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Topics - Galatians522

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What vegetables grew well for you this summer/fall? Here in Central Florida I had great success with Thailand Long Beans From Cody Cove Farm and Nursery. They are a vigna unguiculata cultivar that can be used as a snap bean or southern (Blackeye) pea. The pods were particularly good in casserole type dishes (greenbean casserole, shepards pie, etc). We got so many, though, that I started letting the pods fill out for shelling peas. Although its a lot of work, they were tasty and go well in just about any recipes that calls for beans. We had them southern style, in tacos, soup, and hummus. They were supposed to be a bush type, but my soil is apparently very fertile and mine filled most of the 12x12 garden they were planted in and climbed up my tomato stakes. What grew well for you?

Temperate Fruit Buy, Sell, & Trade / WTB Adara/Puente Plum Budwood
« on: September 24, 2023, 10:29:54 PM »
Does anyone have any leads for the Adara (aka Puente) plum that is used as a cherry rootstock/interstem? I finally have some plum rootstocks that survive long term here in Florida and would like to convert them to Christobalina cherry for my Dad. This is something he has wanted for years and I would like to make it a reality for him. Typical cherry rootstock is very poorly adapted here.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Taste Review Groff Lychee
« on: July 07, 2023, 11:06:18 PM »
I had heard mixed reviews about this Lychee in the past and was excited to finally be able to try it for myself. Groff is a Hak Ip seedling selection from Hawaii that is reported to be a reliable fruiter and very late. As expected, fruits ripened in the late season (with Emperor) and had a fairly thorny peel. While the fruits were on the small side, most of them had shriveled seeds so the edible portion was not much different than the B3 lychees I was eating at the same time (size has been on of the major knocks against this lychee from what I have read). The favor was good--something of a mix between Mauritius and Brewster with a little kick at the end almost like the bite you get from a carbonated beverage. I don't know if that was unique to this batch, or if that is typical for Groff. In any case, this added depth was a pleasent surprise. Finally, they seem to keep their flavor much better in storage than the other late season option (Emperor can go flat quickly iif it gets over ripe). There was very little loss in quality after more than a week of refrigerated storage. Over all, I was highly impressed by this little lychee. American $1 coins are about an inch for reference.

I recently had the opportunity to taste this lychee for the first time and thought that it might be interesting to do a taste review. B3 is reported to be one of the most consistent cropping lychees in warm climates and is a commercial cultivar in Australia. It ripened during the late-midseason window (approximately the same time as Brewster). I was able to try the fruit at two stages. The first fruits that I got (about 2 weeks ago) were perfectly ripe to my palate. At that stage, the fruits had an orangish pink color to the peel (which is a little thicker than the average lychee). At the orange stage, the fruits had an amazing Lychee/Pineapple flavor that I have not tasted in other Lychee. The flesh was about the same texture as Mauritius (medium crisp) and most of the seeds were fully formed. The ones that I got this week were fully colored reddish pink. They were slightly over ripe to my palate, but would possibly be more acceptable to people who do not appreciate a sub-acid flavor. At the reddish pink stage the pineapple flavor was mostly gone and the flavor was much closer to a fully ripe Mauritius lychee that has lost its acidity. I'll try to add a picture below. American $1 coins are about 1" for reference.

I have grown summer squash (Curcubita pepo) here in Florida for a number if years. This species includes acorn, spaghetti, yellow crookneck, and zucchini squashes. They are susceptible to mildew and bugs. This year, I tried growing Tromboncino squash instead. This is an Italian heirloom summer squash in the Curcubita moschata species. Moschata squashes are resistant to bugs like squash vine borer (note: resistant--not immune). Some moschata squashes like Seminole Pumpkin are also resistant to mildew. They also make massive vines instead of a bush like the pepo squashes. I am very pleased to report that the Tromboncino was a huge success. I planted around Valentine's day and the vines are still going strong at the beginning of June with only about 10% of the pest and disease issues I had with the pepo squashes. The flavor is fine textured and excellent--like a good zucchini. I have been giving squashes away for weeks and have a dozen in the fridge now. All of this is from 4 hills with about 5 seeds each! The only down side is that they have taken up about a 30 x 12 space in my garden and are still growing. I have let a few fruits mature and they are like a massive butternut squash with a super long neck (or a Tahetian Melon squash if you are familiar with that). I can't comment on the flavor of the mature squash yet, but I hear they are like a butternut. They appear to have slightly less resistance to mildew than the Seminole, but still very good.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Physalis Species Review
« on: May 28, 2023, 10:21:16 PM »
So, I grew two kinds of Physalis this year: New Hannover Ground Cherry (Physalis pruinosa) from Baker Creek and Ayacucho Giant Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) from Trade Winds. The ground cherry I planted in November and the Cape Gooseberry I planted in January. I can see why they are different species because the plants are totally different. The ground cherry grows low to the ground (~12") and likes cool but not freezing temps. The Cape Gooseberry has leaves that are almost 10 times the size of the ground cherry and makes a bush 4-5' tall! Both were less trouble to grow than most tomatoes (Everglades being the exception) with the Cape Gooseberry being the easier of the two in Florida conditions. Berries on the New Hannover run from 1/4" - 5/8" with the average being slightly less than 1/2". Berries on the Cape Gooseberry run from 5/8" to over an 1". I have not picked as many yet, but the average seems to be between 3/4" and 7/8." This may not sound like much but it makes a huge difference in how long it takes to fill a bucket. For flavor I like the Cape Gooseberry better. They have a fruity, perfumy, sweet and sour taste that is hard to describe. The New Hanover (a taste test winner apparently) had more of a 1 dimensional flavor to me. It was good, but you had to eat half a dozen to get the full flavor because of the small size. Plus, it had the bad habbit of dropping fruit before it was fully ripe and unlike a tomato they will not ripen off the bush unless they have already started the color break on the plant--very frustrating. Based on this one season I think the Cape Gooseberry (called Poha) in Hawaii is a better choice for most Florida gardens--bigger fruit, stonger flavor, and tougher plant. The ground cherry excells in two areas, though. It is much easier to cover in the frost (just throw a blanket over the top) and it is not smashed by high winds (staking or caging may have helped with that on the Cape Gooseberry). I think I will continue to grow both--at least for a couple seasons.

Please let me know your thoughts on this or experiences with other Physalis.

Looks like Top Tropicals has opened a new location off of SR 66 near Sebring. The public entrance is at 9100 McRoy. They are open from 9-4 on Fridays and Saturdays. There was a very nice selection of plants from what I saw.

I was reading Baker Creek's seed catalogue and it says that the ripe aril on their Jyunpaku bitter melon from Okinowa is sweet and tastes like cherry candy. Can anyone verify if this is true and if there is enough flesh to bother with? If it is, I may have to grow some just to try it. Note: for anyone who does not know, the aril is edible but the seeds are poisonous.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Tropical Fruit Holiday Foods
« on: December 05, 2022, 10:32:49 PM »
Have you tried using tropical fruit as a substitute in a favorite holiday recipee? Or have you come up with a new dish that you would like to try? Maybe you tried something and it was a failure. Share your ideas here! If you have a recipee to share let us know that you'll be posting something in the recipe section.

Here are some of mine to get us started:

I like freezing sliced green mango that dropped earlier in the year to use in apple recipes this time of year. Works like a charm--we had some tonight actually.

As for failures, I can verify that Suriname cherries do not make a great cherry pie. We tried this once when I was a kid. That was the only pie I ever remember getting thrown away.

A recent thread got me thinking that we need a place to exchange constructive advice about how to best ship/recieve the rare planting material or products that we value as a part of this group. Hopefully, those of you who have lots of experience with this will comment so that others can learn from your experience.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Heaviest Mango 2022
« on: July 18, 2022, 09:44:51 PM »
Just curious what everyone's largest/heaviest mango has been for the year. A Friend gave me a mango off her tree today that weighs 3lbs 6oz. And from what she said that was not the largest fruit on the tree! I suspect that the tree is a Springfels or maybe a seedling of Springfels.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Most Cold Hardy Dragonfruit?
« on: May 14, 2022, 03:05:22 PM »
Texas Mark posted a while back about how his Sugar Dragon survived some pretty extreme cold when his green house lost power. That got me thinking that there might be some clones with more cold tollerence than most people realize. I was hoping everyone could chime in on what varieties they are growing and what temperature they have survived without getting damaged. My Delight got toasted pretty good in the mid 20s here. I am especially interested in information on any of the forms of Paul Thimpson's S8 (Sugar Dragon/Voodoo Child) and Houghton (its parent) if you have them. Thanks for your help!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jack Bean for Nematodes
« on: May 06, 2022, 10:37:28 PM »
There has been a lot of discussion lately about dealing with root knot nematodes. So, I thought people might be interested in this article. Apparently, Jack Bean seed powder is highly effective at controling nematodes. 1% inclusion in potting soil (by weight) reduced nematoed galling by 98%!

According to my calculations that would require an application rate of approximately 4 cups of jack bean seed powder per square foot. Assuming that 1 cubic foot of soil (sand) weighs 100 lbs and that most nematodes inhabit the top 10" of the soil matrix. One would also have applied approximately 1,500 lbs of total nitrogen per acre (most of it presumably slowly available). Assuming that jack bean powder would weigh about the same as chick pea flour and that jack bean seeds are 4.5% nitrogen (equivalent to 29% protein).

There always seems to be a catch...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / May Mango Bloom in Florida???
« on: May 06, 2022, 09:59:45 PM »
So, I was out in the yard today and noticed that an okrung mango seedling has some bloom just starting. I pruned it back hard around the beginning of April because of cold damage (I didn't have time to freeze protect the tree because of everything else I had going on). I have always thought that somewhere around the middle of April was the latest opportunity for mango bloom here, but I guess I was wrong.  8)

Looking for budwood of any low chill plums that might do well in central Florida (250 chill hours or less). I am especially interested in the Gulf series plums (Gulf Gold, Gulf Ruby, Gulf Blaze, and Gulf Beauty) since I have grown them in the past successfully but would be interested in others as well. Already have Scarlet Beauty, a chickisaw plum with decent sized fruit that had been a rootstock (Sharpe?), and am trying Guthrie.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Best Options for Preserving Jackfruit
« on: December 15, 2021, 10:35:27 PM »
The idea for this topic came to me while reading another thread. One of the big challenges with Jacks is that they come in such large packages. As has been pointed out, it can be hard to eat that much fruit before it goes bad. Here is what has worked for me:

1). Clean the jackfruit
2). Freeze the jackfruit in quantities you can eat before it spoils
3). Thaw and enjoy

Remarkably, I have noticed very little change in texture with frozen and thawed jackfruit, but I have not kept it for long periods of time. Please feel free to comment and add other ideas or thoughts.

I was doing some reading and came accross this article from an Isreli study. To sumarize, Sugar Apple scions grafted to Cherimoya rootstock in this study were almost twice as productive as those grafted to Sugar Apple roots and far more productive than Cherimoya grafted to Cherimoya roots. In addition, the cross grafted trees had larger trunk diameters, heavier fruits, and a higher proportion of edible pulp.

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Cassava Root Rot
« on: October 11, 2021, 09:31:17 PM »
Does anyone know what can be done to prevent root rot in cassava (Manihot esculenta)? What I have seen on-line indicates that most of the rots are caused by fungus. I have some friends growing some in their yard and the roots are rotting. The soil is sandy and well drained, but the lawn is watered all the time and I see nematode issues on a lot of the other plants in the yard. So, I am thinking that the nematode damage is creating an entrance for fungus that is causing the rot. Any other thoughts?

We discovered by accident the other day that if you eat Cranberry Hibiscus (Hibiscus Acetocella) leaf after a miracle fruit it tastes amazing! It is almost like eating a sald with a sweet/sour vinaigrette dressing built into the leaves. I did not realize that the leaves had a sweet component to them until eating them after miracle fruit!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Amboina Lychee
« on: June 07, 2021, 11:27:07 PM »
Amboina is suposedly the earliest lychee cultivar (ripening in April/May). As I understand it, the main knock against it is that the fruits are rather tart. It is also suposed to be difficult to airlayer but grows from seed fairly reliably (if that is a good thing in this case). Does anyone have this lychee or experience growing it?

This post is about grafting Dragonfruit onto other cactus species and the benefits that this may provide. Even though Cacti have remarkable variation in appearence, they tend to have a high degree of graft compatibility within the family. I am wondering how we as fruit growers can use this to our advantage.

For example, maybe crest grafting to sturdy columnar cacti could create a permanent/inexpensive trellis that grew with the vine and never rotted? Or possibly some of the more drought tollerent species can be used as rootstocks in arid locations (such as Stenocerus pruinosus)? We might even find rootstocks that improve fruit size or quality.

I have successfully grafted dragonfruit to peruvian apple cactus (what species that is I will leave to the experts). I also have another graft on an unidentified semi-columnar cactus that is doing well. Opuntia (as suggested elsewhere on this forum) did not work for me, but that may just have been poor technique.

What are your thoughts and experiences?

Does anyone have any experience growing this (especially in Florida)? I understand that the unopened flower bud is considered a delicacy but is only availabe for a month or two each year. Sugarcane grows easily for me and I thought this might be interesting. Mike T posted about it on one of the sugarcane threads.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Merry Christmas 2020
« on: December 25, 2020, 07:42:22 AM »
Merry Christmas to all of you! It is nice to have a reason to celebrate after such a crazy year. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Increasing Grafted Jackfruit Vigor
« on: December 01, 2020, 08:46:18 PM »
Like a number of other people on this forum, I have observed that Jackfruit trees seem to be stunted by grafting. The only exception I ever observed to this was at the home of the late Wayne Clifton. He had a 2yr old grafted Jackfruit that was growing as well as any seedling. Being somewhat shocked by this, I asked him how he did it. He showed me that the tree had a double rootstock. Apparently, he had approach grafted a second rootstock to the tree shortly after it was planted and in doing so restored the tree's vigor. Has anyone else ever seen something like this? Is it really just that easy, or did I miss something?

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