Friday, July 24, 2020

Cacao Tree Sizing

When sizing a tree you don't actually care quite as much about the height of the tree as compared to the caliper, or diameter of the trunk of the tree.

So whereas the height of this tree is now just at four feet high, the caliper of the tree is up to a half an inch. Compare to the little shoot it started out as, this is quite an accomplishment.  Each time a tree adds to the leaves it has to put in more tubing and thus trunk to supply nutrients to the foliage. The plan is to keep the tree to just under seven feet tall, but the trunk needs to get to at least 2 inches so it can support the fruit. I'm hoping for at least 3 inches though before I allow fruit to form just to make sure the tree is healthy.

Currently it is in it's second year of growth and will probably take at least 2 more years before it starts flowering, maybe a year and a half since it was started in the fall.  I expect the first harvest to possibly be in 2023 or 2024 which would be just in time for the total solar eclipse over Dallas in October 2024.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Cacao Tree Up to 42 Inches

That little growth spurt has now over doubled in size bringing the tree to about 3 1/2 feet tall.  It's now a decent sized office plant and will be finding its way to the floor soon in a slightly larger pot.

Of course it'll still be a few years before it will try to flower and produce but I'm hopeful.  Some of the other plants are hanging in there but none of them are doing quite as well as this one.  It's former pot buddy is still growing slowly and is putting out another leaf but it will be some time before it needs repotting.

The little forest of sprouts is still looking good.  There are a few empty pots that I'm sure these can be transplanted into in the coming week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

New Cacao Growth Spurt

The cacao tree has been putting out new leaves for some time but it has decided with this last bunch of leaves to get some added height as well.

You can clearly see the leaf cluster at the base of the previous growth, usually 2 leaves at a time.  This group is actually 4 leaves which so far is pretty uncommon.  I'm not sure what the change or difference is this time around but I'm happy to see the progress.To the tip of the trunk is now just over 38 inches.  Previously I have been measuring from top of dirt to the highest leaf arch but this is a much more accurate measurement since the leaves can move so much.  That top is an extra 4.5 inch addition to the tree.

One possible difference might be the extra sun the tree has been getting through the newly acquired window of the office I've been moved to.  The only other thing I can thing of is the relationship to the air conditioning vent blowing on it.

Still going to wait until the office moves to repot it though.  I don't want to have to stress the tree out more than I need to and a smaller pot will be easier to move.


Monday, May 25, 2020

Sprouting Patio Garden

 We were so happy looking at the pictures our friends posted of their gardens that we dug into the seed box and planted a few of our own.

Several of our friends seem to have gotten the gardening bug and thus have peppers, herbs, tomatoes, etc. growing in abundance.  Some unfortunately have gotten lost along the way but for the most part it seems to be a nice gardening year.

One friend offered us seeds to plant but we already have so many it would have been a waste of seeds.  Others need them more than we do so we just planted what we had.
 The pictures shown are some beans, since they grow so fast and we got a pretty late start on the growing season.  We also planted some herbs, carrots, and radishes.  The smaller radishes should grow quicker and be a nice addition to salads.

Depending on what actually grows we might also plant some lettuce or other herbs, space allowing.

If I had more room I'd like to grow beets but they require more space and depth than I can give them at the moment.
 These planter boxes are also not quite what I wanted but the'll have to do for the moment.  What I was looking for was what I would describe as saddle bag pots for the railing of the patio. I've also looked for a bracket that might fit on top of the railing for pot support with no success.  If anyone knows where I could get such things, feel free to leave it on the comments and I'll go look.

In the mean time these boxes are sitting on the ground and I'm just hoping the rabbits don't come and eat what we've planted.
As you can see there are only a few carrot sprouts but these seeds are over 6 years old.  I was actually surprised how well these seeds are doing.  It's only been a few days since we planted them and already we're getting exciting results.

So if you're wondering if you should toss those seeds just try them first and if they don't sprout then you've only lost a little time.  There's still plenty of time in the growing year to plant more seeds.  Just keep them watered and the weeds out and you should be doing just fine.