Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday, December 05, 2016 – Defoliate in Greenhouse, Mail from Home, Shopping at The Fudge Factory

Today dawned with fog blanketing Old Nauvoo. With all of the clouds and fog it didn’t get below freezing all night. In fact all of yesterday’s snow is melting very fast. Since everything is so wet from the melting snow it is too muddy and sloppy for Sis. Johnson and I to work in the flowerbeds. 
 We spent the whole morning working with Richard and Kiana in the greenhouses. Kiana propagated Spider plants and others in the propagation room. Sis. Johnson and I spent our whole morning “Defoliating” potted plants like “Gold Dust” flowering Maple, Hibiscus, and Acalypha.
This project of “Defoliating” the potted plants came as a complete shock to me. I’ve never seen or heard of this before. I found it very difficult to imagine that cutting off all of the leaves of a plant was in anyway beneficial. But with Richard’s patient instruction I was able to grasp the concept. 
Our job today was to “Slow Down” the growth of all of the potted plants. If left alone in the ideal conditions of the greenhouse these plants would overrun and outgrow their pots. They can’t be transplanted into the gardens until May of next year so we have to “Slow Down” their growth several times this winter. 
Defoliating occurs naturally in nature. Outdoors, in the spring and summer, Caterpillars, worms, bug and beetles can strip every leaf off of a plant in a few days. However when they do, it usually kills the plant. In the greenhouse the defoliating is controlled, measured and timed to only slow down the plant’s growth, not kill it. Even so, today I still felt like a caterpillar!
Today we got more mail and a package from our family in Arizona. Yee Haw! This time the letters were from Jacob & Wendy and their children.  Each one of them wrote Grandma & Grandpa a letter. The children adorned their letters with hand drawn picture that are very cute! The little ones like Joshua and Lily can’t write yet so they drew wonderful pictures for Grandma & Grandpa. They were all great. 

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