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RE: kitchen remodel advice (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: funkycamper on 11.19.2014 at 10:51 pm in Kitchens Forum

That will definitely brighten up your kitchen. And then you can go with darker counters and floors.

To do a good job with painting that you'll be satisfied and that won't chip is a LOT of work. Not hard. Just tedious. Basically:
1. Remove doors, hinges, handles. If you are re-using the hardware, bag it up with it clearly marked as to which cabinet it belongs to.
2. Wash cabinets and frames well to remove any dirt and grease. Then sand them. I think I used about 150 grit the last time I did this.
3. Paint with a good primer as appropriate for the paint you'll be using. Carefully so no brush marks, pooling of paint, or drips show. When it dries, lightly sand with a finer grit. I think about 180?
4. Paint with a good paint recommended for cabinets. Cabinet Coat gets a lot of good reviews. It can be tinted. Plan for two coats and lightly sand between coats with about 220.

Oh, don't forget to wipe clean after each sanding. A vacuum and then a tack cloth work well.

I'm sure others with more expertise than I have will chime in with better tips but this should get you started. Don't skimp on cheap paint or brushes. To do this right and have a finished product that will last and look great, it takes the right tools and a lot of patience. Good luck.


clipped on: 11.20.2014 at 12:34 am    last updated on: 11.20.2014 at 12:34 am

for the tko - ocd cutting board

posted by: Swentastic on 10.22.2014 at 04:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

I just saw this on pinterest and actually LOL'd.

Looks like something I've used for quilting, no?


clipped on: 11.02.2014 at 01:48 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2014 at 01:48 pm

My Kitchen Facelift Journey part3

posted by: greenhaven on 07.14.2014 at 12:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

The old thread(s), like my kitchen reno, dropped off so far they might as well be in the Mariana trench they are so unrecoverable. I included a link to the previous thread, since I have been so long in the weeds.

Well, the reno is not unrecoverable. It just got put on hold while I re-focused my attention. But THIS is the week it gets as finished as it can be without a backsplash. Backsplash guy has not called me back so I will either paint and leave it until such time as he is free to do it, or I will do it myself. I am sick and tired of all these unfinished projects, and I am so ready to move on!

Until then, there is trim work to finish, walls and trim to paint, a floor to repair and a cabinet for the dining room to fit out and get installed.

A couple of weeks ago I spent all of 30 minutes creating filler pieces for my new upper and new lower cabs.

Cutting the 1x2 oak to length was the easy part. There was a pretty significant difference in the size of the gaps between the tops and bottoms, so that meant a diagonal line instead of a straight line. Given the tools I had on hand this also meant using a jigsaw instead of a table or circular saw.

It actually went better than I thought, but still had to make some adjustments after the initial cuts. Thank goodness trim pieces will cover the remaining gaps!

The trickiest part was using the saw while holding down the pieces to be cut. There is not much to hold on to, and clamps would be in the way, so some reeeally careful fanagling was requires to keep my fingers outta the way.

 photo IMG_1516_zps5926fb2e.jpg

Not quite the right cut, fits on the bottom, needs trimming near top:

 photo IMG_1518_zps128039ac.jpg

Whoops! maybe a little too much trimming!

 photo IMG_1520_zpsf5c81ebf.jpg

Finished with install, waiting now for primer and paint and trim.

 photo IMG_1519_zps2da9fc4a.jpg

And a teaser pic of the island stools. Love them! DH comes home, cracks a beer and chats with me while I finish dinner. I never saw that coming, but I looove it!

 photo IMG_1513_zps1c28bf21.jpg

Today I work on trim and start priming the cabinet that will become my sideboard in the attached dining room.

Here is a link that might be useful: MKFJ part2


clipped on: 10.07.2014 at 06:14 pm    last updated on: 10.07.2014 at 06:15 pm

my beloved appliance garage

posted by: huango on 07.18.2014 at 10:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've been wanting to share my beloved appliance garage set-up for a long time.
It works for me/my family SO well.
Hopefully it can help others.

So I have a G-shaped kitchen, with a long wall of windows/base cabinets between my fridge/WO wall and my induction cooktop/hood wall.

My layout after many many iterations/tweaking:

My wall of windows/base cabinets (Sorry for the bad cellphone pix):

Now you don't see it:
(see the 2 figures on the fridge made out of magnets? :)
Fridge, Advantium over wall oven

Now you do:

Love my beloved Vitamix, toaster, and electric can opener - all plugged in/ready to go:

Never having to lift my KitchenAid mixer from a base cabinet up again!
I designed it so that the mixer can even be UP, without hitting the door.
Yup, got this appliance tool (to swing the door up) from Ikea also.
Yes, I stand on a little step stool when using the mixer (I'm 4'11"). DH doesn't have to.

I never use both levels at the same time like this:

A closer look CLOSED:

Yes, that's how I keep my counters cleared.
I even have a pullout for my knife block.

Any questions?
Thanks for looking.



clipped on: 08.05.2014 at 10:50 pm    last updated on: 08.05.2014 at 10:51 pm

New Kitchen Toy

posted by: ann_t on 07.26.2014 at 09:46 pm in Cooking Forum

My 15 year old Kitchenaid hand mixer died two weeks ago and my 13 year old Braun Immersion blender bit the dust the same day. How does that happen?

Since I use the immersion blender more often than the hand mixer, I decided to replace it first. Did a little homework and decided to go with a Breville Immersion Blender.

The one I wanted came with a whisk and a small food processor/chopping bowl. The local shop that carries Breville did not have the one I wanted in stock, but they had the Breville All-In-One. An immersion blender with a number of extra options. I wasn't familiar with this model, so while in the store, did a quick Google search on my phone. It got great reviews and it was on sale. How could I resist.

I've been using it now for more than two weeks and I'm really happy with it. I've used just about all the attachments and I'm very impressed. The whisk whipped up heavy cream, no problem. The slicer can be adjusted from 0.5 to 6.0 mm. I've sliced paper thin potatoes to make potato chips.

And adjusted it to make thicker potato slices for a potato gratin.

I even sliced a leftover roasted strip loin for a French Dip Sandwich. I really wasn't expecting it to work that well with roast beef, but it did a great job.

And it can even slice salami.

Paper thin.
No need to get out the commercial meat slicer.

The disk for grating is reversible. One side for fine and one for coarse.

I've grated cheddar cheese on the coarse side and Parmesan on the fine side.

It even has a potato masher. Haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

It is really a food processor without the bulk.

So far the Breville has done everything that my big Kitchenaid Pro FP can do and I've used it more in two weeks than the KA in three months.

I love my new toy.



clipped on: 07.27.2014 at 10:52 am    last updated on: 07.27.2014 at 10:53 am

RE: Squirrel Repellent (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: Orion60 on 05.16.2014 at 02:18 pm in Organic Gardening Forum

I use an electric fence but you have to wire it differently for squirrels. You run the wires about an inch apart and isolated from each other. Then you hook them up alternantly hot and ground. In other words you hook the hot to the bottom wire, then ground to the next, then hot, and so on up to three or four feet. The squirrel tries to squeeze through the two wires, completes the circuit and POW. If you use a small charger, it won't kill the squirrel, but they won't try it twice!


clipped on: 05.23.2014 at 11:03 pm    last updated on: 05.23.2014 at 11:03 pm

RE: I shouldn't have to ask this! (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: zeedman on 05.10.2014 at 12:26 am in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

"I have grown the Red Noodle Asparagus Beans. I found them to be aphid magnets (I mean COVERED with big fat aphids!), which, in turn drew ants. They are beautiful plants and incredibly prolific, no matter how hot it gets. Unfortunately, my family didn't much like the taste and the beautiful red beans turn ebony black when cooked, which are somewhat unappetizing to my group."

There is a trick to restore most of the color... all it takes is a little vinegar. The vinegar will turn the cooked Red Noodle beans back to a burgundy red, and make a deep red sauce. If the vinegar flavor is too strong, you can pour it off after the color change. It's possible lemon juice would restore the red color too, but I haven't tried it yet (an experiment I will try this year). If eaten as a side dish, my family likes yardlongs seasoned with vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic powder.

Yardlongs cook quickly, so for the best color & texture, don't over-cook them. You can blanch & freeze them too, but due to their low moisture content, they get freezer burn very quickly. I freeze the cut up beans first in plastic freezer boxes, then remove the frozen block & place it in a vacuum sealed bag. (Pre-freezing this way also reduces the chance of seal failure in the vacuum bag, caused by liquid & debris being pulled over the seal as air is evacuated.)

The "hollowness" of yardlong beans can be caused by water stress - even if the plants don't show other symptoms. Yardlongs are at their best when the soil is not allowed to dry out. My best year ever for yardlongs was a year of record rainfall; while much of my garden languished during the flooding, only two things flourished - yardlongs, and edamame soybeans. I highly recommend a thick layer of mulch around yardlong beans, to preserve soil moisture locally at a high level. For me, this heavy mulch - along with frequent irrigation - makes the pods consistently longer & more succulent.

When picking yardlong beans, be careful not to break off the delicate tip of the flower stalk. That is where new flowers will form, so if you treat those tips with care, you'll get a larger crop.

About yardlongs & ants. The nectar given off by the by the extrafloral nectaries (the bumps on the stem below the flowers) attracts several insects. Ants are the most common, and are often the source of the aphid infestations, since they "farm" the aphids. These ants will defend the plants very aggressively, which is probably the reason the plants evolved to attract them. Generally, the ants are only an annoyance... I just thump the pods prior to picking to knock off the ants. But some years, carpenter ants colonize the vines, in which case I take measures to control the ants.

But in my garden, wasps and ladybugs are also attracted in large numbers. This makes them great plants to maintain a ladybug population within the garden. If you purchase ladybugs, time their release for when flowering begins, to make them "stay home".

Contrary to the hyperactivity of the ants, wasps feeding on yardlong nectar become very docile, almost as if they are intoxicated. I can move among the plants & harvest even when there are wasps there in large numbers. I was stung only once - when there was a wasp sitting on the back side of a pod I was picking, and I accidentally grabbed it. Even then, the wasp only stung me lightly, then flew back to the vines. Personally, I like to attract wasps, since they are valuable insect predators... but if you are allergic to wasp stings, you might not want to grow yardlongs.

Yardlongs are just climbing cowpeas (Southern peas) that were bred for their pods instead of seeds, so all of the above pertains to cowpeas as well.

Bigoledude, in your hot climate, there are two other climbing beans you might be interested in. Hyacinth beans love tropical heat, and as the name implies, have beautiful fragrant blossoms. There are both green and purple podded cultivars, I would recommend the purple due to their thicker pods. The pods are cooked & eaten much like snap beans... they must be picked young, though, before seeds develop. You might also want to try Winged Bean, which forms interesting 4-sided pods. Not sure how they would hold up, but they might make some really interesting pickles. The flowers, young leaves, and tubers of Winged Bean are also edible.


clipped on: 05.17.2014 at 08:56 am    last updated on: 05.17.2014 at 08:56 am

RE: Mars almost seedless grape question (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: fruitnut on 05.02.2014 at 10:35 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

The varieties that I like best from earliest to latest, July-October, are: Flame, Summer Royal, Princess, and Crimson. Not sure where you live but these aren't suited to a humid climate.


clipped on: 05.04.2014 at 12:54 pm    last updated on: 05.04.2014 at 12:54 pm

RE: 'Emerald' blueberry (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: fruitnut on 04.08.2014 at 08:13 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Just my opinion of Emerald but to me it only has one outstanding attribute, high yield. Possibly the highest. But I'd rate eating quality below average. Perhaps if the yield were thinned down to average the fruit would rate average.

It's too spreading for my taste even in a pot. The shoots have to be trained or pruned hard to get any height. It won't set without pollination.

Springhigh on the other hand tastes vastly better, sets without bees, and has ideal canopy structure. Yield is lower but not much assuming you thin Emerald. For someone who wants to start with one SHB, I don't know of a better candidate than Springhigh.


clipped on: 04.12.2014 at 11:57 am    last updated on: 04.12.2014 at 11:57 am

RE: 32 cell/4 pk seed trays (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: digdirt on 02.09.2013 at 01:14 pm in Growing from Seed Forum

Most any 'seed starting supplies' supplier carries them. Several source recommendations included in this discussion from further down the page. Price will all depend on how many you order - bulk orders being the cheapest of course.

Just a few:;gs_seed_starting.html


Here is a link that might be useful: where to buy trays etc.


clipped on: 03.02.2014 at 05:29 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2014 at 05:29 pm

RE: Do I NEED a type B avocado? What to plant for year round harv (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: GregBradley on 02.07.2014 at 10:55 am in California Gardening Forum

I do grow each of those but mine are new.

I was collecting info when I was trying to figure out what Avos to plant to get ones with good flavor and year round supply. The information was collected by me from different sources and 3 friends that are commercial or semi-commercial growers.

I bought my trees from Clausen in Vista but don't see that info on their website. My friends are supplied by Maddock in Fallbrook but don't find that info on theirs either. It seems much of their sites are very different and the really nice chart of seasons on Maddock's is gone. I did save the PDF of their Citrus/Avo season chart.


clipped on: 02.07.2014 at 06:48 pm    last updated on: 02.07.2014 at 06:48 pm

RE: Do I NEED a type B avocado? What to plant for year round harv (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: GregBradley on 02.06.2014 at 08:22 pm in California Gardening Forum

I'm concerned about Avocados anywhere that freezes every year.

Haas is Spring-Summer, Lamb Haas is behind 3 months, Reed is a month behind that. All those supposedly survive freezing or a degree or two less. Lamb Haas tends to be Alternate Bearing.

Sir Prize is ripe before Lamb Haas and Reed are "done" in late Fall and will supposedly take a couple degrees colder. Sir Prize tends to be Alternate Bearing. Usually fabulous but sometimes has strings in flesh that affect acceptance by buyers.

Sharwill is same season as Sir Prize. I don't have one and don't know hardiness.


clipped on: 02.07.2014 at 06:47 pm    last updated on: 02.07.2014 at 06:47 pm

RE: Any fruit you don't want to grow? (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: scottfsmith on 01.29.2014 at 09:38 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Sugar Cane is also a fresh eating variety. Its more date-like in flavor, larger, and more dry fleshed than HJ. So its also a good one but I put it down a notch because the juiciness of HJ puts it in a league of its own to me. Shanxi Li is my #2, and Sugar Cane is my #3.



clipped on: 02.03.2014 at 11:57 pm    last updated on: 02.03.2014 at 11:57 pm

RE: Best tasting Pear (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: floramakros on 01.27.2014 at 12:54 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Hi cckw, your kitchen sounds wonderful. If Barletts can be eaten off the tree then maybe the tree of my youth was that variety but as Scott said there are so many kinds out there we'll never really know. Previous homeowners especially if they're not the original ones tend to forget the varieties planted on the property after a few decades, the house itself was built in 1918 so the property had plenty of history. Now here's the heartbreaking part, I was in the area a couple of years back and decided to check it out. The house, the pear tree and two massive old cherry trees we had were all gone, a giant new housing development has eaten up the entire lot, there's literally no front or backyard left! Enjoy those wide empty spaces while you can, I feel sorry for future generations.

Getting back to my philosophy, I understand the need for bulk harvesting and off plant ripening, I grow vegetables including sweet potatoes which have a complicated curing process. I just try to avoid fruit trees that require the same treatment. For example, the avocado variety I grow is Holiday, it takes 18 months to ripen on the tree! Every March it starts its new crop, so there are literally fruits developing on that tree of various sizes at all times! I love that! Each of its giant fruits is like a bottle of wine waiting to be opened at the right time and when you do pick a ripe one, wow, it's the best avocado I've ever tasted! Some of my citrus trees have fruits on them 10 or 11 months out of the year. I grow fruit trees because not only do I love their taste but the ornamental qualities of hanging fruit appeals to me, if it didn't it would be so much easier just to go to the farmer's market and dig in if ripe fruit was my only goal. Hope that explains things a bit better.

This post was edited by floramakros on Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 13:05


clipped on: 01.27.2014 at 08:11 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2014 at 08:11 pm

RE: Atomic Red White Nectarine on Nemaguard (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Kippy-the-Hippy on 01.14.2014 at 09:34 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Drew, it was the flowers that got me. I have a Red Barron in the same "row" that I was thinking of the Atomic. Red Barron can stop traffic on our little street and I think every neighbor wanted to know the name of that tree.

I would like to place in an area that I want to preserve some view from a bench, so I need to keep slightly taller than the rest of the trees. I let Red Barron get a tad taller too so I can better enjoy the bloom from the top of the lot (hillside terraced garden/orchard)


clipped on: 01.16.2014 at 11:03 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2014 at 11:04 pm

RE: What tropical fruits are you growing? (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: kerrican2001 on 09.05.2006 at 11:01 am in Tropical Fruits Forum

This is what we've got growing in Northern California, about 35 miles inland from San Francisco, where we get a nice long sunny and warm growing season. Some of these are more "sub"tropical than tropical though...

Pineapple Guava
Strawberry Guava
White Sapote
Banana (no fruit to date)
Jelly Palm fruit
Navel Orange
Valencia Orange
Moro Blood Orange
Meyer Lemon
Owari Satsuma Mandarin

And plain old fruit trees:

Santa Rosa Plum
Bing Cherry
Apricot (not sure of variety)

Our stone fruits do absolutely nothing for us. We prune correctly but get little or no fruit. I think the last 4 to 5 years (since planting) have not had enough chill in the winter for these plants, plus we seem to benefit from a microclimate where our coldest air drains into a small valley basin below the street. Good for the tropicals, bad for the stone fruit.

Our most prolific producers are pineapple guava, strawberry guava, meyer lemon, pomelo, mandarin, and this year, sapote. We are finally getting our first macadamias this year and expect a lot more next year!


clipped on: 01.15.2014 at 10:29 am    last updated on: 01.15.2014 at 10:29 am

RE: Yellow Snow Peas (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: fusion_power on 01.10.2014 at 06:37 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

Sugar Sprint is a snap pea. If you want to grow a snap pea, they are good for snacking, salads, and stir fry.

If you want a trio of good snow peas, find Shiraz, Yakumo Giant, and Golden Sweet. That will give you a purple snow pea, a large green snow pea, and a golden snow pea.


clipped on: 01.15.2014 at 10:04 am    last updated on: 01.15.2014 at 10:04 am

RE: what are your Top 5 Mango varieties? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: hmhausman on 12.09.2009 at 07:14 pm in Tropical Fruits Forum

For me, this is not that easy of a question. Reason being that on a given day, a particular perfectly tree ripened mango may beat all others in flavor and in the enjoyment it gives despite it not being in the top group that I am going to mention. So, my ratings are based on consistancy and my memories of the best occassion for that particular mango ever (with the understanding that there can be variability in quality from year to year based on conditions.

In the very top group would be Maha Chanook, Dot, Edward and no particular order. These would consistantly rate 9.0 or higher on a 10 point scale. After these, there is a group that, while not always in the top group, can, on a given day rival those in the top group. These would include Julie, Carrie, Graham,Mallika, Cogshall, Pickering, Okrung, Nam Doc Mai, Spirit of 76, Ice Cream, Valencia Pride and Southern Blush. These would consistantly rate 8.0-9.5 on a 10 point scale.

I also have a seedling tree grown from a Mallika seed that has fruit that has flavor with the best of the best...but is knocked down because of abundant fiber.

I reserve the right to be reminded of any other mango out there that I have neglected to give appropriate credit to. So...sorry for the long and convoluted answer...but this is my best answer. And, of course....this is all IMHO.


clipped on: 01.14.2014 at 09:52 pm    last updated on: 01.14.2014 at 09:52 pm

List of online tropical fruit nurseries

posted by: nguyenty on 05.12.2010 at 04:00 pm in Tropical Fruits Forum

I'm compiling all of the online fruit nursery list to order from for my website. Am I missing any ? How would you rate these nurseries from best to worst ?

Pine Island Nursery

Nipa Hut Gardens (also sells on ebay)


Top T-ropicals (no link apparently they are spam on GW)

Jene�s Tropicals

Lychees Online


clipped on: 01.14.2014 at 09:15 am    last updated on: 01.14.2014 at 09:15 am

RE: What variety of pine would make a good living Christmas tree (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: greenwitch on 01.06.2014 at 10:04 pm in California Gardening Forum

Glad you got your answer. For the benefit of someone else, Pinus monophylla Single-Leaf Pinyon Pine is a native tree, grows extremely slowly so it stays Christmas tree size for a long time, is beautiful, and has edible pinenuts (after many years). Monrovia Nursery used to sell a good sized tree in a 10 gal. container. No noticeable fragrance on mine though. I think maybe what you might enjoy is "Douglas fir" sold as Christmas trees and garland, when it's cut or crushed it's very fragrant. You can make tea from the tips too. Pretty easy to find in a native plants nursery.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinus monophylla


clipped on: 01.14.2014 at 08:48 am    last updated on: 01.14.2014 at 08:48 am

RE: Mango Graft/Tree Importing from India to California? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: desimango on 04.21.2011 at 12:49 am in Tropical Fruits Forum

Update - warning long read.

I performed quite a bit of research and the process for California residents is as follows:

1. Fill out form USDA/APHIS form PPQ-546, Post Entry Quarantine Permit. There is no cost to this form. It must be submitted to the CDFA (California Dept. of Food & Ag). The CDFA then contacts your local county agricultural dept. to perform a site inspection. There is no charge for this site inspection. The local county inspector signs off on the form and the CDFA then sends it to the USDA/APHIS.

2. CDFA has to perform 2 inspections of the plant material, once it arrives and at the end of the quarantine period of 2 years for mangos. I'm still not quite clear on this. There is a cost associated with these inspections that are performed by a CDFA pathologist. Furthermore, if anything unusual happens to the imported plant material, you have to report it and they have to come out for inspection again.

Due to budget issues, the CDFA only has three service locations throughout CA. The closest one to us is Sacramento. Since I live in San Jose, the travel fee is $150 and the inspection cost is billed at $60hr. I'm attempting to get a more precise cost estimate but have been told it should take no more than a half hour to perform the site inspection since it is residential. So the cost for two inspections comes out to $420. If a plant dies or gets diseased, the cost will increase.

Another issue is that all imported plant material has to be federally inspected also at PIS (plant inspection sites). There is one close to SFO, yet I cannot transport the plant material from the airport to the PIS. It has to be done by a customs bonded carrier. I do not know if there is a charge for the PIS inspections but most likely there is. And also do not understand why the CDFA has to inspect the material once the Feds have already initially done it. They suggested mailing the plant material directly to the PIS station in SFO as this is the typical course of action.

So as you can see, this process is quite elaborate and I'm sure there are a few more details I have not come across yet. I don't mind all these little steps as I wasn't expecting any less being a current govt. employee, but feel the cost associated is a bit high. I was hoping it would be around $300 max.

I have a friend at work who is an entomologist and heads the pest management department, he expained some of the barriers and overlap between the CDFA and USDA. I was hoping my local county could perform the inspections as they do have a working pathologist on site and he is going to see if he can help. I might have given him mango fever because he said he would split the cost with me but his total cost estimate was around $750.

I don't mind paying the hourly cost, it's the travel distance cost that is quite high. Moreover, if I bring back 12 plants and have two die at separate times, that will prompt two additional inspections at an estimated $210 each.

the PEQ program is meant for commercial nurseries/farm use and not us residents but will accomodate us crazed citizens. I'll continue to research more and will eventually decide if I want to go through with it.



clipped on: 01.11.2014 at 11:52 pm    last updated on: 01.11.2014 at 11:52 pm

RE: November Update of Tropical Fruit Trees (Follow-Up #54)

posted by: hmhausman on 09.15.2011 at 08:07 pm in Tropical Fruits Forum

LOL......probably not the place to post this. Aplogies to Kristy for partial hijack of this thread. Here is a quick cut and paste from an Excel list I keep of what I am growing. It is missing some new additions and it needs to be further updated....but you can kind of get the idea.

ananas comosus pineapple Borneo
ananas comosus pineapple Royal Hawaiian
ananas comosus pineapple Smooth Cayenne
ananas comosus pineapple unknown pink
a. cherimola x squamosa atemoya geffner
a. cherimola x squamosa atemoya geffner
a. cherimola x squamosa atemoya geffner
a. cherimola x squamosa atemoya Petch Pakchong
a. cherimola x squamosa atemoya Petch Pakchong
Annona diversifolia ilama Fairchild
Annona diversifolia Ilama genova red
annona mucosa rollinia seedling
annona muricata soursop fiberless graft
annona muricata soursop Wilson seedless
annona squamosa sugar apple Green
annona squamosa sugar apple Red
annona squamosa sugar apple Lessard seedling
annona squamosa sugar apple Kampong Mauve
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Red morning
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Bangkok Lemon
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Black Gold
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Borneo Red
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Borneo Red
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Dang Rasimi
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Mai 1 grafted
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Mai 2 graft
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Mai 1 seedling
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Mai 3 seedling
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Rien Baht
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Orange Crisp sdlg
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Bk Gldx Tabouey
artocarpus heterophyllus jakfruit Tabouey x J30
artocarpus lingnanensis kwai muk seedling
averrhoa carambola starfruit Arkin
averrhoa carambola starfruit Bell
averrhoa carambola starfruit Karri
averrhoa carambola starfruit Thai Night
averrhoa carambola starfruit Sri Kembangan
averrhoa carambola starfruit Fwang Tung
averrhoa carambola starfruit Hart
averrhoa carambola starfruit PossomTrot
averrhoa carambola starfruit sdlg of Kari
bouea macrophylla maprang/gandaria Kai
butia capitata pindo palm jelly palm
carica papaya papaya seedling
carica papaya papaya seedling
casimiroa edulis white sapote Redland
casimiroa edulis white sapote Sue Belle
casimiroa edulis white sapote Younghan's gold
cereus peruvianus Pitaya Puerto Rican
cereus peruvianus Pitaya ?
chrysophylium cainito starapple color?
citrus aurantium orange BLOOD
citrus aurantium orange BLOOD
citrus aurantium orange Florida Navel
citrus aurantium orange Florida Navel
citrus aurantium orange Red Navel
citrus grandis pummelo hirado buntan
citrus grandis pummelo chinese white
citrus limon lemon Meyers
citrus paradisi grapefruit Marsh Pink
citrus paradisi grapefruit Rita's Pink
citrus reticulata Satsuma Mandarin Owari Owari
c. reticulata x paradisi tangelo x mandar. Page
c. reticulata x paradisi tangelo Ugli
c. reticulata x paradisi tangelo Ugli
coffea arabica coffee seedling
diospyros digyna black sapote grafted
durio zibethinus durian seedling
erybotria japonica loquat Bradenton
erybotria japonica loquat Christmas
diospyros digyna black sapote Joyner's everbear.
eugenia braziliensis grumichama seedling
eugenia braziliensis grumichama seedling
eugemia cassioides monos plum seedling
eugenia uniflora surinam cherry Zill Black
euphoria longana longan Biew Kiew
euphoria longana longan Kohala
euphoria longana longan See Champoo
euphoria longana longan E Daw
euphoria longana longan Daigleman
euphoria longana longan Tommy Wong
euphoria longana longan rolling leaf
euphoria longana longan seedling
feijoa sellowiana feijoa or pineapple guava seedling guava Cooliidge
ficus carica fig Celeste
garcinia livingstonei Imbe seedling female
garcinia mangostana mangosteen Grafted
hylocereus ? Dragon Fruit Giant Vietnamese
hylocereus ? Dragon Fruit Thai Red
hylocereus guatamalensis Dragon Fruit American Beauty
hylocereus polyrhizus Dragon Fruit Zamorano
h. polyrhizus x undatus Dragon Fruit Delight
h. polyrhizus x undatus Dragon Fruit Hailey's Comet
h. polyrhizus x undatus Dragon Fruit Physical Graffiti
hylocereus undatus Dragon Fruit Dark Star
hylocereus undatus Dragon Fruit David Bowie
hylocereus undatus Dragon Fruit Purple Haze
litchi chinensis lychee Bengal
litchi chinensis lychee Bosworth
litchi chinensis lychee Bosworth 3
litchi chinensis lychee Bosworth 3
litchi chinensis lychee Brewster
litchi chinensis lychee Brewster
litchi chinensis lychee Emperor
litchi chinensis lychee Emperor sdlg
litchi chinensis lychee Farwell Farms
litchi chinensis lychee Garnet
litchi chinensis lychee Groff
litchi chinensis lychee Hak Ip
litchi chinensis lychee Hak Ip
litchi chinensis lychee Hak Ip
litchi chinensis lychee Kaimana
litchi chinensis lychee Kaimana
litchi chinensis lychee Kwai Mai Pink
litchi chinensis lychee Kwai Mai Pink
litchi chinensis lychee Kwai Mai Pink
litchi chinensis lychee Large Early Red
litchi chinensis lychee Mauritius
litchi chinensis lychee Mauritius
litchi chinensis lychee Ohia
litchi chinensis lychee Ohia
litchi chinensis lychee Red Ohia
litchi chinensis lychee Peerless
litchi chinensis lychee Pink Ohia
litchi chinensis lychee Seymour
litchi chinensis lychee Sweetheart
litchi chinensis lychee Sweetheart
macadamia integrifolia macadamia nut Dana White
malus spiecies apple Fuji
mammea americana mamey apple Kay Sweeny
mangifera indica mango Angie
mangifera indica mango AllampurBaneshanFairchild Gardens
mangifera indica mango Alphonso
mangifera indica mango Bailey's Marvel
mangifera indica mango Beverly
mangifera indica mango Bombay
mangifera indica mango Brahm Kai Mea
mangifera indica mango Brahm Kai Mea
mangifera indica mango Carabao seedling
mangifera indica mango Carabao seedling
mangifera indica mango Carrie
mangifera indica mango Carrie, seedling
mangifera indica mango Chou Anon
mangifera indica mango Coconut Cream
mangifera indica mango Cogshall mango
mangifera indica mango Cogshall mango
mangifera indica mango Cushman
mangifera indica mango Cushman
mangifera indica mango Cushman
mangifera indica mango Dian guaw
mangifera indica mango Dot
mangifera indica mango Dot
mangifera indica mango Duncan
mangifera indica mango East Indian
mangifera indica mango Edward
mangifera indica mango Edward
mangifera indica mango Edward
mangifera indica mango Edward
mangifera indica mango Emerald
mangifera indica mango Eweis
mangifera indica mango Excalibur
mangifera indica mango Extrema
mangifera indica mango Fairchild
mangifera indica mango Falang
mangifera indica mango Florigon
mangifera indica mango Gary
mangifera indica mango Glenn
mangifera indica mango Golden Lippens
mangifera indica mango Graham
mangifera indica mango Golden Nugget
mangifera indica mango Haden
mangifera indica mango Hatcher
mangifera indica mango Ice cream mango
mangifera indica mango Imam Pasand
mangifera indica mango Irwin
mandifera indica mango Ivory
mangifera indica mango Jakarta
mangifera indica mango Jean Ellen
mangifera indica mango Jamaican Black
mangifera indica mango Julie
mangifera indica mango Kau Dwarf
mangifera indica mango Keitt
mangifera indica mango Kensington Pride
mangifera indica mango Keow Savoy
mangifera indica mango Kent
mangifera indica mango Lancetilla
mangifera indica mango Langra Benarsi
mangifera indica mango Lemon Zest
mangifera indica mango Madame Blanc
mangifera indica mango Madame Francis
mangifera indica mangi Malindi
mangifera indica mango Mallika
mangifera indica mango Mallika seedling
mangifera indica mango Maha Chanook
mangifera indica mango Maha Chanook
mangifera indica mango Maha Chanook
mangifera indica mango Maha chanook seedling (my seed)
mangifera indica mango Maha chanook seedling (my seed)
mangifera indica mango Maha chanook seedling (my seed)
mangifera indica mango Martinez (Wolf)
mangifera indica mango Martinez (Wolf)
mangifera indica mango Mystery
mangifera indica mango Nam Doc Mai
mangifera indica mango Nam Doc Mai
mangifera indica mango Nam Doc Mai See Tong..Bruce Livingston
mangifera indica mango Neelum
mangifera indica mango Nong Sang
mangifera indica mango Okrong
mangifera indica mango Okrong Pi Kun Tong Bruce Livingston
mangifera indica mango Palmer
mangifera indica mango Pettigrew
mangifera indica mango Phillippine
mangifera indica mango Pickering
mangifera indica mango Pim Sen Mung
mangifera indica mango Pim Sen Mung
mangifera indica mango Piniero
mangifera indica mango Po Pyo Kalay
mangifera indica mango Rapoza
mangifera indica mango Rataul
mangifera indica mango Rhett Tong
mangifera indica mango Rosigold
mangifera indica mango San Felipe
mangifera indica mango Sia Tong
mangifera indica mango Springfels
mangifera indica mango Southern Blush
mangifera indica mango Spirit of 76
mangifera indica mango ST. Maui
mangifera indica mango Tebow (ed x kent)
mangifera indica mango Ta Rob Nok
mangifera indica mango Tommy Atkins
mangifera indica mango Tog Bi Con
mangifera indica mango Tong Dam
mangifera indica mango Thai Everbearing
mangifera indica mango Thai Everbearing x Cushman (my seed)
mangifera indica mango Valencia Pride
mangifera indica mango Unknown seedling
mangifera indica mango Vallanato
mangifera indica mango Van Dyke
mangifera indica mango Zill
mangifera indica mango Zebda
manilkara zapota sapodilla Alano
manilkara zapota sapodilla Hasya
manilkara zapota sapodilla Hasya
manilkara zapota sapodilla Molix
manilkara zapota sapodilla Oxcutzcab
Melicoccus bijugatus mamoncillo PuertoRican
melicoccus bijugatus mamoncillo PuertoRican
monstera deliciosa monstera corm
morus nigra mullberry Pakistani
musa hybrids banana apple
musa hybrids banana Goldfinger
musa hybrids banana Brazilian
musa hybrids banana ice cream
musa hybrids banana Jamaican Red
myciaria glomerata yellow jaboticaba seedling
myrciaria cauliflora jaboticaba seedling
myrciaria cauliflora jaboticaba seedling
myrciaria cauliflora jaboticaba seedling
myristica fragrans nutmeg seedling
pachira aquatica malibar chestnut seedling
passiflora quadrangularis granadilla cutting
persea americana avocado Brogdan
persea americana avocado Choquette
persea americana avocado Doni
persea americana avocado Miguel
persea americana avocado Oasis
persea americana avocado October
persea americana avocado Russell
persea americana avocado Pollack
persea americana avocado sdlg flood resist.
phoenix dactylifera date seedling
phoenix dactylifera date seedling
pouteria caimito abiu seedling
pouteria caimito abiu seedling
pouteria campechiana canistel Bruce
pouteria Ross Sapote
pouteria sapota mamey sapote Magana
pouteria viridis green sapote grafted
pyrus communis pear Hood
pyrus communis pear Hood
rheedia aristata same seedling
rubus hybrid blackberry arapaho
selinicereus megalanthus Dragon Fruit orange sk/pink fsh
selinicereus megalanthus Dragon Fruit yellow
selinicereus megalanthus Dragon Fruit yellow
spondias dulcis ambarella seedling
spondias dulcis dwarf ambarella seedling
synsepalum dulcificum miracle fruit seedling
syzygium javanica wax jambu Kun Klao
syzygium javanica wax jambu Pink
syzygium malaccensis Malay Apple seedling
Tamerindus indica Tamarind seedling
Tamerindus indica Tamrind Sweet (not)
theobroma cacao Cocoa/Chocolate Red
theobroma cacao Cocoa/Chocolate Green
theobroma cacao Cocoa/Chocolate Yellow
theobroma cacao Cocoa/Chocolate unknown pink
vitus hybrid grape Tari's Burgundy Bunch Tari, Naples FL
zyzyphus mauritiana Indian jujubee rootstock-thorny
zyzyphus mauritiana Indian jujubee large sweet

Other than these, I am not growing too much.



clipped on: 01.08.2014 at 10:47 pm    last updated on: 01.08.2014 at 10:48 pm

RE: Mallika or Graham Mango (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: mango_kush on 01.19.2010 at 10:31 am in Tropical Fruits Forum

smallest of the small would be Ice Cream, Julie, Pickering all stay 6-8 feet, Mallika, fairchild, cogshal unpruned i would say grow to 10 feet,

nam doc mai is medium upright and carrie is medium bushy about 12 feet.

pine island tries to push them in the condo category because you can prune them small.


clipped on: 12.27.2013 at 09:03 pm    last updated on: 12.27.2013 at 09:03 pm

RE: New Guy who wants to grow mango's (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mango_kush on 12.18.2010 at 11:28 am in Tropical Fruits Forum

Welcome. you sound like you have nice property, I hope the oil hasnt affected you.

In your situation I would stick with containers as most of the best newer cultivars i would recommend you can grow long term in 25 gallon containers. If you want to give winterizing a try maybe dedicate one tree to in the ground planting but still nurse it in a container for the first few years.

Im not encouraging you to plant it in ground as I can feel the frustration with people trying to grow them on the zone 10/9 border. Being on the Gulf definitely helps your microclimate though. Do you notice fungal problems on any other plants you may grow, especially tropicals?

so if i were to put the condos in order you should grow I would say

Nam Doc Mai

Pickering is a Florida cultivar with a texture probably similar to the store bought mangos you are used to with x100 its flavor, lol. Its a dwarf. Mallika is an Indian mango so may need copper fungicide applications. Its flesh when ripened off the tree is pastey, i would say almost like a boiled carrot in consistency, with lavish flavors. Carrie is a Florida cultivar that has an almost similar texture to Indian types like Mallika and also lavish flavors. Its a medium tree. It has better fungus resistance than Indian types. Nam Doc Mai is an Asian mango, every collection needs an Asian mango. NMD is lemony tart and sweet with a distinct indo chinese mango flavor. Its a little more vigorous then the other two but can easily be pruned (all mangos can be pruned hard that arent large and vigorous trees, some are just more naturally dwarf).
so to me those three or four would be a pretty well rounded collection you could haul into a heated shed or into a back room even if you have two doors that open you can even handtruck containers larger than 25 gallon through easily.

Ice Cream and Alampur Baneshan are both different then the other types of mango. They arent initially sweet and refreshing like other types, they have lighter flesh and more of a muted sour taste initially and then have an intense aftertaste that can include many resinous flavors. these are sometimes dubbed "connoisseur mangos" because they are not often widely appreciated. I grow both in my dooryard here and they are both dwarfs


clipped on: 12.14.2013 at 11:41 am    last updated on: 12.14.2013 at 11:41 am

Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

posted by: malna on 07.21.2012 at 02:36 pm in Harvest Forum

Since it's salsa season, I thought I would post some additional notes I've made since the 2009 thread.

As far as I can tell, the NCHFP hasn't done any additional testing, so I am "assuming" this is the most current recipe and acidity requirements.

Please feel free to add any other notes - I've tried to address most of the other commonly asked questions.

Annie's Salsa Recipe

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2-1/2 cups onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups green pepper, chopped
3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup 5% apple cider vinegar
2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cups (16 oz.) tomato paste

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars, seal and process in a boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes.

Makes about 6 pints.

Additional Notes for Ingredients and Processing:

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
*Any type or color of tomato may be used (paste, canning, beefsteak, a combination of different types, etc.) The paste types will be meatier, the canners such as Rutgers are somewhat juicier than paste types and the beefsteaks the juiciest of all.
*Some prefer, as Annie does, to remove the tomato seeds and gel sacks. Some don't remove the seeds - this is personal preference.
*Measure after peeling, chopping and draining.

2-1/2 cups onion, chopped
*Roughly a 1/4" chopped size (this is the size used in the NCHFP testing - a little larger won't matter, but try not to have the pieces larger than 1/2" maximum).

1-1/2 cups green pepper, chopped
*Roughly a 1/4" chopped size.

3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped

**Pepper Notes: Any combination of green, red, whatever color peppers is fine. 3-5 jalapenos equates to roughly 1/4 cup, so total peppers cannot exceed 1-3/4 cups. For a spicier salsa, you can decrease the sweet peppers and increase the hot peppers by the same amount. Or you can use hotter peppers (such as habaneros or serranos) but the TOTAL amount of peppers cannot exceed 1-3/4 cups.

6 cloves garlic, minced or finely diced
*Do not increase. Small differences in size of cloves should not matter.

2 teaspoons cumin
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

2 teaspoons ground black pepper
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely. Any dried ground pepper such as cayenne may be substituted for a portion of or all of the black pepper.

2 tablespoons (same measurement as 1/8 cup) canning salt
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
*Can be reduced or left out entirely. Do not increase. Dried cilantro or other dried herbs may be added, but not more fresh herbs (fresh herbs change the pH - dried herbs do not). Add additional fresh herbs only after you open the jar.

1/3 cup sugar
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

1 cup 5% apple cider vinegar
*Can use any flavor vinegar (white, cider, etc.) as long as acidity is at least 5%.
*However, you can substitute bottled lemon or lime juice in any proportions according to taste (for example, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup lime juice) as long as the total equals one cup.

2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce
*Can be reduced slightly. See "Density" notes below.

2 cups (16 oz.) tomato paste
*For texture only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars leaving 1/2" headspace, seal and process in a boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes. Adjust for your altitude (see below).

Makes about 6-7 pints (I always seem to get 7 pints).

You may:
Process in pint jars (either regular or wide mouth) or smaller (12 oz., 8 oz. half pints, or 4 oz. quarter pints). Process all smaller sizes at the same processing time for pints.
You may NOT:
Process in larger jars (24 oz., 32 oz. quarts or 1/2 gallon jars). Testing was done only in pint jars.

The recipe for pressure canning originally specified 1/3 cup vinegar and copies of that recipe are still available on the Internet. Pressure canning salsa has not been tested, therefore it is not officially recommended.

If you wish to pressure can the salsa, you must include full 1 cup of vinegar. Processing time that is currently used by some is 10 lbs. pressure for 30 minutes. Adjust for your altitude (see below).

Because salsa is eaten out of the jar without heating and includes low acid vegetables such as garlic, onions and peppers, it is one of the riskier products to can at home due to two factors: the pH or acidity level (the normal cutoff point for boiling water bath vs. pressure canning is a pH of 4.6 and salsa can edge very close to that) and the density of the product.

The salsa should be thin enough for the liquid portion to thoroughly suspend the chopped vegetables so the very center of the jar heats up to the same temperature as the outer portion next to the glass during processing.

If you want it thicker, puree it AFTER you open the jar. DO NOT puree before processing - this would affect the density. Or add a thickener such as Clear Jel or cornstarch AFTER you open the jar.
DO NOT add other low acid vegetables before processing, such as corn or black beans. Only add them after you open the jar.


If you live above 1000' in elevation, you need to calculate your altitude adjustments for both boiling water bath (BWB) and pressure canning (PC). As your altitude goes above 1000 feet the atmospheric pressure is reduced. This causes water to boil at temperatures lower than 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

For safety in water bath canning, you must bring the contents of your jar to at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit. To compensate for the lower boiling temperature at altitude, you must increase processing time.

For this salsa recipe, BWB times at altitudes of (per the Ball Blue Book):

Up to 1000 ft. Processing time is 15 minutes.
1001 - 3000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 5 minutes to 20 minutes total.
3001 - 6000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 10 minutes to 25 minutes total.
6001 - 8000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 15 minutes to 30 minutes total.
8001 - 10,000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 20 minutes to 35 minutes total.

Adjustments for pressure canning can be found in the Ball Blue Book or on their website.

Do make sure you know the altitude where you do your canning. People that live in Denver know they are in the Mile High City and have to make adjustments, but portions of cities like Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Oklahoma City are all above 1000' and it may be something you're not aware of and need to be compensating for.


The pH scale runs from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline).

Each increment from 0 to 14 is 10 times more acidic/alkaline (remember the "magic" number of pH 4.6 for BWB vs. pressure canning). pH testing on fresh lemons ranged from 2.20 to 3.20, so one variety of lemon or even an individual lemon grown in a different orchard might be 10 times LESS acidic than another. Bottled lemon juice, which is processed to a standard acidity, is used for testing in recipes and is also pasteurized, therefore it also will not create any further enzyme reactions in your canned goods (per the folks at ReaLemon a couple of years ago).

Note: Bottled lemon or lime juices are only called for when canning borderline pH foods (tomatoes and salsa usually). If you are making jams and jellies with high acid fruits (any fruit excluding Asian pears, bananas, mangoes, figs and melons), feel free to use fresh lemon or lime juice.

Do I personally like using bottled lemon juice? Not particularly, but when a canning procedure SPECIFICALLY CALLS FOR IT, I use it without questioning it.

A very good explanation is in this publication from North Dakota State University - "Why add lemon juice to tomatoes and salsa before canning?"

Especially note the different pH values of individual varieties of tomatoes (and there are thousands more varieties).

and for the more science oriented, this 2004 paper from the NCHFP:

Studies on safe acidification of salsa for home boiling water canning

Hope this helps :-)


clipped on: 12.10.2013 at 10:54 am    last updated on: 12.10.2013 at 10:54 am

Sun Dried Tomatoes

posted by: brokenbar on 08.20.2008 at 09:54 pm in Harvest Forum

I raise tomatoes for sun drying. I do about 1000 to 2000 lbs a year which I sell to the upscale restaurants in Cody Wyoming & Billings Montana. I wanted to pass on my favorites for you considering doing some drying. Any tomato can be used for drying but some varieties are better than others.

I grow 15 mainstay varieties that I have kept as I culled others that did not meet my criteria.
I also try at least 5 new varieties of paste types each year and am lucky if one makes it into my herd. I am looking for specific things:

� Meaty with a low moisture content
� Few seeds
� A rich and tangy flavor
� Size-Small tomatoes are just more work for me.
� Not fussy-Take heat and cold and wind. No primadonnas!
� Bloom well and set lots and lots of fruit
� Indeterminate
� Dry to a nice pliable consistency

These are my Top Five
Chinese Giant
Carol Chyko
Cuoro D Toro
San Marzano Redorta

I wanted to add that were I to be stranded on a desert Island with only one tomato it would be Russo Sicilian Togeta. This is my �gallstar�h that sets fruit first, ripens the earliest, bears heavy crops in any weather and is producing right up until hard frost. It is not a true paste but rather a stuffing tomato. None-the-less, the flavor of these dried is as good as it gets. It is also wonderful for just eating or slicing and the fruit is extra large.

For those wanting to know my Secret Recipe for drying, here you go:

Wash, stem and slice each tomato into 1/4" thick slices. Place in a very large bowl or clean bucket and cover with cheap red wine. I use Merlot but if you prefer something else, knock yourself out. I have a friend that swears by cheap Chianti! Soak tomato slices 24 hours in the wine. Drain well. Lay tomatoes just touching on dehydrator shelves or on screen in your sun-drying apparatus. Sprinkle each slice with a mixture containing equal parts of dried basil-oregano-parsley and then sprinkle each slice with Kosher Salt. You may choose to forego the salt if you wish but tomatoes will take longer to dry. Dry tomatoes until they are firm and leatherlike with no moisture pockets, but NOT brittle. (If you get them too dry, soak them in lemon juice for a few minutes.) To store, place in vacuum bags or ziplock bags and freeze.

IMPORTANT!!! If you will be storing sun-dried tomatoes in Olive oil you !!!MUST!!! dip each slice in vinegar before adding to oil.

To pack in oil:
Dip each tomato into a small dish of white wine vinegar. Shake off theexcess vinegar and pack them in olive oil adding 1/4 cup red wine. For tomatoes in oil I am selling, I put the tomatoes into the oil two weeks ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Make sure they are completely immersed in the oil. When the jar is full, cap it tightly. I use my vacuum sealer to seal the canning lids on. Store at *cool* room temperature for at least a month before using. They may be stored in the refrigerator, but the oil will solidify at
refrigerator temperatures (it quickly reliquifies at room temperature however). As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as necessary to keep the remaining tomatoes covered. I have stored oil-packed tomatoes in m root cellar for over a year. . I have tried a number of methods to pack the tomatoes in oil, but the vinegar treatment is the difference between a good dried tomato and a great one. It is also important from a food safety standpoint, as it acidifies the oil and discourages growth of bacteria and mold. Soaking in the wine also acidifies them.

****** WARNING ********

Do *NOT* add fresh garlic cloves or fresh herbs of any kind to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS you store them in the refrigerator and plan on using them within 7 days. Garlic is a low-acid food which, when placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment just
perfect growth medium for botulinum bacteria if the mixture is not refrigerated. Be safe and add your garlic to the dried tomatoes as part of the recipe for them *after* they come out of the oil.


clipped on: 12.08.2013 at 04:58 pm    last updated on: 12.08.2013 at 04:59 pm

Sungold Tomato Sauce (reprint from old thread)

posted by: kathyb912_IN on 09.05.2013 at 07:19 pm in Harvest Forum

While combing through the Harvest forum for cherry tomato ideas, I found an old thread from 2005 (linked below) with lots of great suggestions. About 2/3 through the thread, CindyLouWho posted this recipe for Sungold Tomato Sauce. Cindy, I don't know if you're still around the forum but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! This is seriously one of the best things I've ever eaten. I nearly melted into a puddle on the floor after having it with pasta for dinner tonight.

I know many of us are struggling to use all of our cherry tomatoes this time of year -- mine are taking over my kitchen! -- so hopefully no one will mind my reposting this recipe to give more of us a chance to enjoy it.

From CindyLouWho's original post, Aug 15, 2005:

I use this recipe for Sungold's because there is virtually no prep. I just rinse them and dump them in the pot (don't even cut them):

2.5 cups sungolds
1 stick butter
3 Tbs celery finely chopped
3 Tbs onion finely chopped
3 Tbs carrots finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar

Add all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour. Let cool slightly and blend to a creamy consistency (I use a stick blender right in the pot).

So easy and unbelievably good. It's actually so decadent that sometimes I halve the butter and use oil instead, but it's not nearly as good.

It freezes really well and I use it for everything--pasta sauce, pizza sauce, dip for veggies, etc. Sometimes, we even eat it as a "cream" soup.

Back to me: This recipe made about 1.75 cups of sauce, and I figured out the calories at 75 calories per 1/8 cup. (An 1/8 cup nicely covered a serving of cooked pasta, kind of like an alfredo sauce - a little goes a long way.)

Thanks again, Cindy!


Here is a link that might be useful: Original Cherry Tomato Thread


clipped on: 12.07.2013 at 10:14 am    last updated on: 12.07.2013 at 10:15 am

Sweetcrisp Blue

posted by: yawiney on 11.09.2013 at 11:51 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Got my sweetcrisps (In CA!!) from Berries Plus about 2 weeks ago. I ordered 2 in the 14" cone and 1 in a gallon pot. The ones in the 14" cone, (tiny litlle cone) were about 4 feet tall. I didn't prune because the only leaves were at the very top. They look very healthy.
I am thinking to cut it back some when it goes dormant since the root ball is so small. ??
The one with the bigger root ball is more of a small bush structure, only 2+ft. It came dormant(strange since it came from Florida). They must refrigerate them.
I do need to prune the smaller/taller ones right??


clipped on: 11.10.2013 at 10:41 am    last updated on: 11.10.2013 at 10:41 am

RE: Looking for a good quality ''wire saw''. (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: harvestman on 11.02.2013 at 10:45 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

The newer saw design has rendered those types obsolete, IMO. The advantage of these dwarf bow saws was that it allowed the use of a thinner blade but the advent of the "tricut" blade eliminates much of the clogging caused by sawdust and allows faster cutting than the best "wire saws" ever made. The bar holding the thinner blade interfered with access anyway.

I recommend Silky Gomtaro, 300 mm course cut if you want a serious pruning saw and I've tried many other models including much more expensive ones with longer blades. For a home orchard, the blade should last several seasons without sharpening. I replace the blades rather than sharpening them as tricuts are a difficult design to sharpen.

I get mine from A. M Leonard but there are other sources.


clipped on: 11.04.2013 at 08:58 am    last updated on: 11.04.2013 at 08:58 am

Pecan Harvest

posted by: jill2761 on 01.05.2012 at 08:04 pm in Harvest Forum

I have numerous pecan trees, some of which are at least a century old. I have a mixture of native pecans and grafted varieties. The grafted one are between 20-40 years old. The pecan trees didn't produce for several years, probably due to stress and extensive damage from Hurricane Rita in 2005. Well, this year the bounty is back. We have picked up almost 600 lbs so far. I am stocking my freezer back up with shelled pecans, but I'm also finding new uses.

I found a recipe for using the pecans as a substitute for graham crackers for a graham cracker pie crust and it was absolutely delicious. I've seen several variations and they all sound good, but this is the one I used:

2 cups pecans ground to meal in the food processor, add 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp melted butter, 1 tbs water, 4 tbs brown sugar and whirr in the processor again till the "dough" pulls away from the sides. Press into 9" pie plate and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Delicious for pudding pies or cheesecake fillings. After it was completely cool, I added chocolate pudding for the filling and sprinkled chopped pecans on top. This crust was better than any graham cracker crust.

I have also made pecan butter (substitute for peanut butter). I added a bit of honey to it. I make only a cup or so at a time. Not for canning. Also has very short shelf life due to the oil in the nuts. Needs to be refrigerated if quantity is for more than a day or two.

I added the nuts to Carrot Cake Jam for a conserve.

I learned (but haven't tried yet) that the ground meal can be substitutes for flour or bread crumbs. I'm looking forward to trying pecan crusted pork chops or fish. Or making bread, substituting the pecan meal for whole wheat flour.

We're also exploring making our own oil press to extract the pecan oil from the nuts.

Pretty cool, huh!?!

My dad used to sell the pecans he picked up. He'd bag 'em up in huge burlap bags and deliver them to a pecan company. We might do that at some point, but right now I'm just so happy to replenish my freezer!

Jill in southeast Texas


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RE: Sweet Potatoes a Mess (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: fusion_power on 10.25.2013 at 09:01 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Covington and Mahan are my success stories. Vgkg, please look for these two. They are far better than Beauregard.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes a Mess (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: wayne_5 on 10.25.2013 at 05:26 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

pat, I have raised Nancy Hall many times. It can be a good tasting tuber, but O'Henry makes a better tuber that is smoother inside and out.

You can get many of the varieties from Steele Plant Co. in Tennessee. They ship reliably just about to the day for your area.


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RE: New avocado trees: will what I want match with what will work (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: hoosierquilt on 09.10.2013 at 06:55 pm in California Gardening Forum

Okay, well, we CFRG members consider the avocado to be the "SUV" of the garden :-) Their growth habit is just large. Very large and for many cultivars, sprawling. Next time you're down in Fallbrook, or N. San Diego county, stop your car and get out to see the size of some of the commercial (mainly Hass) avo orchards, and you'll see what we're talking about. Some are the size of a small house. I'm not kidding :-)

Now, that all being said, you've been given some good suggestions for more compact cultivars. I would also suggest Gwen, which is an exceptionally flavored avocado. Holiday is also very good, and stays quite small (although slower to produce, so be patient). You might also consider Stewart, which is also reasonably compact, and Lamb Hass, which is a cross between Hass and Gwen, precocious, heavy producer, upright in its growth habit, smaller than Hass, and has a very long growing season (my best avo). But, bigger than Gwen, although with drop crotch pruning can be kept down. But, the best tasting of all the A type avocados by far is Jan Boyce. If I could only grow one A type, it would be the coveted Jan Boyce. And, Reed, right up there with Jan Boyce, produces huge, round, softball-sized green skinned avos, but stays compact. I would say folks are probably evenly split between Jan Boyce and Reed being the two best A avos. These are all A type avos, so to help with cross pollination, you should include a B type, and the best by far (and up there in taste with Jan Boyce and Reed) would be Sharwil (or sometimes called Kona Sharwil). This is Hawaii's main commercial avocado, and exceptional. It can get bigger than Reed or Gwen, but then, all the B types I would recommend are larger avos (Hellen, also exceptionally flavored B avo gets too big for your area).

Don't plant two avos in one hole. That's just marketing hooha to get you to buy more trees, I'm shocked our article says that. Avos really aren't suited for that. HUGE mistake. I wouldn't even do that for citrus trees. Stone fruits, sure, but avos, no way. Don't worry so much about trying to match growing habits, but prune as needed to keep the size down.

Here are some links for you, for resources, information as well as for purchasing options: (very nice folks, btw) (Atkins Nursery in Fallbrook - they are growing all the above cultivars, service commercial growers as well as all of us CRFG's in SD and Orange counties, nice family-owned commercial/retail grower. Good citrus there, too)

Now, to your area - watch your drainage. Avos really prefer to be on a slope (which is why they do SO well in Fallbrook, and my area - they're all growing on a slope, and so are mine). They are worse than citrus for hating to sit with wet feet. They can be very prone to Phytophthora (root rot). Never remove the dropped leaves as they require their own dropped leaves as mulch for their sensitive feeder root system. Their roots can be pretty significant - a little concerned about your block wall. Based on your area, I would say squeezing in 3 compact avos would be it. So, maybe pick two A avos and 1 B avo to be planted in between your A's, and you should be good to go. And, as far as temps - you've got that nice block wall that will provide a bit of a microclimate for your trees. Guatamalean avos are most cold sensitive, so keep that in mind.

Patty S.

This post was edited by hoosierquilt on Tue, Sep 10, 13 at 23:02


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RE: avocado overview please...... (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: swakyaby on 07.22.2013 at 10:56 pm in California Gardening Forum

I live in inland northern California, near Sacramento where the summers are hot and dry, and the winters have several weeks in the mid to upper 20s. Planted a dwarf Little Cado in a raised bed alongside some dwarf citrus trees in the spring over a year ago. It branched out nicely all summer under a 50% shade canopy I erected with wooden stakes. My next door neighbor, desperate for a Type B pollinator for his 7 year old Hass, brought me a Stewart to plant in my yard. Then my father in law gave me a Nabal, although I really didn't have room to plant it, so I squeezed it near the Little Cado. The first winter, despite erecting frost cloths and watering well before a frosty night, the Nabal quickly perished, being the most frost sensitive. Then the Stewart began showing signs of frost damage, being less established. Finally, during nearly a week of temps from 25 to 28 degrees, the branches and growing tip of the formerly robust Little Cado turned black. I ran a 100 watt incandescent trouble light under the frost cloths, but it was too little too late. The Stewart and Little Cado were in such bad shape by the end of winter that I decided to euthanize them and try again.

So this past spring, I replanted a dwarf avocado and the Stewart a bit further away. This time, I will try placing old fashioned Christmas lights under the frost cloths for extra warmth. If I can get them through the first 2 winters, I think this is key. My neighbor finally got a large crop of Hass avocados from his now 8 year old tree. He gleefully brought me a bagful. Guess he didn't need a nearby pollinator after all. And his mature tree weathered the 25 degree freeze just fine.

P.S Me too. I love avocados.


clipped on: 10.24.2013 at 11:04 pm    last updated on: 10.24.2013 at 11:05 pm

RE: Fastest nut variey to come into production (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: desertdance on 10.18.2013 at 09:31 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Macadamia will produce fast and grow fast! It loves zone 9. I think it prefers 9b, but I'm in 9a, and it thrives here! It's the best nut in the world!

Bees love it's beautiful flowers. I have one tree and plan for two more!

Also, no squirrels or birds can crack those shells, so pests are few! The crop is yours!


clipped on: 10.20.2013 at 10:26 am    last updated on: 10.20.2013 at 10:26 am

RE: Sweetcrisp source. (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: yawiney on 10.16.2013 at 12:43 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Sweetcrisp was not listed on the berries unlimited site. After much research I did find that Berries Plus had them and was able to order to CA. They should be here in 2 weeks.


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RE: Your favorite tree fruits? (Follow-Up #63)

posted by: hoosierquilt on 08.01.2012 at 03:06 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Wow, Four Winds does not show they have the Ortanique tangor on the online store anywhere. That is good to know. The only grower in the state of California that I was aware of that grew the Ortanique right now (and other somewhat rare citrus), was Monterey Bay Nursery. A great, great wholesale nursery that is now having difficulties with these rare citrus due to the more stringent CDFA guidelines for quarantines and treatment. Very sad. Not sure if Dave at Bonita Creek Nursery is still growing them or not. He is a big CRFG member in San Diego and a nice guy, but hard to get a return call or email from him. He's kind of a one man show, and very busy. Another option if you like a citrus with a grapefruit overtone is the Wekiwa (or Lavender Gem) tangelolo, Yes, that is correct, tangelolo. Clausen's Nursery here in Vista grows them from their own budwood, as they used to actually grow this variety commercially about 30 years ago. In other states the flesh can be lavender tinged. Mine aren't, but they are delicious. Just a hint of grapefruit and very sweet. Make excellent eating out of hand citrus as well as juice.

A source for those in California that would like to order a Sandra Rose cherry (on Krymsk, which is a great dwarfing rootstock) is Schlabach's Nursery in New York. They WILL ship to California, whereas other out of state nurseries that grow Sandra Rose are not willing to ship. And those that will ship (C&O, Fowler's and Van Well) didn't bud any Sandra Rose up for 2013, I called all 3. Their phone number is 866-600-5203, and their mailing address is 2784 Murdock Rd., Medina, NY 14103. No web site as they are Amish-owned (so you're lucky they've got a phone number.) Very nice folks. For me down here in S. Calif, I really need very dwarfing rootstock for my cherries, as they grow like maniacs. Colt is not dwarfing enough, way too much pruning for my taste.

Fruitnut, the best stone fruit this year for me, besides my Minnie Royal and Royal Lee cherries was my SpiceZee nectaplum. Oh, and my Flavor King pluot. Out of this world good. Especially the SpiceZee, which was extra sweet (sorry, can't report on brix as I don't have my refractometer yet). But, for me, who does not like tart stone fruit, it was just perfect. Still looking for a Golden Sweet apricot, no luck there. Or Honeykist.

Speaking of citrus, you might want to consider adding the Seedless Kishu mandarin. By far the best tasting mandarin going. Excellent. Tiny fruits, but completely seedless. You can pop a half a fruit in your mouth at a time. Just the best tasting mandarin I've ever eaten. Sweet and complex.


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RE: Your favorite tree fruits? (Follow-Up #34)

posted by: fruitnut on 07.16.2012 at 02:20 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

You can get Honey Kist on Soft. It's similar to Honey Blaze but not quite as good in my experience. Both Blaze and Royale can be ordered straight from DWN but you need to buy 10 trees of each at ~$90 for the bundle. There might be a group buy via CRFG. You might get a Sandra Rose from Fowlers Nursery or possibly out of a WA nursery; C&O, Van Well, or other.


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RE: Your favorite tree fruits? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: fruitnut on 07.13.2012 at 09:14 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum


Tomcot is 7-10 days earlier than Robada and Golden Sweet is several weeks later. I've only eaten Golden Sweet one year, 2012, at 26 brix and possibly the best apricot I've eaten. Tomcot and Robada usually run about 22 and 24 brix respectively on the best fruits. Those are the sun exposed fruits in the upper part of the canopy. I think a little better brix is possible but to date I haven't got the water down enough that early in the year to go higher.

Arctic Star is about my best white flesh low-acid nectarine. It is great when it gets mushy soft and about 24 brix. I've had them sweeter with a greater water deficit but 24 is very special fruit. Arctic Jay is a bigger fruit and a little later. I'd say it's not quite as good but still excellent.

The two Honey series yellow flesh nectarines can be the best fruit I've ever eaten. To get there they need a long period, months, of water deficit prior to harvest. This can get the brix as high as 30+ but they are very good in the 20s. They are sweetest mushy soft. On all the nectarines the flesh turns translucent as it softens. Then it darkens as it turns mushy. I like translucent, my buddy likes the later dark phase.

My definition of a water deficit is about 66-75% of full water. This is in a greenhouse and I apply about 3 inches per month with a mulch and no weeds or grass. Outdoors that number would likely be higher, how high I can't say. Just pointing out that IMO water is a key factor for those liking really sweet fruit. The best fruit is as much about culture as cultivar.


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RE: Your favorite tree fruits? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: fruitnut on 07.13.2012 at 07:53 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Do you have Arctic Star and Arctic Jay nectarines? Those are my favorites along with Honey Blaze and Honey Royale that are harder to find. For apricots Tomcot, Robada and Golden Sweet. Sweet cherries: Van, Selah, and Sandra Rose. Best plum/pluot I grow is Flavor King.


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RE: Arborists and free mulch? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: melle_sacto on 05.24.2012 at 11:42 am in California Gardening Forum

I know this isnt exactly what you were asking, but around here (Sacramento) we can get free mulch from the utility company (haul it yourself). Also I've seen listings in the Pennysaver and on Craigslist where they will put you on a delivery list for a free pile. I did that once, but it was 10 cubic yards -- almost as tall as our garage!!!


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RE: Sacramento Visit (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: sautesmom on 02.28.2012 at 11:06 pm in California Gardening Forum

Bus or taxi is not going to work, everything is way too spread out here--you really need to rent a car. A taxi trip to the closest nursery would start at about $30, and other cool ones would probably cost $100 to take a taxi. A bus ride would involve many changes and hours of waiting.

One place you could get to would be the park surrounding the State Capitol Building. It has many trees that were planted in the 1800's, with name plates as to variety and a walking tour available. There are amazing trees of all types from all around the world in the park, such as a huge American persimmon 4 stories tall with a trunk at least 6 feet in diameter. Many were gifts from different countries. There is also a beautiful and huge rose garden as part of it. Just don't pick the oranges--the cops will be on you immediately to tell you it's all government property!

If you do rent a car, I would say go check out Green Acres nursery (google it, 3 locations) the UC Davis arboretum, and Eisley's nursery in Auburn is pretty cool too. (Capital Nursery is also famous here, but something is going on with them lately (financial problems???) and their shelves are almost bare this spring.)

Carla in Sac


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RE: How hard can you prune 2-3 year old apricot? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: sautesmom on 01.30.2012 at 07:04 pm in California Gardening Forum

The issue is more "cold and wet" rather than "wet". I lost my 2-year-old Robada because I pruned in January---and it had grown to a healthy 7-8 feet tall the year before. I topped it to keep it at a more-manageable 5 feet, and by April the cut top was gurgling brown ooze that smelled just like old beer. It never leafed out again. :(
Now I summer-prune only for apricots.

Carla in Sac


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RE: How cold did you get last night(1/16/12)? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: sautesmom on 01.17.2012 at 09:03 pm in California Gardening Forum

23 here in Sacramento. I haven't checked my covered plants because I didn't want to re-cover them (and it's only a 2-day cold snap so no sunlight for a day or two is no big deal), but I am worried about my fuschia, heliotrope and Natal Plums. :(

Carla in Sac


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RE: Jim Bacon Avocado? Anyone taste this? Do you like it? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: still_kris on 12.19.2011 at 08:44 am in California Gardening Forum

I find the Bacon's watery and bland. Fuerte still the best imho.


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RE: Growing HAAS avocado in a pot- limit root size? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: hoovb on 10.18.2011 at 05:01 pm in California Gardening Forum

What you would need to do would be to keep the top growth small in proportion to the smaller root system. I recently went to a lecture by a guy from Dave Wilson (wholesaler of fruit trees) and he said you could do that--keep an avocado trimmed down to about 8-10'. Of course, you are going to be out there trimming it frequently.

Having said that, you want as big a planter as you can possibly give it, like 24"x24" or bigger, and as Renee said, you need to figure out a way to keep the root system cool and moist, perhaps with an outer white pot to insulate the inner one. Long term, train the tree into an umbrella shape so that the top growth will shade the container.

Of course you are not going to get the yield you would get from a large tree, but if a few Avocados is enough, well there you go.

And if you can return it and get a Reed instead of a Hass...the Avocado growers have a saying: "Hass you sell, Reed you eat."


clipped on: 10.09.2013 at 10:35 pm    last updated on: 10.09.2013 at 10:35 pm

RE: Need good nursery in Sacramento /Carmichael (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: sautesmom on 02.21.2011 at 02:24 pm in California Gardening Forum

Closest is Capital Nursery with nice people happy to help you:

Capital Nursery #2
5410 Sunrise at Madison
Citrus Heights, CA 95822

or Green Acres is a little farther, but has a bigger selection, and also has very nice people:

Green Acres Nursery & Supply
901 Galleria Boulevard
Roseville CA 95678

Carla in Sac


clipped on: 10.06.2013 at 04:46 pm    last updated on: 10.06.2013 at 04:46 pm

RE: What's your favorite plum and why? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: fruitnut on 06.11.2013 at 01:48 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

My favorite plums are all pluots, same thing only better:

Flavor King: big, beautiful, and amazing flavor
Flavor Supreme: A sweet/tart beauty

Those are probably the best two. But Flavor Grenade, Honey Punch, Flavor Finale, Geo Pride, and Flavor Treat are all better than the best plum I've tried.

There are more plums I want to try: Emerald Beaut, Inca, and Golden Nectar are in the works.


clipped on: 10.03.2013 at 10:58 pm    last updated on: 10.03.2013 at 10:59 pm

Plums 2013

posted by: scottfsmith on 09.02.2013 at 07:56 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

How did your plums do this year? I had several varieties fruit for the first time, here is my log info.

Spring Satin Very good as usual, aromatic flesh and similar to Flavor Supreme in flavor - a great super-early plum! Squirlz got most of them however. I classify this as a plum because besides the bit of fuzz and the earliness its a plum in every other respect. Don't let it overset, they are bland then.

Earli Magic - A very good plum, when left to hang they have a very good flavor. Not tart, more on the aromatic side. That plus earliness makes them a winner, probably a notch better than Spring Satin.

Purple Heart - These guys hang purple a long time before softening - it makes it hard to keep all the critters off of them. I did not thin enough, the fruits want to be large so it needs more thinning than Satsuma. Taste is very similar to Satsuma, not exactly all the same flavors but many common ones and every bit as good as Satsuma. Good as an earlier, larger, just as reliable version of Satsuma, and one of my favorites. I have no idea why this plum is not more popular.

Beauty - An early one was fine but too early to tell much.

Shiro - This is an extremely reliable yellow plum. They are not as flavorful as some of the best but when left to hang a long time they are a nice refreshing treat.

Santa Rosa - Excellent as usual and I got a good crop of them. Will probably need to start thinning next year, every year the fruit set has increased until now its almost to overset.

Flavor Supreme - one excellent fruit on the whole tree.

Weeping SR - In a crammed spot but produces a few great fruits, better than SR by a notch.

Lavinia - I only had a few and some critter got most so only ate not fully ripe ones, but they are looking to be an EXCELLENT plum.. They have an unusual flavor that I call papaya for lack of a better class; its something papaya-ish. Barely turning red at ripening time, very orange flesh. Satsuma sized is their only weakness, no bug etc problems on them.

Flavor King - Birds pecking before they are fully ripe. It also cracked. At least it didn't rot since I sprayed MFF this year. Overall this guy is too much work for my climate and it will probably get removed this winter.

Satsuma - Excellent as usual, overall my favorite because of the huge load, long ripening window, and very good flavor and texture. Produces a huge tasty crop even if not thinned well. I gave some Satsuma plum jam to a friend and they thought I had added cloves to the jam recipe, that is how noticeable the clove flavor is.

Fortune - these plums are red forever and never seem to ripen. I had one that was sort of ripe that was a decent but not great plum. The tree is not setting well.

RubyQueen - This tree set few plums this year after I let it overset last year. Still, even with only a few fruits they had no flavor. Thats two years out of three with no good flavor on this tree, so I removed it.

Pearl - An excellent Euro plum if it would only produce.

French Petite - Flavor excellent when fully ripe; too many bug problems on it however.

Laroda - A late plum something like Santa Rosa. Did not get enough fruits to get a firm opinion but if it starts setting more it could be a good one.

Mariposa - A late red-fleshed plum that seems very good; more experience needed.

Flavor Grenade - Big elongated fruits, great set, and I had no rot this year with MFF. They are good but too much a "sweet candy" taste for me. The tree still has most of the plums hanging and they are improving so the final word is not in yet on this one. Anyway, for a pluot in my climate its awesome, besides the rotting it is reliable and does not crack.

Middleburg - An excellent Euro plum.

None of my Euros produced many fruits, I mis-pruned them for many years (the trees were too closely planted and I left on too many scaffolds and shoots) and turned them into wood machines. Also the curc and OFM really go after them, and the green aphids make a total mess every May and seem to set the trees back all summer. I greatly prefer the Japanese types based on all these problems with the Euros. Its too bad because nothing can beat the rich sweetness of a good tree-ripened European plum.

I added a bunch of new California plums a few years ago and they are starting to fruit now. I am pleasantly surprised that they are not rotting/cracking very much, and bacterial spot has been fine on most of them, but none of them has produced well so far.


This post was edited by scottfsmith on Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 20:04


clipped on: 10.03.2013 at 09:55 pm    last updated on: 10.03.2013 at 09:56 pm

RE: Plums 2013 (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: scottfsmith on 09.03.2013 at 07:56 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Hman, ask me for Mariposa this winter. I have this one and a bunch of other California Japanese plums thanks to Grover who is no longer with us. He brought back a ton of stuff from the CRFG swaps in California that he generously shared with me.

PersianMD, I agree on the Euros, every year I think of taking them out and every year I get a few plums that are so awesome I know I could never do that.

Superior is related to Santa Rosa I expect, they do have some common flavor. There is a whole Santa Rosa school of flavor out there, many plums are descended from SR and they have tart skin. Satsuma is another common type, the red fleshed meaty plums which never have tart skin. I don't know much like Shiro, it is a complex cross and is fairly unique. The pluots are a school in my mind, they all taste fairly similar, at least the ones I have had. One thing I like about Lavinia is it is not in the standard schools of plums, like Shiro its something unique. I assume some different Japanese plum types were imported into Europe from Japan and Lavinia came from them.



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Writeup on greenhouse fruit production

posted by: fruitnut on 08.21.2013 at 01:51 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I was asked to write this up for a local presentation sponsored by Texas A&M Extension. I'm sorry it's a really long post but maybe someone will find it worth reading.

Growing Fruit in Southwest Texas
Greenhouse Production

West Texas above 4,500ft elevation is ideally suited to greenhouse production of many fruits. Summers are cool and dry enough that greenhouse temperatures can be held in the ideal range. Winters are mild enough that heating costs are reasonable. A greenhouse of 1728 sq ft in Alpine, Texas costs about $50 per month for cooling and $300 per year for heating to 39F.

Soil is a very well drained, deep, clay loam with moderate water holding capacity.

Winter chilling requires about 10-12 weeks with nights at 38-40F and days as cool as possible, about 55-60F. Winter chilling is aided by shade cloth and evaporative cooling. The crops requiring most chilling hours are sweet cherries and some apricots. The other fruits discussed need eight weeks of chilling or less.

Summer cooling is achieved via wet wall and opposing 36 inch exhaust fans. The high temperatures in summer can be held below 95 F in a greenhouse in Alpine.

All greenhouse fruit species listed have been grown both in-ground and in 5-15 gallon pots. Fruit quality can be superb from potted trees but it is more variable and the fruit is smaller. Brix levels listed are for in-ground trees mostly on Citation and Gisela 5 rootstocks spaced from 6ft by 8ft to 4ft by 3ft. Citation is precocious and increases fruit size but is very susceptible to crown gall. Grapes and figs are too vigorous planted in-ground in the greenhouse. Potting makes them much more manageable.

The key management issue for highest fruit eating quality is water. Limiting water lowers the water content of fruit and enhances both sweetness and flavor. Greenhouse average total water application is 28 inches per year. This equates to 1.0 inch every 10-21 days from May thru September (via drip) plus 7-8 inches by flooding in the dormant season, usually October or November, to leach salts and rewet the soil profile.

The watering regime could be described as deficit irrigation. The idea is to force the plant to adapt to a water deficit in spring by withholding irrigation until growth nearly ceases and then maintaining a water deficit all summer. The trees don't usually stop growing entirely in summer but growth is very limited. The water deficit has been taken too far if the trees begin to drop leaves or the fruit shrivels. This watering regime is most suitable and effective for the long season and late maturing grapes, pluot, and nectarine. It's suitable only for the very drought tolerant fruits outdoors; mainly grapes, jujube, and figs.

The floor of the greenhouse is covered with Extenday reflective fabric to increase light in the canopy, control weeds, and save water. This in part accounts for low greenhouse water needs. Light in the greenhouse is highly diffused by IRAC poly and ground fabric but is probably only 40 to 50% total PAR compared to outdoors.

Little or no fertilizer is applied to greenhouse fruits. It's generally not needed since the fruit trees aren't competing with any ground cover vegetation.

Average brix levels have been 18-25 for pluots and nectarines, 24-32 for sweet cherry, and 16-22 for apricots. Fruit size is generally good despite limiting water as much as possible. Flavor King pluot sometimes averages 200 grams and several nectarines 3-4 inches, ~300-450 grams. Fruit size is reduced at the greatest water deficits. For instance nectarines running ~28 brix at higher water deficits are 50-70% the size of 18-22 brix fruit.

Key pest is spider mites which build up in late May. There are many new miticides available for control.

The authors single most favorite fruit is Honey Royale nectarine for it's sweet and incredibly rich flavor. Other favorites are the other Honey and Arctic series nectarines, Orangered and Robada apricot, Flavor Supreme and Flavor King pluot, Strawberry Verte fig, Sweetcrisp blueberry, and Summer Royal grape. Summer Muscat is a great tasting grape but has small berries and cracks.

Greenhouse crops and favorite cultivars

Nectarine: Honey May, Arctic Star, Honey Fire, Arctic Jay, Honey Blaze, Honey Royale, and Honey Diva
Apricot: Tomcot, Robada, Orangered, and Golden Sweet
Fig: Strawberry Verte
Pluots: Flavor Supreme, Flavor King, Crimson Royale, Honey Punch, Flavor Finale, and Flavor Treat
Sweet cherry: Lapins, Van, Bing, Selah, Sandra Rose, and Skeena
Grapes: Flame, Summer Royal, Princess, and Crimson
Citrus: Washington navel and Cara Cara navel
Blueberries: Sweetcrisp and Springhigh
Blackberry: Black Diamond
Peach: Valley Sweet

Outdoor Fruit Production

West Texas has many issues related to growing fruit outdoors. Freezes, hail, and shallow, high pH soils limit production. Soils less than 3 feet deep can severely limit tree growth. These shallow soils are often high in free lime causing iron chlorosis.

Yield, especially of early blooming fruits, is much less outdoors than in the greenhouse. But there are fruits that produce fairly well outdoors: apples, pears, jujube, blackberry, and at lower elevations peach, persimmon, pomegranate, and figs. Watermelons and cantaloupes are also well adapted especially at lower elevations.

Many apple cultivars suffer from lack of chilling but still bear fruit. Pears generally need less chilling but some low chilling cultivars bloom too early. Bosc and Comice take 5-8 years to start bearing. Asian pears and Harrow Sweet bear in 2-3 years.

The late blooming fruits are persimmon, jujube, blackberry, mulberry, and grapes. This may help escape the late freezes but once growth begins they are very freeze sensitive.

Watering needs of outdoors fruits vary considerably. Unlike in the greenhouse where deficit irrigation is successful on stone fruit, the most common situation outdoors is insufficient irrigation. This results in small trees and small fruit especially on shallow soils. Apples, pears, peach, blackberry, and watermelons require about 2.0 inches per week during hot dry periods. Grapes, figs, and jujube can be grown with much less water.

Nitrogen is the most commonly need fertilizer. The amount needed varies widely depending on soil permeability, irrigation amount, and crop. Ammonium sulfate, 21-0-0, is a good nitrogen source for west Texas. Young trees on permeable soil may need nitrogen every month to maximize growth. Older trees usually need nitrogen only 1-3 times per year.

Favorite Outdoor Cultivars

Apples: Gala, Jonalicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, and GoldRush
Pears: Seckel, Harrow Sweet, Bartlett, Comice, Bosc, and Korean Giant aka Olympic
Grapes: Flame, Summer Royal, Princess, and Crimson
Apricot: Tomcot, Robada, and Orangered
Sweet cherry: Lapins
Peaches: check Texas Aggie Hort
Persimmon: Eureka
Jujube: Sugar Cane, Li, and Lang
Blackberry: Navajo and Triple Crown for thornless
Blueberries: Star and Legacy
Watermelon: Star Brite

Potted Fruits

Blueberries and figs are well suited to 5-15 gallon pots. Blueberries because they need low pH soil and figs for freeze protection and season extension. Figs are marginally hardy at best when planted outdoors in Alpine.

Blueberries need pH ~4.5 and well-draining media. Sphagnum peat moss is probably the best media for the bulk of the potting mix. Water only with rainwater or acidified well water. Untreated well water will kill blueberry plants in one growing season. Treat well water with vinegar or sulfuric acid to pH 4.5. Most West Texas soils are difficult or impossible to acidify to a pH suitable for blueberry.

Table 1. Greenhouse pluot evaluation

Cultivar Harvest Brix Flavor
Flavor Supreme 6-1 24 9
Geo Pride 7-1 24 8
Emerald Drop 7-8 23 7
Flavor Queen 7-15 24 5
Flavor King 7-21 20 10
Flavor Grenade 7-21 24 7
Crimson Royale 8-1 24 8
Honey Punch 8-21 25 8
Flavor Finale 9-1 24 9
Flavor Treat 9-28 24 8

Table 2. Greenhouse apricot evaluation

Cultivar Harvest Brix Flavor
Tasty Rich 4-15 18 7
Honey Rich 4-21 16 6
Tomcot 5-1 20 8
Robada 5-10 22 9
Orangered 5-21 21 10
Golden Sweet 5-28 22 7

Table 3. Greenhouse nectarine evaluation

Cultivar Harvest Brix Flavor
Honey May 5-15 18 7
Arctic Star 6-1 24 9
Arctic Sweet 6-15 23 8
Arctic Jay 7-1 24 8
Honey Fire 7-1 24 8
Honey Blaze 7-1 25 9
Spicezee 7-8 24 8
Honey Royale 7-15 23 10
Honey Diva 8-1 24 9
Valley Sweet peach 8-15 20 8
Arctic Snow 9-1 22 7

Table 4. Greenhouse grape evaluation

Cultivar Harvest Brix Flavor
Flame 7-1 25 7
Summer Muscat 7-15 30 10
Summer Royal 7-21 26 8
Princess 8-1 24 7
Autumn Royal 9-1 24 6
Crimson 10-1 26 7

Table 5. Greenhouse sweet cherry evaluation

Cultivar Brix Flavor
Bing 24 8
Van 30 10
Lapins 25 8
Rainier 28 7
Sandra Rose 32 9
Selah 32 8
Royal Rainier 30 8
Skeena 28 8
Sonata 28 8
Regina 26 5
Craig's Crimson 27 7
Sweetheart 26 7
Royal Helen 29 5
Royal Edie 27 5
Chelen 24 6

Here is a link that might be useful: greenhouse slide show

This post was edited by fruitnut on Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 15:16


clipped on: 09.27.2013 at 09:00 am    last updated on: 09.27.2013 at 09:00 am

RE: Avocado too tall to support itself (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: steve_in_los_osos on 08.25.2013 at 05:49 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Yes, the best time for controlling the height has sort of slipped by. It would have been better to pinch out the tip of the vertical growth frequently to encourage branching and slow down the ascent.

But...if you want to be able to reach your avocados, I'd certainly cut it back. They cut back avocado trees in the fields all the time, sometimes a lot more drastically. Just watch out for sunburn if you remove too much canopy. May need to do a little painting.


clipped on: 09.27.2013 at 08:52 am    last updated on: 09.27.2013 at 08:52 am

RE: Best netting for fruit trees (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: garedneck on 05.01.2013 at 05:36 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I just put a 30 by 30 piece of green netting
over a sweet cherry using 2 16' adjustable painters poles from Lowes. The green netting was much easier to use than that cheap black plastic bird netting (that i can't even take out of the package and fully open before swearing i will never use it again because it tangles on anything)! I don't know if i will get the ~4 seasons use of the netting, but at least i got it up around the tree!


clipped on: 09.25.2013 at 09:38 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2013 at 09:38 pm

RE: Best netting for fruit trees (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: harvestman on 05.01.2013 at 04:20 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Seven Springs Organics offers 15' wide rolls and pieces of woven green with white stripes (to help position it) netting for a reasonable price. I sew two pieces of 30' long pieces together to make a net large enough (30X30') for a mature semi-dwarf tree. Much, much better than mono-filament and worth the extra price because you can use a piece for several years.

This stuff doesn't snag too much and one person can net a tree in about 15 minutes with a pole and a step ladder. A little longer with just a pole. Quicker to take off. No frame needed- put it right over the tree.


clipped on: 09.25.2013 at 09:37 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2013 at 09:37 pm

RE: Avacado Tree re-growth? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: swakyaby on 08.04.2013 at 12:09 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Hi Kanoli,

I live in zone 9, in Northern CA near Sacramento. Despite the winter lows dropping in the mid 20s, my next door neighbor has a mature healthy Hass avocado. Sometimes, some branches will die back (one winter had several nights at 19 degrees!), but they always regrow.

So last year I planted a Little Cado and my next door neighbor gave me a young Stewart to plant. My back yard is too tiny to grow a Mexicola Grande. Despite erecting a canopy with frost cloths during cold nights, then adding a 75 watt incandescent trouble light under each tree, they both froze off their side branches and main growing tip. After consulting with neighbors and co-workers, I replanted 2 new healthy ones this spring and plan to hang old fashioned incandescent christmas lights around the tree to give more warmth under the frost cloth canopy during the frost nights. If that doesn't work, then I give up.

I think it takes patience and dedication to establish an avocado tree in our zone, but it can be done!


clipped on: 09.22.2013 at 10:39 am    last updated on: 09.22.2013 at 10:39 am

RE: Netting system for 1/2 high blueberries (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: northernmn on 07.23.2013 at 09:47 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Northwoodswis, The net just went on 5 days ago when I saw a catbird taking berries that were mostly white with only a hint of blue. The "T" s and wires stay up year round but I do back off the tension on the wires when the net isn't up. If I don't the end 2X4s will start to bend under the pressure.
The nets comes off as soon as the berries are done. They are rolled up on big tubes.

Deer and rabbits... There are alternating 7 ft and 9 ft fence posts around the garden. There is a 4 ft high chicken wire fence that is trenched in about 2" at the bottom. A rabbit could dig under in the summer, but they aren't around in the summer. In the winter, when they show up, the ground is frozen and the can't dig under.

Above the 4 ft fence there are 2 strands of white tape at the 5 ft and 6 ft levels. The reason that every other post is 9 ft is in case I get some determined deer. I can add another strand at the 9 ft level. So far this hasn't been an issue. However, I have had to repair the chicken wire 4 times because of deer trying to push their way through it or just running into it. Twice the fence was pushed so hard that you could see the impression of a deer's head in the bent chicken wire. I think they are finally realizing that doesn't work. This fall, I will be replacing the elastic tape with plastic bailing twine. Installed at 5 ft, 6 ft, 7 ft and maybe 8.5 ft.

I have no squirrels that come close to the garden. I have had to shoot 2 woodchucks that dug under the fence.

Her is a picture looking the other way. 52 ft of Boyne raspberries are on the left side of the picture. You can see the entry gate at the top right of the picture. That double gate is 6 ft high.

 photo FruitPatchJuly222013002_zpsc1b54bdb.jpg


clipped on: 09.17.2013 at 11:30 pm    last updated on: 09.17.2013 at 11:30 pm

RE: Lets Talk Pluots (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: fruitnut on 03.14.2013 at 01:03 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

How about a top six and some extras. The top six are ones I've fruited at least 5 years. It takes that long for me to be sure about a variety. Brix and taste varies a lot more than most suspect.

1. Honey Royale, 18-28 brix
2. Honey Blaze, 20-28 brix
3. Arctic Star, 20-24 brix
4. Robada apricot, 20-24 brix
5. Flavor King, 18-22 brix
6. Flavor Supreme, 20-28 brix

I like Tasty Rich aprium because it's the first to ripen, always reliable, and 17-19 brix. Also Flavor Treat pluot last to ripen and 20-26 brix. But there are many more as good as these two but for their season they are tops.

I haven't fruit sweet cherries enough to be sure but like Sandra Rose, Selah, Van, Royal Rainier, Rainier, Bing, Lapins, and Skeena.

Best apricots are Tomcot, Robada, and Golden Sweet.

Other nectarines I like are Honey May earliest, Arctic Sweet, Arctic Jay, Arctic Snow, and Honey Fire.

Best grapes Summer Muscat and Summer Royal.

Best blueberry Sweetcrisp.

Best fig: Strawberry Verte

This post was edited by fruitnut on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 19:44


clipped on: 09.06.2013 at 09:38 pm    last updated on: 09.06.2013 at 09:38 pm

RE: Blake's Pride, Potomac, Shenandoah pears (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mamuang on 05.21.2013 at 09:31 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum


Can't help much because my Blake's Pride just went in last year. I can tell you that it's not as precocious as Harrow Sweet which was planted at the same time. HS has already set fruit from me. BP did not flower this year.

I planted BP because I want to make sure HS has something to cross pollinate with (turned out no need because I have 4 Asian pears). BP is supposed to be disease resistant pear that tastes good. Both trees have pear blister mites. BP has more.


clipped on: 08.29.2013 at 11:15 pm    last updated on: 08.29.2013 at 11:15 pm

Harrow Sweet, perfect home orchard pear

posted by: harvestman on 10.19.2011 at 11:39 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Of course I can only speak for the region I grow Harrow Sweet and from much too little experience with it. This was the first year I've gotten a substantial crop from Harrow sweet, both from some grafts I put on another variety and a tree of only this variety.

OK, nothings perfect, but, so far, Harrow Sweet comes as close as any pear I grow. It is very sweet, which in our more northern latitude can be a major issue where pears often get inadequate sugar. The Highlands are as sweet as Seckels this year- the sweetest pear commonly grown here.

It resists psyla and scab which I can't say for Seckel and especially Bosc.

It resists fire blight more than the varieties most widely grown here- Seckel, Bosc, and Bartlett.

It ripens in Oct when high sugar, low acid fruit is really nice as stone fruit is pretty much done except maybe the last of the prune plums. It also means you can probably store them into winter.

It can be allowed to ripen on the tree. This is always an advantage for home growers trying to figure out when to pick. Seckel and Bosc also hold their texture and don't rot in the center when allowed to tree ripen there. Like Bosc, Highland turns golden when hard ripe so you can wait until then to pick them for storage and be assured optimum sweetness.

It is less attractive to stinkbugs than Seckel- at least so far, and because the tree I grafted it onto was a Seckel I literally got a side by side comparison.

It is a pretty tree with nice spreading branches. It also seems fairly precocious for a pear.

Adams has started carrying it (tiny trees, though- hard to get good sized pears) and still has some available. I just put 10 in my order.


clipped on: 11.01.2011 at 02:48 am    last updated on: 08.28.2013 at 06:39 pm

RE: Question on Spraying (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: harvestman on 05.03.2013 at 05:07 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Alan Haigh- The Home Orchard and Nursery Co.


Low Spray Schedule for Home Orchards in the Northeast

Here's my spray schedule for the scores of orchards I manage around SE NY adapted for home owners managing a few fruit trees. It has functioned well for me for over 2 decades, although J. Beetles and brown rot of stone fruit increases the number of sprays and necessary pesticides some years some sites. Stink bugs are also an increasing problem requiring more subsequent sprays when they appear. Time of spray is based on apple bloom as that is the predominant fruit here but I generally get away with spraying all trees at the time I spray apples.

Please note that pesticide labels must be read before their use and my recommendations do not override the rules on the label. The label is the law. This document only communicates what has worked for me and your results may vary depending on local pest pressure, which may require a different spray schedule.

Dormant oil (this is optional if there were no mites or scale issues the previous season, which is usually the case in home orchards). Do oil spray somewhere between the point where emerging shoots are 1/2" and the flower clusters begin to show a lot of pink. Mix Immunox (myclobutinol) at highest legal rate (listed on label for controlling scab and cedar apple rust on apple trees) with 1 to 2% oil. If it's closer to pink use 1%.

Don't spray again until petal fall when petals have mostly gone from latest flowering varieties and bees have lost interest. Then spray Triazide (Spectracide Once and Done) + Immunox mixed together at highest legal rates. Repeat once in 10 to 14 days.

Where I manage orchards, the space between earliest flowering Japanese plums and latest flowering apples is only 2 weeks or so which usually allows me to wait until the latest flowering trees are ready to begin spraying anything. Plum curculio seems to time its appearance conveniently to the rhythm of the last flowering apple varieties. This may not be true where you are.

If plums or peaches need oil they may need application before apples. I’ve only had mites on European plums here and never need oil for other stone fruit.

All this is based on plum curculio being your primary insect problem which is the case most areas east of the Mis. River. These sprays will also absolutely control scab, CAR and Mildew as well as most of the crop fatal insects. Apple fly maggot is an exception, but I haven't had much of a problem with this pest in the orchards I manage. This pest can be controlled with a lot of fake apples smeared with tangle trap.

If you don't want to use synthetic chemicals try 4 applications of Surround about a week apart starting at petal fall. You may need to start on earlier flowering varieties as soon as they drop petals because Surround is a repellent and can’t kill eggs after they’ve been inserted into the fruit..

Stone fruit may require the addition of an application or 2 of Indar (Monterey Fungus Fighter is closest available chemical for home owners) starting 4 weeks before first peaches ripen. Apricots must be sprayed sooner if they are scab susceptible with same compound.

Because I manage so many orchards so far apart I have to resort to a spray schedule that is based on expectations rather than actual monitoring. You may be able to reduce insecticide sprays with monitoring but PC can enter an orchard over night and if your insecticide lacks kick-back (as is the case with Triazide), do a lot of damage in a couple of days..

Other problems may occur later in the season and you will in time learn to monitor and react to the pitfalls.
Good luck, Alan Haigh- The Home Orchard and Nursery Co.


clipped on: 08.22.2013 at 08:28 am    last updated on: 08.22.2013 at 08:28 am

RE: how much cold can they tolerate (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: fusion_power on 01.23.2013 at 02:10 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

120F = Severe heat, but if plenty of water is available, the plants are fine. This temp is way above levels at which pollination can take place. Plants with heavy fruit set may show stress. Nutrient transfer imbalances occur because the plant is busy moving water into leaves instead of moving nutrients into fruit.

92F = This is the temp at which pollen starts clumping and blossoms begin to drop.

70F to 92F = This is the goldilocks zone. Tomatoes grow prolifically, flowers set readily, plants need maximum fertility in the soil. The high end of this range is optimum for spread of several foliage diseases.

65F to 72F = the best temperature to grow seedlings.

50F to 65F = this is the beginning of cold stress. Tomato plants in this range grow slowly, often produce anthcyanins (turn purple), and become pale green from loss of chlorophyll function.

32F to 50F = This is the range where normal tomato plants show severe cold stress. Leaves shrivel, turn yellow, wilt, stems lose turgor, roots stop absorbing water. If your plants get this cold overnight, you can reverse the effects by raising the temperature above 90 degrees the next day for the same length of time they were too cold!

28F to 32F = This is the maximum range most tomatoes can withstand without freezing. Note that if frost forms on the leaves, then the leaves will freeze and die. The plant may live and can form new leaves, but the stunting effects take quite a bit of time to overcome.

22F to 28F = This is the range that a few select varieties can withstand for brief periods of time but stipulating that frost on the leaves will still kill them.

15F to 22F = This is the range that a few Russian cultivars are reported to survive, again only if frost does not form. The reports I have read indicate that this tolerance is only for a limited time period, in other words, repeated low temps for 3 days or more will still kill the plants.

0F to 15F = A few Russian cultivars are able to handle temps this low for brief periods of time. This is the low end of the range that wild tomato species S. Habrochaites, S. Chilense, and S. Lycopersicoides can withstand.



clipped on: 03.02.2013 at 04:30 pm    last updated on: 07.24.2013 at 08:34 am

RE: Help pruning fruit trees? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: harvestman on 03.26.2013 at 06:49 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Low Spray Schedule for Home Orchards in the Northeast

Here's my spray schedule for the scores of orchards I manage around SE NY adapted for home owners managing a few fruit trees. It has functioned well for me for over 2 decades, although J. Beetles and brown rot of stone fruit increases the number of sprays and necessary pesticides some years some sites. Stink bugs are also an increasing problem requiring more subsequent sprays when they appear. Time of spray is based on apple bloom as that is the predominant fruit here but I generally get away with spraying all trees at the time I spray apples.

Please note that pesticide labels must be read before their use and my recommendations do not override the rules on the label. The label is the law. This document only communicates what has worked for me and your results may vary depending on local pest pressure, which may require a different spray schedule.

Dormant oil (this is optional if there were no mites or scale issues the previous season, which is usually the case in home orchards). Do oil spray somewhere between the point where emerging shoots are 1/2" and the flower clusters begin to show a lot of pink. Mix Immunox (myclobutinol) at highest legal rate (listed on label for controlling scab and cedar apple rust on apple trees) with 1 to 2% oil. If it's closer to pink use 1%.

Don't spray again until petal fall when petals have mostly gone from latest flowering varieties and bees have lost interest. Then spray Triazide (Spectracide Once and Done) + Immunox mixed together at highest legal rates. Repeat once in 10 to 14 days.

Where I manage orchards, the space between earliest flowering Japanese plums and latest flowering apples is only 2 weeks or so which usually allows me to wait until the latest flowering trees are ready to begin spraying anything. Plum curculio seems to time its appearance conveniently to the rhythm of the last flowering apple varieties. This may not be true where you are.

If plums or peaches need oil they may need application before apples. I’ve only had mites on European plums here and never need oil for other stone fruit.

All this is based on plum curculio being your primary insect problem which is the case most areas east of the Mis. River. These sprays will also absolutely control scab, CAR and Mildew as well as most of the crop fatal insects. Apple fly maggot is an exception, but I haven't had much of a problem with this pest in the orchards I manage. This pest can be controlled with a lot of fake apples smeared with tangle trap.

If you don't want to use synthetic chemicals try 4 applications of Surround about a week apart starting at petal fall. You may need to start on earlier flowering varieties as soon as they drop petals because Surround is a repellent and can’t kill eggs after they’ve been inserted into the fruit..

Stone fruit may require the addition of an application or 2 of Indar (Monterey Fungus Fighter is closest available chemical for home owners) starting 4 weeks before first peaches ripen. Apricots must be sprayed sooner if they are scab susceptible with same compound.

Because I manage so many orchards so far apart I have to resort to a spray schedule that is based on expectations rather than actual monitoring. You may be able to reduce insecticide sprays with monitoring but PC can enter an orchard over night and if your insecticide lacks kick-back (as is the case with Triazide), do a lot of damage in a couple of days..

Other problems may occur later in the season and you will in time learn to monitor and react to the pitfalls.

Good luck, Alan Haigh- The Home Orchard and Nursery Co.


clipped on: 07.21.2013 at 12:20 am    last updated on: 07.21.2013 at 12:21 am

RE: Oxheart Tomatoes (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: sautesmom on 01.30.2013 at 07:42 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I don't think it is difficult to grow tomatoes here at all, although I will say I have never succeeded in growing any of the Whites, and many Yellow/Oranges are not very happy either, I assume because of the summer extremes.

Every climate/place has issues, and ours are blazing summer heat spells in July, August and September, plus most of the soil I have seen has nematodes, a big problem. Plus a lot of new development in this State, where new homeowners aren't aware all their topsoil has been stripped away.

For me the summer heat does not do what everyone says (make pollinization difficult or impossible)--maybe that is more often the case with heat AND humidity. But I have personally seen that keeping roots cool in high heat, with 6 inches of mulch (newspaper with straw or grass clippings) results in DOUBLE my plant size for all summer crops including tomatoes. So people who leave the plants baking in bad soil when it is 103 degrees out see their plants croak or not produce tomatoes, no matter how much water you give them. It was just the opposite when I lived in Seattle--I was always trying to warm the soil up. So you have to adjust your growing to your challenges where you live.

Anyway, that's my take after living here in Sacramento for 14 years (yikes! has it been that long??)

Carla in Sac


clipped on: 07.13.2013 at 11:46 am    last updated on: 07.13.2013 at 11:46 am

RE: Do all peach trees need to be bowl-shaped? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: harvestman on 02.03.2013 at 07:14 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

There are many reasons peaches are trained to an open center but the most important issue is keeping new wood generating throughout the tree as once old wood stops generating new buds they are often impossible to induce on peach trees.

You can maintain a central leader peach tree if you make sure that the center doesn't excessively shade lower wood which eventually creates "dead spots" on the interior of lower scaffolds. This is most effectively done by doing summer pruning while trees are still in rapid growth. Highest, most vigorous new shoots are removed to keep sun reaching the new wood (shoots)lower in the tree.

4 scaffolds are sometimes recommended so that if one breaks you still have an efficient shape that can easily be guided to fill the hole created by the break. If the branches are selected for strength (no narrow crotches) and peaches adequately thinned, breaks should be rare and a three scaffold system the most efficient.

I always start my peaches as central leader trees and then usually cut out the center after a few years. I like to use branch spreaders and a center provides a point to push lower branches to a more horizontal position. Spreaders are much quicker than tying.

It is far better to remove problem branches early in a trees development and peaches will respond to heavy pruning more vigorously than most species because even youngest wood devotes a lot of energy to developing flowers and fruit which is an energy sink.

Any branch more than half the diameter of the trunk at point of attachment after its first season is a problem branch and is prone to breaking and also throwing a trees form out of whack. On species slower to fruit than peaches such branches can also delay fruiting. They can also starve out the leader (dominance) of a central leader tree.


clipped on: 06.29.2013 at 06:43 pm    last updated on: 06.29.2013 at 06:43 pm

RE: This years Pepper Selections (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: uaskigyrl on 05.25.2013 at 12:54 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Oh My Goodness. Green Chili Sauce. Prepare to have your mind BLOWN!

This is my recipe that I make. I usually make a *huge* pot of it and then freeze it by the pints. The recipe posted below is for one batch. One batch will make enchiladas or a green chili chicken/pork. I use this to make green chili chicken enchiladas. Also, my favorite way to use it up is throw an pork butt or whole chicken in the crock pot with whole green chilis and a jar of the sauce. At the end of the day, shred the meat, serve with rice and beans and you have a pretty authentic Mexican Green Chili Pork/Chicken meal!

6 Anaheim chiles (Big Jims, Poblanos, etc, make sure they are fresh green)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth


Preheat broiler.

Place chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 14 minutes or until blackened and charred, turning after 7 minutes. Place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and discard skins. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile. Remove and discard seeds and tops. Chop chiles to measure 3/4 cup.

Heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Add chiles, coriander, salt, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place half of chile mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed chile mixture to pan; stir well. Remove from heat; cool completely.


clipped on: 05.26.2013 at 08:01 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2013 at 08:01 pm

RE: Suggestions on pea varieties? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: farmerdill on 03.17.2013 at 08:10 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

None of Stokes offering of shelling type peas are really climbing. One of few out there is Tall Tejlephone or Alderman. Snap peas, Sugar Snap, Super Sugar Snap are climbers. I have grown several of the Stokes listed varieties. Strike has been the best performer. Laxton's Progress is a prolific producer but not as sweet. Mr.Big has huge pods and peas and is a reasonable producer. Bolero is pretty good. Knight was somewhat of a dissapointment. All of them top out at about 3 feet.
Mr. Big photo mrbig6.jpg Strike 1 photo Strike8.jpg


clipped on: 03.19.2013 at 10:04 am    last updated on: 03.19.2013 at 10:04 am

RE: Taking a poll_Green When Ripe Tomatoes (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: remy on 11.12.2012 at 10:12 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I love green tomatoes. I've not met one I did not like yet.
I can not comment on disease since all I get is fungal diseases.
Cherokee Green tastes great. I think better than Cherokee Purple. They make a lot of tomatoes at the same time, and do not have very long shelf life.
Malachite Box is the sweetest GWR I've had. So to me the flavor profile is different than others. It is very productive.
Aunt Ruby's has a fantastic flavor. It is not overly productive though.
Humph is my personal favorite. Very tasty and productive.
Garden Lime tastes great. But I do not not know about the plants as the tomato I tried was grown by someone else.
Moldovan Green has a wonderful flavor. It was not overly productive for me, but it had a bad growing spot, and since I've only grown it one time. I can't save for sure that is the norm.
Grub's Mystery Green is an other excellent tasting variety.
Captain Lucky does taste wonderful. It was late for me as I suspected it would be being Lucky Cross is a parent. It was not overly productive for me. Again I'll hold complete judgement since I've only grown it once.
Lime Green Salad is a nice small green on small plant so good for containers.


clipped on: 03.05.2013 at 08:51 am    last updated on: 03.05.2013 at 08:52 am

RE: Taking a poll_Green When Ripe Tomatoes (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: fusion_power on 11.05.2012 at 06:07 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Green Giant - arguably the best combination of production and flavor in a good slicing tomato.

Aunt Ruby's German Green - I love the light sweet flavor but it is usually more disease prone in my garden.

Cherokee Green - A good tomato with a slight tang in the flavor. Disease tolerance is decent.

Green Zebra - Grow this one just for the chance to see what you think. The flavor is very tart, but if you happen to like the taste of raw lemon, you will probably love green zebra.



clipped on: 03.05.2013 at 08:49 am    last updated on: 03.05.2013 at 08:49 am

RE: Recommend some large red tomatoes (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: carolyn137 on 08.29.2012 at 01:38 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

You specifically said large red ones and Rutgers isn't a large fruited variety although it is consistent from year to year.

So here's some suggestions, some of which have been mentioned above.

Large RED beefsteak shaped OP varieties.

Neves Azorean Red
Red Penna
OTV Brandywine
Red Brandywine ( get the correct one, some faux ones exist
Ludmilla's Red Plum ( not a paste)
Box Car Willie ( or Mule Team)
Aker's West Virginia
..... to name a few and not in any specific order but I could do that, a bit, if you want me to.

Large Red Hearts ( which I think have some of the best tastes of all varieties)

Linnie's Oxheart
Indiana Red
Reif Red Heart
Russian # 117
German Red Strawberry

......again, to name just a very few

Red F1 Hybrids ( and I prefer some of the earliest ones bred for several reasons)

Jet Star

If you want to know about them, except for the hybrids, it might help to go to Tania's data base to check them out. On the main page scroll down to the alphbetical method to search since you already know the variety names

Hope that helps and I didn't want to make the lists too long b'c it can get confusing and I didn't want to add lots of newer ones where it might be hard to find seeds. Tania lists seed sources for I think all of the above, also sells seeds herself, and for almost all of the 3000 varieties she has data for there are pictures as well as histories.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tania's Tomato Base


clipped on: 03.02.2013 at 11:51 am    last updated on: 03.02.2013 at 11:52 am

2012 cowpeas & other Vigna

posted by: zeedman on 11.29.2012 at 03:10 am in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

What cowpeas or yardlongs did everyone grow this year? And how well did they do?

This is a report on the cowpeas & other genus Vigna that I grew in 2012. All but one were repeats:

Yardlong beans and cowpeas

* "Bush Sitao Var. BS-3" - snap/dry, from SSE, developed in the Philippines. Semi-bush cowpea with 6-8" pods, bred to be eaten as snaps. The pods are light green, have a firm cooked texture & semi-sweet flavor. These did incredibly well this year; two large pickings of pods, then let the rest go for seed. Kidney-shaped tan & white seeds, the pods let go produced over 4# of dry seed from a 20 foot row.
Bush Sitao Var. BS-3

* "Fagiolino Dolico Veneto" - dry, from SSE member. This is a semi-bush black eyed pea. The seeds are a little smaller than commercial varieties, but the yield is very high. Did really well, over 5# of dry seed from 20' of row. For some reason, this was much more attractive to wasps than my other cowpeas. They were swarming on this patch in large numbers; but the nectar appears to make the wasps docile, I was never stung while harvesting as long as I moved slowly.
* "MN 157" - dry, from SSE member. This is a true bush, purple hulled, calico pea... very unusual. It was bred in Minnesota for short-season areas (hence the designation) and usually does well here. This year, however, it was heavily stunted early, and did not bear as well as in years past. I was able to coax the plants into producing a second set, but this was heavily attacked by box elder bugs (!!!) which destroyed most of the seed. Only got 2.5# of dry seed from 36 feet of row, about half of what I expected... which is a shame, because it is my favorite for flavor.
* "Yardlong, Galante" - pole, commercial variety from the Philippines. Light green, sweet, very firm pods 24-28" long. This one bore consistently all summer long; we ate them, froze them, gave them away. The seed is dark reddish brown, with a small cream patch on one end. Curiously, when temperatures finally began to cool into the 70's, the white patch on the seed grew larger; seed that matured during hot weather was almost completely brown. The pods in the photo below are old & not typical of the variety, but it was all I had at the time.
* "Yardlong, Sierra Madre" - pole, another commercial variety from the Philippines. Deep green pods just shorter than Galante, but wider. Slower to develop fiber than any yardlong I've grown; even the dry pods are papery. In diameter, flavor, and texture, this is the closest yardlong I've found to snap beans... snapped & frozen, you can hardly tell them apart. A good yield, but still less than Galante and Chinese Red Noodle. Dry seed is tan & cream.
* "Yardlong, Three Feet Plus" - pole, GW seed swap several years ago, originally from Evergreen. Was sent to me as "Yard & 1/2" (as shown in the photo below) but corrected to match the listing by Evergreen Y.H. This was a new trial. Very light green pods, almost white, 24-30" long, with a firm texture & nutty flavor. This bore surprisingly well on a plot of low fertility, where other yardlongs have done poorly... makes me wonder what it would do in good soil. When dry, the pods have an unusual greenish tinge, especially under florescent light. The dry seed is mostly an off-white, with reddish-brown in spots & around the hilum.
* "Yardlong, Yancheng Bush" - bush, GW swap, originally from Yancheng, China. Light brown seeds. Possibly similar/identical to Stickless Wonder, but in my one attempt to compare the two, the Stickless Wonder sent to me was not true-to-type (it had vines) so couldn't make an evaluation. Vigorous, heavily-branched bush. This bears very early (50 days here) and seems much more cool tolerant than pole varieties. Light green, very firm pods 8-12" long. The yield was continuous except for a brief period, then resumed heavily until killed by frost. This is the only yardlong I grow every year; pole varieties are grown in a rotation.
2012 Yardlongs

Adzuki and Mung
* Buff - from SSE member. True bush habit, racemes of yellow flowers. Skinny 3-4" pods borne in large numbers. As the name implies, the seed is buff colored, as opposed to red. This is a little later, and has a heavier yield, than the variety below... and IMO, the seed is more tender when cooked. The first flush was complete after about 110 days, but there was a second smaller flush, which had only partially ripening when killed by frost. Planted in pairs 18" apart, 20 pairs produced over 4# of dry seed (1.6 oz./plant). The pairs at wider spacing were an experiment, because it allowed me to start more transplants in fewer pots. The paired plants worked well, but I could still narrow the spacing by a few inches.
* Takara Early - from SSE member. True bush habit, yellow flowers. The earliest variety I grow, about 10 days earlier than Buff. Small red seeds. This bore over 1 ounce per plant when I last grew it, but really languished this year. It was grown on the plot with poorest fertility, and even with inoculation, seemed very sensitive to something in the soil. With the same number of plants as Buff, the dry seed yield was only 4 ounces!!! This is partially due to several plants being destroyed due to disease, but I am left wondering if this variety is more heat sensitive than Buff.
* Mung, Black Kali Gram - from SSE member. No runners, but a sprawling prostrate bush 2-3' wide. Pale yellow flowers, followed by clusters of narrow 2" black pods. There appears to be two races in this cultivar, one earlier w/smooth pods, the other later w/hairy pods. The dry pods are able to take a fair amount of rain without allowing seed damage... which is good, because they can be hard to find in the foliage. The tiny dull black seeds are slightly smaller than green gram. This is supposedly a popular variety in India, but I have yet to find a way to prepare them properly... my one effort at making a soup from them was unpalatable.


clipped on: 02.26.2013 at 09:09 am    last updated on: 02.26.2013 at 09:09 am

RE: Soy beans (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: zeedman on 12.31.2012 at 12:01 am in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

Ed, it sounds like you warm up a bit earlier than I do; and since you won't put in your transplants until September, you should be able to harvest edamame soybeans by then. If you can plant the soybeans before June, any variety would work... but I would still recommend that you use an early or mid-season variety.

Regardless of which variety you choose, cut the stems off at the ground during harvest, leaving the roots. The nitrogen they release as the roots break down will feed the transplants.

Many seed companies carry edamame soybeans, but most have only one or two. These carry two or more:
Seed Savers Exchange
Peace Seeds
For early varieties, I recommend "Agate" (SSE), "Cha Kura Kake" (Peace) and "Midori Giant" (Territorial). The later main-season varieties tend to have larger seeds & heavier yields; I would recommend "Sayamusume" (Territorial), "Shirofumi" (SSE), "Oosodefuri" (Peace) or "Butterbean" (sold by Johnny's).

This post was edited by zeedman on Mon, Dec 31, 12 at 0:03


clipped on: 02.25.2013 at 07:12 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2013 at 07:12 pm

RE: Brussel Sprout varieties? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: nc-crn on 01.26.2013 at 08:07 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Dimitri...Diablo...for long growth

Churchill...Octia...for early harvest

All hybrid seed. You might have better luck with heirlooms in your climate, but in most of the South-East the hybrids tend to do better.


clipped on: 02.22.2013 at 07:22 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2013 at 07:22 pm

RE: Sweetest Beet? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: farmerdill on 11.06.2012 at 05:34 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Best for my money is the ancient Blood Turnip. It is not pretty or uniform but has the best flavor.
Blood turnip
Among the modern varieties; Eagle Eagle 2
If you like beet greens and a decent table beet Tall Top Early Wonder. early wonder


clipped on: 02.11.2013 at 11:23 pm    last updated on: 02.11.2013 at 11:23 pm

RE: Unusual/Odd Veggies for Next Year? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: zeedman on 11.24.2012 at 04:26 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Without a location, not sure which Zone 7 you are in Edymnion... I will assume Southern climate for the suggestions below. Maritime climate would be a whole different ball game.

There are a lot of interesting members of the gourd family:

* Bitter melon - whether you eat it or not, it's really eye-catching on a trellis, has fragrant flowers, and has several health benefits if you can stomach it.
* West Indian gherkins - eat like baby cukes when small; the spines then are softer than they appear, the fruit is sweet & crunchy without the bitterness so common in cukes, and the rampant vines bear forever if kept picked.
* Mexican Sour Gherkin - petite climbing vine looks like ivy, tiny 1" watermelon-like fruits that taste like a sour cucumber. Not a true gherkin, but tastes great in salads with them.
* Exploding gourd - climbing vine similar to Achocha, to which it is related. Can be eaten in salads when young.
* Tromboncino - looks like zucchini on steroids & can be used any way you use zucchini, up to 18" long while still 1-2" wide... and oh yeah, highly resistant to SVB.

Bean family:

* Bi-colored edamame soybeans (I have several)
* I'll second Farmerdill's recommendation for yardlong beans, they bear heavily when it is too hot for most snap beans, and are really eye catching whether hanging on the vine or served on a plate tied in knots (kids get a kick out of that). Furthermore, unlike snap beans, the purple yardlongs keep most of their color when cooked.
* Winged Beans - be sure to get a "day neutral" variety. Really pretty light blue flowers. The pods are best picked very young, before they develop fiber.
* Adzuki beans (there are colors other than red)
* Pole limas - in your zone, you should be able to grow one of the really large-seeded varieties (such as Dr. Martin) or one of the multi-colored varieties (such as Lynch Butterbean or one of the Hopi varieties).
* Peanuts (find an heirloom variety)
* Hyacinth bean - rampant climber, beautiful fragrant flowers borne late, loves heat, pods eaten when young & flat taste just like snap beans. I recommend one of the purple-podded varieties for eating. The mature seeds are toxic unless properly prepared.
* Sword bean - pole type, another long-season bean with beautiful, fragrant flowers, and huge pods. Pods can be eaten when young, but the mature seeds are toxic. Best used as an ornamental.

There are quite a few greens that do really well in hot weather. Egyptian spinach, Malabar spinach (there are both red- and green- leaved varieties), New Zealand spinach, water spinach (if it is not banned where you live), and Moringa (tree grown as an annual).

* Martynia - a.k.a. Devils Claw, unusual desert plant with pods that are edible when very young, and grow into decorative (but very sharp!) curved spiny pods.

Nightshade family:

* Ground cherries
* Litchi tomato - thorny but attractive plants, clusters of white 1" flowers borne non stop until frost, red berries eaten raw or used like ground cherries.
* Tomatillo

I grow most of those mentioned above (except some of the tropical beans) and would be happy to send seed for a few. Denninmi also grows a lot of the unusual stuff, hopefully he will weigh in on this thread. You will find a lot more info useful to your quest on the Unusual Vegetables thread I posted to this forum several years ago. I'll try to bump it up, but if that fails, it is still in the archives at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Unusual Vegetables


clipped on: 02.10.2013 at 11:17 pm    last updated on: 02.10.2013 at 11:18 pm

RE: Have you ever grown these melons? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: fusion_power on 12.21.2012 at 02:32 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I would probably choose some different varieties. Susan Healy is excellent. Anne Arundel is a good green flesh melon. If you can live with hybrids, Ambrosia is hard to beat.

Gurney's Giant is finicky, does not like my weather. Pear is thin flesh. Oka does better in a cooler climate. I have only found one decent winter melon.



clipped on: 02.09.2013 at 06:08 pm    last updated on: 02.09.2013 at 06:08 pm

RE: Growing Cardoons -- first time! (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: glib on 01.18.2013 at 09:40 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

A note about blanching methods. Under straw it is the best, but I have no straw, so on to the other methods.

Wrapping is still the most labor intensive one, and I don't like labor anymore.

Under leaves is OK, but they keep the humidity too high, and the cardoon will rot from the outside. The damage is minimal if caught in time, because the outer stalks are often discarded anyway, but last year the mild, rainy winter rotted to the core a number of my plants. Note that straw (and, I assume, hay), allows enough respiration that this does not happen.

This year I am doing it different. I dug up whole plants, put them in trash cans, closed the lid, and put them in my unheated garage. The blanching is perfect, and there was some outer rot but less than under leaves. It then occurred to me that I did not have to keep the lid on (the garage is dark), so now the lid is off, and I think those left will not rot anymore.

If I find some straw bales I will resume the straw method, but can blanching is significantly better than the other methods. I have also left some plants in the garden to perennialize, and sure enough they are still there doing reasonably well, though the temps will go down to 7F next week, so who knows.

I ate a smallish plant two nights ago, it is still work to clean, it gave me about 20 6 inches pieces after cleaning. There is nothing quite like it, a super-fresh vegetable in midwinter. It is addictive, and you start thinking that 20 is too much, but then you can not stop. In November I also cut the leaf tops, which I dried and use for a very bitter herbal tea, which has a unique deep emerald color, and which I drink most of the nights when I do not eat cardoon. It is a plant that is very sympathetic to my body, as it protects the liver (mine gets lazy in winter). Others may get less benefit.


clipped on: 02.08.2013 at 05:46 pm    last updated on: 02.08.2013 at 05:46 pm

RE: Growing Cardoons -- first time! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: glib on 01.24.2011 at 10:38 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Much bigger yield. They are hardier, and they give you a lot of stalks. Things you need to know

1) they prefer clay, and their quality is affected by watering. You can not let them go dry. This is why I put them in the same bed as celery. They are otherwise pest and trouble-free.

2) You must blanch them. Two ways: wrap the stalks in dark material (it is work, but they will start getting ready in November), or, my preferred method, dig up the whole plant with a one foot chunk of root and put it under leaves (if you have voles issues, inside some hardware cloth enclosure). The more you blanch them, the softer and sweeter they become. At least three weeks, and they will last through the winter.

I am talking enough leaves to prevent freezing. Two feet or more. One foot under a hoop house will be enough too. Handle carefully as stalks are brittle.

3) cleaning takes practice. Outer stalks may rot under leaves and are easily discarded. Inner stalks: cut a stalk,
start by shaving the stalk edges to remove incipient leaves.
Inner part of stalk: from top down, peel membrane of stalk.
If piece is too long, break into two and remove membrane again. Outer part of stalk: shave or pull long fibers.
Water starving makes the stalks pithy and fibrous.

Immediately after cleaning, toss into bowl filled with water and one tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice. They brown in no time. Do not forget to eat the heart, the best part of it.

We eat the lower quality stalks in cardoon soup or cardoon gratin. Most of it we eat raw with olive oil, vinegar, salt and herbs. It is the only real fresh food this time of year, as collards and kale are steamed, root vegetables were picked long ago, and my radicchio has all frozen up. Cardoon is highly recommended.


clipped on: 02.08.2013 at 05:45 pm    last updated on: 02.08.2013 at 05:45 pm

RE: Last batch of bell peppers--need ideas (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: zabby17 on 12.03.2010 at 02:37 pm in Harvest Forum


If you have any more peppers, or you want to use some of the ones sliced in your freezer, here's a recipe I made many times this fall (first time I ever had a significant bell pepper harvest!). It's from the original Moosewood cookbook, and we found it yummy and easy.

6 medium bell peppers, sliced in strips
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp EACH salt, cumin, coriander
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp EACH black pepper & cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp flour

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream or yogurt (or mixture)

1/2 lb medium-sharp cheddar, sliced or shredded


Saute onions and garlic with salt & spices in butter and olive oil. When onions are translucent, add peppers & saute over med-low heat about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in flour. Mix well & saute until there is no extra liquid.

Butter a deep casserole dish. Spread in half the saute. Top with half the cheese. Repeat.

Beat eggs & yogurt together and pour over top. Sprinkle with paprika.

Cover and bake 40 - 45 minutes, till firm. (Uncover for last 10 minutes for a golden top.)

I don't know if this would freeze well or not, but I can tell you leftovers keep nicely for several days in the fridge.

Meanwhile, happy dehydrating!



clipped on: 08.06.2012 at 09:16 am    last updated on: 08.06.2012 at 09:16 am

RE: Summer-bearing raspberries worth it? Other raspberry suggest (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: MoleX on 07.03.2012 at 10:52 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Of my True Summer bearers:

Latham was very good, firm berries, held well under refrigeration, vigorous vines and loaded

Kiwi Gold has the most unusual flavor, almost apricot/raspberry that explodes in your mouth, contained the most water per berry of equal size, yet received the same amount of water.

Indian Summer has a wonderful wild raspberry flavor, on the small side and very perishable, I can see why these aren't commercially available, but wow the flavor.


clipped on: 07.03.2012 at 09:56 pm    last updated on: 07.03.2012 at 09:57 pm

Native golden currant bigger, better than cultivated varieties

posted by: fabaceae_native on 07.02.2012 at 11:58 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

This is the time of year I get excited about the native golden currant, Ribes aureum. It is in my opinion, far superior to the cultivated currants in ease of cultivation, beauty, and fruit.

Here are some of the characteristics I value in this species:
-- drought tolerance
-- large berry size
-- asynchronous ripening
-- loose flower remnants that fall of ripe berries easily
-- vigorous growth
-- great fruiting even from seed grown plants
-- fruit of various colors (gold, red, black)
-- high edibility (not so tart) out of hand

Pictured is 4 pounds of the first flush of ripe fruit from a three year old plant that volunteered from seed.


clipped on: 07.03.2012 at 07:19 am    last updated on: 07.03.2012 at 07:19 am

RE: Record keeping ideas? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: zeedman on 11.26.2009 at 03:44 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

That's an interesting link, Galina. I've used the USDA's descriptors & SSE's guidelines to design my own descriptor form, plus a couple worksheets that I use to collect data for the year in progress. The USDA's system is very complex... and doesn't come with a "user's guide" such as the one in your link. Or at least, I haven't found it yet.

I've never described this, since the 2-sided form is rather lengthy... wish I could just post it. The form often has more than one item per line, sometimes with selections which can be circled. There are also plenty of blank lines to record observations. The basic outline follows:

Front page:

Cultivar/Source Data
- Common name & variety (I use SSE's guidelines, such as "Bean/pole/dry Calypso")
- SSE number + other accession number (such as USDA or Gatersleben)
- Family + species
- Possible alias or similar
- Source/year + year grown

- Date/days: Sow / Germination / Flower / Seed
- Transplant? (select plastic cell, peat pot, rooted cutting, hotbed, other)
- Spacing: plant / row
- Culture: (select climbing, caged, trailing, row, pot, greenhouse)(could add raised bed to this)
- Spacing/culture correct? (yes/no)(if "no", remarks on line below)
- Blanks for mulch / irrigation / isolation method
- Organic? (yes/no) + blanks for fertilizer / chemical applications
- Lines for Culture remarks

Plant Description + Photographs? (yes/no)
- Blanks for height / spread / growth habit
- Sections of lines for describing:
Reactions to environmental stress:
Disease observations:
Insect/animal observation:

Back page:

Harvest Evaluation
- Date/days for vegetable maturity (green + ripe, or shell for legumes)
- Total plants (or row feet) + Quantity + Weight
- Vegetable yield per plant/row foot + Quantity + Weight
- Seed Yield (total weight) + Weight per 100 seeds (grams)
- Seeds per ounce + avg. weight per plant + avg. seeds/plant
- Lines for harvest remarks

Culinary Qualities
(This is where I enter flavor, texture, ease of preparation, etc. Methods of preparation & specific use tested are mentioned, such as salad, boiled, grilled, sauce, chili, soup, etc.)
- Sections of lines for describing:
Fresh cooked:
Dry (either seed, or dehydrated):
Shell quality (legumes only):

General Comments:
Lines for anything which was not covered, or needs further explanation. At the very least, I always include:
- Any other varieties of the same species grown nearby & distances. This will help to identify the parentage any crosses which might appear in following years.
- A summary of the weather for the growing season, and its effects.
- Any other factors which might have influenced plant growth or seed purity, such as shade, soil variations, late planting, or damage to isolation methods.

This is the main descriptor page; there are addendum pages (much simpler) that can be used to record the differences in performance in successive years. There is also a worksheet that I use to list all varieties, their planned location, whether transplants are needed, and to record all date information: plant/germ/flower (flower color is recorded also)/harvest (green)/harvest (ripe)/harvest (dry). I generally use one of these worksheets for each of the main families (Leguminosae, Solanaceae, Cucurbitaceae) plus miscellaneous.

Dean, you'll be getting a package from me shortly, with the seed we discussed previously. I'll enclose a copy of the descriptor sheet that I use, plus the worksheet I use to record dates.


clipped on: 06.28.2012 at 10:39 pm    last updated on: 06.28.2012 at 10:40 pm

RE: After Potato harvest, then what? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: farmerdill on 06.10.2012 at 07:59 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

In old times in Virginia, we would dig the spring potatoes in late June early July. The little potatoes would be left in the sun for a week or so until they began to green up and then planted for a fall crop to be dug in late September - early October. We grew Irish Cobblers in those day which are a relatively quick maturing potato. The bottom line is that they will sprout readily if exposed to sun for a week or so.


clipped on: 06.10.2012 at 09:36 pm    last updated on: 06.10.2012 at 09:36 pm

RE: Blackberry Cane Loss & Pruning (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dmtaylor on 06.10.2012 at 09:01 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum


Blackberries produce most of their fruit on two-year-old wood. In other words, each nice strong green cane that grows needs to suffer some winter weather before it will produce most of its fruit its second year. Then after that, it dies or is close to death. I think this is why you are seeing some of your canes falling off. They have fruited over the past couple years and are now dead or not worth keeping. At the same time, you have a lot of brand new bright green canes coming up. Those will not produce much fruit this year and should be left alone to grow until they are about 4 or 5 feet high.

So basically, here's what you need to do:

Each winter (or I guess you could do this right now if some of your canes are falling off), identify the canes that look totally dead and full of branches and ready to fall off, and cut them off at the ground. These ones have already fruited and thus must be three years old and are no good to you anymore. If they have fresh flowers, you could keep them this year but I'd whack everything that wasn't vigorous and green next winter.

With the canes you have left, they should be greenish-brown instead of a dull gray. Thin the greenish ones out so that there is one every ~4 inches or something like that. It's not good to have them so close together that you cannot reach all the fruit. A lot of growers say that each plant that you originally put in the ground is reall only intended to grow maybe 5 or 6 canes at one time, so if your original plant is growing 10 or more canes, then you have way too many! Pick out the weakest ones and cut them off at the ground, and leave all the strong green ones alone.

Each summer, when the green ones get to be around shoulder height, cut the tops off to promote more fruiting branches for next year. If they don't get to be shoulder height, you can just leave them alone. You'll also want to tie them up so they don't fall over.

Each year you should have about a 50/50 mix of brand new green canes that don't produce fruit, and older brownish canes that produce all of your fruit and then die in the winter. So then when winter comes, you cut the dead ones off, and new green ones grow to take their place next spring while the green ones from last year make your fruit.

Make sense now?


clipped on: 06.10.2012 at 10:59 am    last updated on: 06.10.2012 at 10:59 am

RE: Spray schedule link or help with spray for now (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: harvestman on 05.11.2012 at 06:27 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Here's my spray schedule for the scores of orchards I manage around SE NY. It has functioned well for me for over 2 decades, although J. Beetles and brown rot of stone fruit increases the number of sprays some years some sites.
Dormant oil (this is optional if there were no mites or scale issues the previous season).

Do oil spray somewhere between the point where emerging shoots are 1/2" and the flower clusters begin to show a lot of pink. Mix Rally or Immunox (myclobutinol) at highest legal rate with 1 to 2% oil. If it's closer to pink use 1%.

Don't spray again until petal fall when petals have mostly gone from latest flowering varieties and bees have lost interest. Than spray Imidan (or triazide or something equally affective) + Nova + Captan mixed together at highest legal rates (you may want to drop the Captan because of increasing concerns about health risks). Repeat in 10 to 14 days.
Where I manage orchards, the space between earliest flowering Japanese plums and latest flowering apples is only 2 weeks or so (not this year) which usually allows me to wait until the latest flowering trees are ready to begin spraying anything. Plum curculio seems to time its appearance conveniently to the rhythm of the last flowering apple varieties. This may not be true where you are.
If plums or peaches need oil they may need application before apples. I�ve only had mites on European plums here and never need oil for other stone fruit.

All this is based on plum curculio being the primary insect problem which is the case most areas east of the Mis. River. These sprays will also absolutely control scab, CAR and Mildew as well as most of the crop fatal insects. Apple fly maggot is an exception, but I haven't had much of a problem with this pest in the orchards I manage. This pest can be controlled with a lot of fake apples smeared with tangle trap.

If you don't want to use synthetic chemicals try 4 applications of Surround about a week apart starting at petal fall. You may need to start on earlier flowering varieties as soon as they drop petals. When weather isn't too hot you can mix hort oil at 1% once or twice.

Stone fruit may require the addition of an application or 2 of Indar (Monterey Fungus Fighter is a similar chemical available in home orchard quantities) starting 4 weeks before first peaches ripen. Apricots must be sprayed sooner if they are scab susceptible with same compound.

Because I manage so many orchards so far apart I have to resort to a spray schedule that is based on expectations rather than actual monitoring. You may be able to reduce insecticide sprays with monitoring but PC can enter an orchard overnight and, if your insecticide lacks kick-back, which Imidan has, do a lot of damage in a couple of days.
Other problems may occur later in the season and you will in time learn to monitor and react to the pitfalls.

Good luck, Alan Haigh- The Home Orchard Co.


clipped on: 05.15.2012 at 09:21 am    last updated on: 05.15.2012 at 09:22 am

RE: Am Persimmons: Meader vs Nakita's Gift or ... (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: lucky_p on 05.11.2012 at 01:17 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I responded to your query added on to a running discussion at the Edible Landscaping forum; don't know if you saw that or not.
Here 'tis again:

The original name for Nikita's Gift is Nikitiskaya Bordovaya(NB), or which loosely translated, means burgundy of Nikita Gardens.
It is a daughter of Rosseyanka(D.virginianaXkaki hybrid, aka Russian Beauty) back-crossed to kaki - so, it is 3/4 D.kaki.
I've grafted Nikita's Gift a couple of times, but it hasn't survived here - should be OK here in southern KY, and for you in a z6/7 setting, but I think my scionwood was damaged, which may account for failures here; it sustains significant winter damage at Terre Haute, IN.
NB's parent, Rosseyanka, in my orchard, is very late maturing, and mostly seedless(despite native males and at least one kaki that produces some staminate flowers) - but can be peeled, sliced and dried while still firm - and loses its astringency in the process; or, you can leave them on the tree until fully ripe. Fruits are more reminiscent of an astringent-til-ripe kaki than the typical virginiana - thicker skin that contains the soft, gelatinous pulp. Holds well on the tree - I have to pull or cut the fruit from the branches. Personally, I think most of my virginiana cultivars taste better.
Jerry Lehman, at Terre Haute, says that Nikita's Gift is larger fruiting than Rosseyanka, has nice red color, earlier ripening - and is delicious. I would anticipate it's likely mostly seedless, as well.

Meader - if there are any native males around, will likely be fully seeded, and not remarkably better/different than most native D.virginianas. It's a nice persimmon, not a great persimmon - just one that's widely propagated and distributed by a number of nurseries. If you can find Early Golden, Yates(Juhl), or Prok, they're a better choice.

I like Saijo, an astringent-'til-ripe kaki.


clipped on: 05.12.2012 at 05:37 pm    last updated on: 05.12.2012 at 05:38 pm

RE: What do you still have in fresh storage from 2011? (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: bella_trix on 05.05.2012 at 11:00 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

pnbrown has a good point. When ordering sweet potato slips from Sand Hill think of it more as a lottery, not as "I will definitely get these slips because I placed my order". And order as early as possible (think January). They are a small business, growing in a difficult area for successful SP production. They can have complete crop failures (as in almost no SP slips in a bad year).

However, it is a GREAT way to try unusual, delicious, do-well-in-Northern-states sweet potatoes. If you are starting with no sweet potatoes, hedge you bets by ordering somewhere else too and dumping the common SP slips if you get the Sand Hill SP. But once you have a variety from Sand Hill it is extremely easy to save a few SPs and start your own slips the next year. I did that and am regularly growing Betty, Maryland 810, Orange Oakleaf, HeartoGold, Pumpkin Yam and Willowleaf. They all do well in my Pennsylvanian garden. Someday, I will have Korean Purple and (sigh) Red Wine Velvet again.

By all means, order from Sand Hill! They are an excellent (but with few employees) seed company. Just remember that it will be a slower turn around time for seeds and, for Sweet potato slip, not a guarantee that you will get them.


Here is a link that might be useful: My sweet potato review from 2009


clipped on: 05.07.2012 at 11:36 pm    last updated on: 05.07.2012 at 11:36 pm

A Mini Sweet Potato Review

posted by: bella_trix on 01.11.2009 at 07:15 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I've been trying to pick out my sweet potato slips for next year. I realized that maybe I should TASTE some of the ones that I grew last year before I place the order. Yes, a novel concept.

Last year was my first year growing sweet potatoes. My growing conditions were not perfect, so I suspect some varieties that did not grow well would in a better year. I tried a bunch of different varieties from Sand Hill Preservation Center. All I can say is, WOW, those are some pretty tasty sweet potatoes! The flavor is much richer and more varied that the sweet potatoes I get in the store. Unfortunately, it is also very difficult to describe the flavor.

Here's my poor attempt, it the order that I liked them by taste:

Betty: Delicious! My favorite. Sweetness - medium to high, velvety texture; stored very well, many potatoes

Redwine Velvet: Sweetness - medium, velvety texture; did not store well, many potatoes

Maryland 810: Sweetness - medium, velvety texture, stored well, many potatoes

Jewel: Sweetness - medium, more solid/potato-y texture, Ok storage, large size,

Korean Purple: Distinct, robust flavor, Sweetness - medium to high, velvety texture, stored well, low production

Heart of Gold: Sweetness - high, more solid/potato-y texture, stored well, large size, many potatoes

Stevenson's: Sweetness - high, in between velvety and more solid/potato-y texture, poor storage, few potatoes

Red Yam: Sweetness - low, more solid/potato-y texture, stored well, large size, many potatoes

Just so you understand, all varieties were sweet. Just some were really, really sweet, so hence the low-medium-high sweetness rating.

Here are some pictures:
I picked smaller, equal sized potatoes for tasting. They have been in storage for a while, so they are a little worse for wear. I hope you can read the papers that say which they are.


And inside:

I'm reordering many, but my top picks are Betty, Heart of Gold, Redwine Velvet and Maryland 810. Korean Purple is the most unusual of the bunch.

Also, my curing technique apparently worked. I locked them in an upstairs bathroom (already warm) with my dehydrator on. I changed the temperature on the dehydrator, put the lid on or off and turned it on or off completely to adjust the temperature. In mid October, I managed to keep the room at 80-85 for 10 days.

Hope this helps someone pick out sweet potatoes! I really like the unusual varieties from Sand Hill Preservation Center. So much better tasting!


Here is a link that might be useful: Sand Hill Sweet Potatoes


clipped on: 05.07.2012 at 11:30 pm    last updated on: 05.07.2012 at 11:30 pm

RE: Looking for a peach tree (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: scottfsmith on 03.31.2012 at 10:11 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Olpea, Don had problems with peaches getting brown rot in bags so my recollection is at some point he switched to an all-summer spray program; only his apples were bagged. He used imidan for curculio/OFM, and captan for diseases, I don't recall how many sprays he did but I believe he was spraying all summer long. He also had problems with bacterial spot but used dormant copper on it. Many of my initial peach-growing insights I learned from Don.

On the general issue of brown rot on peaches, I agree that a resistant variety will usually do pretty well in the mid-atlantic without spraying for it. Bacterial spot is also usually not a problem on resistant varieties. Still, bad luck is possible on both of these diseases if conditions are right for them. I agree later season varieties are also more prone to rotting. Don didn't like late peaches, not for the rot but for the number of OFM generations to fight.

Anyway getting back to the question of the poster here, I agree Red Baron is not recommended for the mid-atlantic. My favorite peach for starting growers is Clayton, it has extreme disease resistance and excellent flavor, but its hard to find. Carolina Gold is another modern highly disease-resistant one and at least Cummins was selling it. There are many other good ones.



clipped on: 04.02.2012 at 07:50 am    last updated on: 04.02.2012 at 07:50 am

RE: Preparing the garden (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bi11me on 02.05.2012 at 06:54 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Better, perhaps, but not necessary. We haven't all got the same schedule, so better to do it now, in this case. A few general observations, and then some detail.

I'll preface this by saying that what I will write is what I might do. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people here who will have other ideas and will hopefully contribute. You'll have to decide what works best for your situation and abilities. With luck, I'll learn a lot too.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but that looks to be about 6' square or so. A good beginning to a 200 sq.ft. garden... we'll see how you feel tomorrow. In general, people aren't accustomed to the amount of exercise building a garden entails, so going at it in small bites is a good policy. 6 more days like this one and you'll have your 200 sq.ft.

Those bags you filled? you don't want that stuff in your soil, but you also don't want to take it out, because it's LOADED with nutrition for your plants. That's why so many people compost. You can mix it all up and put it in a pile somewhere and in a fairly short amount of time it will be ready to put back in the garden. An alternative, if you don't want a pile of stuff sitting in the yard for 3 months, is to bury it in the garden, and put the other soil on top. In new gardens, there is generally a good amount of humus and organic matter in the top layers of soil already, but as your plants grow, and the roots get deeper, some of them will respond very well when they discover that stuff decomposing down below. In your case, it would be fine to bury leaves and twigs and such, but grass and roots, not so much. Compost and organic matter are the best tools you have for building a vigorous garden that will grow really nutritious and good tasting food.

It is true that grass is pretty tough to beat out of the garden, but it can be done. Thy key is building good soil, and perseverence. By building good soil, I mean, in this case, tilth. Grass is used for lawns because it forms a dense vigorous root system that can stand a lot of wear. It can regrow from a small piece of root, so it is tough to remove completely. The easiest way to weed out grass is to have very soft soil, making it easy to pull. There are plenty of other weeds that, for one reason or another, can be equally difficult, and you'll likely meet many of them, but grass can be a real bear to wrestle with.

When I dig a new bed in lawn, I use two tools - a square bladed spade, and a digging fork. Mine are sharp, heavy, rugged, and expensive - not typical of what most gardeners buy starting out, but they are nearly 20 years old and still working hard for me. I like the spade because it cuts sharp straight lines through the sod. I use it to cut a line along one side of the area I'm going to work - in the example of a 10' x 20' garden, I'd cut a ten foot line. Some people like to start in the middle, and work their way out in a kind of square spiral, that's fine too. At either end of that line, I would turn the shovel 90 degrees and make a perpendicular cut, just the width of the shovel. At the end of that cut, I would do another 90 degree turn, and cut a second line to parallel the first, 10' long. As I work my way down that second line, every foot or so - about the length of the blade of the spade, I cut a perpendicular line to connect the two 10' lines in a series of blocks.

When I get to the end, I pick my fork. For the first bite, I put the fork at a 45 degree angle with the tines pointed at the other end of the bed, and push it all the way in. I then push down on the handle, and this will lever the block of sod up out of the ground. Trying to just lift it is tough, because the dirt is heavy and the roots are holding it down, If you don't make the initial cuts, the roots hold it horizontally as well as vertically, and the sod is pretty much impossible to lift. Now you should have a nice fat pyramid of dirt, full of roots, with one grassy side. You want to keep the dirt, but not the grass and roots. This is one reason the fork is good - it's not as heavy as the shovel, and the dirt falls through the tines. Give it a good shake. Then throw the clump as hard as you can back in the hole. Stab it through the grassy side and shake it again. Kick it if you feel like it. The idea is to loosen that rats' nest of grass roots so it lets go of most of that dirt, but to retain, as much as possible, the not of roots and grass, which will soon be compost. Take that mass of plant matter and put it in your collection bag - you're on your way. Now you have a ten food path of sliced grass with a slanted dirt hole at one end. Put your fork back in the same point where you took your first bite, but this time push straight down, and lever up the other half of the block. This pyramid won't have much grass, but there will still be a mass of roots just daring you to abuse it. Because there is no grass, it will fall apart more easily, so be a little more careful about shaking too many roots back down into your garden. Put the roots in the bag. The next block is a little bit different. This time, because you removed the sod in front of it, you can slide your fork horizontally under the mat of sod, about 2" down. Once the tines are all the way in, use the fork as a lever again, pushing down and then up to break the hold of the roots on the soil. Because this is a fairly thin slice, it should be a little easier to lift,but those roots are still strong so it's not easy. Some people prefer to do the same thing, but with the spade, which makes a nice clean cut, but isn't anywhere as handy for shaking the clump of sod, and leaves all those sliced off roots just a few inches away from finding he sun again. Use the tools you have at hand, but do your best to get most of the soil back into the garden and most of the roots out.

Now you have 2 blocks removed. Take your fork, stand on top of the next piece of sod you're about to remove, and turn around and look at the nice clean-cut hole you just made. Smile. Don't think about how much more you have to go. Then stab your fork straight down into the dirt right at the edge of the sod you're goung to cut next, and lever the soil up by pushing the fork handle down and back. This will bring up all of the roots that were underneath the last piece of sod. They go in the bag. The dirt stays. do this again in the first area you dug. Now you have nice deep loose soil. If you step on it, your foot sinks in. That is how you want your garden beds to be (maybe not quite that soft, but close). Soil with that little compaction allows roots to grow easily, so your plants will have an easy time finding nutrients, water will drain well, air will be retained, and the soil will warm up faster. Just as importantly, once the soil is loosened like that, it is much easier to pull out weeds and get almost all of the roots. With soft soil, perseverence, and a method of keeping the lawn from invading the garden, it isn't that hard to get the grass out for good.

Back to the task at hand. Keep sliding your fork under the slabs of sod, prying it up, shaking it out, and saving the grass and roots in the bag. DON'T keep digging up the second layer until you get to the end of the row. First pick up the bag. Move it to the other end of the garden, or if you are going to start a compost pile, bring it there now. Start a new bag before that one gets too heavy to move. Then go back to your trench with the nice straight lines and start forking up the roots, starting in the area where you first dug and working backwards till you get to the end, same routine, roots in the bag, dirt stays. In New England, this method will produce a collection of stones, thicker roots, and various other artifacts. I generally sort these into different piles. I remove stones that are larger than a peach pit, and large flat rocks or stones big enough to build with go in separate piles, but if you haven't got 50 acres to mess around in that can get complicated. Find a place out of the way to put them until you have a plan or a project that will get them out of the way for good, or put to good use.

The bags of grass and roots will be viable for several weeks if you just leave them like that, and it looks like you have plenty of grass, so you want to drown them. Pour a generous amount of water in both bags, tie them shut, and leave them alone. If you want, you can fill them with more grass and roots first, but they aren't going to move for a while, so don't add the water unless they are in a place where they can stay for about 2 weeks. That will kill the grass, and then you can add it back into the garden or into the compost pile.

That's enough for one day. Take a break. If you feel OK, do it again tomorrow, or take a few days. The important thing is to do a good job of what you do, and stop before you get tired or sore. Once you get tired, you stop paying attention, and if you're sore, it can't be fun. The enjoyment is, for most people, not in the digging, but in seeing what you got done, and that is why straight lines and uniform soft soil is important. You're making something that will help you nurture life, both the plants and your own, so it makes sense to do it well, thoughtfully, and with foresight. I dig my beds deeply two years in a row, the second year I sift the soil, so nothing bigger than 1/4" is left. It's a ridiculous amount of work at first, but they never need tilling again, so it saves a lot more work in the future. Parts of my garden are 30 years old an I'm still using the same beds I made in the beginning.


clipped on: 03.03.2012 at 12:35 pm    last updated on: 03.03.2012 at 12:35 pm

RE: I want to plant fruit trees...need general advice.... (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: goodground on 08.21.2011 at 10:31 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I'm in North Jersey on a valley floor with high risk of spring frost but my Contender Peach has produced heavy every single year. No spray and perfect peaches every time so far. I think micro climate plays a big part.

Here is a link that might be useful: my peach


clipped on: 08.22.2011 at 04:16 am    last updated on: 08.22.2011 at 04:19 am

RE: planted slicer cukes by mistake - ideas for salad recipes? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: riverfarm on 07.17.2010 at 08:49 pm in Harvest Forum

Believe it or not, you can freeze excess cucumbers. A friend gave me the recipe last summer, and I was sorry this winter when I ran out of packages of them to put in salads. They have a somewhat vinegary, sweet-sour taste, which you'd expect, and they're great for adding crunch and texture to salads.

Freezing Cucumbers
Slice them thinly, mix them with salt (about a tablespoon per large cucumber), and put them in the refrigerator for a day. Then rinse them really well and press them as dry as you can.
Mix them with sugar and vinegar, 50/50, enough to cover them.
Refrigerate for another day, then put them in freezer containers and
freeze. When you thaw them later, they're still crisp and good in
salads, gazpacho, etc.


clipped on: 08.06.2011 at 02:10 pm    last updated on: 08.06.2011 at 02:10 pm

Withner's White Cornfield

posted by: ispahan on 07.24.2011 at 02:55 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

Yesterday, I harvested my first mess of these beans, sauteed them in a little butter for 2-3 minutes and they tasted...delicious!!! A wonderful, distinct nutty flavor and an excellent texture. Sure does beat the bush Blue Lakes I have been growing for the past several years.

For those who are interested, this is the bean recommended by Carol Deppe in "The Resilient Gardener". She claims it can produce in heavy shade, and I have so far found that to be true. My plants are growing in 2-3 hours of direct sun per day in one of the shadiest spots in my garden, and so far have heavier pod sets than the other snap varieties I am growing in more sunlight.

I obtained my seeds from Adaptive Seeds in Oregon and they are also listed by a member of SSE in the yearbook.


clipped on: 07.25.2011 at 05:53 pm    last updated on: 07.25.2011 at 05:57 pm

RE: tip for picking the pears (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: jill2761 on 07.02.2010 at 04:26 pm in Harvest Forum

This may be common knowledge to all, but an easy (well, easier) way to pick pears up high is to take a very long pole, like an extra long wooden broomstick, and nail a can to one end, so that the open end of the can is up. You stand on the ground and use the pole to guide the open end of the can under the pear. The pressure (light) of the can edge under the pear will lift the pear off the tree and it will fall into your can. Thay way you can reach a lot of pears! Sometimes they'll just fall to the ground instead of in your can, but you can just pick them up then. Even short people (like me) can pick pears growing way up high. No ladders needed!


clipped on: 07.16.2011 at 03:49 pm    last updated on: 07.16.2011 at 03:50 pm

RE: What is your favorite NON-bell sweet pepper (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: fiedlermeister on 04.18.2009 at 07:12 am in Hot Pepper Forum

I liked Spanish Spice and have grown it for several years. Large pods, thick flesh, and tasty.

Other tasty favorites were:

Ornage Bell
Super Shepherd


clipped on: 01.14.2011 at 01:12 am    last updated on: 01.14.2011 at 01:12 am

An organic solution to cucumber beetles

posted by: anney on 05.28.2010 at 12:53 pm in Organic Gardening Forum

I have posted this information on the Vegetable forum since many of those posters don't visit here and may want to try this. Some of you may know I've been working on an organic solution to these destructive insects for three years now. This may be the best and easiest solution yet. I recall last year driving everybody crazy here trying to find some sort of surfactant that would allow a spray of cucurbit "juice" and red dye #28 to stick to plants but not suffocate them, but this avoids that problem altogether.

Today I saw the first cucumber beetle on my Caserta squash, which I've planted as a trap crop for the buggers!


I was able to harvest nine 6-7" small squash, three of which were badly pollinated. Those are the ones I'm using as the lure for cuke beetles.

My dispatcher of the cuke beetles is Red Dye #28 this year. So here are the easy steps:

Red Dye #28

Red Dye #28 ordered from the internet, which is widely used and approved for human consumption and cosmetics. It is phototoxic to cucumber beetles which are attracted to the lure. See the link further down the post. I had to order two of the dye packet to reach the required minimum order, so it will be enough to last for years!

Food Storage Container & Water

A food storage container and water for mixing the dye.

Poorly Pollinated Caserta Squash

The Caserta squash I'll use to lure the beetles.

Dye & Water

The dye and water mixed. I used a quarter teaspoon of the dye, which is dry, and a quarter cup of water. I think half that amount of the dye will be quite sufficient, but we'll see how this does.

Casertas sliced in half, placed in dye

Casertas sliced into boats and placed cut surface down in the dye solution.

Casertas turned over to expose dyed surface

One minute later, the cherry red colored zucchini boats are ready.

I put the lid on the remaining dye solution and refrigerated it for the next batch of zucchini boats. I put the dyed zucchini into a pie tin and slid them under the Caserta squash leaves to protect them from the sun and maybe rain. When they've outlived their usefulness, I'll just toss them in the garden and put out more.

Now, to wait and see if this solution kills the cucumber beetles that I have no doubt are on the way.


clipped on: 08.21.2010 at 05:55 pm    last updated on: 08.21.2010 at 05:56 pm

RE: When is Watermelon ripe (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: fusion_power on 07.08.2010 at 11:28 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

There are 7 ways to tell if a watermelon is ripe.

1. Most varieties have a "look" of ripeness. It is a kind of bulging full look.
2. The tendril turns brown at the stem as noted above. This is NOT reliable, some varieties will be ripe before or after the tentril turns brown.
3. The bottom of the melon will turn either white or yellow and the larger the spot, the more likely the melon is ripe.
4. Feel of the melon. If it feels lumpy/bumpy, then it is probably ripe. Unripe melons have a very smooth feel.
5. Thump the melon. A ripe one will sound like a bass drum full of water.
6. Some melons change color slightly when ripe. A few such as the yellow skin varieties show pronounced color change when ripe.
7. Smell of it. A ripe melon has a feel and smell that say it is ripe.

There are 2 or 3 other ways you can tell, but the above is a start.



clipped on: 07.20.2010 at 11:09 am    last updated on: 07.20.2010 at 11:09 am

My 1st vegetable garden! - pics and video

posted by: kingkongos on 06.04.2010 at 01:16 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Thought I'd share my first vegetable garden. I started off with the idea that I'll just have 1 or 2 beds but it turned into a MUCH bigger project. Click the public facebook link (you don't need to be a member) to see all the pics including construction. I also did a video tour. Hope you like it!

Here is a link that might be useful: PICTURE ALBUM


clipped on: 06.04.2010 at 08:28 pm    last updated on: 06.04.2010 at 08:28 pm

RE: Bean recipes (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: vtguitargirl on 03.09.2010 at 07:11 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

Sausage & Bean Soup in a Crockpot

Night before:
1 C King of the Early beans
Boil 2 minutes, change water, soak over night

In Crockpot:
The Beans
2 links of Andouille sausage
6-8 oz ham , diced
1 onion, chopped (between baseball & softball in size)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 or 3 garlic cloves
32 oz chicken stock

Cook on LOW for about 8 hours, then add:

2 C of chopped Tomatoes (mine were San Marzanos from the freezer, thawed, peeled & seeded)
1-2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Let cook 15-20 minutes more

Thicken texture of the soup with a submersible hand held blender.


clipped on: 05.12.2010 at 09:32 pm    last updated on: 05.12.2010 at 09:32 pm

RE: I give up on growing stone fruit (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: harvestman on 12.19.2009 at 11:37 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Mrbabe, I use Lorsban for borers, but I don't know if it's available in the small quantities required for home orchards. It's restricted in some states but probably not in southern "red" states. I spray once a year after harvest- at least my very young trees right at the soil line. I don't have a big problem with other borers (dogwood, etc) that attack above that but use the same compound when I see damage.

I recommend that home growers tape nylon screen around the base of their peach trees pushing away soil to go as low as possible. Use rubber electric tape (stretchy and doesn't girdle). It seems to do the trick.

I choose varieties of peach less susceptable to BLS and have never had an issue with it here. There are virtues to a shorter season. We also only get one generation of plum curculio and oriental fruit moth mostly just go after growing peach shoots and not fruit. It is not rare to get peaches, especially early ones, with no spray at all here although on my site I'm not so lucky.


clipped on: 04.15.2010 at 02:30 pm    last updated on: 04.15.2010 at 02:31 pm

RE: vine borer question (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bella_trix on 11.28.2009 at 06:17 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Hi Ruthieg,

I've been experimenting with organic vine borer control and resistant varieties in my garden. I had really good luck this year for both summer and winter squash.

For summer squash, my best two resistant varieties were Tatume and Trombichino. They worked well together as the tatume produces tons early in the heat of summer and then the trombichino takes off in late summer and the fall (not sure how that would work in Texas). I also liked Mayeras and Gialla Nostrale for somewhat SVB resistant summer squash. All these varieties trellis. I also tried Lemon, Kamo Kamo and Serpent (edible gourd), but I wasn't as happy with those.

For SVB resistant winter squash, my favorites are African Winter squash, Butternut, Choctaw Sweet Potato squash and Futsu black. The African Winter squash is an amazing keeper. I had one that lasted over a year in storage. When it started to get a bad spot, I was going to compost it, but decided to chop it up instead. It was absolutely fantastic - still moist and better tasting than some of this year's squash.

Hope that gives you some ideas for next year,


clipped on: 01.10.2010 at 01:03 am    last updated on: 01.10.2010 at 01:03 am

Sharing Garden photos

posted by: winchesterva on 06.16.2009 at 04:37 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I hope you don't mind, I thought I would share a few photos of my garden. I hope you enjoy them.

A rooftop view...
rooftop view of garden

Asparagus -- 1st year



Herbs and Lettuce


Tomato trellis
tomato trellis

squash and zucchini


raspberries and blackberries

I will stop now so that I don't bore you...Thanks,



clipped on: 06.17.2009 at 09:29 pm    last updated on: 06.17.2009 at 09:30 pm

RE: What are the best fruit trees for an organic person? (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: harvestman on 01.12.2008 at 05:47 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I have managed to keep Illinois Everbearing reasonably small by summer pruning in mid-July and winter pruning to weeping wood and removing the most vigorous branches on the top of the tree while leaving the spindly ones. The tree becomes a weeping mulberry with careful attention.


clipped on: 05.25.2009 at 12:15 pm    last updated on: 05.25.2009 at 12:15 pm

RE: What are the best fruit trees for an organic person? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: peanuttree on 01.07.2008 at 07:23 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

What harvestman says is very true. I mean just think about. Think about the way diseases spread.

For example, you could have a bunch of people in a town/neighborhood growing pear trees - so they're relatively close. They're all pretty much sharing one or a few hives somewhere that's doing all the pollinating. So if a disease gets introduced, the bees spread it to all the trees when pollinating, and next thing you know it's an ongoing problem from then on, unless they all work together and treat their trees all at the same time and then do preventative measures at the beginning of every season at the same time for the next few seasons - but that's unlikely.

While some other shmo starts growing a pear tree in the middle of nowhere where no pear trees have been grown in like a 5 mile radius ever, and whoop-dee-doo he says "wow, pear trees are disease free!" Or maybe that shmo starts growing a tree in the middle of nowhere, but that middle-of-nowhere has a lot of crabapples, like a lot of America does, and those crabapples all have an ongoing problem with a disease that can infect Mr. shmo's pear trees (since crabapples/apples and pears are somewhat related and share some diseases). In that case Mr. shmo doesn't have such an easy time.

Just think about the various and complex ways plant diseases and pests spreads and can be mitigated and it'll be easy to see why people in different areas can get such different results, based even on very local factors.

The only blanket statements of disease-resistance you can make are with the more obscure plants, like pawpaw (Asimina triloba) or medlar (Mespilus germanica) and others. Any real disease-resistance will be for a few specific things. It works the same way with vegetables.


clipped on: 05.25.2009 at 12:11 pm    last updated on: 05.25.2009 at 12:12 pm

RE: Fall planting questions. (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: goodground on 09.10.2007 at 10:46 am in New Jersey Gardening Forum

Hi Carlos : )

How much sun does your garden area get? What type of soil do you have? Does your soil drain well? I think you should try to answer some of these questions before you move forward. That will help you determine what you can successfully grow in your garden. Assuming your conditions are ok, you have a lot of planting options here in Jerzey. What do you like? I grow Apples, Pears, Plums, Cherries, Peaches, Figs, Mulberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Grapes, Currants, Wintergreen and lots of Tomatoes.

My daughter LOVES to pick fresh strawberries out of the garden. If strawberries are planted now, they will fruit next summer. I grow the ever bearing type so they fruit all summer. Id say be patient, take the off season to learn what and how to grow it, and youll make better decisions next spring. If you decide on growing fruit, I recommend you find a reliable source and stay away from the home depot type box stores. Gardening involves a lot of patience and TLC, so you want to grow something you will enjoy at harvest. If you do plant this fall, take into consideration that our first frost usually comes as soon as November arrives. Good Luck!

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose"

"And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit,"


clipped on: 05.24.2009 at 09:15 pm    last updated on: 05.24.2009 at 09:15 pm

RE: Some Suggestions for Fig Varieties Good for my Area? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: steve_nj8 on 04.19.2009 at 10:20 pm in Fig Forum


Welcome. I have a few varieties available if you want to send me an email. You might also want to check-in with some of the other regulars who are in NJ.


clipped on: 05.24.2009 at 08:49 pm    last updated on: 05.24.2009 at 08:49 pm

RE: What can I plant in NJ? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: daviddmc on 06.15.2004 at 04:30 pm in Edible Landscape Forum

I live in Central NJ, and here's a list of the edibles I have growing and thriving on my 1 acre:

Mulberry trees

Overwinter-able veggies:

Spring/Summer/Fall veggies:
Green Peas

This is what I've grown successfully, and that's pretty much all I've ever tried. Basically, in zone 6 NJ, you can grow pretty much ANYTHING, except citrus and tropicals perhaps (even with some exceptions).

Welcome to the Garden State!

Dave NJ


clipped on: 05.24.2009 at 08:46 pm    last updated on: 05.24.2009 at 08:46 pm

Figlets,on June -14 - 08

posted by: herman2 on 06.14.2008 at 12:00 pm in Fig Forum

These are the varieties that will ripe for sure in New Jersey Climate.


clipped on: 05.24.2009 at 08:39 pm    last updated on: 05.24.2009 at 08:40 pm

RE: Asian Pear.. Best place to buy? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: brandon7 on 02.21.2008 at 08:30 pm in Trees Forum

OK, here's the list of pear (European and Asian) sources with their GW ratings and websites:

Adams County Nursery ( 11/11 or 100% perfect ) -
Burnt Ridge Nursery ( 49/54 great ) -
C&O Nursery ( 3/3 or 100% perfect ) -
Cummins Nursery ( 17/18 excellent ) -
Greenmantle Nursery (6/8 good ) -
Johnson Nursery ( 23/24 excellent ) -
Miller Nurseries ( 66/97 caution! ) -
Raintree Nursery (108/126 fair ) -
St.Lawrence Nurseries ( 27/29 very good ) -


clipped on: 05.22.2009 at 08:28 pm    last updated on: 05.22.2009 at 08:28 pm

RE: Mulberry tree questions (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: goodground on 05.02.2009 at 08:18 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Illinois produces fruit througout the summer. I have been pruning my young tree to get a small compact shape. It appears to be a vigorous grower so not sure how short I will be able to keep it.


clipped on: 05.22.2009 at 12:10 am    last updated on: 05.22.2009 at 12:10 am

RE: Where do you buy your new trees? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: brandon7 on 02.20.2009 at 11:29 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Here are some mail order sources for various types of fruit:

Aaron's Bulb Farm, Arron's Fruit Nursery, Aaron's Nursery, etc. - see TyTy Nursery

Adams County Nursery - various fruit tree types - excellent G.WD. rating -

Apple Tree Nursery, Fig Tree Nursery, Pecan Tree Nursery, etc. - see TyTy Nursery

Autumn Ridge Nursery - various fruit and nut trees and plants - very poor G.WD. rating -

Bay Laurel Nursery - multiple types of fruit and nut trees and plants - very good G.WD. rating -

Big Horse Creek Farm - apple trees - excellent G.WD. rating -

Blossom Nursery - pawpaw trees & seeds - limited, excellent G.WD. rating -

Burgess Seed - various fruit and nut trees and plants - poor G.WD. rating -

Burnt Ridge Nursery - various types of fruit - very good G.WD. rating -

Century Farm Orchards - apple and pear trees - limited, excellent G.WD. rating, knowledgeable and helpful owner -

Cloud Mountain Farm - various types of fruit & impressive selection of other plants - excellent G.WD. - rating

C&O Nursery - various fruit trees types - limited, excellent G.WD. rating -

Cummins Nursery - various fruit trees types - excellent G.WD. rating -

Direct Gardening - see Burgess Seed

Durio Nursery - various types of fruit - limited G.WD. review -

Edible Landscaping - various types of fruit - good G.WD. rating -

Fedco Trees - various types of fruit - excellent G.WD. rating -

Forestfarm - huge selection of plants - excellent G.WD. rating -

fraises des bois - alpine strawberries - no G.WD. review, but my order was great! - Nursery - multiple types of fruit trees and plants - limited G.WD. review -

Going Bananas - banana plants and corms - excellent G.WD. rating -

Greenmantle Nursery - various types of fruit - excellent G.WD. rating -

Gurney's Seed & Nursery - multiple types of fruit and nut trees and plants - poor G.WD. rating -

Hartmann's Plant Company - various types of fruit (mostly berries) - excellent G.WD. rating -

Henry Field's Seed & Nursery - various types of fruit - poor G.WD. rating -

Hidden Springs Nursery - multiple types of organically-grown fruit trees and plants - excellent G.WD. rating -

House of Wesley - see Burgess Seed

Inter-State Nurseries - see Burgess Seed

Isons Nursery & Vineyards - multiple types of fruit trees and plants (specialize in muscadines, blueberries and blackberries) - very good G.WD. rating -

Johnson Nursery, Inc. - multiple types of fruit - excellent G.WD. rating -

Jung Quality Garden Seeds - multiple types of fruit trees and plants - good G.WD. rating -

Kelly Nurseries - see Burgess Seed

Lawson's Nursery - apples - not sure if this place is still open, the website is outdated - limited, excellent G.WD. rating -

Leuthardt Nurseries, Inc. - various types of fruit (specialize in espalier) - limited, excellent G.WD. rating -

McKenzie Farms Nursery / World Wide Plants - unsure of products sold - excellent G.WD. rating -

Miller Nurseries - various types of fruit - OK to poor G.WD. rating -

Montoso Gardens - tropical fruits and seeds - excellent G.WD. rating -

Morse Nursery - various types of fruit - limited, excellent G.WD. rating -

Nash Nurseries - pawpaw, hybrid chestnut, pine nut, etc. - limited, excellent G.WD. rating - no website - phone: 517-651-5278

Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery - persimmon, pawpaw, & multiple types of nut trees - excellent G.WD. rating -

Nourse Farms Inc. - berries and small fruit - excellent G.WD. rating -

OIKOS Tree Crops - multiple types of fruit and nut trees and plants - excellent G.WD. rating -

Old Southern Apples Nursery - apple rootstock and custom grafts - no G.WD. rating -

One Green World (Northwoods Nursery) - multiple types of fruit trees and plants - OK/fair G.WD. rating -

Raintree Nursery - multiple types of fruit trees and plants - good G.WD. rating -

Rhoras Nursery - various nut and fruit trees and plants - limited, mixed G.WD. rating -

Rombough, Lon J. - grapes - limited, excellent G.WD. rating -

St. Lawrence Nurseries - various northern climate fruit and nut trees - excellent G.WD. rating -

Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company - various fruit trees and plants - OK/good G.WD. rating -

Tomlinson's #1 Farm - antique apple trees - no G.WD. review -

Trees of Antiquity (formerly Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery) -multiple types of fruit trees and plants - excellent G.WD. rating -

Tripple Brook Farm - unusual fruits - very good G.WD. rating -

TyTy Nursery - extremely poor reviews

Van Well Nursery - various fruit and nut trees - excellent G.WD. rating -

Vintage Virginia Apples - apple, pear, and quince trees - limited, excellent G.WD. rating -

Whitman Farms - small-fruit plants and trees and nut trees - excellent G.WD. rating -

Willis Orchard Company - multiple types of fruit and nut trees and plants - fair G.WD. rating -

Woodlanders, Inc. - wide variety of hard-to-find southern plants - OK/good G.WD. rating -


clipped on: 05.21.2009 at 01:52 pm    last updated on: 05.21.2009 at 01:52 pm

RE: Fruit tree book recommendations (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: alexander3 on 12.29.2008 at 10:26 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

In case you are considering adding more trees, or if you ever decide to replace what you have, a big step towards minimizing the need for sprays is to grow fruits that are not prone to pests and diseases. Among the ones you listed, pear is probably the least problematic. Others that are pretty much free of pest and disease problems are:

paw paw
Asian persimmon (there are a few asian persimmons that will work in zone 6)
American persimmon (can get to be a largish tree)
Asian pear

And, from what I've heard, hardy kiwi, which I'll be planting in the ground this spring. I believe most of these are in the Uncommon Fruits book.



clipped on: 05.20.2009 at 06:58 pm    last updated on: 05.20.2009 at 06:58 pm

RE: Fruit Trees For Boston (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: glenn_russell on 09.28.2008 at 01:10 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Hi Marc-
Welcome to the Fruit and Orchard forum. I like the idea of Asian Pears enough that Im planting one myself this year.

If you do decide to go with apples, I really would recommend going with a "Disease Resistant" variety. If you want to make fruit growing one of your main hobbies, then yes, you can grow well known varieties, but be prepared that you will spend a lot of time spraying serious fungicides which are very difficult for the homeowner to obtain legally.

I think I may preach this a bit louder than the others, but, in my mind, DR apples are 50% easier to grow. Im just south of you in RI, and around here, youll need to deal with Apple Scab and Cedar Apple Rust as well as quite a few other diseases. If you just go to your local nursery, and pick up a Red Delicious, or some other well known apple, you will need to spray it almost constantly (with homeowner-available fungicides) around here to avoid the those diseases. For me, in RI, that meant 7-10 days... and even that, only solved the scab, while the rust reeked havoc with my trees.

Heres what I recommended to a friend of mine last year: He wanted 2 apple trees. I recommended Liberty and a Williams Pride which are both disease resistant. I have both, though the WP has not fruited yet.

When I went to a local orchard last week, I tried 9 varieties of apples. The Liberty tasted really great to me. For both my father and I, it was in 1st place until the end of the tour when we tried an Empire. I took me 4 apples (2 Liberty, 2 Empire) to determine that I liked the Empire just slightly more, but only slightly. But, the big thing here is Liberty is DR and Empire isnt. So, Im still glad I have the Liberty. Liberty is still at harvest time now for another 2 days (possible a little longer since youre north of me). If you act fast, you might be able to try one at your local orchard.

I still havent tried my Williams Pride, but it has a couple of nice qualities: 1.) Its extremely DR (I havent sprayed my tree at all zero, zilch, nada, and it probably looks better than any of my other trees). 2.) It is a very early variety (ripening in mid July around here I believe), so you will spread your harvest out which I like to do. 3.) Some might argue that early apples in general dont taste as good, but if you search this forum, youll find many accounts of it tasting better than many of the fall apples.

Then theres the issue of insects. You will need to deal with Plum Curculio and Apple Maggot fly. Unfortunately, DR cant really help with that. But, with just two trees, you can "bag" your apples. Do a search on this forum about bagging your apples, and youll find a lot of great info.

If you were to decided to go with just 1 apple tree, make sure you have something to pollinate it nearby, or you wont get any fruit. Either a neighbor with another apple tree, or a crab apple nearby.

Finally, If your looking for a source, Google "Adams County Nursery" and "Cummins Nursery". The tree will come as "bare root", and it will probably take you 3 years or so to get your first couple apples. Or, if you decide that you would like a mature espaliered Liberty, then there is a place down here in RI that has one.

Good luck!


clipped on: 05.19.2009 at 10:47 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2009 at 10:47 pm

RE: Fruit Trees For Boston (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: theaceofspades on 09.28.2008 at 10:19 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

marc, Asian Pears are the easiest best fruit tree to grow for kids. You can grow Asians WITHOUT SPRAY whereas you would need 5 sprays for peaches, plums, apricots, cherries. Pears don't get borers or Japanese beatles. Squirels and birds don't bother my Asians but totally ruin the apricots, plums and peaches. Asians pears store for months while plums apricots peaches just a week or two. Unlike european pears and most apples, asian pears don't need storage to obtain full flavor, you just pick asians off the tree to enjoy. I have Fuji apples that are among the best variety in the world but I prefer asian pears. Fuji's are delicious complex tangy sweet orangey flesh and store for months. Asians pears are crisp juicy sweet mild butterscotch non filling refreshing so I eat three at a time.


clipped on: 05.19.2009 at 10:46 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2009 at 10:47 pm

RE: Best ideal sifter for compost (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: pt03 on 12.06.2008 at 07:25 pm in Soil Forum

Here is mine but it is homebuilt and not practical for a typical homeowner. If I don't stop for a beer (or two/three/four) I can get a cubic yard done in a few minutes. Takes longer to haul it out of the shed than it does to sift.



clipped on: 04.11.2009 at 05:37 pm    last updated on: 04.11.2009 at 05:37 pm

RE: Using cardboard in the garden! (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: terrene on 11.11.2008 at 09:50 am in Organic Gardening Forum

Cardboard is a gardener's friend! I use all sorts of paper products in the garden - cardboard (with all plastic tape and plastic labels removed, paper labels ok), newspaper, pizza boxes, paper leaf bags, brown paper shopping bags, even flattened cereal boxes, shredded office paper, and the coffee filters that come with the UCGs! I use them as a paper layer in lasagne beds, to smother weeds, and in garden paths.

My first layer of a lasagne bed is always paper, because I'm trying to kill off either sod, crabgrass, Vinca, or invasive weeds, then top that with layers of organics.

There is no easier organic way to kill weeds and invasive plants than by laying down a layer of paper and topping that with organic matter. For smothering, grass clippings are my material of choice. Several inches of fresh grass clippings will mat together to form an impenetrable layer that keeps the weeds down for months while they die off. (Note that grass clippings by themselves will stink when green, also because of the congealing effect they don't make a great mulch by themselves.)

My garden paths consist of a layer of cardboard with about 2 inches of aged wood chips on top - or even just enough to cover the cardboard. This makes a nice path, very comfortable to walk on, with no weeds for at least a year. For this path, I waited too long - it was overgrown with crabgrass, so I had to mow and trim the edges first. It would have been easier when the crabgrass was smaller.

Laydown cardboard (most of these were pizza boxes) -

Spread an inch or two of wood chips -


clipped on: 04.11.2009 at 05:24 pm    last updated on: 04.11.2009 at 05:25 pm