Sunday, 4 September 2022

QRP HomeBuilder — Season 24 —

For Season 24, after a hiatus from RF, I plan to share some radio projects beginning in late October.

Above — I've cleaned up my bench and began ordering some RF parts so they'll be here for Fall experiments. This summer, countless people have emailed me and requested some RF content, so I'll oblige. After a few years away from RF experiments, I feel reinvigorated. I've kept up my reading, but not RF bench experiments --- plus I'll have to brush up on my lab procedures.

In addition, I just got a modern camera to add some video content to my blog posts. Therefore, I've got to learn V logger stuff and choose plus learn how to operate some video-editing software. That will take time. Time is the 1 resource I lack the most and I'm jealous of those retired experimenters who have time to work on stuff at their leisure. My experiments occur late at night with a push-through-to-the-end philosophy.

Until then, here is a gardening topic. I'm an avid gardener and for me it's served as my mental health re-constructor over the past ~ 3 years.

Single Dahlias

I Iove Dahlias and so do the pollinators around our place.  We have more solitary bees than honey bees and I’ve taken measures to provide them a variety of spaces to nest in and around our property.
I mostly grow single row Dahlias for these pollinators and actually the so-called "single row" collection can be divided into Anemone, Collarette, Orchid, Orchette, Single, Micro-Peony and Species (non-hybrid) Dahlias. Unlike the fancy modern hybrids that people grow for weddings and for beauty, "single rows" have just 1 basic row of petals and their private bits are exposed so pollinators can easily access their pollen and nectar.

2 examples of species plants include Dahlia merckii and Dahlia apiculate. I grow the latter.

I wanted to share my adventures with an Anemone hybrid that I’ve worked with for 2 years. My basic plan is to get a variety of seeds, germinate them in late February under lights, grow them indoors until the frost is gone and then plonk them in our gardens. If the plant performs well, then continue that line by saving the tuber, and perhaps growing-on some cuttings for next season.

I’ve noticed that all my "single row" Dahlias struggle in the scorching sun of late June to middle August. I planted some in a shady garden and the flowers plus foliage stays much nicer during the record setting, super-hot summer sun we got in both 2021-2022.  In that shady garden, flowers get about 6-7 hours of sunlight then dappled shade to full shade.

Above — The anemone style Dahlia that blew us away this season.

Above — The seedlings on Feb 28, 2022. The largest seedling is the flower I'm describing. I had to re-pot it twice before planting in in our full sun front garden on May 17th. It started blooming in the house while sitting in a south facing window.

Above — We endured a cool, wet Spring and most plants grew slowly.  I took this photo on July 10 and by this time, despite the Spring weather, this plant was a "flower machine". Note how green the foliage looks.

Above — Photo taken today, Sept 4, 2022. In late July into middle August, the leaves got scorched by the blazing hot sun during our heat wave. Many of the flower buds "cooked". They did not flower, rather they were burnt & turned black. I cut off these dead buds. This was not due to lack of water and a good mulch at the base of the plant — our hot weather has been brutal for the past 2 years. For awhile, there were very few flowers on this plant.

Above — The plant continues to recover and once again transformed into a flower machine. In addition, these flowers last longer than other "single row" dahlias in our gardens. This 1's a keeper and serves as a bee magnet. Grown from 1 seed this year, it out performs our other tuber-grown Dahlias in terms of bud production. Last year, we had the first frost kill of our Dahlias on November 3rd.

Above — Take care of yourself. Connect with nature. It will help clear your mind so you can do some serious electronics.  Best to you!