Friday, January 9, 2009

paddies, spines, dragons, under water sprouts, and an amazing seedling

On Wednesday I told the students, "Keep busy I need to get this seed order done already." So the Mighty Assistant herded them into cleaning and straightening up tasks and I threw out a few words every now and then.

Then we got bopping the last two days:

The Human Suggestion Box (more on this character in the next post) wanted to grow rice. I explained some logistical problems but he persevered and found a website describing how one can grow rice in buckets. He once suggested that we talk New Year's resolutions. I said, "I will do ten of the suggestions." One down and it is only the second week of January (seed suggestions don't count or I would be done already.) Most of the brown rice sank, some floated and looks more like white rice now.

The first day back after winter break a student brought me a cactus in a small pot, so we repotted the thing. I was doing OK being a poor role model (not using gloves) till it began to topple and my reflexes out performed the logical thought processes in my brain. Apparently I got all the spines out except the one in my right index finger. OH well.

Dragon number 1.... Madagascar Dragon Tree. Many of the house plants in my classroom have come by way of gift or donation. This Dracaena marginata came way of a gift basket, which my wife received several years ago. It now stands 3'-3" tall and it is hard to imagine it being with 5 other plants in a relatively small container (including a Ficus elastic which also lives at the school but I do bring them home for our porch in the summer). We decided to repot this dragon and then today we moved some furniture about to give it some more space and light. Not that it needs much of the latter... here is some info on them from one of my favored places to go for basic no frills house plant advice.

In the midst of the furniture moving we had to move the large glass bottle containing Philodendron cuttings rooting in water. The next class took them out of the water and noticed something not seen before. That does not mean it hasn't happened here at Pathway, but it does mean we were more aware this time around. What we saw was that next to some of the roots were budding leaves. So I said, "Lets try something." The students were directed to cut all the leaves off and then plant what was left in such a way that the roots got buried but the leaves were emerging. We put several in a pot and we will see what happens.

Dragon number 2.... I was counting this guy on being compost weeks ago. A snap dragon seedling with a major crook in the stem. I warned the student who planted the seeds that chances looked slim, but we didn't give up on it. Now I am quite optimistic for its survival. Hope is what we live on in the garden.


Chandramouli S said...

Thank you so much for the link. I found it useful. I'm planning to try it myself after reading your post!

tina said...

Hope is a plus for gardeners. Your human suggestion box seems like a smart kid to find a way. Good job for him.

Wayne Stratz said...

Chandramouli--- glad you found it useful. who knows what else I could be growing? Good luck with growing rice.

Tina--- the human suggestion box is young at heart, but about my age. However I have a couple of students who would gladly sit around making suggestions for the box.

susan (garden-chick) said...

Rice! Seriously? The more garden blogs I read, the more I am realizing how unadventerous most of my gardening activities are.

Wayne Stratz said...

SUsan--- yes, the man found away that we can grow it. I will likely blog about what happens.

Pomona Belvedere said...

I really enjoyed reading about these experiments. Rice in a bucket! I must send this to a friend of mine who has been involved in 3rd world agriculture.

Hope is inded what keeps gardeners - and gardens - going.

Wayne Stratz said...

Pomona-- I keep hoping for the rice to grow and the birds to come to our new feeders while joking with those who make suggestions.