Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Earth Day Update

We had a blast at this year's UH Earth Day (4/22/14)! Numerous organizations were there, from UH's own Sustainability and Campus Community Garden to the Center for Biological Diversity and Galveston Coastal Prairie Conservation groups. Our organization was fortunate enough to get a nice tent, though it didn't end up raining.

We had a table set up with a board detailing our plants, our volunteer efforts, and most importantly, our work on the green roof. Additionally, we were giving away peat pellets along with herb and vegetable seeds for visitors to take and plant for themselves.

Our webmaster Mel is very excited for Earth Day!
While we ran out of freebies to give away after only an hour, we were still able to reach out to many students and staff who had never heard of us before. Hopefully we'll see them in the fall semester!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

New succulents for the fall

I recently went to Home Depot, looking for any new plants that I could add to the greenhouse. Surprisingly, they had a very large variety of succulents offered, many of which were native to South Africa and were never offered there before (to my knowledge). Others were succulents we once had, but the mother plants were sold off or died before propagation.

These are some pretty nifty plants, and hopefully we'll have some for sale this fall; if they aren't big enough by then (I'll be fertilizing throughout summer), you'll be able to buy them in the spring.

Zebra Plant (Haworthia fasciata). Our original died, but now I know how little water this plant needs. 

Firestorm sedum (Sedum aldophii "Firestorm"). It's always nice to add more sedum to our collection, and this one has deep red coloration, very fitting for our university. 

Haworthia venosa v. tessellata. Another cool plant from South Africa. 

Crassula "Caput Minima". It has unusually soft leaves and a tesselated appearance. 

Haworthia subspecies. Very tough leaves. 

Dwarf Ox Tongue (Gasteria liliputana). I'm not sure what ox tongues look like, but this plant looks pretty interesting. Gasteria are pretty closely related to aloe vera, but their leaves can be sturdier. 

Haworthia mirabilis mundula. Another neat Haworthia, with redder coloration. 

Lithops subspecies. Also known as the mimicry plant or living stones because they closely resemble ordinary rocks. In the wild, they receive less than two feet of rainfall a year, so they have long taproots to obtain water from deep underground. 

Plush plant (Echeveria harmsii). Similar to the panda plant with its fuzzy leaves, but its growth is more akin to that of a sedum. 

Two unknown plants from Whole Foods Market (grown in East Texas), most likely Haworthia.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Green Roof Progress

Different flowers bloom at different times on the roof, so we go up every week or so to check on it. Here's how the flora changed over a three week period. 

April 18 - lots of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush
April 24 - most of the bluebonnets went to seed, and now pink primrose and plains coreopsis dominate. Dr. Medrano from the biology department was also with us. 
May 2 - pink primroses are fading, lemon mint are beginning to bloom
We'll continue monitoring the progress on the roof throughout the summer until all the flowering plants die back, then we'll cut down any tall grasses or flowers so that we can reseed in the fall.