Wednesday, March 27, 2013
This variety has small leaves, and, in my opinion, would make an excellent bonsai candidate. The seedlings are still being offered on eBay.
Yesterday I installed a wireless webcam in the greenhouse, and the installation is not for the faint of heart. It took me at least four hours on the PC to get it to work. That said, the camera has pan and tilt and can be accessed and controlled from anywhere online. It has a motion detection alarm system, that when activated takes a photo and sends it to your email address. It can be programmed to allow visitors access via a login name and password. In addition, it has IR LEDs that can see in the dark for up to 25 feet. Last night I could see in the greenhouse as well as in the daytime. An added benefit is two way audio so I can talk to who ever is viewing the camera. All this for forty dollars and change.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
The timer is set to turn the lights on from 7 am to 11 am, and again at 5 pm till 9 pm. After dark, the lights give the greenhouse an eerie pink glow, which no doubt sets the neighbors to wondering.
The two Trilye olive trees from Turkey have apparently gone astray in the postal system. They are more than two weeks overdue, and I expect that they will be dead on arrival. The seller assures me that if they are, he will issue a full refund. That remains to be seen, and so much for registered mail. What a joke that is.
If anyone thought I was kidding about the eerie glow from the greenhouse, guess again.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
That said, I am afraid it is going to be a while before we see any sign of spring in upstate New York. March has been a miserable month, and winter is hanging on for dear life. Several inches of snow still cover the ground, the temperature is only in the mid thirties, the sky is overcast and the wind is howling; in other words, typical New York state weather.
The olive trees are in the greenhouse today so I am giving the LEDs a rest for the afternoon. The nice thing about olive plants, is that they have a temperature tolerance from slightly less than freezing to triple digits, and they can also grow in sun or partial shade.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
This time of year is a major pain, as I have to bring the plants from the basement to the greenhouse and back if I want to give them sunshine and warmth.
That is not to say that the plants don't flourish under the LEDs, because they do. The olive trees little resemble the trees I started with only about three months ago.
In fact, the trees have been growing so quickly I was beginning to notice a slight nitrogen deficiency, which can occur during rapid vegetative growth. To compensate, I increased the nitrogen, and added an iron supplement just to be safe. Additionally, each 8 inch pot got a sprinkling of a teaspoon of Osmocote slow release fertilizer as an additional safeguard.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Using inexpensive clamp lights from Wal-Mart I simply clamped the lights to the dowels that provide support for the tomato plants. That solution works perfectly, and it makes relocating or adjusting the lights really easy.
A three dollar timer is being used to provide a few additional hours of light in the morning and again in the evening, as I believe that the amount, quality and duration of lighting is vital to growing healthy plants.
I estimate that the lights are covering about eight to ten square feet, and as the lights will only be using 32 watts of power when they are operating, they certainly meet my objective of keeping cost under control.
Each of these small lights has 168 LEDs configured as follows: Red: 660nm, Orange: 612nm,Blue: 460nm. These lamps have an estimated life of 100,000 hours, or about 12 years of continuous use.
For supplemental lighting I feel that they will be perfect to add to the natural daylight, however, I think that to actually grow a plant, I would only plan on growing one small plant with the light no more than a foot from the plant.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
All of the seeds, except the cucumbers, for the greenhouse and garden have been started. The seedlings will be grown indoors under lights and moved to the greenhouse to take advantage of the sun when the weather permits.
I know I wrote that I would buy no more plant material from foreign sources on eBay, but I did not follow my own advice. When I searched olive trees to see if goldenpera_com was still peddling his diseased seedlings, I found someone else with Trilye seedlings for sale. These, however, are living plants, and, it appeared the seller had made a posting error concerning the price. I wrote to the seller and requested a photo of what he had for sale, and he provided the photo below, which he said was taken this week. Concerning the posting error; the ad was for two one gallon size seedlings for $7.50.
I was the first person to place an order and I again wrote to the seller to confirm that I would indeed get two plants on my order. He replied that as it was his error I would be receiving two plants and they have now been shipped. The seller even sent a photo of the shipment before he posted it. Again, below is the photo in case anyone would like to place an order, but the price has been adjusted slightly.
I may very well have a Trilye olive from Turkey yet.
This link will take you to the Trilye seedlings for sale on eBay:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
It is a case of trying different varieties of vegetables that you would not normally see in the produce section of your local market, or at any green grocer.
Continuing to grow fairly unusual vegetables I have started seeds for tennis ball lettuce, a Boston type grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello and Japanese Black Trifele tomatoes, a pear shaped Russian heirloom.
Why a Russian heirloom tomato is named Japanese Trifele is beyond me though.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Two varieties of tomato seeds have germinated in only three days, and I can even see a radicle developing on cubanelle pepper seeds started three days ago. Several annual flower seeds germinated in only two days!
Among the annual seeds that germinated in two days was a package of pacific beauty calendula seeds that I purchased last fall for twenty cents. When I looked them up online to research details about this variety, I found Burpee selling them for $4.95 a package. What's wrong with that picture?