Thursday, December 31, 2009
My eggplant supreme has put on more flowers. The previous few purple flowers withered and died without producing any eggplants. I suspected it was due to pollination problems. Closer examination of the plant today revealed caterpillar presence. And I even found a cocoon under one of the leaves. After a few days in a jar, it turned out to be the same moth which I caught some time back :
From the look of the flowers, it seem that when the petals are bent backwards, they are ready for pollination. I read somewhere that this happens for tomato flowers. Eggplants and tomatoes belong to the same family. I have noticed that the eggplant produces two types of flowers. One with a centre thingy which I believe is the female part (stigma). The yellow parts are the male parts or anthers where the pollen are stored. I remove one anther at a time and peel it gently (it is very delicate) to reveal the white pollen which flies off fast in the breeze. I would dap this onto the female part. Hope that this works to produce eggplant since I read that bees are not attracted to eggplant flowers :
The other flower is similar except that the centre part is either non-existent or very deep inside and tiny. This flower cant seem to be pollinated and I am not sure what it is for :
Thursday, February 5, 2009
My little gardener with Marco and Smokey.
My Can-o-worm farm parked in the garage is doing well. This a peek at it. Not looking forward to Saturday, where temperature may soar to a 43 deg again. :(
This lemon tree was suddenly in a bad shape. Not sure if it was due to the extreme heat last week or a nutrient deficiency (as I have not done a thing for it before). A lot of leaves yellowed and dropped, as did the lemons, both large and small. I have tried to water it around the dripline and fertilised with less than a handful of citrus fertiliser. Hope that helps!
A strawberry? It is a deformed tomato, due to either too hot or too cold temperature during pollination, and will produce poor quality fruits.
Tip : Misting flowering plants in the early morning provides humidity and this favors pollination from bees.
This surviving Purple King is growing its way up the support without much help on my part. :)
5 stalks of rosemary soft wood cuttings in jar of normal tap water.
5 stalks of rosermary hard wood cuttings with soft wood on top in jar of normal tap water.
Some water was poured away after a few days, retaining a little and fresh tap water topped up. Jars are placed near indirect sunlight as window sill. No rooting hormone used.
Result : It took 20 days before I could see roots appearing on any stem.
5 hard wood cuttings rooted. 1 soft wood cutting rooted. Rooting zone : nodes.
Conclusion : Hardwood cuttings have the highest chance of rooting. Contrary to some books which say that hardwood cuttings should be taken in autumn and softwood cuttings to be taken in summer, the hardwood cuttings in my experiment all rooted in mid-summer where else the only one softwood cutting rooted pathetically.
Tip : It is useful to wrap the cuttings and jar in a clear plastic bag to reduce transpiration (water loss through evaporation) from the leaves. In my case, I did not do so but it still worked in this hot summer climate.
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