Thursday, March 14, 2019

Hand pollinating

I think VeganAthlete has it a bit wrong here, but let's watch him anyway.

Sometimes a certain species of dragonfruit is sterile. That is, the male portion of blooms are sterile while the female portion is productive. That means another plant of the same species must be around to fertilize the male-sterile plant.

VeganAthlete says and repeats that the plant needs pollen from another species, and I think that is wrong.

Otherwise, all species of dragonfruit produce blooms that can fertilize themselves so no insects or bats are needed, just a good breeze. Chiles and tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and other species of Solanaceae all have this same characteristic. That's why growers go out there and give their plants a good shake when they're blooming.

In my spot we don't have many bees. I watched some over at the Art Museum and I wondered, "why don't you girls ever come over next door?"

I think it's cool what he's doing.

He's learning. And he's sharing what he's learned. 

Man, you guys living in Arizona are lucky. You can grow all kind of cool things. 

Through the internet, Instagram specifically, VeganAthlete hooked up with another of his type. Another young man in Arizona is growing a whole plot of weird things not usually seen in gardens. Not all together in one garden at least. His goal is to grow all his own food. And that takes a lot of learning by study and by trial and error. Lots of error. Lots of trials.

In the next video VeganAthlete goes to the place he discovered online and digs up a banana tree and transplants it at his own place. We see the roots of a banana tree and we learn about different types of bananas, how the plant works, removing the leaves, and about soil amendments and water requirements specific to this type of plant.

One last thing about the dragonfruit plants that are grown in the places they thrive.

Growers construct posts for them to grow up and hang over. They're strange trellis for a strange heavy plant.

As the cactus grows its segments send out roots to grab onto anything that it can. The plant is epiphytic, not a usual cactus. In nature it grows on other plants, not usually on the ground. So these side roots dig into the cracks and elbows of other large trees. Growers use thick square wooden posts with a cactus segment planted on each side to grow upward to five feet or so then spread out in unruly fashion in all directions, as they do. Usually with something soft for a padded rim to protect them, like a car tire or a bicycle tire for the plants to grow through then across and then hang downward somewhat like an umbrella.

The plants bloom and produce fruit on the segments that hang downward. 

The planter in Australia realized they needn't grow upward. Rather, place the pot on a stump or on top of an upright and have them grow hanging downward immediately.

First video, a man toiling with building upright planters for his dragonfruit. 

Second video, an Australian man explaining his pot on a post idea. He also associates good production with ants and three other growing suggestions learned by experience, trials and errors.

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