- Author: Nancy Forrest
Ever hear of benign neglect? The term is used frequently in politics, psychology, and the medical world. Basically, it is an attitude or policy which by ignoring an issue or problem will benefit it more, than trying to solve it. But in gardening?
Perhaps it means that it's okay not to take immediate action…let nature take its course. In the garden, sometimes not watering and fertilizing constantly is a good thing. Plants can suffer from too much love. Over the years I have had plants indoor and out that looked like they were dying, only to discover that when I thought they had died and I left them alone, they came back in abundance. Several were drought tolerant and I was over-watering them, others I had over-fertilized. The UCD website has a list of plants that are drought tolerant which do well with minimum care. I happen to have some of them. They seem to thrive by my not interfering with their care; Aloe Vera, Jade, Rosemary, String of Pearls, Mint, Orchids, and Succulents.
- Author: Mike Gunther
Crepe Myrtles Blooming
Great news ON NOT OH increased funding
Getting Back to Normal
- Author: Kathy Low
Citrus trees grown from seed are usually used as rootstock, because they do not grow true to type, are not as prolific, and can take up to ten years before bearing fruit. But still, I thought it might be fun to try growing citrus seeds. So a couple of months ago I planted some yuzu seeds. To my delight, they sprouted. Hoping it just wasn't a fluke, I decided to plant some lemon seeds and they also sprouted.
It turns out growing citrus seeds is relatively easy. To grow citrus seeds, remove the seeds from citrus fruit. Be sure to remove any pulp that may be stuck to the seeds. Soak the seeds for at least 24 hours in a bowl of water to soften the seed coat. Discard any seeds that float.
Next, remove the seed coat. You can use manicure scissors or nail clippers to clip off the end of the seed to make it easier to remove the seed coat. I soaked my yuzu seeds for 3 days before using manicure scissors to help break the seed coat. But for my lemon seeds, I only had to soak them overnight before I could break off the seed coat using my fingernails.
Plant the seeds about half an inch deep in potting soil. Keep the soil moist. The seeds require temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and will germinate within two weeks.
As far as my citrus seedlings are concerned, I will eventually use them as rootstock so I can try my hand at grafting again. As for my yuzu seedlings, considering a few years ago when I purchased my then one-year-old yuzu tree it cost me approximately $50 after shipping, I plan on growing one or two of the seedlings as fruit trees. Even if they do not produce 100% true-to-type fruit, it will be worth it. Plus, the trees will provide me with a single positive memory of the first year of the pandemic.
- Author: Launa Herrmann
- Author: Maureen Clark
Is it a fish? Are we talking about a piano? Are we talking about REO Speedwagon? No, not in this instance.
It's the Opuntia cactus. The fruit is called Tuna, Prickly Pear, Sabra, and Cactus Apple.
I love this cactus for its fruit. It's a jolly red color when it's ripe. To pick the fruit you need to be very careful! It's spiny! First, you have to chop the tuna off the plant. Bring a long, sharp knife. I use two sets of goat gloves (the spines are very small and get into your skin). And newspaper inside of a bag to transport them.
So, once I've wrangled my tunas off the plant and brought them home. Now what to do with them? Still using my gloves, I use the back of a knife and scrape the bristles off, then cut the skin off. I like to puree the fruit in a blender. I feed the fruit (spines removed) sparingly to my tortoises, I make my famous Prickly Pear syrup and use it for pancakes and drinks. If you have extra syrup you can always freeze it.
The spines are a nuisance. The Opuntia have bigger spines and small bristles (Glochids) with backward-facing barbs in the areoles. Which easily get caught under your skin. So How do I remove these nasty spines and bristles? I use tweezers for the big spines. For the bristles I apply white craft glue, then a thin layer of gauze. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes, then slowly peel it off. Sometimes you have to apply it a couple of times. Duct tape is my second choice when I don't; have glue. I've also used my pruners to scrape off the bristles when I'm in the field. I've read that Nylon stockings and body wax work too, but I've never tried them. Wash the area well and apply antibacterial cream after you've removed the intruders.
Happy Tuna Wrangling!