Week of 6/9 Update

This week began and ended with work in the greenhouse. At the beginning of the week I tossed some plants that were compromised by an accidental pesticide spraying this last March. I planted 400 milkweed in depots (200 of each species). At the end of the week I used soil I had collected from the Putah Creek site and humus from ace to set up a soil experiment. Louie designed a small experiment that consisted of planting milkweed plugs into 4 different mixtures of soil. We used 100% native soil, 2:1 native soil: humus, 1:1 native soil: humus, and 1:2 native soil: humus. The idea is to find the ideal addition of organic material to improve the clay dominated soil of Putah Creek.

On my weekly check for “volunteer monarchs”, or monarch that were not introduced to our experimental plants, I saw 10 dead plants,, and 90 that were in the process of yellowing out and drying up. Most of the plants that were yellowing and drying out were from the replanting on the 4th of this month. I assume the plants were taken out by that week’s heat.

I continued mulching around the plants at North Davis Creek as well as replanting. I replanted 118 of the facsicularis along lines 2 and 3. I also surveyed line 1 for survival, but did not replant there because we are very low on plugs for the speciosa. There was still poor survival for all three of the lines around section 5 of the creek (the F Street side). I spoke with Gillies, a Yolo RCD project manager about the situation there. His belief was that it was an issue of soil quality in that section. I also ensured that all North Davis Creek plants received 6 gallons of water this week.

The contrast between some of the plants out at North Davis Creek is amazing. There are some plots that are hardly over 3 centimeters and others that are easily 20 times that size. One of the more impressive specimens is pictured above.

I weighed and scanned all of the leaf tips from March’s cohort of the experiment at Putah Creek.

At the end of the week I also checked for survival at the Chamberlain site. There were 28 plants that were either dead or missing, though that number might improve later. Many of the plants that are dying back early have started sending out brand new shoots

Next Week’s Tasks

1.Keep up with data entry. Specifically adding all of the volunteer monarch data.

2. Help Louie set up the aphid experiment at the greenhouse.

3. Monitor plants and water at LTRAS.

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