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The SproutRobot Gardening Gossip Gazette


Vengeance in the Veggie Patch

Dead garden
Lookin' good. Much respect.image via this blog

Last week we indulged our neurosis and examined potential ways our gardens could kill us. This week we’ll crank up the crazy to 11 and look at successful strategies for returning the favor. Not that you’d ever do it, right? It’s just research...
Five ways to kill your garden
1.) Drown it.
The number one cause of potted plant death, excessive watering is a great way to kill your garden because its symptoms, namely wilting/yellowing of leaves and stems, could easily be confused with under-watering. Built-in defense.
2.) Parch it.
Summer often brings drought-like conditions -- no one would blame you if your plants succumbed to the natural lack of water. Perhaps your soil is a little too well-drained? But be forewarned, this is a drawn out death.
3.) Introduce slugs.
Sometimes you’ve got to get primordial. Slugs will eat almost anything in your garden, come out at night and reproduce in a frightening way. As the Oregon State University website put it, they are “basically a stomach on one large foot.” Sounds like a slimy super villain.
4.) Plant under a black walnut tree.
Black walnut trees contain jugalone, a chemical that is allelopathic (a phenomenon where a chemical harms or otherwise influences other species in the area). Look the other way as your plants struggle to get proper nutrients. If your garden seems resistant to discreet poisoning, chuck walnuts in its general direction.
5.) Ignore powdery mildew.
Though rarely fatal to plants on its own, this fungi will block photosynthesis if left unattended, weakening the plant. Add fertilizer after an infection -- your efforts will be seen as proactive when really you’re giving the mildew young plants to prey upon. Succulent tissue, yum! Sicko.
Channel your inner Dexter at us on Twitter or Facebook.
Hand holding seeds

Even Robots Have to Follow Rules

Our European friends can learn how to use SproutRobot's free email service from this post on our blog (there is a lot of potential for head-scratching if you try our method, e.g. Phoenix, Ariz., and Marseille, France share a similar hardiness zone -- wuuuut?) They can also learn why we aren't able to sell seed subscriptions across the pond. Hint: It's not because we don't care about you.
Sunrise photo by Kevin Belli

Sneak a Peek at the SproutRobot Favorites Folder

This week we jammed to the sounds of Sun Boxes, a solar-powered sound installation. Get down here. We also added to Boskoi to our McGuyver arsenal. The open-source mobile app "helps you explore and map the edible landscape wherever you are." And it's free. So is walking, and that's what many Angelenos were doing during carmageddon. Turns out it wasn't so bad. 
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