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Topics - Daintree

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1
So, I tend to get periodic outbreaks of mealy bugs in my greenhouse, and it seems like they bounce back pretty quick after treatment.  This made me wonder, are these NEW bugs, or are they old bugs that have "recovered"?

So I set up an experiment - 4 mealy bugs in 4 little plastic containers.  Each one got a "dose" of a drop of one of four things applied directly to their squishy little bodies- "all season" horticultural oil, alcohol, pyrethrin+sticker, and just because I had some handy, Physan.
I killed the first few by accidentally squashing them, until I started giving them their "dose" while observing through my USB microscope.

The verdict - NOTHING killed them in the first three days.  By day four, only the horticultural oil recipient was dead.  The alcohol bug is very revved up, doing laps in his little container.  Following closely in energy is the Physan bug.  The py+sticker dude is moving weakly, occasionally falling onto his back and waving his little legs, then righting himself again.

They all appeared to lose their waxy coating at first, but once dry, they all gained it back again.
By the time he died, the "Hort Oil Bug" was only about 50% covered with his wax.

Makes me go Hmmm...



Mr. Alcoholic Mealy Bug

2
I manage a community garden for local refugees.  We have a problem with night time veggie theft (humans) and I want to get a trail camera to try and ID the culprits.
Can anyone recommend a good trail cam with good night vision ability?

Thanks!
Carolyn

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / What to do when the power is out...
« on: February 14, 2021, 12:53:29 AM »
So we had a winter storm last night with lots of heavy, wet snow.  Neighbors lost power overnight, so this morning I decided that now would be a good time to finally buy that backup generator we have been talking about for the greenhouse.  The furnaces are gas, but unless the fans are on, the heat piles up in the ceiling, doing the plants little good.

Literally as I was Googling generators, our power went down (just came back on after 14 hours).

Harbor Freight, here we come! Along with half the city...
Got the very last generator (a lady even tried to buy it off of us in the parking lot as we were putting it our car!!!), and had the greenhouse hooked up lickety split. 

Hubby and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner out there in our little seating area, basking in the warmth of the furnace, with a nice glass of wine, the parrots chatting to us and the quail laughing, beneath the only lights in the neighborhood!  Quite fun for Valentine's weekend! 

Cheers,
Carolyn

4
Hubby and I are almost fully vaccinated, so are heading to Vegas next month.  We hate to gamble, but I am going to jump off the Stratosphere Tower for my 60th birthday.
Does anybody know of any good nurseries in the Las Vegas area?????

Cheers,
Carolyn

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Refrigerated jackfruit seeds
« on: January 29, 2021, 11:59:28 PM »
So, I have great luck sprouting jackfruit seeds, but poor luck keeping seedlings alive. I wanted to try again (being a glutton for punishment), and went the cheap route by buying a slice of jackfruit at our local grocery store.  It had been packaged a week earlier and was in the refrigerated section.  From a $2 slice, I got four seeds, and they all came up!
I thought that was pretty interesting.
Now, if I can just keep them alive!

Carolyn

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Shade paint vs shade cloth
« on: January 12, 2021, 12:03:30 PM »
I am thinking of trying shade paint on my polycarbonate greenhouse this summer instead of shade cloths. Anybody else have experience with shade paint???

Thanks!
Carolyn

7
I have a few anoles out in my greenhouse to keep the ant population down. I bought them for $3 each at the pet store this summer, and they are a delight to watch as they leap around, licking up pests.

But yesterday, I walked out to my greenhouse and was greeted with one of my high velocity ceiling fans making a whhhrrrrr...TICK......whhhrrrrr...TICK noise.  Looking up, I was horrified to see one of the anoles intermittently flying around inside the fan cage as his poor little body hit the blades.

Screaming, I ran to the breaker and shut everything off, then grabbed a ladder to retrieve the presumably mangled corpse.
But before I could climb up . . . thump. . . the body fell out of the fan grating and onto the ground.

I reached down to pick it up, and boy was I happily surprised when he ran up my arm onto my shoulder!  If a lizard could have a wild look in his eye, this little tyke had one!  His color was a mottled patchwork of green and brown, and he was actually panting, but amazingly, there was not a mark on him!

The only thing I could figure was that he was so lightweight, the fan was just throwing him around instead of chopping him up! I hope he learned his lesson, but I doubt it.

Blessed Thanksgiving!

Carolyn

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Orange flames in my greenhouse wall furnace
« on: October 26, 2020, 11:59:18 PM »
I thought I would share this, in case it happens to someone else -

Our humidity here is very low, and some of my plants aren't happy about that, so I finally decided to do something that may work better than patio misters.  I decided to start with something cheap and low-tech, and built a humidifier out of a sterlite tub and a five-head ultrasonic fogger that floats.

Works like a charm! Yahoo!

But when it came time to turn on my furnces, low and behold, my "blue flame" gas wall furnaces were burning orange.

Danger, danger Will Robinson! Orange flames mean carbon monoxide!

My detector wasn't going off, and my quail weren't dead, but I called our heating guy, who came out with his carbon monoxide sniffer and said everything was fine. He couldn't find anything wrong with the furnaces or explain why the orange flames.

I did a bit of research and found out that ultrasonic humidifiers vaporize whatever sodium particles are naturally in our water supply, which then drift over to the furnace and contact the flames, and harmlessly turn the flames orange!  Chemistry 101...

Carolyn

9
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Plant/fruit ID?
« on: October 23, 2020, 10:56:09 AM »
This was brought to a friend and the gal thought it was goumi, but I don't think so.
I am getting a description of the seeds/pit and will post when available.



Any ideas?
It is outdoors in Idaho (zone 6) but I don't know if it has survived a winter yet.  May be young bush.

Thanks!

Carolyn

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / banana plant premature decline
« on: September 05, 2020, 12:53:58 PM »
So, I have always had great luck with my double mahoi bananas. But the latest pup, now an adult, has declined drastically, and appears to be dying.  Looks just like the normal "end of lifespan" decline, except it has not produced fruit.  It has two healthy pups. It has gotten exactly the same regimen as the others that thrived - plenty of sun, water and fertilizer, but no wet feet.
Do certain specimens sometimes just finish their life without fruiting? It is about 18 months old.

Thanks!

Carolyn

11
Hi All,
I have a friend who is building a greenhouse next to his new pole barn, which will have hot water radiant floor heating.  For the greenhouse, the contractor said he could lay the pex tubing for radiant floor heat without pouring a concrete pad.  He would cover it with foamboard then bark.
Has anyone done this type of heating in their greenhouse??? Either geothermal or otherwise...
Thoughts???
Ideas???

Thanks!

Carolyn

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fastest-sprouting marulas so far...
« on: July 20, 2020, 01:04:44 PM »
I just planted some of my 7 year old marula seeds, and the first ones sprouted after only 8 days.  Fastest time I have had so far! Three eyes, and all three germinated.

I am getting way better at prying the eyes out of the shells without damaging the papery cover on the seeds, but alas, I am not getting better at preventing stab wounds to my fingers and hands.  The only luck I have had with prying the eye out is with my REALLY sharp pocket knife.  Ouch.

I am trying the theory that seeds with an odd number of eyes are males, and even numbers are females, so I chose my seeds very carefully, and will be marking them accordingly as they grow.  The first ones up are males, if the theory is correct!



Cheers,
Carolyn

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cheaper pond heater?
« on: July 02, 2020, 09:40:30 AM »
So, just got a letter from the power company that our house uses more electricity than others of our size, and do we want an energy audit.
I know it is the greenhouse, and the biggest energy sucker is the pond heater, so I am hoping someone has an idea for me.
In the winter, the pond water in my greenhouse drops to 50-60 degrees.  Too cold for my tender plants. The pond is 175 gallons, partly underground and partly concrete blocks.
I have tried the following -
1. Running copper piping to my gas furnace, circulating the pond water through it and letting the furnace heat the water.  Made a HUGE mess with condensation and rusted the front of the furnace.
2. Solar heat. Can't heat ENOUGH water to the preferred 70-80 degrees.
3. Tankless water heater. Can't keep the water clean enough and it clogged the lines and burned up the heater.
4. Stock tank heater. Shuts off at too low a temperature.
5. Regular water heater.  Never could find room for it.
6. 300 watt aquarium heater.  Yippee! Works like a charm!  But not very efficient. Just the pond heater costs $20 per month to run.

Is there anything out there that may be more efficient?  Or just call the $20 per month good?

Carolyn

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Using FloraNova Grow for potted trees
« on: May 26, 2020, 06:09:11 PM »
Hi All,
Does anybody use General Hydroponics FloraNova on their potted plants??????

I use it in my aeroponics tower and LOVE it.  It says you can use it for potted plants also.  The GH rep said to only use it four times a year.  The thing that appeals to me about it is that it has all the major, minor and micro nutrients in a liquid formula.
It is fairly expensive, but seems worth it for the convenience.

I am so tired of mixing, dissolving, waiting, shaking, waiting, dissolving, shaking, ad nauseum...

Thanks!
Carolyn


15
Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / WTB Solanum lycocarpum seeds
« on: May 18, 2020, 02:16:31 PM »
Looking to buy Solanum lycocarpum (wolf fruit, wolf apple) seeds.

Thanks!
Carolyn

16
I am getting ready to pot up my baby papayas and need some advice. I have always had mixed results with them and will be experimenting this winter with warming the soil in the pots (in my greenhouse). I have some solo and some cobquecura plants.
My initial questions are -
What pot size?  I read that they will fruit in 3 gallon pots and would love to keep them down to this size if possible.
What soil and acidity do they prefer?  I usually use a very coarse, fast-draining soil in the low 6 to high 5 for pH. 
What is their fertilizer preference?
I am pretty sure that they need lots of water and light in the summer, and less water in the winter to prevent root rot. Or would I keep treating them as if it were "perpetual summer" if I am giving them extra light and bottom heat in the winter?


Thanks!
Carolyn

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Soil heating for potted papayas?
« on: April 27, 2020, 10:55:24 AM »
I always have trouble in the winter with potted papayas in my greenhouse. Although the temps in the greenhouse are in the 60's, the papaya roots want it a lot warmer.
To get a jump on it, I am planning now.

I have several ideas so far -
1. wrap Christmas lights around the pots (difficult to control temp)
2. set the pots on seedling mats (will they provide enough warmth? Pots would be easy to move)
3. put soil warming cables in the pots (will make it difficult to move the pots, since the cable is long so I would hook several pots together)
4. make a heated sand bed using the warming cables and set the pots on it (would it get warm enough?)

Has anyone ever tried any of these? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Carolyn

18
I have some spineless maple leaf chaya cuttings for sale.
5 cuttings, 8-9 inches long each (so they fit in the small FR box) for $10, plus $8.30 Priority Mail postage.
PM me if interested.
Ship to US only.

Thanks!

Carolyn

19
I have some chaya cuttings for sale. Spineless maple leaf variety.
5 cuttings, 8-9 inches long each (so they fit in the small FR box...) for $10, plus $8.30 Priority mail.
Ship to US only.
Please PM me if interested.

Thanks!
Carolyn

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Happy Earth Day!!!
« on: April 22, 2020, 10:01:05 AM »
Happy Earth Day!
My granddaughter got this at school and said I should share it with all my friends!

Carolyn



21
So I must not have fertilized enough last summer, and three of my seven citrus (Bearrs lime, one of my Meyer lemons and a Cara Cara) completely defoliated last winter. They are now blooming, but still no leaves.
What should I do??? Wait for them to flush? Force them somehow? Give up on them?

Thanks!

Carolyn

22
My Spondias dulcis fruits are now about the size of large olives. they are covered with tiny dots of sap.
I have inspected them several times a week with a magnifying glass, and there are no pests.
The plants appear very healthy, no signs of insects.  They are in the greenhouse, so nothing has bitten them then fled.  I scout regularly.

What is causing this?  Is it just transpiration? 

Thanks!
Carolyn

23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Miracle fruit blocks HEAT!?!?!?!?!!!!
« on: January 17, 2020, 04:02:10 PM »
WOW!!!!
I did not realize that miracle fruit blocks HEAT!!!
I was munching on miracle berries in my greenhouse this morning, then went to lunch with my hubby and mom.
Just got done swilling down a huge bowl of very spicy kimchee soup at my favorite Korean place, and it was so sweet and tasty, with NO hint of heat.  Meanwhile, my hubby, who also loves hot things, was sweating up a storm, and my mom was chugging water and breathing through her mouth to cool down.
Came home and tested it by drinking Tabasco. Mildly sweet and smooth!
Chili pepper eating contest, here I come!!!

Carolyn

24
When I was in Australia, I fell in love with "bush pepper".  The nurseries all carried both male and female plants, but I couldn't get them home, so I bought seeds.  Not much luck so far germinating them.
BUT, One Green World in Portland Oregon claims to carry a self-fertile "clone" of drimys lanceolata.
I have emailed them, asking if they have actually seen one of their plants fruit, and whether the flowers are perfect, or male and female flowers on the same plant. Have not gotten a reply so far.
Has anyone here ever heard of a self-fertile drimys lanceolata?

Thanks!
Carolyn

25
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cacao flower, up close and personal
« on: December 25, 2019, 04:20:24 PM »
Santa brought me a USB microscope for Christmas!  Here is the first picture I took, of one of my cacao flowers!



Merry Christmas!

Carolyn

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