Grow a Damn Plant Journal

Grow a Damn Plant Journal

by Sasquatch Books
Grow a Damn Plant Journal

Grow a Damn Plant Journal

by Sasquatch Books

$22.95 
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Overview

From Instagram artist/botanist/self-proclaimed “mad scientist” Tyler Thrasher comes a gardening journal grounded in science, perfect for indoor or outdoor plants of every type.

This luxe plant journal challenges the user to “think like a botanist”—it’s secretly educational wrapped in a stunning package. It includes 90+ entry pages to document and observe your plants through the lens of an excited and curious botanist! Author Tyler Thrasher brings the same energetic, knowledgeable voice to the journal as his fans have come to expect from his popular Instagram account.

Each journal includes:
  • 90+ entry pages with room for notes, watering and fertilizer regimen, seasonal observations, light recommendations, and sketches
  • Fertilizer tips
  • Pest tips
  • Soil tips
  • pH tips
  • An entry index to easily locate each plant entry
  • Pages of recipe cards for your very own soil recipes
As a scientist himself who hybridizes new plants, the author was looking for something that didn’t exist, so he created the definitive plant journal himself. One that can serve as your personal plant database while also offering helpful tips on things like pests, fertilizer, making the perfect soil, and more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Grow a Damn Plant Journal is the latest of [Tyler Thrasher's] brilliant projects and a great way to keep track of your favorite plants. The journal is easy to use and accessible to botanists and hobbyists alike. In it, [Tyler] shows us the importance of curiosity as the means to grow better plants."
—Enid Offolter, author of Welcome to the Jungle

Product Details

UPC: 9781632174475
Manufacturer: Sasquatch Books
Publication date: 11/01/2022

Read an Excerpt

Introduction
 
When I’m not screaming into the void of my greenhouse, I am doing my absolute best to grow the healthiest happiest plants I can. Through my shortcomings and trials- I realized that I was in dire need of a journal. One that would help organize all of the info I was quickly gathering about the plants I loved and grew. After realizing nothing would serve my needs- I decided to make that journal myself and while I’m at it, print a few thousand extra…so I hope someone else likes it because I don’t have THAT many plants.
 
In some form or another, I’ve spent my entire life around plants and growing them. My childhood was literally nurtured in greenhouses and nurseries, helping my father tend to a wholesale amount of landscape flowers and plants and in some cases I lived in these greenhouses. Plants nurtured me through some of the darker chapters of my life and the shelter and comfort I found in them yielded a lifelong relationship and passion. I literally talked my wife into buying the house we have now because it had a greenhouse in the backyard.
 
For the last several years I’ve grown hundreds of succulents and cacti— primarily species that aren’t readily available and require an intensive and specific amount of care and observation. My need for a journal erupted after I realized there were over 70 varieties of conophytum in my greenhouse and I learned some were summer flowering rather than the fall flowering species I was so used to. I almost lost it, people! I mean what am I supposed to do when a Lithops Optica “ruby” mutation enters dormancy 3 months later than my other lithops and is trying to flower when the greenhouse exceeds 100F?!
 
If you didn’t understand a word of what I just said, this book is for you; it will help you learn the terms and disciplines needed to become a proud plant parent. If all of what I just said rings clear like the halcyon call of your maker, then this book is for you! It can help you organize your thoughts and help recognize and undo any of the bad habits we all pick up as we learn. Every page, category and section in this journal was very thought out. If I had a need or an observation it would have space in this book. I want this journal to serve your needs as well and feel personal. My hope is that these pages balance a fine line between a journal that makes room for your thoughts and personality while offering organizational tips from a human who desperately needs them and is wildly obsessive over his plants.
 
I hope this journal grows good for ya. <3

Fertilizer
 
All things die. Those dead things feed other living things and so on and so on. Not all matter becomes water, but instead it will decay into other minerals and atoms. What I’m getting at is, feed your plants!
 
Of course, feed your plants responsibly. Fertilizing and feeding your plants will most likely require a bit of research and note-taking, as one mindless feeding can lead to a leggy overgrown plant or even spell death for them. Some tropicals are heavy feeders while succulents need a minimal amount of nutrients. Carnivorous plants get everything they need above the soil and so on.
When deciding on a fertilizing regimen, do your research, try and speak to experienced growers who might gladly share the routine they’ve utilized for 3 decades, or they may tell you to piss off. Life’s an adventure!
 
This section will touch briefly on micro and macro nutrients and those little numbers you’ll find on any fertilizer package.
 
Actually let’s start with those numbers. When shopping for a fertilizer, you’ll usually spot a series of numbers (hopefully easy to find) on the packing “X-X-X.” These numbers aren’t so much plant parent porn (or maybe they are?) but are the fertilizer‘s grade, and refer to the percentage of available nutrients in the mixture.
 
The first number references the available amount of Nitrogen (N), the second number the available amount of Phosphate (P), and the third the available amount of Potassium (K).
 
As an example, a fertilizer labeled “6-6-6” (yikes) will have 6% Nitrogen, 6% Phosphate, 6% Potassium, and 100% Demons. Probably. I dunno. SCIENCE!
 
Fertilizers are widely available in several common variations of the nutrients mentioned above. A good starting point is to pick an equal parts fertilizer like a 10-10-10 and dilute as needed for your purposes. A go-to for a lot of succulents is to pick a fertilizer like one mentioned above and dilute it in water to 10%, especially for those hardy plants known to grow in quartz fields or granite bowls.
 
Plants have different needs that we should observe and respect, possibly looking back to their habitats and what millions of years of evolution lead to. Do your damn homework before you break out your floppy hat and favorite Insta-filter, PlantMomKaren69!
 
Nutrients take the form of salts beneath the soil. When plants consume those salts, they’re taken up in the form of ions, which are good because of reasons.
 
Plants require macronutrients and micronutrients to remain vigorous and healthy. Some examples are:
 
Macronutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), magnesium (Mg), carbon (C), oxygen (O), hydrogen (H)
 
Micronutrients: iron (Fe), boron (B), chlorine (Cl), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni)


Pests

 
When dealing with nature, don’t forget that nature deals with us. Remember this as you slip into the maddening void where fungus gnats swarm like an apocalyptic army, mealy bugs move in the dead of night like fuzzy cloaked rogues, and if you have thrips: you’re f****d. Sorry, I meant fucked.
 
Here I will outline the best solutions and approaches to what we call a pest, and what nature calls her beautiful children simply looking for a life-sustaining meal. Mealy Bugs
If you’re finding spots of white cottony material on the underside of your leaves- you may have mealy bugs. If you’re finding small fuzzy white insects on the tips of new growth—you may have mealy bugs. Another sign of these dreaded creatures are ants. Ants farm mealy bugs like horrid hell-born cattle for the sap they secrete. If you’re finding caravans of ants going to and from your pots, isolate the source, check for mealy bugs and destroy them.
 
Solution: I use a mixture of water, isopropyl alcohol and dish soap. The Dish soap removes the waxy coating surrounding the insects and their eggs so the alcohol can penetrate and do the job. I usually mix 1 part alcohol to 5 parts water with a healthy dollop of dish soap (the kind that can remove oil from ducks.) I start by spraying individual colonies or simply taking a Q tip to directly to them, when I want a more personal touch. If the infestation is too great, and you feel the plant is worth salvaging AND small enough, you can unpot it and dunk it in the mixture mentioned above several times. Repeat whichever process you choose until you’ve won a victory for the ages, and songs will be sung of this day.
 
Spider mites
When you begin to notice light webbing, a light speckled appearance on your leaves and tiny red dots swarming your plant- you got spider mites. These are best dealt with immediately as they tend to spread quite rapidly.

Solution: Spider mites thrive in a dry environment, so the first step should be constant misting of your leaves (if it doesn’t harm the plant) and watering directly from above as well. Neem oil should be a well- stocked weapon in your arsenal and a constant application when it comes to spider mites. Buying a vial of predatory mites will also aid in your fight. However, sometimes the best approach is simply tossing the plant in the bin if the infestation is too great. Spider mites tend to pick favorites, and this is something I’ve directly observed in my greenhouse as well as others. Several different species and genera can surround the spider mites, but often times they’ll stick to what they like.
 
Aphids
Often found on outdoor plants where growth and food are plentiful. If you’re finding small black or yellow jewel like specks swarming newer growth on your plants, you have aphids. Better yet, ants also farm these similar to mealy bugs. Aphids can be quite resilient to most methods of extermination, and I often find them on plants I intend to consume so the more hardcore approaches will also serve to harm me later down the line.

Solution: One of my preferred methods is to turn the hose on jet and blast most of them off. I then take my mealy bug mixture mentioned above and apply a very generous and heart felt amount. In a healthy garden or environment, aphids don’t thrive for long as they have numerous predators, and once word spreads its over fairly quick for the aphids. However, this is where the ants pay their dues. The very ants farming the aphids also defend them. There are numerous methods for maintaining and controlling ant populations. I recommend utilizing whichever one makes you feel the least guilty.
 
Fungus Gnats
If you notice small insects taking flight every time you water your plants or shift the soil, you may have fungus gnats. If you notice small specks occasionally fly past your face or up your nose throughout a house full of plants- you may have fungus gnats.
 
Solution: Fungus gnats require unwavering patience, diligence and several different approaches all applied simultaneously as you’re targeting the adults, larvae and eggs. I start by allowing the soil and pot to dry out more than usual. I then water with a mixture (4 parts water 1 part hydrogen peroxide). This will kill any and all larvae and eggs on contact. You’ll then notice the adults swarm from the pot for safety. Little do they know, you had a barrier of sticky fly paper awaiting them, ever so gently draped across the surface of the soil. This will catch any and all adults and consequently cut down on the number of fungus gnats reproducing. You should repeat this process as often as possible as any eggs or larvae you miss will only carry on to repopulate the infestation.
 
Thrips
A hell-ridden army to undo all other armies. There are thousands of species of thrips and chances are you may have to wage war against one of them. If you notice small speckled discoloration on the leaves of your plants, if you see small white insects flee in unison into the crevices of your succulents, or watch as they scatter up and down the stem to avoid you—you most likely have thrips.
 
Pest control for thrips is best utilized when you first see the insect rather than the small puncture marks they leave. Thrip damage isn’t evident until the plant grows and expands, which is not an accurate indicator of the current thrip situation. Respond to the insects, not the visual damage.

Solution: A healthy and constant application of neem oil and other contact oils like horticultural oils. Make a diligent effort to locate the insects and apply the spray directly to them. A single female can lay 80 eggs at once, which will hatch in only a few days during warm weather—so constant vigilance is key.
 
If it comes to it, systemics can also be utilized but ONLY as a last-ditch effort. Systemics can be toxic to humans, animals and especially pollinators. I would only recommend using systemics in a greenhouse or potted plant scenario to prevent the chemicals from leeching into the soil and effecting other plants. As another safety precaution, consider applying a systemic only after the plants flowering period or cycle. Systemics are pulled into the plant and this can include the flower and its pollen.

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