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Messages - TheVeggieProfessor

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Shade cast by dwarf coconut?
« on: February 10, 2023, 11:13:40 AM »
Hi all. I'd like to plant some dwarf fijis on my property, but I only have so much space. I have a spot where I could put one that is just south of my pickering mango and black sapote. 10 feet south east of the pickering and 10 feet south west of the black sapote. Would this cast too much shade on my fruit trees? It seems to me that palms let a lot of light in. I could probably put it more to the south if needed. Thanks for your input.

Are all citrus varieties too high maintenance and disease prone to warrant growing? Or are there any species that are still relatively maintenance free? I'm in west broward county BTW>

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 10b - best snacking fruits for kids
« on: January 29, 2023, 06:39:12 AM »
my introduction to plants as a kid was honeysuckle, I'll never forget trying it and finding it unbelievable that it really tasted sweet like honey
I think a lot of species are invasive though

Honeysuckle has a better cousin, the Honeyberry/Haskap. Normally hardy zone 3-8, makes a blueberry-like fruit. Native to Siberia/Japan I believe, and not considered invasive. Florida (Zone 9+) trials going on for a few cultivars, a couple of which I bought and will receive sometime this Spring (Strawberry Sensation, Boreal Beauty).
Might be worth a try for something new, especially an easily manageable shrub.

I agree with every other suggestion posted in this thread too. If you need a purple passion vine, I'm digging mine up to replace with giant granadilla; let me know if you want to pick it up im in Broward.

Thanks for the offer. That'd be great, but I'm not going to be planting it until it warms up. Are you getting your giant granadilla from tree amigos? They had some in stock not too long ago.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / 10b - best snacking fruits for kids
« on: January 23, 2023, 11:31:22 AM »
I'm putting together a play area in the yard for my daughter. For both shade and foraging, I'd like to have fruiting trees, shrubs, and ground covers. Jamaican cherry tree is great for snacking for kids and for shade. She also loves everglades tomatoes, so I'll plant those around probably as ground cover.
What else should I consider? The plants don't have to be super productive, but I'd prefer if it's not very unproductive.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 12x12 nut tree
« on: November 23, 2022, 05:03:18 PM »
Hi all. I am looking to plant a tree to the south of my house that can help to provide some shade. From my house to the fence, there is about 20'. My roof has an over hang of a few feet, plus I want to be able to walk comfortably around the tree, so I'm looking for something that can be maintained in the neighborhood of 12x12 or so (a little bigger is fine). I thought macadamia could be nice. I'm more interested in tropical almond, but am not sure if that will fruit well if I attempt to maintain it at 12x12. Any experiences? Other recommendations?

Tropical almond is a very large tree. We just cut down the one out front that had been topped repeatedly to save the neighbors view. I'd suggest something like barringtonia edulis if that is available and suitable for your location.

Jackfruit seeds are edible as well, kind of like little potatoes when you boil them. Worth a thought.

Thanks (I'm vegan too btw). I have a jackfruit tree and would plant another if the wife would let me.

Cut nut might grow here. I'm not sure. I'll have to research it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Tree collards in subtropics
« on: November 22, 2022, 03:20:01 PM »
Definitely want to try Cody Cove farm kale, but they don't ship out of Florida.  They're working on getting the licensing.

What did you think about the taste and texture?  Was it mild even during summer?

Yellow cabbage collard is also one of my favorites, though I don't know how long it will produce.  Mine have survived for three years.


I didn't eat it during summer since it wasn't really growing. I've eaten is lately and really like it. Pretty mild.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / 12x12 nut tree
« on: November 21, 2022, 09:59:41 AM »
Hi all. I am looking to plant a tree to the south of my house that can help to provide some shade. From my house to the fence, there is about 20'. My roof has an over hang of a few feet, plus I want to be able to walk comfortably around the tree, so I'm looking for something that can be maintained in the neighborhood of 12x12 or so (a little bigger is fine). I thought macadamia could be nice. I'm more interested in tropical almond, but am not sure if that will fruit well if I attempt to maintain it at 12x12. Any experiences? Other recommendations?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Neighbor pesticide spray
« on: November 21, 2022, 09:48:44 AM »
Do you have some type of high wooden fence, wouldn't that block a lot of it?  Like others have said, this can't be cheap to maintain, hopefully in this economy they will decide they don't want to pay for this anymore and stop the service.

I do have a 6' privacy fence, but the spray drifts over the top. Fortunately, I'd imagine the fence is blocking a lot of it. I agree. My hope is that as economic hardships might take hold, this would be the type of luxury that they cut back on.

To Galantians: The difference with the sugar cane vs. a fruit with an inedible skin is that, with the sugar cane, I'm not attracting pollinators over to meet their doom.

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Tree collards in subtropics
« on: November 21, 2022, 09:46:36 AM »
I grow Project Tree Collard's purple tree collard both in Laguna Beach and Fallbrook.  I planted the cutting in Fallbrook out in full sun and it's taken 100+ degrees.  It does not grow as much during summer and the leaves taste stronger, but fine for cooking and making kale chips.  They grow well during fall and winter, at that time during winter rains, the leaves are very tender and even the larger leaves and stems taste good raw.  The color is a deeper purple as well.

My only complaint about the plant is the way it grows and it needs to be staked.  Staked it grows tall with a long stem and leaves are mostly at the top of the plant.  If you let it sprawl it will grow more side shoots but it still needs support to keep the leaves up.  At my home garden I've been just letting it meander and get support from other plants growing around it.  Plant is several years old.

I also like the purple tree collard sold by Wendiland
It has a better growth habit, sturdier stems and it's more compact.  The taste is good with a different flavor from the regular purple tree collard and once you have the plant it can also be propagated by cuttings.  I think it was selected from a garden in Las Vegas, it has grown fine in full sun in Fallbrook all summer.

I have my own perennial kale breeding project I have been working on for over a decade.  Hope to share that in the future.


Thanks so much for the information, Janet! I'll try the tree collard linked. Also, check out Chomolia ( A tree kale from zimbabwe. Mine made it through the summer, but was planted on the north side of my house. I just propagated to the south side. Will see how it does this summer.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Neighbor pesticide spray
« on: October 20, 2022, 08:28:20 AM »
What if the neighbor quits using the perimeter spray and you have a non productive hedge planted.

I suggested Sugar Cane or Sorghum.
Maybe try Corn instead
and hedge your bets.

Whatís a good variety of sugarcane that wonít fall over and (hopefully) wonít grow taller than 10 feet or so so it doesnít cast shade on my plants to the west?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Neighbor pesticide spray
« on: October 18, 2022, 06:16:27 PM »
It's says it's pyrethrum-based.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Neighbor pesticide spray
« on: October 18, 2022, 03:01:52 PM »
Hi all. My neighbors use this perimeter mosquito repellent:
It goes for 45 seconds 3x per day. I get considerable drift onto my property. What would you do if you were me? Plant fruiting plants along the fence and accept that the pesticide will affect the fruit, or plant a non-productive hedge to block the spray?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / What to plant north of my house?
« on: October 06, 2022, 07:54:31 PM »
I'm thinking about what to plant immediately to the north of my house - just a few feet from the wall. Technically, it's not due north, but a bit northwest, so I get a very small amount of afternoon sun even in December. I was going to plant ginger there, but have been thinking about some other ideas. One thought I had was to plant some tropical persimmon seeds and see what happens. I figure it won't have leaves when that area gets a very small amount of sunlight. Plus they don't grow that big. What do you think? What other plants can I try? Something that doesn't grow too big and will play nice with my foundation.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jackfruit - Plant in Fall or Wait
« on: October 06, 2022, 07:51:34 PM »
Thanks, I was leaning towards getting it into the ground asap so thatís what Iíll do.

I planted mine late fall/early winter and it's done fine. I did cover it when we had the bad cold snap last year.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Ma'afala breadfruit
« on: October 02, 2022, 05:07:53 PM »
I hear that ma'afala is slightly more cold tolerant than other breadfruit varieties and somewhat of a compact grower. I was thinking about giving it a try in south FL (10b). Any experiences with this, especially the growth habit? I have a spot that can accommodate a tree that I keep maxed out at 15x15 (though smaller would be preferred). Would this fit the bill, or too vigorous a grower?

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Tree collards in subtropics
« on: September 27, 2022, 08:10:17 AM »
I'm in 10b (SE FL). Has anyone had luck with any varieties of tree collards making it through the summer? Project tree collard says that their "Big Blue" variety might be okay up to zone 11, but hasn't been tested much. I'm thinking of giving it a try, but wondering if anyone found one that works?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Front yard tree - east of large oak
« on: September 26, 2022, 08:13:54 AM »
You might want to consider planting Sapodilla tree. The fruits don't seem to attract any birds or squirrels or rats.  Also, the fruits don't look attractive when mature and I don't think most people recognize them either.

Besides, the tree is good looking, easy to grow, evergreen, not disease prone and partial sun ok. (my personal experience from growing it since 2015 in my yard).
Others may suggest differently, I am pretty sure. Good luck with your search...

Great idea. I'll go for it! :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Front yard tree - east of large oak
« on: September 25, 2022, 02:33:50 PM »
I have a mamey sapote planted in my front yard just outside the drip line of a large oak - to the east. It gets about 4.5-5 hours of sun per day. The mamey just doesn't seem happy there. I have lots of trees planted all around the mamey and it's the only one experiencing any substantial pest pressure. Maybe it's not getting enough sun, or maybe the roots of the oak are making the soil too acidic. I'm thinking about moving the mamey and replacing it with something else that might like those conditions better. I don't want to do a jabo, because it's too far from my spigot to care to run irrigation. I don't want to do carambola either. I'm interested in something that is attractive and where the fruit is not likely to be stolen. I though maybe rolinia. Macadamia could be good, but I won't be able to shoot squirrels in the front yard. Maybe a bird feeder in the back would be enough - I could knock them out back there and then won't have them in the front either. Maybe a tropical persimmon? Any other ideas for a tree that would be happier there? Preferably a nut or off-season tree.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 10b (south florida) perennial staple foods
« on: September 25, 2022, 02:29:49 PM »
Groundnut (apios americana or prieceana), Jicama (pachyrizus sp.s), dioscorea sp., sweet corn root (calathea allouia), texas ebony (ebenopsis ebano), malabar chestnut. what about oil crops? such as acorns, cocoplums, oil palms, macadamia,. there have to be some many other nuts as well..

I commented earlier about oyster nuts. I'm planning on trying to find some seeds and trying it out next Spring. Sacha inchi seems like a great candidate as well, though I know it's a pain to process the nuts (as is the case for many nuts).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruiting Shade Tree - Worth it?
« on: September 18, 2022, 11:07:35 AM »
You can use most of the common tropical fruit trees for this purpose.
Just don't get a dwarf varieties.

Mango, Jackfruit, and avocado should all be pretty easy.
I would consider mammea americana or starapple, they are pretty trees and the fruit don't make a huge mess.

I'm doing the same in front of my western-facing windows, I try to keep the canopy level with my roof, I don't let the branches hang over though.

I planted a jackfruit and red custard apple to the southwest and southnorth repsectively to help with shading the west of my house, but I think I planted them too far to get much of a favorable effect. So I planted some bananas and pigeon peas closer to the house. Time will tell...

I can't plant anything too far from the house, because I only have ~20' to my fence.
I was thinking maybe an avocado, jamaican strawberry, or macadamia (depending upon tendency to blow over; I'll look into that) 10-12' from the house could be a good choice. I'd love to have a breadfruit, but that could be too big. Plus marginal for west broward county (zone 10b). Maybe it would get some heat from my house since it's planted due south? But probably too far away for the microclimate effect from my home.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruiting Shade Tree - Worth it?
« on: September 17, 2022, 06:29:26 PM »
Off the top of my head I think of my old house that had english ivy growing up the southern wall, given that it's only a one story house what do you think of a vining plant like passionfruit? Good for your area, One vine gets up to 50 feet, fruits aren't too heavy and can be picked with those fruit picking poles pretty easily, + beautiful flowers

I was thinking about that. Did you put a trellis up to the south of your house or attach something to the house itself?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fruiting Shade Tree - Worth it?
« on: September 17, 2022, 03:06:09 PM »
I'm in SE FL. Interested in adding a shade tree to the south of my house to help to keep my living room a bit cooler. I like for all of the trees I grow to serve a purpose and producing food is the most appealing purpose. However, I'd want to let the tree grow tall to shade as much of the home as possible (1 story only). So harvesting the fruit would be a pain. Perhaps something that drops fruits (such as macadamia) would be worthwhile? Or maybe something that I can trellis yams up. Any recommendations?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What To Do With Green Bananas?
« on: September 13, 2022, 12:17:38 PM »
I like making baked green banana chips or fries. Cut the ends off, make a slit down, then peel the skin off (use a knife and cutting board you don't care about!). Then slice and bake at 400 for 20 minutes (flip half way through if you care to).

I like to boil them sometimes too.

Sorry to hijack, but is Rollinia evergreen in 10b? (west broward county fl)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 10b (south florida) perennial staple foods
« on: September 08, 2022, 10:38:57 AM »

Whatever you do, stay away from true yams (Dioscorea family).  They grow so easily that they are horribly invasive.  If you aren't careful, everywhere you look there will be a vine with a big edible root under it.  It would be terrible.

Good point. You have to stay on top of collecting the bulbils. There are varities (I've seen for sale on cody cove farms) that do not produce bulbils - so that would be the way if growing yams.

Cody cove also sells a variety of chayote that is thorny and tastes like a potato - not sure if it's just the flavor or if it in fact has higher calories.

I posted about this initially, but based on my research, it seems like oyster nuts are underrated as a staple crop for tropical/subtropical climates. A vining species that produces an abundance of easily stored and nutritious nuts. Cuttings would be preferred over seeds since you need a male and a female and won't know which is which for I think a year and a half, but I haven't been able to track them down. Going to figure out a trellising system and start from seed. Excited to give it a try. They produce for 20 years I think. The nuts are encased within a pumpkin looking thing, so my hope is the squirrels don't give too much trouble (especially if I plant them in the front yard making it difficult to add the squirrels as a sustainable protein source to my diet).

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