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Messages - brian

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Citrus General Discussion / Re: Rooting Hormone
« on: Today at 05:54:58 PM »
No, my soil is the opposite of sterile, it is a constantly recycled pile of old potting soil from dead/repotted trees mixed with turface and fresh mulch  Probably would be better to have used sterile soil, but I was too lazy to go buy some.  If nothing survives ill retry with sterile soil and sand on top.

Microwave is good idea too. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Kumquat varieties update
« on: Today at 05:04:49 PM »
Also Fukushus are ripening.  The largest ones are golf ball sized.  I prefer them smaller, easier to eat whole.  This one only had three seeds, not bad, I've seen from zero to 6+.

Taste is very good, not quite as flavorful as last two years' crops.   This one is somewhat yellow still, I'll let them ripen longer.

"excalibur" "red limes" have been orange for some time, but they get darker orange and sweeter the longer they hang on the tree.  Once dark orange like this they are edible out of hand.  Not as good as fukushu/meiwa/marumi, but much better than indio/centennial.  They are about halfway in between.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Kumquat varieties update
« on: Today at 04:04:13 PM »
I have another crop of centennial variegated kumquats becoming ripe.  Again, they are pretty terrible - thin dry skin, very sour, rangpur-like bitterness.  These taste identical to the indio mandarinquats (that I dislike the same)... same taste and texture simply striped with a rounder shape than indio.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Rooting Hormone
« on: Today at 04:02:08 PM »
Good idea, I will try this next time

That's awesome, thanks for posting this forumfool.  I didn't realize such a simple/cheap device existed.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Rooting Hormone
« on: Today at 12:03:55 PM »
I'm running a rooting experiment right now that I started a few weeks ago... I'll post results in a month or two.

I took 72 total cuttings of six different citrus varieties, one third got no hormone, one third got years-old hormone from an open container, one third got brand new hormone from a sealed container.

The cuttings are in a seedling propagation tray on a heat mat, inside a plastic enclosure in a north-facing (no direct sunlight) window.  One issue so far is finding the right balance between no ventilation where mold grows, and too much ventilation where leaves dry out.  My last attempt at rooting guava cuttings with ventilation they all quickly dried out and died, even with almost all leaves removed.  So far my enclosed citrus cuttings are starting to get moldy so I have been airing them out at night.

I had prepped the cuttings exactly as Bomand describes above.

If you are mainly concerned about not allowing subfreezing temps I'm not sure how much a heat pump will benefit as it reverts to resistative heating around freezing.  If you were trying to maintain 50F or something like that when it is 35-45F it might be good... not sure I have never acutally used one. 

Two of those portable heaters is good because in my experience their thermometers are very unreliable, having two helps even out the heat

Not if its burning cleanly.  Ive been inside my greenhouse countless times after unvented heaters ran all night and no issues.  I got a carbon monoxide alarm and its never shown significant levels, also got a co2 sensor and highest ive seen is 6k ppm which is well under OSHAs unsafe workplace level of 10k

You should be in good shape then, good luck.

I still recommend a propane backup, though, just in case

Also you could insulate the north wall instead of glazing it.  Or get some foam board insulation and put them in place only in winter

I think you are gonna need more heat.  I had a similar size greenhouse but only one face was glazed, the rest insulated, and I used two of those space heaters - each on their own circuit.  Even so I had to run propane supplemental heat on colder nights.

It gets to zero degrees F or below here in pennsylvania, so might not be so bad for you, but I doubt a single  1500 heater is going to be enough

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Citrus and Passionfruit insecticide help
« on: November 09, 2019, 08:48:43 PM »
That one contains imidacloprid whichs works wonders for me.  In florida your citrus are likely to contract HLB disease from the psyllids, though, no matter what pesticide you use

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing Ice Cream Beans in Containers?
« on: November 09, 2019, 08:38:29 PM »
Nearly all of my ice cream beams sprouted and are growing well

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Greenhouse Heater Suggestions?
« on: November 09, 2019, 07:14:13 PM »
If you are using a single 115v line via extension cord you dont have a lot of options.  Any generic 1500watt space heater will consume an entire 15 or 20amp circuit.  Make sure to use a heavy gauge extension cord or at best you will lose a lot of heat through the extension cord or at worst cause a fire hazard.  If you can run a 230v line on a double pole breaker you can get a lot more heat from the same wire gauge.  Not sure how feasible that is for you.

I highly recommend getting a “mr heater” that attaches to a 20lb grill propane tank in case you have a power failure or the electric heater cant keep up.  These put out a *lot* of heat compared to the electric space heater and can run for 24hrs even on low if you start with a full tank.  I keep four of them as emergency backup heat.  They are really cheap to purchase

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Opinions on Star Fruit Trees
« on: November 07, 2019, 03:16:12 PM »
Thanks for posting about the oxalate risk.  I didn't realize this when I bought a starfruit tree, and I am definitely one to each a ton of fruit at once.  I am glad I was warned about this, as I also found out about bezoars from persimmons recently.

It seems there is another toxin specific to starfruit, being called "caramboxin":

For fruiting vines, passionfruit is an idea one, maybe kiwi or grape.  For flowering again passtionfruit or... jasmine?

Citrus General Discussion / owari satsuma harvest
« on: November 04, 2019, 07:58:32 PM »
Despite having a pretty sparse canopy, my container Owari produced a relatively large crop for its size.  I have been sampling them since the first orange color appeared.  Today the ripest one was nearly full orange and a bit too sweet for me... as usual they were best half green.   I decided it was time to pick them all.

They are excellent.  Always seedless, and I've never had a bad one.  Even a few tiny under-developed ones tasted as good as the rest.  My only (minor) complaints are that they are harder to peel that some other mandarins, and I had to use scissors to pick them as they skin would rip if I used my hands.


Brian, you should check out this video.  At the end he zooms out on the rows of DF.

Hah, that is an impressive thorn farm

The mango has been in the greenhouse for one winter with no issues, now I have a lot more tropicals that will have their first winter.  If the jackfruit and purple mangosteen do okay I would think anything will.

How much light intensity is actually required for these plants, though?  UV index where I am at is just 6 midsummer and 1-2 midwinter.  Everything is growing great, maybe simply less in winter.  Ivve always assumed the important part of subtropical/tropical description for plants is cold tolerance

Drogonfruit is ridiculously easy to grow from seed.  I smushed up a small piece of the fruit into a container and every single seed sprouted making a fuzzy carpet.  I removed all but one and that lucky seed grew into a big cactus in no time.  You could plant a whole hedge of them from a single fruit’s seeds.  Id love to see somebody do this in a warm climate, it would make a wicked fence

Citrus General Discussion / Re: What kind of Kumquat do I have?
« on: November 03, 2019, 09:42:23 PM »
Kumquats do great in pots.  If you keep it healthy it will produce a ton of fruit.  Good luck

It seems like most fruit trees will fruit in pots, especially grafted ones.  I have a kumquat tree in a pot that made a gallon or so of fruit and its maybe 3ft tall.  Somebody got a soursop to fruit in a pot in their living room.  I have a pummelo that fruits despite being just a couple scraggly branches in a pot.  Mandarins, lemons, limes, oranges, guava, starfruit, bunchosia, miracle berry, all fruiting in containers.

So far everything I am growing in my greenhouse at 40N latitude is doing fine.  My citrus and guavas got huge, mango tripled in size.  This year I got a ton of “true tropicals”, ill see how they do over winter.  I dont give any supplemental lighting, just heat

Citrus General Discussion / Re: What kind of Kumquat do I have?
« on: November 03, 2019, 07:41:06 PM »
Yes looks like Meiwa

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