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DD Gardening: Six tips to maintaining a lawn

first_imgIn this weekend’s column, I discuss how to get your lawn summer ready. I have listed six tips on getting the very best out of your lawn and getting it looking ship shape for the year ahead.Scarification This is a method of removing the thatch layer in your lawn. The thatch is made up of decomposed or semi-decomposed organic matter. This includes uncollected grass clippings and leaves among others. This is where a build-up of moss can occur. By removing a percentage of this, it helps to allow the rain to percolate down through this area quicker reducing damp conditions. As well as improving airflow through grass sward helping to reduce diseases. It also helps encourage the spread of more vulnerable grass varieties to regenerate. Advertisement Regeneration Your lawn encompasses at least a half dozen grass varieties and weeds. Obviously, over time the more vulnerable varieties and less competitive ones will lose out. This can be key to the overall appearance and the ecology of your lawn. Renown or stitching in seed on a biannual basis can greatly benefit your lawn.Watering As you can imagine grass varieties are shallow rooting. They have a fibrous root system that spreads out just below the surface of the soil. Long periods of dry weather can have ill effects on your lawn. We can still see some damage to lawns from last year’s drought spell. So give it a watering during periods of dry spells will help keep it alive. Advertisement Mowing Regularly mowing will increase the density of the grass. Basically what happens is the individual grass plants panic and stress out after mowing. They then respond by shooting out stolons i.e baby grass plants. These new grass plants then grow up and thicken the overall lawn. It also helps create more competition helping to fight out weed problemsFeed At the end of the day grass are plants and plants like us require food to thrive. Regularly feeding your lawn with either a specialised soluble or solid feed will see a vast improvement. A soluble feed will act quicker but last shorter as for a solid feed will respond slower but be available for a greater length of time. A specialised lawn feed will have all the correct nutrients.pH This is a measurement of how alkaline or acidic your soil is. This can impact the nutrients available to your grass and what they will be able to take up. Also, certain grass varieties and weeds will tolerate various pH readings.Ideally, a pH at around 6.5 will be sufficient, this is slightly on the acidic side. Liming will help alleviate the problem of soil been too acidic. Lime is a natural rock material that is alkaline. Acidic based feeds will help alleviate the problem of soil been too alkaline.If you would like to arrange a consultation and for further information visit my website conorgallinagh.com.I have a number of gardening events coming up over the next few weeks and information on these are available on my Facebook page – Conor Gallinagh – Horticulture Consultant. https://www.facebook.com/conorgallinaghhorticulture/ Happy Gardening!!DD Gardening: Six tips to maintaining a lawn was last modified: April 20th, 2019 by Conor GallinaghShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Why Darwin Is Like Yoda, and Darwinism Like Marxism

first_img 1John Vandermeer, “The Importance of a Constructivist View,” Science Volume 303, Number 5657, Issue of 23 Jan 2004, pp. 472-474. Comrade – dialectic – materialism – homage to the Leader – the parallels are too striking to be coincidental.  Is that why Marx found Darwin’s views so supportive of his economic philosophy?  (Incidentally, though the story about Marx dedicating Das Kapital to Darwin may be apocryphal, Marx did send him a signed copy in 1873, writing “Mr. Charles Darwin on the part of his sincere admirer Karl Marx.”  Darwin, in reply, wrote, “ I believe that we both earnestly desire the extension of knowledge & that this in the long run is sure to add to the happiness of mankind.”  100 years and 100 million dead bodies later…     And then you have the prophetic, exalted master, and a mystical force with two sides in eternal competition, permeating the universe.  Darwin himself looked for humans with pointy ears.  He thought they might be ativisms, i.e., evolutionary throwbacks.  Interesting.  The word Vandermeer chooses to speak of Darwin sounds best when uttered in a deep, breathy voice, like Mossstuh.  Lewontin seems to be saying, “I was once the Learnuh, but now I am the Mosstuh.”     If you thought dialectical materialism went out of style when the Berlin wall fell, you can find it alive and well in modern evolutionary biology.  The constructivists assume that evolution proceeds by the interplay of adaptation and feedback from the environment in a Hegelian way, but Vandermeer has unwittingly hit on a troubling fact.  What if the vectors of thesis and antithesis, or adaptation and environmental constraint, are collinear and opposite?  Nothing happens.  There is no evolution.  Vandermeer has pointed out an “internally generated stop on the general evolutionary process.”  His example is telling.  Natural selection adapts an animal toward utilizing a food source.  The animal gets so good at it that the food source runs out.  Now what?  (For a similar discussion of this often unnoticed “slippage on the evolutionary treadmill,” see the important 03/17/2003 entry.)     For another headline related to Vandermeer’s criticism of the propriety of investigating the evolution of rape, see 07/18/2003.(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Homage for the master is palpable in John Vandermeer’s review (Science, Jan. 23)1 of a thick new book entitled Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution by Odling-Smee, Laland and Feldman (Princeton, 2004).  Vandermeer seems almost worshipful in his opening lines: The nascent germ of many novel ideas in biology can be traced directly or indirectly to Darwin.  Thus it would probably be unusual if a book with laudatory cover blurbs by such notables as Lord May and Comrade Lewontin did not somehow reach deep into the master’s seed bank. The force of Master Darwin’s insight was only recently brought to full power by subsequent disciples, like Lewontin and Levins.  What is the “neglected process in evolution” indicated by the subtitle?  It is called niche construction or constructivism, the idea that not only does the environment impact the organism, the organism impacts the environment.  This “dialectic” approach produces a sort of Hegelian synthesis-antithesis-synthesis in the operations of evolution: Organisms in one generation can modify their environment, which is then inherited by the next generation.  Just as a sequence of generations of organisms changes through the pattern of intergenerational inheritance, the environment to which they respond likewise changes through ecological inheritance.  The authors’ approach incorporates two constructs of inheritance, genetic and ecological, which are coupled through niche construction and natural selection. Vandermeer honors the work of his comrades, with only a few reservations (not enough to get dismissed from The Party).  One criticism, however, might be exploited by enemies of the revolution.  He suggests that realistic experiments might reveal that the dialectic interplay between natural selection and niche construction does not drive evolution, but instead, steps on the brakes: Consider, for example, an organism evolving increased resource use efficiency.  If the dynamics of the organism and its resource generate a stable equilibrium over ecological time, then evolutionary dynamics will tend to reduce the equilibrium biomass of the resource.  This arrangement is consistent with the niche construction framework.  (The resource biomass is the consumer’s niche; thus, niche construction occurs through resource use while evolutionary change drives increased efficiency in resource use.)  However, the gradual evolution of utilization efficiency requires, implicitly, a relatively predictable regime of resource density.  It is not difficult to construct a dynamic model that generates well-behaved equilibria at low levels of utilization efficiency but chaos at high levels.  Above some critical value of utilization efficiency, the resource is no longer available at predictable densities, which effectively negates the force of selection.  This arrangement would imply an internally generated stop on the general evolutionary process (with niche construction) that derives from the nonlinear dynamics of the ecological model, a conclusion that would be missed with simpler models. In other words, the thesis and antithesis might not lead to a synthesis, but to stasis – or extinction.     He has another criticism of the book: the authors’ “curious position” on the “fundamental problem of gene-culture transition,” i.e., the influence of biology on sociology.  The authors claim, for instance, that “human cultural processes are only possible because of human genetic aptitudes…. For example, …the capacity for language is the result of biological adaptations.”  Vandermeer gently illustrates the problems that leave him “somewhat perplexed” with their thesis, and expands it to a general word of caution: My son loves nature as much as I do.  Yet I doubt that even the most enthusiastic genetic determinist would claim that I transferred that love to him with my genes rather than my parental nurturing.  But I would be first to admit that if he could not understand what I said, I could never have “culturally transmitted” that attitude to him.  If this is all the authors mean, they make a rather trivial point.  The culture-genetic dichotomy in general is rife with confused thinking.  The fact that lactose tolerance is correlated with animal husbandry, arguably a product of gene-culture coevolution, is a far cry from speculations about “rape” genes or genetically determined biophilia.  Critics, past and present, have no problem with lactose and cattle herding, but find certain speculations about more sensitive issues scientifically flawed and politically motivated. Not to end on a note of contradiction, Vandermeer praises the comrades’ fine work, which might just lead to a new five year plan: Attempting to reorganize the field of evolutionary biology certainly requires a work as long as Niche Construction, and any volume so rich with ideas is bound to incur criticism on particular points.  I have offered some here in the spirit of constructive criticism of constructivism.  And although I have more, my complaints do not signify a disagreement with the ringing endorsements by May and Lewontin on the book’s back cover.  With this volume, we may indeed be looking at a major breakthrough. Vandermeer stands in rank with Comrade Lewontin in honoring the venerable gray-bearded Master: “In their now-classic The Dialectical Biologist, Levins and Lewontin noted that Darwin’s major treatise ‘was the culmination and not the origin of nineteenth-century evolutionism.’”  But we must acknowledge the Master’s prophetic powers.  Vandermeer reminds us, “Indeed, the ideas expressed in Niche Construction can be seen in outline form in The Origin….”last_img read more

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Handling pressure a challenge feels Kohli

first_imgEmerging middle-order star Virat Kohli feels that the biggest challenge India will face during the forthcoming World Cup will be to ensure that external pressure does not affect their game. “Playing the World Cup in itself is huge pressure.There will be people who would expect us to do well. The biggest challenge will therefore be not to get distracted by that and concentrate at the job on hand,” Kohli said at a media interaction in New Delhi on Sunday.The youngest member of the Indian squad felt he was living in a dream. “Every time I think of a World Cup match, I imagine all eleven of us walking out in a packed stadium. I am definitely going to have goosebumps when I go out there. I am living a dream. It’s an amazing feeling to be in the World Cup squad. It gives me greater happiness than holding aloft the under-19 (World Cup) trophy. You can imagine how special it is for me,” Kohli said.The Delhi batsman dismissed the notion that injury management has been a problem with Indian players of late, since the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Praveen Kumar have all been injured leading up to the World Cup, which begins with an India- Bangladesh encounter in Dhaka on February 19. “No player likes to get injured.When you are playing so much of cricket, the body tends to get tired and thus injuries happen. You may be the fittest guy around but suddenly you can twist an ankle and be out of action for six months,” he said.advertisement”It is definitely a bad time to get injured. No one gets injured intentionally and this is unfortunate that some of our players have sustained injuries.”Kohli reiterated the rest of the team’s stance that a World Cup victory would be the best gift to Sachin Tendulkar. “What he (Sachin) has achieved in his entire career, I don’t think anyone else will be able to achieve that. So it will be a great thing if we can win the World Cup not only for our fans but also for Sachin, who is a special person,” said the 22-year-old batsman.Kohli, who has four centuries from 45 ODIs at an average of around 47, said he just tries to keep things simple. “I just try to play according to my strength and not do anything special.With the experience of having played international cricket for the past two years, I have learnt that if one tries too hard for something special, one might just spoil the ability to do things that comes naturally,” he said.”It’s hard not to make mistakes but with time you learn from them and the key to success is not repeating the same mistakes over and over again.”Virat Kohli says two years of international cricket has tough him a lot.Asked which teams he would tip to do well in the World Cup, Kohli named South Africa, Australia and England as the three sides to watch out for in the competition.Talking about the ODI series in South Africa where he was the only player apart from Yusuf Pathan to score two half centuries, Kohli said: “I am lucky that I have been able to pull it off pretty well. The bouncy South African pitches suit my style of play. I like to play a lot upright and the ball came on nicely to the bat.”Although his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is sceptical about the use of the Umpires’ Decision Review System (UDRS), Kohli said it hardly makes any difference.”I don’t think too much about these things. All I know is that if opposition has three referrals, it’s same for us,” Kohli said.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

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