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Monday, June 6, 2011


Original Article

Marigolds are one of the most fun ways to add color and pest control to your garden. Planting with broccoli and cabbage crops reduces the white flies.

Marigolds require approximately 45 to 50 days to flower after seeding,

therefore seeding indoors should be done in late March or early April. The

plants should be ready for planting outdoors after the danger of frost has

passed, about May 15.

  1. Seed may be planted in seedbeds, coldframes, flats, clay pots, or peat pots.
  2. Pulverize the soil. Place the seed on the surface or in furrows and cover

    with 1/4 inch of perlite or vermiculite.
  3. Keep the soil moist and warm. The seed will germinate within a few days.
  4. When true leaves appear, the individual plants may be transplanted into

    individual 3-inch containers. Shade for a few days until the plants become

  5. Give the plants full sun.
  6. Plants will be ready to plant in the garden after the danger of frost has

    passed. Marigolds may be seeded directly into the garden after the danger of

    frost has passed. Follow the directions above as to preparing soil and seed

    depth. Seedlings may be thinned if necessary.
Related articles

Black Plague

Original Article

They sickened by the thousands daily, and died unattended and without help. Many died in the open street, others dying in their houses

- Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 – 1375)
You may remember from history lessons that "The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. ... The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% – 60% of Europe's population" (Wikipedia) Did you know that the Black Plague was not a one-time occurrence?

There have been three major outbreaks of plague. The Plague of Justinian in the 6th and 7th centuries is the first known attack on record, and marks the first firmly recorded pattern of bubonic plague. [Some credit this for the downfall of Rome] From historical descriptions, as much as 40% of the population of Constantinople died from the plague. ... After 750, major epidemic diseases did not appear again in Europe until the Black Death of the 14th century. The Third Pandemic hit China in the 1890s and devastated India but was confined to limited outbreaks in the west.
What I thought was medieval and gone is still around. Los Angeles in 1924-25 experienced a rat-borne epidemic where plague was spread from rats to fleas to people. New Mexico has seen 262 human cases of bubonic plague between 1949 and 2010 with fleas from rodents, squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, and occasionally rabbits.

An early telltale sign of the plague is swollen, painful lymph nodes known as buboes. Without treatment, the illness can infect the blood (known as septicemic plague) and finally the lungs. At this point, the infection becomes known as plague pneumonia, or pneumonic plague. The mortality rate increases considerably at this point. - LA Times
Here is a description of the plague from the 1300's,

"In men and women alike it first betrayed itself by the emergence of certain tumours in the groin or armpits, some of which grew as large as a common apple, others as an egg...From the two said parts of the body this deadly gavocciolo soon began to propagate and spread itself in all directions indifferently; after which the form of the malady began to change, black spots or livid making their appearance in many cases on the arm or the thigh or elsewhere, now few and large, now minute and numerous. As the gavocciolo had been and still was an infallible token of approaching death, such also were these spots on whomsoever they showed themselves."

- Giovanni Boccaccio
Bottom Line

Always, always visit a doctor if you find swollen bumps. It probably won't be plague but it could be a sign of a serious internal infection or hernia or advanced stage of cancer that needs immediate and aggressive treatment. Do not delay - in the case of bubonic plague 80% of those who die, will die within eight days.