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Messages - KarenRei

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What happened to Luc?
« on: Today at 06:05:14 AM »
I don't know about Luc, but Raul has been selling Luc's Garcinia seeds.  He's got a brand new variety this year, a high-altitude variant.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Giberellic Acid
« on: May 23, 2020, 10:49:27 PM »
I've never tried it for that. I tried it to see if I could induce partial sex reversal in papayuelo. Didn't work - and I ultimately went up to levels that were causing all the leaves to come out deformed.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sulphur
« on: May 21, 2020, 10:19:40 AM »
Nice tips  :)


The town is at 1134m altitude. Given the normal atmospheric lapse rate, if these trees extend upwards of 2000m, up there you could cut about 9C off of those temperatures.  So in extreme years, it's possible the highest trees could face frost.

BTW, out of curiosity, what's the current status of scientific research with regards to this species? Is it any closer to being declared its own species or a subspecies of some other species?  I'm really curious  :)

Sign me up for 8 seeds  :)  Do I just go ahead and send $29 to with my address in the comments, then?

ED: I went ahead and assumed that the above was correct and sent the money.

Wow, that's amazing  :)  I need to update my database info on this species!  :)

If they have a high germination rate, sign me up for 4; moderate to low germination rate, for 8.  :)

Awesome - hope I make the list!  How do the size, flesh:seed ratio, and taste compare to the others?

I did indeed plant it - the leaves when / if it comes up should be enlightening! 

Acerola seeds are also lumpy and irregular... that seed certainly doesn't look like one. Acerola is also more floral-tasting, while this was like plum.

My main reason to doubt pitanga (apart from not having it on my registrar) was that the flesh wasn't tannic (at least the little bite I got!).  BUT, a new possibility occurred. There is also a this unregistered plant growing right nearby:

I had always just assumed it's a Psidium (and haven't seen it flower), but if I'm not mistaken, that might be a match for pitanga  :)  I did get a batch-o'-eugenias a few years back so its possible this might be from that.  Main difference I see with E. uniflora is that mine's leaves are dark and not particularly glossy.

(It's easy to forget and neglect as it's grown as a low sprawler!)

It looks very much like pitanga. If you're in Florida or an area that has lots of these, birds can carry them around. Could've dropped overhead or something potentially.

Hehe, I'm in Iceland. These plants live in a room that never sees the sun - not even through a window.  The only bird that could possibly have access to them is a tame amazon parrot  ;)

Looks like a pitanga.

I didn't notice any sign of ribbing (though hard to tell given how mangled it was). No obvious tannic taste.

So... I'm baffled. While caring for my plants, I found this fruit on the ground. It had been stepped on and was highly mangled, so I don't know what it originally was.  But some key characteristics can be seen - the four-pointed puckered shape at the bottom, red skin, soft / juicy orange flesh, and a single large round seed. There was enough of the flesh left unmangled for me to try it - it tasted very much like plum.

My first thought was strawberry guava. It was right next to a plant that (at least according to my records, and certainly by appearance) is strawberry guava, and it's been blooming a lot recently for the first time. I hadn't seen any fruit on it, but another one of my strawberry guavas has its first immature green fruit on it (tiny little plant, I'm amazed that it can hold fruit!).  But beyond the flesh being wrong, strawberry guava has small seeds, not a single large one.

The single large seed makes me think eugenia. Indeed, there was also a rainforest plum right next to it. But it's another tiny, tiny little juvenile plant, maybe 15cm tall, and I hadn't seen it bloom. Certainly doesn't look like a ripe rainforest plum.  But maybe half ripe?

My acerola is fruiting, and it overhangs a bunch of other plants, and the fruit could roll.  But that certainly doesn't look like acerola, esp. since acerola has three irregular seeds per fruit.

There's so many other plants on overhanging shelves or overhanging or growing around generally around the room, but apart from some capsicums, none have visibly flowered or fruited, and most are varieties that one can rule right out, like cocona, garcinias, jackfruit, lychee, passiflora, palms, mangoes, coffee, tamarind, physalis, mamey, annonas, citrus, and on and on and on (it'd take some time to compile an exhaustive list). 

(There's no possibility that this was some sort of supermarket fruit, as I haven't been to the supermarket since March  :)  ).


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Updated Mamey Info please
« on: May 11, 2020, 07:19:25 PM »
Out of curiosity, what do you all do with mamey?  I've only had it once.  Don't know the cultivar.  It was a sort of carrot / sweet potato taste.  Main thing I could think to do with it was make a sort of banana bread / carrot cake sort of dish.

You can figure out the pH with those strips by taking a sample, diluting it, retesting, diluting, etc until you're no longer under your pH=6,6 limit.

Like I said, it takes *tiny* amounts.  ;)


Although I now use some leftover soil that has peat (Mix of commerical soil and other things, mostly neutral) in it(I have 3 Mberries)

Looking at that thing brings back bad memories.  I once killed a lot of plants by trusting the pH readings on a meter like that.

Get a proper pH meter.  :)  The type that you have to keep the electrodes moist.  Don't skimp, get a good one.  Clean the electrodes after each use before storage.  Replace the electrodes if they ever go bad.  Calibrate regularly with fresh acid and neutral solution, and don't reuse your calibration solutions.

I recommend sulfuric acid for lowering pH.    Doesn't mess with your phosphorus ratio like phosphoric acid does (though if you *know* you need phosphorus, then sure).  It takes minuscule amounts.  However much you're thinking, well less than that.  ;)  You can get it as battery acid or as professional grade drain cleaner.  Phosphoric acid is often sold as floor cleaner.  There will be other additives, but you use such tiny amounts that they shouldn't matter.

I've bought seeds from Maryoto too before. Not only did they arrive alive, they arrived so alive that they had grown a tangle of roots around each other ;)  (it's tough to ship to Iceland, takes a long time!).  Sadly none survived transplant (suboptimal environment, must try again at some point), but everything on Maryoto's end was top notch.

That's a clever approach.  E.g. you get your "guaranteed"  fruit from the graft, but still get to try the seedling.

Doesn't that mean years of waiting and lots of space to find out whether you lucked out?

Interesting - I didn't realize the leaves were edible.

What are your thoughts on the use of arbitrary (non-polyembryonic) indian-type mango seedlings as rootstocks? I usually plant the seeds when I eat "store mangoes" (with the intent of growing some rootstocks), and have some getting nearly up to grafting size, but I've second guessed myself, wondering whether I should only be using rootstocks from a named cultivar.  But on the other hand, most rootstocks from named cultivars are usually optimized for particular environments, and no particular environment is likely to match *my* particular growth environment; surely there's some merit to the argument of, "plant it, and if it grows well, it's probably a good rootstock".

What are your thoughts?  Are only seedlings from named cultivars suitable, or are arbitrary monoembryonic seedlings good so long as they grow well?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To anyone zone pushing...
« on: April 30, 2020, 06:16:52 PM »
I would make a heated flower bed by using the heat pump of a lab fridge .That way the heat discarded by the fridge could be used to grow a few plants like 1 or 2 square meters.
A fridge consumes 100 watts and makes up to 400 watts of heat .

That's... really friggin clever  :)  Waste heat from refrigerators never occurred to me.  Industrial-scale refrigeration churns out a ton of waste heat.  Come to think of it, industrial scale almost-anything has a lot of waste heat that they need to get rid of...

Somehow i hate the dams much more than nuclear reactors iet people still consider the dams to be green energy.

Same here.  They make up more of our power than geothermal.  I really want to see that reversed  :(

Basically, the ideal place for a dam is a deep, narrow canyon with a high-flow raging river.  E.g. somewhere unique and spectacular.  And then you drown it...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To anyone zone pushing...
« on: April 28, 2020, 03:57:27 PM »
Thats free heat from geothermal sources wich is not soo common.

Quite true. How useful it is depends on how affordably you can heat it.  For example, the way they had it set up it was averaging 0,155kW/m across the year. If you tried to do this with US electricity at a rate of $0,13kWh, that's $0,48/d/m, or $176/yr/m.  Pretty pricey.

A couple things of note that could improve it:

1) They were raising the temperature about 20C / 36F, which is a huge heat increase.  Conduction heat loss is linear with respect to temperature differences, but radiation from the surface is the difference of (temperature^4).  Iceland is also very windy and very wet, both of which sap energy.  During snows they were also melting the snow, which is a huge energy sink.  I bet if one was only targeting ~10C / 18F, in a less wet / windy climate, energy consumption would be ~1/4 to 1/3rd as much.

2) They did no insulation of the surface.  Insulating the surface should dramatically lower the energy consumption.  Depending on how much insulation and what type, potentially 1/2 to 1 order  of magnitude.

3) You only have to pay for more energy if you don't already have to heat something. for example, if you're already heating a greenhouse, heating it through the soil would be much more beneficial than heating the air, since soil temperature determines root activity.

4) Other forms of heating in the US would be cheaper than electric in most places, including NG and solar water heating.  But of course requires a more complicated setup.

5) There's passive forms of solar heating one can do too, such as suppressing weeds with black matting, to soak up solar heat.  Limited heating potential, but some.

But yes, we're very fortunate to have geothermal - it certainly makes this a lot more affordable!  :)  More importantly, it can be waste heat. It would amazing to see some of that nuclear power waste heat be used to cultivate a huge tropical garden!  ;)  I was just amazed to see heat-loving plants like tomatoes and zucchini fruiting outdoors here, in such cold air.  Really goes to show how much of a plant's health relates to those roots.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / To anyone zone pushing...
« on: April 27, 2020, 07:04:35 AM »
... you may find this paper about soil heating to be of interest  :)

In Iceland... where *July high temperatures* are usually only about 15C / 59F on average - with soil heating they were growing and fruiting tomatoes and zucchini outdoors.  They grew a banana plant to and past the first frost (though obviously did not attempt to overwinter it). They basically got the same sort of results you get with polytunnels, simply by heating the soil.

Definitely worth some followup research......

Traditionally, both leaves and stems.

I'm still getting used to the taste.  I have some mate, guayusa, and yaupon, they all taste pretty similar to me: like grass.  I've been blending a bit of unsweetened chai in when I brew it; I like the effect that the spices have on the taste.

Nurseries in warm parts of the US and Europe are obviously the first go-to source.  :)  But I'm not talking about plants like, oh, say, abiu, black sapote, jaboticabas, etc.  I'm talking more things like... oh, say, Brosimum utile, bacuri, paradise nut, etc. The sort of things you're not going to find in a typical nursery, things that even many tropical plant nuts may never have seen or tasted.

Obviously first-stop shopping is at nurseries.  :)

I already described our phytosanitary requirements.  We need a phyto certificate, covering the plant, and - if not bare-root - the soil.  Extra restrictions where the New Zealand flatworm is present, but it shouldn't even be capable of surviving in the tropics. We can't import any conifers from outside the EU, and the specific genera (including non-conifers like birch) that we use in forestry here are outright prohibited from live import.  But as for tropicals, there's only minimal restrictions.  Remember, this is Iceland. Tropical pests are not going to survive here, and tropical plants are not going to be invasive.  You're not going to some day travel to Iceland and find the country overrun by, say, acai trees infested by palm aphids  ;)

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