October in the Flower Garden – Preparing for Winter

Written by Sandra Dinkins-Wilson

A very busy time begins inrepparttar garden asrepparttar 113436 summer and autumn flowers fade. Although much depends uponrepparttar 113437 weather,repparttar 113438 time is approaching quickly when we must put everything in order forrepparttar 113439 winter. In my part ofrepparttar 113440 country, Halloween, atrepparttar 113441 end ofrepparttar 113442 month, usually is heralded in with snow and cold temperatures.

The whole flower garden should be dug over, but it is most important not to injurerepparttar 113443 hardy plants that will remain. Where there are a lot of these, it is safer to dig with a fork than a spade. A spade is much more likely to cut roots through if it comes across them. This, of course, presupposes you already have a flower bed with easily worked soil. Annual plants may all be pulled up and carted away torepparttar 113444 compost bin as they cease to flower.

Remember that many of our hardy perennial plants die down forrepparttar 113445 winter. Their leaves and stems wither and die. But we must not conclude thatrepparttar 113446 plant is dead just causerepparttar 113447 tops die. The roots are very much alive and inrepparttar 113448 spring beautiful fresh young growth will peep throughrepparttar 113449 soil. This is just a caution forrepparttar 113450 newbie gardener.

Nature has all sorts of methods to enable her hardy plants to passrepparttar 113451 winter safely. Some, likerepparttar 113452 hardy perennials, are simply going to sleep, in a manner of speaking. Some, likerepparttar 113453 bulbous plants –repparttar 113454 snowdrops, and winter aconites, and others – are waking up, for these sleep duringrepparttar 113455 hot summer months. Some plants remain fresh and green winter and summer alike.

The Terrorist’s Favorite Weed/ Castor Bean

Written by Thomas Ogren

The Terrorist’s Favorite Weed/ Castor Bean

Thomas Ogren

The Castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) with its large bold, highly colored leaves is native to tropical Africa. In cold climates it is an annual, growing quickly, setting many seeds, and dying off in winter. In mild winter areas it is a long-lived perennial, sometimes reaching small tree size. It has gone wild and naturalized in many places and is especially common in coastal areas. Each plant produces hundreds ofrepparttar bean-like seeds and these seeds can remain viable for more than a decade. Castor bean is a Euphorbia (Spurge) family member and like many Euphorbias it is poisonous, has highly caustic sap, and produces extremely allergenic pollen. Before World War Two castor bean was not common inrepparttar 113435 US, grown mostly as an unusual foliage plant in a few gardens. But duringrepparttar 113436 war there was a need for castor oil andrepparttar 113437 government encouraged farmers inrepparttar 113438 Midwest to start growing large acreage of it as an oil seed crop. The first year it was grown not much happened but byrepparttar 113439 end ofrepparttar 113440 second season huge numbers of people living nearrepparttar 113441 castor bean fields started getting hay fever and asthma. Castor bean pollen is an abundant and potent allergen. There is another more sinister use for castor bean. The mottled seeds of castor bean, which are aboutrepparttar 113442 size and shape of large pinto beans, contain two powerful poisons,repparttar 113443 alkaloid ricinin andrepparttar 113444 toxalbumin ricin. Ricin, a white protein powder is a remarkably deadly cytotoxin. The poison inrepparttar 113445 seeds is so strong that eating a single seed can kill a child. Animals, horses in particular, that eatrepparttar 113446 succulent leaves die from ricin poisoning. Ricin is even more toxic than strychnine and cyanides. Ricin also hasrepparttar 113447 ability to accumulate inrepparttar 113448 body until a lethal dose is reached. Symptoms of ricin poisoning are stomachache, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, bloody diarrhea, cold sweat, sleepiness, disorientation, shortage of breath, seizures, and death.

Terrorists have long been enamored of castor bean and ricin. Modern day mad scientists can extract ricin from castor bean seeds. Just how poisonous is ricin? Ricin is one ofrepparttar 113449 most poisonous naturally occurring substances known to man. As little as one milligram of ricin can kill an adult.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use