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Temperate Fruit Discussion / YIKES! Fig damage - what's up?
« on: February 15, 2018, 02:09:57 PM »
I have a Celeste fig that was in about a 1 gallon pot when I planted last April.
I read about covering figs in the winter to prevent dieback, so I basically completely buried it in leaves.

It has reached 72F here today, so I went to remove all the leaves to prevent "overheating" per recommendations from the nursery.

I found on the main trunk some splitting of the bark:

Is this cold damage or freeze/thaw damage? Or "overheating" damage?

What are the consequences of this damage?

Thanks for the help!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Treating with root stimulant
« on: February 09, 2018, 07:20:56 PM »
Is there any value (or negative effect) to watering newly transplanted seedlings with rooting stimulants/hormones such as DynaGro KLN?

Looking for pawpaw scions (in late winter 2018)
Particularly interested in the following but open to other cultivars:
Green River Belle
Quaker Delight
Rebecca’s Gold

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Really Stupid Question....
« on: September 22, 2017, 03:33:00 PM »
Ok, though I have been on this forum for a while and have some knowledge about plants and such, there are some glaring holes in my experience/wisdom because I have only been growing things for 3 years.

So here is my super-dumb beginner's question:

Say you have some potted trees in a soil-less potting mix (bark/peat mix). When you go to plant those trees in the ground, do you:
  • gently remove the mix from around the roots so the plant is immersed in the native soil; or
  • leave the potting mix intact and just fill around it with native soil

Basically option 1 is bare-rooting the plant. Based on things I've read, i can see benefits to both options. Option 1 would presumably eliminate issues of soil differential in the root zone, water retention/drainage differential with native soil, etc. However, it could possibly damage the root system (though a soil-less mix basically would fall off the roots on its own).

Looking for advice from folks who've done this - as you can see, I have never done it!

I hope to be planting about 20 seedling trees in the spring and I want to be prepared to provide shade via some kind of cloth or fabric for each individual tree.
Anyone have any advice on a reliable, inexpensive way to do this?

I have a few ideas:
1) circle of 4ft-high chicken wire, anchored with stakes, wrapped in cloth
2) "teepee" structure with three poles at angles, joined at top, driven partially in the ground and wrapped with cloth
3) more of a semi-circle of a screen on the east, west, and south side with 3 spaced stakes driven vertically and cloth stretched across

I guess a box made out of cheap furring strips is a possibility but would be more laborious to make 20 of those suckers!

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Stone Mulch in Temperate Climate?
« on: August 11, 2017, 10:28:43 AM »
I keep coming across references in various places to stone/rock "mulch" around trees or shrubs as a unique method of water conservation or even harvesting.

The thing that most piqued my interest was the concept of the rocks condensing/concentrating the dew and feeding that down to the soil.
I've read other people talking about other just general water conservation benefits along with heat radiation, soil cooling, etc.

My question is whether the dew "harvesting" action will be effective in a temperate climate? I guess I'm showing my ignorance of biophysics/chemistry a bit here.

Would love to hear anyone's experience with rocks in temperate zones. I'm thinking larger stones, baseball-size or larger.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / 2017 Ohio Pawpaw Festival
« on: August 03, 2017, 05:13:55 PM »
Any forum members planning to go to the Ohio Pawpaw Festival this year?

I'm considering making my first visit.

September 15-17.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Golden Kiwi - whoa
« on: July 20, 2017, 09:31:24 AM »
Just had my first Golden Kiwi from the grocery store.

Wow - it was good. Very sweet with honey type aspect. Some acid, but not like a normal kiwi.

I have not yet researched these....anyone know much about them or share my reaction?

I will try to add pictures as soon as I can get them.

I have several new seedlings, about 5 inches tall with about 3 nice leaves each. Almost all of these seedlings have a peculiar issue.
The growing tip, where the new baby leaves form, has turned bronze/gold/brownish. The seedlings otherwise look perfectly healthy.
This is not a dried-up-shriveled kind of thing, just a discoloration, though they seem to be in a bit of a growth stupor. (we've had unusually cool and wet weather, I'd say).

Any thoughts as to what is causing this, or even if this is something to be concerned about?

Even some of my 2nd year seedlings have this. Only a few of the plants (the very youngest that are only a couple inches tall) and a couple of the 2-year-olds do NOT have this issue. On these plants, the tiny growing tip is green or even whitish.

All help appreciated!

Looking for Che scions.....don't have much to offer in return other than $$  :)

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Cold protection for new muscadines?
« on: March 11, 2017, 12:16:30 PM »
I have some muscadine vines that I bought and planted last November.
One of them has started to swell its buds but no true bud break yet. We are about to have a couple of nights in the low 20s.
Any ideas what effect this will have on the vines?
Should I take heroic measures to protect the above-ground part of the vines (about 5 feet)?

Was wondering about wrapping them in Christmas lights with or without some kind of envelope around.
And/or maybe I should be worried about the roots too ....

Anxious in Tennessee

Temperate Fruit Discussion / 2017 Wild Pawpaw Watch Thread
« on: February 27, 2017, 12:38:31 PM »
With the early warm weather in many areas, it seems like we're ready to start the pawpaw watch this year!

I was out visiting a tree yesterday in the Nashville area, and it already had flowers starting to emerge on some buds. Petals still green and tightly closed, but they had begun emerging from the fuzzy brown buds for sure.

We had a low of 28-29 F on Sunday morning, so not sure how they will be affected. Lows over the next 15 days are all above freezing except for one day that's currently predicted at 32F.

We had a mild winter last year too, and bumper crops of wild fruit in my area. Hoping for the same again, and fingers crossed for no late frosts.

Anyone else have updates yet?

Not sure if you've been enjoying the Google Doodle animations during the Olympics like I have.
Pretty cool that they are highlighting fruit, given Brazil's position in the fruit world.

I noticed today that they seem to have a Rambutan playing volleyball with a....fig?

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Feel the Bern...I mean....burn
« on: August 10, 2016, 10:45:20 AM »
My veggie/fruit garden is plagued with every kind of disease known to man, it seems.

Literally every plant I have, from tomatoes to melons, has one or more diseases. My cucurbit plants are the most affected, but really everything has something.

Things are still producing (except for several tomatoes that were felled by disease) but clearly they are not happy.

So I was thinking of burning the whole area - the beds and the "yard" around it - to hopefully knock back the disease and also the chiggers that make going back to the garden a pain in the rear, literally.

Anyone have experience with controlled yard or garden burns that can offer advice or suggestions? I've already done some research but I always like to hear from folks here.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Pelletizing seeds
« on: August 10, 2016, 10:40:05 AM »
Reading One Straw Revolution a while ago has sparked an idea in my head that I wanted to get feedback on.

In the book, the author talks about "pelletizing" seed (rice seed I think) by manually encapsulating individual seeds in a ball of soil. He would then broadcast the soil pellets, and the seeds would of course germinate and there you go.

I was daydreaming about pelletizing and broadcasting Maypop seeds, which are pretty small, into "wild" areas (places with lots of wild grasses, wildflowers, etc already established). Thought this might make the broadcasting easier and might aid in the actual establishment of the seeds.


Had a crazy idea and wanted to see the reaction.

Given the fact that passifloras root readily from cuttings, and because I am just transplanting some tomato seedlings in my garden: does it make sense to dig a trench and bury the root ball plus several inches of stem on a passion vine, like with tomatoes?
The theory would be that it might form more roots at the leaf nodes (perhaps slicing the nodes like when rooting cuttings) and send up more shoots from the "topside" of the node....

Has anyone tried this?

Temperate Fruit Discussion / 2016 Wild Pawpaw Watch thread
« on: March 14, 2016, 03:00:16 PM »
On a whim decided to make this thread......for the second year running I have plans to hand-pollinate a few pawpaw patches in my area.

I don't have any of my own, so my only means to a fall pawpaw feast is via wild trees.

I plan to post here as I wait for the flowers to open and then will update with progress.

As of 3/6, I observed some flower buds definitely bulging but not terribly far along. I'm overdue for another status check.

I'd welcome other folks in other locales to post here when they see their first pawpaw flowers.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Fig Root Damage to property
« on: March 10, 2016, 06:31:50 PM »
I feel like I've read several places that figs have aggressive roots that can damage house foundations, plumbing, pavement, etc.

Is that right?

I'm considering planting a fig (a dwarf variety) in the ground near some asphalt and wondered if over time it might buckle the pavement with root growth.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Transplanting Melons
« on: March 04, 2016, 09:08:39 AM »
Everything I've read about growing melons says they should not be started indoors and transplanted because the roots are very sensitive/fragile.

However, wouldn't using a peat or manure-based pot and simply burying the whole pot (as is recommended of course) mitigate this concern and therefore make this a viable option?

Anyone tried this with success? I know Bonny Plants sells melon seedlings at garden centers (in peat pots, of course)......

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Passion Flower "Iridescence"
« on: February 15, 2016, 09:10:57 AM »
I was doing some web surfing over the weekend and found a nursery selling a passion vine called "Iridescence."

The place is Brushwood Nursery, in Athens, GA.

"Iridescence" caught my eye because it claimed to be "Tasty-fruited" and it is listed as hardy to zone 7.

I had some communication with the Nursery, and here is additional information they shared:
  • Better tasting fruit than incarnata
  • Being sold for the first time
  • Bred by an individual in Tennessee
  • Exact pedigree is confidential but does include incarnata

I have ordered a vine and will update this thread with my experience over the year.

Anyone else heard of this variety or plan to purchase one?

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Egg Cartons and other seed-starter pots
« on: January 15, 2016, 11:35:59 AM »
I'm really new at trying to start seeds (for herbs, veggies, and melons, etc) indoors.
Last Spring was my first attempt ever at a garden.
I used Jiffy Pots for my seeds - I got medium-large size pots so that I would not have to pot-up at any point.

they had their pros and cons.
Pros - easy to water from the bottom; easy to determine when plans need water; breathable (presumably better for root health than plastic)
cons - grow mold if too wet; dry out (too?) fast; top-heavy (not stable if separating into individual pots)

I am torn over whether to use them again. Watering from underneath is important to me, as I think this is best for the tender seedlings. But durability and stability is also important.

I am considering using egg cartons this time, just to start the seeds and then potting-up to .....I don't know what!
Anyone have any experience with egg cartons and have any words of warning?

Also - what is your preferred seed-starter pot setup? Plastic, jiffy, home-made (Styrofoam or paper cups, plastic bottles, etc)? I'm talking about a solution for a large number of seeds/seedlings (up to 100).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Sheet Mulching
« on: December 31, 2015, 03:49:07 PM »
I'm experimenting with Sheet Mulching.

Anyone have any experience/advice in general? Anything that leaps to mind as far as pitfalls, etc?

Specifically I am also wondering if using clear or black plastic to cover the areas over winter would hinder or help speed decomposition.
I would normally not want to do anything to "solarize" the area and kill off beneficial organisms. But being winter and the fact that the top layer is simply woodchips (i.e. most of the bacteria are well below this layer) I'm wondering if it would be ok.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Wild Persimmon Haul
« on: November 09, 2015, 06:38:32 PM »
I have always been on the lookout for wild Diospyros virginiana since finally tasting my first ripe one a few years ago.
These are excellent fruits.
Usually the ones I find are the size of table grapes.
But this weekend I found some trees in a state park that had massive fruits (comparatively). These were youngish trees - about 6 inches in diameter and 12 feet tall.
They were randomly occurring along the banks of a lake. No appearance of being planted intentionally.

Here's a picture showing the scale. The smaller persimmon is one taken off a "normal" tree (albeit it's been on my counter about a week so has shriveled a little).

The color was more orange than the common fruits I encounter. The flavor was excellent - super juicy and sweet. Not as "spicy" as the smaller common fruits, though. Of course the flesh to seed ratio was awesome in these...lots of gooey flesh with 5-6 seeds per fruit.

I climbed the trees and ended up with about 3-4 pounds of fruit which I later processed and made into a pie (mmm) with 3 cups of pulp left in the freezer. Persimmon Pudding next!!

Has anyone else encountered wild persimmons this big? I was pretty shocked....

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Revitalizing Cuttings (passiflora)
« on: November 03, 2015, 11:12:33 AM »
I have a couple of passiflora cuttings that I've been trying to root for a couple of months.

Other cuttings have long since rooted and are doing fine.  These 2 are still alive (green, etc) but they don't seem to be rooting.

I have them in the same setup as others, except the "pots" are smaller so less medium which equals faster drying-out. The medium is Al's Gritty Mix (granite, pine bark, turface).

Is there anything I can do to kickstart these cuttings? I've considered:
1) putting in larger quantity of medium to reduce evaporation rate
2) putting in a smaller-grained medium like fine vermiculite or even sand

Also - if I pluck these out and see there has been no root growth at all, will making a fresh cut help stimulate rooting or should that be avoided?

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Learning to Eat and Appreciate Wild Pawpaws
« on: September 25, 2015, 06:58:17 PM »
I guess it was 2-3 years ago when I finally tasted my first wild pawpaws.

As I've commented here in various posts, those wild pawpaw experiences were kind of mixed.

I wanted to LOVE the fruit but the wild ones for the most part had an underlying "gamey" taste that was off-putting.

Now a few years and several wild pawpaws later, I wanted to share my tips for enjoying these fruits:

1) Let them get quite soft - recently the fruits I've eaten have been quite mushy and I think I like them best that way.

2) Keep eating them! - as with many foods, pawpaws have grown on me over time. Don't write them off if you aren't thrilled at first. I always found them intriguing, but now after eating many over a long period I CRAVE them...soooo good.

3) Chill them! - I read on the Ohio Pawpaw Festival website that George Washington's favorite dessert was a chilled pawpaw. So I have given it a try and I have to say it does enhance the experience in my opinion! mmmmmm

4) Stay away from the seeds (and somewhat from the skin) - the very first time I brought some pawpaws home, I cut them open and scooped EVERY last speck of flesh out of the skins and stripped the seeds bare. I made ice cream with that pulp, and later that night got horribly sick. Since then I've realized that the pulp that clings to the seeds is the source of the "gamey" taste and possibly my illness that night. Like other annona family fruits, pawpaw seeds are toxic, so it stands to reason to avoid them. Problem is, with small wild fruits, there is precious little flesh that's not adhered to the seed. But I still steer clear. The taste is much better the farther you get from the seeds.

I always liked pawpaws but now I am a certified addict. Hopefully this info will help further folks' enjoyment of this awesome fruit.

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