Lauren In Tokyo

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Avocado: Variable weather week

Last week we had mid-winter weather, but this week we had all sorts of weather. The weather at the beginning of the week was terrible with a typhoon blowing hard and raining really hard. Then a warm air blast came in and brought the temps up to mid-summer levels. Then the past two days, the rain has come again and the temperatures have dropped back to the mid-60s. A few other plants here have succumbed. The avocados came through relatively unscathed.

The hot weather was not very pleasant.

The seedling had no discernable vertical growth on the main trunk. In fact, if you compare last week's measurement with this week's, you'll notice that the height actually shrunk by 5mm. I believe this is due to measurement error, mostly my imprecision in holding the ruler.

However, the real growth is coming from the bud on the side. What I first thought was a new leaf bud looks like it may be an alternate trunk growing out the side.

The little leaf peeking in at the bottom is from my trial tomato seedlings. They are temporarily planted with the avocado until they grow big enough to transplant safely.

The other avocado has a lot of new leaf growth from the little bud. Just compare the bud from a couple weeks ago to today. You can really tell how fast these things are growing.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Lalaport grand re-opening

After almost a year of construction, Lalaport Tokyo Bay reopened the West wing. For the most part, the stores are the same with a few notable new shops like Zara. But the big news is the new restaurant expansion on the 4th floor.

With large chain expansions like Monsoon Cafe, Kua'aina, and Sumire Ramen, the new 4th floor is a huge hit with me. Additionally, they have a new gelato store with great Cream and Chocolate Chip and Tiramisu flavors. There is a Chinese buffet, udon shop, Korean restaurant, tonkatsu shop, Okinawan restaurant, Japanified-Western-style hamburger shop, and even a huge sushi restaurant. We are going to be busy trying out all the places, for sure.

The store I'm most interested in is Sumire Ramen. This import from Hokkaido is one of the top ramen shops in Japan. They have their own line of cook-at-home ramen products and actual restaurants are few and far between. This is the first one in Chiba, and the second in Kanto (there was a small one in the Yokohama Ramen Museum, but it closed. There is one still remaining in Kawasaki). The problem is that the line to get in is at least 20 minutes long. That was when we went yesterday. Around 4:00pm, the line dwindled out, but by that time I was stuffed with Kua'aina gourmet hamburgers (mine and half of my wife's). Next time, Sumire. Next time.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Avocado: Summer arrives, then leaves, then returns

This week has been a very strange week for weather. It started off very warm, then it rained a couple days and was mid-winter cold, then the bad weather broke and we had a beautiful spring day on Friday and Saturday. Today, Sunday, the weather got very hot.

The next two days will be rainy and muggy. Just the kind of weather the avocados enjoy. I can't say as much for the humans.

This week in avocados, there isn't much to report. The seedling grew a half-centimeter.

The older avocado's leaf buds are coming in nicely.

One worry is that I've temporarily transplanted some tomato seedlings into the avocado seedling's pot. I was having trouble keeping them in the little paper cups they were sprouted in, so I rescued the spilled seedlings and planted them in the nearest pot. When they get a little bit bigger, I will try to move them again. Hopefully there won't be too much impact on the avocado.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Avocado: Using metrics

In the programming world, it is fun to use a lot of words to describe methods of performance improvement, but until you actually take metrics all the talk in the world is just bluster.

Since the avocado seedling broke off a couple weeks back, I've been blustering and doing a lot of hoping and hand waving. But that's not going to do any good, and it doesn't provide any significant data.

So I will measure the growth of the avocado seedling with a ruler. Though it is not visible in this week's shot, the bottom of the ruler is sitting on the top of the seed. As you can see, the stem is approximately 5.5cm.

I mentioned before that the broken stem may act as a rough "pinch" and though the damage is initially significant, the plant will find a way to increase growth. In fact, if you look at the stem around the 2.5cm mark, leaf buds are coming in laterally. These buds did not exist last week. The seedling is fighting back and finding an outlet for its energy.

On the other avocado plant, new leaf buds are coming in on the top where I pinched off the new leaves three weeks ago. You can make them out in this picture.

The brown area is the pinch point. The bud is red with a light green leaf emerging. Unlike the seedling, the plant is not producing leaf buds from the sides of the stem. I suppose this may just be the way avocados grow.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Avocado: The potted and broken

After the stem incident last week, I heard that the avocado seedling was pulled out completely and rolled around on the patio. Some nice angel came along and re-potted the seed. Now I can only hope that the seedling makes it through the next couple weeks.

Here is a shot of the current situation, including the broken part of the stem.

For kicks, here's a shot of the first avocado plant that is a few months older than the seedling that I've been blogging about.