Author Topic: Florida Natural Farming?  (Read 4712 times)

Timbogrow

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2023, 05:42:23 PM »
I personally like the view he has about the chemical cartels. I
Wish i had some cattle and another 3 acres for them to graze. It's a touchy subject when all that goes into our water supply and out to the ocean where you can test fish positive for heart medication used in humans. It's a temporary solution to a long term problem.
I attached a pic of how I cope with sri lanken Weavil to try n lighten the thread up a bit and get some laughs.


JCorte

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2023, 05:43:37 PM »
Satya,

I hope you will reconsider and start posting in the discussion forum again.  I would really be interested in hearing about how you are developing your new property in Costa Rica.  Your experience, insights, and results contribute to inspiring others to grow food and cultivate beauty.

I'm working on organizing my photos and thoughts for a post on my farm.  This thread is making me question how it will be received, but I guess I'll just have to write it and see.  In the end, I don't really need anyone's approval or validation, but I am open to learning from the experience of other growers.

Janet

SHV

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2023, 06:35:52 PM »
Janet - I hope you do post more photos and updates from your farm.  We benefit from all of the experienced and inexperienced growers that post on both their successes and failures.  On one of your posts, you mentioned digging out a water collection area on your farm.  I loved that idea and it inspired me to replicate it this winter by damming up a dry creak bed that flows through the lower part of my property during heavy rains.  I captured a 3 foot deep, 1000 sq ft bed of water that lasted for nearly a month and helped recharge a lot of the shallow aquifers that I previously drained from my wells.  I even had wild ducks swimming around for a couple days!  That was my winter highlight.  :D
Don't let the small minority of closed-minded posters dissuade you from sharing. They may have the loudest voice, but there are many more who lurk for information and much more in future years that read these posts and make their own opinions.  Hell, I lurked on this site for several years before creating an account.  I don't agree with some of the biodynamic approaches to farming and much of it is impractical in southern CA without a reliable water source and lots and lots of time.  Nevertheless, there are components of it that I can apply to my farm and trial for myself.    I hope to share video clips from my farm one of these days, whenever I decide to take the initiative and record.  At the very least, I should do it for insurance purposes. 


JCorte

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2023, 02:31:12 PM »
SHV, awesome to hear about your success with harvesting rain water.  That would be great to see videos of your farm.  I agree, that some practices that are successful in other places may not work in SoCal. 

I've watched a lot of videos and read lots of books and blogs where the grower states that you can grow abundant food with zero irrigation or that a certain plant doesn't ever need to be watered.  I often look up the climate data and average monthly rainfall totals where they are growing, to see how applicable their advice will be for me.  I don't think most people realize that we get zero rain from late spring until fall and that we can go for periods of time with less that 6 inches of rain in an entire year. 

I believe there's a lot of room for improvement in how we steward the land and make better use of precious rainwater.  The more that we share our experiences and trials of what works and doesn't, the greater the possibilities of creating regenerative systems. 

I've also been working on selecting and breeding for plants that are better adapted to my growing conditions.  I think this is also an important aspect of natural farming.

Janet

dolomis

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2023, 03:55:18 PM »
Well the atmosephere in here definitely got a lot brighter with the last few posts!  ;D

That is an amazing short story from you there SHV. I myself am cultivating 6 acres and i just love these stories of property developent. The information and the inspiration delivered is amazing and we all need that.

looking forward to see what you and Janet have to share of your accomplishments and struggles.

I recommend you check out Shaun Overton's journey in texas right no and see ho he is restoring forest in the desert, the biodiversity, and the watershed over at Dustups on youtube.

Chris

fliptop

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2023, 08:05:16 PM »
When I moved to my current location, there were six trees on my 0.67a lot. There was a Cabbage Palm, two Laurel Oaks, two Queen Palms, and a Bauhinia (Hong Kong Orchid tree). One Oak was struck by lightning and died, and one Queen Palm snapped in half during Ian. I'm slowly trying to kill the Bauhinia.

At last count, amongst all the fruit and "ornamental" stuff I've planted, I've planted 30 types of native trees and shrubs, as well as some native flowers. So far, everything, once established, has not required any watering, which is great, because my only means of watering is a hose, but mostly me wandering around with a watering can. I collect whatever rain water I can, and that mostly gets used on my out-of-control potted plant collection.

I have no idea what it's like to run a farm, but from what I've noticed, stuff in my yard doesn't need much/any input to grow and fruit. I've done pretty much nothing since post-Ian cleanup, and I had a great Mango, Papaya, and Suriname Cherry season, and presently my Barbados Cherries, Calamondin, Natal Plums, and Papayas are loaded with fruit. Hoping for no freezes (but temps low enough to put the Sri Lankan Weevil population in check), and I'll be anticipating an even better Mango Season.



Timbogrow, thanks for the suggestion in dealing with Sri Lankan Weevils😂. I've just been dropping them into a cup of soapy water. This is from my first night of "collecting":



Here's to growing naturally in FLA!

JCorte

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2023, 08:25:55 PM »
Fliptop, it's great that you can grow such abundance without much effort or irrigation.  It's a wonder why everyone wouldn't be doing the same in your location or under similar conditions.

Can it really be that easy?  I must be doing something wrong. ;) 

How much rain do you usually get in a year?

Janet
« Last Edit: November 01, 2023, 08:54:07 PM by JCorte »

Timbogrow

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2023, 09:16:18 AM »
Nice work fliptop! I really despise those weevils. Everything you like they like more. That one paid the ultimate price 😆....there just hanging out all over my dragonfruit but it's the only plant they can't eat the foliage on. I could only imagine how many larvae are in the soil eating the roots. I tried to get ahold of the guy that has the beneficial nematodes to eat the larvae but I gave up after a couple emails and no reply, bummer. Supposedly you can just inject them into your dripline and they remain in the soil until the weevil larvae are consumed.
As far as rain in southwest florida, my region is considered a tropical Savanah. Last winter was really dry, this summer was extremely dry and the start of El Nino winter has been really dry here. I don't remember it being so dry in all my 39years living here. Usually summer is 1-2 or more storms every day. Seems if I want to actually know the amount of rain I'll need to do it myself. Typical of modern scociety. I could count on 2 hands the amount of times it rained in the past year on my property unfortunately.


fliptop

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2023, 04:04:46 PM »
Janet, yes, for some things, a lot of things, it's as easy as "set it and forget it". Other things, like bananas, need more than I give, though I still have gotten a couple different types to produce. I'll get better with spreading the compost around now that my compost bins are at work. Was talking to a forum member about fish emulsion, and I may experiment with that too, just to see what happens. I'm not a farmer, just someone obsessed with gardening with a penchant for fruit.

Now, my chickens do have free range of the yard for around 3 to 4 hours a day, so I'm sure they are "contributing" to the yard😂 They are great pest control, and when they can reach the Sri Lankan Weevils, they devour them. They also dig around the base of trees the Sri Lankan Weevils prefer, making me think they are going after the larvae? Here they are digging at the base of one of my Silk Floss trees:



I don't know why so many people don't plant trees or manage yards naturally, as I haven't asked all of them. Sadly, the ones I have asked said no to fruit trees because of rats, it's easier to just mow the grass without trees in the way, and I'm sure the ones that use chemicals do so because they think it's easier, more effective, etc. Plus it seems the Big Box stores make that type of gardening more "convenient" for the casual gardener?

I don't want people here thinking all Floridians, especially those on this forum, are anti-natural gardening. I really hope you post what you're doing at your place, as those posts tend to be most inspirational for me. I've probably read all of the "Growing Mangos in Southern California" thread, even though it's something I will probably never do🤣


fliptop

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2023, 04:09:04 PM »
Oh, regarding rain, I'm not sure? Looking it up on the interwebs, I believe the "average" here is 52" a year? All I know is the local news has been pointing out we're in a drought and have been for quite a while. Per timbogrow's map, I'm "humid subtropical" . . .
« Last Edit: November 02, 2023, 04:11:38 PM by fliptop »

Satya

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2023, 10:24:09 PM »
Satya,

I hope you will reconsider and start posting in the discussion forum again.  I would really be interested in hearing about how you are developing your new property in Costa Rica.  Your experience, insights, and results contribute to inspiring others to grow food and cultivate beauty.

I'm working on organizing my photos and thoughts for a post on my farm.  This thread is making me question how it will be received, but I guess I'll just have to write it and see.  In the end, I don't really need anyone's approval or validation, but I am open to learning from the experience of other growers.

Janet


Janet, thank you again for your kind words. I really don’t want to rub it in but our experience in Costa Rica would probably not be helpful as we have an unlimited supply of water both from springs (water association keeps its tank on our land and gives us unlimited unmetered access for a small yearly maintenance fee) and a water concession from the river on our property. Rainfall was very nice this rainy season which is coming to an end now, but summers are usually dry here, so we will probably need to irrigate veggie gardens and newly planted trees.


Soil is very fertile acidic and full of worms, and we haven’t even done any applications. The biggest problem is cow grass, as the area has been deforested and turned into pasture about 50 years ago. It's very aggressive and needs lots of elbow grease to remove.


Luckily, cow herders didn’t spend money on fertilizers or weed killers so we are chemical-free, and because it’s steep hilly, there are no DelMonte or Chiquita plantations around that our farmer friends in the valley are facing, with all their poisons. The biggest problem here seems to be high winds (we are at 1000m elevation), so the challenge for us in comparison with lowlands is to plant seeds directly into soil - that doesn’t work and we have to keep trees in pots until they’re strong enough to withstand winds, which is about 5ft tall/5g pot.


Shadehouse plants are very happy so far, without any fertilizers or irrigation, just on rainwater and lots of worms that were thrown into pots so worm castings for fertilizer basically, and even rare and finicky plants don’t show any deficiencies. Jaboticabas flush non-stop here!
As soon as we protected trees with shadecloth from the wind and burning sun, they perked up and greened up (after being in the open in our previous rental). Interesting thing a local farmer shared with us, native South and Central American trees do well without shade protection, but Asian fruit trees need shade for the first year of life, even the ones that are considered full sun trees and fruit only in full sun.
We also noticed that air layers take much faster here than in FL.


We are very lucky to have both wet and dry areas (up and down the hills), so we can plant both California-climate and Florida-climate plants, so we are super excited about annonas, white sapotes and mangoes and all the tropicals like monsteras, philodendrons and anthuriums, orchids and other pretty ornamentals, but also many cacti, yuccas and agaves. Local mangoes here on the farm are very sweet and abundant, so hopefully new varieties also perform at their best and not get the usual Florida problems, since they will have so much wind and aeration.


Another problem that we inherited from cow herders is landslides, but we’re working on the eroded slopes using vetiver grass (it has massive root system but is non-invasive clumping and doesn't bloom so no seeds), here in CR it’s very popular and widely used for erosion control.


As for insects, there is a new pest that we never had in FL - leaf cutter ants that can defoliate a mature tree in a day, and that has to be controlled somehow because we have seen lots of them on the farm. They “trimmed” an old mango tree fully, leaving no leaves at all… Yet to discover a natural control for them, many people recommend different anecdotal controls but others say they don’t work...


All in all, much fewer challenges here for growing anything, from potatoes & tomatoes to durians & mangosteens, so we are very hopeful and looking forward to our new fruit adventures.



JCorte

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2023, 11:20:36 PM »
Fliptop,  I'm sure I would love your garden it sounds awesome.

Satya, your property sounds like paradise!  Even if your practices aren't applicable in my growing conditions, for me it's inspiring to see beautiful places and I love to see how fruit and food is grown all over the world.  I've planted vetiver grass to stabilize the hillsides on our properties, so we have at least one thing in common. ;)

Whether it's a patio or deck container garden, veggie beds, people's yards, greenhouse plantings, farms, etc., I really do love seeing it all and hearing about what people's favorite plants are.  I find the desert beautiful, too.

I think my main point is by sharing, we learn and inspire each other to keep growing and to try new foods and fruits and create beautiful spaces wherever we are.

Janet

Bush2Beach

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2023, 12:27:27 PM »
I totally agree Janet. Thanks for painting the picture Satya, the farm sounds like a great place to be.

roblack

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2023, 12:44:19 PM »
Well said Janet!

I would love to see pics and vids of your new spot Satya, and hear more about what you are doing. I don't have any hills here, but am a mound builder =)

Would like to see more pics from everyone's garden, and hear more about different methods people are using. In our yard, we are as "organic" as possible, and would like to learn more about biodynamic approaches. Having said that, I also use good old Miracle Grow cactus soil mix, because it works best with some plants and I don't have a better alternative.

Dry farming, as Froggie appears to pull of quite well, is another interesting topic. As our yard is, would have been left with more dead plants after the summer we had. But to think the soil can be built up in a manner to never have to water sounds worth investigation. Even if such methods aren't ideal for all locations, just reducing the need could make a big difference.

...but then again, one of my favorite things to do in the garden is, water the plants.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2023, 12:46:17 PM by roblack »

K-Rimes

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2023, 08:00:39 PM »
Satya, the farm sounds like a great place to be.

+1, that place sounds epic. Hope you'll allow visitors!

Timbogrow

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2023, 08:47:09 PM »
Those leaf cutter ants sound quite frustrating. Oddly enough they too like farming  fungi like Mr. Froggy so they may not be as bad as I initially thought, unless they kill the trees. Maybe an experiment to find out what they prefer to use and plant some for the ants to use so they can build a fungal colony for you around the farm. I'm excited to hear/see more.
The couple times I went to Costa Rica back in the 90s chasing waves it was epic! Wish I was in the fruit craze back then. Monte Verde cloud forest was amazing, the quatzul flew right over us but the people in front saw it and we missed it..... I wonder if Pablo's is still around? Used to have a sign that said "Burgers as big as you f%#*ing head" lol.... what an advertising genius 👏 👌 Just be on the lookout for scorpions in your damp clothes, dang things sting hard!

bryan

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2023, 01:51:51 PM »
Those leaf cutter ants sound quite frustrating. Oddly enough they too like farming  fungi like Mr. Froggy so they may not be as bad as I initially thought, unless they kill the trees. Maybe an experiment to find out what they prefer to use and plant some for the ants to use so they can build a fungal colony for you around the farm. I'm excited to hear/see more.
The couple times I went to Costa Rica back in the 90s chasing waves it was epic! Wish I was in the fruit craze back then. Monte Verde cloud forest was amazing, the quatzul flew right over us but the people in front saw it and we missed it..... I wonder if Pablo's is still around? Used to have a sign that said "Burgers as big as you f%#*ing head" lol.... what an advertising genius 👏 👌 Just be on the lookout for scorpions in your damp clothes, dang things sting hard!

I stayed with a family in Costa Rica for a month that grew a range of tropical fruit and quested why they didn't grow passionfruit. They said that in one night an entire vine could be wiped out by leaf cutter ants, crazy.

Epiphyte

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2023, 12:02:32 PM »
diversity and productivity sitting in a tree

****************************

when i was a kid i would religiously read the peanuts comic strip. lucy would often offer to balance a football so that charlie brown could kick it. each time, at the very last second, she would pull it away and he would fall flat on his back.

fnf has several large inga trees and each time he says that they are going to finally fruit, but every time, at the very last minute, they trick him. it’s a bit entertaining and endearing.

i don’t think that i’ve ever heard fnf mention that fruit trees near the ingas grow extra fast, which is interesting because check this out…



the cacao on the left isn’t growing anywhere near any ingas, while the cacao on the right is growing in an inga alley. fake news? the slide is from this video on inga alley cropping, which i only recently learned about thanks to the wikipedia article on mycorrhiza. here’s the wikipedia article on inga alley cropping.

naturally i was quite curious if it has ever been discussed here on tff, and it has been, albeit briefly…about the inga genus. in that 2017 thread there were only 4 participants, one of which was pineislander. he was there. where were we? not there.

one time, nearly a decade ago, at an orchid show i started talking with a random guy. he mentioned something about the orchidboard, and i told him that i was on there as well. i asked him what his username was. when he said what it was, i realized that he was the guy on there who told me to go f myself because he thought my views on orchid conservation were heretical.

flauro01, hint matthew 5:38? nope, i didn't turn my other cheek, i quickly lost all interest in talking with the guy and exited stage left. if i had been a little forgiving then i'm sure that i would have learned some useful stuff from him.

i only made 1 comment on fnf's videos, and he deleted it. in his video he said something about being overwhelmed trying to do everything on his own, so i commented that i’ve met a lot of young and enthusiastic plant people via my local facebook plant group who have been more than willing to lend a hand in my garden. my comment wasn't even vaguely negative or critical, so the fact he deleted it was very off-putting. fortunately, in this case, being so much older and wiser (hah) i just barely managed to turn the cheek and i continued to watch his videos, and i’ve learned useful stuff from them.

sure, it would greatly help fnf's cause if he was more like fff planting garcinias together with an enthusiastic young person, but that's just not who he is. just like most of us don't regularly video document our garden efforts, endeavors and experiments. we all have room for improvement.

in my book, fnf's shortcomings are eclipsed by his crazy cool achievement of growing such a wide variety of crazy cool plants without any irrigation. so it's awesome to see him back on this forum again. if we can all try to turn the cheek, then there's lots of useful stuff that we can learn from each other, such as whether ingas actually do help nearby fruit trees grow faster, via mycorrhizae.

in the wikipedia entry on mycorrhizae there’s a section on orchids. orchids are unique in that their seeds do not contain the energy that they need to germinate (exceptions to the rule). on the one hand, this allows the incredibly small seeds to travel considerable distances on the wind, but on the other hand, the only way that they can germinate is if they get lucky enough to land on a spot where they will be penetrated by a suitable mycorrhizae. the orchid seed will take the energy it needs to germinate from the fungus, but it doesn't kill it. the fungus takes up residence in the roots of the seedling. if the orchid seedling is growing on a tree (epiphyte!), then as its roots grow longer and more numerous, this will help the fungus colonize the tree and more of its spores will spread to other trees, which will help to germinate the orchid's seeds.

here's my 2014 attempt to illustrate orchid roots facilitating fungi colonization of its tree...


in 2011 i sowed a bunch of different orchid seeds on my deodar cedar tree here in the los angeles area that has orchids and other epiphytes growing on it. i was hoping that some of their roots contained the helpful fungus and it had spread all over the tree, but i wasn’t holding my breath. so it was a very surreal surprise, to say the least, when i noticed several tiny green boogers (aka protocorms) magically appear on the sunny side of the tree on completely barren bark...



i immediately started to inspect every inch of the tree and found several dozen protocorms. what was rather fascinating, is that all of the protocorms were located within 1/2" of the roots of the mature orchids on the tree. evidently, in my dry conditions, that was as far as the helpful fungus could travel from its moist home inside the succulent orchid roots.

it turned out that all the orchid seeds that germinated on my tree were from laelia anceps, an orchid native to mexico. another fascinating thing is that the orchid roots in the above picture were from a dendrobium speciosum, which is a distantly related orchid native to australia. the two orchids are so distantly related that they can't be crossed. i also found laelia anceps protocorms growing right next to roots of vanda tricolor, a distantly related orchid native to indonesia. these two orchids are even more distantly related, given that their forms are completely different (sympodial vs monopodial).

where was the fungi from? was it just 1 variety? in any case, it’s important to appreciate that the fungi facilitated an exchange of resources between very distantly related orchid species.

it took nearly a decade for the 1st laelia anceps seedling to bloom.

a couple years ago i removed a division from the 2nd laelia anceps seedling to bloom on my tree and i sent it to my online friend keith in tampa so that he could attach it to his tree in order to try to innoculate it with the beneficial fungi in the orchid’s roots. he actually recently upgraded to a real life friend when i met him in person. a couple months ago i visited florida for the 1st time and he was nice enough to give my friend and i a garden tour. keith is so cool. he's young but already so knowledgeable. he's trying to select coconuts for cold tolerance. and he has a big vanilla (pompona?) vine growing on his tree…


the vine flowered and he successfully pollinated it. unfortunately he forgot to save some seeds for us to test if they are also an exception to the rule of no stored energy, but i managed to turn the other cheek, hah.

i don't think that fnf has any vanillas or coconut palms? keith only has 1 garcinia. if only there was a super fungi that could facilitate the exchange of resources between them.

does this forum function as a super fungi? well, honestly, the ourfigs forum software is far more super at facilitating communication. when i visit that website, in the upper right corner i can see a red notification number indicating how many…

1. of my subscribed threads (example) have been replied to since my last visit
2. times i've been quoted
3. times i've been tagged (ie @epiphyte)

when i click on the red number it takes me to a page with a list of links to the relevant content. it's an incredibly useful feature because it greatly facilitates communication.

here, on the other hand, if i mention k-rimes, will he notice it buried underneath this avalanche of text and pics?

flauro01 doesn't think it's useful to donate to this forum, hint john 3:16. imagine the democratic version... god loved the world so much that he voted for it. in this case, nobody would be a christian. nobody would have any conclusive evidence of god's love for humanity.

imagine being at a huge botanical garden. after hours of walking around trying to look at every plant, you sit on a bench, which has a plaque, "in loving memory of elmer lorenz". you're sitting on tangible evidence of someone's love for elmer lorenz.

let’s say that you donate $5 to this forum in loving memory of fnf. ok, he's still alive. even better. your personal sacrifice helps to pay for an upgrade of this forum's software, so not only would the red notification greatly facilitate communication, but it would also be tangible evidence of your love for fnf.

if we don't know what's truly important to each other, then resources won't be distributed accordingly. this is equally true for plants and fungi. for a lot more info, presented in an accessible manner, check out this youtube video… A Peek Into the Wood-Wide Web: How Plants and Fungi Communicate Underground.

k-rimes is correct that we can't completely dry farm here in desert southern california, unless we only want to grow things like catalina cherries and figs. but the fascinating question is, how much less would we have to water our eugenias and garcinias if we stood on fnf's shoulders? roblack already alluded to this.

i recently dug up a big jacaranda tree that had been in a pot. it had thoroughly rooted itself to the ground, which was a problem because it was pressing against a wood fence. right next to the jacaranda was a plain green ti-plant (cordyline fruticosa) which, surprisingly, turned out to have big succulent storage organs. here's perhaps a quarter of it next to the jacaranda roots...


wikipedia calls it a "rhizome" but it seems more like a tuber (it’s edible?). for the sake of comparison, here are my two spondias tuberosa seedlings that i bought from bellamy trees in august...


despite the presence of a white irrigation pipe, the jacaranda and cordyline were in an area that i never watered, but the jacaranda roots definitely reached distant areas that i did water, albeit irregularly. so did fungi facilitate an exchange of resources between the jacaranda and cordyline? when the jacaranda did have access to a lot of water, it should have traded some water, sugars and lipids to fungi for nitrogen, phosphorus and other minerals. then the fungi would have traded water and the rest to the cordyline for sugars and lipids. when the jacaranda did not have access to a lot of water, then it should have "bought" some from the fungi, which would have bought it from the cordyline.

a couple days after digging up the jacaranda and cordyline, i dug up a volunteer camphor tree that was also pressing against the same wood fence. it was a couple feet away from a tangerine tree. in between the two trees was an ornamental shrub from africa, rotheca myricoides, that i had planted as a cutting before the camphor volunteered. i spent some time removing dirt from around the roots of all 3...


is it a coincidence that the rotheca was growing directly on one of the camphor's main roots, and one of rotheca's main roots was tightly wrapped around the camphor's tap root? it might not be obvious from the pic but the rotheca's roots are quite succulent. it's more obvious in this pic of the mother plant from 2 years ago...


it had been growing in a big pot right next to the house. an elm tree volunteered in the same pot and i kept kicking the can down the road (my superpower). the result was the most intimate and loving embrace possible between a tree and a shrub.   

the elm and the camphor were by far the fastest growing volunteer trees in my garden, and they were both right next to a rotheca, coincidence? the volunteer trees were good at collecting water, when it was available, and producing energy, while the rotheca was good at storing water.
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The truth of the principle, that the greatest amount of life can be supported by great diversification of structure, is seen under many natural circumstances. In an extremely small area, especially if freely open to immigration, and where the contest between individual and individual must be severe, we always find great diversity in its inhabitants. For instance, I found that a piece of turf, three feet by four in size, which had been exposed for many years to exactly the same conditions, supported twenty species of plants, and these belonged to eighteen genera and to eight orders, which shows how much these plants differed from each other. So it is with the plants and insects on small and uniform islets; and so in small ponds of fresh water. Farmers find that they can raise most food by a rotation of plants belonging to the most different orders: nature follows what may be called a simultaneous rotation. Most of the animals and plants which live close round any small piece of ground, could live on it (supposing it not to be in any way peculiar in its nature), and may be said to be striving to the utmost to live there; but, it is seen, that where they come into the closest competition with each other, the advantages of diversification of structure, with the accompanying differences of habit and constitution, determine that the inhabitants, which thus jostle each other most closely, shall, as a general rule, belong to what we call different genera and orders. - Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Quote
Cadotte's experiment showed for the first time that species with the greatest evolutionary distance from one another have the greatest productivity gains. "If you have two species that can access different resources or do things in different ways, then having those two species together can enhance species function. What I've done is account for those differences by accounting for their evolutionary history," Cadotte says.
Quote
[...] Distantly related plants are more likely to require different resources and to fill different environmental niches -- one might need more nitrogen, the other more phosphorus; one might have shallow roots, the other deep roots. So rather than competing with one another they complement one another. - Productivity Increases With Species Diversity, Just as Darwin Predicted
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Among men, on the contrary, the most dissimilar geniuses are of use to one another; the different produces of their respective talents, by the general disposition to truck, barter, and exchange, being brought, as it were, into a common stock, where every man may purchase whatever part of the produce of other men's talents he has occasion for. - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations
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It is hardly possible to overrate the value, in the present low state of human improvement, of placing human beings in contact with persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. Commerce is now what war once was, the principal source of this contact. Commercial adventurers from more advanced countries have generally been the first civilizers of barbarians. And commerce is the purpose of the far greater part of the communication which takes place between civilized nations. Such communication has always been, and is peculiarly in the present age, one of the primary sources of progress. To human beings, who, as hitherto educated, can scarcely cultivate even a good quality without running it into a fault, it is indispensable to be perpetually comparing their own notions and customs with the experience and example of persons in different circumstances from themselves: and there is no nation which does not need to borrow from others, not merely particular arts or practices, but essential points of character in which its own type is inferior. Finally, commerce first taught nations to see with good will the wealth and prosperity of one another. Before, the patriot, unless sufficiently advanced in culture to feel the world his country, wished all countries weak, poor, and ill-governed, but his own: he now sees in their wealth and progress a direct source of wealth and progress to his own country. It is commerce which is rapidly rendering war obsolete, by strengthening and multiplying the personal interests which are in natural opposition to it. And it may be said without exaggeration that the great extent and rapid increase of international trade, in being the principal guarantee of the peace of the world, is the great permanent security for the uninterrupted progress of the ideas, the institutions, and the character of the human race. — J.S. Mill, Considerations on Representative Government
darwin and smith both noticed the connection between diversity and productivity. smith knew that for people this was because of trade, but neither of them knew that the same was true of plants of fungi. the current division of labor between economics and biology is… questionable.

an elm tree and camphor tree are definitely dissimilar to a rotheca shrub, just like a jacaranda and cordyline are definitely dissimilar. they can benefit from each other's considerable differences, thanks to fungi facilitating trade between them, at least in theory.

fnf has numerous variegated cassava / tapioca plants (manihot esculenta) growing in his garden. these also have large tuberous roots. the closest fruit tree seedlings should grow faster, at least in theory. just like the fruit tree seedlings near the ingas should grow faster, at least in theory.

the theory is sound, but correlation doesn't mean causation. of course it would be nice to have more data.

anyone ever heard of the miyawaki method? it's basically a way to quickly grow forests. one of its main tenets is to densely plant the seedlings. they say that the competition for light results in 10x faster growth. the thing is, reaching light depends on resources, and resources are more better distributed by underground markets that are densely packed, given that plants and fungi aren't as good at long distance trade as we are.  my jacaranda and cordyline were practically growing on top of each other, same with the camphor and rotheca, and the elm and the rotheca.

the main problem with the miyawaki method is that another of its main tenets is to only plant natives. this is completely counterproductive given that there’s far less difference in plants within a country than there is between countries. less difference means less productivity.

for most of us in california, garcinias are painfully slow. if we only grew achachas next to the most suitable plants native to bolivia, then the achachas wouldn’t grow nearly as fast as they would if we planted them next to the most suitable plants in the entire world, in theory at least. needless to say that the entire world is far more diverse than even the most diverse country. 

it will be interesting to see whether plants that store moisture below ground will be more suitable trading partners for garcinias than plants that store moisture above ground. the vanilla growing on keith’s tree doesn’t have any sort of tubers, but the leaves, stem and roots are relatively succulent. a big vanilla plant can certainly store quite a bit of water.

since 2020 i’ve been growing vanilla chamissonis (brazil) outside in a pot. earlier in the year i attached it to the base of an evergreen pear tree, pyrus calleryana. here’s a recent pic…


the vine on the left, which is currently around 3' long, is new.

i also have a variegated monstera deliciosa (thai constellation) growing on a noid ficus tree…


the monstera roots are relatively thick, long, succulent and numerous.

if a monstera, vanilla and dragon fruit were all growing on the same tree, then they’d all be a lot happier together than they would be growing separately? denser diversity means a better market, which means a better distribution of resources, which results in greater productivity.

for a while now i’ve been collecting aroids so i really love that fnf is growing a bunch of rare ones up his trees. sadly he’s the exception rather than the rule among rare fruit growers in suitable climates. seems like satya is also exceptional, i’d sure love to see some aroids in his videos on youtube.

hemiepiphytes are wonderful, but they aren’t nearly as wonderful as epiphytes. i brought some of my favorites to florida. in the hotel room i made 8 bundles (epiphyte bundling method) by attaching the epiphytes to a dense pad of sphagnum moss using fishing line…


here’s the list of plants that i included in the bundles…

anthurium lanceolatum
anthurium scandens
anthurium scandens xerophytic form
columnea joel*
columnea orange sherbet*
columnea erik hybrid*
columnea schiedeana x joel?* (seeds i sowed on the mounts)
echeveria rosea x coccinea*
epithechea orange blaze* - (psh. mariae x epi. radicans) x epi. cinnabarinum
kohleria inaequalis*
microgramma nitida
microgramma vacciniifolia
kalanchoe orangery*
kalanchoe uniflora*
kalanchoe wilma*
rhodospatha red hybrid
sinningia piresiana x leucotricha?* (seeds i sowed on the mount)

*pollinated by hummingbirds

i gave the bundles to keith so that he could attach them to his trees. his main tree was already more diverse than most of his neighbor's entire gardens. unlike here in california, the epiphytes on keith's tree have the potential to colonize his neighbor's trees and so on. i should have included some live green moss on the bundles…
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Preliminary experiments indicate that the ability of the bark to absorb and retain moisture is multiplied several times by the fungus. The added absorbing and retaining capacity enables bryophytes to become established. Other experiments have shown that epiphytic liverworts, mosses, and ferns increase the power of the bark to absorb and retain water still further. - William T. Penfound and Faith Pennebaker Mackaness, A Note concerning the Relation between Drainage Pattern, Bark Conditions and the Distribution of Corticolous Bryophytes
here's a pic i took after partially unpacking the brazilian guava seedlings that i recently received from giant gecko...


the seedlings didn't come from brazil, he sowed the seeds himself and in media which might have been sterile. so no fungi? well, sadly it's too small to see, but i did notice that there was some live green moss starting to grow in a few of the pots. if moss colonized the pots then chances are good that some fungi also colonized the pots. but what were the chances that there was a variety of fungi that i didn't already have? the chances were pretty good since, according to wikipedia, there might be around 3 million different species of fungi. for many years now i've been collecting and spreading moss around my garden in order to try and maximize fungal diversity.

here’s some moss growing on the succulent roots of a cattleya orchid growing on my cedar tree…


also on the cedar tree, there’s a relatively succulent fern, lemmaphyllum microphyllum, from japan growing on a big bunch of sphagnum moss, with live moss struggling to colonize the hard bark…


earlier in the year i received 2 luc's garcinia seedlings from abimael777 in puerto rico...


there wasn't any moss on the medium, but given that the seedlings were relatively large and from puerto rico i was pretty sure that there was some fungi. so i took all the medium that fell off the garcinia roots and thoroughly mixed it into a big batch of medium to use for other fruit trees.

fnf definitely doesn't do this... because microplastics... he throws away all the medium that comes with the plants he buys. personally i'm pretty sure that he’s throwing the baby out with the bath water, but i could be wrong. the durian that he recently bought from larafarms most likely had fungi within its roots, and i'm guessing that even a thorough washing of the roots wouldn't remove the fungi, but what are the chances that it would be happy in the exact spot where the durian was planted?

a year ago i visited costa rica for the 1st time. i stayed at paraiso volcano lodge which is at the base of miravalles volcano in guanacaste province. for most of the drive from the airport to the lodge, the habitat was dry forest, so the trees were mostly naked, then i started seeing more and more tillandsias on them. next, on the living fences, i spotted more and more orchids and then more and more ferns growing on them. by the time we arrived at the lodge the living fences were covered in an amazing variety of epiphytes…


moss, miniature fern (microgramma) and miniature orchid (pleurothallis). it was definitely a rain forest.
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Within a forest, total bark surface greatly exceeds that of ground area and can be more densely packed with plants. Rooting media in canopies are also diverse, although whether more or less so than soil is unclear. In effect, tree crowns may be especially permissive habitats that foster dense species packing for vascular and nonvascular plants alike. - David Benzing, Vascular Epiphytes
fnf grows an impressive variety of plants on the ground without any irrigation, but there’s at least twice as many species he could grow on his trees without any irrigation. any given tropical dry forest (tdf) only has a few species of epiphytes, but since there are so many tdfs all over the world, there’s a huge number of epiphytes capable of tolerating relatively dry conditions.

in theory, dense epiphyte bundles of diverse species should facilitate the exchange, via fungi, of water, nutrients and other resources, which should result in greater productivity. i’m sure in florida, especially with the help of hemiepiphytes, epiphytes can also exchange resources with the trees that they are growing on.

each epiphyte species supports a wide range of organisms. for example, here in socal i have a 7’ inga in the ground that i’ve attached several epiphytes to, including a few bromeliads…


if you look closely you can see a native tree frog. it’s easier to see the frog next to this brom…


even though these frogs are native to socal they are naturally drawn to the water that is held in the center of the broms.

one frog was drawn to some hoya australis (an epiphyte) flowers in order to feed on the pollinators attracted by the flower’s strong nocturnal fragrance. unfortunately for the frog, a praying mantis had the same idea…


more life, and death, and nutrient cycling, and growth happens when trees have more epiphytes. fnf has a bunch of broms, which is cool, but they are all on the ground, so it’s only 2 dimensional diversity instead of 3 dimensional diversity.

in one video fnf remarked that the brom flowers are often visited by hummingbirds. here’s a pic i took of a hummingbird visiting one of my tillandsia aeranthos in bloom…


not sure exactly why, maybe because of the hummingbirds, but out of all my tillandsias, aeranthos is by far the best at volunteering in my garden. it has volunteered all over my cedar tree, well, wherever it gets watered by drip and/or by hand. when they bloom i often see hummingbirds hovering up and down the tree visiting each of the flowers. i'm curious why i haven’t seen or heard of this tillandsia naturalizing in florida.

one of the most fascinating relationships between an epiphyte and another organism is that of ant plants, such as the orchid myrmecophila. it has big hollow pseudobulbs that ants live in. i didn’t think that this would happen with my myrmecophilas here in socal, so it was a shock when i cut off some old dried pseudobulbs and ants poured out of them…


ants from argentina were living in an orchid from mexico. admittedly, ants are a big pain in the butt because they are so good at farming pests such as aphids, scale and mealybugs, but more of these pests also means more of their predators…


recognize the predator? i only learned this year that it’s probably a hoverfly larvae. it’s eating green aphids that were eating the buds of an encyclia orchid. here’s a hoverfly larvae eating yellow aphids eating a new tendril of a hoya fungii…


here’s a beetle eating an isopod on some sphagnum moss attached to a tree…


here’s an alligator lizard in microgramma vacciniifolia fern (brazil) and kalanchoe uniflora (madagascar) probably following a fresh slug trail…


if you want wolves you need to have enough mice, rabbits, deer, moose and so on. we all want more options…
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One would think that man could find enough variation in the orchid family, as it occurs in nature, to more than satiate his taste for variety. Yet man's appetite for variety is never appeased. He has produced over two times as many hybrids, in the past 100 years that he has been engaged in orchid breeding, as nature has created species in her eons of evolutionary effort. - Calaway H. Dodson, Robert J. Gillespie, The Botany of Orchids
in this thread hammer524 asked how many vendors were at previous sales of the san diego crfg chapter. we all want more vendors. plants also want more vendors. fungi also want more vendors.
Quote
Dry forests would surely support richer canopy-based floras if Tillandsia extended beyond tropical America. - David Benzing, Vascular Epiphytes
hummingbirds should also extend beyond tropical america. there’s riches in niches.

in summary, a denser and more diverse network will discover and capture more resources, such as pineislander finding the thread about inga alley cropping. then it’s a matter of correctly determining how the resource should be distributed. if pineislander has noticed that garcinias grow faster when they can easily trade with ingas, then he should have the opportunity to easily trade a donation (to this forum) for the option to direct more of our attention, which hopefully includes that of fnf and keith, to his observation. whether a resource is attention or ideas or nitrogen, its distribution should be determined by sacrifice rather than by votes, because then and only then, will productivity and progress be maximized. 

K-Rimes

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2023, 04:35:07 PM »
I ain't reading all that
I'm happy for you tho
Or sorry that happened

Epiphyte

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #44 on: November 16, 2023, 11:46:34 AM »
I ain't reading all that
I'm happy for you tho
Or sorry that happened

did you at least read the 1st part about inga alley cropping?  whether there's a correlation between productivity and proximity to ingas, and other nitrogen fixing trees, is the main topic of fnf's most recent video.  it's actually pretty wonderful... he walks all around observing and evaluating whether the fruit trees near his numerous nitrogen fixers have grown exceptionally well.  spoiler, his verdict was that there isn't an obvious benefit, unlike the regular application of miniature zebu manure.

fnf showed (~26:30) several garcinia dulcis seedlings growing around the base of an inga spectabilis tree.  the seedlings were half the size of a seedling he showed later on (~41:50) that wasn't growing right next to any ingas. 

what difference would it have made if the ratio of ingas to garcinias was reversed?  with inga alley cropping, there's two rows of closely planted ingas.  they are basically surrounding the crop. 

when i was in the army, my buddies and i would often cry about the ratio of guys to ladies... it seemed like 100 to 1 (too many dudes on the dance floor).  this gave the ladies an upper hand. 

the harder it is to become an employer (high barrier to entry), the fewer employers, which gives them an upper hand over employees.  threatening to quit isn't effective when there's a long line of unemployed people waiting to take your place. 

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...it's clear that if employers feel they have a "captive audience" of workers, who are terrified of losing their jobs, it would be easier for the employer to crack the whip and drive the employees to work extremely hard. One advantage of a healthy job market is that workers have more power to negotiate pleasant working conditions. - Scott Sumner, How bad government policies make us meaner

would it be worth it to give a garcinia the upper hand by surrounding it by ingas?  how much faster would it reach fruiting size?  in any case, then you'd have to dig up a bunch of big inga trees.  it would probably be more practical to just get a miniature zebu. 

decades ago, right after returning from a trip to mexico, i scraped off some bird poop from a shirt into a pot.  one of the plants that popped up in the pot turned out to be a guanacaste tree (enterolobium cyclocarpum), which is also a nitrogen supplier.  fnf has a huge one which he talks about in his video (~12:45).  mine was in a pot but it rooted in the ground.  of course it was right next to the fence.  i dug it up and put it in a pot.  this time i put the pot on concrete.  i haven't had any luck growing it from stem cuttings, but evidently it can grow from root cuttings.  i didn't get all the roots out of the ground and the bigger ones started growing.  i dug them up and potted them.  one established and i gave it to a friend. 

in the spring i might unpot my guanacaste tree and take some root cuttings so that i could try growing them in pots with garcinia seedlings, inga seedlings and probably some guaje (leucaena leucocephala) volunteers for good measure.  there wouldn't be nearly as much diversity as there would be in the ground but it will be interesting to see if there's a noticeable difference in the growth rate of the garcinias. 

here's a pic taken in san diego of my friend standing next to a big staghorn (platycerium superbum) growing on a guanacaste tree...


Epiphyte

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2024, 01:22:59 PM »
over on permies.com i just shared these 7 fnf principles...

1. no irrigation, he never waters any of his plants
2. regularly applies manure/compost from his miniature zebus to his favorite fruit trees
3. tries to maximize plant diversity
4. removes all the potting soil before planting
5. directly plants a lot of seeds
6. strongly advises against compaction
7. strongly advises against the use of plastics

am i forgetting any? 

i get kinda anxious with all the bananas he's planting.  a long time ago i had 2 bananas in the ground... a dwarf cavendish and an apple banana.  they grew exponentially and it seemed like i spent so much time digging up pups.  fnf has a lot more space than i do, but 500 banana plants, each growing exponentially...

i really enjoy seeing the fruits developing on his cacao tree.  and i've been cheering on his 3 durian seedlings.  it looks like they will make it. 

still no vanillas yet?  maybe i should try to send him some cuttings?  i have 3 or 4 different species... vanilla imperialis (from africa), vanilla chamissonis (from brazil), and some noids, probably pompona and planifolia. 

if i remember correctly fnf said that he doesn't have a problem with nematodes.  the best test would be if he can successfully grow any figs, ficus carica, in the ground for a few years.  even lsu purple doesn't seem immune to nematodeswe need more ficus hybridization

fnf said he was planning to plant anthurium vittarifolium... in the ground!?  noooooooo.  when i saw his anthurium pseudospectabile in the ground i shed a *few* tears.  they don't climb nearly as fast as philodendron patriciae.  it will take decades before either anthurium has climbed up a tree high enough for their long leaves to get off the ground.  ideally they should be firmly and tightly attached to a horizontal branch with lots of new zealand spahgnum moss and resurrection ferns (aka the bundling method), with other epiphytes like bromeliads nearby so they can trade resources. 

reading through my blog entry i found this nice passage i shared...

Quote
Since then, many experiments have shown that multi-species plots are more productive. Cadotte's experiment showed for the first time that species with the greatest evolutionary distance from one another have the greatest productivity gains.
[...]
What's going on isn't mysterious, Cadotte says. Distantly related plants are more likely to require different resources and to fill different environmental niches -- one might need more nitrogen, the other more phosphorus; one might have shallow roots, the other deep roots. So rather than competing with one another they complement one another. - Productivity Increases With Species Diversity, Just as Darwin Predicted

Epiphyte

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #46 on: February 29, 2024, 01:39:01 PM »
the two tropical fruit guys i watch religiously are flying fox fruit and florida natural farming.  fnf, on the other hand, doesn't have quite the same charm, but i love that he's always reading relevant scholarly papers.  and his garden is the closest to my dream garden.

I used to follow fnf but haven't visited in a long time. I don't think he gets around much because he hasn't compared his mango trees to those of others. Mango is about the easiest fruit to grow in Florida but his trees look highly stressed with very small twisted leaves showing deficiencies. Many of the leaves are growing in strange horizontal angles. He is getting some flowers but admits to poor fruit set.  Anyone growing mango will quickly see something is wrong, but he seems blinded to it. Ive tried before to make productive comments but he is recalcitrant and shuns people just like he left this forum.

To see what I mean have a look at his latest video and compare to your own mango trees. I wish he would be open to discussion but that never happened.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w49z5du3f4

hah, my biggest mango tree is a 7' butchered manila mango with a few scions not quite large enough to hold fruit.  i'd trade my tree in a second for any of fnf's mango trees, even those that froze. 

i agree that fnf has thin skin and doesn't handle criticism well, even when it's constructive.  in terms of his mangoes though do you have any specific suggestions? 

his mango trees would be happier if he irrigated?  maybe, but it's incredibly cool that several of his mango trees produce three crops in a year without any irrigation.  personally i spend a lot of time watering here in socal, a ridiculous amount of time, so i really really love the idea of having mango trees produce more fruit than i can possibly eat without me having to worry about watering them. 

in terms of fertilizer, i think that there's only been 1 thread here, other than this thread, that touched on the topic of inga alley cropping... about the inga genus.  there were only 4 participants in that thread, you were one of them!  did you ever get a chance to test this at all? 

recently i ran across this relevant 2017 thread by greenman62... nitrogen fixing plants and fruit trees.  did you remember ever seeing that thread?   

fnf seems to spend a lot of time applying zebu manure/compost to his favorite trees.  it makes a difference, but for me personally i'd prefer to avoid this work, like i'd prefer to avoid the work of irrigation.  so i really like the idea of mango trees getting their nutrients from nearby nitrogen fixers and other diverse plants and trees. 

here's an interesting presentation on intercropping23:18 was especially interesting about plants changing the ph of their soil, i think.  1:24:26 was also particularly interesting about plants trading water with each other. 

K-Rimes

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #47 on: February 29, 2024, 01:48:23 PM »
Quote
personally i spend a lot of time watering here in socal, a ridiculous amount of time, so i really really love the idea of having mango trees produce more fruit than i can possibly eat without me having to worry about watering them

FL gets regular rain, even in their summers. Ok, maybe a few dry weeks at a time, but you simply cannot compare CA climate to FL. August is FL's rainiest month, that is CA's driest and hottest. You can stop watering your mangoes during the winter in CA, in fact it's recommended, but supplemental irrigation for mangoes in CA is a requirement in my opinion.

Epiphyte

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #48 on: February 29, 2024, 03:35:01 PM »
Quote
personally i spend a lot of time watering here in socal, a ridiculous amount of time, so i really really love the idea of having mango trees produce more fruit than i can possibly eat without me having to worry about watering them

FL gets regular rain, even in their summers. Ok, maybe a few dry weeks at a time, but you simply cannot compare CA climate to FL. August is FL's rainiest month, that is CA's driest and hottest. You can stop watering your mangoes during the winter in CA, in fact it's recommended, but supplemental irrigation for mangoes in CA is a requirement in my opinion.

i'm planning to, or at least dreaming about, buying 10 acres in central florida, specifically to grow my favorite fruit trees and epiphytes without having to water them.  i wasn't trying to suggest that here in socal we can use fnf's principles to skip irrigation.  that being said...

my local friend daniel has a yard covered in an incredible variety of aloes.  but there was also a big (for california), and productive, mango tree planted by the previous owner.  daniel recently got rid of it because..."I contacted a arborist and they advised me they don’t do well with binding roots."  eh what??  he was trying to slow it down?  obviously he's not the biggest fan of mangoes.  he gave them to his neighbor, who was very happy to receive them. 

i decided to be less lazy so i dug up a couple pics...



here's the pic he sent me of the fruit...



anyone know the variety?  after i took a pic of the tree (feb 2023) he shared some scions with me which are now growing on my manila in the ground and on a corriente in a big pot. 

my question is, how much less irrigation did the mango tree require given that it was surrounded by aloes?  this is a really good question! 

it's a fact that plants trade resources with each other via fungi.  water is a very important resource, that aloes are really good at storing and collecting.  i'm sure that they would be more than happy to exchange their surplus water for a mango tree's surplus _____________.    sugars?  that's f'ing teamwork.  aka a division of labor. 

the aloes closest to the mango tree must have grown faster than the furthest aloes.  basically, daniel really messed up.  i'll send him a link to this trial in case he wants to try and defend himself, hah. 

fnf appreciates aloes, especially tree aloes, and he has a couple, but i don't necessarily see him planting aloes all around his mangoes.  personally, all my aloes in the ground are in the front yard.  my manila mango tree is in the backyard.  i can't say i love the idea of planting a mango tree in the front yard, because the space is so limited.  but if i had 10 acres in florida then i'd definitely try intercropping with aloes and mangos.  well, i'd do the same if i had 10 acres here in socal. 

here in socal, let's say that you have to water your mango tree 100 days in a typical year.  if you surrounded it with aloes, then you'd only have to water it 99 days/year.  in this case it really wouldn't be worth it.  unless you loved aloes and/or hummingbirds.  hummingbirds love aloes.  but what if you'd only have to water your mango tree 50 days/year?  then it would definitely be worth it, space considerations aside. 

on youtube there are a ton of videos on intercropping.  but i haven't come across many videos of intercropping with succulents, which is strange because water is such an important resource, especially in drier areas.   

yesterday i planted a fruiting size capulin cherry (prunus salicifolia) near a public drainage ditch overgrown with willows.  in the same hole i also planted...

chaya
euphorbia lambii
dragon fruit
fignomenal cutting
silverberry cutting

the euphorbia and dragon fruit are succulents, and they will certainly trade water with the capulin cherry, but hard to say how much of a difference it will make.  i really don't want to water the capulin during the summer since i already have enough watering i have to do, so i probably should add an aloe or two, which is easy enough to do since they readily grow from cuttings. 

pineislander

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Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« Reply #49 on: February 29, 2024, 04:47:56 PM »

his mango trees would be happier if he irrigated?  maybe, but it's incredibly cool that several of his mango trees produce three crops in a year without any irrigation. 

And you believed him when he claims that he is getting 3 crops of mangos per year?
Did he say what seasons he gets these 3 crops per year?
Does he get a spring, summer and fall crop, cleasrly he's not picking the winter crop!
Or just 3 staggered blooms which all ripen in summer?

I assure you what he should have said is that some trees have staggered blooms with some earlier and some later. There are also a few varieties like Choc Anon and Nam Doc Mai which can partially bloom out of season but probably not a full crop.
This is pretty common on some varieties, and not so remarkable. No honest person would claim to be getting "three crops in a year" when it's really just a staggered bloom across a couple of months. He is counting on people's gullibility and his ability to delete comments to carry on that boast.

However, to be fair he should upload the photos of these unicorns with exif data showing the dates taken. I'll eat crow.

Lastly, its common for mango beyond 5 years or so in Florida to not need more irrigation. It does help move them along at first and this was pointed out to FNF by an experienced grower who commented on the one year old mango at Frog Valley which died from frost a few years ago. Getting them up to maturity offers some advantages against frost. Eric just scoffed at a grower with over 40 years of experience.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2024, 04:49:38 PM by pineislander »