Knowing about my travails with germination and keeping alive, Ed, a commenter who does not live far away from me, has come to my rescue. He has given me 12 plants. I have been amazed at how well developed his plants are. He tells me that he has been gardening for 30 years, so I guess that he knows what he is doing! Even so, to go from seed to big-ish plants since March is some going. You can see his plants in his comment on my last post.
I planted out those plants a couple of days ago. Here is a pic:
Those plants consist of several different varieties – Yellow twist bud, Monte calme yellow, Silver river, Vesta 64 and Golden burley. I have a diagram showing where each variety is planted. For example, the bunchy plant in the middle bottom of the pic is Golden Burley.
Ed gave me three plants named ‘Golden Virginia’. I have separated them because they are the same variety (I think!) as the plants which I have been growing for the last three years. I am assuming that ‘Virginia Gold’ is the same variety as ‘Golden Virginia’. Here is a pic:
It is generally not a good idea to allow plants to cross-pollinate. That would happen if bees move from one plant to another, transferring pollen from one variety to another. This has been a well-known problem since forever, but there is a solution, which is called ‘bagging’. When the flowers emerge, put a bag over them to stop bees getting to them. Or, if you do not want to get the seeds from certain varieties, simply nip the buds of those varieties before they can flower.
The first pic is plot 2. The second is plot 1. I had already planted out some puny plantlets of my own (those on the right of the pic). Since planting Ed’s plants, I have also planted out some more of my own offerings (those which are in the damp-looking ground):
You can see Ed’s plants right at the back of the plot (top left of pic). You can just about see my own plants inside the bottles. Oh, the shame! You can also see that there is room for some more plants.
The good news is that the tiny plantlets which I planted out about five days ago seem to be ‘settling in’. There is still room for another few plants and I have some developing. Another few days, and the plots should be full.
Then we wait. We protect them from slugs and snails as best we can. My protection involves my ‘slug deterrent moats:
and slug pellets. Slugs cannot swim. The white plastic things are moats full of water. Slugs and snails really, really are your worst enemy. They emerge from their hiding places in the dark of the night, munch your plants, and then sneak off before daybreak. Kill them. They serve no useful purpose.
It is difficult not to see conspiratorial actions within government and in surrounding NGOs. For example, the Welsh Assembly Health Minister shouts very loudly that he is going to ban vaping in enclosed places. It grabs the headlines, even though it is silly and a BMA spokesperson makes fool of himself. A day or two later, the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Control Gang, using its front group, ASH, unveils its plans to ratchet up the persecution of people who enjoy tobacco. The main demands are:
1. Increase tobacco duty each year by 5% per an.
2. Introduce a ‘levy’ on tobacco companies equivalent to 25p per pack of 20.
3. Ban smoking in certain outdoor places.
4. Ban smoking in cars whether there are children present or not.
There are others, but those are the important ones.
You can see that without doubt these demands are intended to punish smokers. They have almost nothing to do with children, even when the word ‘children’ is involved.
It seems that the Conservative Party has become a weed. The only difference between Labour and the Tories is which is more weedy. Neither of them are pretty rose bushes or apple trees or even potato tubers.
Is there an answer? I think that there is, but only in a vague way. There needs to be a diminution of the costs of anti-smoking zealotry. The Zealots would say that the cost are by far repaid by the savings in NHS costs. But is that true? I have not seen any stats which support such a contention. If fact, it seems to me that the healthier people are, day by day, during their working lives, the more unhealthy they are at the end of their lives.
Is that true? Where are the studies concerned with it? For example, it is almost certain that desk jobs promote obesity, whereas physical jobs promote slimness. Desk workers must starve themselves, but physical workers can stuff their faces. It is erroneous to believe that EVERYONE must conform to a ‘one size fit all’ paradigm. Thus, food companies must be allowed to do business without political mumbo-jumbo interference.
Almost all political interference is ‘mumbo-jumbo’. Almost all political interference is witchcraft. Since the EU was created, the witchcraft has multiplied. Incantations (aka publicity and propaganda) rule. The Gods live on Mount Olympus. Sacred alters exist in committee rooms.
What needs to change has little to do with the EU directly. What needs to change is the ‘ethos’ in the Westminster bubble. All Brits want to cooperate with our European neighbours. We are all equal. Colour of skin is does not matter, nor does place of origin. What matters is the very inequalities that the EU has created.
I do not detest the EU. I detest what it has become. The Tobacco Products initiative illustrates precisely the stupidity of the whole thing. Minor matters, such as enjoying tobacco, have wasted billions of euros.
Slow the whole process down. Cut the bureaucracy. Feel your way to unification.