Lauren In Tokyo

Friday, September 19, 2008

Avocado: Typhoon 13 and some soil changing

I was supposed to attend some training today, but we wrapped up all the material yesterday and so today I worked from home. This is a good thing because today we will be hit by a pretty decent-sized typhoon. When the rain and wind come, my train is one of the first to stop. So working from home is a whole lot better than worrying about whether I can get home in the evening.

Since I'm at home, I ate lunch with my family. We ordered some pizza. I think I mentioned a long time ago how weird Japanese pizza is. The key is to go along with the weirdness. If you try to fight against it, you will only be disappointed. Avoid the meat-lovers and Italian sausage pizzas and stick with the squid, corn, and potato pizzas. It must be a cultural thing.

This week I took a few minutes to change some of the soil in the older avocado's pot. The soil is a different variety for both avocados, and since the younger one is doing so well, I wanted to see if giving the older avocado some of that soil would help. It's only been a couple days, so it's hard to tell at this point.

I did not change the entire soil, of course. I scraped away about a centimeter of old soil from the pot and refilled the pot with a couple centimeters of new soil. What I found really interesting was that the avocado roots were right at the surface of the soil. I needed to take care when scraping the old soil because I was uncovering roots. The roots themselves were a couple millimeters thick and very wiry. I should have taken a picture!

This week, the younger avocado seems to be having another flourish of leaves. The buds at the top are growing very quickly. You can see one large bud growing in this picture.

You can see the darker, loamier soil in this picture of the older avocado. There is a set of leaf buds at the top of the avocado, but I haven't noticed much change there for a while. I am actually worried that this avocado may be sick.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Avocado: Strange weather in Japan

The weather this year in Japan has been very strange. First, we haven't had any typhoons at all. But instead of typhoons, we have had a steady stream of thunderstorms. These thunderstorms, quaintly dubbed "guerrilla rain", have been heavy and life threatening for those caught unawares.

The pictures today aren't very good because the sky already darkened and the camera's flash was far too strong to take a good picture.

If you can, note the small bud growth at the top of the younger avocado. It looks like a new flourish will be coming in soon, so I am hoping that the leaves are fully formed before the temperatures drop too far.

On the older avocado, there is a smaller bud growth, but I have a bad feeling that there may be something wrong with this avocado. It has stopped making leaves for a while and it is a bit droopy. The water seems to be fine, so I worry that it may not be getting enough nutrients. I noticed today that it did not receive any direct sun due to the angle of the shadows cast by the veranda wall, so I may have found my culprit. I have moved the pot a bit out of the shade and we will see if it can get on with photosynthesis and feeding itself.

For kicks, here's a shot of some strawberries that I've been growing for the past year. The shape is nothing to look at, but they are sweeter than any strawberry I ever got at the store.

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