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Messages - sahai1

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Variegated Noni true from seed?
« on: Today at 12:59:25 PM »
will seeds come up var. 100% of time?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Terra preta or what i do with branches
« on: April 19, 2019, 02:04:45 AM »
pure bamboo biochar, gold.  As a potting mix for starting off new grafts or seeds it really is the best. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mulch problem - need your help
« on: April 19, 2019, 01:56:24 AM »
@ sahai1 : You have to have heavy machinery to get to that deep.  I'm jealous.  I do bury some of my mulch, but not to the extent of it being 6-8 feet deep.  Mine is usually a shallow trench, enough to cover the branches after my yearly pruning.

I dig by hand with a shovel and a large prybar.  I've gotten quite good at doing by hand.  By quite good I mean it takes about 4 hours. I don't go past 6-8 feet because difficult to get dirt out because of water, plus I'm only 6'4 tall. Just have to have patience and sometimes need a helping hand for obstacles like in the picture.  But all the reason why these holes help me to improve soil conditions.

Here is a very large one, which is actually 3 near each other, filled with chopped banana trees.  Not pictured here, but now 2 months later it is almost level.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: what's nut tree
« on: April 19, 2019, 01:47:19 AM »
Hows the taste?  self pollinating?  would like some more nut trees at my place in NST

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Terra preta or what i do with branches
« on: April 18, 2019, 05:40:05 PM »
The smokiest part is when the fire is getting started or going out, which I try to keep very good hardwood cut offs from my mill to maintain high temperatures.  Hotter the fire the less smoke.  After burn is complete and I start mixing the coals into the bottom of the pit it is not that smoky, but there is a constant 'steam/smoke' that comes out that smells pretty bad. 

Also have to pick days with little wind, and burn at peak sunny days with high temperatures.  In any case, I only have fuel to to do a few pits per year, so I'm not constantly burning.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Terra preta or what i do with branches
« on: April 18, 2019, 05:10:53 PM »
I make lots of biochar with Banyan wood and roots which "harvest" annually.  Now I dig pits near trees about 8' deep and pack with reeds and other hard to burn stuff like banana trees, then burn on top with the wood and ignite with palm fronds.  The ash falls into the pit and doesn't blow away, the reeds and hard to burn stuff smolders on the bottom.  After all his burned into coals, I mix into the bottom of the pit with bamboo or rebar poles.   The bottom of the pit then can turn into biochar as well as help extinguish the fire.  Then water it heavily, mix manure in, and then cover with the dirt from digging the pit.

In the pic below not add manure yet, but you can see the manure helps fill the hole.  This pit was 8' deep, alot of biochar in there.  Huge fire burned slowly over 2 days.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mulch problem - need your help
« on: April 18, 2019, 04:22:34 PM »
On my farm I dig 3 feet wide by 6-8' feet deep pits and fill with homemade mulch, and cover the top with a mound like burying a dead body, eventually it becomes level with the surrounding area.  These become premium planting sites after a year, and also help break up the water locked stratum in my soil that exists at about 3'.  But also tap into ground water which is sucked up by the mulch.  The trees then send their roots towards the pits for a supply of water and nutrients.  This is extremely time intensive way of dealing with leaves, twigs, mulch, etc... but I think it will be rewarding long term.  It definitely has helped reduce the amount of beetles.

Maybe you should try burying some of your mulch.

about 9 years now, topped twice already.

Issue is not enough sun, the farthest reach of the branches always dry and die off.  Also flowering and pollination has never been an issue with this tree, just fruit flies and stunted growth.

My last pruning has somewhat consolidated the growth.

I recently dug a 5x6' pit near this tree and my cashew tree and burned a good amount of grass and wood, mixed in manure, leaves, chopped banana, I figure issue with stunted growth for both trees has been drainage, so the pit provides drainage and a huge amount of fertilizer if both trees can get their roots that far.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Kadsura fruits
« on: April 17, 2019, 01:42:50 AM »
at first I was going to be lazy about translating then saw the writing is self explanatory--

as in the first photo they have unique way of describe fruit but my translation will be creative as well.

group 1 -  appearance red - fruits red

so nothing really to learn from the names here

I have seen many people call this fruit 'noy na pa' or Jungle Sugar Apple.

I had some interest before in planting maybe next year the ag fairs will have saplings for sale.

I think the organization is likely not actively selling but sharecropping on royal lands.  With seeds on the market collected by the farmers for side income.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Kadsura fruits
« on: April 16, 2019, 09:47:44 PM »
this is a picture from the research group, which says they are part of a foundation sponsored by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for the conservation of seeds and plants.  I believe she also founded a large park in the mountains in Chiang Mai I visited before, which is quite amazing, about 20 very large greenhouses each with different ecosystems and themes, very well labeled. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Kadsura fruits
« on: April 16, 2019, 09:40:03 PM »
Did you get from the Kadsura 'research' group, collection group?  They advertise quite a bit on the Thai fb groups.

I read about the chilling here:

The author said they soaked in water, then planted in plastic cups watering continually for 2-3 months, and many rotted out.  After that he put in the fridge one night, then had better luck. I could not discern how this was better outside of his opinion, he didn't mention how fast the germination was after trying the fridge trick, or if he also soaked in water this time, then chilled, or exactly how it worked.

By the way, I got zero germination (seeds rotting) on the other, recalcitrant seeds I got from this guy.


Which guy sold you bad seeds? 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Kadsura fruits
« on: April 16, 2019, 04:50:29 AM »
I don't know much either except that the seeds and saplings are well traded in Thailand, possibly different species, definitely different colors.

In Thai called น้อยหน่าเครือ

I read chilling the seeds in the fridge first aids germination, lots of reading available... don't have the time.

Always figured it was a novelty, If it really tastes good, and is native to Thailand in the north, why hasn't it been propagated heavily.  It's rarity is likely due to a lack of taste or something else negative.

such a beautiful orchard, that is at least before they butchered them in those last pics.  Their starfruit is really growing.. sadly my starfruit tree always has fruit flies, Several fruit fly bottle traps right on the tree, somehow they still get in.

Also I chop the leading branch, and then a year later, I got 1 new leader, no crown, not even threes.  I'll keep at it, but the growth sure has been slow.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To Mulch or Not to Mulch (Fruit Trees)
« on: April 13, 2019, 02:30:11 PM »
My neighbor just told me that landscapers had heavily mulched her avocado tree (week or 2 ago?), and it quickly died. It was a large tree. The stump is at least 2 feet in diameter. Will try to get more info.

Fresh mulch can reach 180 degrees F while breaking down, at which point it will catch fire.  What soil temperature would kill an avocado tree?  120-130?   If you take wood chips and compost them, you still have wood chips 2 months later, just much less, but much safer.  Or if you do want to apply fresh mulch, make a high donut ring far from the main stem, the larger the tree the farther away you go.  Make it high and as thin as possible.

Everybody's mulch is different, and your trees likely can build up a tolerance to mulching, eventually your trees can handle a huge mound of mulch around them, but don't go from zero to that much immediately.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: conquering the muck and mud
« on: April 11, 2019, 04:34:18 PM »
thanks, I liked this project, and started another new project with same idea, however riskier because near house... also found out afterwards much less clay in this area.

Just in case the the raised level isn't high enough I went with concrete 'no bottom' cylinders, at about $5/pc it is worth it.  Also helps to keep water and fertilizer where it needs to go, and also from the pig uprooting the saplings.  I think they are kind of ugly, but when used uniformly like this, not too bad.  :)    In 5 years I can always break the cylinder and turn the area into a mound once the citrus taproot has gotten in deep.

Mostly all lime, with some special citrus like kaffir, dekopon, texas grapefruit, pink lime, var. meyer, tangerines etc. about 35 cylinders put in.  All premium soil mix which is a mixture of mountainous 'sandy' mineral clay and composted manure and betel husk.  I may have to cull the dekopon, tangerines, and texas grapefruit, not sure if our wet season will count as a 'chill'

Also all gray water is now rerouted to this water, including overflow from cesspits, dishwater, washing machine, etc.  I have planted Thai Hyacinths (reportedly my species is edible), liles, and lotus, and released some koi.  The water in the pictures seems very dirty, but pictures taken when just 2 weeks in.  The small pond and ditch is now full of tadpoles and koi have survived, I did release about 1 gallon of homemade 'vinegar' aka 'jurinsee' which is full of beneficial bacteria to activate the pond, and now surprisingly with all that gray water I have a very clean pond and currently in the dry season.  The basin of the pond broke the water table and is self filling, will never dry out completely.  The ditch leading into the pond may dry out completely, but not a big deal.  I am not using this water for irrigation or raising any fish to eat.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Coco mulch vs coir fiber on Annonas
« on: April 11, 2019, 12:24:02 AM »
kind of expensive in Thailand as well if considering you have to apply it 4 times a year or more to use it like mulch.  Need to get a good chipper, have unlimited source of free wood branches from neighbors and temple nearby.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: conquering the muck and mud
« on: April 11, 2019, 12:20:22 AM »
actually after these pictures were taking I spent considerable time with a hoe leveling stuff out and raking up all the junk.

but still good update on original post, the trees are now doing very well in this area, it is premium real estate for planting now, lakoocha has shown really good growth, bamboo and bananas very healthy, although not all shown in pics.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Coco mulch vs coir fiber on Annonas
« on: April 10, 2019, 11:46:06 PM »
some examples of coconut husk mulch:

new thing trying out, coir mat

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Coco mulch vs coir fiber on Annonas
« on: April 10, 2019, 11:23:05 PM »
I only use coconut husk in Thailand for mulching trees, I would use more wood mulch but not available, but a chipper is on my wish list, for now I burn wood in pits and try to make boichar out of it, which I just mix with the husk.  I also use composted grass clippings, or dried dead grass clippings if the weather permits for mulching.  I do not use twigs, leaves, logs, half or quarter split coconut husks, or rocks, pita if you ask me.  Costs me about $150 for a dump truck sized load.  The coir has the outer harder shell sifted out during chopping, but it has consistency of saw dust and will break down much faster.

here are some thoughts on husk:
1.  wood has many varieties,  and most mulch mixes in leaves during chipping, occasionally seeds, many different grades. husk you just get coarse, medium, fine (coir) and a varying salt content.
2.  the coconut will have to be applied thicker since it breaks down faster
3.  the coconut husk more resistant to bacteria, and I've yet to find phosphorus in composting coir.  Also seems to be less gnats than wood chips
4.  coconut husk can be highly flammable, the fibers will catch from a slight spark if somebody is smoking nearby, and could smolder into a fire possibly if you are not careful, so watch out if 'fresh', keep it well watered at first
5. the coconut husk will hold water very well once slightly decomposed, when fresh it is actually very absorbent and will cause irrigation problems, so keep it away from the trunk of trees due it never letting the trunk dry out.  You might want to run drip lines under the husk until it breaks down some.  Another good reason to keep it well watered or apply in wet season.
6. You can cut the coconut husk with your wheedwhacker if the edges are showing grass, it just turns it into coir.
7.  Since the coconut husk breaks down faster you can create topsoil faster with application of grass clippings and manure.  wood chips always just seem to be wood chips, even after years of decomposing. 

Anyways, I think for you where you are at, the cost of husk must be high, wood chips are practically free.  Take the whole truckload, and compost it yourself professionally in a big pile somewhere, keeping it wet 24/7 in the shade, add coco husk, manure, clippings into it to make it better.  Turn it over every few weeks.  After two months you will have something very good to apply to your trees that will also prevent weeds.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruits found in Tropical Wetlands
« on: April 10, 2019, 12:39:27 AM »
you'll have to dig some holes during the drier season to see if the water table has actually receded, if it is a muddy clay silt, or if you have sand.  If the water table recedes to 8 feet down and you have sand, you can definitely try building some mounds for planting mangoes.

If you have an excavator you can basically build till huge rows, which gives you draining high ground and a water source year round for raising tiliapia, snakehead or gourami.

Pedalai leaves much larger than leaves of wild jackfruit. Pedalai leaves get giant sized, as does the tree.

thanks I'll look for that, for now none of the 'fancy' leaves have come out, the sapling has about 10 leaves all oval.

thank you!  I guess I'll have to wait for some of the larger leaves to come out, still have the oval leaves only, and mine seem much lighter in color, but possibly from the sun.  Also my leaves seem much 'cleaner', while the leaves on yours seem almost sharp or hairy at the edges.

thanks again.

I recently acquired this and some Pedelai seeds, and when I came back after vacation I found something doing well but not sure which one it is.  Would you mind taking some pictures of any young leaves for me?  Maybe some saplings growing nearby?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Does Star Apple Taste Any Good?
« on: April 06, 2019, 08:28:15 PM »
recently picked up a few from Frankies Nursery in Waimanalo, the taste was bland, the latex was difficult to avoid, texture soft.  Considering ripping out the trees I planted in Thailand if not for the positive reviews on this forum.  Hopefully my tree has better fruit.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango tree disease Anthracnose??
« on: April 03, 2019, 01:08:14 PM »
Mangoes love being planted when it is hot and dry, just don't forget to water a bit here and there.  Once you see some flushing buds remove all those old leaves and burn them or bury them.  Roofs are very dirty, so maybe consider the source of disease as water running off or splashing off your roof.

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