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Messages - TriangleJohn

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1
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: 2018 Wild Pawpaw Watch Thread
« on: June 09, 2018, 01:18:08 PM »
Triloba - I don't know the parentage. A local nursery obtained the fruit from a research orchard where all the trees were named varieties. There aren't many wild pawpaws in this area so I doubt any of them crossed with wild plants. The story I heard is that the orchard was multiple acres big so more than likely all the known named varieties were there.

I've tasted a lot of pawpaws and though there are differences, those differences are minor - at least to my palate. I can taste differences in fruit taken from the same branch of the same tree. I think how the fruit is harvested and handled after harvest impacts the flavor more than the variety.

2
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: 2018 Wild Pawpaw Watch Thread
« on: June 09, 2018, 09:52:08 AM »
Winter weather in Raleigh was only super cold the first half (got down to 4 degrees) and kinda normal the second half. At least we didn't have the hard freeze like we did in April of 2017. Here on the south side of town the weather has been very dry, ten miles away they are flooding. There are no wild pawpaws in the woods around my house so nothing for me to contribute there. I do have one tree that was won in a raffle that claimed to be a wild variety but now that it is fruiting I think it is just an un-named cultivar and that they meant "native" when they said "wild". All the other pawpaws in the garden are seedlings of named cultivars. One of them is my 'super producer', always making more fruit and larger fruit than all the others. This year, due to the dry weather I am spending a lot of time keeping them watered, so far so good.












3
My greenhouse (actually a hoophouse that I seal up as tight as possible in the winter) is 20 by 30 with a 15 foot center ridge. I used to heat it with an old wood burning stove but going out there every hour or so to toss more logs on the fire got old after a couple of years so I broke down and bought a poultry barn electric heater (slightly cheaper than an electric greenhouse heater). It did require an electrician to install a 220 line to it but I already had one because the lot used to have an above ground swimming pool. On a normal winter it only costs me $35 - $50 per month for four months of hard winter. During really cold snaps (like right now) it costs me about a $100 per month. I'm in zone 7b so winters are generally mild. The hoophouse sits on the asphalt pad of an old basketball court which extends out beyond the structure, so when the sun shines it heats up and transfers a lot of heat to the floor of the hoophouse. I also allow it to heat up in the middle of the winter, the peak of the day heat will warm up the potting media in the pots and that will keep everything warm long into the evening.

4
As far as citrus goes - I like having my own lemons and limes because picking them fresh gives me better tasting food products made with them. It doesn't matter if it is something savory or something sweet, there is a noticeable difference when I use my home grown citrus. Meyer Lemons tend to produce a crop over a longer season and with your set up you might be able to get year-round production. I also get a lot of use out of a little potted Calamondin. The flavor is strong and sour but it is pretty much in fruit all year so I always have a citrus juice to squeeze over fish or berries or ice cream. The only draw back to citrus is the bug issues. Every sucking insect in the world likes citrus so keeping the bugs under control can be a challenge. Home grown blood oranges (I have 'Moro') taste better than store bought because I can pick them at peak flavor and all of the citrus have intense aroma when grown at home and picked fresh.

I get a lot of use out of guavas, both normal pink fleshed type (I have 'Ruby Supreme') and Strawberry guava but some people don't care for the flavor and the seeds are a pain to deal with. Guavas also attract scale insect like crazy so you have to spray or somehow stay on top of them or they go downhill. I hand pick them off of my big tree so it can be done but you have to be dedicated.

I seem to be the only person that likes papaya (I grow 'Waimanalo' and 'Red Lady' and though easy to grow (keep them dry in the winter) the fruit takes a long time to ripen.

If you could get the Cocona to perform better you could have a nice flavored fruit to play with. Maybe increase the air flow around them and spray with soapy water to keep the mites in check. I like them because you can either start them from seeds or cuttings and get fruit by the end of the year either way. I start mine indoors and then plant them in the ground in May and by October I have more than enough fruit to eat. Cooked with a splash of lemon juice and a cup of sugar they cook down to a mush that tastes like mango mixed with tangerine to me.

Though Roselle is more like a large herb plant, it would provide all sorts of stuff for you to sell. The leaves are great sour accents to Asian food when cooked and the calyx makes some of the best jelly or fruit drink out there - like cranberry with a zing. Very easy to grow but seasonal crop, but then they are also very easy to dry and store. People are always surprised by the flavor.

I would think that some sort of smoothie bar where you sold drinks blended from fruits and herbs you grew on site would work. You could simply freeze the fruit in season and blend it when you needed it.

5
I'm in zone 7 North Carolina and I have a hoop house that I seal up tight for winter and keep heated through the winter (thermostat set at 50 degrees but on really cold nights it can get down to 38 degrees). My collection of fruiting plants is mostly focused on species that can handle some chilling in the winter instead of the super tropicals. Though I have guava, papaya, strawberry guava, banana, pineapple, longan, miracle berry, suriname cherry, naranjilla/lulo and tamarillo plants fruiting the biggest impact comes from citrus. The flavor from my potted oranges, blood oranges and kumquats is far superior to store bought. When I give baskets of fruit away at Christmas it is the citrus that gets the most praise. Of course they are also in season at that time of year. One thing I have noticed with my plants, namely the solanaceous members, is that they get confused at this latitude. In the wild they grow in a region without seasonal day length changes (12 hours dark/12 hours light). My long summer days confuse them and I get irregular ripening or off season blooming and then fruit failure.

6
My tree is about 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide, maybe 5 years old (but I bought a tiny little graft-ling)

I prefer mulberries but this year I did not get much of a crop.

These Che taste very sweet, kinda fiber-ey, no seeds, with a strong hint of melon. I can only eat a few of them each day, I find them too sweet (I'm the same way with Muscadines or Scuppernogs).

7
My small tree is finally mature enough to really fruit. I think this is year 5 or maybe 4. It has fruited the last two years but the berries were small and never fully ripened. Every time I have tasted them on other people's trees they tasted like really ripe cantaloupe but this year mine are tasting like watermelon.









8
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Early August zone 7b fruit crops
« on: August 08, 2017, 04:40:39 PM »
Citradia - I have Black tupelo in the woods beside the house also. The dogs snarf up the fruit when it falls (mid July this year), I've tasted it and found it way astringent and harsh but people supposedly make jelly with it.

9
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Early August zone 7b fruit crops
« on: August 06, 2017, 05:39:23 PM »
TT - I never got a taste of the seed source fruit. Friends that work for a local nursery told me how wonderful the fruit was and said that they had collected the seed to grow out and sell. I bought four seedlings from them. My taste buds are not as refined as others and I don't pick up a lot of differences in the various named fruits. I have had one that did taste more like a mango than anything else (not from my trees). I have had fruit that taste wonderful along side fruit that was just so-so and they both came off the same tree at the same time. This year the fruit is just okay, nothing special. This could be due to the odd weather we have had so far - wet mild spring after very warm winter with hard freeze in April and now blistering hot and bone dry. Everything has been early in the garden this year.

10
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Early August zone 7b fruit crops
« on: August 06, 2017, 10:27:16 AM »
Things are bone dry here in Raleigh NC but it looks like all my hard work watering is paying off with bumper crops of fruit. I've harvested most of the fall crop of Blackberries (Prime Ark Freedom) and the table grapes (Fredonia) have been made into jelly - sorry no photos of either of them, but here's what else is going on in the backyard:


Ogeechee Lime - actually a Tupelo not a citrus



unnamed pricky pear - cactus do fine here if you plant them in a mound of gravel. The fruit doesn't seem to have the intensity of flavor I remember from out west so I plan on harvesting these early and see if that helps.



Cranberries - you don't need bog but you do need acid soil and near constant weeding to keep them happy.



no name trees grown from seed (from named cultivars). The worst thing about pawpaws is that you get a landslide of fruit at one time. Kitchen fridge is full, basement chest freezer is full...



Everything else in the veggie garden is crispy yet this one lonely rhubarb keeps chugging along (don't tell him that we've been over 100 degrees)



Got watermelons planted late but even with the drought they're happy.

11
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Ogeechee Lime seedlings blooming
« on: April 27, 2017, 08:30:02 AM »
The tree I saw was past the fruiting stage and the fruit I gathered off the ground was pretty rotten so I didn't taste them. The person showing me the tree said that they are very sour and have to be watered down a lot in order to use them (he didn't like them). I've been hand pollinating them and it looks like they are fertilized so I should have fruit to taste this summer.

I've always heard that this type of tupelo only grows wild along the Ogeechee river but at another stop on that day of tours a nursery owner told me that he grows tons of them to sell as seedlings to the stream bank restoration companies throughout the state (SC) so they are now planted along many rivers and streams.

They're supposed to be hardy to zone 7 (I'm zone 7b).

12
looks like some sort of Ruellia - Mexican Petunia

13
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Ogeechee Lime seedlings blooming
« on: April 14, 2017, 09:30:05 AM »
Sometimes I get lucky, very very lucky! Two summers ago I was in Florence South Carolina at a Southern Fruit Fellowship meeting (garden club for backyard fruit growers of the south). While on one of the tours a tree I've been looking for was pointed out to me - Ogeechee Lime (Nyssa ogeche) a type of tupelo, not a citrus. I was allowed to gather fallen fruit, which I took back to Raleigh where I cleaned the seeds and sowed them. I was thrilled when TWO of the seeds actually sprouted. Here I am today with two small potted trees that are maybe 4 feet tall but appear very healthy. I was finally going to get around to planting them in the ground when I discovered that they were blooming (they're just babies!) and surprise surprise one is a male and the other is a female! The trees look alike so the only way to tell if you have both sexes is to wait until they bloom, which normally would take years. So I will be adding another native fruit to my collection - Ogeechee Lime which I guess could actually make fruit at a much younger age then I predicted. Lucky Lucky Me!





a shot of the male blossoms


a shot of the female blossoms

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What to grow next?
« on: March 24, 2017, 08:32:32 AM »
Welcome to the hobby! I'm in Raleigh if you want to visit and see what your life will look like in a couple of years. In the ground I have most of the common trees, bushes and vines as well as Jujube, Pineapple Guava, Loquat, Goumi, native Passionvine and Fuzzy Kiwis. I grow all the normal vegetables for the area as well as Rhubarb, Yacon, Ginger, Turmeric, Galangal, Roselle, Yucca, Sugarcane, Tea camelia, Cocona and a larger fruiting form of Naranjilla known as Lulo. And then there is the greenhouse where I experiment with more tropical plants such as many types of Citrus, Guavas, Papayas, Pineapples, Passionfruit, Sherbet berry and a dwarf Mulberry. I have some tropicals that I grew from seed - Longan, Grumichama, Luc's Garcinia, Jaboticaba, Suriname Cherry. In general I give them about 5 years to fruit. Space is limited so if they aren't doing well under my care I find them another home. I don't keep the greenhouse super warm so a lot of tropical plants are off my wish list.   Good luck!

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seed grown Longan blooming!
« on: March 22, 2017, 07:19:49 PM »
Greenman62 - yes that's the finger lime. It is grafted onto Poncirus trifoliata. I have no idea how old it is but it is maybe 3 feet tall including the pot. I bought it from the guy that grafted it, I didn't see any mature finger limes in his collection so I don't know where he got it from.

I normally grow Waimanalo papaya (seeds from Oscar) but I saw some Red Lady plants on sale at my local big box retailer so that is the only reason I have them. They hate winter here but snap out of it once it gets hot. I haven't tried rooting cuttings but I have just dug them up and potted them before (mature trees), sometimes it works.

Good to hear that the opuntia should be true to type. The fruit was emerald green when ripe and very intense flavored. I'm not sure how many fruit I can get off of a pot bound plant. I'll decide if it is a keeper after it fruits. It is big enough now so this should be the year. I have a couple of winter hardy optunias in the yard so I can get fruit each summer - it isn't the best quality though.

My normal plan is to grow things from seed to see if I can keep them alive and happy for 5 years then if I like them I buy a grafted named cultivar. I'm at that point with sapodilla and white sapote (forgot to mention them earlier). I've been getting rid of the suriname cherry plants, the fruit tastes like Black Currant to me and I have them in the garden already. My cherimoya is huge and blooms continuously all summer, I keep trying to hand pollinate it but so far my efforts are fruitless. It may end up in a smaller pot so that I can move it outdoors for the summer. Greenhouse space is precious so you gotta produce fruit if you want a prime location.

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seed grown Longan blooming!
« on: March 22, 2017, 08:37:42 AM »
I don't know the variety or cultivar. The local Asian market seems to have the same Longan and Lychee each year, at least they don't claim different names on them and they always look the same to me. When I've asked they've said that the fruit came from Florida but I seem to remember them saying that the Longan came from Hawaii that year. I know that every seed sprouted and grew, this one grew faster and appeared stronger. I moved into this house in 2010 and it was a year or two after that move that I sowed those seeds so this tree is less than 7 years old.

I tend to sow every seed I find in tropical fruit just to see if it will grow. There is only so much room in the greenhouse so I focus my collection on smaller trees. I've had good luck getting things to sprout but bad luck getting them to live for years and years. Besides this tree I have a purple fruited Passionvine (Passiflora edulis) that fruits well, a strawberry guava, some Suriname cherries and even a Key Lime tree (a friend sprouted and grew the seedling but gave it to me when it got too big). My big failures have been guava trees, I love eating the fruit but when I grow out the seeds they never taste as good as their parent - after 3-4 years of waiting! Other seed grown plants in the collection that have not fruited but are otherwise healthy are Jabuticaba, Cherimoya, Sapodilla, Indian fig Opuntia, a Luc's Garcinia, an Opuntia from Nullzero (doing great!) and some Jungle plums and Grumichamas from Oscar.

There is also a lot of fruiting plants that I bought as grown trees - Papayas, lots of Citrus.

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Seed grown Longan blooming!
« on: March 21, 2017, 08:07:37 PM »
So my Longan is in full bloom again. This year it has many more sprays of flowers and with the warmer weather this winter my greenhouse is full of pollinating insects so I might actually see fruit before too long.

I collected seed from a bunch of different grocery store fruit and out of all the Longan seedlings this one grew faster and stronger than all the others. I gave everything else away to other gardeners and kept this one. I normally drag it outside the greenhouse for the summer and keep it in partial shade and well watered. It get so big each year that I have to cut it back hard just to get it to fit through the greenhouse door. I believe it was over 6 feet tall by year 4. I now have it in the largest plastic pot I own and it can easily touch the roof inside the greenhouse which has a 15 foot center ridge. I think it is about 10 years old now but I didn't write anything down so I don' know for sure. For contrast I also have a Lychee  that is way over 10 years old that is only 5 feet tall and has never shown any signs of blooming. It has had a hard life where more than once it has had a large tree branch fall and crush it while it was summer-ing outdoors, and more than once rats have eaten it back to the ground while it was inside for winter.

Also my small potted Finger lime is blooming and making small fruits. It bloomed a little bit last summer but this year it is covered with flowers.














18
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Sassafras root suckers
« on: March 06, 2017, 12:40:49 PM »
I've tried every trick that I know and the only success has come from seeds. You'll work hard to get to the fruit before all the birds eat them. I was lucky in that my neighbor just happened to have a female tree next to his deck so he could bring seeds whenever it fruited. I've moved and lost touch with him. I keep checking the mature trees in the woods beside my house and I have never seen them bloom or fruit.

19
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: 2017 Wild Pawpaw Watch Thread
« on: March 02, 2017, 01:18:24 PM »
My yard trees' flowers are starting to open up. Out of three mature trees, only two are heavily covered with buds/flowers. The middle tree has only a few. A wild one I have up by the house also has only a few. Mild weather here in Raleigh NC. At this point they only predict low's of 28 this coming weekend and again next weekend. I will be too busy covering everybody else so the pawpaws will just have to snuggle up to keep warm.

20
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Mayhaw Trees
« on: February 15, 2017, 10:06:03 AM »
I have a small collection of them but I live in zone 7b (Raleigh NC). I have three or four varieties all based on the natives found in the Southeastern US. I also have Azarole which is an Italian relative. All of them are slow growing for me and now at 5 years of age they are just starting to bloom and fruit. The only one I've tasted is the Azarole which has a mild apple/rose hip flavor. My trees do show signs of normal fruit tree diseases but they don't seem to suffer from them.

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Need help identifying this fruit
« on: August 06, 2016, 07:58:17 AM »
looks like Pokeweed - Phytolacca americana. Fruit and seeds are poisonous.

22
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Maypop (Passiflora incarnata) Thread
« on: July 24, 2016, 11:03:40 AM »
Don't give up too quickly, a lot of the stuff I grow had weak flavor in the beginning. It seems that after the plants mature they taste better. Mine also seem to have richer flavor if I remember to fertilize them on a schedule.

I still like my P. incarnata vines. Maybe this year the two will have ripe fruit at the same time and I can see how close or how far apart they are flavor wise. I can send you seeds or even fruit from mine and you can compare. I don't really manage the Maypops, they just do what they want out in the garden. I intend to build some sort of trellis system so I can get to the fruit better, but the garden chore list is long.

I have the P. edulis in a large horse feed bucket (maybe 35+ gallons). I stuck into that a very strong and tall tomato cage. The pot is tall and combined with the cage it is over 6 feet tall. The vine climbed up quickly and I wove it in and out of the rods on the cage to try and keep it compact. I drag it into my hoophouse for the winter after first frost. Inside it tends to go wild and climb all over everything. Outside for the summer it seems happy to just drape down from the top of the tomato cage. I haven't had to trim it once this summer and I have it parked next to an elevated wooden deck with railings I thought it would cover up.

23
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Maypop (Passiflora incarnata) Thread
« on: July 22, 2016, 01:05:22 PM »
I always assume that if they drop, they are ripe. The seeds have to be colored up, if they are white then there is usually little flavor. Some people like them heavily wrinkled and others eat them with only a little bit. I'm not sure there are any hard and fast rules. My P. edulis is in full swing so right now that is what I am eating. The fruit comes in waves and there is enough to make a juice from or drizzle over fruit salad. I've got to figure out a way to grow a ton of these.

24
AndyNZ - I have started to switch over to the hybrid bush cherry 'Carmine Jewel'. They do well for me and stay small. The flavor is okay (other bush cherries taste like wild plums to me). I do have a 'Danube' and a 'Kristin' - one is P. avium the other P. cerasus. They are just now reaching fruiting size so whichever one does the best will be the one to stay and then I will have room to try another variety. Thanks for the link.

25
Even sour cherries are marginal. I'm in the piedmont (Raleigh), maybe the folks up in the mountains can get good cherries. Everyone says that the high heat and humidity is was does in sweet cherries here.

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