February 9, 2009

Meeting with Prof .Mathew (horticulture dept)

Michele Brody :Charul Mehta

Here is a synopsis and some options that we narrowed down on after what we discussed with Prof Mathew Kent from the Horticulture department.

Prof. Mathew suggested the following seeds/plants for our project-
- raddish (seeds)
- spinach (seeds)
- portulaca
- snap dragons (grown using cut parts of an existing plant)
- dandelions
- ice plants.
Out of these, he's given us a couple of packets of seeds that we could use.
He also suggested using the brand " Johnny's Selected Seeds" to buy seeds from.

In terms of grasses,Buffalo grass and Rye grass are the two final options.

After talking to him, we narrowed down on the growing medium we would be using for the seed posts -
- coconut coir.
- perlite
- peat moss( -2/3 types)
- pumice -(if we can get hold of a supply source)
- vermiculite(maybe)
note - peat and coconut coir require wetting agents as they tend to get dry very easily.
Also, he said mixing peat and perlite is not a good idea because it would change the acidity levels of the growing media.
These growing mediums could be acquired for our project if inter-departmental purchasing is possible. We need check with our department on this.

He explained the principle that algae grow on the plant/growing seed whenever it is exposed to sunlight. So, he suggested using black plastic / landscape cloth / light plastic drapes or films to cover the soil so that no light reaches the seed during germination.

-for green growth(vegetables etc) = 1st no should be higher = higher amt of Nitrogen in the mix
-for flowers = 1st no should be less.

If you require -
- a constant feed or fertigation then you use 100parts per million of nitrogen
- intermittent feed the you use 400 parts per million of nitrogen
in your mix.

Talking about vertical plant systems and hydroponics he suggested some concepts which could be used
- green roof technology
- sedum
- filtering: applying the concept used in aquariums
- aerostones
- water recycling: applying rain water recycling concepts.
He suggested an Irrigation Company which gives excellent inputs on problems related to irrigation.He is to give us the name and contact details for the company.

That's pretty much of what we discussed with the professor on Sunday at La Bodega and at the Horticulture herbarium.

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