Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pitaya or Dragon Fruit

A trip to friday's Farmer's Market made me discover this wonderful plant. It was my first time to see a pitaya in real life. Weeks before, I almost bought seeds of this exotic plant on the internet. It was a dream come true for me to see it. Here are pitayas for sale in pots with fruits. They sell for $25.00 each.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Seed Saving: Cherimoya (Annona cherimola)

The cherimoya fruit is oval, slightly oblique with a smooth or slightly tuberculated skin.
The fruit flesh is white, and has numerous seeds embedded in it.
Make sure to remove the flesh around the seeds and wash them in water. Let it dry under the sun for a day. The black seeds turn to brown when dry. Store the seeds in paper package and label it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to Grow Chestnuts from Seeds

I've never grown chestnuts from seeds so this is more of an experiment to me. I've picked the best chestnut that I have available which is the biggest of all. I prepared the seed by carefully removing it's outer shell. After that, I inserted the seed in potting soil and sparingly covered it with soil. Lastly, I covered it with mesh to protect it from animals that might steal my chestnut. All I have to do is water and watch it patiently grow.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Agave & Agave Seeds

There are a couple of wildly growing agaves where I walk my dogs and today I took a couple of it's seeds home. I'm not sure the name of this agave so it needs to be identified. I think all agaves reach the end of it's life when you see them showing their beautiful blooms and seeding. But again I'm not sure about this. The agave which I took these seeds was already dead. Just this long stalk that holds the seed pods standing up as high as eight feet. I have to break the stalk down to the ground and collect them. I was able to collect hundreds of these flat, circular, black seeds in their seed pods. I'll try to grow these seeds and I'll let you know if I'm successful with it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Growing Pine Trees From Seeds

Here are some of the pine tree seeds I've collected last week. Some have the "wings" (which is the tree's way of dispersing it's seeds) and some don't have them. You can test the viability of the seeds by putting them in a glass of water. The ones that sink are the good ones and the ones that float are the bad ones.
Prepare your pot with potting soil and water it. Then poke a hole for the seeds to go into. Place the seed vertically into the soil with the pointer end first. Then cover the seed barely with soil. I have to put some sort of protection on the pot to prevent birds from eating my seeds. I've used this mesh they use to store onions. Put the pot in a sunny location and water occasionally. Too much water will rot the seed. Be patient and you will have a pine tree seedling in a few months.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seed Saving: Dracaena Drago or Dragon Tree

These are the berry-like fruits and seeds of the dragon tree. The ripe berries are orange in color and are the best ones to pick when harvesting for seeds. Remove the fleshy coating and wash seeds in water. Let it dry under the sun for a day. Store it in envelops and label it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Parade Rose

It claims to be the queen of miniature roses. This will need some pruning (by 1/3rd as it says on the label) before I bring it indoors ready for the cool season.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Planting Snap Peas

These are snap peas that I started from seeds in six-pack plastic pots. The roots are starting to grow out of the pots and so it's time I sow them in the ground. I've readied the area where I'm going to plant them by loosening the soil. After planting, I have to put chicken wire around as birds love their tender leaves. I will remove the wire when they're well established. This is one of the veggies I'm growing this fall.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Seed Saving: How to Save Sweet Fennel Seeds

Allow the sweet fennel seeds to dry on the plant.
Hold part of the stem that has the seeds and carefully cut it with a pruner. I have a tray closeby that I can throw in all these stems.
Harvest the seeds on the tray and discard the stems. Save the seeds in paper envelops and make sure to label and date the seeds.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

How to Propagate Agave Plant

Carefully remove shoots (called suckers or pups) around the base of the parent plant making sure it has it's own roots. Wear gloves when handling the agave plant to protect you from it's wicked spines at the tip and along the edges of the leaves.
Fill up a container with potting soil or a cactus/succulent medium.
Make a shallow hole and set the pup on the center.
Add more soil.
Water and place it in bright location away from direct sunlight for a couple of days to avoid shock. These are extremely heat resistant and loves full sun. Add (decorative) rocks to accent the plant.