Suburban Wildlife

Where we can watch and relate to wildlife in a suburban backyard.
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Saturday, February 19, 2011


I'm an eagle on a mission - duck squirrel.....


...Control tower - get that birds number!!!

Let him try!

I ain't got no worries......Nappy is big enough to even defy the ravens...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Watering your African Violet

African violets have very delicate, fibrous roots. They will not grow well,(if at all) - in heavy soil. They cannot be allowed to dry out completely for more than a very short time. They will also not do well at all if they are always soaked. They can be very fussy, it’s true.

The type of potting medium is very important - but lets leave that alone for the time being. If you are just starting out we will try to work with whatever soil your new plant is in - for now.

Watering: First rule, don’t allow drops of water to sit on the leaves of a violet. If water gets on a leaf, blot it off as soon as you can. It’s best to add a small amount of water to the tray under the pot. Allow the water to soak up into the pot until the surface of the soil feels moist. Don’t leave the pot sitting in the water.

You can often tell if the plant needs watering by simply lifting the pot. There is quite a difference between the weight of a nearly dry pot, and one that is well moistened. The alternative of course is to simply check the top of the soil for moisture. It should be damp, but never soaking or dry.

The EASY way.. Wicking…..

You can buy various pots that will keep your violet properly watered which need only a minimum of attention. However pot size is important with violets. We can get around to that topic when it comes time to talking about repotting your prize plant.

How to set up wicking

Ready to add the wick to a pot. A short length of yarn, and a bit of wire with a loop at one end. (Don’t use wool)

Nothing to it...

This shows the wire passing through the bottom of the pot. Pull the yarn through to almost the surface of the medium, then pull the wire free.

Easy as can be!

The wick is now in place.

Almost finished

Showing a close up of the wick as it drops down into the reservoir. The reservoir was made by trimming the top of a plastic pill bottle.

One finished automatic feeder

Pot and reservoir together. Water in the reservoir is almost up to the bottom of the pot itself. The wick supplies the right amount of moisture to the plant. The reservoir must be refilled about every third day. Start the wicking action by top watering the plant. Check every few days to be sure the wick continues to work.