Thursday, April 28, 2011
Swarm Location: 6 feet up a tree on a branch (perfect)
Time invested in collection: 45 min on site; 45 min driving (total 1.5 hours)
This swarm was combined with my weak overwinter hive (hiveA) last night.
Hypothesis: combining the swarm will increase the population of the weak hiveA. expected results include: increased honey flow from this hive/swarm mix versus other 2 colonies which are swarm only.
Notes: HiveC, is a combination of 2 swarms one small one & one medium. Both swarms combined into hiveC were established within a week of each other ~April5, April9 (from collections in Natomas - Bill Bird). HiveB was another swarm collected March 27th (I think) from Bill Bird in Natomas. HiveB, is a single strong swarm. All hives have been consistently fed sugar water on a 2:1 ratio.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
| Flat 1
| Name -- Days
Early Wonder -- 55
Early Girl -- 52
Sun Gold -- 57
Bloody Butcher -- 55
Sugary -- 60
Polpig -- 55-60
| Flat 2
Sweet Million -- 65
Big Beef -- 73
Champion -- 70
Isis Lady -- 67 (2 of 6 propogated)
Striped Cherry -- 70
Super Fantastic -- 70
| Flat 3
Cherokee Purple -- 80
First Light Hybrid -- 76
Lillians Heirloom -- 90
Black -- 80-85
Japanese Black Triefel-- 85
Ananas Noir -- 80 (2 of 6 propogated)
| Flat 4
Better Boy -- 75
Black Seaman -- 75
Black Zebra -- 75
Zebra Cherry -- 70
Sweet Million -- 65 (duplicate planting)
As an added bonus, the B man on my A list, said he would call me if he got any swarm calls. He's too busy to get to the swarms. So this is a great potential boost to the startup of my apiary. It's almost time to come up with a creative name, like naked ladies apiary.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Monday, November 16, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
mints - spearament, chocolate, etc. Super easy to take root divisions or cuttings or anything else. I started with this one and would suggest using these fast growing plants or coleus to practice with in the beginning.
lavendar - agustifolia, intermedia, & spanish ( could be stoechas or dentata )
coleus - multiple unknown species. this is a very easy plant!
Succulents & cacti listed in other posts.
rockwool with lemon to bring ph down to 6.0
Coir: a coconut husk & castings & potting soil
earth juice rooting hormone
small containers for soil mix
light and temp control -- indoors under florescent grow lights
Accumulate species that do well in the area to multiply and thrive to ensure future gardening successes. this will also allow for an inexpensive recovery from failures. Provide a cheap rotation since mints and herbs take over containers, extraction and division can be used to keep a healthy rotation thriving.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Size doesn't matter in gardening. Due to space limitations, and a puppy, everything is grown in pots, in the front yard. Bottom left to right: recent cuttings ->established coleus + other clones. What you won't see, until they bloom, are the sunflowers which reside in the flower garden.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
- Pelargonium robertianum (geranium)
- Sempervivum Tectorum (hens and chicks)
- Schlumbergera bridgesii (christmas tree cactus) -- blooms during winter!
- santolina chamaecyparissus (gray santolina)
- chenopodium ambrosioides(epazote) -- used in mexican cooking and tea
- Crassula rupestris ( donkey tail )
- unknown succulent (TBD)
- Thymus citriodorus (lemon thyme) -- verigated
Friday, June 26, 2009
Picked up S. greggii and S.clevelandii to compliment my growing herb collection. Also got a great cutting of lavendula agustifolia which is really common around here. So common that it's really not worth buying when you can just get a pinch from here or there. Now I just need to find some lavendula dentata -- this plant has distinct leaves and a great flower that punctures the background.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Here's the big diff. The plants are looking pretty good after all that I put them through. The foliar growth of those on the left is comparable to those on the right -- and remember the pics on the left had 2 days (TWO) of no light and shot up. This is a great picture of the difference in the size of the leaves, which are larger in the ones on the right. With regular watering though these plants are doing much better than the previous batch. So the seedlings are very susceptible to underwatering which causes leaf yellowing. But this is still fairly early on. So, I'm still waiting to see how these perform for the long run.
Now the meter...umm...I don't think it works. The soaked plants from outside were reading in the middle of the "moist" range so I got curious -- what would the meter read if it was in water? Water is apparently in the middle of the moist range too -- not wet like I would expect water to be. The pH was the same so I decided to test the wet clay soil outside....humm same. The potted soil in a 8 year old Japanese maple and 1 year pomogranate had a slight pH change (+0.5). I think this was $$ not well spent. But I am hopeful that other meters will have better results. I just need to find a good one not a cheap one from Home Depot.
This is my admitted neglect for my plants over the past couple of days. They brought this on themselves -- they deserved it! Besides these are outdoor plants and I need to teach them to be tough..so...umm...ya it's for their own good. And who are you to judge? So, I brought tomatoes back inside and treated them to light and the warmth of the house.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Also I invested in new gadget that measures pH, light, and moisture levels. This is a HOLD ALL two pronged...thingy that I have no other device to compare it to. Current readings are below:
Moisture: 4 ( 0 = dry, 10 = wet)
Light: 600 ( 0-2000, dark-light)
pH: 7 slightly alkaline
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So the proof is in the pudding or the pictures. These pictures show how well the plants have grown the past couple of weeks in their new containers with the soil amendment (alfalfa meal). The one in the center is a beafy fella. I think his percentage of alfalfa was higher than some of the others.
In response to this wonderful growth I decided to start a new batch of seedlings -- because I can. These guys are starting off in the same soil with better lights, and amendment, in an effort to test the delayed lighting I had in the beginning, one watering error, and the amended soil. A second batch has been started in a small plastic container -- a lettuce container -- with only one set of peat pots and no amendment. This batch will be raised with the same loving care but should test the effectiveness of alfalfa meal on seedlings. I believe there is a time to release/decomposition of alfalfa meal in the soil and I need to look this up. All other conditions will remain the same while testing out these variables.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Succulents have grown on me over the past couple of years. I never really got into them until I moved to this house which had some well established aloe vera plants that bloomed. Sue my gardening friend had never seen aloe vera bloom, hence the pictures. So Sue if you see this picture you can see the bloom and that the donkey tail you gave me is not doing so well -- this is partially due to two curious midgets that love to pick at things. Only time will tell if this plant will survive. I have a feeling the only way to give this plant a fighting chance is to teach the kids not to pick at Daddies plants -- or else! :-)
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Half of the tomato seedlings look good. The other half, which had 2 weeks w/o lighting, look ugly. I have ordered another set of seeds from totally tomatoes which should be here next week. This should give the seedlings about a 4 week head start beyond those seeds that would normally be planted after all danger of frost has past. If you are a farmer fred fan you would know April 28th well. Only time will tell how these new seedlings will perform.
Thanks garry for the the cool website and seeds I'll get the next set started the right way.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
So, among a few other supplies I also picked up earth worm castings to make tea to help add some good stuff for the seedlings and a few other plants around the house. After talking with the shaggy greefire dude -- yes dude is the best noun I can think of right now -- I was conviced that my former unmentionable methods of concocting poo tea had room for improvement.
- 1 small bag of poo <-- your choice but I prefer earthworm castings for several reasons including the fact that they have a fairly simple digestive system and add much to the soil. Plus castings just seem less icky, which is a big plus when making tea in a project room in the house.
- 1 5Gallon bucket
- Aquarium air pump with air stone for diffusion
- water filled up to w/in a few inches from the top of the bucket
- molassas for sugar content to help bactria do what they do best make more bacteria
- TIME: 1 day -- that's enough to get the bacterial content up w/o mass murdering the little suckers
Okay so I will say this, I was wasting too much time.
But don't believe my ramblings
Whether it's yellow people or yellow plants it is never a good thing. Right now the seedlings are suffering from a yellowing which started around March 4th (img_2478ed.jpg). Tomato seedlings can suffer from yellowing for several reasons such as: excessive watering, inadaquate water, malnutrition -- typically a lack of Nitrogen or other micronutrients. Since I water regularly -- once a week -- I thought that this might be underwatering but after a week there was no response. So I stopped by GreenFire for some advice. A shabby, knowledgable young guy guided me to a new product. Earthjuice Microblast is packed with micronutrients and magic good stuff for plants.
Tomato Diseases -- unhelpful for this symptom but a good link
Tomato Casual -- new favorite tomato site
Helpful Gardner -- What??? Online advice, how cool is that?
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The Lavender Farm in Lincoln, California
Psst --> wife <-- lavender is edible ;-)
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Personal favorite Cocoa bean hulls -- but I love everything coffee related.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Apparently urea or ammonium (NH4) is not good for indoor seedlings due to the cummulative effect that can occur. The ideal seedling fertilizer has a 2:1:2 (N:P:K) ratio. Nitrogen should be in the nitrate (NO3) form. Fertilizer should be applied once a week to seedlings that have their true leaves. I am still going to wait until they have their 2nd set of true leaves.-- and yes I watch too much Spongebob Squarepants!
Jeorgensen, Kenneth. (December 4th, 2003). Suite101.com: Choosing Seedling Fertilizers.
Janne, E. E., Roberts, R. E. (February 2001). Texas A&M University. Timely Tips on Starting Seedlings at Home.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
These seedlings are starting to grow fast. I am looking into using a fertilizer (bone & blood meal or something else) on a % of these to get them up to seasonal par. This requires some research though as I normally don't fertilize my seedlings. Since this is experimental, I plan on tracking the growth rates and charting the results for future use. We'll have to see if this really happens though.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Coleman, Eliot. (1999). Four-Season Harvest.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
There may also be some room in front of the house to grow some plants but I haven't really decided what to grow there. -- maybe giant sunflowers & corn!