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Messages - ericalynne

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Chilly Florida AM
« on: January 18, 2018, 07:38:04 PM »
Rural Highlands County, the low was 30 and lasted a couple of hours, sandwiched by an hour on each end of 32. A bit harder freeze than the last one. I had covered or brought in same as last time and about the same damage.
Erica 9b

I'll try to make it up there. My last appointment in Port Charlotte is at 5 pm, shouldn't last more than an hour and then a half hour to get up there. Always nice to hear a good mango talk and meet people from the forum.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Making changes after this freeze
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:43:57 PM »
C24, I feel for your losses. I undoubtedly will have some too. I lost my greenhouse in Irma, so had no place to protect many plants. I've been working to have fewer trees and not so many who need major frost protection. I sold a lot of my really tender tropicals last year. It is too exhausting to try to cover or heat everything when you're also working a full time job.

In my experience, spider mites do not create such a major web. It looks more like tent caterpillars from your photo. If so, you should find little caterpillars inside, in the process of growing bigger. A brief google search shows that tent caterpillars do grow on sweet potatoes.

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Tropical Mushroom Cultivation
« on: October 18, 2017, 06:24:07 AM »
Collecting wild edible mushrooms is a whole different topic from cultivating mushrooms, just like foraging for wild herbs is different from a garden.

So while collecting edible wild mushrooms is interesting and tasty for some, and quite risky for others, what I am really interested in is if anyone is actually cultivating known edible mushrooms. It looks quite doable and I plan to go ahead. I am just wondering if anyone here has first hand knowledge. Googling will show that internationally, there are people cultivating mushrooms on a commercial level.

So I'll keep this thread going for a bit and see if anyone responds.


Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Tropical Mushroom Cultivation
« on: October 16, 2017, 08:07:53 AM »
I have 20 acres of downed trees, many of them oaks; it occurred to me that perhaps I could get some benefit out of Irma by cultivating edible mushrooms. I have done some googling. According to various sources, shiitake (Lentinula edodes.)  is actually from southeast Asia and there are warm weather strains. Also there is a warm species of Pleurotis pulmonarius that will grow on sweet bay, which is the other downed tree in abundance on my property.

I am wondering if anyone on this forum has been growing mushrooms in a tropical or subtropical environment?


Bryan Brunner is at Montoso Gardens in PR. Nothing new is posted on his website, but then if no one has power, that would be hard to do.

We think and hope and pray for all those in PR, Mexico City....

I remember the prop trick now that you mention it, from my experience in Naples when some really big mango trees went down. Can't remember if it was Wilma or Charley or what. That was when I lived in town and had professionals come and put them back up.

Just a safety reminder: We were using a 4x4 four wheeler and come along to pull up the biggest tree today. Had secured it with a 1" thick rope. Rope broke and the recoil whacked my right hand pretty good. Luckily nothing was broken. Just a swollen hand/fingers.

The ones I have heeled in and the ones I have pulled up and staked are looking pretty good. The ones that broke off are already pushing new growth. Nature is amazing in its capacity for rebirth.


We were hard hit by Irma as well. I have six mango trees, over seven years old and 15 feet tall. The ones that did not blow over were snapped off.

For the ones which blew over, completely, I have severely cut back before standing back up. I am in no way an expert, but my understanding is that when the roots are damaged, they can't support the volume of leaves (transpiration.) Also, I think the trees will tolerate a bit of a tilt and the new growth will straighten out. I have even toyed with the idea of only propping them up to a 45 degree angle in the hope they will have less wind resistance for the next time.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Suggestions for Potted plants in this storm
« on: September 07, 2017, 08:44:16 AM »
I'm no expert, but have been through a number of hurricanes and/or close calls. Here is what I do: I lay them on their sides in a protected area which will not flood. Now that I am out in the country, I put them in the thick stands of palmettos. When I lived in town, I put them in areas that by educated guesstimate will be subject to less wind. Do not put them where they could be blown into your pool. I can tell you those trees drowned. :-(


If you are going to Puerto Viego de Talamanca on the Caribbean coast, be sure to see member Peter Krings tropical fruit forest at  He has an informative tour and fruit tasting.

There is also the agricultural station at Turrialba which you can find with google.


A google search shows these trees are dioecious and grow very large. Lots of nutritional value in the fruits and the nuts and other medicinal uses of the bark, etc. I don't find anything that indicates cold hardiness. If one had room, it would be great to grow these trees.

I have curry leaf seeds available now, posted in buy, sell, trade. Erica

I have lots of curry leaf fruits ripe on the tree right now. If anyone wants some, please PM me.
Venus, FL 9b

Googling reveals this to be an interesting ginger relative used frequently in Thai cooking. Articles mention it can be found fresh in Thai grocery stores. I would guess that you could grow it from store bought rhizomes. The flower is quite a beautiful pinkish lavender.

Any information on the germination rate and how long the seed is viable. I have bought them in the past from Thailand and not a one germinated.
I would be interested in trying them again if there is a reasonable chance of success. I live in Florida, USA.


Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Bougainvillea
« on: June 10, 2017, 08:08:32 PM »
I had no idea the flowers were edible. Thank you for posting. For those who have not planted them yet, you might consider getting the old-fashioned kind, if you want to draw pollinators into your yard. Apparently the insects don't like the newer varieties.

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Ginger
« on: June 10, 2017, 08:05:00 PM »
I had a lot of trouble getting ginger to grow at first. Finally, I started them in pots in the house where I could keep a close eye on them. I also planted them right at the top of the soil, again so I could eye-ball them. When I buried them in soil, they just rotted away. I finally got a good bunch and put them outside, but they do have to be in the shade and kept moist, but not wet. I have very sandy soil and the Florida sun will parch even sun-loving plants. I am having more success using permaculture practices and planting out with "nurse" plants to maintain shade and moisture in an area. Gaia's Garden has been my inspiration. The title sounds new agey, but the information and writing are excellent especially for desert areas.

I love Carrie mangoes the most. It is my favorite. I do not think it is strong tasting at all, so clearly there are taste differences. I do not like resin flavor in mangoes. You have to pick it off the tree when it is green, but a gentle squeeze is yielding. Eat it when it is fragrant, but not mushy. It is barely firm and totally fiberless. It melts in  your mouth.

I also have and Angie and it is a good tasting mango also. I have had no disease problems at all with either the Carrie or the Angie and that would be west of Lake O in 9b. The "highlands" of Florida.


Hi Tactical,

What time of year do you grow the maraconis? Do you start from seeds and then plant out?



southern end of 9b in south Florida:

Is anyone growing garlic or walking onions successfully in 9b or warmer? I have tried a couple of times, but had very little success. I am wondering if I should keep trying or give up. I see Territorial Seeds has two garlic varieties from Viet Nam and wonder if those might be more tropical. When I grew the walking onions, they all died in the summer.

If anyone is growing these successfully, please share your story.


My curry leaf tree is blooming now in zone 9b Florida.

Not exactly tropical, but subtropical, I grow feherozon sweet peppers. They are not very productive, but produce 6-7 medium sized sweet peppers reliably and grow only about 12 inches tall. It turns pale yellow and then red. It is supposed to be a hungarian paprika type pepper. The plant will continue to live -  perennially - after it's main crop, but the subsequent peppers are smaller and irregular. They grow and produce their 6-7 peppers well in spring in south/central Florida.

I started some culantro seeds this year. They took about a month to germinate and are pretty slow growing so far. In the past I have bought plants and they have almost immediately produced flowering stalks. Good to know they should be in shade. The leaves are very prickly. They are currently in under shade cloth. Now reading more about it, perhaps it grows better in the fall with the shorter day lengths. We shall see.

I got some seeds many years ago and have two trees. I am in Florida and they seem to be growing actively. I have not done anything particular. Back when we had those really tough freezes, one froze to the ground, but came back up. Another time my dear spouse weed wacked it down and it came back just fine. I have terrible soil and have never fertilized.

I had heard the fruit were poisonous??? The birds don't even eat them. I did a quick google check that says the berry is edible but the seeds are poisonous.

Nothing is fruiting now, but when it does, I have lots of seeds. If I remember, I will post in the buy, sell, trade section when seeds are available.


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