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Messages - Galatians522

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This strawberry thread also leads me to ask about the new introduction 'Pineberries' that I've been reading about which produce berries that look like a negative version of a red strawberry, i.e., having ivory colored fruit covered with red seeds!

Pineberries just this season seem to be showing up in places like Publix in the Tampa, FL area.

But will they grow and survive in west central Florida, I'm wondering.  WIll the plants last more than one season?  Anyone know?

Paul M.

The ones you are buying in Publix were grown in Florida. UF bred them from a Japanese strawberry. They will probably be no more heat tollerent than any of the other Florida strawberries. I know of several people that have kept plants over the summer. Shade and nematode free soil seem to be requirements with regular fungicide applications being very helpful. Back when plants were $0.25 each it was more costly to keep them over the summer than to buy new. Not sure if that is still true.

Its funny that you mention this. I was just doing some research on the topic last week. Apparently, some people have fruited alpine strawberries from seed in Florida. If you look at the comments section in this link, one of the posters was from Florida and says that he got fruit.

I have decided to try growing some seeds from Plant City strawberries that I got a couple weeks ago. They are stratifying in the fridge right now. I will plant indoors in July with the goal of having sets that can go outside by October. Since I will be growing seed from hybrids, I will need to select for several generations to stabilize the genetics that I want. If it works I will be able to develop a Florida heirloom strawberry that I can grow from seed every year just like my tomatoes... Surely if it were this simple someone else would have done it already??? Time will tell.

Its 40% humidity here in Florida right now. California regularly gets much lower than that. It does not phase our citrus. I am wondering if you could solve the problem by deflecting or difusing the air that is blowing out of the dehumidifier.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: soil wetting agents
« on: March 16, 2023, 10:26:45 PM »
If you want to do a thorough soak, a thick plastic trash bag could be slipped around the pot, filled with water, and tied to the trunk. A pot saucer is another option that might work.

There are a number of cold hardy avocados. Mangos are another story. I have come to the conclusion that there is very little actual difference between mangos in cold tollerence. One season you may see less damage on a particulr cultivar and more on another. The next season that may be exactly reversed. For example, Pickering was originally selected because as a seedling it was not damaged by temps that caused major damage to older trees near by. It did not prove to be more cold hardy as a mature tree. And there is an account on this thread reporting that it is more susceptible than other cultivars! Bailey's Marvel is another one that has been touted as more cold hardy--I have not seen that. I think that tree size and the level of dormancy has more of an influence than cultivar. I will add that I have no experience with any of the north Indian or Pakistani cultivars that Alex has talked about. I suppose that it is possible they could be more cold tollerent (since it takes a stronger cold spell to make them bloom), but based on prior observations I am not expecting much.

  We get our orange juice from Joshua Farms in Arcadia and it's not from concentrate and has been very good over the years, but I do taste a difference lately, I know the orange is not in season so I wonder if they source from a different source then themselves and wonder if it is from concentrate. Has anyone seen what happens to juice from concentrate? They basically boil the fruit down to a slurry of pulp, extract all the oxygen out of it, this includes all the nutrition, then store it in big vats for months on end, the slurry has no taste or smell, then when they make it into juice again they add perfume to make it taste like oranges again.
They are picking Valencia oranges here in Highlands County now. They make excellent juice. Not from concentrate Valencia juice can be frozen for 4 months without much loss in quality. That is how most of the NFC juice companies got year round production. Valencias were picked until June and they used their stockpile of frozen juice until October when Hamlins started being harvested again. Perfume is not an ingredient in OJ concentrate to my knowledge. I am glad to hear that Joshua Creek is still selling NFC, Maxwells here in Avon Park does as well. They are our last local juice stand. There used to be one one every corner.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: OxiDate, Any experiance use this on citrus?
« on: March 08, 2023, 10:16:40 PM »
It is a good general fungicide/bactericide. It works well for some things and not so well for others (it will not control anthracnose in lychee in my experience). I have never seen it harm a plant when applied according to the label. We used it for years on our Blueberry field. It has virtually 0 residual effect, so you need to spray on a weekly basis.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: March 06, 2023, 10:02:54 PM »
I'm no myrica expert, but these flowers look female to me:

They are hard to tell apart when they are small. I think those are male flowers, though. I was looking at some wild plants today and some of the immature stage male flowers looked a lot like your picture. The female flowers on my bush are longer and branch more. Its got 1 main stalk with something like 6 or 8 side branches coming off it at right angles. If you look closely at pictures of berries on-line you can see what I am talking about--they come in little clusters at the nodes (not singly).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Illegal or Not?? Mango Scions
« on: March 04, 2023, 11:11:37 PM »
It was not gmo. I have not looked for that particular blueberry variety in a long time. It is currently for sale on-line. So, you must be right.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Illegal or Not?? Mango Scions
« on: March 04, 2023, 04:20:13 PM »
Galatian522, my planting Coconut Cream seeds was not meant as an affront to the hard work of the Zills.  I originally didn't know it was patented (didn't even know there was such a mango until 2017 or 2018). The 2018 seedling I have flowering has leaves that smell like what Alex calls Indian - Alphonso. I do not like this type of mango. If it holds fruit, I may need to enlist someone who like Alphonso-type mangos to rate its quality.

Based on what I know of the private individuals who do this kind of work--Zills, Zagers, etc. They are fine with you growing seeds out in your back yard for personal consumption--that is how their families got started in this, after all. Just don't turn it into a money making enterprise. On the other hand, big corporations like Monsanto and the University of Florida will hunt you down if they find out that you have grown seeds from their plants. I personally know of a guy who grew blueberry seedlings from UF genetics (blueberry seeds are zygotic, by the way). He ended up with 1 or 2 excellent plants and when the University found out, they came to confiscate the plants and said that they owned the propagation rights. I will add 1 caveat, however. Plant patents expire after 20 years unless they are renewed. Once the patent has expired you can do what you want with the genetics.

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.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Illegal or Not?? Mango Scions
« on: March 03, 2023, 10:45:50 PM »
I think that we should support the Zills and the amazing work that they are doing as much as possible. I want to say that I remember reading somewhere that only 1 out of about every 1,000-2,000 mango seeds they grow out gets released as a new variety. It costs about $25/year to take care of a mango tree (water, labor, fertilizer, taxes, etc.). If those trees take 5 years to bear, he has between $125,00 and $250,000 invested in each new variety that is released. Since I don't care to spend that kind of money myself, I am happy to pay him a few dollars extra for the one variety that he has asked people not to propagate.

Temperate Fruit Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: ISO prunus mume seeds or plants
« on: February 28, 2023, 08:26:47 PM »
Well, that won't do much good. I see they are out of stock. Maybe you could call and order one.

Wishful thinking but hopefully this is a smoke-free Wildfire free dry season

I'm kinda doubting that at this point. Just yesterday I stopped to help put out a grass fire on the side of the road. Someone had spilled some chemicals that made the fire very hard to put out.

Galatians522,  I have grown that specific variety you're asking about from Baker Creek.  It does not taste like cherry candy to me.  When the melon turns yellow the arils are red and become sweet, but doesn't taste good enough for me to grow for the arils.  I grew it two years in a row, first in Laguna Beach then second in Fallbrook.  I wanted to see if quality improved with the warmer temps at the farm, but they tasted the same both years. 



Hot, dry Springs in Florida are not uncommon. I investigated having an irrigation well installed in my back yard but the $3,500+ cost just to irrigate a few fruit trees nullified that option. So I setup a rain barrel next to my shed with a guttering system attached to the shed to catch the runoff from the roof and through the downspout into the barrel. I'll likely add an additional barrel later on.

There is some good information on the web about washing (jetting) in your own well. Based on how energetic you are and how far it is to water it could be an option.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sweetest Carambola Variety
« on: February 27, 2023, 09:18:48 PM »
Your description seems to match Sri Kembangan. It has short ridges and gets a darker orange color when fully ripe. It will get much bigger than what you described. Fwang Tung is also highly rated, but it is lighter in color with tall ridges.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Interesting general rootstock ideas
« on: February 27, 2023, 09:13:32 PM »
Okra on Kenaf.
I'll be doing okra on hibiscus sabdariffa (roselle) this spring. Good resources:

Sweet! Please let us know how it works and what grafts you have success with. If you are doing it for nematodes, Cranberry Hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella) has more nematode resistance than Roslle.

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« on: February 27, 2023, 09:07:23 PM »
I found tatsoi to be a great spinach replacement. Grows in florida great and was the last to bloom when got hot.

I have not tried it, but I have heard people call it "vitamin green." I guess its actually suposed to be better for you than spinach. Its on the mustard side of the barissica genus with Bok/Pok Choy. Is it pungent like mustard greens or mild like choy?

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« on: February 26, 2023, 09:29:42 PM »
Thought I would resurect this post by adding a quotation from an article I was reading about upland taro production. If you plan to grow taro for leaves, you should start eith one of the listed varieties. This is from:
"Growing Upland Taro"
By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, University of Hawaii.

"Leaf production and corm production
are different Ďanimalsí and should not be
mixed or integrated. In leaf production,
there are different cultivars used, with
Bun Long Woo as the dominant variety.
However, there are many other varieties
that could be utilized including Palauan
and Hawaiian varieties. Hawaiian
varieties utilized for leaf production have
included Lehua, Mana, Piko, and

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 / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: February 24, 2023, 10:27:53 PM »
I recently noticed that several of my M cerifera trees started to bloom. Iím guessing these are male blooms and I wonder if cerifera pollen could cross pollinate M Rubra?


I went out and looked at my female. I think you are correct. The female looks very similar, but the cluster of bloom looks like little tiny balls with a thread sticking out of each.

People in America will be drinking OJ long after we are all dead and gone. At this point, it looks like the majority of that juice will enter our borders as concentrate from foreign sources and will be reconstituted and bottled here. They will need truckers to haul that juice and the concentrate that it is made from.

I have read about this cherry. Its great that you are making it available. I will look forward to next year if you offer it again.

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