Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Lab Update

Today in lab we grafted apple trees which was a really fun technique...until I sliced my finger open with a grafting blade. A bit (or a lot...) of blood, paper towels, a band-aid and 10 minutes of holding my hand above my head later, my teacher helped me finish up my tree. The bottom graft is a Honey Gold apple tree and the top graft is a Honey Crisp. So I should, eventually, have tree that grows both types of apples. Pretty cool, right?

I bled for these grafts so they better grow well. :P

The philodendron experiment wrapped up today so I potted some of them up and will take them home once the roots have gotten used to the new soil.


Our lab group is also growing some plants from grocery produce. We have little kumquat trees, celery, ginger and shallots grown from produce we just got from the local grocery store. 

 The kumquats we grew from seeds picked right out of the fruit itself. You have to make sure the seed looks greenish and fat. The shriveled, small seeds aren't viable and won't grow if you stick them in soil.

 Our shallot has been growing nicely.

 The ginger root is doing well too.

Here's the celery plant which we literally just broke off and stuck in the soil.

The other experiment we started today was microgreens. These are going to be really fun to watch because they'll grow really fast. We just scattered seeds on about an inch to 2 inches of soil, covered lightly with a bit more soil, watered and set in the mist house so they can be kept consistently moist. 

I planted basil, arugula, beets and curly cress.

 And here's a picture of the misthouse for those of you who've been wondering. 

We root things in our sandboxes and keep anything else (like the microgreens) that need to be moist constantly in here. Those low hanging pipes have mist nozzles sticking out every so often and turn on and off, sometimes giving a horticulture student a good spritz in the face when they're least expecting.


  1. Abby:
    I have two questions about the celery. Once you plant that stalk, does it grow into a full plant with many stalks that you can eat? Also, what are you doing with that coleus behind the celery? Coleus is one of my all time favorite plants. Please visit me at:

  2. Kathryn,
    Concerning the celery, I think that's the general idea, but seeing as it's only been growing for about 3 weeks, I'm not really sure if that's really what's supposed to happen. I wish I could be of more help on this one, but the main point of the experiment is just to see if it'll grow roots.
    As for the coleus, that one is my lab partners. I grew some green coleus that I posted pictures of in my last lab update that have slowly been going to various family members for their porches and patios.

  3. Excellent post! Thanks for sharing! I have been googling how to build a propagation box with a mister on a time because the rolly polly bugs are eating through the stems of my tomato plants and the wind then snaps them off at the ground so I have to re-root tomatoes! I just put them into an aquarium and mist them periodically with water, but it would be way cool to have an elevated table box with misters then it could be on auto pilot! Propagation is awesome!

    1. Isn't it though? :) That plan for a mist box sounds like a great idea. I've just been rooting things in a pot with some vermiculite and a clay pot of water (the how-to is in my last Lab Update) but the plants don't grow as quickly as the stuff in the mist house does.