Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 2015 Second Edition

Come on in.
Unm let's start with …
time, and end with what has come up!

Opening Words

I am probably not like many other persons who set their time to the conventions of a fixed calendar.  Yes, I do know that the Julian Calendar exists; as well as a half dozen other calendars which are actively used on this planet.  However my calendar is one of seasons and changes in nature.  Farmers have watched this cycle over the millenniums of years; tt is the original calendar.   To be more specific my calendar watches the Hosta (not surprising is it). and goes from when the hosta spikes rise from the ground each spring.   This calendar is more irregular to the other things around us.  it is regulated by the heat of the sun and rains from the sky.  When the first spikes are seen - year becomes the nest, and the cycle begins again.  Many of you are gardeners; which calendar do you follow the one made by man, or the one set by the motions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon?

This year I have been impatient for the spikes to rise.  According to my records last year my hosta came up 30 days after the last of the snow left my garden in 2014.  I have no assurances that will happen this year.  Ground moisture. solar heating, and spring rains will dictate when those little, small, green, spikes will be visible again.  Between those moments of snow melt and first spike time seems to stand still.  I sometimes must force myself to remember that between those measurable points in time the temperature does rise 30ºF/16.55°C to that [magic. maybe remarkable] moment when the very first spikes are seen again.  The year will again move to the next at that moment. snd the cycle will start again.

General Questions for General Gardeners

To your left near the top of the page I have two questions.  These questions are a beginning of a series of questions that will be asked over the growing months.  At first these might seem self serving, but as the months go by you will find more and more general questions about hosta gardening.  These questions are not about changes in gardening habits bur rather gathering trends in gardening habits and comparing notes between gardeners at the scale of world input.

The first deals with renaming my cartoon - quite self serving; or is it?  If you answer the question are you showing more of what type of humor you have?  Many hybridizers have that odd sense of humor; but does the average gardener have a sense of humor - or am i the only one?  (looks around carefully).

The second question has to do with survival of my own hosta in my garden.  Again is that self serving; or does this challenge the gardener ask themselves if they are optimists or not.  It also may reflect what kind of success YOU have in your own garden with hosta annually.  Does the average hosta grower even worry about their plant loss annually.

I hope as the growing season continues that you will consider the questions I pose, and consider answering them.

A Very Small Victory… But A Victory None-the-less

I'ld like to think that I am good friends with the company HostasDirect, Recently they noted in their April 4th edition of their e-mail that the USA "… EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) just started a moratorium on neonicotinoids. …". For many of us in the gardening, agriculture, and horticultural communities that's good news. It is news that says that this department of the USA recognizes that neonicotinoids pose a danger to over 100,000 other GOOD insects and animals that do the work of pollination of plants.  On the forefront of that risk are bees.  Readers must note that while the EPA has a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoids this is not a prohibition of the use of neonicotinoids. This sets the stage for the USA House and Senate to take up legislation prohibiting the use of neonicotinoids - if they wish to.

I can hear some of you ask, "What ARE neonicotinoids?", "Why are they dangerous?", and "Why should i care?" The questions are valid, but to understand the implications the reader MUST understand cause and effect which occurs within the natural ecological cycles of our planet. I am about to touch on some of them, but to make a full statement of the situation it would take a several hundred page college level thesis; and this blog does not have space for that; but in simple terms it goes like this:

Neonicotinoids (Neonics) are a classification of pesticides that are used to combat against pests that effect plants and large crops. They are this millenniums DDT.  Neonicotinoids have been demonstrated (on both sides of the Atlantic) to be harmful to and estimated 100,000 species of animals that aide in the process of pollination.  The plant population effected is estimated at the very least 10% of the plants globally.

Between those two numbers that may sound like very little; but the impact of the lose of those populations (plant and animal) causes a cascading effect of collapse which could effect over 1/4 of the global ecosystems.  To put this in perspective we as humans have a life style that we have gotten to enjoy. We like good food, good clothing, good medicine, good 'extras' around us.  The problem is that many of those same categories are driven by available;plants and animals that we depend on; and many times never think about.  To take the issue of food a bit further … how many of the foods that you eat are dependent on pollinators for reproduction? Consider for a moment that many meats you eat are also dependent on plants that must be pollinated. Think about your clothing while your at it.

No these are not wild associations to try to make an bad argument sound good; the fact is that they are REAL and draws a line of co-dependencies between animal, to plant, to animal, to human. Our purses, backpacks and leather goods can also be traced the same way.  We live in world where we have realized that artificial productions of goods ,and synthetic materials MIGHT pose a significant risk to humans; and now we face simultaneously the fact that we are obligated to the proper care and maintenance of the planet.  It nearly sounds like were trapped, but we're not.  Humans can make informed choices and decisions.

We can/and must live with planet Earth, and we can continue this fight to defend Earth by working towards the removal of neonicotinoids in our agricultural cycles. I would encourage readers around-the-world to advocate for the total elimination of these pesticides. Where DDT is still in use in other nations I would encourage the elimination of its use as well. Saving the pollinatorss,  and the world,   can lead to humans to become better stewards for planet we know as Earth.

A Little About 'Patented Plants' and 'Patented Plants'

Gardening is not the same as what your parents might have done.  Since 2000 you as an average gardener needed to be aware of the terms above.  By understanding those terms you can keep yourself and possibly your garden out of trouble and prevent a visit to your local courthouse.  The link below is an excellent read on this topic and is written in plan English so it is easy to understand (for those who read English).  For those who are not US citizens these laws and their ramifications also apply for you as well so every gardener must learn about this aspect of gardening in this day and age.

The First Half of the Blue Mayhem Project …

Some of you might remember the first half of the Blue Mayhem Project with hosta Frosted Mouse Ears(2), Popcorn(1), and Liberty(2) where these were grown to see if they could survive the winter inside .  Each one slowly died back probably due to the temperatures beside the window they were at.  As winter moved on I let these become dry for the passing of winter dormancy. We're about to find out if these became TOO dry and died, or if they still have some life left in them.  These have been given water and are being placed outside for the spring heat.  We'll know by the next issue of HostasByKelley if life still exists in those planters.  The bathroom tub right now a utter mess …

2015 Hosta Survival
It's a zoo out there!

     Name                  Count      Spiked    Scaped    Flowered  Faded   x
1    Blue Mammoth          4d as 2r   00/00/00  00/00/00  00/00/00  00/00/00
2    Brooklynn's Baby Doll 1r
3    Chartreuse Wiggles    2d          4/14/15
4    Dancing Queen         2d
5    Dixie Chickadee       5d
6    Dragon Tails          2r
7    Emerald Tiara         4d          4/14/15
8    Faithful Heart        5d          4/13/15
9    Frosted Mouse Ears    2d          4/11/15
10   Gemstone              1r
11   Golden Tiara          4d
12   Gorgon                1r
13   Hacksaw               1d
14   Holy Mouse Ears       2d
15   Imp                   2c          4/11/15
16   Irish Mist            1r
17   Itsy Bitsy Spider     2d
18   June                  1r
19   'kinbotan'            1d          4/11/15
20   Lemon Lime            1d          4/11/15
21   Little Devil          4d as 2c
22   Little Sunspot        2d          4/11/15
23   Masquerade            1c          4/11/15
24   Mighty Mouse          1d
25   Popcorn               1d
26   Princess Wu Wu        1d
27   Rainbow's End         1r
28   Stiletto              1r          4/14/15
29   Sum and Substance     7d as 1r
30   T-Rex                 1d
31   The Razor's Edge      1d
22   'venusta'             1r          4/11/15      
33   Vulcan                2d as 1r
34   X-Ray (first up 2014) 4d as 1r

Season total at this time is: 12 : 34     35% x

Hosta Noes

Since I am re-writing I've lost the notes for the April 1 to April 7 time period.

April 8 to April 14:  Pulled the first weed on April 11th.  I had to be careful that is was not Lemon Lime being early.  The hosta can't be to far off now…. well actually from my recollection about 2 to 3 weeks off based on that indicator.

late on April 11: Much to my surprise (as you can see above) I've got hosta spiking all over the place!  This is about 3 weeks earlier than last year, and two weeks earlier than what I had predicted.  I am calling it a EIGHT way tie for first up this year!  If all of these came up nearly simultaneously I have to begin suspecting this may be a better year for hoeta than what I thought it would be. There's still a lot of time so many more can come up.

Masquerade is so far the biggest surprise as it did not succeed some years back.

Both clumps of Imp have survived..

I generally expect Sum and Substance up when there are THIS many up.  No sign of it yet.  I am sure it is down there and waiting for its moment to  come up.  With the exception of 'venusta', I also note that all of the plants that are up are smallish hosta - single division or very small clumps.  Also these plants are also those that are closer to the roof line and against the building.  I am uncertain if this says anything about why they survived.  'venusta' is a old reliable that hardly ever fails to return.

April 13: Faithful Heart is now up … I think what used to be 1 division has become quite a grouping of divisions 4 to 5 possibly.

April 14: The list grows as Emerald Tiara, Stiletto, and Chartreuse WIggles rise from their winter skeep.  With these three my garden has gone past the 1/3 success rate; with certainly more to come.

The next milestones for this garden is: 17th (1/2 up), the 23rd plant (2/3 up), and the 26th (3/4 up) emerging.  There's still time to post your guess for my gardens success rate for 2015.  Otherwise that's it for this round.

No comments:

Post a Comment