Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gardening 101 Lesson Four


Sometimes the writing process requires a little lubricant. On those occasions when I've been staring at a blank screen for too long, sometimes I'll quickly write something silly to get my creative juices flowing. In the case below, I must have been working on a gardening article for Hole's. Usually these efforts wind up in the trash can, but for whatever reason I saved this one...for better or for worse. 

Gardening 101
Lesson Four: How to Grow the Biggest Man-Eating Plant in Edmonton

The intriguing Man-Eating Plant (Ferosicus eatemupus) of Zanzibar isn't often seen in Edmonton's yards, mainly because this tropical beauty needs plenty of heat and light to thrive. However, this tender perennial can do very well here with the proper care. The MEP's gorgeous crimson blooms and handy disposal features make it a worthwhile challenge. Follow my lead to grow the biggest, baddest, bloodthirstiest Man-Eating Plants in the City of Chompions.

This weekend is the perfect time to plant MEP transplants or seeds. I grow the variety 'Bloodsucking Monster,' because it has the biggest, reddest blooms and the most ravenous appetite. 'Rabid Hellebore,' 'Satanwort,' and 'Beelzebub 496' are also excellent choices. Avoid older varieties like 'Slobber Girl' and 'Drooling Maniac;' these heirloom varieties tend to be sloppy eaters.

The first thing to do is prepare the soil. Do not remove any weeds; F. eatemupus likes weeds nearly as much as people, and will happily gobble them up. MEPs grow best in rich, well-drained soil, especially when fortified with human blood. For each transplant, add 10 L of fresh, untainted, deep red blood to the earth. If you don't have access to fresh blood, plasma from the blood bank is an acceptable substitute. When we first started growing MEPs at the greenhouse, we ignored this crucial step and lost a few employees because of it.

After the blood has soaked into the ground, plant each transplant to fingertip depth. Just poke a hole in the soil to the depth of your fingernail and drop the plant into the hole. Mound the soil around the plant, covering the roots. Plants should be spaced at least 2 m apart, to prevent them from feeding off each other. They should also be spaced 2 m away from any of your other plants, playgrounds, and pathways.

MEPs are very thirsty plants, and should be watered daily for best results. For safety's sake, I water in the morning, while the plants are asleep. Keep the soil around each plant very moist, but don't drown them. Be consistent! Water every day‹don't skip days and try to overcompensate by soaking them. Inconsistent watering can lead to splitting, or, even worse, explosion, and you don't want that.

Your Man-Eating Plant needs plenty of food. At the seedling stage, they need only an occasional finger or toe once per week. Don't debone your offerings. Man-Eating Plants can use the calcium to develop strong vines. Once the plants are 1 m tall, start feeding them your enemies, dead or alive.

Pruning Man-Eating Plant tentacles is dangerous to the point of foolhardiness, but necessary if you really want that prizewinning specimen. To avoid being crushed by the deadly coils, spray the plant with Malathion while standing at least 2 m away. Once the tentacles are stunned, use heavy shears to snip off all but the longest, strongest tendrils. For tougher, Malathion-resistant plants, use small children or pets as bait‹these tender morsels will distract the plant, giving you the chance to leap in and prune.

Man-Eating Plants are tender perennials; to make sure they overwinter safely in Edmonton, cover them with a dark shroud or dig them up (carefully!) and place them in a thick-walled wooden coffin. Bury the coffin at least six feet under, then exhume in the spring. (Some MEPs may need to be staked during the overwintering period.)

For a great gag, sow Man-Eating Plant seeds into an unsuspecting neighbour's garden. He'll probably only lose a couple of fingers the first time he bends over to examine the unusual "volunteers" that have sprung up in his plot.

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Copyright © Ghoul's

For further information, contact:

Ghoul's Greenhouses and Slaughterhouses
666 Hellerose Drive
Sinner Albert, Alberta T8N 8N8
Phone: (666) EAT-GORE
Fax: (666) HOT-BURN
Email: grub@ghoulsonline.com


2 comments:

Totty said...

ghoulsonline.com is not registered, you could totally claim that site.

"Jeffvolution" said...

Maneaters also will consume zombies, I have that fact confirmed through the very most reliable of sources. While you can barricade a chomper with a wallnut or even a tallnut, if you are short on space or prefer container gardening a large pumpkin husk will provide plenty of cover while you attend to the needs of your other plants.