Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dragon Fruit Tip: How to grow a stronger trunk

Dragon Fruit Tip.



Typically with Dragon fruit grown from seed they start to grow a little skinny and thin. This is a quick tip on how to grow a stronger Dragon fruit with a thicker trunk.


Up potted and ready to be a great new strong plant.

Update: 4/19/16 a new bud has appeared after 3 weeks.

Update: 5/3/16


Update: June 2016

Can you grow figs hydroponically? Part 1: The Setup

Part 1: 03/27/16

I've seen a few postings about trying to hydroponically grow figs. I think that it can be done with success, so as long as you're not completely drowning the plant.

So what's the point in growing hydroponically vs the traditional soil method? I came up with atleast 3 reasons.

1. No fungus gnats
2. Higher rate of growth
3. Because it's fun to mess with my figs





4/7/16
Rule #1 Don't go on vacation prior to a fig experiment. The cutting did not make it. Could be because it was an under developed cutting with a weak root system or 2 the water level got too low from evaporation and since I wasn't home to monitor it, the cutting dehydrated.  Either way, I will probably try this again with a healthier cutting and not while I'm on vacation.

There could be a small chance it will make it so I'll let it run for another week.


Update: 4/26/16
The fig did not make it.


Welcome Spring! Psych! says mother nature

03/26/16

All of my indoor figs have been leafing out, but I've been hesitant about bringing them outdoors even though it's technically spring. Today the temps toed the 60 degree line so I couldn't resist and shuffled most of them out.

However it looks like there's still a night that will dip into the 30s. Temps that low could damage tender new growth. So I may shuffle some back indoors Monday night. It's a pain to do but it's a labor of love



and then the very next day this happens. I huge hail storm! I assessed the damage and they all look OK with some minor leaf tears but nothing major.



Just a little damage after the hail storm. I think they should recover fine.



What!? You can't graft that! Update 3/25/16 Part 4

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

3/25/16

The Fiorone di Ruvo graft that I used on a Gillette cutting has started to root nicely. Gillette's root like weeds. It doesn't mean that the graft has taken but it does mean that the chances of success are higher.  The successfully rooted cutting now has a means to provide energy into the Fiorone di Ruvo graft.

Stay tuned...





Saturday, March 26, 2016

Guava 2016 updates

03/26/16

This is my 2yr old guava, it has done an amazing job acclimating from an indoor to and outdoor plant to indoors again for the winter. Now it's time to go back outdoors and get some fresh air. The only issues I had indoors were the spider mites and dry air.

Well now that's getting a taste of our chilly spring nights, it's gotten real limp. It still needs some time to re acclimate to the outdoors. For the most part this plant is much hardier than I have given it credit for.

I'll have monthly updates on this plant for 2016.

2015 This is how it looked after 6 months.

3/26/2016


June:







 

July update: Flower buds



Guava 2016 updates

03/26/16

This is my 2yr old guava, it has done an amazing job acclimating from an indoor to and outdoor plant to indoors again for the winter. Now it's time to go back outdoors and get some fresh air. The only issues I had indoors were the spider mites and dry air.

Well now that's getting a taste of our chilly spring nights, it's gotten real limp. It still needs some time to re acclimate to the outdoors. For the most part this plant is much hardier than I have given it credit for.

I'll have monthly updates on this plant for 2016.

2015 This is how it looked after 6 months.

3/26/2016


June:







  

July update: Flower buds



Seed grown Cherimoya 2016 updates


3/26/16

After being cooped up in the house all winter, the 3yr old cherimoya looks a bit rag tag from being in the dry air of the house. This is it's first taste of real sun in months. I plan on up potting it this year and pumping it up with a regulated fertilization schedule. Hopefully I can get some flowers this year.

May 2015


3/26/2016

June Update:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

What!? You got 20 fig plants from one shoe box?! Yes I did =)

Yesterday, I decided to unleash the fig cuttings I got from San Jose and I was amazed at how many plants made it from one regular size shoe box.  They've been in there since the beginning of November. I probably should have up potted them at 2.5 months rather than 4 but this variety took much longer to root than others. I still have some of the same cuttings using the cup method that has not shown any growth.

In all, I up potted to cups 20 plants. I left 5 or 6 in the shoe box that have yet to form new leaves. Most of the cuttings were about 4 inches long.  I was impressed with the amount of successful cuttings from just 1 square foot of growing space.



They probably would've developed more growth had I started the diluted fertilizing sooner.




New Arrival: Pink Jerusalem 3/23/16

I got my new fig tree from Planter-Creator yesterday.

Pink Jerusalem


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jack Fruit Grown from Seed

I started these Jack fruit seeds in January. I used the napkin in the sandwich bag method. When they started to sprout about a month ago, I up potted them to 2.5 size pots.

Photo taken on 3/22/16 They are sitting in my half opened humidity bin along side the tender new fig cuttings.




Whats Jack fruit?



Well it's Southeastern Asian giant fruit that grows on up to 70 feet tall with spikey fruit that can weigh up to 80lbs. It can be found in most asian grocery stores. The taste is sweet with hints of honey and tropical flowers in tender leathery form.

More info on the Jack Fruit

https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/jackfruit_ars.html

Monday, March 21, 2016

Seed grown Papaya Update 3/21/16 We have Flowers!!!

I was extremely excited today to see flowers on my 3yr old Papaya tree! I had 2 but sadly one died over the winter.  The one remaining does appear to be a male tree. So I won't get any fruit from it but isn't it gorgeous?

 


Update: June 2016


July

Lasagna Method: Up Potted to cups 3/21/16

With the Lasagna Method of rooting figs the main question I had when I came up with this method was...

"When to up pot?"



Well I think I've learned a couple more things along the way besides when to up pot.

1. I've been waiting too long to water the trays. 
I use a turkey baster. Now, I start watering the new cuttings when the roots grow dense and form feeders. The turkey baster allows for spot watering.  Try to water the rooted end and avoid wetting the leaves, which may cause mold. And since the trays do not have drainage holes, you do not want to drown your cuttings.

2. I was waiting too long to up pot / transfer the new cuttings into their own cups.
As soon as you see leaves forming and a strong roots, up pot them. I waited 3 months on certain cuttings and the roots became too entangled and dried.

Here in this up potting video, you can see the roots have formed into feeders roots but I did 2 things wrong, not enough fertilized watering and 2, I waited too long to up pot them, which made it real difficult to untangle the roots from one another.

3. I needed to fertilize them as soon as the feeder roots form.
My buddy Vinny asked whether or not I fed my new cuttings, I said no. But he did and his growth looked so lush and healthy. It was also 2x the size of my cuttings even though we rooted cuttings around the same time. Now this got my attention. So he pointed me to Dyna-Gro liquid fertlizer  which I've been using for the last couple of weeks and the plants love it! The leaves and stems look greener and stronger.

 


I've also added a bit of Silica Blast to my weekly feedings. Silica blast should strengthen the stems and make the plants heartier to frost and heat.

 



4. Do not bury them too deep, you want the top layer to just cover the cuttings. 
I noticed that in one tray, the new leaves were not strong enough to break through the top layer because it was too thick. The developing leaves were white from not being able break the surface to photosynthesis the light.

5. I was cutting them too short.
I was getting phenomenal roots but some cuttings were lacking the leaves. Moving forward nothing less than 3 nodes should be cut.

The tray on the left would be the best time to up pot cuttings to their own cup


Today I decided to dig up one of the Black Madeira cuttings in a tray that I started about a month ago. The roots looked amazing. It has not developed it's feeder roots yet but it was so much easier to transfer to another pot at this stage.



Inspired, I went through my other trays and up potted a handful of other varieties that were about the same stage in the rooting process.

Video taken on 3/22/16


My wife wasn't too happy about me spending so much time with the figs on a weekday.

Wuhan x7
Salce x2
Ginos x3
Dr Monticellos x2
Petrovacu x5
3 Lobe Unknown x2
Black Madeira x2
Vista x2
Desert King x10
Brandon Unknown x10



These were the Wuhans up potted into cups

Desert King Cutting Up Potted



Branch Greenhouse Experiment on my Fuyu Persimmon

This will be the 3rd season with my Fuyu Persimmon. It hasn't been the most productive tree but it's also, like most of my fruit trees, still very young. I did uproot it last year and replanted it in a different location which may have affected it's productivity.

1st year: I got 2 fruit from it, I let them sit in the tree too long and the November frost got them before I did

2nd year: Again it only produced 2 fruit. This time I picked them in October in fear of the frost but probably too early since they were not fully ripe. I also bought it a buddy last year. IZU persimmon so that it can cross pollinate but the IZU never broke dormancy and died.

This year I'm trying to trick the dang plant into the leafing out earlier (well atleast one branch). I took a large plastic bag and wrapped the largest branch to give it a greenhouse affect. Perhaps the warmth will help it leaf out sooner. It's mid March and the buds are barely starting to show.




BTW the hanging bottle is NOT being punished for a crime. I hung it on the branch to help shape the tree and lower the branch angle.



Update: 4/6/16 The leaves in the bag appear to have more advanced growth than the rest of the tree.

Update: 4/10/16

So I realized that I had to remove the plastic bag for one very important reason. Pollination!! Until the fruits start to form I'll have to leave the plastic bag off so that the bees can do their thing.


New arrivals: 3/21/16

Thanks Bill from Off the Beaten Path:
Unknown Oxford
JFE Black Madeira
Unknown Feng Tai
Teramo


Thanks Armando: I got a few unknowns from Armando, I love unknowns.
Santa Fe
Noble
Family Favorite




Night Blooming Cactus Cereus Repandus Peruvian Apple Cactus. This is the north american cousin to the Dragon fruit, not as exotic looking but real similar in taste. This will be a patio plant for sure that I will bring in and out.


Here they are potted up in very well draining soil.