Friday, October 17, 2014

The Blue Mayhem Project #AA

 What is a Blue Mayhem?
Come on in and find out!

An Opening Introduction

Normally I would be saying 'that's it for the year' but this year is different because I am going into over time with a second project; to grow hostas from seed.   Before reading further you may want to read the 'Saga of the Blue Mammoth'. 

These narratives will be lettered AA out to where ever they end.  The 2014 - 2015 comments will start with "A" and the 2015 - 2016 comments will start with "B",  I expect this to be a two season project.   The 2014 - 2015 seasons will work with a sold colored hosta; and the 2015 - 2016 season will have variegated hosta.

The final plants will be numbered 1 to upper range and be temporarily called "Blue Mayhem ##".  My goal from this is to produce 6 to 7 plants that I can transplant into my own garden to take over the Blue Mammoth space IF THEY do not return next year.

The project name comes from the fact I will be growing plants from Blue Mammoth seed, but when one grows from hosta seed the plant you get is not the plant you seeded from!  Hence you have entirely new variety from each successful seed of Hosta; and hence part of the mayhem of the title.  The name also originates from the initials of the plant BM becoming BM.  Finally the name comes from the fact if the 2014 Blue Mammoths DO return next year (2015) there will be distinct mayhem as I will not know where to put the propagated seedlings.

The source of the seed is from two Blue Mammoth plants I had from last year (2014).  One plant came from Kelley and Kelley Nursery given to me by my mother.  The second plant came to me, also as a gift, from a local hosta purveyor's private garden [for reasons of privacy that's being left anonymous].

Events and Observations

October 11th
  • I have set up the growing station for the three late hostas.  This includes a florescent light, a growing tub, and three sub-planters.  I wound up using peat moss for the growing medium as nothing else was readily at hand. This will effect the watering cycle for these plants.  The sub-planters were drenched with a 2.5:1 solution of water and ammonia to eradicate slugs that might have been in it.  I will plant the hosta when the ammonia smell dissipates (tomorrow?).

October 12th
  • 11 AM: Sub-planters are still moist and ammonia still being smelled.  Late plants being exposed to 10 to12 hours of light.  The ammonia is not just being used to eradicate slugs at this point, but also to determine the watering cycle for the plants going into these containers.  Hosta like water but can not stand in water for longer periods.  When the smell of the ammonia is gone the soil ought to be dry and that will suggest how much and how often I need to water.  My watering cycle for outdoor plants is once every three days; I will attempt to recreate that indoors.
  • 11 PM: Sub-planters are still moist and ammonia still being smelled.  Yes the ammonia is dissipating.  Tomorrow may be planting night here and then i get to see exactly how many plants I received.  I had ordered two Frosted Mouse Ears and 1 Popcorn.

October 13th
  • 12 PM: Sub-planters are still moist and ammonia still being smelled.  The level of the ammonia smell seems to have stabilized.  This maybe a reflection of how well peat moss retains water.  Did late night research on Hosta and the use of peat moss to calm my worries about the two.  I find that numerous hosta growers are suggesting that peat moss is being used very successfully to grow hosta.  To me, at some levels, this seems counter intuitive to what I would expect as hosta do not like to stand in water.

October 14th
  • 08 PM: Planted the extra hosta as I realized I may be loosing leaves.  Have to hope now that the ammonia does not put them into shock.  Peat moss is still moist; will wait to water when it is completely dry.

Nothing fancy at this point.  More to come by December 
Frosted Mouse Ears.  Each plant is no larger than the palm of your hand!

Popcorn.  Again this plant is as small as your palm!

All three planted,  Popcorn is furthest back, and both Frosted Mouse Ears in Front

October 15th
  • 06 AM: After one night of being planted the two Frosted Mouse Ears, and  Popcorn have not collapsed.  Ammonia can still be smelled so I am still holding of watering them.  Plants appear to be 'strong'.  Rhizomes on the Frosted Mouse Ears looked extensive; rhizomes on the Popcorn were respectively smaller as the plant itself was smaller in comparison.  The first night in ground I consider a milestone for these hosta.  The next milestone will be the indication of growth which may take a little as 2 weeks or until December when a more formal growing arrangement will be set up AND after the fertilizer, and anti-fungal and mold agent is added when the seedlings emerge.  The later will not be Captian as there is a cat in the living space.
  • 01 PM: Peat moss is nearly dry.  Will water tomorrow sometime.  This would suggest that watering may be on a 4 to 5 day cycle as it stands.

October 16th
  • 08 AM: These hosta have been watered; now I re-verify how long it takes for the containers to dry with the combination plants and water.  One of the Frosted Mouse Ears is giving up another leaf.  The other two hosta seem to be stable.  As mentioned above the wait for new growth begins.

October 17th
  • 09 AM: Cleared off the dead leaves from these hosts going from greenhouse to this planting.  They may look better but better in this case better doesn't promise new leaves; which in this case is not all bad - just real boring.

The checklist of equipment that I will need to gather before December includes:
  1. Tent [2ft x 2ft x 2ft; selected but not ordered]
  2. LED Lighting element
  3. Fan (plants can suffocate too!)
  4. Anti-Fungal and mold spray
  5. Timer for light
  6. 4in x 4in x 4in growing containers (getting those from B.E.)
I think I have most of the puzzle pieces i need. I just need to find some one who can help me see how they fit together!

From this point, this blog will take a break and come back sometime in December of 2014 as I start the planting the actual seed!

Until you visit again 'may the Hosta be with you'!

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