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2094 - 1765
UNIVERSITY SPEARHEADS PLANT DATABASE FOR HORTICULTURAL SCIENTISTS AND FARMERS
by Norberto R. Bautista Plant information and farming techniques for specific crops or plant varieties are oftentimes difficult to find. Cultural requirements of plants often change from one place to another since climate, pests, and soil vary from place to place. An example would be growing techniques for vegetables in Laguna is different from Tarlac. Vegetable varieties planted in Baguio differ from those in the lowland plains of Bulacan. Different farm practices and planting techniques vary from place to place, like for example, the different cultural practices for coffee plants in Cavite is different from those in other areas.
Computers are now a indispensable tool in bio-informatics and agriculture
With these problems at hand, the Rizal Technological University (RTU) at Mandaluyong City has initiated the move to document the farming practices of Filipino farmers and the plant varieties they use in an electronic database, called HORTIVAR. The project is being funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN-FAO), located in Rome. As of present, RTU as the principal HORTIVAR Partner, has already trained a lot of other possible HORTIVAR partners here in the Philippines like Isabela State University, Benguet State University, Bureau of Plant Industry in Baguio, and Tarlac College of Agriculture. By the way, the database actually has an international coverage, and it has a lot of members from different countries around the world as well. HORTIVAR is FAO's database on performance of horticultural cultivars in relation to agro-ecological conditions, cultivation practices, the occurrence of pests and diseases and timing of the production. It covers six categories of horticultural crops, namely: fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers, ornamentals, mushrooms, herbs and condiments. The Database allows users to identify cultivars and cropping practices adapted to their specific requirements and environment. It is an easy tool for quick retrieval of information related to horticulture cultivars around the world. It also has a digital picture database so that the appearance of the plant can be identified. It has a standard methodology of data recording of cultivar trials, with a source of data analysis and extrapolation. The database output can be made as a Most of the description and cultural requirements of these Philippine grown vegetables and template for educational purposes in college and universities. The plant data fruits are now available atthe HORTIVAR partner who encoded the data their entries also shows Hortivar. contact information, thus, growers can consult plant researchers and resource persons through email. It is also a tool for quick retrieval of information on seed sources or planting material.
URL Address of the Hortivar Website
The project addresses the needs of crop producers, the public and private sector, seed companies and also horticultural research centers for information management related to horticultural crop cultivars in different agro-climatic environments.
Anyone can actually participate in the HORTIVAR project in two ways. One could be just an ordinary researcher, who looks for plant information (data retrieval), or as a resource person or partner who enters plant data into the database (data entry). Access and use of the database is FREE of charge. Anyone who has background in computing or knows how to access the internet can retrieve data from the HORTIVAR Website by searching through the sorted files according to various parameters such as crop species, cultivar, country of origin, geographical references, pest resistance, eco-zone and production systems. People living in remote areas in the Philippines can access the plant database, as long as they have electricity and an internet signal. The database is also accessible through CD format and printed format. It is time to help our farmers by providing the much needed information for them to produce food crops of our ever growing population. Interested persons can contact The RTU Research & Development Center at http://www.plantbiotechlab-rtu.com or the HORTIVAR team at http://www.fao.org/hortivar .
OCTOBER IS THE BLOOMING SEASON OF THE WALING-WALING
The WALING-WALING Orchid, or scientifically known as the Vanda sanderiana is one of the most important and popular Philippine orchid species from Davao. It is now seldom seem in the wild, but through conservation efforts, it has been mass-produced by orchid tissue culture laboratories in the Philippines to cope up with the demand for both local and international market. It was intended to replace our national flower – the Sampaguita, which originated from India. Our Waling Waling is found only in the Philippines. The plant is now being as a parent in all vandaceous hybridazation works,to give full, round, large flowers.
The Waling-Waling is considered the “Queen of all Orchids” due to its majestic appearance. It blooms in August to October, usually after 3-4 weeks of continuous rain. The bloom usually last for almost 2 weeks.
and landline (+632)534-8267 Local 135 or Fax (+632) 534-9710. The Plant Biotechnology Project Committee is composed of: Alexander B. Quilang, Norberto R. Bautista, Jovita A. Anit & Carnette C. Pulma.
The Urban Gardener is an official electronic publication (in PDF Format) of the Plant Biotechnology Project, Research & Development Center, Rizal Technological University, Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. It is published monthly. For more information, please inquire thru email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Blooming of the Rare Alba form of the Vanda sanderiana
October is the flowering season of the majestic Vanda sanderiana or locally known as Waling Waling. One orchid which is rarely seen in Garden shows is the albino or yellow form of the Waling-Waling or scientifically known as Vanda sanderiana var. albata which was previously described by Prof. Heinrich G. Reichenbach in the Gardeners’ Chronicle in 1887. It is similar to the ordinary Waling Waling,. But the growth habit and flower size are just a little smaller than those of the species. The normal Waling-Waling has pale pink dorsal sepal and petals with some dark spotting toward the center, the lateral sepals greenish brown with darker brown tessellations. However, the rare alba form has yellowish green lateral sepals instead of the usual greenish brown. The plant commands a high price compared to the usual Waling Waling.
The rare albino form of Waling Waling.
The plant was reported to originate from Davao del Sur and South Cotobato on Mindanao Island where it grows as an epiphyte at elevations to 500 meters. This variety is extremely rare in its natural habitat. Because of its rareness, orchid collectors usually willing to pay twice the price compared to the common Waling-Waling. This orchid is rarely seen now in the wild, but various orchid laboratories are now mass-producing this very important Philippine species so that it will be readily available and the plant be conserved. The plant is also used in orchid hybridization to produce the modern vandaceous hybrids of today. The plant is actually easy to grow, though it is slow growing and will take 5 years to flower from seedlings. How to Grow this Plant. Light. The plant will prefer a partly shaded location and protected from full sun. The plant will prefer exposure to morning sun and could tolerate direct sun, but must be protected from it during very hot months. Sunlight can be filtered using 2-3 layers of net 8 feet above the plants during the summer period.
Watering. This plant prefers and tolerates a little bit drier condition. Water the plant once a day or even less, like once every other day, and keep the surroundings and companion plants moist to provide high humidity. Ventilation. Provide the plant with a slightly breezy location, but protected from very strong winds. Air movement will prevent the plant from rotting specially during the rainy season. Potting Media & Potting Technique. Vanda sanderiana potted on plastic or hardwood baskets (hanging), tree fern slabs, or in drift woods, with their root well exposed. They can also be grown in coarse brick and charcoal mix-tures in pots on benches, or hanging, in which case they can also be grown in hardwood baskets with little or no pot-ting mixture required. The roots are thick and will grow out of the pot or other container; hanging plants often develop a mass of pendent aerial roots. Such plants do well, but must be kept moist. This can mean misting the plants several times daily, since without pot-ting material to retain moisture, the plants will dry out rather quickly. They will not tolerate wet roots, but do well when hung over wet rather than dry ground. Fertilization. Use foliar fertilizer, and spray recommended dose once every week usually after watering, or more often as long as the dosage is reduced. A teaspoon of balanced orchid foliar fertilizer in a gallon of water and sprayed once a week, specially in the morning is sufficient. Pest & Diseases Management. Waling waling plants are susceptible to sucking insects like mites, aphids and scales. Spray a dilute solution of Perla soap to protect the plant from insects or spray Lannate or Sevin insecticide if heavy infestation occurs. During rainy season, spray plants with dilute solution of Captan or Dithane fungicide to protect plants from rotting due to water-borne fungal diseases. Propagation. This plant can be propagated by top cutting. Sterilize all cutting instruments first by washing with soap and water and squabbling with isopropyl alcohol before using to prevent transfer of viruses. Top-cuts are repotted on plastic or wooden baskets or clay pots with charcoal. Seal wounds with fungicide paste and do not water top cuttings for 3 days to prevent rotting. Water afterwards to induce establishment of roots. New shoots will usually sprout from the severed stem. Fertilized with foliar fertilizer to make plants healthy. It can also be propagated by seeds. Flowering season is August-September, and with this, flowers can be pollinated in order to produce fruit capsules with seeds which will usually be ready for harvest at about 5 months after pollination. Seeds from fruit capsules can be sown inside the laboratory, in sterile artificial nutrient media, using embryo culture techniques. Selected forms can also be micropropagated using meristem culture or culture of young inflorescence.
The Urban Gardener is an official electronic publication (in PDF Format) of the Plant Biotechnology Project, Research & Development Center, Rizal Technological University, Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. It is published monthly. For more information, please inquire thru email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and landline (+632)534-8267 Local 135 or Fax (+632) 534-9710.
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