Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Blue Mayhem Project #AC

In the 1970's the cry was
"Save the Earth", "Save the Whales", and "Save the Eagles"!
In the new Millennium the cry is
"Save the Pollinators ... to save the Earth"!

October 25
12:00 PM: At this point I can say I am growing something in my bedroom.  Unfortunately I cant say its the hosta - yet.  I had to pull the first weed!  With that sign of plant growth I think I can say with some confidence that if I can grow a weed then I ought to be able to grow hosta in the same space.  The wait continues for hosta growth.

05:00 PM:  Gardening supplies have been delivered by G.K. and S.K.  These were sent over to me by B.E.  These will be the principal resources for the December seed start.  With G.K.'s help I will be going after the LED lighting on Tuesday afternoon; at least that's the plan for now.  I told friend R.E. that I was just getting warmed up and the real act is to come in December.  MWHAHahahahahaha!

October 26
04:00 PM:  No real changes.  Frosted Mouse Ears: Plant A is standing tall and ridged; and Liberty: Plant A seems to be going through yet another drying process which I have never observed before.  (indoor gardening lets you see the smaller things going on.)

Looks like I will be separating the Liberty plants into TWO bottoms of half gallon containers rather than having a formal nursery container.  These are smaller (3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches/8.9 x 8.9 x 8.9 centimeters approximately as these are hand cut to their height).  May do this Tuesday evening after my errands with G.K. as i might still find the right containers to transplant into along the way.

I am working towards doing some very special video work this winter of a hosta … yes,  that's singular in this case.  Hoping to capture the growth of one plant in time lapse photography.  While this process takes lots of time - the results are really fabulous if it is done right.  Let me know which hosta you want to see in time lapse (Frosted Mouse Ears, Liberty, or Popcorn)!

I really wish I could do all three but I do not have the resources at hand.  (nudge) Anyone out their with an unwanted, good condition camcorder that is Apple compatible that is able to do time lapse?  Maybe with team work I can do even MORE!

October 27
09:00 AMFrosted Mouse Ears; Plant A seems to be relaxing its leaves.  May be this is a sign of new growth to come!

A Hosta Report!

Had to reattach a tether from the raised bed cover and noted that X-Ray and Dragon Tails have started to regrow.  We have had 60 to 70 F / 15.56 to 21.11 C degree temperatures since the first frost earlier this month.  With a 'long' two weeks of that any hosta would try to come back.  This does not surprise me.  At the moment; more importantly; what this also tells me is that it may take up 2 weeks to see new growth on the hosta being grown inside!  Tonight we sink back down to more seasonable temperatures of 40 and 50 F / 4.44 to 10.00 C degrees during the day and very distinct freezing temperatures at nigh!  The raised bed is quite dry and that was the game plan as we enter into winter!  In a few weeks I will pull the plastic back for the first snow and the rest of the winter!

And now I return you to the Blue Mayhem Project!

October 30
Frosted Mouse Ears
    Plant A:    Three leaves    Spike growing; is this a leaf or scape?.
    Plant B:    Five Leaves    No change

    Plant A:    Two spikes growing; my guess they're leaves.
    Plant B:    Spike growing; my guess its a leaf.

    Three leaves    No change.

I have watched the spike on Frosted Mouse Ears: Plant A for about a week.  At first I thought it was a small clump of peat moss that decided to settle in the center of the plant.  And then as the base of the plant began to turn tan to brown I began to be concerned that it would be my first loss to crown rot because of over watering.  Yesterday I took courage to physically touch the spot to find that it was some kind of a spear coming up the center.

There also seems to be a similar change with Liberty: Plant A where it used to be a center of an eye of an plant.  Liberty: Plant B also has a spike growing from its eye.  Between these three developments I think I can breath much easier about growing hosta inside.

Maybe by Monday there will be a leaf opening!

My current arrangement has a desk lamp which I think is a 7 watt micro florescent bulb in it.  So getting hosts growth out of this lamp is I think is a bit amazing.  Over the last few days I have also been sorting out how many watts of light I really do need for growing inside.  The recommendations from online and with the use of online growing calculators suggest that 11 to 18 watts is suggested for a growing area of 4 square feet.  This roughly correlates to the older versions of light tables using florescent lights where 20 to 40 watts of light existed.  I am investigating locating a LED Light that is in the 20 watt range which straddles both recommendations.

Over the last weeks looking at LED lights I have received recommendations of 13 watts all the way up to 135 watts for the same amount of space.  Hosta, just as they would grow in direct sunlight, can be sun-bleached from to much light.  While these make 'interesting' plants; there not healthy plants.  My best judgement on this says anything between 20 to 50 watts might be appropriate for this growing situation.  As I am working with a Mylar tent that is reflective inside, I think, it ought to compensate for the lower wattage.

November 2
Frosted Mouse Ears
    Plant A:    Three leaves    This a new leaf coming up not a scape.
    Plant B:    Five Leaves    Leaves might be relaxing to let new foliage come up.

    Plant A:    Two spikes growing; my guess they're leaves.
    Plant B:    Spike growing; my guess its a leaf.

        Three leaves    No change.

09:00AM: All of the spikes coming up are about a half inch tall now.  Over the last few days there have been times where I have sworn that they have grown 1 mm./0.0394in.  in a half a day.  While I understand what size these leaves can become I have no idea how large they will grow to on these tissue culture plugs.  In the case of Liberty that came with dried leaves, and looking a little distressed so there is not analogy for me to directly make a guess from.

Frosted Mouse Ears: Plant B, and Popcorn are still not showing any outward appearance of adding foliage at this time.  Popcorn is definitely looking stubborn.  Have been wondering of the light frequency is off for Popcorn to grow leaves?  Maybe with the grow tent I can gain some insight as to what causes Popcorn to be so stubborn, … maybe.

On the other hand Liberty is a fun hosta to have.  Not just because it screams for attention when it is mature, but the leaves themselves go through a coloration change as they age to maturity; a ±4 year process. Young leaves come up with a medium green colored center and a 'fingernail' thin white edge.  As the plant matures the center green becomes a dark Christmas green/blue green, with a 2 in./5.08cm. wide outer margin  which itself changes over the course of a single growing season form yellow to cream white,  This hosta works hard to put on a good show in any garden.

November 3
07:00 AM:  I swear that the the spikes have grown 1/4 in./0.64 cm. last night. They each have a good inch/2.54 cm. on each at this point.  As Frosted Mouse Ears has the smallest leaves that ought to unfurl first; but this hosta at mature size can have 3 in./7.62 cm long leaves.  Depending on how the fertilizer is effecting the plant I may still be waiting for a few days.

November 6
12:00 PM:  The spike on Frosted Mouse Ears: Plant A Is now at or above leaf height.  It seems to have taken on some thickness in the last few days.  Either the leaf will grow further or it will open shortly.  [Looking in hindsight from November 7th]  This spike had to have begun opening sometime in the evening hours.

Taking a step back.  The two Liberty Hosta were planted in the bottom of a half gallon milk carton that was cut down,  The depth of the cut was about 2.25 in./5.72 cm. BELOW the other planting containers.  The same containers have a 1 in/2.54 cm. lip down from the top.  Both spikes on Liberty are now above the lip edge of the other containers.  The spikes seem … to be broadening as they grow taller.  Based on pictures of other immature Liberty leaves, from online, these might grow as tall as 8 in./20.32 cm. before they open; and that may take time to happen.  And so the adventure continues!  These two plants will at some point need to be divided into their own containers.

November 7
12:00 PM:  Time lapse photography may begin this evening for a three day test.  The deliberation at his point is the interval of the images.  Four or 20 minute.  At one at every 20 minutes it would produce one day in one second of viewing time; at one at every 4 minutes it would produce 1 day in 6 seconds of viewing time.  If we're lucky we might get to see Frosted Mouse Ears open its leaf!

Time lapse has begun.  The camcorder has dictated that it will photograph once every 30 seconds(!) and we've set it for 3 days (72 hours).  Frosted Mouse Ears is the subject for this 3 day test.

General Comments

In my last edition I introduced good nutrition for plants.  I left you with the philosophy of the 16 Elements as presented by Daniel Fernandez (and allies).  Without much surprise there are differing views as to which of the 16 elements are important.  There's a company known as Frit Industries which is a international, main line, agricultural company located in Alabama, USA.   Their view is slightly different.  I put these two views side by side for comparison.

Daniel Fernandez’s view: B, C, Ca, Cl,     Cu, Fe, H, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, N, O, P, S,    Zn
Frit Industries view:    B,    Ca, Cl, Co, Cu, Fe,    K, Me, Mg, Mo, N. P, S, S, V, Zn

My intent is not to start a fight.  These two philosophies can probably co-exist as each might grow different types of plant genus'.  What makes the Frit website a little different is that they offer some information about what each of their identified elements do for plant growth.  It is one thing to know what elements are important for growing plants; it is somewhat different to understand what each element does for the plant.

The reader will need to do their own search to locate the differing elements from Mr. Fernandez's list (elements C, and H).  Now that you've come this far you might be able perceive why good gardening practices are so important not just for the plants your growing; but the environment and ecology of your garden and the entire planet itself!

[Talking from the US perspective; although may equally apply in other places]  Have you noticed that prices in some foods are going up while the packaging or the availability is shrinking?  Consider honey, various nuts, fruits, vegetables, and some meats; not to mention your clothing … !  What is driving these changes?  Have you wondered?  They all have a common issue believe it or not!  The issue is centered on what are known as neonicotinoid pesticides.  Humanity has used various pesticides over the time of their doing agriculture for over 10,000 years.  One of the newer classes of pesticides are known as neonicotinoids.  While these are highly effective on the bad pests they also effect the good creatures that help with pollination (approximately 100,000 species of animals).  In particular lets look at the honeybee. IF a flowering plant is exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides they take some of tthat in,  When it flowers the pollen of that flower has residue traces of the fertilizer which the bee is exposed to.  When the bee is exposed to those traces its sense of direction and its ability to fly correctly become severely impaired.  It is impaired so much that many cannot navigate back to their hive.  This in turn causes Colony Collapse Syndrome which in turn causes the failure and destruction of the bee colony.  If the bees can't pollinate the flowers they are responsible to collect pollen from; then the plants are not reproduced.  Remember that list above:  "Honey, nuts, fruits, vegetables, meats; and your clothing?"  All of these are tied back to a flower producing plant(s).  If the plants can not reproduce themselves then the products from those plants WILL cease to exist.  Many animals that are pollinators are directly effected by these neonicotinoid pesticides - not just bees.

So how can you, the average home gardener, improve the ecology for our global pollinators?  By reading ALL gardening and lawn care product labels before you buy any  pesticide or fertilizer.  Work towards avoiding those that have neonicotinoid properties in them; and seek out those that are a little more friendly to the environment.  Changing YOUR practices is not enough however; you must also educate your neighbors and friends, and city leaders, who care for lawns and gardens. If we move quickly we can save the bees, and other pollinators from an untimely evolutionary demise, and save the life we, as humans, prefer for generations to come!

We'll get to that lighting discussion in the next edition ...

No comments:

Post a Comment