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Watching things burn | Main | Ace of Spades Pet Thread, December 2
December 02, 2023

Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, Dec. 2

tnksgv cac.jpg

Hi, everybody! Did you survive Thanksgiving?

Hello Katy! A couple of shots, first is my Christmas Cactus, which turned out to be a Thanksgiving Cactus - exploded into bloom the day after Thanksgiving. (How do it know?)

Lovely flowers. We're here to answer that question:

The other is our Japanese Maple turning gold, and catching the morning sun. Hope you enjoy them! - Tom Servo

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This sets us off on a couple of fall leaf cartoons:


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Remember that some wildlife can eat leftover pumpkins:

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Edible Gardening/Putting Things By

Got my Tomato Growers Supply catalog. It will be time to plant mater seeds soon around here. This is Kosovo, an oxheart tomato.

This wonderful variety came from a former U.N. worker in Kosovo, who passed it down to Carolyn Male. Huge, deep pink heart-shaped fruit has a sweet rich flavor and is very meaty while still being juicy. Production is excellent and the tomatoes are simply beautiful, but it is the delectable and intense tomato flavor that really makes this one special. Tomatoes can grow up to 1 pound, with ranges from 10 to 18 ozs. Indeterminate. 75-80 days.

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This catalog also sells hybrid tomatoes, plus peppers and some other fruits and veggies.


Are you harvesting, tending or planting anything?


Ah, Nature

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Slime moulds don't only look fascinating, they're also much smarter than you'd expect! . .

Some slime moulds create efficient paths between food sources by imitating leaf veins - or railway networks, for that matter. In 2010, Japanese and British researchers fed a slime mould nutrients mimicking the Tokyo subway's nodes, resulting in a network resembling the actual system. . .

Image courtesy of Sarah Lloyd / @sarah.lloyd.tasmania
Text Earthly Mission

The naturalist who took the photos above, Sarah Lloyd, is a specialist. See the piece linked above.

". . . Japanese and British researchers fed a slime mould nutrients mimicking the Tokyo subway's nodes?????"

I feel a movie script coming on. Godzilla was mentioned here twice yesterday. Tokyo Subway . . .

Oh, Wait! A movie character based on a slime mold has already been introduced!

When all is well, the slime mold thrives as a single-celled organism, but when food is scarce, it combines forces with its brethren, and grows. Starving amoebas work in tandem, signaling to each other to join and form a multicellular mass, like a "moving sausage," Spiegel said.

Then, once the mass is formed, the cells reconfigure, changing their shape and function to form stalks, which produce bulbs called fruiting bodies. The fruiting bodies contain millions of spores, which get picked up and transported by the wind, a passing insect or an animal. There, they start the process again as single-celled organisms. Meanwhile, the cells that formed the stalks die, sacrificing themselves.

For creatures without feet, they can travel incredible distances. Stephenson said one of his students identified slime molds in New Zealand that are genetically identical to groups found in the United States. How they got there is unknown.

Slime molds were likely an inspiration for the 1958 science-fiction film, "The Blob," scientists say. And it's in these plasmodial, "blob" states that they spread like highway networks and even solve mazes.

I put the movie reference in italics there. Got a new script idea to present?

Jerry the lab pet slime mold solves a maze as a single cell. Video.

How did Jerry do that? Longer video featuring another slime mold (not Jerry).

Frederick Spiegel, a biology professor at the University of Arkansas and an expert on slime molds. . "I thought they were the most beautiful, sublime things I'd ever seen," he said. "I said, 'I've got to work with these.'"

They come in every color of the rainbow, except -- due to lacking chlorophyll -- a true green, according to Steve Stephenson, professor of biology at the University of Arkansas. They form strange and sophisticated shapes - some resemble honeycomb lattices, others blackberries. And then there's the slime mold known as "dog vomit," because it looks just like the stuff. Some remain microscopic, and others grow rogue, forming bulbous masses, as long as 10 to 13 feet. Yet humans largely ignore them.

More Science:

Slime mold, any of about 500 species of primitive organisms containing true nuclei and resembling both protozoan protists and fungi.

The term slime mold embraces a heterogeneous assemblage of organisms whose juxtaposition reflects a historical confusion between superficial resemblances and actual relationships. The Myxomycetes (true slime molds) are characterized by a plasmodial stage and definite fruiting bodies. Other slime molds include Protostelia (minute, simple slime molds), Acrasia (cellular slime molds), Plasmodiophorina (parasitic slime molds), and Labyrinthulina (net slime molds). Slime molds are found worldwide and typically thrive in dark, cool, moist conditions such as prevail on forest floors. Bacteria, yeast, molds, and fungi provide the main source of slime mold nutrition, although the Plasmodiophorina feed parasitically on the roots of cabbage and other mustard-family plants.

We are not even really covering the false slime molds here. The world is so complex.

Slime molds in the Garden

Slime molds are not dangerous, but in the lawn large persistent molds can leave grass yellow because it reduces sunlight to the blades. The grass recovers after the mold has turned to spore. Getting Rid of Slime Mold There is no doubt that slime mold is unattractive. Anything that closely resembles vomit in the garden is an uncomfortable sight. However, since slime molds in garden mulch or other areas are not harmful, removal is not necessary. For this reason, slime mold control with chemicals is more trouble than it is worth. Few chemicals can permanently kill the organism and toxic applications may even be detrimental to other life around the mold. Slime molds thrive where conditions are moist, so the easiest way to remove it is to let the area dry out. Rake up slime molds in garden mulch to expose the organism to drying air. You can also just scrape up the stuff, but likely it will be back. Some molds have been known to come back in the same spot, year after year.

More photos and descriptions of slime molds, beyond the typical dog vomit or scrambled egg types: Chocolate Tube, Pretzel, Red Raspberry.


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What's your favorite type of potato masher?



Enchant Christmas, Scottsdale

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Gardens of The Horde

Repeat: My late harvest one year. How many of these do you recognize?

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Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

If you would like to send photos, stories, links, etc. for the Saturday Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, the address is:

ktinthegarden at g mail dot com

Remember to include the nic or name by which you wish to be known at AoSHQ, or let us know if you want to remain a lurker.

Week in Review

What has changed since last week's thread? Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, Nov. 25

Any thoughts or questions?

I closed the comments on this post so you wouldn't get banned for commenting on a week-old post, but don't try it anyway.

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posted by K.T. at 01:31 PM

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