Sunday, January 25, 2015

Journal January 25, 2015 - Tiny Tomato Plant

The Florida Petite tomato plant is just under five inches high, has numerous flowers and several immature tomatoes.  My objective was to evaluate the soil mix, which is working out really well, however, I am beginning to get really into this project at this point.

The Koroneiki olive tree is flowering, so I am hand pollinating several times a day so the plant will set fruit.  Within the next few days the flowers on the Arbequina olive will begin to open, so I will not only pollinate that plant, but I will cross pollinate the two plants to see if that increases the number of fruit set.

The photo above shows an olive embryo,  which has been removed from the seed and placed into tissue culture.  After removing the seed from the drupe, I removed the seed coat from the seed and placed the seed in moist paper towels for a four weeks.  Using a sterile scalpel, the embryo was removed from the seed and placed into protocol.  Within a few days the embryo began to turn from white to green, so photosynthesis is beginning: one might say I performed a Cesarean section on an olive.

The same procedure has been performed on several additional seeds, with more beginning to turn green; the cultures are on a heat mat under a T5 24 watt grow light running 24/7.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Journal January 15, 2015 - Florida Petite Tomatos

The Florida Petite tomato I am growing to test my soil mix is doing very well.  The mix drains well, but also does a good job of retaining moisture.  Frequent feeding has not been necessary, as the mix includes a fair amount of organic material.

At this point, the plant is about four inches high and has several trusses with flowers.  Using a small artist brush, I pollinate the flowers a few times a day to ensure that the plant sets fruit.

The changes to the photoperiod and spectrum intended to get the olive trees to flower have had the desired effect, as two varieties are indeed flowering.  An added bonus is that the Bougainvillea plant is also flowering.

The Bougainvillea flowers are not exactly beautiful, but any flower in January has to be appreciated. 


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Journal January 1, 2015 - Forced budding

While watering the olive trees in the indoor greenhouse today, I noticed that the changes in lighting cycle, spectrum and feeding are beginning to take effect.

As can be seen in the photo above, one of the trees, a Koroneiki, is starting to set flower buds.   And, a few other varieties appear to be at least thinking about budding.  Last year, I did not see any indication of budding until late February, so this year the trees will have a really extended growing season.

All of the trees are starting to put out new growth at the tips of the branches; it is not nice to fool Mother Nature, but I just can't resist trying.