By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Patient readers, as Yves accelerates away from New York, I have taken on more posting duties, and I will complete Water Cooler after having completed a post on the Poor People’s Campaign. My extra posting duties will be complete as of this evening, but I am traveling next week, and my posting will be random on Monday and Tuesday, and then sputter out until July 4 is over, though I will do as much as I can. –lambert P.S. Adding, that the cat seems to have gone off somewhere, so I’m very worried about foxes, which we have in abundance this year, although it seems unnecessarily. Perhaps the cat is simply visiting someone else.
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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (Samuel Conner):
Samuel Conner writes:
This image is the main “get the plants big prior to gifting/planting” area; in this image are (in no order) Tithonia, lettuce, spinach, sweet basil, rosemary, hummingbird mint, swamp and purple milkweed, radishes, purple coneflower and of course tomatoes and peppers. Quite a bit of badly maintained lawn too, but that will gradually be replaced with something more useful.
I got off to a late start and had some initial bad germination results, so nothing is in the ground yet, though this year I’m using containers for lettuce and radishes and eventually spinach (getting late, though), so I will get some food before the main “in-ground” plants are producing. The benches in this image are made of plain dimensional lumber and inverted terra cotta pots; this seems to do a pretty good job of flummoxing the slugs — I’ve found some dried up slugs in the saucers under one of the large lettuce pots. At the lower right corner are the two “prized” Purple Milkweed, which have over a dozen blossoms forming, and also loads of aphids, which are betrayed by the ants that swarm over them. Frequent inspections and water spray for the aphids will probably be needed for the rest of the season. But that will also permit early detection of Monarch larvae, which can be moved to more numerous and less valuable milkweed varieties.
A tip for Rosemary germination: I’ve found that Rosemary does not germinate well in starter medium. But it goes great guns in damp humid warm lit conditions in a DIY humidome: use a clean plastic chinese takeout container with clear lid; very damp paper towel in the bottom and damp coffee filter on top of that. Seeds on the filter paper. Fasten the lid on tightly and set in a bright warm spot, and check daily. I started loads of seed hoping for a dozen plants, and got 200. This works well with other seeds too, especially tiny ones that produce very vulnerable seedlings, like mint and oregano. I’m still learning how to keep the seedlings alive after moving them to starter medium, however.
I have way too many plants but most will be given away. Among the gifts this year are loads of perennial butterfly and hummingbird attractors, which will reduce the need in future years
There are loads of great tips, here. And giving plants away is really good for one’s karma, I think.
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