Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Journal January 30, 2013

I purchased the small 16 watt red/blue/orange LED shown above, and on my January 26, 2013 post, as a trial so I could run the light 24/7 for cuttings and not have to tie up one of my large LED grow lights.  The light was being offered on eBay and was relatively inexpensive so I thought it was worth trying.  To my surprise, I found that the light actually works quite well to cover a small area, so I decided to purchase another light and use both lights in the greenhouse for supplemental lighting for the periods before dawn and dark.

While searching the specifications on the light for reviews I found it available on an alternate site for a third less than for what it was being sold for on eBay.  

The site is Bang Good. com and I found the light under this listing.  

I thought I would pass on the specifications in case there is any interest:

LEDs are rated at 10000mcd.
Ratio: 17 Red : 9 Orange : 2 Blue.
Total LED: 168pcs Tri-band (102 Red,54 Orange and 12 Blue)
100,000 hours of life.
12 years of continuous operation.
Energy consumption is 5-10% of a typical light bulb (depending on wavelength)
Red light stimulate flowering and seed production.
Orange light stimulate growth of carotenoids to make plants stay healthy.
Blue light stimulate stem and leaf growth.
Minimum HEAT ( Energy Efficient )
Ultra Light weight (132g) with fireproof grade plastic.
Better Heat dissipation with 6 vent holes.
Better space utilization to fit in fixtures.
Standard E26 Base.
Perfect for green houses.

LED: 168 pieces
Input Voltage: AC85-135V for US/AC185-265V for EU(please select your suitable one)
Power: 16W
Size: Diameter: 12cm,Height: 11cm
Hours: 100,000 hours
Wavelength: Red: 660nm,Orange: 612nm,Blue: 460nm
mcd:  Red: 10000mcd,Orange: 10000mcd,Blue: 10000mcd
Recommended Height:  2 feet to 8 feet
Recommended Coverage: 5 square feet @ 5 feet
Coverage:  1 square feet @ 2 feet,5 square feet @ 5 feet,9 square feet @ 8 feet

As stated above, I feel the light would be adequate for a small area for supplemental lighting or for a single plant.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Journal January 29, 2013

Yet another olive variety arrived today from Turkey, and this one is definitely the last, for sure! 
This variety, Edremit, also known as Ayralik, is so rare I can find little information regarding it.  It appears to be one of those varieties that is cultivated in only a specific region and is named after the region.  

This is what I was able to find regarding Edremit olives:

Edremit Olives are produced around the city of Edremit as well as in grafted trees throughout the the region of Akhisar. The Edremit olive is hard, bright and its pit is larger in size. It contains high amount of olive. Hence used, most commonly, for olive oil production.

The area of Ayvalik is inseparable from the notion of olive oil, this being the home of the country’s best, fruitiest, smoothest, most golden-delicious version of the liquid condiment, which the nation eats at every single eating occasion of the day starting with breakfast.
Ayvalik’s Fabled Olive Oil | Olive Oil TimesThis area, on the north-eastern shores of the Aegean is equaled only by Crete and Tuscany for the ideal climate and just the right soil, just the right elevation on hills that rise directly from beaches. Under these conditions grow the most perfect Mediterranean olives to ripen for their pressing late in Fall, as they’ve been doing uninterruptedly for millenia.
The life-giving green/purple little fruits have been cultivated here from times immemorial and crushed to yield their precious oil, used forever in all the finest aspects of civilized life, from sacred offerings, to cleansing the body and nourishing the skin, and of course on the table where its magical qualities can heighten even the humblest ingredient into a delicacy.
Ayvalik’s Fabled Olive Oil | Olive Oil TimesAyvalik’s history was kick-started sometime in the Neolithic Age by migrants from Mesopotamia and Crete, and thrived throughout the Hellenistic period, the Roman conquests, the Byzantine era that peppered the landscape with Greek Orthodox churches, and then five hundred years of the Muslim Ottomans who replaced the crucifixes with minarets leaving the buildings intact wherein to worship the same One God from a different perspective.
Only the olive oil has remained a constant during all these serial conquests and regime-changes, surviving intact to this day to shine virginal and free-flowing to the collective gullet of Modern Turkey. Perplexingly, and despite the world-wide rediscovery and worship of olive oil, the Ayvalik oil is known and consumed only in Turkey.

Well, I hope that at some point in the future this olive, and its oil, will also be consumed in upstate New York.

This variety also fits my criteria of being a table olive.  They sound like they are delicious:

These individually split Edremit olives are pooled in a fresh water and sea salt brine.  Packed with fresh lemons, olive oil and bay leaves. 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Journal January 26, 2013

Still in pursuit of an efficient way to clone olive cuttings I am trying two more methods.

 The cuttings above have been placed in horticubes, which have been placed in 2" net pots.  After they were taken, they were coated with rooting gel and spayed with anti-wilt. 

The completed cuttings have been placed in a domed container with a small 16 watt red/blue/orange LED grow light for a light source.  The LED will run 24/7 and the inside of the dome will be sprayed with water several times a day to keep the humidity as high as possible.

The other method I am experimenting with is pretty much the same, except leaving more leaves on the cutting, while removing some of the tips of the leaves.  These have also been sprayed with anti wilt and placed in a domed container. I will spray the inside of the dome rather than the cuttings several times a day.  The light source for this batch will be a simple fluorescent 36 watt daylight CFL in a converted Hydrofarm reflector with a photoperiod of sixteen hours.  In addition, I have added bottom heat, which keeps the temperature in the dome at about 75 degrees F. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Journal January 17, 2013

The barouni olive tree is starting to grow rapidly, filling out nicely.  The plant was putting much of its energy into the main stem, so I removed a four inch section to be used as a cutting.

The more growth above the media, the larger the root system, however it becomes necessary at times to remove some of the growth to redirect the plant's energy.

It has been several years since I was involved in growing bonsai, but the bonsai techniques of pinching and pruning are proving useful in training the olive trees into a dwarf form.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Journal Januaryy 16, 2013

Early wonder beets, for greens, and fudanso umaina were planted today in systems 2 and 3 three.  Finally, I have all systems planted, and all of the LEDs in the grow chamber are operational. 

The new 150 watt multi-spectrum LED grow light, seen on the left, is doing a nice job with the green ice lettuce.  Although each of the three lights has a slightly different spectrum, and power output, they produce very similar results.

Also today I planted four Megaritiki olive seeds that I received from Greece.  These are in addition to the seeds planted in November 2012, however, these seeds were pretreated more along the lines of how commercial growers treat and start seeds.  In addition to stratifying them in vinegar, the seeds were thoroughly cleaned to remove all trace of oil and dried for several days.  I also used wire snips to clip off the radicle end of each seed to expose the embryo.  The recommendation was  to soak them for 15 days, however, after only soaking for 48 hours the embryo was swelling and protruding from the seed coat, so I thought it best to plant them right away.  The seeds planted in November are just now beginning to have the embryo show from the seed coat, so perhaps I picked up three months by what I have done.

The mission olive has recovered nicely from having the cutting taken, however it is still to tall for my purposes; so I removed another four inch section  to propagate as a cutting.  The first cutting is looking pretty good, and I am hoping that using the Clonex is going to be the secret to success with olive cuttings. According to an article I read today, the success rate for different cultivars is variable, however, the article stated that actively growing leafy stems can be taken for cuttings, which is what I am doing.  Depending on conditions, it can take several months for a cutting to root, so I am not discouraged at this point.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Journal January 14, 2013

Another rare olive varietal arrived today, this one from Turkey.  The rooted seedlings were shipped prior to Christmas and have been traveling all this time.  

This variety is a  Gemlik olive, or Tirilye olive, a variety from the Gemlik, Zeytinbağı area of northern Turkey. Gemlik olives called the following names as Tirilye, Curly, wrapping paper and black. They are small to medium sized black olives with a high oil content. This type of olive is very common in Turkey and is sold as a breakfast olive in the cured formats of either Yagli Sele, Salamura or Duble; though there are other less common curings. The sign of a traditionally cured Gemlik olive is that the flesh comes away from the pip easily.

The small village of Tyilye is famous for its olives, and hopefully someday I may get to taste one, though I have no idea of how to cure it, yet.

These seedlings may very well be a challenge, as they have been in transit for quite sometime and are completely dormant.  As a matter of fact, it is difficult to see any sign of life at all at this point. I suspect it is going to be literally months before I even know if they survived the trip.

That said, if they do begin to grow, they may very well be the first of my trees to actually fruit; they are by far the largest in terms of trunk diameter, which is an indication of age.

After potting them I placed them in the corner of the tent with the tomato plant, as the temperature in that tent is controlled by a heater.  

Actually, I would like to see them put out suckers in addition to new buds, as I would love to take cuttings from the suckers and propagate tiny plants.

There is one other rare varietal in transit, and these will definitely finish my collection, as I am totally out of space at this point.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Journal January 13, 2013

My assistant, Ava, transplanted a dozen Little Caesar romaine lettuce seedlings into system 1 today.  

We will be using the 90 watt red/blue LED to grow this lettuce, and I expect that we will be picking the lettuce in three weeks time.
The seeds came out of the package on 11/26/12 and were germinated in moist coffee filters.  When germinated, the seedlings were placed in horticubes, which in turn were placed into a domed container, which in turn was placed in my propagator under a 24" 24 watt 6500K T5 tube.

The airline protruding from the domed container runs to the outside of the propagator; several times a day I breath into the airline to provide CO2 to the seedlings and move them around to keep them from getting leggy.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Journal January 11, 2013

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to take periodic photos of the trees to record their progress, and so far I have been sticking to it.

Above is a composite photo of the manzanillo olive tree, which I have named Fernando El Magnifico.  The left image was taken on 12/8/12 and the right image was taken 1/11/13.  

There has been significant growth since the first image was taken, and the tree has been pruned a few times, most recently last evening.

With this growth rate indoors under the LED grow light, I can't wait to see what the tree does in the greenhouse, with the intense light and temperatures in the 90s.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Journal January 10, 2013

The cutting taken from the manzanillo sucker has most definitely rooted.  

It is amazing how quickly the plant is growing under the six band flower series LED,  as the above photo shows only twelve days growth.  The image on the left is from 12/29/12 and the image on the right was taken today, 1/10/13.

I have ordered two very unusual olive varietals from Turkey, and I think these will definitely complete my collection.

As my experience with propagating olives improves I may elect to sell seedlings, either on eBay, or locally to the local bonsai guru.

To date I am totally satisfied with the way the olive plants are growing hydroponically.  Plants that would normally be dormant this time of year are growing so quickly that it has been necessary to do some light pruning.  At this point, I have enough leaves to make a few batches of olive leaf tea, which is supposed to be a new health fad.

This afternoon I picked some silva romaine lettuce for dinner this evening.  We have twelve plants each of silva, green ice, little Caesar, fudanso umaina and early wonder beets in process.  The cost of growing this produce is so low that I would not even attempt to calculate it, however, in January, the cost of the amount of the produce I am growing would be significant.  And, growing it keeps me active and occupied.  A definite win win situation. 

We have enough trimmed olive leaves to make a batch, or two, of olive leaf tea.  In addition to supposedly tasting quite good, it is reported to be good for your immune system:

Antibiotics have been assaulted for a long time.  The ones that survive mutate and get stronger making it harder to get rid of these pathogens with antibiotics. Olive leaf is a natural antibiotic that pathogens haven't had to reckon with. Remember, Olive Leaf will not cure disease but will kill pathogens that cause disease.

What Olive Leaf can do for you:
    Lower blood pressure
    Reduce fats
    Reduce blood sugar
    Decrease fatigue
    Improve the immune system
    Purify the body
    Fight parasites
    Fight viruses
    Fight fungus
    Fight bacteria

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Journal January 5, 2013

Sometime last season I received free packet of seeds for a tomato variety called Virgina Sweets.  The description on the package piqued my interest, so I started one to grow in one of the tents using the 126 watt flower series LED grow light.

Most tomato growers would probably like to try one of these:

This heirloom variety is simply one of the best tasting, best producing gold-red bicolors we have ever grown. On top of that, the tomatoes are stunningly beautiful and enormous, weighing at least 1 pound each. Golden yellow beefsteaks are colored with red stripes that turn into a ruby blush on top of the golden fruit. Flavor is sweet and rich, and harvests are abundant. Indeterminate. 80 days. 

With the light at sixteen inches above the plant I measured 5,000 foot candles and I will use a photo period of 16 hours.  The initial nutrients will be Peters Professional with the EC at 2.20 with the pH measured at 6.2.  I  am using a self watering container and the media is agricultural perlite and coir.

 The new 150 watt LED grow light is now operational and is being used to grow a dozen plants of a variety of lettuce called Green Ice.  The seedlings are looking a little leggy, so I am thinking that it is time to replace the 24" T5 tube in the propagator.  That said, a few days under this intense light should correct the problem and get them moving along.