Planting Soursop

Durian Belanda, Soursop or Custard Apple as it is called is an evergreen tree from the rain forest. Three of its sapling were given to me and been standing to keep alive in my aquaponics growbed for few months.
Shifted from front to back and before it had its days I better plant it to soil, at least one of it.
This I do normal dirt planting there are two left, one I will use container with soil and another I will try Aquaponics.

Back lane CRAFTS set updates 11th Oct 2014

Not doing much these last few months on the back lane set, finally after festive season temporarily over I am tiding it up for more planting.
The Garlic Chives that I redo from front to make way for the Strawberry doing great and I got twelve pots in this growbed with few more in another growbed. This is more that I need, two pots is all that is required and I may reduce to only six pots for my own use.
 Three Basil pots I redo into two using the slotted orchid pot, one I transfer another start new from cutting.
More Basil than I can handle, Tilapia will eat this.
Turmeric are very slow to shot, I'll change to slotted pots once they have sufficient root growth holding the LECA.
Above potted flood & drain will be redo to have more plants in it.
I must get more plants going to use up all the nitrate, tilapia are getting bigger and they produce more waste now as compare few months back.
Few seedlings growing and I must sow more, heavy rain causes damage to seedling and some seeds just don't germinate. Need to change the way I sow those seeds.
Three pots of Sambung Nyawa plants taken out from the growbed and giving it away.

They Are Always Hungry, These Tilapia

No matter how you feed them, they are always hungry. Tilapia has short digestive track they eat a little bit at a time but most of the time.
These are in my CRAFTS set, and they are getting bigger. I use fish pellets to feed them.
Never over feed fish, especially in Aquaponics. Water will get murky and Ammonia will shoot up. If you see foam or bubbles in the fish tank just stop feeding them for at least one day and continue after water had cleared.
It's okay for them to go hungry, they will start to feed on the algae making water and tank cleaner.
Surplus greens is good, above is the Sambung Nyawa plants that I cut and throw it to give them something to bite.
Tilapia will eat greens, one of the best is Kangkung these they will nibble in no time at all. However before feeding them greens make sure they are really hungry.
There are loads of green from my Aquaponics growbeds and it's fish food.
After 1 day in the fish tanks, this is what left of the plants. Those stems can still be use as cuttings.

Kaffir Lime Seedling

Sown last August, after a more than a month it started to germinate, kaffir lime seedling out if 15 seeds sown only these three germinate after one long month.
Small tiny seedling that was over cast by Thai Basil plant, after the plant being trimmed only then these seedling were spotted.
All I need is one plant to make it, we use the leaves for flavoring. There are sign of another few more breaking ground, will wait another week or two before removing the sowing pots.

These I will try using container, direct soil and Aquaponics and see how it goes.

Kutu Daun - Aphid

One of my Strawberry plant got Kutu Daun (aphid) and some ants are taking advantage of this tending to farm the aphid honey pots. If not treated it will weaken this plant and worst could cause virus or fungal infection. I had to get rid of it quick.
Isolate the plant from the rest and at first I try to get rid of the ants by using this ants bait that could eliminate the ants. But it don't seems to work, because they are busy harvesting those honey pots and show no interest to my bait.

For a quick action, decide to clip off two of the most affected leaves and discard them to kill majority of the aphids. The remaining leaves are not that bad, but I must do something to stop recurring.

Leaves cut and sprayed with organic pest repellent, if needed I can make do with soap solution. Since I had this spray at hand, just try it out first before proceeding to the next step.
I had to isolate this plant, to ensure those aphid don't fly off or hop off to nearest safe place and will just makes things worst. Luckily the plants are all in individual pots, which makes it easy to do this.

Lemon Grass in Container Flood & Drain

Serai or Lemon Grass is a common herb to most home gardener even in temperate countries where they would grow these indoor during the winter months and take it out in the spring. I did grow these in my growbed before back in 2010 or so but it just got wild and difficult to contain within my growbed.

This time I want to do it differently by using the slotted orchid pots, hopefully it can be "tamed" to within the confinement of the pot. Got myself few stalk of lemon grass which is easy to get and just let it stand in a bowl of water for couple of hour or so.
Since I'm doing it Aquaponics, a couple of hours is sufficient and don't need to wait for roots to form like when you are doing it with dirt.
Three pots and using some surplus hydroton and pebbles mixed as grow media I prepared six stalk for planting.
Two in each pot, just in case one didn't make it. But it is highly unlikely for this not to grow. Over here this is easily grown anywhere.
Placed the pots in the growbed and just wait. Ideally for this plant it is best to get a larger pot like twelve inches across, those pots is only six. I'll get a bigger pots once these shown good progress, on average Asian household we probably can make do with two pots of these for our daily cooking needs.

Equatorial Lowland Aquaponics Strawberry Project - Facebook Pages

I had dedicate a Facebook page Equatorial Lowland Aquaponics Strawberry Project to separate my normal Aquaponics activity to this trial that I am doing to grow Strawberry in the Lowland Equator.
The link to the page is : Here
The Category of posting is : Here

Thank you.

Taste Test - Start To Finish

On 10th Sept 2014 this plant I allow the flower to develop to see what happen, whether it can bear fruit in this hot lowland. 
To get the plant flowering is great news for me since as a known fact that Strawberry will have difficulties in flowering if exposed to temperature of greater that 28 degrees C.
On 21st September 2014 it form fruit and I was anxious to see its progress.
Not as large as the highland but to get it fruiting is a joy to see on 25th September 2014
Slowly changing color to a reddish pinkish Strawberryish.. :)
And finally today 28th September 2014, pick it for test taste.
Nice and firm, but should have waited another couple of days before picking.
 Not the usual Strawberry shape, may be due to this particular cultivar it is like that.
The flesh is firm and not watery as most Aquaponics, what ever it is I am overjoy for this and can't wait for next year when the plants are fully ready to bear fruits.

So it took 18 days from flower to picking time, more or less.

Equatorial Lowland Strawberry Project - Journal 27th Sept 2014

Looks good so far these Strawberry, finished making shades to the second and third growbed. The forth I left it temporarily vacant since I decide to put more plants within each growbed. This require me to let some of the plant to developed runners into young plants for the vacant growbed.
This time I use the electrical conduit PVC, they are cheaper and since the frame doesn't require much strength to hold those netting, it's okay.
Apart from direct intense sunlight it is good for heavy down pour which if not protected from will damage plants. Those that are not familiar with Equatorial weather, what we have here is either very hot sun with high humidity or very heavy rain which pour cats and dogs. Either way you're screwed.. if no shades provided as protection.
It's time for one of the runner to be cut off from the mother plants, it has form much needed roots and should be able to survive on its own.
Cut the umbilical as close as possible to the mother plants so that she don't waste much of her energy trying to repair what is not important anymore.
Make another cut as close to the young plant, this plant can be left where it is. However in this case I need the space for another fresh pot since there is another runner developing and I want that to form into new plant.
That new plant I transfer to a nursery growbed, here the water level is adjusted to be high so that any new plants will have a head start in this hot weather. Once it has formed more roots I can then move it to the 4th growbed as a permanent home for it.
The mother plant was in the old plastic pot, changing it to the slotted pot will ensure better growth as roots formation is found to be better if there are more exposure to air. Before letting it produce another plant, it is best to get the pot change.
It's a quickie job and not much stress on the plants since we are doing it the Aquaponics methods. This is one of the original plants from the highland, so it's good to see that it had survived the heat and even producing runners as above.
Back in its place, and one fresh pot standing by to catch the runner. I will need to trained it to be somewhere within the pot, using pots it is convenient to rotate the plant positioning the runner to a good landing. If this plant is directly in the growbed it will then be difficult to do.
One lone Strawberry is turning red, this is the one plant that I let it to fruit. Most of the flower I just clipped away but this plant I let it be. Just to see what developed from this experiment, 1st year plants need to get their roots strengthen first before they are allowed to flower other wise it may not be strong enough to bear fruit in the hot Equatorial climate.

Titbits- 26th September 2014

Not much happening this last few days, just tidying up and get few plants reorganized to other growbeds. Kuchai (Garlic Chives) plants has to make way for the Strawberry project experiment, and all pots has to be placed in the back part of the house.
Harvest all Kuchai and remove the pot from this growbed. Quite a lot of Kuchai and gave it away to neighbors.
The Ornamental set metal stand is ready and I am testing it out before making more to sell.
Unfortunately the pots are from different manufacturer, hence the color difference. Oh well it still function same and I'll wet run this for another couple of months then let one set as a test piece and permanently get it going to see if any problem arise after prolong usage.
The strawberry plants still producing runners, I clipped most of it to let plants grow stronger. There are still a few that I let grow into plants and use it for new growbeds. I'll replace those older plants that originally obtained from Cameron Highland.
The older Strawberry plants never stop flowering, most of it I clipped too. Only one or two were left to develop into berry.
This one fruit that I let grow, okay it's not as big but at least it a good sign that we can have strawberry in the Equatorial lowland.

That's about it today, still a lot more to do getting the setup organized and tidy.