Monday, August 19, 2013

Journal August 19, 2013

So far all of the cuttings planted in perlite and peat are looking really good.  Spraying the interior of the dome and using the heat mat has kept the humidity constantly at 99%, with the temperature in the 80s.

Even with the humidity that high, it has been necessary to give the cuttings a slight watering every few days, as I can feel the pots getting lighter.  Apparently, the 80% perlite and 20% peat mixture readily gives up moisture.

The older trees in the greenhouse have been showing signs of over watering lately, to the point that I ordered a new Manzanillo tree thinking I might lose the one I have.  Deciding to intervene, and take corrective action, I repotted all of the older trees using a mixture of 70% perlite and 30% peat to avoid over watering.  In doing so, I noticed that the coir was compacting and holding too much moisture, all right for tomatoes and cucumbers, but not for olives.  Going forward, I will let the olives almost completely dry and just give them a sip of water from time to time.  The days are getting shorter and I want them to go dormant this year, so they may as well get used to it.

The Manzanillo olive tree shown above was received today, and I am quite pleased with the deal.  Last month I ordered a tree in a 4" pot, after waiting almost a month I decided to write and inquire about my order.  The guy wrote and said they were out of trees in 4" pots, so he said he could refund my money, or send me an orchard tree, but it had to be shipped bare root.  I told him to send the orchard tree, as I would have to remove the soil in any event.  

Three days later the tree arrived from California, the guy paid almost as much to ship the tree as I paid for the tree and shipping.  The tree has been planted in a 70% perlite and 30% peat mixtue in a large self watering container.

Also, the tree had a large branch with twin trunks growing from the base, almost at the soil line.  The branch was removed along with a small section of the trunk to form a heel cutting, and, the twin trunks were separated, so I have two heel cuttings now being propagated.

All in all,  not a bad deal.

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