Toxic pesticides have been found in most of California's illegal pot farms


By —— Bio and Archives--October 1, 2018

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“As the leaves of autumn wither and fall, so has my own life become barren,” bemoaned a despondent Ludwig von Beethoven. Not so for gardeners in northern temperate climes. Fall is full of fun. In medieval England a mix of garlic and holy water drunk from a church bell was said to divest those possessed of demons—and in many parts of Canada it is municipal elections time . . . and at the end of the month deter witches by copying Ancient Greeks and hanging out strings of garlic.


Diversion No. 1

Canadians are being warned to brace for a winter that will be nasty, brutish and not at all short. The Farmers’ Almanac is calling for a grim winter forecast. Editor Peter Geiger told CTV News that it is based on mathematical and astronomical formulas.

Planted new perennials this season, perhaps even this fall? Yew, they are by their very name expected to last for many years to come—but only with some care for the first couple following installation. Weeding is especially necessary. Watch particularly for weed grasses invading the crowns. This means a finger job and, yes, down on hands and knees. As has been observed, gardening and religion are similar—only the language is different! Do not allow seeds to form. Clip away the decaying blooms—an act similar to the removal of defunct politicians known as ‘dead-heading’—to redirect energy into root growth. Cut away dead foliage for the same reason.

Diversion No. 2

Author Jilly Cooper revealed her joy of working nude in her 14-acre garden in Gloucestershire, UK as Caroline Donald shares a selection of gardens owned by successful people in a new book, discloses The Daily Mail

It’s once again time for the familiar foliar frolics. Raking leaves from lawns, beds and bushes is all part and parcel of gardening. Left in place, as Mother Nature does in forested areas, the leaves mat down, smothering competing growth. In the home garden, that means lawns and perennial plantings. Composted for a couple of years, though, there are few finer natural mulches than leaf mould. Exceptions are oak leaves and pine needles. Both create an acidic, or low pH, compost. Apply directly, freshly raked, under and around rhododendron, azalea and other broad-leaf evergreen specimens.

Diversion No. 3

Designed in Suzhou, China, and built without any nails, glue or screws, the New York Chinese Scholars Garden has trials, ponds, pavilions and bridges. And some happy visitors, too, suggests The New York Times, though perhaps not the place for Donald Trump.

Apple Day in England is celebrated a week before west of the Atlantic, on 14th October. What better place to recall it than at Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire. There in 1666 a young Isaac Newton, reclining under a ‘Flower of Kent’ apple tree in hi mother’s garden, was bashed on the bonks by a falling fruit—or so the tale goes. Thus inspired, Newton developed his famed theory of gravity. Like many such myths, therein lies a seed of truth. Newton himself spoke to relations and friends of gaining insight by descending apple. Not, however, being hit on the head, fortunately since ‘Flower of Kent,’ a rather tasteless cooking apple, are large. He spoke of his experience on the record with William Stukeley over a dinner in 1726. These writings remain in existence. The tree itself blew down in a storm early in the 19th-century but re-rooted itself. Grafts have spread to six continents, often commencing at the Fruit Research Station, East Malling, Kent. Not all are authentic, however. In 2016 the National Research Council in Canada discovered that its Newton trees were fake; they were replaced by the real article from York University stock in Toronto.

Diversion No. 4

Toxic pesticides have been found in most of California’s illegal pot farms. The pesticides are so powerful that a teaspoon can kill a bear, reveals Business Insider. Nine out of every ten illegal marijuana farms raided in California this year contained traces of powerful and potentially lethal pesticides. The highly toxic pesticide carbofuran found at these illegal farms is so powerful that a quarter-teaspoon can kill a 136-kg bear. The crackdown led to 95 sites and the removal of ten tons of fertilizer, pesticides and chemicals.

Flocks of turkeys face being euthanized by a merciful voting public. Would-be and veteran politicos face municipal election in many provinces across Canada this month—and a Quebec general election. October is also the hunter’s moon month and later perhaps horticultural hauntings and other gardening giddiness. Not that there is excessive events to distract from fall chores. The entire 30 days, according to one source comprise National Apple Month. Elsewhere the celebration is limited to a single day, 21st October strangely also Reptile Awareness Day. Could this be a remembrance of an apple, a snake, and a naive and naked young woman?

King John of England departed this life on 19 October 1216, his departure variously attributed bowlful of peas, unripe peaches, lampreys, or toad’s blood in his beer. Safer to celebrate Peanut Day on 13th—or, alternatively, perhaps World Egg Day or even No Bra Day. Likewise 22nd October is designated Nut Day—and also Mother-in-Law Day and 26th both Pumpkin Day or (should you be in the mood) Howl at the Moon Day. Phew—thank goodness for Halloween!


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Wes Porter -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Wes Porter is a horticultural consultant and writer based in Toronto. Wes has over 40 years of experience in both temperate and tropical horticulture from three continents.

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