Friday, February 15, 2019

Gardener's Watch is Sprouting Again

Restarting this blog feels just like this, a little twig growing out of a once seemingly dead tree.  I forget exactly why this blog became inactive for so long but I'm hoping people will start to come back, If nothing else to see the plants growing.  Really, is there any other reason to come see?

This picture reminds me of when we had a house and we were trying to kill off the crepe myrtle bushes/trees.  They wouldn't die.  They just kept coming back like this little guy but with much more gusto.

I still don't have time, much less anything really neat to show or say, to put up a post every day, but I'm at least going to try to keep the posts interesting and make sure I'm not just rambling on about nothing.  Of course there should always be a picture, like this one, even if I didn't necessarily take it myself.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Optimal Light

Brought the little vanilla plants to the front toward the light.  I had left them behind it so that the little spider wouldn't be disturbed but they were not looking like they liked so much shade especially since they were indoors anyway.

The white things in front are the cut up bottles with water and paper towels in them.  Still having to change them out every few days so that they don't breed mold.  They already seem to be doing a little better.

In front of this, but out of the picture, is the other pot.  I raised it up too a couple feet to be closer to the light.  It went from floor to on top of two boxes to on top of a filing cabinet and two boxes.  The leaves are starting to pick up again.  It's growth had been stunted due to lack of light.

The bean plant you see in the upper right of this photo is starting to form flowers already. I should have beans in a few weeks.  Okay, maybe two or three beans but that's still more than one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Branching Out

There's a little green shoot coming off of where the cotyledons used to be attached.  Hopefully this is where the first branches will form from.

As you can see, the trunk is already starting to look woody.  I will be transplanting them yet again soon so that each tree will have it's own pot to grow in.  This might mean getting some new bigger pots too since I doubt at least one of the pots is really big enough to hold a tree in.  It looked fine when the tree was just sprouting but one of the leaves alone is taller than the pot is.  I'd guess that that's a sign that the pot is a little too small for root comfort.

Cacao trees have a tap root.  Not quite what you think of like a carrot or anything but it does shoot a thick root down and spread out a system from there, as well as some surface roots.  It looks like a smaller version of the top of the tree.  In a mature tree they can be several feet underground.  Of course in a potted situation they can only go as far as the bottom of the pot so I'll need to eventually need at least a two foot deep pot to keep it happy.  I haven't seen anything that big for a reasonable price yet but I'll have to keep looking.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Bean leaves

Plant identification by leaf is a common practice.  There are websites out there (usually by geography) that can help identify a plant by shape, type, texture, and such of a leaf, like this one at Texas A&M.  I guess I never paid a lot of attention to the leaves of a bean plant before but the initial leaves just didn't look like a bean plant to me.

It so happens that these are primary leaves that get the plant growing quickly and don't match the rest of the leaves it will produce throughout the rest of the growing cycle.

I think I already see some leaves forming at the base of some of the leaf branches.  It won't be long before they open and start to make beans.  One of my favorite things about bean plants is that they grow so fast and you can see results without waiting too long.  The cacao, just visible on the right, takes a minimum of 4 years for fruit to form but more likely 7-8 years in these less than ideal conditions.  They are still putting out leaves though.