January 23, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Search Results for: Scientist in the Garden

4 min read

What’s the deal with dragonfly eyes? They are so huge! We’ll zoom in on them. Do bees bite? Yes, but not the way you might think. Growing cool tomatoes? I have some thoughts on that too. I’m a scientist and a gardener so it’s not surprising I write an occasional series here on The Niche called The Scientist in the Garden, with today’s Memorial Day weekend edition focused on the above questions. Dragonfly eyes We get a lot of dragonflies in our backyard and …Read More

2 min read

I’ve been gardening since I was a kid and I guess I’ve been a scientist that long too so now it’s time for another installment of “scientist in the garden.” You can see past such posts here, which usually include various cool photos.  Today’s post is focused on unusual things in the garden. Getting out in the dirt is a good place to experiment with growing all kinds of unusual things. Arguably the most scientific looking plant is broccoli romanesco, which I’ve grown successfully …Read More

2 min read

I’ve always grown tomatoes in my garden and I like unusual varieties. This year I’ve got a bunch of cool tomatoes growing out back. Some are now starting to ripen so it’s getting more exciting. Note that this posted has been updated for 2020. Growing tomatoes is not as hard as I thought originally, but there are some tricks. I’m going to do a separate post fully on tomato growing tips. Some key ones are pick the sunniest spot in your yard, work on …Read More

4 min read

Here’s another edition of my posts over the years in my series ‘The Scientist in the Garden’. Can gardening teach us some important things about stem cells and about doing science more generally? Regular readers of this blog know that I am really into gardening and especially during the last 5 or so years I’ve been growing many kinds of unusual tomatoes. They like it here in the Sacramento region a lot more than they did in my previous city of Seattle, WA. This year …Read More

2 min read

As regular readers of this blog know, one of my hobbies is gardening and I like to bring a scientific perspective to the garden. This year in my garden I’ve planted a whole bunch of tomatoes including unusual and fun varieties. Little did I know that a giant tomato enemy would arrive. More on that in a bit. Below is a plate of the ones I picked today including the blue one Dark Galaxy and the funny pointy-tipped yellow cherry ones called Barry’s Crazy Clusters, which …Read More

1 min read

In celebrate the start of Spring yesterday, here are some pics from my garden. I have so little time I kind of neglect it, but sometimes it all turns out anyway. (update: you may enjoy reading our Scientist in the Garden series) Above you can see the edge of one of the beds with over-wintered & self-reseeded sweet alyssum in white and purple. Intermixed I have tulips and miniature carnations, with the latter surviving the winter. The climate in Davis, CA can be very …Read More

3 min read

Are you doing your pandemic garden, even if it’s on a balcony or windowsill? How’s it going? If not, you might consider it as a source of both fresh produce and some peace from the COVID-19 stress. The other day I went to one of my favorite nurseries here in the Sacramento area and it seemed like everyone had the same idea as the garden center was packed. In fact, it was more than packed. When I finally checked out there were 20 people …Read More

5 min read

How can we scientists find ways to keep doing our research during the COVID19 pandemic even if it has nothing to do with the coronavirus? Also, how should those of us involved in science communication talk about the outbreak? At a more basic level, how can scientists try not to go bonkers during this dark time? Patients and scientist patience As I’ve been writing here on The Niche during the pandemic I’ve been aiming to focus on practical issues. For instance, can new cellular …Read More

3 min read

What’s better than fresh “fruit” from your own tomato garden? For the last few years when I think about planning my summer tomato garden, I start months in advance preparing the soil. I had fava beans as my cover crop all this past winter and tilled it into the soil late in winter. It adds a lot to the soil in terms of nutrients and nitrogen. You can see in a plant I had just pulled up the little root nodules that crank out …Read More

2 min read

As some of you readers know, in addition to being a scientist, I’m also an avid gardener and photographer. Every now and then I do posts on gardening or photography. I feel like I bring a scientist’s eye to the garden and that was true a few days ago when I captured the above picture of Broccoli Romanesco. Both normal people and scientists have been wowed at the fractal patterns in nature for centuries. This winter I mainly planted regular broccoli and cauliflower but threw …Read More