Friday, August 29, 2008

Switchgrass sampling

This morning we went to the field to collect samples of switchgrass. There is a lot of interest in switchgrass at the moment for use as a biofuel. It is a native grass to the area and grows quickly. There are also big bluestem plots, also native.

This is for a fertilize trial; we will develop fertiler recommendations based on this study. Hopefully it doesn't need any, but I think this experiment will show some response to fertilizer. You could get lost in those plots!
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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Counting cotton

Counting cotton for a fusarium wilt study.

Blogging straight from the field. P
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Monday, August 4, 2008

Root knot nematodes

This is an infestation of root knot nematodes in my garden tomatoes. I will pull the area out of production and sterilize the soil using solar radiation and clear plastic for 4-6 weeks. Then I'll add more organic matter and directly plant my fall crops.

Nematodes can be a deadly but common problem here in the south, although there are beneficial nematodes too. They are small worm-like parasites that feed on roots.

The galls on these tomato roots are indicative of root knot nematodes.
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Friday, August 1, 2008

Fish TV

We may not have a TV, but we do have a fish tank, now with even more channels!

We more than doubled our fish population yesterday, thanks to a local Moroccan fish dealer we heard about through the grapevine. We now have about 9 zebra denios, 6 neon tetras, an albino bottom cleaner (we call him Moby, he's our favorite pet), an algae eater, and a guarini (he's called Labowski, or "The Dude").
Not soil related exactly, but worth a post anyway. I think i watch them as much as some people watch TV!