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Messages - strom

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pinkglow pinapple
« on: April 02, 2023, 11:32:17 PM »
There's at least one Ralph's in south county OC CA that has these pink glows $6 each.  That's a bit better than the $26 I paid over a couple years ago :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Achacha in California?
« on: March 20, 2023, 08:54:48 AM »
Is there a way to tell the lucs vs achacha seedlings apart?  I errr I mean a friend of mine mixed them up :-[

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Grumichama
« on: November 26, 2022, 09:00:50 AM »
Okay, thank you both!
Yes, J45, these are the ones from you, thanks again :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Grumichama
« on: November 23, 2022, 11:56:42 AM »
Hey, what should I do if I have two 1-year old seedlings per 4" pot of these?  Separate them when I up-pot, or leave them together?

I germinated several grumichama last year, but was out of materials and space, so put two seeds per 4" pot. :p  I plan to up-pot them in a month or two.

Thanks for recommendations!

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: ISO: Pandan plants in San Diego
« on: November 09, 2022, 03:25:59 PM »
I bought a couple small ones from Florida through etsy a few years ago, they were infested with spider mites and almost got to my other plants.  I was able to salvage one, it's been growing very slow in quarantine indoors.  Hopefully time to transplant to a bigger pot soon!

Quick EDIT:  Kaz, appreciate you are trying to help out.

Kaz, I believe most of us were aware there would be potential long time for custom grafts - the very first post in this thread discloses 6-12 months, so if anyone was not aware of this, that really is on them.  FYI, that post was last edited 4/2021 as of my writing this.  I spent a good deal of time reading it carefully last year July-September to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into.

The lack of communication is the worst part of this.  Just as he has faced issues in his life (as he posted in June 2022), others, too, face issues.  I reached out to him multiple times, looking for a resolution to my situation since I cannot take the tree anylonger and am met with silence.  This is completely opposite to how he treated me before the order, when he was responsive despite being so very busy.  Once I paid, that was it.  And it's clear from this thread others are having this issue with him as well.

Also, the custom service page has changed since I made the order; before, there was little to no information, you can see old archive here (it was under construction then):
I made my decision to purchase under the terms and conditions of the first post in this thread.

Hopefully what I've written makes sense, and provides an objective  presentation without emotion.  My goal is not to throw anyone under the bus, make accusations, or draw assumptions.  Rather:  most importantly, to try to find a way to communicate with the seller, and second, let others know what I've experienced so they can make their own decision whether to enter into business with this seller.

For posterity, here's the quote from the first post, it's long I guess but contains sufficient details on this process including the timelines - I tried uploading a PDF of the post so it would be more "official", however, the system converts the first page of the pdf to an image and won't show the remaining pages.  So, hopefully there can be some credibility behind this quote:

You may request a custom cocktail tree on any of the available rootstocks. I am very meticulous and artistic with my grafts and will make sure they are carefully positioned with future growth vigor in mind. Additionally, you might occasionally get photographic updates when an action is taken on a cocktail tree you are waiting for as time and weather permits.  Due to volume of orders, however, I cannot guarantee ongoing photos on demand, but will certainly try when I can.  I have been told I’m the only person making custom multi-grafted trees built to order, so please understand I have received an unexpected number of requests since making this unique service available.

I put a lot of careful planning and effort into grafting your trees with viability, growth and aesthetics all in mind. I am also very careful with keeping clean surfaces.  All tools are washed to prevent cross contamination, and scions and trees being joined together are treated so nothing spreads across surfaces.  I inspect every tree and scion for any trace of diseases, weaknesses, pests and infections.

While a few grafts are more common, placing a dozen or more varieties on a larger rootstock is not out of the question for those wanting extreme diversity in a small space. If you want it, I can make it happen. Just please be respectful of the size of the tree, and if you are leaning toward whether you should upgrade or not, always lean toward the upgrade.

My rate is a flat 15 dollars per single grafting procedure per purchased scion (if you'd seen what I go through with some veneers, you'd ask why I don't charge more    :o ;D ). If you research the costs of single grafted named cultivar trees, then you will truly appreciate the value of my grafting services—especially if you are an avid eBay shopper. Plus, I am housing your cocktail tree, and moving it around constantly for adequate lighting, moisture, treatments and inspections for many months. I must use ample supplies, wear on my tools, personal time and planning, etc. Please be respectful of this modest expectation for my efforts, and imagine the look a barber would give you if you tried to barter with his set rates in the barber shop.  :o  ???  ::)  :blank:

Please allow 6-12 months for me to process custom grafting services from start to finish.  Sometimes, I can have smaller orders ready more quickly if the tree responds well, but trees and scions can be unpredictable.  In addition, if you order a tree requiring a lot of grafts, I must place them on 2-3 at a time in given intervals over the course of weeks or months to not overstress and kill the tree. Very large projects could take longer than 12 months to complete.  Also, prior to shipping custom grafted trees, I provide them 2-3 weeks of low light conditioning, so they do not shock during transit and absciss any branches.

Also, as the 2020 season taught me, unforeseen acts of God, such as hurricanes or extreme heat waves, can cause delays, failures or damages; and while I will do everything in my ability to correct and replace your trees, scions and grafts at no extra charge (as I did after Hurricane Sally devastated us with a direct hit in 2020), I do ask that you are patient during such events and try to avoid asking for updates every few days on a project which takes months.  I ended up with a far larger customer base than anticipated once we transitioned online last year.  I communicate via email, phone, text, PM’s, social media, etc., when time allows; and while I appreciate everyone wanting an update constantly and instantaneously and feel like they are the only customer, the reality is—they are not—please be respectful of that fact.  I work in the healthcare/medical field by day and am “Plant Man” by night and weekends, while managing an occasional family life with my wife and children—so go easy on me—I will very appreciative and thankful if you do.

I do not ship custom grafted trees until I am sure the graft union is certain with 2 or more (non-deceiving) flushes—but can (reluctantly) ship it at any time if you demand it—loquats are resilient after all. If any graft or tree fails while in my care, however, I will replace the scion and redo the graft at no extra charge. So technically, I am including some insurance while trees are in my care.  If you demand the tree sooner (against my advice), however, and the grafts fail due to premature shipping or while within your care, I am not going to take responsibility for that decision.  I will gladly walk you through grafting some scions on it yourself if you are new to the process.

I understand you are trusting me to craft your tree, and you are investing into these projects; but I am also investing my time, skills, efforts, labor and materials for the convenience of making custom tree art possible. That said, please do not demand deadlines, harass, rush, bash or threaten me (my company or ministry), including on social platforms (yes, a few people have done this), when you become impatient with your project. I am very quick to offer a refund when this occurs, and it is of no concern to me, as a long line of others will gladly snatch the tree up in a heartbeat when it is finally ready.

I will always contact you before shipping your trees to make sure your local temps are safe, you are present to receive the package, and your contact and address information is still accurate.  All orders now process through the website, including custom tickets, and tracking information will be generated and automatically sent to your email once the label is printed.

If you want specific grafting styles performed, please specify cleft, wedge, whip and tongue, veneer, etc., otherwise I will simply choose what I feel is best for the size of scion and location on the tree. You can also opt in for approach grafting if you wish to co-join two or more rootstocks. Also, you may request a photo of your selected tree and instruct me precisely how you want it grafted if you want more control over the process.

 I will perform local grafting services and travel to your property and graft to your trees directly provided you are within Baldwin County or at a reasonable distance from the county (preferably less than 2 hours from Gulf Shores, AL—I cannot stand driving long distances!). I do not have a pricing plan for this service, so perhaps you can make an offer to make it worth my time. If you're really serious about it, I believe I can fly (  ;D  ;D ), but you better reach deep and fire up a grill for those ribeyes if you want me traveling to that extent. I suppose anything is possible if you make it worthwhile.  ;)  Traveling grafting services would only be available on weekends.
   •   Customized Cocktail Tree Grafting Service – 30 extra per (up to 3) scion grafting procedures (Single Variety, up to 3 Graftings) – Save money by having a Large scion cut into 2-3 pieces and placed on same tree
   •   Customized Cocktail Tree Grafting Service – 15 extra per scion grafting procedure (Single Variety, 1 Grafting)

Thanks, k-rimes.  That's the phone number I've left multiple voicemails at so far.  Apart from booking a flight to Silverhill Alabama or creating a facebook account, I don't know how else to get his attention - not just me, but the several others on this forum are going through what I am as well after looking over this thread.  His long post in June does not give me confidence he will make things right.

I even left a tip at checkout - their payment system at the time asked for a tip.  :(

Hi there:  I did not want to do this, just like others have stated.  VikingGuy seems to be an active member here and very nice.

I ordered/purchased a custom grafted loquat last september 2021, was told up to 6 month lead time.  Thinking they'd be ready to ship in March, January this year I requested delivery late April due to personal events going on.  No response from them.  Given various reasons outside scope of this attempted complaint, I no longer can have this tree so I attempted to cancel the order and requested a refund in August this year (nearly a year after the order).  Several emails (8/8, 8/16, 8/22), PMs (8/16, 8/22), and voicemails (8/16, 8/22), with no return communication on part of AKME gardens.

My credit card company unfortunately won't open a claim as they only go back 60 days.

The guy was super nice on the phone and emails when I was looking to place the order last year.  He admitted to slow response subsequent to being super busy, but he still made every effort to try to help me out, so I was comfortable and placed the order.  But now, there have been no responses whatsoever.  I am not sure what to think - I don't like jumping to conclusions given his past reputation, but now I'm out a lot of money and would not recommend this person/company to anyone on this forum.  This would be the first time in 20 years I've "been had" purchasing something on the internet.

Does anyone here have ideas what else I can do to get my money back, or at minimum get return communication from AKME gardens to help resolve this issue?

Hey: if I remember correctly, these melons aren't actually supposed to be very sweet, it's more about the complex flavor and aroma, and, you can assist the flavor by adding a little sugar to it.  My intention here is not to trigger some members into a discussion of why or why you don't do that.. I know that whole concept of adding such seasonings will be controversial, I am simply relaying what the guy suggested. 

J45: if you have any left, or if you do try to grow them again next year, and have similar results, try adding a little sugar or salt, I'm really curious.  It's cool you got fruit without netting!  Some of mine last year were super mealy.  Here's my thread from last year for comparison:

I will try growing them again next year for laughs.  I didn't have the room for them this year.  Family has a couple growing and they will be ripe in a couple weeks, but, they are very small and have been neglected.

PS: Sometimes I salt mangoes and watermelon, or salt and/or sugar tomato sauce.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapple thread
« on: July 29, 2022, 02:15:53 PM »
Coco coir is not soil, it's a medium. It is problematic especially for calcium and magnesium as it doesn't hold these very well.
I wasn't aware it can't hold certain nutrients well, that could be an explanation for some issues I had a couple years ago!  Thanks for that :)
Spaugh and other state pineapples will grow in just about anything.. and I do believe them.  For the record, I'm not trying to find the best possible mix, medium, soil, whatever, just figuring stuff out and learning along the way.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapple thread
« on: July 29, 2022, 11:13:16 AM »
Okay, thanks.  It wouldn't be straight coco coir, mixed with perlite and bark, which I think helps drain better (something like gardener's ground cover bark, or orchid fine bark, or kellogg garden soil / recycled forest products, whichever is on sale).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapple thread
« on: July 29, 2022, 10:33:08 AM »
Thank you all three.  I will first try re-wetting the medium, it'll take a while since I have a dozen plants.  I did it all this way because it's what I had on hand at the time and this brand bag look nice on my patio, and the peat mix was all left over from my tomatoes.

These bags are super high quality, which makes the error a bummer, doesn't work in my situation.  I wonder if using coconut coir would've been better than peat moss base.. other than the hassle of checking salt content and then determining whether to rinse, from what I've read coconut coir absorbs water and is not hydrophobic like dry peat.

If re-wetting turns out to be problematic, I'll repot.. maybe wait for winter when they slow down,

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapple thread
« on: July 28, 2022, 11:55:43 AM »
My part of so cal had an unusually sunny June, but the gloom caught up and last three weeks have been overcast just about daily.  I think the pineapple plants are responding well cosmetically, they've greened up a bit and look overall healthier than they did last month.  That said, I went a bit too long in watering them this week and the mix I use (peat, bark, perlite) has dried out because I'm getting awful channeling now.  I don't think I'll do air-pruning pots without automated watering again.**

How do you all rehydrate peat-based mixes without taking the plants out of the pot?

**I bought a bunch of 5-10 gallon rainscience grow bags a couple years ago on a 4/20 deal for my peppers and tomatoes, then when I was upotting my pineapples last year, I had the grow bags handy and decided to try them; biggest drawback is that they dry out super quick, I've seen no evidence that they are better than regular pots for everything else.  Despite this, they are super high quality, will last a long time, and clean up nicely in the washing machine.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Passion Fruit problems in San Diego
« on: June 29, 2022, 06:09:04 PM »
Random question on topic of passion fruit: does the plant drop foliage wintertime in southern california, or remain green year round?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: toxicity cherimoya seeds?
« on: May 15, 2022, 02:25:47 PM »
Oh, that's a relief, thank you all :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / toxicity cherimoya seeds?
« on: May 15, 2022, 01:00:48 PM »
I know cherimoya seeds aren't supposed to be consumed. I accidentally just swallowed a small one (this particular fruit had so many seeds in it).  Should I call poison control, induce vomiting, or think one is okay?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapple thread
« on: May 12, 2022, 11:23:59 AM »
Oh.. I went back to watch a video of the KSL farm and see the red leaves now.  I guess I remembered them wrong.  Holy cow those plants got huge out there!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapple thread
« on: May 11, 2022, 10:31:32 PM »
Im ditching the cheese pines and only growing the puan and white sugarloafs now.  The cheese has issues in our weather and the fruits tend to snap off when ripe so be sure to stake it.  The sugarloaf and pauns are winners though.
Okay, good to know.  I'm curious why the KSL remain green in hawaii and not here?  Wouldn't the tropical sun there be more intense?

Hopefully at least one will fruit next year :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapple thread
« on: May 10, 2022, 01:18:08 PM »
Ah okay, I'll leave them alone then, my shady places are pretty much just shade.  :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapple thread
« on: May 10, 2022, 11:20:09 AM »
Are mine looking all right?  All six kauai sugarloaf plants are very red - I read this is either a nutrient deficiency, or intense sun.  I think it's the latter, as they are on my balcony patio right next to window "railing", south-east facing.  Cheese pine also looks odd.. leaves are yellow-brown, not green, and the puan is a mix of the two?  Nights have been cold here in south orange county, 1 mile from ocean.

I try to give 1/2tsp per gallon water dynagro foliage pro once a month, and sometimes if I remember, fish emulsion with a tiny amount of iron between the dynagro.  Too much?  Too little?  All are about a year old.  My grocery store ones are green, look similar size.

Oh no what have I done.  ;D

Best compromise would be mango and pepperoni pizza.




PM sent just fyi.

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