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12 responses to “Intraterrestrial E-Flights of Fancy

  1. Ralph ⋅

    It looks like I’ll be making a trip to the ‘burg tomorrow. Someone told me about a fairly new Uruguayan restaurant there which serves some authentic Uruguayan dishes made with free range/ grass fed meats, hand made pastas, and vegetarian selections. I checked out their website which has quite a few pictures, menus to download, and the place looks real nice. There’s an out back dining area which we hope to make use of. Followed by a walk, and watching a movie (probably Dark Shadows) at a theater I still have to choose it should be a nice day of being out and about.

    And there’s more! Prior to the urban safari, a friend who recently moved now has some garden space! She asked if I had any plants (I jokingly asked if she had overalls and a pitch fork) to start up a small garden. Aside from some small carrot plants I started, I don’t have much more than seeds right now- but you can do a heck of a lot with a handful of seeds. It looks like it should be an enjoyable day walking on, and with hands in terra firma.

    • Revel

      Wow, it looks very inviting, and the food looks super delicioso! How was it??

      Very exciting to be helping your friend establish her garden. I have plenty of seeds if any more are needed. I have so many seeds, in fact, that I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some starter plants even if I don’t have room for them, since someone else might. It’s a thought. I’m still not quite there yet, as I’m just getting the garden that “is to be” established now. Since I’m simplifying from last year, I just might have the time/energy to do a few extra plants. It will be late in the season for some, but right on time for others. Like my neighbor’s son said one time when he came to check out the garden, it’s never too late to garden.

  2. Ralph ⋅

    The nice weather has finally brought on the gardening ‘bug’. I’ve planted some seeds, did a little relocation of of some plants, and have about a dozen tomato seeds from the seed exchange growing a la egg carton.
    One of the two banana plants I split is looking pretty bad, the other is picking up. It looks like there may be the beginning of another banana off the original plant.
    The red ti branches are very slow to get started, but a couple are growing. The last two cuttings are in water waiting on roots to form.
    As advertised, my ‘giant’ Saguaro cacti are growing ever so slowly. They can reach 70 feet tall, but at the rate they are growing I won’t be around to see them reach half that. One nice thing is that when you forget to water them they don’t seem to mind in the least. I wait until their containers feel light from drying out then give them some water. It seems to be an agreeable method for them.
    Despite a lot of half yellowed leaves the bamboo is adjusting to being outside 7×24. It’s color darkened from when it was inside and it seems to be growing more stems. I still have to get some wood cut to make a larger planter for it to spread out.
    The mini strawberries are coming back, and I had a couple in salad already, along with a couple scallions.
    Although brief, I have been making notes in my garden journal. It’s very basic but so far it seems sufficient enough to keep track of things. Well, time to sign off and take a ‘tour of the grounds’. One drawback of the egg carton starter tray is it dries out pretty fast and has to be checked for water often.

    • Revel

      I also have a few tomato seeds going in cartons. I’m not sure how successful the seeds I saved last year will be. Aimee over at Red Garden Clogs said when I saw her a few months ago that she wasn’t having luck with them. I’ll have to check in with her again and see if they did anything. I am testing out the “float test” to predict whether seeds will sprout. I’m doing double duty by putting the seeds in a bleach/water solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) for ten minutes before planting them in the potting mix. So for each varietal I have, I am soaking half before seeding and the other half not at all. Very few of the seeds have sunk so far in the solution, which is not a good sign. If it floats, that’s supposed to mean that the seed is empty and there is therefore nothing to sprout. On the other hand, I’ve been checking it out online and hearing from a good number of people who say the test is unreliable. Therefore, I’m planting them whether they sink or float. I’ll be reporting the results and, based on my findings so far, I hope they sink the float test.

  3. alli as in right there. alli alla!!!! ole!

  4. Ralph ⋅

    I am pretty sure I have planted every variety of tomato seed I got from the seed exchange. Surprisingly after a couple days almost all of them were growing. The Rutgers and Brandywines haven’t grown yet, but they may need a little more time to get started. As for selecting the seeds, the first ones to fall out of the bag got planted- random selection.

    I’ve heard of the float test but never tried it. For some reason I seem to recall using a solution of water and copper sulfate, but I may be wrong- and bleach is probably a safer choice anyway. If my small random sampling of tomato seeds is an indicator, the seeds are viable- with the jury still out on the Rutgers and Brandywine.

    If you want to experiment a little with the float test try adding a little more bleach to the water, maybe 1 to 8 parts water. Making the solution denser will help the seeds float easier and so long as the solution isn’t too dense it should still be able to sort the seeds. This is a guess, but I would think not all types of seeds have the same density and the solution would have to be adjusted some for different types of seeds. When I get some time to play I will try weighing individual tomato seeds and see how much the weight varies. Although much more time consuming, weighing the seeds should be able to ‘weed out’ the empty ones. I think my scale should be able to weigh one seed- I’ll find out when I give it a try.

  5. Ralph ⋅

    I misread what you said, try adding less bleach to make the solution less dense making the seeds easier to sink. A solution too dense will tend to make more seeds float. I just checked and bleach is more dense than water. If you feel like playing, throw the seeds in a measured amount of plain water- I am guessing most will sink. Slowly add and stir in measured amounts of bleach until your seeds start floating- or wait until I try out my scale 🙂

  6. Ralph ⋅

    As is usually the case our plans made some last minute changes. The new garden is delayed a week or two.

    For dinner at Tabare we had the Chivito completo and the Churrasco as main courses. Check the menu at for descriptions. Both were very good with the meat cooked as we ordered it. We ordered a bottle of wine which we asked the waitress to suggest since without a description of what each wine tastes like my choices are purely random. She brought us 2 small glasses of the wine to try before we ordered the bottle. Before any food was served, the waitress brought out a small loaf of hot, nicely browned, crispy crusted, delicious bread with a small dish of olive oil mixed with parsley (not too sure if it was parsley) for dipping. The bread was quite good even plain. For appetizers we had the Chorizo con cebolla & pimientos and the Provoleta, both very tasty- the bread slices with the Provoleta nice and crispy. We got to sit outside in back of the restaurant as we were hoping with the nice weather. It is safe to say we will be eating here again. Toward the end of our meal we were in a bit of a rush and passed on desert because ….

    we first went to the Nitehawk theater to buy tickets for a later show and it was getting close to seating time. Dark Shadows wasn’t showing there so we opted for The Dictator instead. So, back after a really nice and enjoyable time, the watch cat was waiting for us making it known he was looking for some attention. After apparently having his fill he just walked away off to do whatever watch cats do when you can’t see them.

  7. Ralph ⋅

    Without stirring abroad
    One can know the whole world;
    Without looking out the window
    One can see the way of heaven.
    The further one goes
    The less one knows.
    – Lao Tzu

    “I know a bird can fly, a fish can swim, and an animal can run. For that which runs a net can be made; for that which swims a line can be made; for that which flies a corded arrow can be made, But the dragon’s ascent into heaven on the wind and clouds is something which is beyond my knowledge. Today I have seen Lao Tzu who is perhaps like a dragon.”
    – Confucius

  8. Ralph ⋅

    I was looking for some information on house plant problems and came across this:

    Click to access pp744.pdf

    If you have excess seeds you may want to take a reasonable amount of each and put them away. Some people buy pre-made ‘seed banks’ which contain a variety of specially packed food and herb seeds to be used in case of a disaster. While I wouldn’t go so far as to buy something like that, it’s not a bad idea to keep some excess seeds stored away in case something happens to some of your plants and you don’t get to collect new seeds this year. I think of that as ‘garden insurance’, not for a disaster but for all the many reasons one or more plants in the garden don’t survive to produce seeds. I have a pretty small cardboard box I use for that purpose and it keeps everything together for easy locating.

    Still no sign of my Brandywine and Rutgers tomato seeds growing. I haven’t checked to see how long they take to germinate, they could be slow starters. The other varieties are getting their ‘true leaves’ already. I still have to try weighing some tomato seeds- I’ll post my findings when I do.

  9. Ralph ⋅

    I tried weighing some tomato seeds earlier. There was no obvious connection between weight and germination, but weighing is not the same thing as the float test- and I couldn’t quite weigh a single seed. A single tomato seed was a bit too light for my scale. Just in case someone happens to ask how much a tomato seed weighs, you can tell them 0.00014 ounce.

    • Revel

      Thanks! Good know/note. I’m not noticing a correlation between the floaters/sinkers and the baby plants that are sprouting up. I remember reading on some site that it might not work so well with tomato seeds, and I’m thinking maybe that commenter was right, since it’s made no particular impact on my plants so far. Will continue to keep you posted…

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