Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Trees for Life - phase 3.

Planting the seeds.

Spent a very pleasant couple of hours on Saturday afternoon chatting with the lady next door as she brought two of her sons around to help with filling the rest of the tubes. And yes, they would have to be one of the nicest families that have met, and they refused any bribes or rewards, so perhaps altruism does exist, begins with the parents.

Sprinkled the two packets of Allocasuarina seeds (which didn't require "treatment"), covered the tubes with a thin layer of gravel as "mulch" .. and which also prevents the tiny, flimsy seeds from "floating" out of the tubes.

The envelope with the two packets of replacement Acacia rupicola seeds duly arrived on Monday, so put each packet into a separate cup, boiled the kettle, and "followed instructions".

Australian flora, by and large, has adapted to cope with what is generally a harsh, dry climate. A large number of species form tough, hard coatings to their seeds, probably to prevent germination at the first sprinkle of rain as there may not be any more moisture for a long time. Am not a botanist, so can't really say what the rationale is, but many species need a bushfire to break open the coating before germination can proceed.

Perhaps the "boiling" is a compromise, as methinks seeds sitting around in a rare puddle, waiting for a bushfire to come along and boil them is a fairly "low chance" survival strategy.

So, today, after
waiting the required 24 hours, spent this afternoon concientiously poking each individual seed the required 3mm into the soil with a pair of tweezers. (garn, I can do it if put mind to it. Actually it was a little like meditation. Just close out all other pressing thoughts, forget time, concentrate on the one task. One seed at a time. All 480 of them.)

The system operates on .. well, survival of the fittest. At the moment each box contains 60 tubes. There are 4-5 seeds in each tube. At the end of the project, am supposed to have Four boxes of 50 tubes, each with one strong, healthy seedling. 200 in all.

And so, all seeds are now planted. The next phase should occur in 3-4 weeks, as the little buggers stick their heads up for the first look at this big, wide, world.


Brownie said...

Davo you are a star. 480 stars. Dame Nellie Melba used to go about issuing Certificates Of Commendation to places she liked and I reckon if she was still around you would have one of those.

I read yesterday in a newspaper online (who knows which one) that wombats are really at risk in time of drought, so do take care.

Anonymous said...

You don't like hugs? Well!!!!!

Just for that.... ((((Davo))))

Get over it. :-)

Deirdre said...

480 seeds with tweezers?? Now, that is stamina! Well done. Brownie's right again: you'd be a worthy recipient of a Dame Nellie.

Davo said...

arrrgh! all this praise and attention, am not used to it .. go away! [.. but thanks anyway :-)]..(crawls back into shell).

Anne Johnson said...

Hey, you. You're not safe in that shell. We'll just dump you in boiling water and tweeze you into nourishing soil. You just showed us how!

May the Green Man guard your seedlings. (Maybe in Australia he's the Sturdy Brown Living Through Dry Spells Man.)

Davo said...

heh ..;]

Davo said...

never forget, i am "god" for those seeds.