Friday, June 3, 2011

Update: Lotus

In an attempt to transfer one of my lotus plants, several of the leaves died. It's not fully dead yet so I'm still trying to nurse it.

However the other one of my lotus plants is thriving. I need to find a large pot and create and create a container pond with it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update: Lotus, White Pitcher, and Venus

Both lotus plants now have 4 leaves each and I see a fifth leaf coming up. I currently don't have my camera right now but when I do, I'll be providing pictures.

White Pitcher Plant
Only one of my White Pitcher Plants has survived. The last remaining one looks like it probably won't make it. I will do anything I can to keep it alive.

Venus Fly Trap
I currently have three Venus Fly traps growing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Growing Water Lily Bulbs

So far my water lily seeds haven't sprouted. I need to wait for the materials I need to replant them. For the time being, I bought a water lily bulb and I'm going to attempt to grow that.

According to the instructions in the back of the package, I need to place 3/4 of the bulb in substrate (aka river rocks) then submerge it in water. The package says that the water lily is guaranteed to grow within 30 days. We'll see how the next 30 days go.

Water Lily Bulb

Water Lily Bulb in the substrate. My finger is pointing to the bulb

Friday, April 29, 2011

Loofa Seeds Die

I went to check on the loofa seeds and they are all dead. I'm assuming due to the sudden hot weather in my area the greenhouse got too hot for them. Unfortunately, I don't have enough seeds to redo this experiment. So I'm going to grow my 3 remaining seeds in a paper towel then transfer them to pots. Their growth will still be documented. I will be attempting this experiment next year.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Loofa Seeds Already Sprouting

It's only been 2 days and 5 of the loofa seeds have sprouted to the point where they need to be transplanted into the seed trays. I have planted all 5 sprouted seeds into the seed tray. I'm going to give the 6th one another week. If it doesn't sprout after a week I'm going to use another seed in the paper towel.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Growing Loofa From Seeds

I'm growing loofas and I"m doing more experiments. I had 12 loofa seeds soaked overnight. Using my 12 compartment seed trays, I placed 6 seeds in the seed starter and the other 6 in a paper towel. The seed tray is outside in a makeshift greenhouse while the paper towel is in a plastic bag on a warm surface (the top of my cable box). We'll see an about a week or so which one is faster.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Growing Asparagus From Seed

I'm doing a little experiment with growing asparagus. Last night I soaked 12 seeds in water. Today I planted 6 of them in seed starter and the other 6 in a wet paper towel. We'll see which one is faster and if it makes any difference.

Update: White Pitcher Plants, Venus Fly Traps

White Pitcher Plant & Venus Fly Traps

Last time I said that I thought I saw 2 white pitcher plants growing, one of them even had a seed attached. Well the one that had a seed attached was actually a Venus Fly Trap. Another plant started growing in the same compartment and a seed started growing in the Venus Fly Trap section. The plant that was growing last week matches the one in the Venus Fly Trap.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Update: Lotus and Pitcher Plants

White Pitcher Plant

That grass like thing that I showed a few months prior is still here with no change. However I have noticed something with the other 2 white pitcher plants. I see a little green stem coming out in both compartments, one of them also has a seed attached. I tried to take a picture of them but they are too small. Hopefully in a few weeks they'll be big enough.

As a side note I will be spraying the pitcher plants and Venus fly traps with my homemade fungicide.

One lotus plant already has one leaf that has opened completely. The other plant, the leaf is almost completely open. Both plants appear to have second leaves coming in.

Lotus Leaf

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Update: Lotus

The lotuses are now peeking above the water. Hopefully in a few days the leaves will show.

Lotus Plant

Other Lotus Plant

I have noticed a minor mosquito problem since I started growing the lotuses outside. On top of that, I've noticed a lot of bugs (probably mosquitoes) floating on top of the water. I bought some gold fish and placed them in the bucket with my plants. The bugs in the bucket have gone down so hopefully so will the mosquito problem.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vegetable Garden

A few weeks ago I started the seeds for my vegetable garden. I'm growing tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, several different types of squash and several herbs.

I have a few experiments planned for the tomatoes. I do have several experiments planned for next year for the other vegetables.

I will be showing pictures of my garden though.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Replanting Kiwi Seeds

As you might recall, our kiwi plants died in the great heat die off. Well today I replanted them, just in a different matter.

Last time we scattered a bunch of kiwi seeds over seed starter and they virtually all grew. This time we are using the 12 compartment seed tray again but planting 2 seeds per compartment. The plants will be thinned later on.

Last time it only took 2 weeks for the seeds to grow. Let's see how things go this time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lotus Seeds Planted

I put some garden soil in 2 buckets and filled it with rain water that I collected. I waited a few days but the water has not settled yet but I went ahead and dropped the seeds in. We'll see in a few days how the seeds are doing.

The soil I used is store bought garden soil. Online I saw some people just dug some soil out of their backyard. Unfortunately, my backyard is full of grass. If these seeds fail, on my next attempt, that is what I'll be doing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Both Lotus Seeds Growing

Both of my Lotus seeds have sprouts which means that I will need to plant them soon.

Both of my Lotus seeds are growing

Next Step

I have 2 buckets. I'm going to fill them with garden soil up until 3 inches from the top. I will then fill it with water. I'm going to let the soil settle overnight and in the morning I will plant the seeds.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sprouting Lotus Seed

Yesterday I reported that one of the Lotus seeds had split and I saw some green. Actually whenever I checked up on the Lotus seed every few hours. Everytime I checked up on it, it had grown a little more.
Well this morning when I checked on the Lotus seeds, there's a little green sprout coming out. This means in a few days I will have to plant that seed in a bucket.

Little sprout coming out of the Lotus seed

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Update: Lotus

Today I went to check on my Lotuses and one of them has a split with some green showing. Nothing has sprouted out yet but hopefully something will in the next day or 2.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Update: Lotus, Pitcher, and Venus

I checked the weather reports and it looks like it's not going to be warm enough for at least another week. I saw my electronic heating pad in my room and decided to use it to heat up some of my plants. The water lilies were too flooded so I only got to heat the lotus, pitcher plant, and venus fly trap seeds.

I placed the lotus jar and pitcher plant, venus fly trap seed tray on the heating pad and turned it on. There's a safety feature on the heating pad that only allows it to be on for 2 hours. So I had to turn it on several times a day.

So far nothing but I have seen more humidity in the seed tray.

The Lotus jar and Seed Tray

Pitcher Plant

Before I put the seed tray on the heating pad I noticed something that looked like a blade of grass growing out of one of the white pitcher plant compartments. This is the same seed starter that I'm using for my vegetables and flowers that I'm growing. I have noticed weeds growing in those seed trays. However, none of the weeds have looked like a blade of grass. I don't know what the germination of a pitcher plant looks like so I'm going to leave the the "blade of grass" in for now.

Start of a Pitcher Plant?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Possible Delay In Germination

There is possibly going to be a delay in the lotus, water lily, pitcher plant, and venus fly trap seeds. These seeds require warm temperatures and lately it's been cold. Today is the first day of spring and it's still pretty cold so that seems to be delaying my plants.
According to what I read online lotus seeds are suppose to start sprouting within 4 to 5 days. Well it's been 6 days and there's not even a split in the seed yet.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Growing Water Lily Seeds

I went online and bought some Hardy Water Lily seeds.
The colors are
  • Pink
  • Hot Pink
  • Sensation Pink
  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • White

I'm trying to grow them in a rather unconventional method.
I'm using one of my 12 compartment seed trays. I filled each compartment halfway with gardening soil. Then I slowly flooded the compartment with rainwater. I let the soil settle overnight.
I grew 2 seeds of each color, one seed in each compartment. According to the person who I bought the seeds from, it should take 3 to 4 weeks for the seeds to sprout. Since this method is not your typical method it may or may not work but if it does, it is easier for me. We'll see how things go 3 to 4 weeks from now.

Update: Lotus seeds

There's not much to update except for that now my other lotus seed is lumpy too. So I should be seeing a green shoot within a few days.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Growing Lotus Seeds

I went online and bought 5 lotus seeds. I'm currently growing 2 of them.

Lotus seeds needs to be scarified in order to germinate. Online I found 2 methods. One is to use a knife and cut a slit until you see the white parts. Another is to file the outer coating until the white part shows. I tried the filing method, I gave up after an hour. Cutting a slit is tough but much easier than filing down. (In nature lotus seeds spend 50 to 100 years at the bottom of a pond before they germinate. You can see how tough that coat is)

To get the seeds to germinate you're suppose to soak the seeds in distilled or rain water. I put the seeds in a jar and covered them with rain water that I collected. Place the seeds in a warm location and change the water every few hours when it gets cloudy.

My Seeds

My Seeds Scarified

It's only been a few hours since I started the seeds but I have noticed something. From what I read online the outside coating gets lumpy due to water absorption. That happens after a few days. The one that I filed down is already lumpy. We'll see if that speeds it up in a few days.
Pink Sacred Water Lily 5 Seeds - Nelumbo nucifera

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Venus Fly Traps and Pitcher Plants

I got this urge to want to start growing water and swamp plants. So I went online and bought some water lily, lotus, Venus Fly Trap and Pitcher Plant seeds. Today I decided to plant my Venus Fly Trap and Pitcher Plant seeds.
These are the requirements I found online:

  1. Use nutrient lacking soil such. I'm using peat moss.
  2. Use only distilled or rain water. I placed a large trash can on the corner of my house and caught the rain.
  3. Keep the area humid and warm. I'll be using a plastic dome which will serve as a greenhouse over the seed tray.

I have these 12 compartment seed trays. Online I bought 50 Purple Pitcher Plant seeds, 10 white pitcher plant seeds, and 10 Venus fly trap seeds.
Here's how I planted the seeds:

  1. I filled the seed tray with seed starter.
  2. Using a water sprayer filled with rain water, spray the soil until top appears soaked.
  3. Slow pour rain water into each compartment. Keep pouring until water is dripping out of the bottom holes.
  4. Plant the seeds. I'm planting 6 Purple pitcher plant seeds, 3 white pitcher plant, and 3 venus fly traps. Gently push the seeds in, but don't worry about covering them.
  5. Cover them with the dome and place in a spot with a lot of sun light

According to the research I did online, it could take anywhere from 14 days to a few months for the seeds to sprout. I'll post when they sprout.

Slight Change

I know that I haven't been on here for quite a while. But there will be some slight changes. I will be growing whatever I feel like growing. So enjoy!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still Nursing

There's not much to update. We are still trying to nurse our heat damaged plants back. Some are for sure not going to make it so we have to replant them. While others are on the edge and could go either way.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Great Heat Die Off

So here's what's been going on. I have been on vacation studying for my MCAT which I just took on Friday. So Trevor has been taking care of the plants. Well Trevor went camping for 3 days and we moved all the plants from his trailer to his house. Well during those 3 days California's weather went from slightly cool, 70 to 90F, to burning hot, 100 to 110. Since they were in a window, quite a few of them have heat damage and some of them didn't survive. The strawberries are for sure dead and have to be replanted. Since the raspberries and blackberries hadn't sprouted we don't know. So for the next few weeks our concentration will be on saving our plants.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Updates: Loquats, Pears, Apples

We have good news on 2 of the plants and bad news on one of them.

I'll save the best for last so I'm starting off with the bad news, we have to redo all our apple plants. This only applies to plants, not seeds. Our Granny Smith seeds are still in the picture. One by one they just started dying. We think they might have died from a combination of root rot and fungus. Apparently living in the greenhouse was the perfect place for fungus to grow and we forgot to give them their weekly spray of fungicide.

Learning our lesson from the apples, we decided not to give the pears the greenhouse, and they are doing quite well. So far, 5 out of the 6 plants have sprouted.

2 of the 6 loquat pits have sprouted. You can also see roots at the bottom of the clear container so more to come soon. So far what I have seen from the loquats are that they are slow growers.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Growing D'anjou Pear Seeds

Two weeks ago we took our seeds out of the refrigerator and put them in room tmeperature. The pears we got are D'anjou pears. Well they are finally sprouting. We placed them in the seed tray and hopfully they will see leaves soon.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Extracting Kiwi Seeds

This is the method we used to get our kiwi seeds

You Will Need

  • Sharp Knife
  • Butter Knife
  • Bowl of water
  • Coffee Filter
  • Sieve
  • Bowl
  1. Cut the kiwi into quarters

  2. Remove the middle white line

  3. Gently scrap the seeds off with a butter knife

  4. Rinse the seed covered knife in the bowl of water

  5. Let most of the seeds settle to the bottom

  6. Put a coffee filter in a sieve and the sieve in a bowl. Gently pour the water/seed mixture into the coffee filter. The coffee filter will drain the water but keep the seeds.

  7. After the water drains leave it to dry overnight.

  8. You should be able to easily scratch the seeds off of the coffee filter once it is dry. Now they are ready for use.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Just Some Picture Updates


Pineapple in pot

Pineapple #1 with fruit left on

Pineapple #2 with fruit left on


Lemon plants. The front one on the right was separated


Strawberry Plants

Close up of Strawberry plants


Blueberry plants

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Growing Apricot From Seeds

My neighbor has an apricot tree. Every year she let's us come over and pick as many apricots as we want. There's always too many to go around. This year I saved some pits and Trevor and I are going to grow them. Before I get into details there's no guarantee that the seeds will produce apricots. My plum tree is right behind, back to back from the apricot tree. The apricot flowers bloomed just before the plums but there was an overlap so there is a chance the seeds are of plucots (apricot and plum hybrid). We'll know in 3 to 5 years.

I found 2 methods of growing apricots on the Internet so it's experiment time.
First step is to crack the pits with a hammer or nut cracker. I used a hammer. I found putting a pit on it's side and hitting the edge works best.
We have 18 seeds so 9 of them will be put in between a moist paper towel in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The other 9 are in a jar with moist soil in the refrigerator. The seeds need a 30 day stratification period so after 30 days in the fridge we will check for sprouting.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Update:Gala, Citrus, Pineapple

Gala Apples
As I said a few days ago we have to redo the Gala apple seeds. Well we were scooping out the bad seed starter and apparently one more seed survived so we have 2 gala apple plants right now. We still plan on continuing with our experiment once we have enough seeds.

So far the only citrus that has grown has been the grapefruit and the lemon. We dug up an orange seed a few days ago and there was a root so hopefully the orange will be sprouting soon.
We did notice a something a little "odd" with the lemons and grapefruit. In several compartments it looked like there were 2 or 3 trees growing. I remember when we were trying to germinate grapefruit seeds in the paper towel, the seed broke apart and each piece seemed to behave like a separate seed. So it's experiment time again.
One of our lemon plants looked like there were 2 trees growing so we dug it up. It looked like 2 lemon trees growing out of one seed. They were easily separated and planted into seperate pots. For the next few weeks we are going to be keeping an eye on both plants. If both plants make it to their next set of leaves we will do the same thing to the grapefruits. (We currently have a compartment of grapefruits that looks like 3 are growing)

The pineapple growing in the pot is growing quite well. It hasn't increased in size but new leaves have grown. Unforunately, the one in water wasn't so lucky. The bottom part of the head fell off and we had to toss it. We have 2 more pineapples which we cut up today. We cut the heads off this time leaving the fruit and cutting off all the dead leaves and dead parts of the leaves.

Growing Blackberries and Raspberries

Our blackberry seeds have been sitting in the refrigerator for 2 months while our raspberry seeds have been in there for a month. Now it is time to plant them.

Obtaining Seeds
Getting seeds is quite easy. You can either press the fruit towards the side of a glass bowl the fill the bowl with water. The fruit will float while the seeds sink. Scoop out the fruit. Place a coffee filter in a strainer and gently pour the water in. The coffee filter and strainer will prevent the seeds from seeping through.
The way we did it however, was a little bit more simplified. Whenever we ate raspberries or blackberries we had a paper towel handy. Anyone who has eaten these berries know that you get a lot of seeds stuck in your teeth. Gently remove the seed with your finger and wipe it on the paper towel. Leave the seeds overnight to dry. Place a coffee filter in a strainer and gently pick off the seeds. Rinse the seeds.

Growing Seeds
The seeds need to be stratified. Place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least a month. When you are ready to plant the seeds they will need to be scarified first.
  1. Get a large sheet of sandpaper and place the seeds on.

  2. Fold up a corner and rub the seeds between the 2 sheets.

We will be doing an experiment when it comes to growing these seeds. I found this method to soften the outer part of the seed by soaking them in bleach for an hour. Then add 4 cups of water for every tablespoon of bleach used. Using the coffee filter-strainer method, drain the seeds. In a large bowl add 4 tbsp of baking soda and 1 cup water. Soak the seeds for a few minutes to neutralize any remaining bleach.
For the experiment half the seeds were soaked, while the other half weren't. For the blackberries, half of both kinds were planted in seed starter, while the other half are going to be in a paper towel. The raspberries were only planted in seed starter.
We will see if soaking the seeds in bleach will make their germination time any sooner.
I have heard anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months for the seeds to grow so we'll you up to date.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Moving Pears

So on May 14th we put some pear seeds in a moist paper towel, put that in a plastic bag, then put it in the fridge. It's been 5 weeks and no germination. So we have now moved the seeds to room temperature in hopes that they will grow. Whatever amount of stratification the seeds needed, hopefully they got it during the month they were in the fridge.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Growing Blueberries From Seed

I bought some blueberry seeds from The Kentucky Blueberry Growers Association a few months ago. Their seeds are already stratified so you don't have to worry about doing that. A few weeks ago. April 25 to be precise, I start some seeds. Following the instructional video they have on YouTube, I used my miniature greenhouse. I filled it with seed starter, which is most peat moss, and sprinkled some seeds on top. To be on the safe side, I sprinkled a pinch of seed starter on top to cover the seeds. I used the greenhouse because according to the instructions given to me with the seeds, blueberries need a temperature of 70 to 80 degrees and need to stay moist. The greenhouse keeps those consistent. Heat and moisture are a perfect environment for fungus to grow so I gave it a spray of fungicide every week.
Four weeks later, on May 23, the first of the seeds germinated. More seeds are germinating everyday so I expect to have a full tray by the 6th month. Right now the blueberries are too small to take pictures of but they are growing nicely.