Sunday, April 21, 2013

Journal April 21, 2013

Last night the temperature dipped to 28 degrees F, and the forecast for the next several days calls for the nighttime temperature to be below normal.  With temperatures in that range, it is really not practical to run the heater at night, so I am bringing the plants indoors in the evening and back out in the morning.  To say the least, it is a chore with so many plants.

During the day today the temperature outdoors did not get out of the forties, with strong gusting winds.  However, the sun being much higher in the sky drove the temperature in the greenhouse to almost ninety degrees.  Despite the outdoor temperatures, the plants are loving the light and heat provided by the greenhouse, as witnessed by the Tropic tomato below beginning to flower.

With Ava in Florida visiting Disney World, we have had some spare time on our hands to work on overdue projects.  So, I replaced the seals on the greenhouse doors, installed the vent openers, and repaired some fencing.  To make better use of the webcam in the greenhouse, I moved the thermometer to above the door, now I can see the thermometer with the camera set in the position I use to monitor the door.

Going online, I can tell if the vent openers are working, see the temperature, and by the reflection on the door, know if the supplemental lights and ventilation are working.  It is a neat little toy, and worth the forty dollars I paid for it.

My quest for the perfect method of cloning olive trees continues, and the current project looks to be the most promising so far.  The cutting from the oblonga tree is shown above in the propagator.  The reason it looks to be the most promising; is that the cutting has not lost a single leaf, and it is going on two weeks since I struck the cutting.

After taking the cutting, I placed it in Clonex, and held it there for almost a minute to allow the Clonex to be absorbed by the plant tissue.  The cutting was then sprayed with an anti wilt solution before being planted in coir and perlite.  The media was pre-moistened with nutrients, mixed specifically for root development.  

The propagator is sitting on a heat mat, and the light is a 24" T8 grow light with a photoperiod of 14 hours.  Last, but not least, I have been spraying the INSIDE of the propagator several times a day to keep the humidity high.  So far, I have not had to add any nutrients at all, as the media is not getting a chance to lose moisture.

After almost two weeks, the leaves on the cutting are alive, soft and pliable, and the upper leaves, which had a yellow cast when I received the plant, are turning a nice healthy green.

If, and when, the plant begins growing again, I will know if the cutting is a success.  At that point, I have no intention of disturbing the roots.  The plant will simply be removed from the propagator and placed with the other plants.

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