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Messages - Galatians522

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Garlic
« on: September 21, 2023, 11:15:03 PM »
My only garlic plant flowered and turn to black seeds.  What you guys think of growing them from seeds?

Go for it. Garlic greens can be eaten lile chives, so you will get something to eat out of it for sure.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Burying Avocado beneath the graft
« on: September 21, 2023, 06:16:33 PM »
Your idea sounds plausible. I read a description once explaining a method of propagating dwarf avocado rootstock. The desired rootstock variety was grafted onto a seedling and a metal ring was slipped over the graft at the time of grafting so that it would girdle the seedling rootstock and force the scion to root. The process obviously required that the graft be burried below the soil line.

On that note of girdling, do you think it would be best to "scar" above the graft union where the new scion has grown, so when that scar is planted underground, that new roots form from there?  So sort of like air layering, except instead of doing it the normal air layer way, I just bury the scar underground so that's where new roots begin?

For a girdle to really force rooting, you have to girdle all the way around. Simply wounding does not work in most species unless they also ground layer (like mudcadine grapes). The etoliation article Drymifolia posted looks more reliable. One of the keys that I noted in the article was that the shoots must be in the new growth stage when they are buried to etoliate. Otherwise, the cells won't be able to "switch gears" and start forming roots. Looks like your best option would be to cut it back and bury in perlite as soon as new shoots start forming. Then girdle and allow to root.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Burying Avocado beneath the graft
« on: September 20, 2023, 10:48:13 PM »
Your idea sounds plausible. I read a description once explaining a method of propagating dwarf avocado rootstock. The desired rootstock variety was grafted onto a seedling and a metal ring was slipped over the graft at the time of grafting so that it would girdle the seedling rootstock and force the scion to root. The process obviously required that the graft be burried below the soil line.

Well, at least you got it! Its interesting to see that it did indeed set fruit over the summer.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Straw for winter protection
« on: September 17, 2023, 11:28:32 PM »
Well, it wasn't for citrus, but we did build a strawbale "structure" that we roofed with bull panels and plastic to protect lychee layers from the cold one year. I was a kid at the time. It must not have been cost effective, because we never did it again. However, the trees made it through the cold just fine with no heater in there.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Andean Walnut
« on: September 17, 2023, 11:09:32 PM »
I bought one kilo of seed. It turns out that is equivalent to only 35 seeds. I sacrificed two of them today for research purposes. I dissected them by hitting them with a hammer.

The woody endocarp measures mostly 4-6mm thick, yet tapers to as little as 2mm near the pointed end. It is up to 9-10mm thick at the opposite end.
The seed coat itself is also fairly thick, measuring 0.5 - 1mm. Also the seed seems to be an unusual shape with different chambers.

I'm thinking this is part of the reason why the species is endangered. It's hard for me to see how this could be commercially viable. Using a hammer, the seed was very difficult to extract without breaking into many small pieces. Even small fragments were difficult to extract from their chamber. Perhaps there is some specially designed tool specific to this species. Development of such a tool could help with conservation, since the species is mostly exploited locally for timber, and it doesn't sound like there are too many people planting trees, because they are one of the slower-growing timber species of the most commonly cultivated timber species of eastern Peru.

The seeds were delicious. Perhaps slightly better than the commercial walnut.

I started using the bench grinder on some seeds, but realized it was too tedious, so abandoned that idea. I only grinded 6 seeds (enough for two pots) so I will get to use these six as an experiment to see how they compare with the others, which I will not be sanding/grinding. For whatever reason it dulled the stone on my bench grinder, which is now smooth instead of a rough surface.

I've also decided to do the three day soak for all seeds as recommended by the Chanchamayo forestry publication I downloaded.

Of the six seeds I grinded, I took off maybe only a couple millimeters of endocarp on each seed. I'm not expecting much difference in germination times to be honest. I figure given ample organic matter, the endocarps and seed coats will undergo their process of decomposition at relatively the same rate.

Since the seed coats themselves are so thick, I suppose it's possible to separate the seeds from the endocarp and plant them without any endocarp, but I really don't have the knowledge to know how to separate the seed. Like I said, the shape of the seed looks a little weird and I don't see how I would extract it without breaking it in the process.

Looks like a Black Walnut that got crossed with a mockernut hickory. Please let us know how it goes.

Sweetcrisp, Springwide, and Springhigh are the ones I'm looking for.

I know from other posts you have made that fruit quality is very important to you. I don't think you would be thrilled with the berry quality of Spring Wide--unless you just want an average grocery store level fruit. That being said, it might be worth having for added polination. I have never grown the other two. Spring High had a higher chill requirement and Sweetcrisp had not been developed yet as I recall. However, a guy who still has a U-pick can't keep the Sweetcrisp on the bushes. They are the first ones sold each year.

I tried growing some Jewels a couple of years ago in a raised bed filled with a mixture of topsoil and pine bark, which is supposed to provide the acidic spil blueberries like. They grew for a few months, produced a few berries, then declined, turned brown and died one by one. At a total loss as to what happened but I give up on any further attempts. Additionally, what berries they produced were snatched by birds just as they ripened. How can you grow berries when the birds swipe them?

If I wanted to grow some again just for my family, I would buy small cheap plants like in the link I posted and spend the savings on bird netting. You can cover 10 plants pretty easily. Ph should not have been much of an issue in most Florida soils north of Lake Okechobee. Phytophera root rot is the biggest problem and we lost many bushes to that disease. Blueberries are all grown own root from cuttings, but I would seriously consider grafting to Sparkleberry (Vaccinum arboreum) since it is an incredibly tough and adaptable rootstock. UF has done some studies and the two are compatible.

Sharpeblue is the original southern highbush and it is still one of my favorites for flavor and ease of growth. The main knock against it commercially is that the berries can scar when picked, so they don't hold as long as some others in storage. It also ripened a little later than some of the ones that came after it. Harttman's was one of the few places we used to buy plants that also sells retail.

Jewel is another good one. Berries are a little larger and more uniform but just a touch more tart. Windsor had huge berries, but the bush was a little more finicky. Gulf Coast was a very tough plant--developed by USDA instead of IFAS the berries were not quite as tasty as Sharpeblue, but they were good enough. Emerald is large and poor flavored in my opinion. Spring wide was a little better, but still not my favorite. Misty is disease prone. Saphire was also disease prone, but the berries were nice. Paloma was small. Star never got enough chill. Rabbit eye varieties were not very productive for us, but we never tried many because the season was wrong. There are a bunch of others that I never tried because we got out of the business. Of those, I hear that other people think highly of the flavor of Sweetcrisp. I have no idea how disease resistant it is. All southern highbush varieties can grow indefinitely in a 25 gallon pot or 1/2 a 55 gal plastic drum with holes drilled for drainage. Prune after harveat in May. Fertilize with Monopotassium Phosphate and 20-20-20. A fungicide spray every now and then is helpful.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Andean Walnut
« on: September 15, 2023, 11:19:13 PM »
There is probably lots of research out there on how to germinate black walnut. Nice find, by the way!

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Picking my first Xie Shans
« on: September 14, 2023, 06:03:02 PM »

Does this not getting orange color in warm climates apply to other citrus or just satsumas? I have other types and wondering if I should do the same.

On a related note, do citrus need heat or cool to sweeten the fruit? I keep reading conflicting information.

Thanks again!

Citrus peels change color due to the loss of chlorophyll in the peel from cool weather (just like fall leaves up north). I believe you will only have an issue with your early season fruit not turning color. The mid and late season varieties should get enough cold to turn color. Valencias will go from green to orange and then back to green (around June if they make it that long) as chlorophyll comes back into the peel.

As to your other question, it is my understanding that warm weather durring ripening increases sugars while cool weather increases acids (flavor). Its the balance between the two that make the fruit taste good. Some fruits naturally have high sugars and others have high acids. That is why some varieties taste better when grown in California and others taste better when grown in Florida. That being said, a lot of old Crackers say that cool weather makes the fruit sweeter. I wonder if this is just the natural result of the ripening process or if there is an effect from the dry weather that comes with the winter months concentrating the sugars that are already in the fruit. I'm sure that made things crystal clear for you.  ::) lol!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 13, 2023, 11:56:42 PM »
Jaboticaba45, I just assumed that all the leafless trees I saw early in this thread from the group buy were naturally deciduous. I guess they were hand stripped to defoliate them prior to shipping? I have not gotten to grow one yet, but I do have a large cerifera in my back yard. I was hoping for better news regarding compatibility. ;D

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 13, 2023, 11:19:18 PM »
Eastern Fox Squirrel eating my Beaumont Macadamia Nuts. Not native to California they have become quite agressive in eating fruit and nuts  in this area.

Take them out if you can. Traps exct. These are Rodents. Kill them.


Eastern Fox Squirrel (8-19-2023)

Wow, looks nothing like a Florida Fox Squirrel. Ours get huge and are sometimes mistaken for monkies  by unsuspecting northerners. They are not very common. Our subspecies has a really dark almost black head.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 13, 2023, 10:54:14 PM »
I have read that it is sometimes helpful to leave a branch of the rootstock in marginally compatible grafts (such as wampee on citrus). Apparently, this helps feed the roots when nutrients aren't properly transfered through a marginally compatible graft union. Since M. California is an evergreen and M. Rubra is deciduous this practice might be even more helpful since its likely that the roots will need to be fed even when the top wants to go dormant. Based on the comments on this thread, it sounds like most of the problems start after completely removing the last rootstock branches.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 11, 2023, 08:29:15 AM »
Guess they didn't read The Little Red Hen as a kid.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 09, 2023, 08:09:57 PM »
“He" that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone''

Well, we heard from Karl Marx earlier in this thread and now from Jesus. Human nature being what it is, I am fairly certain that everyone who ever stole from me thought they needed it more than I did (whether it was actually true or not). Its interesting to me that the line in Hebrew culture was drawn based on the use of a container: a person was free to eat on the spot if they were hungry and in need. If they carried it off the property in a container, it was considered theft. So, if I look out my window and see a guy who looks like he is on hard times eating out of my yard, I am going to go out and offer what assistance I can. If a guy in an Audi pulls up and starts hauling my produce off in buckets...I'm calling in the cops.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Tomatoes in FL
« on: September 04, 2023, 11:25:13 PM »
Variety selection is very important here in Florida. Growing something like a Brandywine is going to be difficult because it is not very disese resistant. It could be done if you sprayed fungicide every week, but few people want to do that. Most little tomatoes like Grape, Cherry, and Campari work well as long as you spray with BT (for caterpillars) every once in a while. I like the multi color grape and cherry types especially. The larger slicing tomatoes are a little harder. However, I had good success with Homestead last year. The only knock I have against it is that it is determinate (I prefer indeterminate tomatoes that keep producing over time). Also, keep in mind that big tomatoes require lots of calcium to keep them from getting blossom end rot.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Lychee harvest
« on: September 03, 2023, 11:13:43 PM »
Nice looking tree, that's a lot of fruits for a 5 year old after planting. Is the seeds small (chicken tongue) or mostly small? I remember Simon saying Leo's tree had mostly small seeds.

That is a great ratio of chicken tongue seeds for Brewster! One year we had a Brewster tree that had all abortive seeds--the next year they were back to normal. Never figured out why. Also, as we got more varieties coming into bloom and had more cross pollination we had better fruit set but fewer abortive seeds.

Have you tried investigating the accession number. Ficus 52406 might have other records, like introduction information.

I have tried quite a few Australian Rainforest Figs, this doesn't really ring a bell.
If it was that good, it might be better known.

I did look at any information attached to the assession number. There was very little, just the introduction info in the PDF in one of the links I posted above. Are any of the Australian figs worth growing for their fruit in your opinion?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sea grape/ coccoloba uvifera
« on: September 03, 2023, 01:18:23 PM »
I had some in the Keys in September several years back. They were right on the water and had a little salt spray dried onthe fruits. They reminded me of some kind of BBQ sauce. Sweet, savory, a little acid and fairly potent.

"A large clean tree with fruit of fine delicate sweet flavor and size of a black Smyrna fig, only more rounded and dark crimson when ripe."

Interesting that this doesn't clearly ring bells.
Cluster Fig sounds pretty close by size and colour. Flavour is OK too.
Sandpaper Fig seem closer to domestic figs, but I have never seen red fruit, and they are smaller fruited than carica.
Going by the above description, you could eliminate a good 35 to 40 of the 45 Australian Ficus.
That leaves the most likely candidates for you to experiment with.

Suposedly it is a variety of cluster fig that is more compatible with common fig. However, it is different enough from the typical cluster fig that it took close to 70 years to get that ID. So, maybe its a sub-species?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Lychee harvest
« on: September 02, 2023, 07:50:37 PM »
Very nice! You are about 6 weeks behind Florida. I believe Simon said that Leo had a Brewster. They have sharp protrubences even in Florida.

 Interesting stuff. I have never spent much time on that forum.

 Thanks for the insight. I won't go into too much detail, but I thought that might be the case. However, some sources say that the incompatibility arose because the evergreen roots starved when the scion went dormant. This could very possibly be solved by leaving a "nurse branch" on the rootstock to keep it alive when the top is dormant. It also stands to reason that the more graft compatible cultivars of racemosa would be the best place to start hybridization attempts. Ultimately, I think the permanent solution to the root knot issue will be a hybrid ficus. In the mean time I think this rootstock has lots of promise. Since the grafted trees were reported to have produced as many as 100 figs in the first year, the grafted plants could be produced annually or maintained with nurse branches to prevent the roots from dying off. It is very interesting to me that there are some reports on this thread that trees can live for several seasons (with dwarfed growth) on oppositifolia. That fig is reported to be semi-deciduous in its native environment due to droughts.

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