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Old 09-09-2009, 05:37 PM  
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southeastern Nebraska
Default Saga of a new Bogger


Ever have an idea of something you'd like to try - Click here to read the entire garden article
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By Staff on 09-13-2009, 07:23 PM

Beautiful Bog.
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By Equilibrium on 09-14-2009, 01:46 AM

The entire plant produces nectar. It's most concentrated near the rim. It is the nectar that helps attract insects to their death. And the nectar packs a double whammy for the bug. It's a mild narcotic. So the bug hangs out on the rim slurping nectar until the narcotic starts taking effect and whoosh... it loses its footing and down it goes. Stick your finger in the one of the pitchers of your plants. Now slowly pull it out. What you're going to feel is that on the way into the pitcher, your finger glides down like a kid on a slide. When you go to pull your finger back out, you're going to feel resistance. That's because the inside of the pitcher is loaded with hairs that are all pointing downward. Makes it all the more difficult for a drugged bug to make its way out of the pitcher. Those hairs work much the same way the barbs on a cat's tongue that point to the back of its mouth work. The lids on tall pitcher plants are part of the modified leaf but they don't feed the plant. The bugs feed the plant. The lid functions to protect the plant from too much rain water although bugs can drown in the collected rain water. The plant produces its own digestive enzymes to "dissolve" the mushy parts of the bug. S. purpurea is "designed" to drown its dinner. What's really cool about a purp is that in winter the rain water that contains bugs freezes... complete with the bug. In spring the purp is ready to go with the equivalent of its very own Swanson's TV dinner once the sun starts melting the bugsicles. This fall when your plants have gone dormant, cut off some tall pitchers (don't cut off any purp pitchers) and slice them open and check what's inside. Take photos of the contents of your pitchers. They're gonna be loaded. You'll probably find lots of European paper wasps.
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By biigblueyes on 09-14-2009, 09:41 AM

Bugsicles?!?!?! Too funny!
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By NEBogger on 09-14-2009, 08:38 PM

Thank you staff.
Equil, I knew you'd help me out as always, thanks...
Now, how about pictures or your bogs?
Any one else?
Here's a picture of the purpureas, the ones that are designed to drown their victims. Guess what? I just learned something else about purps. This spring I cut all of mine off, was wondering if that was the right thing to do because they still looked so good. They took a long time to get going also. I won't be doing that again next spring.
Like I've said, I'm still learning all the time...
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Saga of a new Bogger-p1010032.jpg  
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By Equilibrium on 09-14-2009, 09:33 PM

I'll try to find a beginner bog set up to add. The one I have in mind was made using a kiddie pool. It's kinda cool and easy to make. Cheap too.
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By NEBogger on 09-15-2009, 07:32 PM

Sounds good!
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By BooBooBearBecky on 09-16-2009, 09:02 PM

Great article! Thanks for taking to the time share and describe your BOG building process with us. I enjoyed the photos too.

I had no idea such beautiful plants could grow in a manmade BOG! Wow! All your hard work is paying off!!

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By NEBogger on 03-25-2010, 09:28 PM

The saga lives on!
The bog has survived a second winter, with one big lesson learned! I've learned the importance of draining it before winter... I didn't uncover the drainage hole until about a month after I covered it with mulch. It was full of water, the pine needles were wet, and I could see a little bit of white mold the the needles. Unfortunately, I didn't do anything at that time, other than replace the mulch. Winter went on and did it's thing over the next three months, (which wasn't very nice I might add).
Spring is springing up for us here on the plains, so I peek under the pine needles and -- OH MY GOSH--YYUUUCCKKKK--What a huge mess! Every thing was moldy and mealy bugs were all over. Dang it, now what?

Saga of a new Bogger-p1010012.jpg Saga of a new Bogger-p1010013.jpg Saga of a new Bogger-p1010002.jpg

Upon further inspection, I didn't have mealy bugs, that was a relief. It was all thick, fuzzy mold. I went a whining else where on WG. Equilibrium came to the rescue with the following----
I've got a huge lump in my throat for you. It's been a real wet year. I've had this happen before but only once. I didn't lose all my plants. Some but not all. Remove every last bit of the mulch and expose your plants to the sun. Don't cut off any of the pitchers or modified leaves just yet. Anything that's green is photosynthesizing. Now go ahead and clean the pitchers with a damp paper towel removing all of the white mold. If you see any pitchers that are dead and loaded with it, those can be removed. Check the rhizomes. See any molded areas... cut them out then dust them with the sulfur and stick them back in your bog. Sulfur is about as far as I'd go in the fungicide department. Others might tell you to try other fungicides but... try to get ideas from lots of people before making a final decision to use a fungicide stronger than sulfur or neem. Most fungicides totally unnerve me. To me... they're just not worth taking the risk. I'd rather lose the plant.
I have uncovered the bog to let the sun shine on it, had to cover it up a couple of times, as it got down to 22.
On my lunch break, I quickly drove out to our garden center, was directed to the sulfur. Almost $10 for a pound, the employee showed me a bag of copper sulphate, four pounds for $22. Saying it would serve the same purpose, okay, out the door and back to work with the four pounds of copper sulfate, thinking in the long run I'm saving money. Get home, read the package, then the message from Equil, nope, better not put that on, it's not just sulfur. I still need to return it. Leaving the plants untreated. The sun has really helped a lot. But I need to get out there and tend to it.
I have since covered my drainage hole up. The one picture is from the opposite side of the bog. I just used a piece of rubber to cover the hole, and to keep it in place, I put a brick over it. The second pix is directly over my low spot, you can't see the drainage hole, it's just some slices in the rubber.
Saga of a new Bogger-p1010007.jpg Saga of a new Bogger-p1010009.jpg
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By Equilibrium on 03-25-2010, 10:48 PM

Ya, you gotta pull the plug in fall. Soooo.... you forgot to pull the plug... I swear it's not the end of the world but... I'd leave it out for a while. Sulfur is a nonmetallic chemical element that isn't toxic.... copper sulfate is a chemical compound that is toxic. Return the copper sulfate and whatever else was in their mystery bag to the "helpful" employee... exchange it for the sulfur... make sure it's sulfur.... it'll be a yellowish powder... save $12. Next time you remove your mulch and get worried about a cold snap just toss an army blanket over the top of the bog... I've used polar fleece but.... even burlap will work. I don't think you're in as bad of shape as you think you are.
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By BooBooBearBecky on 03-26-2010, 04:30 AM

Good luck with your bog garden recovery project. Think positive!

I've enjoyed all your bog photos so much. I've just never seen plants like this until you posted your bog plant photos here in the Wildlife Gardeners Forum.

I'm sending all ten of my green thumbs your way in hopes that your bog garden makes a successful recovery, so you can continue posting your beautiful bog plant photos.

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