Strawberry Experiment = Success!

I did an experiment with strawberries to see if I could get them to flower and fruit in a hot, humid climate, such as the Philippines.  What I did has been done before, and I got the idea from some research that has been done at the Agricultural Engineering department, specifically the, Agro-meteorology, Structures, etc. division at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.  Well I am pleased to say that my experiment was successful.  My strawberries flowered and I got little berries!!!  How’d I do it?  That’s my little secret for now ;-).  I need to redo the experiment as well as try a different one.  Still a lot to improve, like the berry size, but the flavor was good, although on the sour side (that’s what sugar is for).    For now, here are the results, a ripe little berry.

Delicious Strawberry1/250    f/10    ISO 400    300 mm

I took the above picture with the Pentax k-r using the DA-L 55-300.  The bokeh that this lens produces is beautiful and it’s a just consumer zoom.  If you are a Pentax user and need a good zoom lens that won’t break the bank, this is it.  Want more info on this lens?  Head on over to the Pentax Forums and check out the extensive lens database.

For you doubters, here’s the pot =).  That read one is the one in the picture above, before I picked it of course.



DIY Home Hydroponics Garden – Part 1

Part 1 – Seeding

Today I decided to take some time off of the computer and start a hydroponics or soil-less (yup, you read that right) garden.  In case you didn’t know, you can grow plants these days without soil and actually it is done quite a bit in the floriculture industry where they use soil-less media (the stuff they put in the pots to replace the soil).  So if there is no soil, where do the nutrients, those essential macro and micro elements that the plants need to grow come from? Good question.  The nutrients are added to the irrigation water as well as to the soil-less media.  This ensures that the plants have the nutrients that they need to grow, but at the same time the plants benefit from the superior characteristics of soil-less media, compared to soil, such as being bad microorganism free (viruses and such), good drainage, good water holding capacity, and so on.

In the hydroponics setup that I will be doing, all the nutrients that the plants need will actually be in the irrigation water or nutrient solution, and actually, the plant roots will be constantly submersed in this nutrient solution.  If that doesn’t really make sense now or if you can’t imagine it now, that’s okay.  Just hang around this blog for the next few weeks and you will see.

I will hopefully be leaving for grad school in January (hopefully – still waiting on acceptance), so I decided to keep things small and a little bit more manageable.  I decided to only plant lettuce and cauliflower this time around (last time i had some tomatoes and maybe some other stuff, I’ve forgotten).  I know the lettuce grow really fast and I think the cauliflower will take around 45 days or so, so I should be harvesting the cauliflower before Christmas.

picture of different packages of seeds

various seeds I had on hand

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