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Messages - K-Rimes

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Colony of honey or bumblebees? Iíve heard that honey bees swarm but others donít? My outdoor garden is very much ďnativeĒ focused so I try to creat habitats for non honeybee varieties.if u have a colony of bumblebees Iíd love to hear your secrets.

I think Iíve got a new topic to discuss now

I have honey bees. About to go into my first swarming season in about 3-4 weeks so hopefully I can capture them and make them mine again! Basically all honey bee colonies are guaranteed to swarm at some point.

Bumblebees are much smaller colonies, and live on the ground.

Would be cool to figure out bumblebees. You could get a nuc hive of honey bees and just let it die off or not let it grow bigger, I guess. They may swarm though, so, probably a little high risk for this particular set-up. A nuc can be had for $200-$300 and is pretty small, but will go get the job done. Just make sure you close the door to the GH when you have bees!

I am loving having a colony and it has become just as much a part of my garden as any other plant or maintenance job. Absolutely adore seeing them zoom around.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What triggers flowering in tropical guava?
« on: February 01, 2023, 03:46:52 PM »
Heavy pruning and fertilizing always works for my guavas.


I have had a mallika mango in ground for years and it looks great.  It first flowered three years ago but fruitlets never got past pea sized.  Two years ago fruits held on longer/bigger but still not to maturity.  Last zero blooms or fruit set.  It is blooming heavily this year so hopefully I'll get a crop for once.

One of the major issues I have even in my outdoor greenhouse is pollination. Even trying to pollinate by hand, I don't get a lot of sets on stuff in there. When I removed them and put them outdoors where there are bees, much more fruit! I even got my own colony of bees this winter and more for spring which I hope will sort out the greenhouse by sheer numbers (though it is sad that the bees get stuck and die kind of often).

Iím assuming she got wise and went south? Itís actually more of a conservatory, it sits on the second floor. I designed it myself and spent too much time and money on it, but I was interested to see what was possible. Also I like big challenges and trying to think outside the box. I still havenít totally figuredout what I want the space to be yet but if I can have a climate where the plants are thriving maybe I set it for ultra tropical.

She went west to Vancouver. I grew up there but have been in CA for almost 10 years now.

Your set-up is fabulous, and I take back what I said to some extent. You can grow some amazing things in there, I am sure, but your selected ultra tropical plants may be especially challenging. I see a lot of rare fruit dreamers (am one myself) that have a dinky little greenhouse of just 5mil sheet (what I am using) thinking they can pull off ultra tropicals and tend to think of those people more than your super cool build.

Kudos on that conservatory, that is bad-ass.

Thanks for the info on the durian if I make is down to florida Iíll have to check it out. I know itís crazy, Iím more into it for the challenge. My greenhouse is tiny 225sq ft and attached to my house so if the electricity fails (ir heaters) then I can just open the doors to the house. If the gas furnace fails the plants will be fine and my house will be #%^*íd with all the frozen and burst pipes.

A lot of those trees really want to be huge. Rambutan / pulasan I hear should be planted on 30' centers. I applaud your desire to grow cool stuff, but wow, your heating bill will be ridiculous for that much space at those temps. Do you have a greenhouse that's built on a foundation with double pane windows? That's kind of the only way. I would think foundation would need to be at least 4' deep, and then you'd need really high quality acidic soil where you are planting stuff in ground. These are not really "pot culture" type trees like jaboticaba or eugenia.

The durian tree at Fairchild is probably 30' tall and not fruiting well. Do you have that much vertical in your GH?

I was really excited to push my zone from the 9b it is and attempted 10a plants. Most all died. I just caution you not to spend so much money on this project...

My mom was born in "Winterpeg", it's cool to see someone growing stuff there but wow, that's a REAL winter up there.

It's entirely possible to keep ultra tropicals alive in the wrong climate, but it's entirely another for them to thrive and thusly fruit. Seeing the absolutely insane greenhouse set-up at Fairchild in Miami specifically made for durian and stuff was insane, but that's basically the best outdoor climate + the best indoor climate and they still say it doesn't do that well. We got to chat with Dr Campbell about the build out and how they imported acres of acid soil for the project and everything and it's still not doing amazing.

The main issue I see with these ultra tropical set-ups is that you need them to be in grown in the earth, and then you need a variety of back up heating methods. Say the power goes out and you lose your heaters? Say the gas line busts and you lose your natural gas heaters? Are you home in time to get the propane back up heats going?

Way too much work and investment for me, personally. Spend that money traveling to SE Asia and stuffing your face for a week. Money well spent. If you are borderline zone wise, a bit of pushing is cool - but your losses will be tremendous in my experience!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Campomanesia schlectendaliana toast
« on: January 31, 2023, 06:07:00 PM »
whats the verdict on this one lance?

the Ferns gave it 2/5 but IIRC you have a good one?

I am deeply interested in campomanesias as well and want to hear more firsthand taste reviews on them. They are bulletproof for me in 9b and I way prefer their look and growth habits compared to most eugenias, even.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: January 31, 2023, 03:11:45 PM »
Re: cold stratification, don't know if it's needed? I just plopped all my Calmei seeds in pots and left them in my greenhouse which hasn't gone below 40f really. They are all sprouting just fine.

I think it just takes a really long time is all.

Hopefully the rats and mice stop decapitating the sprouts now that I surrounded the pots with traps.

Sad for you. This is classic rodent damage. I lost probably 20 nice little yangmei sprouts to those bastards and now surrounded the pots with traps.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Gopher Gold
« on: January 26, 2023, 01:48:04 PM »
I don't know, the ones in my yard would tower over that one. I need to get back to trapping, I lost some very mature/ old trees the last year. All figs will now be in pots, and I will have to address the mango area, where gopher numbers are low and losses are high.

I need our Alabama cats out there, as they are rodent catching champs.

I keep trying to convince my girlfriend that we need a terrier with rodent catching built into its DNA. Man, that would be nice. Trapping is really tough for me because I am in Los Padres national forest so I am surrounded by oak forest. Really nice environment to be in, but totally unmitigated rodent and pest populations.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Gopher Gold
« on: January 25, 2023, 02:09:00 PM »
Yep, that's fine specimen!  Think of the luxurious coat you could assemble from all those fine gopher pelts. 
Now is the time to catch 'em when the soil is soft from rain and they refresh all their tunnels.

I admit I read up yesterday if they're edible!  ;D

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: January 25, 2023, 02:00:45 PM »
I believe I have my first blooms on a few of my Yangmei plants today.

Looks very promising!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Gopher Gold
« on: January 25, 2023, 01:42:54 PM »

Got my first one of 2023 and it was huge. Did some good amount of damage, but got it overnight from first sign of mounds. Funny to see I was the last post here and thought I was done in March. I got another 15 after that post for a total of 25 for 2022

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Loquat cold tolerance
« on: January 24, 2023, 01:54:06 PM »
I am in 9b and there is a loquat across the street. I would say it makes fruit about 75% of the time. If we get a really sharp cold snap from Feb - April, the fruit can get roasted off. A shame that the fruit quality is inedible so I am working hard on top working it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragonfruit and Bees
« on: January 23, 2023, 08:26:03 PM »
That's Ludacris. Bees 100%. If bees can't pollinate it, it eventually gets the axe. S8, Haley's Comet, PG, dark star, BHR have set fruit without self pollination. Bees do start early, so if you have a problem, I suppose you could tie a rubber band to the flower so you can hand pollinate at night. But that's to much work for me.

I believe  could get better fruit set with PG and dark star if I did hand pollinate, though.

I have a lot of self-sterile varieties and get ok fruit set on them with hand pollinating. This past season I had more fruit than ever, but also more bees than ever, so I wondered if it was my doing or theirs. It sounds like it wasn't me and I can just let them handle it! YAY!

Hi Bill

My trees don't look alive. None of them has a green graft. it looks like they were scratched to check if the grafts were still alive before they were shipped. I wish you sent me at least one alive tree...

I did lots of preparations, even built a greenhouse, and at the end... Got dead trees !

Though I was not in on this buy, I was in on the last one. I had a few that looked rough and I just did my best to get them to live. It's all you can do. In the end, I didn't have any plants to show for it - that's just part of the risk you take in buying plants in general. The shipping across country at this time is very challenging as well, and if they went through the wrong hub or sat on the tarmac too long, they would die from cold completely unrelated to Bill or the seller overseas. I think Bill does a phenomenal job with these group buys and it's clearly a LOT of work.

I know it hurts to lose a plant, and some money too, but that's just part of the deal with these yangmei orders. It's gambling and losses are common.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragonfruit and Bees
« on: January 23, 2023, 02:58:09 PM »

Here's an article about bees being helpful. What my question really is: can I stop hand pollinating with bees in my yard?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Dragonfruit and Bees
« on: January 23, 2023, 02:45:06 PM »
Does anyone have experience with bees and dragonfruit? I read conflicting information. Some say that bees promote better fruit weight, quality, and fertilization - others report that bees steal all the pollen and leave none even on the stigma.

My experience has been that they often steal all the pollen before I can get to it and use it to cross pollinate - but then again, I had a ton more fruit last year than usual and LOTS of bees. I still hand pollinated as best I could, but maybe I don't need to?

Any firsthand experience would be awesome. I just got bees a month or so ago and looks like they will make it thru winter.

All the ones I've tried have a real harsh dirt / vegetable / beets flavor that makes them not too palatable - but I've only tried a few of them and no named or selected varieties. I have 9 seedlings from a selected variety and will plant them out soon.

its a PITA for them to dig through compared to other spots in the yard-

lost a few choice seedlings to them being dug up

I'd wager that's rats or mice, not squirrels. I have about 15 traps in my greenhouse now but they still eat the lil seedlings. Hate them.

It's annoying cause his property borders mine so there is really nothing we can do, he also LOVES his eucalyptus trees and won't consider topping or managing them. His house is surrounded by them.

(Iím the guy who recognized you on r/sb the other day.) I didnít realize there were eucalyptus up the mountain here but I guess I shouldnít be surprised. Theyíre everywhere. My neighbor (school district) has got about 20 of the damn things near the border of our properties and is in uninterested in managing them either, even though theyíve started falling and the last one to go down damaged a tree on my side.

To the thread topic: Iím on a creek and the erosion from the flooding is getting close to taking out a half dozen of my fruit trees. Worse, if it gets through those, my house is next. So I wouldnít mind if the rains were mellow in the future - but on the other hand Iíll take a little erosion over endless drought.

Nice to see you posting Reddit friend. I would strongly recommend getting a retaining wall put in. Neighbors below me on the river have a 10' sandbag / concrete wall that stands up to a ton of water every year, and didn't even blink with these storms even with water overflowing the banks. If you're a renter, I feel for you!

The eucs at my place are just starting to fall here and there. They're not massive but they're enough to cause damage, especially to my orchard and are obscenely tall. They'll certainly take out the power lines... Some people just can't be bothered to do any maintenance I guess!

Pics of my damage. Minor stuff. Idk if it happened when I was caught off guard by the first frost, or after everything was covered and xmas lights were strung. Overall I'd say the xmas lights and blankets do the job. I have this desire to get several custom fronts covers made. Like huge duffel bags with zippers, but no bottoms. Seems like it would make the process much easier.

They make those already but they only go up to about 8'. I used to use them but many plants outgrew them.

Have you planted any of those outside where you're at?

I'm in 9b and they don't like it outside of the greenhouse.

Great info everyone!

I'm a little behind ya K-Rimes, but not too far.

Really hoping e. pisiformis does not actually taste like piss.

I haven't met a eugenia I don't like, so I'm sure it'll be fine even if a bit pissy. I am really curious about all these new varieties that are coming out now. Something tells me there are going to be a lot of duds, but it's still a fun journey to fruition.

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