‘The Martian’ solves a growing dilemma

Ridley Scott’s latest space movie, “The Martian,” is long on drama but short on romance, except for the moment astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, sees the object of his desire.

For half a century, we thought space travel had to do with leading-edge technology, cool gadgets and something called telemetry, but no, it’s all about planting tubers.

At Space Station Idaho, he rigs up a greenhouse of plastic sheeting, fills the floor with the native dirt of the red planet and gets about the business of cutting his potatoes.

A third of the way into the movie, you reach an inescapable conclusion: I gotta get me a community plot on Mars.

Growing food in space takes all the acting talents of a Hollywood star such as Damon to make it compelling, but the movie and its mother book contain a solid truth:

The news last month of seasonal water – possibly – on Mars seems to make this cosmic cultivation more than a pipe dream. …read more

Via: Gardening

    

Planting season kicks off in earnest with arrival of cooler weather

Weather forecasters are promising lower temperatures for the first weekend of October, just in time to start chipping away at gardening to-do lists.

Sow carrots, collards, mustard, radishes, snap peas, spinach and turnips.

Decide which is best for your garden, a large shade tree such as a cypress, maple or oak or a smaller ornamental with seasonal blooms such as an orchid tree or vitex or a holly with berries for the birds.

Mulch to help conserve soil moisture and discourage weeds. …read more

Via: Gardening

    

Get something for the garden at 73rd annual Bulb and Plant Mart

Annual Scarecrow Festival: 10 a.m. at Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond, reservations 281-937-9449; 2 p.m. at Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond, reservations 281-341-1206; myenchanted.com. $20 for supplies.

Citrus for the Gulf Coast: with George Shackelford of Brazos Citrus. 10 a.m. at the Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball; 281-351-8851, arborgate.com.

Texas Tuff Landscape Plants – Blooming and Beautiful: with Master Gardener Sandra Devall. 1-3 p.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Service, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413, aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu.

Ornamedibles – The Edible Landscape: with Angela Chandler of the Garden Academy. 1 p.m. at the Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball; 281-351-8851, arborgate.com.

Sustainable Living Through Permaculture, Class 2: sponsored by Urban harvest. 12:30-5:30 p.m. at the University of Houston, building to be announced; 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org. $50.

The ABCs of Home Composting: with Master Gardener Ken Steblein. 6:30-8 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Service, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413, reservation galv3@wt.net, aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu.

Peckerwood Garden Open Day: guided tours approximately every 30 minutes between 10 a.m.-3 p.m., plant sale 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Peckerwood Garden, 20559 FM 359, Hempstead; 979-826-3232, tour reservations at peckerwoodgarden.org. …read more

Via: Gardening