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Messages - petershaw

Current Photographs / Re: July 2024
July 11, 2024, 06:30:55 AM
I saw my first one's in bloom on a walk yesterday, had to look at my calendar to remind myself its early July. Costal Central CA
Hi All,

There is a great wiki article on growing bulbs but its very general and I found out that my Ferraria like to be deep from someone on this forum.

I know there is not likely a book like Holland Bulb Forcers Guide I used back in the day but any suggestions would be great.

I came across the The Southern African Bulb Group today and browsed through a half dozen news letters. Picked up a few great tips, like Babiana also like to be deep, though the ones in my garden seem to migrate to the surface..

Anyway, I found this great picture of Massonia longipes growing in hydroton. I have years of experience in the substrate world and love the stuff. My home aquaponic system uses this material. Its an ebb and flood system that fills up every 20-30 minutes then drains quickly. 
I planted my two Boophone disticha bulbs in hydroton this winter and they doubled in size. 
(I also overwinter my hybrid Glads in them and they gust finished blooming.

Screen Shot 2024-07-07 at 6.33.18 PM.jpg
Thanks for the feedback.

I have left all my 2023 seedlings in their pots, and have tried to water them a tiny bit a few times. They are in my greenhouse in my propagator under the bench and are staying reasonably warm.

I had some 2 and 3 years seedling pots that had to be divided and I tried to get them bare rooted in time for the BX but could not, so now I have bags of bulbs .... Some still tiny and others quite big with roots.

I am now trying to decide how many of the almost 100 different ones I can keep. Some are going on Reddit as trades or cheap sales or gifts.
Thank you both for the information.

A. shawii is one I have and along with Agave shawii are a must have for me (Peter Shaw).

I received some Albuca spirals 'Blue Curls' in one of the recent BX (thank you).

I have not found any listings of this cultivar. Does anyone know anything about it?

Albuca fragrans is one that came to me as seed from a SX (thanks again) but I dont see much information on the net or at all on the Wiki. A synonym maybe?


General Discussion / Re: sick lily
June 11, 2024, 07:32:15 AM
Thrip damage or broad mites in the bud maybe?
General Discussion / Re: Vapour-pressure deficit
June 11, 2024, 07:29:58 AM
I am not sure how important it is for a hobby greenhouse and there are few ways to control it without installing some sort of fogging system (not mist).

Where it is critical is in production food greenhouses. If you are going something like cucumbers or tomatoes in a highwire system the crops need to be keep in balance producing both new leaves and flowers. They usually refer to this as generative or vegetative growth. (Any high value crop can be negatively influenced as well. Cannabis is one where I see growers taking note of what's happening, though in a closed warehouse they are not interested in a fogging system due to potential powdery mildew.)

While teaching hydroponic and substrate production my student growers would often try to produce more fruit without monitoring the vegetative portion of the plants. Tomato crops started late summer would be producing fruit going into shorter days with decreasing light. By January the plants would get out of balance without reducing the fruit load and if I was not paying attention (I was also the department chair) the plants would stop flowering. This only happened one time but we had to remove a ton of fruit, change the watering schedule, the level of fertility, and wait at least 4 weeks for the plants to start flowering again, then 8 weeks for fruit. Great teaching opportunity..I installed a high pressure fogging system in the new greenhouse that really helped in the summer when the VPD could climb way out of range.
General Discussion / Re: Vapour-pressure deficit
June 09, 2024, 06:49:19 AM
VPD is not really new but its becoming a much more acceptable way to monitor plant growth and health. I think the weed growers were instrumental in the becoming more wide spread.

Another definition of VPD is vapor pressure difference which really looks at the difference between what's happening in the leaf compared to the air surrounding the leaf, as compared to the difference determined by the air relative humidity and temperature. Leaf temperate rather than air temperature.

Seems like a small difference but its not to the plant. Leaves receiving sunlight will be significantly warmer than the surrounding air temperature resulting in a higher energy level of the water in the leaf than in the air, allowing water vapor to move to an area of lower energy, cooling the leaf and allowing transpiration even in a humid environment.

The difficulty of course is how to measure leaf temperature accurately and have the environmental computer do something about it. Thus normal greenhouses use the air temperature to trigger fogging or other techniques to cool the air. Though the Dutch greenhouses use way more sensors than most greenhouses in the US.

If you are curious, as I was, the book "Plant Empowerment" was transformation for me in understanding how plants really interact with their environment. The people that developed this wrote the book below and how have a consulting company.
I am trying to get my seedling and donated bulb pots divided and came across some with very fleshy roots.

Boophane, Brunsvigia josephine, Crossyne guttata. My hunch is to pot them up but keep them dry?

Lots of others seem pretty straightforward and will go into paper bags for the summer.

I had three Ferraria species that didn't come up from donated corms. Some pupated (which seems like a lack of chilling or dormancy?) but no vegetative growth. 

F. densepunctulata, F. divaricata and F. uncinata. 

Also Moraea polyanthos failed to sprout but the corms look fine.

Whats the idea planting depth for Ferraria?

I am behind and was hoping to get a number of packets of various species for the BX but may not make it.
It's complicated...

Of course it is :)  

The foliage on many has dried up and I have them in 4" pots in a shaded dry place on the floor under the benches.

These are all in their second year so I will pop them open and see how they look.

The seedlings from this years exchange are still green so they are being watched closely and watered lightly occasionally.

Rather than flooding the BX with unwanted bulbs, I will divide and ask if there is interest, since a lot of them came to me as unwanted seed in the SX.
I have a lot of pots with lots of young bulbs, most winter growers. They have just recently gone dormant (some are still "growing").

I had hoped to share many of them via the Bulb Ex but I am wondering if this is the right time to divide them? I thought I understood they should be kept undisturbed until mid summer, but I am open to clarification.

Hi Kelly,

we were at the Berkeley BG a couple weeks ago and the SA bulb display was beyond beautiful. I saw this Moraea in bloom in several locations in the area.
I hope you have had a chance to see the garden.
Current Photographs / Re: April 2024
April 14, 2024, 12:31:52 PM
Its a cycad.
It could be Encephalartos horridus  but I am sure the owner will chime in.
I saw them at Ruch Bancroft Garden last week,

Current Photographs / Re: April 2024
April 09, 2024, 06:21:52 AM
Here is Moraea ochroleuca from the Berkeley Botanic Garden that we saw last weekend.
Moraea ochroleuca BBG.jpg

Babiana rubrocyanea RBG.jpg
Babiana rubrocyanea ?

IMG_4486.jpg   IMG_4487.jpg
Bright yellow flattened 2-sided inflorescence?

Tilden BG
Calocortus what...?

Berkeley Botanic Garden
No clue

Watsonia BBG.jpg
Watsonia ,.......?