Borinda fungosa update 2016
October 15, 2016
This growing season, Borinda fungosa seedling was 5 years old. Like during it’s previous seasons, it started shooting late in the spring and managed only to push out a couple of shoots that were about the size of last year’s growth.
We’ve had relatively mild winter last year. Since there was not enough snow, to protect the bamboo, like year before, there was some damage. Most of the late summer shoots have been defoliated completely, fresh branches died off, but the culms remained alive. Most of the unbranched nodes restarted by mid spring. This year, one of late autumn shoots actually remained alive and started growing when soil temperature got high enough.
The shooting season began early, because one 3cm tall shoot from previous autumn managed to survive the winter. As usual, spring shots are roughly the same size as large shoots from previous year. With a bit more damage than usual, seedling lost at least 6 fully grown culms during the winter. Winter damage is probably the main cause of smaller upsize this year and very bad spring shooting cycle. The late summer / autumn shooting, however, ended up “heavier” than ever. Shoots are not much larger, but they really came out in great numbers this year.
The summer was quite dry, with abundance of sun and mild summer temperatures that never reached more than 33°C. Night temperatures also remained below 20°C most of the time. Leaves remained healthy and green throughout the whole summer. I was watering it occasionally, especially when the weather remained dry for longer periods of time in late summer. Borinda fungosa is supposed to look bad in warm and dry weather, but it seems that with maturity, the plant became resilient enough to withstand strong, full sun exposure. Seedling behaved differently from any of my bamboos from the early beginning. The shooting is usually completed in about 2 months. Not the case with my Borinda. Shoots are maturing throughout the whole season, and only the earliest shoots manage to harden off completely before the winter cold destroys all the branches that are still soft. During summer, it looks healthy, but it’s growth slows down considerably. With cooler weather in late summer it starts growing faster and doesn’t stop until hard frosts kick in.
So far the vigor and overall appearance of Borinda fungosa seedling is surprisingly good. Due to the fact, that it grows in marginal climate with cold winters and (too?) warm summers, it grows extremely well. It survived cold, drought, heat, got infested with insects, rodents,… It grows faster than all of my Phyllostachys seedlings, including my vigorous Phyllostachys pubescens ‘Moso’.
Giant orange habanero chilli cross
September 26, 2016
Last couple of seasons, I’ve been banging my head, trying to figure out the ancestors of chilli I bought on eBay. It was supposed to be Trinidad scorpion, but as well as we all know, there’s no way to receive the right seeds that way. I decided to collect the seeds and try growing them anyway, perhaps I could find out the difference in phenotype of the pods and figure out the related chillies. That did not happen, because the pods remained strange and similar to those last season, but they did start showing another, much larger pod phenotype.
Last season, my peppers had a really hard time ripening, and I was hardly able to collect enough seeds to start a couple of new plants this year. I later decided, I don’t really need many pods from that hybrid and I rather planted a whole bunch of superhots instead. The two plants I did plant, however, had grown into nice little peppers with above average number of pods. Last year, I have noticed that these peppers are heavy producers and this season the same thing repeated. On two relatively small pepper plants (they were more shaded than my other peppers), there was more than 1kg of pods, and there are new pods ripening as we speak.
The pods remained similar. They are still extremely hot, but not superhot. The pods have thin wall which makes them ideal for drying. They have less placental tissue than last year, but there is some, and there is quite some oil on the inner walls of the pods. The colour is deep orange, but can get a bit paler or darker, because of thin, semi-transparent skin. Skin texture is smooth and glossy. Most of the pods are elongated, but, like I mentioned, this season some of the pods became larger. Length remained nearly the same, but the pods got way fatter.
In late season I have noticed a lot of pods that started to appear dark in the middle. When I checked the pods from inside, I have noticed some kind of worms that started chewing the seeds and created a webbing in which they were hiding after I exposed them. It seems that their thin skin makes them vulnerable. attacked pods started rotting from inside, which made them unusable. I tried to dry some of the healthy looking pods and later realised, that some of them started rotting. Each of those had a little worm inside. There is a way to minimise their damage though, you have to pick ripe pods as soon as you can, cut them open and freeze them. The best option is to use them as soon as they ripen completely.
Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seedling update (10 months)
September 12, 2016
With the summer nearly over, I decided to write a follow up about the largest Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seedling. This summer was quite dry and sunny, yet without any scorching hot temperatures. Most of my potted bamboos were not too happy about the drought and strong sun, and the leaves started to look a bit worn out. Shaded bamboos and bamboos planted in the soil were not as affected.
Despite the fact that the soil in the pot regularly dried out, the seedling remained happy and only wilted leaves when it dried out too much. I placed it into a white bucket to protect it from soil overheating. Since the last update, when the seedling got transplanted into larger pot, things didn’t change much. Whip shots leafed out and another set of whips emerged in early summer, with A LOT of rhizome activity all over the pot. Until recently there was not much to see, except for the dense mesh of rhizomes on the soil surface. Well, it’s not just the surface! It’s clear now, that small bamboo never ceased to push out rhizomes and it managed to get somewhat root bound again. There are rhizomes circling on the bottom of the pot and there’s even the first escapee. The vigor of the seedling is just insane. It got overwatered in the spring and under-watered in the summer, full sun caused it to wilt a lot and to be fair it looks quite pale at the moment. It doesn’t seem to care about its above ground appearance, though, it’s working hard as ever underground. I need to find it a new home. As soon as possible.