First of all – Happy Canada to all! If I ever get around to it, I’m going to make a page with amusing Canadian items, like the Long John Service Index of Canada.
The ragweed plants are happily growing and are getting huge! Last week I visited all my field sites to do some growth measurements on the plants at 6 weeks. There is a lot of variation in size of plants between the four field sites – the plants at the St.Paul site (urban garden) appear to be the largest, and those at the River Terrace site (rural garden) appear to be the smallest. I don’t know what is driving these size differences, however I have a feeling it might be due to soil differences between the sites. This gives me further motivation to do some sort of follow-up greenhouse experiment with the soil from these field sites to determine whether it is affecting plant growth and fitness.
The plants have also started to initiate flower development! I was surprised to see this as A. artemisiifolia doesn’t normally start to flower until late July or early August. I will be tracking and recording the emergence of both the male and female flowers as the season progresses with plastic party swords – I have to keep data collection exciting, right?