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carlsson
March 5th, 2006, 12:01 PM
One and a half year ago, I got a Kalanchoë as a moving in gift. It was short and thick with big leaves. However, as time has passed and I have not taken proper care of it, it has changed its way of growth to something quite different:

http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/kalanchoe.jpg

I'm afraid if I let it grow as it wants, it will become a climbing plant rather than a short, thick one as expected. On the other hand, one would not want to cut down the part that still is flowering..:eh:

I'm also considering to sow some tomatoes etc. Although I have a balcony with glass windows and in worst case could make room indoors, I'm not sure if it is too early to do this.. remember I don't live in a sub-tropical climate.

Terry Yager
March 5th, 2006, 01:52 PM
Right around now is a good time to start tomato (& pepper) plants for outdoor transplantation in my not-so-temperate zone.

--T

vic user
March 6th, 2006, 04:27 AM
hey anders;

your plant exhibits many of the signs of a plant that is not getting enough sunlight.

the stretching sure is an indication of that, and the flowering could be a sign of stress, although i would need more info on that kind of plant.

every autumn i bring in some potted plants that i have outside (like my sage plants) and they take a beating during the winter due to the reduced sunlight.

i often see them starting to flower during this time, but in long spindly ways, not like the compact flowers i get during the rest of the year.

if you are going to start seeds indoors, might i suggest you use flourescent lights to help the seedlings on their way. not counting the ballast, fluourescent lights can be kept really close to the tops of the seedlings without risk of burning them.

chris

carlsson
March 6th, 2006, 06:02 AM
Fluorescent lights? Wow, now we're talking. I had no idea you were such a plantmaster. I'm getting a decent amount of sunlight, but of course less in the winter and perhaps not so much in that window where the Kalanchoë is. I have a few other pots too, but it didn't occur to me to take pictures of them all.

By the way, this is an old time favorite of mine; maybe I've posted it before. :-) I copied it from a Swedish online classifieds site - the computer was the one for sale, but apparently without screen:

http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/bio_computer.jpg

vic user
March 6th, 2006, 06:23 AM
that is a funny pic!

i love plants and planting, and certainly enjoy the propogation side of things... sowing and cloning.

i will try an drudge up some pics of our old seedling setups, showing the light setup.

chris

carlsson
March 13th, 2006, 02:25 AM
A couple of months ago, I bought a cherimoya, an exotic fruit (Google if you want to know more). It contains a lot of rather large, black seeds. For fun, I put a couple handful seeds into three otherwise empty pots, gave them water and the small amount of sunlight you get in winter. Nothing has happened until today, I noticed one sprout that is about 8 cm tall! It must have grown for a few days without me noticing, because no plant can grow several inches over night, can it?

Anyway, I was so amazed that I touched the fragile plant and one of the two top leaves fell off. :eek: If it survives and grows a bit bigger, I'll post a picture.

vic user
March 13th, 2006, 04:01 AM
yeah, hope to see a pic of it.


I noticed one sprout that is about 8 cm tall! It must have grown for a few days without me noticing, because no plant can grow several inches over night, can it?

were the leaves kind of simple looking and a bit small?

they could have been the cotyledons, and are just temporary leaves, and are easily dislodged from the plant.

there is a very good possibility that the seedling was growing quite a bit under the soil before it popped out, and thus it gives the appearance that it suddnely grew 8 cm overnight.

until the plant gets its own true leaves, it is using up the parental energy supplied within the seed, to produce the tap root and cotyledon(s), and thus grow quite fine under the soil (for a little bit :)

chris

carlsson
March 13th, 2006, 06:11 AM
Oh, you really do have a knowledge about this, knowing the proper vocabulary and everything. Yes, the leaves are very small. This kind of plant would in a subtropical climate (it is cultivated in New Zeeland among many other places) grow into a tree, several meters tall. I'll be happy if it grows into a windowsill sized plant. :) When I was a kid, we managed to grow orange seeds into plants of the size, and the local plant store sells lemon plants of that size. The lemon plants can even give fruit at that size.

Once at work, my boss had picked up a bag of longan (a fruit related to litchi and rambutan). They also contain rather big seeds inside - somewhere I read that in traditional south Chinese medicine they grind the seeds and use for rheumatism or so, but maybe I misunderstood. We put a few in a pot where another plant already lived, and the seeds grew up and became fairly big and strong plants. Those fruit also grow as big bushes or trees in the wild.

vic user
March 13th, 2006, 08:06 AM
yeah, i can remember as a kid, my babysitter getting us all to plant an orange seed in a styrofoam cup full of dirt and wait for the results.

to have a lemon plant would be nice, if it was aromatic like the fruit.

chris

Micom 2000
March 13th, 2006, 09:33 AM
Using Fluorescent lites as well as other types are quite common in hortoculture. I once used them in a basement apartment with several plants. This is debated by some people, but most lites used for illumination do not have the broad spectrum sunlight supplies. In most stores you can buy "Grow" lights which provides the full color spectrum needed.

I'm lucky enough to have a heated sunroom (as well as 2 windowed porches)
which fends off the winter blahs of the northern region and also provides some heat on sunny days. It also works well for germinating seeds and seedlings.

Since I live in a rural area I have a vegetable garden. Last summer I added a small greenhouse add-on and also built a coldframe. Because of the shorter summers it gives me a leg up on some plants that require a longer growing season. For the last 5 years I have grown tomatoes using starter plants from a local greenhouse. Tomatoes can't deal with below freezing temperature so I would advise you to aim for placing the plants outdoors once you are reasonably sure temperatures will not fall to that point. Should freak falling overnite temperatures occur you can always cover them and cross your fingers.

Lawrence

vic user
March 13th, 2006, 10:28 AM
oh man, to have a greenhouse!!!

and the beauty of fluorescents (but try to move the ballast away) is that you can keep those bulbs insanely close to leaves, without worrying you will be burning your plants to a crisp.

i also found that if i used a combo of lights (one cold white, warm white, etc..) that it helped with the spectrum, but if all you are doing is trying to get seedlings going, colour spectrum is not that important.

also, fluorescent bulbs are a heck of a lot easier to get than say a 400 watt MH bulb.

anders, do you guys have a certain date that Swedes use, to know when to start planting outdoors?

around here people always say "don't plant before May two-four", to avoid frosty nights.

chris

carlsson
March 13th, 2006, 01:20 PM
Not sure when the frost is supposed to end, but my balcony has glass doors to shut. A little cool air will come in from underneath the balcony, but much leaner than without the glass doors. I think most seeds like flowers and vegetables have a time period printed on the bag, depending from species to species and a little depending on how far up north you live.

In the southern part (54-55º north) the climate is different from here (59º30') and even more different from the northern part (68-69º), as the country is laid out almost vertically. Also, close to a large lake like I live, the climate is a bit nicer than on the hilly lands a bit south from here.

vic user
March 14th, 2006, 06:38 AM
i found this little blurb about the city you live in:

-----
Västerås, chief town of the county and province of Västmanland, lies in an inlet on Lake Mälar, at the mouth of the Svartå. The town takes its name from its original site on the west side of the river mouth, Västra Aros (aros = river mouth"), which in course of time became Västerås. In the medieval period the town was the see of a bishop. Eleven meetings of the Swedish Diet were held here, the most important being the Diet of Västerås in 1527, during the reign of Gustavus Vasa, at which it was decided to adopt the Reformed faith.
The town grew rapidly during the 20th century with the development of industry. In 1900 it had barely 12,000 inhabitants - a figure which since then has multiplied almost tenfold. Among the town's principal industries is the manufacture of electrical appliances (ASEA Brown Boveri, ABB). Västerås is also an important inland port, used by many pleasure craft.
-----

couldn't find any pics of the place though, just lots of stockholm

chris

carlsson
March 15th, 2006, 02:05 PM
In the old ages, it was Aros (i.e. only river mouth). Soon there was two towns who called themselves Aros, and they had to be differentiated by East and West. However East Aros was asked to become the arch bishop's new site, under the condition they took the name from the nearby old arch bishop's place (sounds a bit complicated) - so they became Uppsala, dropping the reference to their river. Uppsala is also known for one of the oldest and largest universities in the country, a bit like Cambridge or Oxford maybe. Västerås still today is a bishop's site, not only in medieval times, although it is not the arch bishop.

Västerås today has a population around 130,000 so actually more than ten times the 1900 figure.

ASEA/ABB was a very large company some 20-30 years ago. Maybe 1/5th, 1/4th or even more people worked for them. Recently they had cut downs, split the company into parts bought by other companies and returned to their original business areas. Older people still today have the impression it is an enormous employer, despite all the cut downs and company splitting.

Back to the plants; today I bought some funny seeds (not that kind of funny one gets from smoking the leaves). I got red bell (paprika) and parsley root (a.k.a. Hamburg parsley, with a turnip-like root). I'm planning to put the latter in rather deep pots, since they're supposed to grow roots. Maybe it won't work well, but I'll try. The red bell wants a lot of sun, heat and no wind. With the glass doors shut, I think it will be doable. Maybe I'll pot some tomato as well.

CP/M User
March 15th, 2006, 05:49 PM
carlsson wrote:

> Not sure when the frost is supposed to end, but my
> balcony has glass doors to shut. A little cool air
> will come in from underneath the balcony, but much
> leaner than without the glass doors. I think most
> seeds like flowers and vegetables have a time period
> printed on the bag, depending from species to species
> and a little depending on how far up north you live.

> In the southern part (54-55º north) the climate is
> different from here (59º30') and even more different
> from the northern part (68-69º), as the country is
> laid out almost vertically. Also, close to a large
> lake like I live, the climate is a bit nicer than on
> the hilly lands a bit south from here.

Sounds like you've got some unique Ecological Vegetation Class
occurning on your balcony. Sorry I forgot to notice if you
were living in an multi-storey apartment (if any) or not - if
so it would perhaps be to that side of the building those
Balcony would all have the same conditions (lower storey's &
higher - if any maybe different - depending on how much sun it
gets).

I wonder what sort of plants would go there? Any local Native
Bushlands nearby by any chance?

If anybody has the time to take photos & post them - it would
be quite interesting. Doesn't matter if you don't know the
plants. :-)

Cheers.

carlsson
March 16th, 2006, 12:07 AM
I'm on the bottom floor of a three story building, unfortunately in the shadow of a 10+ story building. I don't care so much what plants my neighbours cultivate. My nearest neighbour had flowers on his balcony last summer, and they're still there, frozen beyond recognition by now. I don't think I'm restricted to plants found in the wild nearby, only that I have to respect the growth zones - we divide Sweden into eight zones or so, from south to north, but as I wrote some other parameters like a large lake can make an area more north a better climate than one south of it.

Right now I don't have much to take pictures of, but hopefully I can come back in June.

carlsson
March 16th, 2006, 08:59 AM
Anyway, I was so amazed that I touched the fragile plant and one of the two top leaves fell off. :eek: If it survives and grows a bit bigger, I'll post a picture.
Another leaf has grown out:

http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/cheri1.jpg

Let's see if any of its siblings will see the daylight too, although one is enough for the experiment.

Today I've been busy with other things, but tomorrow I'll probably pot some of those seeds.

vic user
March 16th, 2006, 09:44 AM
cool!

and if you ever get some of your herb plants to produce seed, maybe you and i can swap seeds?

i have quite a bit of different herb and vegetable seeds.

-----

i am not saying you should do this, but when i have got seedlings like the one you have a pic of, i usually transplant it or add more soil so that way the distance from the top of the plant to the top of the soil is not so large.

from what i can see, the seedling is stretching for sunlight, creating a long spindly stem, which is not very good in the breeze or for having a lot of leaves to support.

by lowering the distance from the top of the plant to the top of the soil, this should result in a stronger seedling, more resistant to breezes or touching, and more able to support leaves.

happy gardening!
chris

carlsson
March 16th, 2006, 10:07 AM
I see what you mean. As I wrote before, it appeared to come from nothing to 8 cm over night, so it has not grown slowly above soil to that height.

I'm not sure about swapping seeds.. I've heard the customs can be very strict with importing foreign seeds (or other vegetable parts, even non-narcotic), but I can keep it in mind.

vic user
March 16th, 2006, 10:28 AM
yeah, i was wondering about cross border seed mailing too.

the seeds (from my end) that i was thinking about:

sage
common basil
lemon balm
things like that.

hopefully those platns are considered harmless.

mind you, lemon balm can grow like a weed :)

chris

vic user
March 16th, 2006, 10:29 AM
it would just be neat to grow a plant where the seed came from sweden though!

chris

Terry Yager
March 16th, 2006, 11:51 AM
I don't know how different Sweden is, but there are a lot of successful gardeners in Alaska. The Matanuska-Susitna river valley is said to have the richest soil anywhere in America, and when you get six months of round-the-clock daylight, in makes for some pretty good growing.

--T

CP/M User
March 16th, 2006, 02:41 PM
carlsson wrote:

> I'm not sure about swapping seeds.. I've heard the
> customs can be very strict with importing foreign
> seeds (or other vegetable parts, even non-narcotic),
> but I can keep it in mind.

Sounds like their concerned about people importing foreign
Seeds, which could become potential weeds. New species are of
considerable concern here, cause their's no knowing how
invasive they may become. Australia has a number of plants
which have become weeds - by simply being Garden Escapees,
it's of more significance when it's around an area which has
bush - since they generally start taking over those areas &
competing with the natural plants found there.

CP/M User.

carlsson
March 17th, 2006, 04:33 AM
Yes, the risk of uncontrolled spreading but also concern for the local herbivores. If I should send something, it better be a typical Swedish plant, methinks.

By the way, another sprig of Cherimoya arrived in the other pot, so now they're two.

Micom 2000
March 17th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Heh, heh, heh. This must be the only computer forum in the world that has an active thread on growing plants. :^ ))

Lawrence

Terry if you read this, empty your inbox.

L

Terry Yager
March 17th, 2006, 12:20 PM
Ok.

--T

CP/M User
March 17th, 2006, 01:22 PM
Micom 2000 wrote:

> Heh, heh, heh. This must be the only computer forum
> in the world that has an active thread on growing
> plants. :^ ))

Okay, well you let us know when you find another one!

CP/M User.

P.S. Hint: Look for a certain user! ;-)

CP/M User
March 17th, 2006, 01:38 PM
carlsson wrote:

> Yes, the risk of uncontrolled spreading but also
> concern for the local herbivores. If I should send
> something, it better be a typical Swedish plant,
> methinks.

Unfortunately it's a case of that being easier said than done.
A number of things spring to mind when plants are moved
outside their natural zones - soil conditions change (so a
plant confined to a pot is perhaps more desirable) & the if
these plants were controlled through either or all natural
bugs/bacteria/fungi plants can certainally become more potent
(which is why it's the little things which count).

So yeah, it's a bit unfortunate it's a bit like this. Perhaps
a solution to this would be to get a micro-colony happening &
simply monitor how the plant grows - where it's in an area in
which it can't break out. That's about the best I can think on
such short notice!

CP/M User.

Terry Yager
March 17th, 2006, 01:39 PM
Have you tried the 'High Times' page? Surely they must have some kinda info on using the computer to control lighting, hydroponics, sum'n along those lines...

--T

carlsson
March 17th, 2006, 03:46 PM
It was supposed to be a secret, but all the fuzz about plants is because I'm trying to design a true bio-computer! :-)

carlsson
March 22nd, 2006, 02:52 AM
Slight update on the Cherimoya plant:

http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/cheri2.jpg
As you can see, it has not extended upwards by much more, but the leaves grow bigger. The sister plant in the pot next to it however hasn't developed much yet.

vic user
March 22nd, 2006, 03:58 AM
the stem looks like it is thickening up a little too!

chris

carlsson
March 27th, 2006, 07:25 AM
Second plant is growing as well: http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/cheri3.jpg

I think this may be a bell (paprika), but I'm not sure:
http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/paprika1.jpg

(click if you're interested)

vic user
March 31st, 2006, 06:28 AM
getting monster leaves!

chris

carlsson
March 31st, 2006, 09:44 AM
It gotta grow its leaves if it should become a tree (which it never will, but is intended to).

carlsson
April 5th, 2006, 01:18 AM
Another two, tiny sprigs of the same species have emerged. I even digged out a few seeds that just barely had sprouted, to make a little more room for the plants that have come a longer way. It was ages ago I planted seeds from exotic fruit, but it is amazing if almost every seed would sprout within a few months. These seeds are rather big and maybe have a strong will, but if I raise four plants to large dimensions, it should be enough.

carlsson
April 17th, 2006, 09:49 AM
The two sprigs have become ordinary plants:
http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/cheri4.jpg

The root parsley is beginning to grow, a lot of tiny green dots:
http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/parsley1.jpg

The paprika (bell) however doesn't get going. Maybe I should have covered the pot with plastic film to keep it more moist and improve the greenhouse effect. Dunno if it is too late to try that now. The plant I thought was a bell turns out to be a single tagetes which resided in the re-used soil.

CP/M User
May 29th, 2006, 01:23 AM
carlsson wrote:

> The two sprigs have become ordinary plants:
> http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/cheri4.jpg (http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/cheri4.jpg)

> The root parsley is beginning to grow, a lot of tiny
> green dots:
> http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/parsley1.jpg (http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/parsley1.jpg)

How are these comming along, Anders?

CP/M User.

carlsson
May 29th, 2006, 03:19 AM
The cherimoya plants are well and growing slowly. The root parsley too, but maybe I should remove a few plants to make room for the other, as they are supposed to grow edible roots by October. Pictures another day. The bell never showed at all. Either the seeds were dud or I didn't keep the soil enough moist and warm.

CP/M User
May 29th, 2006, 03:27 AM
carlsson wrote:

> The cherimoya plants are well and growing slowly. The
> root parsley too, but maybe I should remove a few
> plants to make room for the other, as they are
> supposed to grow edible roots by October. Pictures
> another day. The bell never showed at all. Either the
> seeds were dud or I didn't keep the soil enough moist
> and warm.

Usually if seed germination is poor it could be the seed being
low in Viabity, a number of things could explain this - in
some cases it maybe the age of the seed or indeed the seed was
planted too soon - could be something else which mean't the
seed doesn't strike - potting mix, or indeed the amount of
water it gets - or indeed the amount of sunlight or even
temperature.

CP/M User.

carlsson
May 29th, 2006, 05:55 AM
It was reused soil, but I don't have a reason to mistrust the store for selling too old seeds. Ah, just a few SEK and I have half the bag of seeds left so I can try it again under better conditions.

http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/cheri5.jpg
http://www.anders.sfks.se/pics/parsley2.jpg