Friday, September 28, 2012

Seed Germination, Field Seeding and Transplanting

September 18 - 21, 2012.
This time we learned about seed structure: Dicot vegetables have two cotyledons which are most vegetables. Then monocot vegetables have one cotyledon which types of crops are leek, onion, garlic, chive, sweet corn, and asparagus according to our lecture. Furthermore, we discussed what seeds need to germinate. They need water, favorable temperature, oxygen, and light. Before I went to check on my  plot during the time we covered seed germination,  I was seriously wondering if I didn't provide my plants with any of their basic needs for the seeds to germinate properly. Then two days later I visited my plot to see some results, I noticed that the plants were too small and had barely grown. But before thinking that I wasn't doing a good job, I realized that I planted most of my seeds very deep in  the soil, which is way they haven't grown as much as I would have wanted them to. Also I remembered the professor saying something related to the time it would take for the plants to grow if the seeds were planted too deep, which made me feel better. Further, we learned about transplanting during that week. Transplanting is transition of a potted plant from its container and its growing environment into your garden. Transplants are used for earliness, uniformity and consistency, land use efficiency, cost saving on expensive seeds and other production input. I decided to do some eggplant transplanting because the class offered some extra plants for us to use. Also, I wanted to compare the growth of the crops that I planted by using their seeds versus the new transplanted eggplants. If the crops that I planted by using their seeds don't grow bigger than the transplanted eggplants next time I check my plot, I will prove to myself that the transplanting works faster than direct seeding. Finally, we briefly spoke about crops that can be vegetatively propagated, which are, asparagus, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and garlic. I planted a potato offered to us in class because it was growing tubers and it was ready to be vegetatively propagated. Similar to this picture:


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Types of Crops

September 14-17, 2012.
During the week that we covered the different type of crops, I learned that I was doing a mixed intercropping in the garden that we had assigned. Mixed intercropping is basically growing two or more crops together with no distinct row pattern.  Also, we covered row intercropping which is growing two or more crops at the same time with at least one crop planted in rows. However, what really triggered my curiosity from the material that we covered that week was crop rotation. Crop rotation is a planned order of specific crops planted on the same field. Crop rotation also means that succeeding crops are of a different genus, species, subspecies, or variety than the previous crop. Examples would be barley after wheat, row crops after small grains, grain crops after legumes, etc. The planned rotation sequence may be for a two or three-year or longer period. Some of the general purposes of rotations are to improve or maintain soil fertility, reduce erosion, reduce the build-up of pests, spread the workload, reduce risk of weather damage, reduce reliance on agricultural chemicals, and increase net profits. Therefore, instead of doing mixed intercropping, I realized that I would have liked to do some crop rotation because the first day I dug the soil, fire ants attacked my hand mercilessly. Basically, I would have liked to see how well crop rotation could work as a pest control against fire ants or any other pest present in the garden. Unfortunately, the class doesn’t offer that much time for me to do crop rotation, but it is still the most interesting type of crop that I learned that week.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Temperature relation to vegetables' growth

September 13th, 2012. In my assigned vegetables crop, I noticed how my broccoli and carrots plants have not shown a very healthy growth. They barely came out of the soil after I planted them a week and a half ago. The temperatures during the beginning of september up to this day (september 16th) have been high temperatures, which proves to us that broccoli and carrots belong to cool season crops. On the other hand, my tomato, squash, and bean plants have been growing properly during the high temperatures of this month because they are warm crops. Warm season: thrive in warm weather and are adapted to mean monthly temp. of 18-30 C (65-86 F). The mean temperatures during these days have been around 80 F.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My name is Adriel Marcano. My major is biology. My hometown is Santo Domingo, DR. My five favorite fruits are bananas, mangos, pineapples, oranges, and passion fruits. My five favorite vegetables are onions, broccolis, cabbage, carrots, and beets.