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The Garden
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:42 am    Post subject: The Garden
Subject description: horticultural thread
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Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

I know I am not the only one here who likes to grow a variety of plants so I thought it might be nice to have a
dedicated gardening thread. Here we can share photos, information, maybe seeds and whatever else fits in.

flower I hope you enjoy your stay flower

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Let me start with some background info of my gardening situation. I live in an apartment and have a small balcony
measuring 2.3 x 1.4 meters. I loose part of that space because of an outside swinging door but luckely it is located
in a corner, although it would have been nicer if it was on the other side. The balcony faces west with a partial wall
on the east side and since I don't live on the top floor it is covered from above too. Because of this it only gets a
couple of hours of full sun each day. There is also a large building across the street which blocks the sun when it is
low in the sky.

I grow a variety of plants including a bunch of nightshades, morning glories and the last couple of years I got into
pepper cultivation (which are actually nightshades as well). I will go into more detail about the different varieties later.
This year I also got my hands on some patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) seeds which I have been wanting to grow for
many years. I had 5 seeds and 2 of them sprouted (so far). The seeds are really tiny and so are the seedlings (about
1mm in diameter at first). They also seem to be very slow growers but it is a mint species and once they get growing
they can increase in size pretty fast, although I am not sure about patchouli. But at the moment they are still only a
couple of milimeters.


patchouli - 01.jpg
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Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
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patchouli - 05.jpg
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Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
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patchouli - 05.jpg



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

* THE WITCH GARDEN *

I've been growing some nightshade plants for a bunch of years. I started with datura and henbane for their 'psychoactive'
properties (although I won't use it) and this year I crancked it up a notch. I have a large black container that I will be
using for the nighthades and a couple of related plants. Here's the list:


* Datura stramonium (thorn apple, pricklyburr, moon flower, toloache, tolguacha, jimson weed, Jamestown weed,
stinkweed, locoweed, devil’s weed, devil’s trumpet, devil’s cucumber, hell's bells)


I have been growing these for many years now and use fresh seeds that I collect each year. Datura flowers, at least the
stramonium variety, are probably my favourite flowers when it comes to fragrance there is something very alluring about
the smell. Besides that the flowers are also very pretty and they turn into these dangerous looking spiked seed pods.


* Datura innoxia (recurved thorn-apple, downy thorn-apple, pricklyburr, moon flower, toloache, tolguacha, toloatzin,
lovache, nacazcul, Indian-apple)


This is the first year I'll be growing these or at least try (I received the seeds today Very Happy ). The leaves of these are rounder
than the stramonium (which has spiked leaves) and the flowers are larger.


* Datura metel (devil's trumpet, metel)

Also a first timer. The variety I'll be growing has double purple flowers.


* Datura wrightii (sacred datura)

This is the first Datura variety I grew. I think I only grew these once or twice when I still lived with my parents. I had some
nice big plants but haven't grown them since. So the seeds I used are very old and I am not really expecting any of those
to germinate, but since I still have so many of them I might as well throw some in the dirt.


* Hyoscyamus niger (henbane, black henbane, stinking nightshade)

I haven't grown these in the last couple of years so the seeds aren't very fresh and I don't know if they are still viable. but
as with the Dature wrightii I might as well give it a try. The flowers are actually quite pretty when viewed close-up and they
turn into stalks filled with nice looking seed pods.


* Nicandra physalodes (apple-of-Peru, shoo-fly plant)

I grow one or two of these each year or actually it grows itself and I allow a plant or two. Wink Apparently the seeds can
stay dormant for a couple of years so ever since I grew them I always find some sprouting in several pots and containers.
They can grow quite fast and the leaves are pretty big so I usually remove most of them. The seedlings are easy to
recognize, not just by the shape of their leaves but mostly because those have black specks on them. The mature plant has
nice white/purple bell shaped flowers which turn into lantern shaped seed pods that are first green with a black top and
contain what looks like a berry inside and eventually they turn light brown. The plant I had from last year still had a portion
of the seed pods intact so I used some seeds from those. They might stay dormant but since I usually let a plant grow in
that container each year there will probably be some seeds sprouting anyway.


* Atropa belladonna (belladonna, deadly nightshade, divale, dwale, dwayberry, death cherries, banewort, devil's
herb, devil's berries, beautiful death, great morel, naughty man's cherries)


Probably the most well known among the poisonous nightshade plants and one I've been wanting to grow for years. This
year I finally got some seeds to do so. Apparently they can be a bit tricky to germinate; first needing a warm period
followed by a cold period and then warm again. Today was the end of the first warm period and they are now inside
my fridge where they will stay for a couple of weeks. However, unlike most of the other nightshades I grow this is a
perrenial, so once I have a plant I should be able to keep it for years. If I do get a seed to sprout I will probably put it into
a seperate pot. This way I can easily shield it in the winter and refresh soil or repot when needed. It should also make it
stay a bit smaller and it makes it easier for me to refresh the soil and sow new seeds each year in the large black container.


* Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet, bittersweet nightshade, bitter nightshade, trailing nightshade, climbing
nightshade, woody nightshade, blue bindweed, amara dulcis, fellenwort, felonwood, poisonberry, poisonflower, scarlet
berry, snakeberry, violet bloom, trailing bittersweet)


Another first one for the garden. Like Atropa belladonna this is a perrenial and I've sown the seeds in a seperate container
which sits on a table next to the black one. However, this one is a vine so I made a trellis for it using some bamboo for
stability and a couple of old branches for decoration to give it a somewhat more natural look. (I also used them for something
else but more about that in a next part). It produces small purple flowers which turn into red berries.


* Nicotiana rustica (aztec tobacco, wild tobacco, ucuch, mapacho, thuoc lao)

I had some old seeds of these and I am not even entirely sure if it is Nicotiana rustica or another variety. But like the Datura
wrightii and the Henbane seeds I might as well try and see if some sprout. It is afterall another nightshade plant. (I did
actually order some fresh seeds for these as well)


* Artemisia absinthium (absinthe, absinthium, absinthe wormwood, wormwood)

Not a nightshade but of course a nice addition to a witch garden. These where also some very old seeds and if some do sprout
I'll probably place a plant in a seperate pot since it is a perennial. I've actually had a large plant in a pot for a couple of years.


* Mandragora officinarum (mandrake)

I actually don't have this one but it would fit in very nicely with the rest. I did try to grow it once but the plant died very young and
the seeds can be rather expensive. Maybe I'll give it a try some other time.


There are currently a bunch of seeds vigorously sprouting, I think some of those are daturas but there are also a lot of the
seedlings that don't look like nightshades. Those could be the Artemisia absinthium but is probably something entirely
different. There is some old soil in the container or maybe I've sown something else in there that I have already forgotten
about. I did sow some California poppies (after I got the seeds I discovered they are apparently also plants used in witch
craft) but I don't think I've sown any in that container. Of course this container is a bit small for all these plants but I am not
expecting that everything will sprout. Also I can always transplant some things to seperate pots. I actually like some daturas
in a small pot to take inside when they are in bloom.


More about the witch garden in the next post.


Datura (03-06-04).jpg
 Description:
Two Datura wrightti plants. The photo was taken when I still lived with my parents. The plants got bigger
than that and produced a lot of flowers and large thornapples. It is very likely that the seeds I have came
from those plants.
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Datura (03-06-04).jpg



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I found some more old Datura photos. Mostly Datura wrightii and one of a Datura stramonium Cool


Beeld001.jpg
 Description:
Not sure about the date on this one, but probably the same plant(s) as in the 3rd photo so 2004.
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Beeld001.jpg



Datura wrightii (08-06-2004) - 08.jpg
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flowering Datura wrightii.
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Datura wrightii (08-08-2004) - 03.jpg
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more Datura wrightii flowers.
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Datura wrightii (08-08-2004) - 03.jpg



Datura stramonium (07-08-2004).jpg
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Datura stramonium flower and seed pods.
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Datura stramonium (07-08-2004).jpg



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I will enjoy my stay I'm sure :-)

A poison garden is nice, them trumpet flowered nightshades are really nice looking ... my mother used to grow stuff like that, in fact she still has a many poisonous plants.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Any idea of what kind of plants she has growing ? (is she a witch ? Shocked )
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some DIY for the witch garden. I thought it would be nice to make a warning sign for all the poisonous plants I hope to be growing.
It is very unlikely that anybody will ever see it besides myself but it adds a nice touch to it. It's also in english which might not
make a lot of sense for where I live although I think it is still pretty clear what it means.

For this sign I needed some sort of material that would hold up well outside in varying weather conditions. Wood would woud be an
obvious candidate, after all trees are made of wood (or is wood made of trees ?). However, I don't know what the best way would
be to transfer a design onto it. I have had some succes doing this with PVA glue but I am not sure how well that would hold up
outside. Also I don't seem to have any suitable wood for it.

Next option would be painted metal or better yet; aluminium. I could use a toner transfer method for this which I also use for my
modular synth panels. However the aluminium sheet I have is rather thin and therefor very bendy but it was an option. Because
I have been working with copper the last couple of days (also for the witch garden but more about that later) combined with the
idea of using a toner transfer, something else came to mind:

Copper-clad board (unetched PCB). It looks nice, I can easily do a toner transfer to it, it is sturdy and most importantly I've had
2 boards laying around for many years which I will probably never use anyway. It's also easy to cut to the right size and should hold
up pretty well outside, although it isn't the glass fiber type.

I started with making a design for it using photoshop. After a while I had something that was nice but looked a bit too official and
more like something you would find in a national garden than a (private) witch garden. Mostly because of the font but I also found
a much better suiting skull graphic. So I searched for a different font using the term 'Harry Potter font' (that should work, right?!)
and found a couple suitable fonts. I settled on one called Magic School which had just the right look to it. There where actually two
types contained in one package: Magic School One and Magic School Two. I used One for the main portion of the text and Two for
the word 'Death'.

I also wanted some sort of frame around it or mount it onto something else since a single piece of copper-clad board doesn't yet
look like a sign. I rather quickly came up with the idea of using a photo frame for this. Not only does it add a nice frame around it
but the glass gives it some extra protection and sturdiness. The next day I found two old nice looking metal photo frames at a thrift
store (€ 0,50 each) that seemed like a suitable candidate.

The frames where a bit larger than I had originally planned for so after I had made my choice I had to adjust the design to the new
dimensions. (I actually got the frames before I found the new fonts so had to change it anyway) I cleaned the copper with a solution
of salt and vinegar which removes copper oxide pretty good and works fast. The first transfer came out OK but I wasn't completely
satisfied with it so I cleaned the board and did another one which came out better looking. I then coated it with some clear coating to
protect it from oxidation and it also gives the transfer a bit of extra protection.

I cleaned the frame with some steal wool and also used vinegar and salt again. I'm not sure if this had any added effect or it was just
the steel wool but it worked pretty well in cleaning in. It didn't look completely right in combination with the copper and the black
transfer so I painted it black, which turned out to be a pretty good choice. Razz

I still needed something to mount the sign. I had been thinking about maybe using some small chains but I don't have any suitable
ones at the moment and I would still need something to hang it from. A (wooden) spike would be nice but how to mount it to the
back of the sign ? I don't want to put any screws through it so I'd have to glue it with some epoxy. However if I ever want to remove
it and maybe mount it some other way I'll probably won't be able to get it off without damaging the sign. So I started thinking about
something I could add to the back as a sort of sacrificial piece. It had to be very thin to fit in the frame so wood (even if I had it)
wasn't really an option. Thin aluminium might work but apparently I don't have any in the right size, it also might not be sturdy
enough.

The next thing I came up with was using part of an old (kitchen) cutting mat. The one I used also has a nice wood grain print on it
as an added bonus. I made a wooden stake, which I stained black, and used two thumb tacks together with some epoxy to mount
it to the piece of cutting mat. Well,.. that turned out to be somewhat of a failure. Apparently it is non-stick because the epoxy did not
stick to it at all. However, it did manage to secure the thumb tacks to the wood really well which I found out when I tried to remove
them. I am not sure how well it wil hold up but it feels like a pretty solid connection. It is also rather flexible but after using some double
sided adhesive tape to stick it to the back of the copper-clad sign it has become pretty sturdy. It still has a bit of flexibility but that might
not be so bad.

I am quite happy with how it turned out. It might still look a bit 'too official' but hey, I am not making a halloween prop.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ah, nice sign .. reminded me on this one : http://www.blarneycastle.ie/pages/poison-garden : there should be a list of what is in that garden somewhere btw .. but could not quickly find it .. it was on reading about that garden when I realized that my mother had several of those plants too. A which .. hmm .. I'll ask her Shocked
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hah, that is actually one of the signs I used as a reference, I didn't even notice it has a double border too untill now.
That is also the skull and crossbones that I used on my first version but I think the one I replaced it with is more fitting.
I'll have to check out that list,. or maybe I shouldn't since I have way too many plants already. Embarassed

This is also a nice poison garden. (video 1, video 2)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Something else I have been doing with copper is make some wiccan/alchemical ornaments after getting inspired by this video.
(great channel btw which also mentioned the vinegar/salt solution in another video) I first printed out the symbols on paper
which I used as a template to get everything to a consistent size. After cleaning and bending the wires I used some solder +
flux to solder everything together. And after everything was soldered together I gave them another clean and some layers
of clear coating. The pentacle was the most difficult one to solder because of all the pieces (might be fewer than you think
though) but I think it came out looking pretty good. I used some hemp twine to hang them from the old branches I used to
make the trellis.

btw I am not a self proclaimed witch. I don't worship the devil, eat babies, run around naked through the woods (which btw is
a common effect of datura use which is one of the main ingredients in flying ointments), use magic spells, believe in the
power of crystals (except when clocking a PIC) or concoct strange brews in a caldron. well, ok I do that last one from time to
time and I also celebrate equinoxes and solstices since I joined EM. But it's mostly just a theme I like and when you research
nigthshade plants you come across their usage by witches in folklore pretty quick. (I did enjoy the movie 'The Witch' btw)


Wiccan symbols - 01.jpg
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first row from left to right: Earth, a different symbol for Earth, Water
second row: Witch, Pentacle, Deadly/Poison
third row: Fire, Wheel of the Year, Air
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A couple more photos of how it looks at the moment. As you can see the sign is a bit large for the container which has an
inside diameter of roughly 55cm. The container on the left side contains the Solanum dulcamara seeds with the bottom of
the trellis next to it. There is a small witches broom in there, a piece of bark I found yesterday which has some nice moss
growing on it (would be nice if it would get some toadstools), and my 'voodoo stick' which is a bamboo stick with some
feathers and a skull on top. The skull is illuminated by a solar powered red LED which looks great in the dark. I used one
of those rock shaped solar light (visible in the right corner) and added a cable to power the LED. I also added a string of
fly agaric fairy lights which are also solar powered. In the dark they actually do look a bit like flames around a black caldron.
I might get a morning glory to climb around it.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

just a quick tip; the cover of a CD/DVD cake box spindle is very useful to make a small greenhouse/propagator.


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cake box spindle greenhouse.jpg



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

MORNING GLORIES



I noticed a couple of morning glories have sprouted, I guess they liked the increase in temperature, so here is some information about them.
Morning glories are fast growing vines with heart shaped leaves and trumpet shaped flowers which come in a variety of colors. One variety I
have been growing every year for over 10 years is one with white/pink flowers. When I originally got the seeds from someone they were
supposed to be Turbina corymbosa (Ololiúqui) but I am pretty sure that's not what it is. I've tried to find out what kind it is but haven't really
been successful yet. It could be an Ipomoea purpurea variety but those generally seem to have darker flowers. It also resembles some
photos I found online of the 'Candy Pink', and 'Pink Star' varieties. Whatever it is, it grows great each year with an abundance of flowers.


I am also growing the 'Flying Saucers' (Ipomoea tricolor) which has blue/white striped flowers and each one looks unique. Sometimes
they come out all blue or white. (you can see a photo of it behind the letter 'd' on the banner at the top) It was actually the first variety I ever
grew, mainly because of its alkaloid contents (there are many plants I've been growing for that reason, although I generally don't use them)
and of course the name.


Another variety, which I haven't grown before, is the 'Milky Way' (Ipomoea purpurea) with a name like that it sounds like a great
companion for the flying saucers. The flowers of these are white with maroon stripes. I came across them when I was looking for the Datura
inoxia seeds. Since they were very cheap I ordered them too and some more peppers & a tomato as well. This is often what happens btw.
I look for some seeds and then I come across some other ones that look/sound interesting, ending up with way more than I have space for.


And the last on the list is the classic 'Heavenly Blue' (Ipomoea tricolor). This one I have grown before and it gets beautiful bright blue
flowers.


The seeds that have sprouted so far are: 8x Pink, 4x Heavenly Blue, 1x Flying Saucers. I got the seeds for the Milky Way yesterday so I've
sown those today. I soaked them over night in a mix of water and hydrogen peroxide (3%) which seemed to have worked great because
some seeds had already opened up. I only want one or two of each plant but they first have to grow a bit larger before I can plant them out
and I will probably give the rest to my parents.


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I found a photo of some nightshades I grew in 2007 in the same container. As you can see the Nicandra physalodes can get
quite large if you let it grow, at least for the space I have (there are also 2 sunflower stalks in the background). On the right
side there is some Datura stramonium and in front some Henbane. There is also something else growing in there but I don't
remember what that was.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Lately my balcony has been creating a lot of buzz,.. literally. Bees are flying on and off contantly but they don't come
for the flowers since I don't have any growing yet. The bees I get here are European Orchard Bees (Osmia cornuta)
which are solitairy mason bees. They create chambers in tubular cavities in which they store pollen and lay eggs and
then they close them off with a wall of mud, hence the name mason bee. After the eggs hatch the larve consumes the
pollen and then spins a cocoon in which it will mature and hibernate untill early spring next year. And then the cycle
repeats.

So they are nesting on my balcony and they are very busy buzzing bees. Luckily for me they are absolutely not
aggresive and rarely sting. They just go about minding their own business when I am around. Sometimes they brush
against me and I had one land on me, but they are harmless and I enjoy watching them. (unlike wasps, I HATE wasps,
unless it is built around a 4069) They are mostly females but occasionally I spot a horny male buzzing around which
are smaller and have a small white 'mustache'.

One of the most popular nesting spots on my balcony is a bamboo wind chime, which I don't fully understand. It
hangs vertically and they seem to prefer horizontal spaces, it sways in the wind and in the summer it catches full sun
for a couple of hours making it quite hot. I did disable it from making sound though, that would probably drive them
nuts and me too actually.

Another popular spot is a bamboo trellis I made for growing morning glories and/or passionflower. Since it is made
out of a lot of bamboo stalks it has many openings and cavities, so there are probably a ton of bees hibernating in
there during winter.

I also have 2 bee/insect hotels. The first one was made by my dad a couple of years ago and it is just a piece of tree
trunk wih some holes drilled into it. The second one is also suitable for other insects and I got it a couple of days ago
when I was shopping for some other stuff. It was pretty cheap and with so many bees buzzing around I thought they
might appreciate some extra nesting space, which they do. Within minutes of hanging it on the wall it already got
visited. Very Happy Too bad they probably won't be flying around by the time I have my peppers flowering because they are
excellent pollinators.


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MusicMan11712



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

PHOBoS wrote:
I also have 2 bee/insect hotels.
Do you have the hotels "bugged" so you can record the audio?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Laughing
sadly not. I was thinking today that it would have been nice to have a set of those binaural mics you wear in/on your ears.
Maybe I can fix my old binaural microphone, although it did always have a bit of a humming problem. I wonder if a piezo
disc mounted on a hotel could pick something up but I don't really want to mess with them now. Another option might bee
to built another one (I bet the bees would be very happy with it) and incorporate a microphone (or two) right away.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think I should be able to built another one from some scrap wood. I am not going to incorporate a micrphone (well, maaaaybe a piezo)
but I do have an idea to add a mic. that can be easily removed. I don't know if it will get visited this year as the bees don't seem to be
very keen on freshly drilled wood.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I love to grow jalapeno peppers (outside), but recently I've had problems with earwigs that come at night and eat newly germinated sprouts. I came up with an idea that is working (though I'm not at all sure I'm the first to do this). I planted my seeds and then took empty clear soda bottles and cut the bottom off of them. I pushed the bottles into the ground about 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep surrounding the newly planted seed. This does two things - it forms a nice greenhouse (so you can plant early) and it prevents the earwigs from finding the new plants. Apparently, they don't try to get in through the open top. Once the plants are tall enough to have new leaves (not the cotyledons, actual leaves) the bottles may be removed. This is because at this stage, the plant's stem gets tough enough that the earwigs have no interest. I started this last year after planting nearly a whole packet of seeds, seeing them sprout and disappear the next day. This year, I've planted 3 seeds and have 2 plants, so the yield this way is much better.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ah good idea, I knew about using it as a greenhouse but didn't think about it also being useful to prevent bugs
from attacking your plants. I didn't knew earworms did that btw, they can actually be beneficial as pest control
but that's not very useful if they first eat up your plants.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

yeah, any pest really, bugs but also snails and slugs. I like the idea that I can plant outside near the end of winter. Heh - I just thought - I could put CO2 into the bottle with a drinking straw, just blow... Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Love this thread, amazing stories and descriptions PHOBoS! Very Happy flower
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks stefan Very Happy

JovianPyx wrote:
I could put CO2 into the bottle with a drinking straw, just blow... Cool

I've actually done that when I make cuttings. I put the pot or plastic cup in a resealable bag (large zip-lock)
and blow it up with a straw.


so, here's what I put together. It is a bit crooked but that shouldn't matter much, I just hope the bees will approve.
They seemed to be getting a bit desperate for nesting space today, so I tried to finish it as quickly as possible
and I just put it outside. So tomorrow when they wake up there will be a suprise!. I also added two bottom
compartments for other insects, the left one is filled with some twigs a bit of bark and some pieces of pinecone.
The right one has some dried sphagnum in it and I jammed the rest of the pinecone in there. (spirals!)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

~ PEPPERLAND ~

I had been growing some habanero peppers for a couple of years, at least I think that's what they are
the seeds came from some store bought peppers, but two years ago I decided to add some more food
to my balcony. So I tried to grow some more peppers and some tomatoes (also some potatoes, another
nigthshade, which was somewhat of a succes but takes up to much space). That was the first time I grew
some jalapenos and got to try them. Scott was right! they are indeed tasty peppers, although I think his
ones are probably a bit hotter since his growing condition are much more ideal for it.


so what do I have this year ? well, as with the nightshades I went a bit crazy. First there are some peppers
that I managed to overwinter from last year by keeping them behind a window in my bedroom. I have
2 Jalapeno plants, 2 Big Jims and 2 Chocolate Habanero plants, although I am not sure
if one of those is still alive, the other ones have started to grow some new leaves Smile I only got 1 actual
pepper on the Chocolate Habanero plants so I hope they will do better this year. With my growing conditions
I generally don't get a lot of peppers though but the jalapenos did do pretty well.


I also got a lot of new seeds (I ordered seeds before I knew if any of the plants survived). The first batch I
got are: Early Jalapeno (assuming they will produce fruits sooner), Banana peppers (I have a
thing with bananas which is why I also grow some tomatoes named 'Banana legs'), Little elf which is
more of an ornamental pepper with a lot of very small peppers but you can definitely eat them (the taste is
hot but very sharp like mustard) I got the seeds from ones I grew last year, Ghost pepper (bhut
jolokia) this was the hottest pepper in the world which is now the Carolina Reaper, although the Chocolate
Bhutlah is supposed to be even hotter.

I planted 6 seeds of each and they all sprouted Shocked However one of them couldn't get out of its seed hull
(helmet head) so it didn't survive. But that's still way more than I need. I start those indoors in february and
grow them under some CFL lights which seem to work pretty well. A couple of them are getting some yellow
bottom leaves though which could be from over watering, or maybe even under watering (that sounds
weird), but they are still growing fine. There is one 'little elf' which is already my favourite because it is
growing into a very bushy pepper creating lots of side shoots. Razz


When I ordered the Datura inoxia seeds I couldn't resist ordering some other seeds incl. some more
peppers: Purple Tiger which produces purple peppers and the foilage has some white in it,
Tinkerbell (I also have a thing with fairies) which is a mini bell pepper and Jamaican red hot
which, as the name suggests, should be pretty hot but also very tasty.


So that is 10 different varieties of peppers. I don't know if seeds will sprout from each but so far it is going
prety well. I guess I'll try putting 2 plants in one pot of each, they don't grow very big here anyway.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some updates.

First of all the bees, "No!, Not the beeees!" (sorry). The day after I put up their new nesting space there was
a drop in temperature and I didn't see any bees Sad Not sure if also killed some or if they just became inactive.
We had some warmer days the past weekend and there was a bit of bee activity again. They only seemed to
be interested in the new nesting space so I guess it is bee approved Razz It's a bit colder again at the moment
so there isn't much activitiy but I did make a photo in the weekend with a bee that was busy closing up a cavity.
(there were 3 closed at the end of the day).

Daturas: I found some datura seedlings sprouting in a pot which has a fern in it (that isn't shown any signs of live
yet) so I temporarily tranplanted them into a small tray. Once they have their first set of true leaves I will transplant
them into their final pots. I also received the datura metel seeds today which are now soaking in some water+peroxide.

Morning Glories: I mentioned that sofar 8x Pink, 4x Heavenly Blue, 1x Flying Saucers had sprouted. Well, the pink
ones where mostly above the ground the other ones just starting to poke through. Nothing happened much since
most likely due to the cold weather but also because I had actually planted all the seeds upside down. The pink
morning glories have round seeds with some flat spots but regular morning glory seeds are round on one end
and pointy at the other. I was thinking that if they would fall on the ground they would most likely get buried with the
pointy side down however the root grows from the rounded side. Because the root (and stem) are rather thick it has
a somewhat large radius when it has to grow back around into the ground and with the seeds not planted very deep
this meant they where sticking up through the ground. This, combined with the low temperature and very wet soil
caused them to pretty much rot away, except for one heavenly blue. Some look like they might still make it so
I dug those up and turned them the correct way around.

Since I have more seeds and it is still very early nothing is lost. I dug up all the other heavenly blue and flying saucers
seeds that hadn't sprouted yet and threw them out since they were just very soft and probably are just going to rot away.
For the new seeds I am doing it somewhat different. I usually use plastic cups which I fill with a mixture of 1 part coco coir
(the stuff that comes in compressed bricks) + 1 part regular potting soil and about 10%-20% perlite. After filling the
cups I put them in water untill saturated and let them drip out. Then I put the seeds in and put them in my TiT incubator
(I could give some more info about this if there is any interest). For pepper seeds this works great becaude they sprout
rather quickly and then I put them under some CFL lights. Because these give of some warmth they will also dry out the soil.

However the morning glories had been ouside in a propagator (small greenhouse) so the soil stayed very wet
which was causing the seeds to rot away. Some wet soil isn't necessarily bad for morning glories since they have
a rather hard seed coating which needs to be softened up but if the temperature stays to low they won't sprout.
After digging up the old seeds I first resaturated the growing medium with some fresh water but after that I used the
bottom of another cup to press a lot of it out so it was moist but not wet and then loosened up the soil. The new seeds
where presoaked in water + peroxide for a couple of hours and 6 of each planted this time with the pointy side up.
I then placed them on top of the lights I am using for the peppers for some bottom heat.

I soaked 9 seeds of each so with the remaing ones I did something different. I had been reading up a bit about
growing morning glories and came across another method which I wanted to give a try. Which is putting them in a
coffee filter inside a ziplock bag after soaking and storing them in a warm place. I have used this before for other
seeds but with just water and some tissue paper. The problem with this is that the roots can get entangled in it which
can cause them to break off if you want to transplant them. With a coffee fliter this is less likely to happen. So I folded up
a coffee filter, poured the remaing seeds with the water + peroxide through it and then put it into a ziplock bag which
I placed inside my incubator. This was only 2 days ago and I am already seeing some roots appear, so I might do this with
some of the milky way seeds too.

Peppers: The peppers are growing fine except for yellow leaves on some of the plants but I have some really great
looking ghost pepper plants. Some of the pepper plants are already developing flower buds Shocked I am expecting those
to drop off but we'll see what happens. Maybe I will top them anyway to get them a bit more bushy. I also replanted the
2 jalapenos from last year into some smaller pots and mixed in some homebrew compost. So now I can use the
larger pots to put a couple of plants in. I also wanted to do this with the chocolate habanero plants but the rootball
was filling up most of the pot and I didn't want to cut anything away so decided to leave them. 3 Purple Tiger and
1 Jamaican Red Hot have sprouted btw so I took those out of the incubator and placed them under a lamp.


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my favourite, very bushy "little elf" pepper
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