Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Rooting Cups

If you need to root some cuttings, clear rooting cups make the process easy and fun. Whether it's figs, flowers, citrus, or any other rootable cutting, these rooting cups can help.

Clear rooting cups are also great to use for starting seeds. Not only do they allow you to monitor root development at a glance, they help promote strong rootballs that will pay dividends when it's time to up-pot or plant them in the ground.

The cups are available at RootingCups.com

Monday, February 27, 2017

Blue Tilapia pond stocking

Do you want to clear up a pond choked with algae?  Do you want significantly bigger bass, catfish, and bluegill?  You can accomplish both goals by stocking with adult blue tilapia broodstock in early spring.

When you stock a pond with adult blue tilapia broodstock in the spring, they'll reproduce throughout the summer and fall.  Blue Tilapia females spawn every 6 weeks or so, producing waves of fry that feed aggressively on algae over the summer, clearing up your pond and providing increased forage for your game fish. In the late fall, when temperatures dip, blue tilapia become sluggish and eventually die when water temps drop below the upper 40's, thereby providing your game fish with lots of easy food to fatten up on heading into winter. So in essence, stocking with blue tilapia will clear up your pond and convert unwanted algae biomass into game fish biomass.

I cannot recommend blue tilapia enough as a tool for pond management. I think it is well worth the time of any interested person to google around and research the topic for themselves. Tilapia pond stocking is taking off as an effective biological method of pond management, replacing chemical-based methods. The price of using blue tilapia often comes out similar to the price of using chemicals, but the other wonderful benefits of using blue tilapia strongly tip the scales in its favor.

Why stock pure blue tilapia instead of other kinds of tilapia? First, blue tilapia are significantly more cold hardy: they can survive down into the upper 40's, whereas other types of tilapia die off in the mid/upper 50's. This means that you can put them in sooner and they'll stay alive longer, giving you an extra couple months of growth, production, and performance from blues that other types of tilapia cannot provide. Second, blue tilapia are better filter feeders than other kinds of tilapia. As adult blue tilapia swim around, algae in the water sticks to mucus in their throats, which they then swallow. This allows adult blue tilapia to get significant nutrition directly from the water column (digesting the algae and the bacteria growing on the algae) while further cleaning the water for you.

Recommended stocking rates and dates

If your pond is already stocked with game fish, we strongly recommend stocking blue tilapia at a rate of 60-80 lbs/acre for algae control and to provide forage for your game fish.  When we first started researching the use of blue tilapia as algae control in Kansas ponds, it was common to see a recommended stocking rate of 40 lbs/acre.  According to our own experience, though, that rate only holds for ponds that lack game fish, and is insufficient for most ponds.  (Part of the problem is that the algae seems to be getting a larger and larger headstart each spring, most likely because our winters have been getting increasingly mild.) 

Blue Tilapia are stocked when ponds have a significant amount of water that is consistently over 60F, which is usually around May 1st in Kansas, depending on the weather.

How To Order
If you are interested in ordering blue tilapia for the upcoming 2018 season, then email us at greenfingardens@gmail.com to discuss and reserve your order.  You won't pay until next spring, but by committing early you can get your spot in line and receive a 20% 'early bird' discount.

Delivery is available and is charged separately based on pounds and distance.  If you need your fish delivered, you can determine the cost by looking through the 2nd table below to find the rate that matches your poundage and approximate distance from our farm (we're near Manhattan, KS).

Quantity (lbs)Price/lbTotal

Distance from ManhattanDelivery Charge per load (up to 150 lbs per load)
under 50 miles$75
50-99 miles$100
100-149 miles$150
150-199 miles$200
200-250 miles$250

Monday, April 18, 2016

Blue Tilapia Pond Stocking - delivering large broodstock

Here's a short video showing some of our large adult Blue Tilapia broodstock. We're sold out of big ones like these for the rest of the 2016 season; the remaining fish are in the 6-8" range.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Blue Tilapia Pond Stocking 2016 - update

Blue Tilapia pond stocking for the 2016 season will begin the week of April 25th.  We will contact each individual customer during the 3rd week of April to arrange specific delivery dates and times. 

We will have 2 crops of stockers this year, one in late April and one in early June.   The late April crop is now sold out, but you can still place an order to reserve fish from the early June crop.  Blue Tilapia can make up ground in a hurry and clear up a pond covered in algae in just a few weeks, so June isn't too late; that would still give you 4 good months of clear water.

If you are interested in advance ordering for 2017, you can do so now for just $5 per pound.  When you advance order, we both win:  you pay a much lower price and assure yourself of being at the front of the line for the biggest stockers, and we get capital to help expand our farming operation for next season.  If you'd like to place an advance order, please contact us.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Fish House update

Below are a few pics from the construction of our pit-style Fish House. This time, instead of doing all of the digging by hand with a shovel and wheelbarrow as I had done with my pond and other tunnels, I rented a Bobcat. After the 1st day, I thought, "Eh, that's enough help, I'll just do the rest by hand"--which might have been an okay idea if I hadn't then decided to keep digging and make it twice as big as I had intended when I started.

Here's what the trench looked like last Fall 2015 after using the Bobcat on the first day:

Then after some hand-digging:

And after more hand-digging...
Special thanks to my nephew and Dad :)

Here it is newly stocked with bananas in spring 2015:

And here's what it looks like now: