Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Journal January 20, 2016 - Olives budding

Today I noticed buds forming on some of the olive trees.  This is really early for them to be forming buds, however there is not much I can do about it, so I turned on the blooming phase of the grow lights to push them along.

The Koroneiki and Arbequina plants are forming buds, which I sort of expected, as they flowered in February last year.  It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I think, repeat think, buds are forming on the Picholine also.  If that is the case, then this will be the very first olive tree other than the early fruiting Koroneiki and Arbequina varieties to flower.

It would have been much better to have the plants flower outdoors in the spring; why they flower at this time of year is baffling.  The light cycle has been reduced to coincide with the local sunrise/sunset, watering and feeding have been drastically reduced, but still they are budding.  Beats the heck out of me.

All of the other varieties show no signs of budding, so I am hopeful that if they do bud, they will hold off till they are outdoors in spring.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Journal January 6, 2016 - Our mild winter has vanished.

December was the warmest December locally since they began keeping records, and warmer by several degrees!  It was t-shirt weather on Christmas, even a local golf course reopened for a few days.

That said,  our mild winter went poof, literally overnight. The night temperatures have been from below zero to low single digits and the ground is now frozen solid. The day temperatures have been in the teens, today we have a heat wave with the temperature at 25 degrees. I braved the cold to get a pruning tool from the tool shed and thought I'd check the greenhouse, even though it is empty. Good grief, 85 degrees in here! Turn on some music, grab a chair and let Old Sol warm these creaky old bones. It felt so good that, Sol cooperating, I may make it a daily ritual.

The Gentilina lettuce is coming along nicely now.

'Gentilina' is an premium Italian lettuce variety, usually found in mesclun mixes which produces an open loose head of slightly savoyed, crinkled and ruffled leaves.
Lettuce 'Gentilina' is good for baby leaf use or can be grown to full maturity. It holds well in summer heat and has good resistance to bolting. The rich green colour and nice texture make this a premium salad selection.

It is one of the easiest, trouble free lettuces you can grow. It's a cut-and-come-again, that is, if you pick the outer leaves, the plant will continue to grow. Given the right conditions, this type of lettuce will produce leaves for three months or more. 30 days for babyleaf or 55 days to maturity. 

It takes a while for the roots to develop, but once they do the plants really put on a spurt of growth.

Today I refreshed the nutrients and changed the tanks.  One of the nice things about aeroponics is how clean the process is.  The photo above shows the used nutrients, they look as crystal clear as they did the day I placed them in the system.