Anita Martin

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since Aug 16, 2018
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Translator, gardener, book-lover, mother, home-maker and much more
Southern Germany
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Recent posts by Anita Martin

Yes and no.
A nice soft rain will water much better than I can do with a watering can. The ground gets a nice structure, opening up baked clay.

BUT with the slug pressure I have there will always be plants that fall prey to the slugs during a rainy night, especially cucurbits, but also herbs, lettuce, sometimes tomatoes as well as many flowers I love (sunflowers, zinnia, cosmos, Iris among those that I try - there are others I won't even try).

So there are mixed feelings:
Warm, sunny days are fine for tomatoes and all heat-loving plants.
Rainy days/nights are great for fennel, brassica and leeks or other alliums or beans and peas.
3 days ago
These mock strawberries make a fantastic job mingling with alpine strawberries. Very often they will pop up directly on top of an alpine strawberry!
In the first picture you have to look very hard to see which leaves belong to the mock strawberry (a bit more shiny and riffled). It is easier with the flowers, obviously ;-)

I weed them in many places, but some I leave because they are very pretty.
Not sure if I posted this second picture somewhere, a little flower fairy made of two weeds (who can guess the second one?).
4 days ago

Scott Stiller wrote:The bee propolis mix you are describing sounds like a magic elixir and I’d love to try some. Can you detail the steps here?

I used a very basic recipe. I had been collecting propolis whenever I cleaned frames or the cover on the hives etc. in a little jar.
Some recipes said you had to freeze and then crush the propolis, others said it was not necessary. So I did not crush it. I filled it in a little glass jar (about three tablespoons). Add about ten times the amount (in weight) of alcohol apt for consumption (not sure how that is in the US, but in Germany the cheap ethanol for cleaning has a bitter agent that makes it improper for consumption; I bought mine in the pharmacy pre-Corona).
The usual ratio I find is 30 g of Propolis to 300 g of 70% ethanol alcohol.

Some instructions say to let sit for 2 weeks, but most for 4-6 weeks. I let mine sit for 6 weeks, shaking it whenever I passed it.
Then I filtered it through a coffee filter into the little bottle of the alcohol I had bought initially.

The liquid is dark and sticky, just how it should be - I guess!
5 days ago
Thanks, Hugo, for explaining how you use Propolis tincture.
I filtered my first bottle some days ago and haven't used it yet. I made it from the propolis I extracted from my own bee hives, so this should be extra good (with all the headache they give me right now by constantly swarming...)!

I will look into plantain tincture or maybe syrup (easier to do). I have lots of healthy plantain plants in my wildflower patch right now.

5 days ago
Thanks for the laugh! ;-P
Yes, I guess this can't be unheard and I sure don't want to be responsible for inducing anyone to heavy drinking...

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:One of our staff said the name out loud. In his/her accent it came out as Ah-need-a Martini. That's something that can't be unheard...

Yes, I did read through that thread when it popped up again.

I was not really sure why my chosen name fell into any of the categories.
I guess it is something like "you should not use your name if your name is also known as a brand name in the Western world - for a brand that was named after an existing surname" ;-)

But as I said, I won't question the policy or ask for any extras, as long as the policy serves its purpose.
Just wanted to mention that a similar thing happened to me, but several months after I first posted here.

Well, I did not want to report the flag either.

All the volunteer staff here is doing a great job and I didn't want to create additional hassle. I just found it curious that I had to swap a legitimate surname for a ficticious one, but that's not a real problem in my eyes.
Go ahead. The plan with water sounds good.

Luckily tomatoes are much more robust than cucurbits.
They will survive and soon start to grow much better.

Just give them good soil, plenty of room and bury them deep enough (deeper than before and lying the stem down a bit).

And next time separate them earlier, even if that means you can keep less plants.
Good points from the previous answers, especially for bigger seeds.

I would like to add that I had great results this spring with sowing in little containers first and then pricking into quickpots. I had a beautiful plant in each compartment and did not have wasted space with empty cells. After pricking I used soil that was mixed with my own compost so that the little plants had enough nutrients in that second stage.

I got inspired by Charles Dowding, might have been this video:
1 week ago
Right now, as I sit here, on a rainy morning:
Watching a pair of goldfinches in the garden. They bend down the stalks of dandelions that have flowered and eat the seeds.

I often observe them on the thistles and the stalks of evening primrose all winter through early spring to find last seeds, but first time I see them on dandelions!
1 week ago