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Visits (starting Dec 29, 2011)

Sun Spot Returns.


It’s not as big as it was when it first turned our way, a  couple of weeks ago. Don’t complain it is still rather large.

The sunspot will continue to move across the sun over the next few days, so get out the dark glasses during the day, and then watch the lovely northern light shows produced by it in the evening.

Hey, my Freindly Reporters predict that they will be fantastic,
----- Yep, they are normally right


Big Box Boom

The Big Boxes shop all over the world, looking for new food plants, and in the past couple of years they have added new  edibles like Northern Tundra Haskap berries (Lonicera caerulea), and Pinot Meunier grapes.

They’ve also introduced hardy figs and grafted tomatoes to Canadian gardeners for the first time.

We growers have always grown woody plants that have been grafted onto compatible root-stocks (eg. Roses, Most Shrubs,  Apple, Pear,  and Plum  trees must be grafted to hardy root stock to survive our winters.)  Last year we took this progress a step farther.

We realized vegetables can also be grafted in much the same way. Hey, as early as the 1920s, watermelons were grafted onto squash root-stock in Korea and Japan to combat soil-borne diseases.

Since then, grafting  vegetables from the Solanaceae Family (tomatoes, peppers and eggplant) has become common practice in the Far East, and more recently in Italy, Spain and France.

Tomato cultivars grafted onto “wild” root-stock produce stronger plants that grow up to 2 metres tall, and look more like dwarf fruit trees than tomato vines. Yields are significantly higher than with non-grafted plants and the harvest period is longer. The root-stock is resistant to nematodes and many soil-borne diseases, resulting in healthier vines.

But what I like is, 'grafted tomatoes stand up to our temperature extremes, our summer drought, and our alkaline soil.'  Hey, even nutrient and water uptake is enhanced, resulting in larger fruit.

   --- This is nothing short of a new agricultural revolution!


Jade Princess

Jade Princess is the latest millet, bred for it's ornamental qualities. It's a neat sun foliage plant, with intense chartreuse leaves that contrast with the fragrant dark brown upright plumes. It is sterile, so no seeds are produced.

  • Zone:Treat as Annual
  • Height: 36-48"
  • Spread: 20-24" Habit: Upright and Mounded
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Moisture: Just Moist.

 This beast is a perfect plant, when used as a point plant in large circuler beds. It also is a nice sized center plant, when used in a container, planted with up-right, and/or trailing plants. What I like is, it blooms for about fourteen weeks, and the fact that it's sterile.

    ---- so no seeds are produced!


Survey Says

Yep, more than twenty-five percent of texting drivers believe they can easily do several things at once, even while they are driving.

The telephone survey of 1,004 U.S. adults was released by AT&T Inc. as part of an anti-texting-and-driving campaign. AT&T designed the survey with David Greenfield, founder of The Centre for Internet and Technology Addiction and a professor at the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine.

The survey came as AT&T expanded availability of a free app that silences text message alerts and activates automatically when a person is moving 24 km/h or faster.  (Yep and passengers can turn it off.)  Apparently the DriveMode App is coming to iPhones after being  available on Android and BlackBerry phones.

The study, done in May, was of cellphone owners between 16 and 65 who drive nearly every day and text at least once a day. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

David Greenfield said, the survey is the latest to show a discrepancy between people’s attitudes,
   --- and their real actions!


Bed Time

Yep, today we put the remaining trees and shrubs to bed for the winter.


We lay the beasts on their side, and stack them with their pots on the outside, and over lap the trees/shrubs on the inside of the pile.

Then we cover them with a special wintering blanket, which is white on one side so it does not absorb the suns heat. The bottom is black to radiate the grounds limited heat, until the entire lot is covered with snow.

    ---- And that's how they survive our nasty winters!


Halloween Lights

There are those who need to create a new flourish of lights for the Christmas Season.

Apparently it’s a must do for Halloween as well.

    ---- Hey, I think that’s rather neat!