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Trials and tribulations - feline challenges

  • Subject: Trials and tribulations - feline challenges
  • From: ctuttle39@juno.com
  • Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 10:18:45 -0500

As may of you may know, I do a small amount of tissue culture of Hosta
for my own entertainment (a great mental outlet) and also grow seedlings.
 A year and a half ago, we acquired two brothers out of one litter of
cats for the purposes of patrolling our yard.  Objective: control
RABBITS, chipmunks, voles, mice and squirrels.  End results: WONDERFUL -
as there was no damage from these varmints in the 2002 growing season;
however, as The Boys were so efficient, they widened their territory and,
likewise, eliminated these critters from the four neighbors' yards.  Two
of the neighbors are not "too fond of cats" but now appreciate the
talents of The Boys and applaud and welcome their work.

Now to the "problem" and why I am sharing this.  I have just come from
the basement where there are two sets of shelving, each with two shop
lights per shelf and housing ~16 trays of TC plants in one stage or
another of rooting and growing.  I went down to observe the progress for
the week and to mist/spray the trays that are hardening off.  On top of
one of the trays, which has a dome over it, was Patches, sound asleep. 
There is about 7" between the dome and the florescent lights so it is a
tight squeeze for him.  He was quite comfortable and astounded that I did
not prefer that he sleep there.  Can you imagine?  Now to devise a
netting around the shelving to block such "sun bathing."  They have
earned the right to some people time inside in the winter as a reward for
critter control, but the "sun bathing" must cease!

Some of you are also seed growers.  When starting up seed (I sowed all
mine yesterday and today), they are kept in the dark on the warm
shelving, to let the seed germinate without algae getting a head start. 
Each tray has a dome over it to keep humidity high and so that the
surface soil does not dry out.  One can cover the tray/dome with black
plastic or cardboard or anything else to block out the light.  I take an
extra tray and turn it upside down over the dome!  Simple solution -- but
each to her/his own.  Why share this?  someone asked.

Hope all your seedlings are doing well!

Charles Tuttle
Columbus,  OH

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