Archive for August, 2012

Growing Tomato Plants from Trimmings/Stem Tip Cuttings

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Well, as the garden season in my area is approaching its latter days, I decided to do a little experiment this year with my tomato plants.  It is something that, for whatever reason, I never thought about doing, but it involved a technique that I used to use for houseplants.  It involves a simple process, often referred to as “stem tip cuttings” and/or what I like to call “growing from trimmings,” and it works like a charm.  Anyway, all you have to do is cut a healthy portion of your plant off from one of the tips, set it in a container of water, and within a few days, roots will start to develop and you can transplant back into the soil when the root structure is decent, and presto; you have a new plant!

You can use whatever type of container(s) you like, but the way I did it, involved me placing a 5-gallon bucket near my garden that was full of water.  I added several trimmings from my tomato plants (as I was topping them for better yield) into the big bucket of water.  Of course I lost a few, but since I was already topping my plants anyway, it didn’t matter.  Also, it is a good idea to cut back a few leaves from the stem that you are placing in the water.  This will help more energy be focused on growing a root structure as opposed to the strain of keeping all of its foliage hydrated.  Most of my stem tip cuttings from my tomato plants, were anywhere from 16 to 24 inches long.  You will most likely have a higher success rate from shorter trimmings, but I had plenty of tomatoes and took the chance.  I have a few transplanted as of now and they are doing great at the moment.  I just hope that there is enough time for them to fully develop. 

Outside of this method saving you 4 to 6 weeks or more (depending on how large your cuttings are) in time, since you are not starting the plants via seeds, there is also another benefit to this, which is the fact that you can select your healthiest plants to clone (which is basically what it is).  I find this to be an excellent late season option, for the ones who still want tomatoes for several more weeks.  Just think, some places in the world grow these suckers all year long!

This brings me to another option, which is something I haven’t tried yet:  Growing Tomato Plants Indoors. 

fluorescent_grow_lights

If I decide to buy some fluorescent grow lights, I may give it a GO this Fall/Winter, but I’m still not sure.  However, if I do decide to grow these self-pollinating tomato plants inside, you can bet I’ll be using the new plants I got from my prior trimmings/stem tip cuttings.  Anyway, if you’re interested in such things, you may need to check out a nice selection of fluorescent lighting and/or growing lights, below:

———> Click Here to Browse through a Fine Selection of Fluorescent Grow Lights <———

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‘Topping’ Tomato Plants toward the end of Growing Season…

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tomatoes_1  This is something that I recently tried this year, as I have always denied the whole pruning philosophy when concerning tomato plants, but this year I had another problem, which was a good one, and that being the need to “top” my tomato plants (I’ll get to the reason for this, in a moment).

  Well, even though this post is about ‘topping’ your lovely tomato plants, and since I’ve already managed to gripe about pruning fanatics, I shall provide a quick excerpt from ehow.com that speaks about pruning:  “What Is Pruning and Why?  Pruning tomato plants means removing unwanted side-shoots, or suckers, from the main stem. This will keep your plant from getting too bushy. It will also cut down on the amount of fruit your plant produces but allow it to produce larger-sized fruit. Pruned tomato plants will also produce fruit earlier than other plants.”

Even though that is the concept of pruning, I’m yet to see why anybody would want to do that!  If you have excellent soil and your plants are thriving, why would you not want your tomato plants to be bushy and have loads of tomatoes?  If you yearn for over-sized tomatoes, then perhaps you need to try other types of plants, like the beefsteak tomato, for example.

Anyway, we are not pruning anything in my garden patch, but I did have to resort to “topping” this year, which is where you cut the tops off, in hopes that the remaining small tomatoes will produce decent-sized red ones toward the end of their growing season.

To make a long story short, I had a great growing season this year, and most of the things I planted did really well.  However, I have never had a year when the tomato plants seemed like you couldn’t kill ’em even if you tried.  Normally, they die out toward the end of summer…  But this year, they kept thriving (maybe I’m getting better at this) and this is what has brought me to this topping situation.

You see, after your tomato plants have been around for quite a while and have grown to enormous size, it gets to the point that your tomatoes get smaller and smaller as your plants vine out.  Think about how much further the fruit is from the roots, as it grows…  Well, one can normally wait for them to slowly grow and ripen when you have an ongoing, excellent yield, but not when you are heading toward the end of your growing season!  So, instead of having to throw a bunch of tiny green tomatoes back onto the ground, if you top the plants (remove/cut the tops off just above the potential  fruit clusters), you will have a better chance of those last sets of tomatoes growing to full size, as no more energy and nutrients will be wasted on unnecessary growth and/or foliage.  Pretty simple stuff, eh?

Although I don’t grow this particular crop, since it is illegal, I have heard of people topping their marijuana plants to get it to bud faster and provide a quicker, higher quality yield.  I don’t even know if I should have mentioned that last tidbit, but either way, the concept remains.  If cool weather is just a month or two away and you still have tomato plants that are producing green tomatoes, then topping your plants may be the solution for you.

Side Note:  This only applies to the larger varieties of tomato plants, as it might not be a good idea to ‘top’ your small/medium-sized tomato plants; cheers!

Related Articles:

* Garden Experiment:  Growing Tomatoes Naturally

* Garden Pest: Tomato Hornworms

* Fried Green Tomatoes – Southern Tradition

* Fried Green Roma Tomatoes

* Black Walnut Trees Killing Tomatoes

—End of Post: ”Topping’ Tomato Plants toward the end of Growing Season…

The ‘Comment Section’ for the Article about ‘Gray Aliens’

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A couple weeks ago, I wrote a thought-provoking article over at the main section of this website, entitled “Feeding Habits & Longevity and/or Lifespan of the Gray Aliens?

UFOs

Well, after writing that page, I quickly realized that this particular subject may be one that many folks would like to comment on.  …And since the main site (not the blog section) doesn’t contain a ‘comment field’ or anything of the like, I thought it would be a good idea to link this post to the bottom of that particular article, in hopes that people would use the comment section here, to provide their thoughts, ideas, etc., on this lovely subject matter.

I have already received a couple comments about that article via e-mail correspondence, and I will copy them in the comment field, in a few moments.

Other than that, there is no need to elaborate any further about the subject above the fold, as the whole point is to discuss it down below – when concerning the article I wrote about the Gray Aliens; cheers!

Side Note: If for some reason you have landed here without reading the original page, and would still like to comment about this subject, please first visit http://www.perpendicularity.org/gray-aliens-lifespan-feeding.html and then proceed to comment accordingly here – while trying to, at the very least, maintain a level of relevancy and somewhat have a personal grasp of logical coherence; ta-da!

Recent Alien-related Article:  “Big Green Reptilian Aliens – Physical Characteristics

Random Article:  “Nazi Bell Project – Time Travel Experiments

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___________________Don’t Bother Reading Below This Line__________________

Now, to act as a content filler for this blog post, I’ll add a fictional, humorous piece about gray aliens that got removed from another website, due to quality standard issues, nature of the subject, whatever, even though the whole reason for the post below is to improve my internal link structure for better SEO:

“Top 5 Things you can do to Prevent an Abduction from the Gray Aliens

gray_aliensYes folks, many of you have seen these strange, gray aliens coming down from their tinfoil spaceships, just to reek havoc upon your cattle or, even worse, your bunghole! This post is not about cattle mutilations, crop circles or anything of the like, but it is about saving you; yes, you, the glorious Homo sapiens that struts their stuff on the catwalk of ignorance.

Are you sick & tired of getting abducted by freakin’ aliens? Personally, I’ve managed many ways to derail those gray bastards from my crib, but it’s those green reptilian aliens that I’ve had trouble effectively dealing with, although that’s another story entirely…

Anyway, lets not waste time talking about the nature of the beast, as this post is simply here to inform those that are fed up with being abducted by those plastic-looking, long-armed, little gray beings with all the fancy gizmos, remote controllers, vibrating boxes, flying saucers, piercing telepathic powers, you name it! I seen one up close one time, and it had eyes under its eyes. So yeah, we got problems here… Especially when things start showing up at your house that looks like it had more plastic surgery than a typical celebrity; yikes!

Okay, now that we got the intro out of the way, lets proceed with the top 5 most effective things you can do to save yourself upon an anal invasion, oops, I mean alien abduction.

1) The little Gray Aliens really, really hate human-sculpted magnets. Somehow or another, it screws their hardwired microchips into oblivion and with the proper use of such when dealing with these critters, you’ll need a how-to guide on how to properly dispose of a dysfunctional gray alien, to say the least! Anyway, I like to use the magnets on the back of my subwoofers, as they are fairly large. I suppose any magnets will work, but as they say, bigger IS better! Just have ’em lying around your bed, in your room, etc. If you decide to leave the house, being the hunter and gatherer you Homo erectus people are, uh, I mean Homo sapiens, Cro-Magnon man, whatever, you might want to at least have a few small magnets in your pocket. Finding magnets in an electronic world shouldn’t be a problem – just think speakers, for example.

2) As we all know, Gray Aliens are not the most athletic of beings and are never very physically active. Their muscles are like noodles due to the zero gravity in deep space (click here for Zero Point Energy) and low artificial gravity in their spaceships, and their brains are the size of, well, I don’t know how big their brains are, but they are a lot bigger than ours! Anyway, these guys totally detest deodorant! Yes, and now you wonder why many of the abductees look like they just crawled out of a trash can. Hey, you know how they like to abduct cows and small farm animals… Think about it!

3) Here, you are going to have to spend some money to be safe. Buy Moldavite! This is an ET-based crystal from another world that landed here many years ago. I found this through my metaphysical journey while decorating my house one year. I’m not really into the metaphysical crystals or healing stones but this stuff works, when it comes to avoiding those pesky, anal-probing alien abductions from the Grays! Just buy a few pieces and keep it on ya at all time, or tape it on your pocket magnets, whatever works, as Moldavite to them is like Kryptonite to Superman.

4) Gray aliens can’t eat food like we can. They suck and absorb nutrients through their plastic-doll-looking body via finger tips, so always have on hand some Holy Water from a local preacher, preferably a Catholic preacher or any fluid from a crazy Pentecostal Church. The corrupt water or fluid of your choice from those sources, will totally plug the suction cups from the alien’s finger tips, right up!

5) Now this next method is just plain gross, but going by what some past abductee named Billy Bob ____ (he elected to leave his last name blank, for privacy) said, if you eat enough spicy chili every night before you go to bed, that the Gray Aliens have a detector for various combustible gases and will not even think twice about probing your rectal region while your bloated, flatulent self is sleeping comfortably – nor will they abduct you. Yeah, talk about TMI (too much info)!

6) Uh, there is no #6 method that is truly effective; can’t you read? Oh, my bad… Yeah, so there you have it. Bring a magnet, wear deodorant when possible, spend money online and purchase some moldavite crystals, go to a crazy, sin-filled church, and eat heavily on gaseous food, and, uh, everything should be just fine! Dang, it sounds like America with a credit card, so why are the aliens still here???

Please note that, for the most part, you only have to do one out of those top 5 things to be effective.  Sleep well and never quit looking up at the skies… Ha-ha!

Side Note: Even though this is just a creative scrap of tidbits, feel free to share your true stories in the glorious comment field; cheers!

Garden Pest: Squash Bugs

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It seems that every garden season or at least every other one, I have a new visitor (garden pest) enter my glorious growing areas – no matter how many times I change locations, move the crops, etc.  Although, I always manage to have a decent yield while staying organic without the use of insecticides, pesticides, poisons, chemicals, and so on.

In the past, I have wrote about other garden pests, such as the Japanese Beetles – that once decided to come into my corn field as a throng of silk-eating freaks, and as the battle raged on, I was still victorious minus several ears of corn; ha!  Last year I got to finally meet the beloved Tomato Hornworms, as those fat, green caterpillars got catapulted  from my garden in a ballistic fashion, after realizing that they were eating my tomato plants like a crazed glut!

This year, I decided to grow more squash than usual, so guess what?  I got visited by lots of squash bugs!  By the way, I experimented with a different way to grow squash, as I staggered my planting session into two-week intervals and spread them out in different areas in the yard.  This allowed me to not only have an ongoing supply of squash, but it also gave me a good idea of how well the plants did in different areas and conditions, such as more shade versus more sun, soil conditions, etc.  All in all, I found out that squash, at least the ones I planted, do better in areas that get sun during the first and latter parts of the day, and shade during the middle of the day.

Well, I’m getting off subject here, and I was going to briefly talk about these pesky little garden pests known as “squash bugs.”

In my opinion, these bugs can easily be worked around without the use of poisons.  The main thing, is to make sure your squash plants get a good start in fertile soil with enough water, as once they grow to a large size, it doesn’t seem to matter if the foliage is being ate by these squash bugs.  It is when they attack early and get on the young squash plants, is when your yield is mostly affected.   Basically, if you have a healthy squash plant that is flourishing, by the time these bugs do enough damage to kill the plant, you would have most likely already picked several squash from the plant.

Anyway, if you know what to look for, you can remove these little devils before very much damage occurs.  First, you need to know what the squash bug eggs look like:

squash_bugs_eggs

Please note, you must check underneath the big leaves on your squash plants, as well, because they like to hide these egg clusters on the underside in addition to the egg clusters that are in plain site.  At any rate, it shouldn’t be much of a problem for you to scrape the eggs off so you can discard them.  Without the use of chemical sprays, that’s all there is to it, really.  If you have a massive amount of squash plants and want to keep things organic but are too lazy to check your plants for squash bugs and/or squash bug eggs, well:  You better make sure your plants are thriving from the start and it wouldn’t hurt to use some organic compost, beforehand, to help give ’em the boost they need to combat this particular garden pest.

Below, is a photo of the Squash Bug nymphs, not long after they hatch:

squash_bugs_nymphs

This next image, displays an adult squash bug:

squash_bug_adult

Well, now that you know what may have been eating your squash plants and just how easy they are to locate and remove, you have no reason outside of bad weather and soil conditions, to not have an excellent yield of squash!  My favorite way to prepare yellow summer squash, is of course the least healthy – which is breaded and fried, but it is so yummy!  Ha!

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Buy Headlamps / Headlights Online

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headlampI remember seeing these things several years ago, and my initial thoughts were:  “Dang, those gadgets look goofy.  Who in the hell needs a freakin’ headlight or headlamp?”  Well, actually, after further thought, I could see where they could be very useful.  In today’s world, you can now buy the LED version of this product online, which means they will last longer and drain your batteries less.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I sold some Coconut Water Packets & Powder online via Amazon.com, and after checking the order I noticed that they bought a lot of stuff that seemed like camping gear.  One of those items happened to be one of these nifty headlamps, and it got me to thinking about doing a quick promotional post for them, in case anybody was curious about this product and/or was looking for a quick search.  I’ll provide the link in a moment, but first, what is up with these headlights?

At first glance, to me, it looks like gear you would only need if you were entering a cave, but really, who wants to carry a flashlight around all the time?  Perhaps you need your hands for other things and the convenience of wearing a headlamp may be the solution.  This is an excellent product if you are camping and wandering around in the dark, say, looking for small pieces of wood for your camp fire?  Even an auto mechanic working underneath a vehicle at night, could benefit from this product.

For the more daring folks, having a headlight may be a great idea for the ones who decide to roam into the middle of the woods at night, searching & hunting for small or big game.  I’m not saying that the light won’t scare off your potential targets, but if you are aggressive enough and have some good luck, you might find a big deer caught in your head-harnessed spotlight, for example.  On a side note, if you hunt at night, you may also want to check into laser beam scopes, as well…

Anyway, there really isn’t a lot to say about this particular product, other than simple descriptions of each individual headlamp sold online, so I’ll just copy & paste one below, for the example I have pictured in the upper-left corner of this post:

“The Energizer TrailFinder 7-LED headlight is ideal for industrial professionals, outdoorsmen, and outdoor sports enthusiasts. The TrailFinder offers four light modes (area, spot, flood, and red for night vision) so you have plenty of options depending on your activity. In addition, the TrailFinder pivots back and forth, making it easy to aim the light where it’s needed. Best of all, the light fits virtually any individual thanks to its adjustable soft elastic headband. Water-resistant, the TrailFinder runs for 14 hours on the maximum setting using three Energizer Max AAA batteries.”
Specifications:
Night vision mode: 2 red LEDs
Spot mode: 3 white LEDs
Flood mode: 2 white LEDs
Spot+flood: 5 white LEDs
Power source: Energizer Max 3 AAA
Lamp: 5 white LEDs
White LED max output: 58 lumens
Additional LEDs: 2 red
Dimensions: 2.75 by 1.63 inches
Weight: 1.92 ounces (without batteries)

Of course, not all headlamps are the same, so it’s best to search around until you find the one that suits your needs the most.  The one I have, has three different light settings, and I especially like the red-light night vision setting.  Another good thing about today’s version of these headlights and/or headlamps, is that they aren’t very bulky, so you don’t feel like you’re some lost astronaut on another planet that is wearing heavy gear from NASA; ha!

——————> ‘Click Here’ to Buy or Shop for Headlamps / Headlights Online <——————

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