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Messages - Daintree

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Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: ISO Tamarind and Grumichama seeds
« on: September 19, 2021, 10:17:21 AM »
I bought my tamarind seeds at the local grocery store as fruit in the pods. They sprouted quite easily. Mine bloomed and set fruit for the first time this year in my greenhouse.

As a matter of fact, I have started several of my trees from grocery store fruit. Most of ours comes from Mexico and South or Central America and is not irradiated.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Chemical or Organic Growing and Fruit Taste
« on: September 12, 2021, 09:29:54 PM »
Sure! I just picked up the seeds today.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Chemical or Organic Growing and Fruit Taste
« on: September 12, 2021, 10:35:34 AM »
I actually did this for a Master Gardener experiment!

I grew several cherry tomato plants from the same batch of seeds and treated them all with different combinations of organic or synthetic fertilizers, insect sprays and systemic insecticides.  There were 8 different combinations in all.  I kept all the pots labelled and kept track of who got what and when.  I even kept track of which plants were taller, the number of fruits, etc. 

Then I had my hubby harvest the crops and place them in "generic" labelled containers (A, B, C etc) so it would be a double-blind tasting.  I washed everything thoroughly using Veggie Wash.  My thought on this was I wanted to see if the sprays affected the taste of the fruit without any residue on the skin.   

We all had LOADS of fun eating the tomatoes!  There were over 3 dozen participants, governed by the number of tomatoes that I was able to grow.  Everyone had a score card, and some folks took it VERY seriously, counting seeds, tasting flesh and skin separately, eating crackers between tastes, etc.

Now, here was the interesting part - some people SWORE that there were huge differences in the taste of organic vs synthetic, were positive which ones had been treated with a systemic, etc.  The results were all over the place, from "they all taste the same" to "this one is way better".  But the tomatoes folks rated as "best", "totally organic", "most tasting like insecticide" etc were all over the board and NOBDOY got it 100% correct.  The closest was probably about 75% (3 out of 4 listed items), and when we opened "the envelope" to see which had been treated what products, the most common response was "No! Really?".

Once the results were graphed, there was no difference overall, although everyone had their own personal preferences.  I was one of the "they all taste the same" people, so I didn't have much at stake.  But one or two people who were most accurate (I am pretty sure it was just chance...) at picking organic vs synthetic, I am pretty sure are now trying to sell their taste buds for millions of dollars on eBay... 

Anyway, long story, sorry.  I am going to do this again for the next set of Master Gardener newbies.  It is quite fun, and no actual fist-fights broke out.


Here is a great article on Identifying AND TREATING herbicide contamination in soil, compost, etc.  I have found it very helpful.  If you scroll down, it lists 10 different treatments that should help.  Good luck!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Has anyone fruited a marula tree in the USA?
« on: September 12, 2021, 09:59:27 AM »
I got my marula seeds from a forum member in South Africa, so know nothing about the Fruit and Spice Park trees, but I am certainly hoping mine eventually flower and fruit! I have had good luck with other trees such as cacao and different annonas.

My previous batch of marula were about 10 ft tall, but I only had three and had no idea if they were male or female, and didn't want them taking up space while I waited to find out, so I cut them down.  Once I heard about how to tell the difference between male and female seeds, I started a new batch, keeping them carefully marked from the sprouting stage onward.  I plan to graft some male branches onto the female trees when they get bigger (they are 4 ft tall right now) so I don't have to keep so many trees.

On another note, I had been meaning to ask this - has anyone else seen a difference in the growth patterns and vigor of male vs female marula seedlings?  I have noticed that my male trees seem to be much taller and more vigorous, whereas my female trees are bushier.  Also, when I pruned them to force branching, the males put up multiple leaders, whereas the females only made a single leader.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: GOJI Berries
« on: August 17, 2021, 11:54:29 AM »
I pick mine once they look bright red/orange/  They range anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size, maybe depending on how much sun each berry gets?  They ripen SUPER fast.  I can clean my bush one day of all red berries, and the next day there are more.  If you wait too long they shrivel and fall, so get out there and pick as soon as they turn that brilliant color.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seeds vailbilty
« on: August 11, 2021, 07:35:36 PM »
I would think that the jaboticabas and close relatives should be fine.  Just plant them quickly and see.
The gardenias are usually very short-lived and shouldn't dry out. Those are probably goners.  But once again, you never know.  Plant them and see.

Also, I note that you only ordered one of each seed.  Germination rates are never 100%.  Usually closer to 80% or maybe lower.  I would recommend getting fewer varieties and more seeds of each to ensure you get at least one tree.  I usually buy ten of each seed I am trying.  It is so disappointing to buy one seed and it doesn't germinate.  Better to have too many than none!

Good luck!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Puerto Rico fruit hunting trip
« on: August 07, 2021, 09:42:07 PM »
But . . . You're not wearing your Tropical Fruit Hunters shirt!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best Fruit Trees/Plants for Containers
« on: August 04, 2021, 06:54:43 PM »
My website is super outdated (like several years!) but there are a bunch of pictures there.  I am hoping this winter to re-take photos and get things more up to date.

It is

It is 700 sf.  Started out as 300, but once I moved my plants in from the sun porch I realized I had bought too small of a kit.  So I slowly added a "stick-built" addition, until I ran out of room (ie - I hit the patio!).

Yes, height is a problem!  I am in the city and am limited by our building code.  My roof height at the peak is only 10 ft 2 inches.  I have had to get rid of things that have an untrainable nature and an aggressive vertical growth habit.  Add in the height of the pots, and that makes for some heavy pruning.

I could not dig down and plant in the ground, because the main thing that keeps everything from being cooked alive at 3,000 ft high desert/no-clouds-all-summer is that it is shaded by our huge 70 year old maple tree.  So the whole yard is full of roots that I wasn't willing to sacrifice.  We have the tree pruned every few years to make sure it won't come down on the house or greenhouse!

And, as always, come visit if you are ever near Boise Idaho!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best Fruit Trees/Plants for Containers
« on: August 03, 2021, 12:19:36 AM »
Funny you should ask!  I am having a greenhouse tour tomorrow for local Master Gardeners, and just did up a list for them!

Here is a partial list of what I am currently growing in pots (I took out the grasses, citrus, and small or non-fruiting things - like bougainvillea...).  Nothing is bigger than about 25-30 gallons. 

Most of these are or have been fruiting or blooming in my tropical greenhouse.


Annona muricata - Soursop
Annona reticulata - Custard Apple
Bixa orellana - Annatto
Caparis spinosa var. inermis - Caper
Carica papaya - Solo papaya
Carica pentagona - Babaco papaya
Casimiroa edulis    - Sapote, white
Chrysophyllum cainito - Caimito
Cinnamomun zeylanicum - Cinnamon
Clausena excavata - Pink wampee
Cnidoscolus aconitifolius - Chaya, spineless
Coffea arabica - Coffee
Cola acuminata - Monkey cola
Eugenia brasiliensis - Grumichama
Eugenia neonitida - Pitangatuba
Eugenia uniflora - Pitanga
Feijoa sellowiana - Pineapple guava
Ficus carica - Fig
Glycosmis pentaphylla - Gin berry
Hylocereus undata - Dragonfruit
Jacaranda mimosafolia - Jacaranda
Morinda citrifolia - Noni
Musa acuminata    - Banana
Opuntia ficus-indica - Tuna
Pachira aquatica    - Malabar chestnut
Passiflora edulis - passion fruit
Piper nigrum - Pepper
Plinia cauliflora - Jaboticaba
Psidium guajava    - Guava, Mexican red
Punica granatum - Pomegranate
Rollina deliciosa - Biriba
Sclerocarya birrea - Marula - male and female
Solanum abutiloides - Dwarf tamarillo
Solanum betaceum - Tamarillo
Solanum sisymbriifolium - Sticky nightshade, vila-vila
Spondias dulcis - Cas mango
Syzygium jambos - Rose apple
Tamarindis indica - Tamarind
Theobroma cacao - Chocolate, forastero and trinatario

I don't understand what this has to do with fruit...

What an awesome project! I do something similar in my greenhouse in Idaho - if it is rare and edible, I try to grow it! Then I share them with folks.

I don't sell seeds and am not interested in sharing profits, but I would love to swap seeds!
PM me if interested.




Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Trying to find a Tamarillo tree
« on: June 25, 2021, 08:30:51 PM »
I love my stinky, sticky-leaved tamarillo tree.  My sister calls it "creosote tree" because it smells like road tar.  The sticky leaves attract fungus gnats, who commit suicide on them in massive numbers.  It makes me wonder if it is partially carnivorous...


I would go with B. Your greenhouse is too small to use A or C effeciently.  You just wont have enough floor space with C (always having to step up or down or watch for the wall could be a tripping hazard), and with A, the dirt wall could eventually slough off and compromise the greenhouse wall.
Pile the dirt from the hole along the north wall for insulation.
Don't like to dig? I don't either, so I sympathize.  But the greenhouse will be there a long time, so go for the long-term, not the short-term.  Maybe hire a small piece of equipment, some neighbor boys, or a really energetic big dog.  My friend had a dog that would dig huge holes anywhere you pointed and said "get it!". Borrow a dog like that, and you would just have to lift the loose dirt out of the hole!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Wanted forum
« on: June 06, 2021, 09:11:19 AM »
Hi Forester!
I think those topics might be too narrow to support an entire forum. Your best bet is a place like this, with lots of people who have lots of knowledge.
The plants you mentioned will be quite a challenge in Riussia. I grow both of these in my greenhouse, and they can be tempermental to say the least!
If you have specific questions or comments, post them and see what responses you get.
Good luck!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango thief on the loose!
« on: May 13, 2021, 07:28:31 PM »
I had someone stop and strip all the "blueberries" off my bush in the front yard.  We laughed our butts off as we watched him from the front window.  He never tried any, he was in such a hurry.
It was an aronia bush!

The refugee community garden that I run at my Mom's church had some of their plots picked clean last year, and the thief hit other refugee gardens on that same night.  Turned out it was another refugee, and he was selling his stolen goods at the local farmer's market. One place caught him on camera, and when he was ID'd by some of the gardeners, he was very surprised.  He figured that "his people" wouldn't turn him in.  Boy was he wrong!

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this a wild cherry tree?
« on: April 04, 2021, 10:18:51 AM »
The fruits are quite sour, but edible. You can make jam out of them.  But remember, the leaves, twigs and seeds are highly poisonous.  Dogs can die from chewing on fallen branches and eating fallen fruit, since they eat it pit and all.


Copper sprays can actually damage the leaves, and usually trees are just treated in the fall, after leaf drop. You can treat again in the spring, but every ten days for three or four months seems excessive. Spraying dormant twigs and buds should have prevented carryover to new growth, so I am wondering if you are just overapplying. expect it to take a couple years to get it under control.


So, I tend to get periodic outbreaks of mealy bugs in my greenhouse, and it seems like they bounce back pretty quick after treatment.  This made me wonder, are these NEW bugs, or are they old bugs that have "recovered"?

So I set up an experiment - 4 mealy bugs in 4 little plastic containers.  Each one got a "dose" of a drop of one of four things applied directly to their squishy little bodies- "all season" horticultural oil, alcohol, pyrethrin+sticker, and just because I had some handy, Physan.
I killed the first few by accidentally squashing them, until I started giving them their "dose" while observing through my USB microscope.

The verdict - NOTHING killed them in the first three days.  By day four, only the horticultural oil recipient was dead.  The alcohol bug is very revved up, doing laps in his little container.  Following closely in energy is the Physan bug.  The py+sticker dude is moving weakly, occasionally falling onto his back and waving his little legs, then righting himself again.

They all appeared to lose their waxy coating at first, but once dry, they all gained it back again.
By the time he died, the "Hort Oil Bug" was only about 50% covered with his wax.

Makes me go Hmmm...

Mr. Alcoholic Mealy Bug

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Akebia how long wait for fruit
« on: March 10, 2021, 09:25:08 AM »
I dug up my akebia 6 years ago when we put raised beds in that area, and I literally have them all over the yard, including INSIDE my greenhouse (which is sitting on cinderblocks that are in a gravel trench), and across the yard at least 100 ft from the parent plants.  They are hybrids of the parents, and have not produced fruit.  However, they are easy to mow if they come up in the lawn.  My husband calls them "fragrant kudzu"...


There are a LOT of REALLY good organisms that grow in the soil.  I would think by sterilizing it, you are throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Unless you had an invasion of some sort of deadly pest, I would not sterilize the soil at all.  plant your tropicals, and if some stray lettuce comes up, eat it!


Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Akebia how long wait for fruit
« on: March 08, 2021, 01:14:29 PM »
You can swallow the seeds whole, but it is mostly seeds. 
In order to taste the fruit at all, you have to suck the pulp off the seeds.  Once you've done that, you might as well spit out the seeds.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Akebia how long wait for fruit
« on: March 07, 2021, 10:06:23 PM »
Akebia is pretty much a weed. Not much can damage it.  Won't bloom in deep shade, but will bloom and fruit like crazy in full sun. You must have two different varieties to get fruit. 

I have never eaten the pods.  Towards fall, the pods split open and you scoop out the custard-like fruit. the pulp is creamy and tastes a little like coconut and vanilla pudding.  I love it! You can eat young shoots, and supposedly you can make tea from the leaves but I never have.

The fruit wont fall until it is over-ripe and dried up, so just pick it. I don't know of anything you can do with the fruit other than eat it fresh.  It is difficult to separate the seeds from the pulp, and the seeds are very hard and bitter.

It should bloom and fruit the first or second year.

It can be quite invasive.  We have it coming up all over the yard.  We are zone 6 and it freezes and snows every year.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Greenhouse building questions
« on: March 07, 2021, 07:08:34 PM »
Hi Brian,
You have several choices - If you need CLEAR rubberized tape, then Flex Seal brand is perfect, but very expensive.  Gorilla makes a rubberized tape that is just as good but it only comes in black and white.  I have also used the Crystal Clear Gorilla Tape.  I started with the clear Flex Seal brand on the roof, but it was so expensive I switched to the Gorilla Crystal Clear for the side walls.  They both are holding up very well, no yellowing, no leaking etc.  Just don't EVER try to remove it.


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