profile (Click your user name at the upper right, select Personal Details).