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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

OK... WHAT pest pulls off all pepper fruits - ripe to tiny green - from the plants without disturbing the leaves? :evil:
— With the leaves not eaten, and delicate harvesting job, it couldn’t have been the groundHOG.

I found my Aji Dulce Amarillo completely stripped of all fruits ripe to tiny green — they were mostly undamaged whole — some claw scratches and maybe a fang mark or two, except for 3 fruits that had a bite taken from them. The fruits were strewn around — some bobbing in the gravel bog where I’m growing some pepper plants in sub-irrigated containers. DK Snacker was also stripped of fruits and as far as I know, mostly uneaten — I don’t know how many fruits were on the plant.

Neither are hot peppers but Aji Dulce Amarillo has that distinctive very strong floral aroma. Does DK Snacker also have an aroma?

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...I ended up picking these Pale Rider and Doux Long d’Antibes “green” — I’d rather eat them unripe than let them be raided. :? (Their plants were somewhat stressed and slow going, so this will probably help them set more fruits anyway)
...Bolivian Rainbow (Purple unripe fruits) was completely untouched
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

...starting to think about Fall Garden now — with 70’s high and low 60’s low today-Wed, then 80’s/60’s for another 5 days at least, plus the 1.5 inches of overnight rain saturating the ground, I tried sowing

- Emerald Archer peas, Chanteney Red Core carrots (old seeds, though so germination is iffy to begin with), and Anuenue lettuce in the VG.SIP following the determinate variegated tomatoes
- Super Sugar Snaps peas and Swiss Chard along the back of SFH following the corn and interplanting with the still producing edamame
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- on Monday, I already Sowed Takane Ruby buckwheat and carrots in two of the SFH beds following Luther Hill and Applestar’s #sweet# Medley corn (which as I reported did not do well due to weather, European corn earworms, and raccoons). Buckwheat are already up.
- Third bed that had Latte bicolor corn has been taken over by this squash — a C.pepo that I think is Ronde de Nice and should have been picked as a 3-4 inch summer squash. Since I missed the harvest window, I’m just going to let this single fruit completely ripen into a pumpkin for fall decoration and seed harvesting.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

BIL had harvested these beautiful Homerfiker’s Yellow Oxheart as well as Pineapple Pig (ivory colored striped beefsteak) grown in his garden from plants I gave him, and sent me a photo on August 15.

I had two plants of Homerfiker’s growing, but first to fruit developed large beefsteak shaped fruits that were obviously NOT Homerfiker’s Yellow Oxheart. Largest of the NOT fruits which actually ripened “brown” -correct color was not captured in the photo- is shown in the collage below (approx. 5 in. across, 13.6 oz). It was gorgeous, perfect, meaty multi-locule beefsteak, but the flavor profile was weak even at this full ripe stage (especially since it was being compared to a suspected Neve’s Azorian Red). I saved seeds anyway and will try growing it again in the future since I don’t know what this is — it could have been a seed mix up, mislabeled, or an accidental bee-cross.

I was disappointed and asked BIL to save me seeds from his. BUT! I was thrilled to realize that my plant #2 has loaded up with large green oxhearts. Hopefully, these will develop into correct type for the variety.

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I had to ask BIL to save seeds from the Pineapple Pig as well — none of my THREE plants are not growing well :? . He had never saved tomato seeds before, but he said the WHITE fruits surprised him with delicious flavor and was enthusiastic about saving the seeds so I could give him plants to grow again next year. :D
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

First of Monomakh’s Hat from a heavy truss of large fruits, growing in KG.SIP#1. It’s a shorter plant. Supposed to be indeterminate but last time I grew it, it croaked after producing 2 heavy trusses of large fruits and one smaller sized truss of fruits.

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...

I had to pick these two Kajari melons on 8/19 because the vines they were growing on had died and dried up. The one on the left was a little more developed than the one on the right, and on 8/24, it had changed color and developed a strong fragrance in the among the other fruits (peaches and pears) ripening in an open paper bag lined with pressed pulp beverage carrier and paper towel.
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Since it also had a soft spot due to incomplete pollination, I cut it up on Saturday. It smelled wonderful, but had no real sugars to speak of. I ended up sprinkling the cut pieces with vanilla sugar and serving in a syrup with ripe peaches and peach juice.

I doubt that the dark green striped fruit will ripen, but hopefully another, most developed one out in the VGC will give us a taste of what this melon should be like, and there are a couple more babies on the Spiral Garden trellis that may still manage to grow to full maturity.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

The Pink and Purple Mexican — I have to crane my neck to see if anything is going on up there :roll:

First cob I spotted is starting to silk. There was a 2nd cob developing on Sunday, but I almost didn’t recognize it because it looks more like a sucker shoot :shock:
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Here’ is the damaged (probably) Montreal Market melon I had to harvest two days ago.
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— I cut away the one large and 2 small decayed spots with clean knife, hit the spots with, and covered with vodka soaked paper towel and a cling wrap, then put it in this “fruit ripening station” — a heavy paper bag with paper towel- lined pressed pulp beverage carrier on the bottom, which sits on an ottoman in front of an oscillating fan.

I was not really going to count on it ripening off the vine and did NOT expect it to turn yellow in just two days. Now, according to Annapolis Seeds description, it is over-ripe.....

Montreal Melon - Annapolis Seeds
http://www.annapolisseeds.com/Montreal-Melon-p/419.htm

I put it in the refrigerator when I noticed around 3pm. We’ll eat it after dinner.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Emerald Archer peas have come up very nicely here in the VG.SIP, along with some lettuce:

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...over in the Sunflower House, Takane Ruby buckwheat, carrots, Swiss chard, and Super Sugar Snaps are up, although the pea germination was spotty.

I’m thinking of sowing barley in the section of HaybaleRow Row where the fingering potatoes have been harvested....
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Carrots? You've already started carrots? I wonder if I should start mine, but it's been too hot.

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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Don’t forget I will see first frost around mid-late October and hard FREEZE by December. The ground freezes too deep here for any carrot to overwinter in edible state, although the winter damage doesn’t kill them and they can grow and bloom in their biennial year from what is left of the roots.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

looking good as usual, did you get those critters in check?
I was going to try Kajari Melons in place of cantaloupe next year, whats your opinion on the Kajari compared to a cantaloupe?
I grew some Cantaloupe this year and it had a great texture and that distinct cantaloupe taste but was not sweet at all. My second one was a tad better.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Hey, I commented in your garden thread about the powdery mildew and defoliation/chlorophyll energy factory sabotage robbing the sugar content potential from the melon fruits. Because of this realization, my strategy of cutting off the offending infected leaves is not working either. After spraying, the water-soaked/spotted leaves were burned I think due to pre-existing blemish/wounded leaf surface not being able to withstand the fungicidal mixture. I cut them all off, then traced out the vines and pruned the excess, already leafless vines that would have been pruned off anyway according to the melon pruning guide I’m going to try to follow next year.

I’ll get back to you on Kajari. It’s as susceptible to powdery mildew as the rest. The vines are dying before the one melon fruit they bore appear to be ripe, and/or they actually slip but seem to be due to moldy stem attachment. I have the fruits in the fridge but haven’t tasted any since the first one.

I think Ha’ogen and Collective Farm Woman might be showing better resistance. I may have to add a resistant hybrid next year for proper comparison.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Recent harvest from 8/25 ~ 9/5

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...we’re really enjoying the Chicago Hardy figs. I topped all of the branches at about 6 feet this year, instead of letting them grow to heights that I can;t harvest easily anyway. And they seem to be ripening better. Last year, I lost at least a dozen fruits that refused to ripen before frost.

I was hoping to see some White Marseilles figs but they are growing very slowly. I see evidence of what imafan26 mentioned before — these must have been rooted from lateral branches — they keep growing masses of sideways-growing branches. I think I will selectively prune to limit the number of branches and see if they will attempt to produce fruits next year. Petit Nigra figs in containers have small fruits on them that have turned darker, but have not started to increase in size and finish the ripening process. I fertilized them in case they needed a boost.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Ate the Jubilee watermelon today — it was less red than it should have been and not as sweet as I had hoped although it was sweet. It was still good to eat, but I need to be able to grow about 1/2 dozen at once so I can harvest them without worrying so much about getting it wrong. That will be my challenge next year.
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- This Ha’ogen looked ripe from the window yesterday — I needed to tug a little more firmly than I expected, but it did “slip” — and blasted me with gorgeous melon aroma as soon as the stem came off. Hopefully this will not be a dud like others so far. The opening in the net bag was too small to slip it out — I had to cut it wider.

- I also harvested the runty Collective Farm Woman since it’s vine had dried up. There is another one that is slightly smaller than this Ha’ogen on the trellis to be picked another day.

- I had to harvest the first to ripen butternut squash — there was a bore-hole and clear frass/squash gel. I’ll cut it open and examine/process it in a little bit. This perfectly round hole makes me think the culprit might be a pickle/melon worm.

- apples, figs, grapes, raspberries

- one of the volunteer antho fruited tomato plant is definitely producing fruits that are almost completely “black" ... I’ll save seeds from this line separately.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Although most of the NE side garden do not get any direct sun during the colder months, I decided to set up and plant some fall-winter-spring crops here. At least I can keep an eye on this area from the upstairs window.... VG garden beds are on the other side of the garage, and -typical of these cookie cutter development houses- there are limited observation vantage — on that side, only windows are the two from the family room that don’t afford much of a view.
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So far, I’ve have started Takane Ruby Buckwheat (May or may not be able to mature by frost), carrots, Swiss Chard, Super Sugarsnap peas; and today, dry-sowedseeds for barley, onions, broccoli, kohlrabi, spinach, turnips, radish, more Swiss chard....
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...I’m gathering all of my pvc and metal hoops, and hopefully will be able to set up some season extending protection for them as needed (but not necessary for at least another week+ = 80’s/60’s )
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

I ended up not having the time to deal with that butternut squash with a bore hole in it, so I put it in the meat bin of the refrigerator on the side that doesn’t freeze (we have the drawer set so the side with freezer vent will semi-freeze). I finally got the chance to use it for supper today, and it turned out to be immature — the seeds and seed hulls were soft. I followed the bore hole which dead-ended after about 1 inch, but didn’t find the culprit. Either it was tiny and I mangled it when I accidentally cut across the hole at one point, or it got cold in the meat bin and it crawled out of the squash — I might find it in there somewhere. :|

What’s great about nominally "winter" squash is that they are actually good to eat at any stage — I think “summer” squash are probably just varieties that won’t achieve eating quality as mature squash. And when immature, you can eat them whole, rind and seeds and all, especially if you don’t use any questionable chemicals (I never eat the rind on store-bought squash — always peel them or when baking/roasting halved/cut up, thoroughly scrub the rind with veg wash/soap first)

I cut this one in disks, then each disk in quarters, immature seeds and all, and fried them in oil/fat left from making lamb burgers in the skillet. Seasoned with Japanese S&B curry powder and garam masala from an Indian grocery store, minced slice of freshly harvested ginger, and sea salt, then cooked until caramelized on the surface and cooked through (they were starting to melt) so yummy. I actually spooned some of the now super flavorful fat over the steamed rice for extra guilty burst of goodness.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Do you mean that winter squash is not a vegetable grown during the winter, AppleStar?

:> Hey, I understand that it isn't just children who may believe this :wink: .

You cutting the squash in discs made me think of this (as a first time spaghetti squash grower). Should spaghetti squash be cut in discs before baking or steaming so as to have "noodles" of maximum length?

Are the strands actually spirals from stem to blossom end of the squash rather than running lengthwise?

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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Winter squashes grow on plants that are more vining, and summer squashes grow on bushier plants, am I right?

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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Winter squash from what I understand is a squash with a hard skin that can be stored for winter use. It differs from summer squash that have soft edible skins that will not store long off the vine.

Zucchini and crookneck squash are summer squashes. Most summer squashes are c. pepo species.

Hubbard, butternut, and acorn squash are all winter squashes. They have tough hard skins and the flesh usually needs to be cooked to make it tender.

Japanese pumpkin or kabocha is classified as a winter squash but it does have an edible skin. However, it is not an easy squash to cut up. Upo, luffa, and gourds are usually eaten in their immature stages before the skins harden up.

Most winter squashes take about 100 days to mature and they are usually grown in summer not winter.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

All true, but most of the above said winter squashes are tender when immature. I haven’t grown Hubbard, but can attest to most others. Especially C.pepo and C.maxima which are vulnerable to SVB and I’ve had to harvest in varying stages of immaturity, but also C.moschata varieties most of which tend to need long growing season, forcing harvest at immature stage due to imminent frost.

Regular zucchini and summer squash are taken down by SVB’s after only a week or two of harvest and not really worth the amount of space they take up, especially when cucurbita are in a smaller bed rotation.

If kitazawa seeds has it in stock when I’m ready to order, I’m going to try growing this next year — it’s a hybrid, but only source I’ve found so far. I’ll keep looking for an OP variety.

https://www.kitazawaseed.com/seed_510-188.html
Meot Jaeng I Ae Hybrid
Cucurbita moschata (Duschesne) Poiret

Korean summer squash
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

DigitS’ — about cutting spaghetti squash into disks, that’s what the guy did in the video I posted :arrow: here.

I hadn’t heard of doing that before, and thought it was pretty clever. They almost look like the way egg noodles are sold.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

- Another failure watermelon — it has a bad blossom end rot. I cut off the end — it was only just starting to turn pink inside and barely sweet. But the cucurbita-loving kitty loved it, and I will add this to my batches of pickled watermelon/melon and/or chutney.

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- small harvest dribbling in from the new kitchen garden Raspberry, last of the grapes, and the superstar fruits this time of the year — Chicago Hardy figs and Prok persimmons, as well as the small “white” Coyote cherry tomatoes and surprising effort by the suspected Helsing Junction Blue antho cherries, Also surging with the cooler weather are the small pink cherries grown from seeds from plant that originally came up between the patio bricks. I’m calling this one Coyote Rosa Bébé since they look, ripen, and taste like Coyote and have metallic sheen like my Wild Rosa.

- Piled in the front are cabbage side shoots, which keep being targeted by the groundHOG raiding the garden, so I’ve given up on getting them to form tiny heads and will harvest them as tender greens.

- tiny pile of dried bean pods are (probably) last of Adzuki beans. I’m sold on growing them as companions to tomatoes — both with determinate varieties that finish up and can be removed just as the Adzuki’s start getting some height to them since they grow on sturdy upright “bush” form plants to about 30 inches, and with underplanting cherry tomatoes that out-grow them and fruit above/overhead on the trellis (their lower leaves get cut off any way). Some of the other shorter and slower-growing varieties get buried and have too much fungal issues due to lack of air circulation, so it’s been a bit of a trial-and-error.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Looks good to me! :)

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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Maybe yesterday’s 1 inch plus rain triggered it, but more persimmons were suddenly ready. I had to make a new design persimmon picker with an empty 2L soda bottle and an 8 foot bamboo pole for the fruits on high branches. The clear plastic is an improvement on my last year’s quart soup cup and wire picker, which made it difficult to aim for the correct fruit and maneuver the ‘dull’ wire. The plastic’s sharp edge easily releases the fruit from the stem — though it did slice into one particularly ripe fruit that was hiding between two branches.

- Persimmons fall off with a slight tug when they are ripe — this also means you HAVE to harvest them before they fall off on their own, BUT they cause dry mouth if picked too early. I found three on the ground, then two more later.

- Also when I tested as an after thought, the big apple which was the only fruit that the Arkansas Black espalier set this spring cam right off.

- I’m not sure if this is the right color stage to harvest - it does turn completely yellow eventually - but this Collective Farm Woman melon’s vine looked dead and the stem had dried up so I had to pick it.

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- I pruned all the cucumber vines at +1 leaf above the developing fruit, and they seem to be responding.

- My 2nd kind of fig — Petite Nigra in the containers — have started to ripen. These are Zone 8 and need to be overwintered in the garage, but ripen much sweeter than the Chicago Hardy.

- Myoga — Japanese Ginger — flower buds have started to emerge. These have distinctive aroma and flavor — I had some with my dinner as condiment (minced + mayo).
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Today’s high only reached 70°F. I wish I could have don’t more, but I was only able to work in the garden from about 7am to 2:30pm when my body cried ENOUGH! (the weakling :roll: ) By the time I got inside, my muscles were spasming. According to the Health app, I walked 1.6 miles with 3,996 steps today while carrying the iPhone around in the garden.

- But I did tackle the weeds in the unused half of the inner spiral and raked/hoed most of the elongated weeds that were struggling out from the edge of the black landscape mulch.

- The removed weeds were either piled up and trampled into the path/swale or tossed into the compost bin.

- I raked in some Dolomitic lime, dusting of borax, and bagged Espoma chicken manure before putting the black mulch back. I was considering sowing something here, but maybe I’ll just covercrop the area with crimson clover... or not.... The Spiral Garden will be in corn rotation next year, so it might be best to leave the beds fallow to allow early spring start with peas and/or broadbeans.

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- I’ve been distributing the semi/finished compost. I’ll move the bin next year so I can grow a circular block of corn in the middle of the Spiral Garden, in addition to the double spiral.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Persimmons, that would be an interesting fruit to try. I'm not familiar with them at all! They look delicious though.

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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

You could grow the larger fruited Japanese cultivars in Arizona. In Michigan you’ll need to stick to freeze hardy American native cultivars like Prok, larger Meader selections, or a hybrid with Russian variety called Nikita’s Gift. I really like Prok because it sweetens when ripe without frost/freezing first.

It’s delicious, like eating jam. The skin is thin and tender/edible, too.

Oh! Another plus for Prok is that it is self-fertile and doesn’t need Male/female tree pair or another tree.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

With fruits that are best ripened “on the tree/vine” and that need to be picked on the day they are ripe — like Persimmons, berries, figs, etc. — you do have to go out and harvest every day for best results.

...I got more today. There was one on the ground. I harvested from the garden side, first, then from the front yard. There was one that looked ready, but was in an impossible spot to get from the front. I was going to convince myself that it can wait another day, but decided to try one more time from the garden side. While trying to maneuver my picker, the top of the pole nudged it and ... yep it fell on the FRONT YARD SIDE of the fence. :roll:

- the smaller trees with big leaves are my PawPaws. They have been blooming since 3 years ago but have not set fruits. Not sure if this is because they are siblings (and need another genetic pollen donor) or because they just aren’t mature enough.

Once they start to bear fruits, the combo of the yellow fruits with the orange persimmons should look wonderful. I cut back the Elderberry a little for easier access to the persimmons (I’m going to use the trimmings to mulch the PawPaws with) ... but I’ll continue to encourage elderberries to grow here as part of my little Front Yard Fence Row “orchard”. There is an apple and pear espaliers on the garden side of the fence, and I’m going to plant a pair of beach plums, too.

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...when I was about to call it quits, I happened to walk back to the Shiitake logs and realized I had missed a couple of shiitakes that must have popped up after the last big rain. I had been peering towards them without physically walking closer when watering my container trees — I thought I had been keeping watch. Though past prime, luckily these can still be eaten and aren’t ruined.
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

In my typical random fashion, another big project I tackled today was to prune and clean up the neglected little nectarine tree. This tree might be on its last legs — it is covered with gummosis. Even so, every spring, it presents a spectacular flower show, but then becomes loaded with fruits that never get chance to ripen due to Brown Rot.

- In my defense, I bought this when I was just learning about fruit trees in general, and I wouldn’t get this particular variety/cultivar now that I know better. I was researching Brown Rot resistant cultivars recently, and may end up buying a new tree, but I can’t plant it here, so I might as well try to give this tree the best care possible, especially since it’s in the front yard and could be considered an ornamental.

- I started by pruning it though this might not be the best time (yeah having said what I said just now). I removed a good 1/3 of the tree so I stopped even though I still see some more extraneous wood that need to be cut.

- Afterwards, as hopefully preventive against infection, I thoroughly sprayed the entire remaining tree with a solution of baking soda, liquid soap, borax, Epsom salts, hydrogen peroxide and 90% rubbing alcohol.

- I collected all of the mummified fruits and burned them as part of my on-going bio-char/ash-as-fertilizer experiment. (I know this isn’t bio-char — I realized I have to take baby steps and practice with open fire first.)

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- Having gained a little more confidence from today’s tiny bon-fire in the chicken waterer tray, I’m going to drag the copper fire pit out to this spot and try to burn all of the diseased wood later. I piled them away from any stone fruit in an out of the way spot for now.... though if keeping those make me too nervous, I will bundle them up for municipal pick up.
- As you might be able to see, only thing that didn’t burn in my little bonfire was a little knob of “green” nectarine wood. So those branches will have to season for a while first. Do they burn even when green if you put them in those drum cans of hot fire?

...I made my little fire in the future STARDOME site (a.k.a. Sunflower & House) which stood untended all season — It’s currently green and lush (wet) with expendable weeds and in an open space with no overhead trees, and it doesn’t matter if the weeds get scorched a little or affected from the possible ash+water=lye. The entire circle needs to be eventually leveled out and the fence removed, so it will be helpful to start puttering around in here.
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SQWIB
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

It absolutely is Biochar, well it's actually char, once it's charged it's Biochar. That's my definition anyhow.
The purist would argue differently.

Green will burn if it gets hot enough, trust me I just did this yesterday.

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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Thanks @SQWIB :D
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

BOTTOM RIGHT PHOTO —

- I “rinsed” the char with leacheate from both compost tumblers — one is the last of the nearly finished compost from spring harvest, still full of earthworms and is like a vermicompost leacheate, and the other is a weed-only still-raw/fermenting green juice. After straining into this bucket, I diluted the ash-char-leacheate and gave some to the container plants which had been thoroughly watered by yesterday’s rain.

- Also poured some of this in SFH swale/paths for the fall-winter root and brassica veg, Hari eggplants in the HaybaleRow, Hari and Orient Express eggplants in VGB, cucumbers on VGC trellis.....

- I also gave the container tropicals straight leacheate from weed-only tumbler BEFORE giving them the ash-char-water — hopefully that was enough to balance out the pH and didn’t push the citrus pH too far up. Also gave some of this to VG.SIP.

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- Stored the first iteration “charged” char in one of the cat litter buckets with lid. I want to give it the leacheate from the bokashi fermenter when that’s done before the next step which I think will be to mix with what’s left in the vermicomposter.

- SAVED rest of the ash-char-LEACHEATE in empty juice bottles.


...LEFT PHOTO...

The bokashi fermenter of weeds and fruit scraps (layered with black strap molasses and bokashi) — added the small particles that were left in the tea strainer.


...TOP RIGHT PHOTO...

I finally spotted the hornworm I had been looking for among the HaybaleRow Coyote cherry tomato foliage — it was already taken care of by the Jr. Garden Patrol braconid wasp babies.

~~~~~

More persimmons, cucumbers, last runty Korean melon...

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- I’m not harvesting this big cucumber yet — Since I didn’t mix varieties on this trellis, and the other two varieties have already died down, I want to let this fruit fully mature to save seeds.
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Taiji
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

I wonder if those freeze hardy persimmons you mentioned can handle 30-35 below? That's what we get here!

Your long cucumbers look great. They look so much like my Tasty Green Hybrid #26 that I love. (I know, a hybrid) If there is an open pollinated variety like that I would love to try it.

Ah just realized Applestar, you want to save the seeds, so yours must not be Tasty Green.

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TomatoNut95
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Good grief, @Taiji! 30-35 below! I wouldn't survive!

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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

@Taiji, the long cucumbers are right shape for Shintokiwa. I would be very surprised if these grew from the very old vendor seeds, so most likely from my saved seeds from 2016, which I think might have crossed with a pickling variety — in fact the seeds I saved came from a fruit that seemed more like a pickling variety.

Subject: Applestar's 2016 Garden
Aug 05, 2016
applestar wrote:Today's cucurbit gallery:

- There was an open female blossom on the Thai Kang Kob cross, but when I went to get a male blossom, it was occupied by 2+ bees and they wouldn't leave even though I clipped it off and carried it to the female blossom... and the female blossom was occupied, too, so I simply placed the male blossom over the female blossom. The bees can sort it out. :P

- There was a maxima buttercup type fruit clinging to the VGE fence. The blossom had already shriveled so hopefully it had been pollinated by the bees and is set to grow.

- When I noticed this female Orangeglo watermelon blossom, it was closed and so were the male blossoms, it seemed late - 11AM -- for them NOT to have opened yet, so I thought I might have missed them while they were open. In any case, I hand pollinated it -- with any luck, this will work

- Butta is still producing

Image

- A proper harvest sized Shintokiwa cucumber
- completely overgrown and already starting to yellow Shintokiwa (see below)
- my Kikuza x Tromboncino F1 C.moschata cross fruit is starting to yellow. It needs to turn completely buff color to be completely ripe.


...HOW is it that cucumbers are so good at hiding? I noticed this cucumber TODAY for the first time. :roll: It had already started to yellow so I decided I might as well let it mature completely for harvesting seeds since I have multiple plants. I was pretty sure this is Shintokiwa, but it's actually shorter than it should be and it has set fruit WAY earlier than the other Shintokiwas.
Image
_ center photo shows that it's larger than the Butta zucchini I harvested. right photo shows a Shintokiwa at correct harvesting size.
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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

I found another Nutterbutter butternut squash oozing. This time, when I dunked it in a bucket of water, a melonworm came halfway out of the hole and I yanked it out :twisted: (and took this photo) ...and then I realized there was a 2nd hole!

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After a little while the 2nd melonworm came halfway out and I pulled that one out (no I didn’t take it’s picture).

I dropped both worms in one of the buckets inhabited by comet goldfish, and they were happily gobbled up. :P


— but this has been an interesting discovery that the culprit for the holes in the butternut squash is indeed melonworms. As far as I know, it’s not a regular pest around here. I wonder which of the heatwave the adult moths rode up from the south on?


...more persimmons, more Myoga flowerbuds — already blooming but the flowers are a delicate treat :D
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...also harvested some sage and immature garlic chive seedpods (I added some of those along with minced Myoga flower buds in pasta sauce, and garnished with the flowers)


...I always feel like it’s better to sow seeds and then if they don’t grow well or I don’t have the opportunity to take care of them/plant them, that’s too bad, I can live with it ... but if I do have the time and energy and I haven’t started those seeds, I would regret it. In one of the binge-watched Japanese market gardener YouTube’s, the farmer said each day you delay sowing fall/winter harvest crop seeds means a week’s delay in maturity/harvest.

— Sowed seeds in cell packs to raise seedlings/transplants on the patio-side glass table —

- Onion, Walla Walla
- Onion, Valencia
- Broccoli, Limba
- Broccoli, Green Goliath
- Broccoli, Purple Peacock gene pool
- Hakusai, Kyoto No.3
- Spinach, Winter Bloomsdale
- Arugula
- Lettuce, Rosemarry
- Lettuce, Anuenue
- leeks
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

applestar wrote: .more persimmons, more Myoga flowerbuds — already blooming but the flowers are a delicate treat :D
Image
...also harvested some sage and immature garlic chive seedpods (I added some of those along with minced Myoga flower buds in pasta sauce, and garnished with the flowers)
I would love to have a persimmon tree. Did you buy a tree or plant from seeds? Do you have 1 or more tree? Are there different try persimmons? How long does it take to grow a tree that produces fruit? Persimmons make the best Jam my Grandmother use to make it every summer. Never put a persimmon in boiling water it will become as hard as a pine board & have less flavor than a pine board.

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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

I have one tree. It’s a Cornell cultivar/selection of a Native American persimmon called Prok, and I bought the container-grown tree from Stark Brothers (or maybe Edible Landscaping) by mail order. Persimmons grow a long taproot and do not like to be transplanted. This tree came in one of those very tall (18 inch?)/narrow tree starter container.

Persimmons I grew up on are Japanese cultivars, but they are almost all only winter hardy to USDA Zone 7 at northern-most. Zone 8 would be safer. Japanese persimmons are grouped into sweet and astringent varieties and sweet varieties are sweet when still hard like a firm pear or not fully ripe nectarine. I remember Japanese persimmon as having tough thick skin. Astringent varieties need frost/freeze to sweeten up, and classic Japanese/Asian preservarion method is to peel the skin, and then hang the fruits to dry in freezing temperatures— the fruits “bloom” with white culture and develops a unique flavor that probably can’t be obtained just by dehydrating. Japanese varieties are large fruited — about size of apples.

American persimmons are winter hardy to at least Zone 5, and I think wild cultivars can manage Zone 4 (I keep thinking Zone 3 but maybe not?). Meader is a common variety. Typical American persimmons are much smaller — Prok fruits can get to be 1.5 to 2 times larger. You can see the variation in fruit sizes in my photos. There are a couple of other American persimmon cultivars — Yates is one of them, a larger selection Meader, and a few others. American persimmons are typically astringent until after frost/freeze as well, and are harvested after leaf fall.

HOWEVER, Prok ripens sweet on the tree before frost. The fruits turn from green to opaque shiny yellow orange, then to translucent frosty red-orange. A day or two after this change, the fruits will drop from the branch. I like to harvest when the fruits will easily fall away from the calyx but before they have fallen on the ground, since the fallen fruits attract ants and bugs as well as animals. At this stage the fruit is soft like ripe peach, and will become squishy in another day. They are best kept in the refrigerator (cold won’t harm them once fully ripe). Even Prok will have astringent (mouthdrying) sections if not fully ripened on the tree. I find it difficult to get the fruit to ripen evenly if picked too early — one side can become mushy while the other side might still have astringency, especially in the skin or in the crunchy seed capsules. Prok skin is thin and tender enough to eat (as long as it is fully ripe) except where affected by what I think is probably sooty blotch.

Truly ripe persimmons are like bags of sweet jam. DD and I chuckled at one of those researched professional writer articles that said persimmons should be cut up and used/eaten — you can NOT cut ripe Prok with a knife ... you might be able to eat it with a spoon ... and make sure your hands are clean because you are going to be liking the sweet goo from your fingers. I use a serrated steak knife to pick away bits of skin I want to remove — if too much of the skin need to be removed, there’s no way to even hold the fruit anymore LOL.

Persimmons have male and female blossoms and some only grow as female tree and male tree and you need both to fruit, but Prok grows both male and female blossoms on the same tree and is self fertile.

One other northern winter-hardy variety that I could have tried to grow is a Russian-American hybrid called Nikita’s Gift. But I have read mixed reviews about its flavor and the fruit size.

Of the Prok, I have a small seedling tree under the original tree, probably from dropped fruit. And two other seed-grown trees that I intentionally planted (maybe 3 or 4 years ago ... I’m thinking the seeds might have been saved from a store-bought sweet persimmon, though... Hmmm — if so, then it was a Korean variety). The biggest of these would have been about 8 feet tall this year, except I’m forcing/training the upper two branches down to horizontal in an attempt to style it as an espalier. These horizontal scaffold branches are at about 4.5 feet. No sign of flowering yet.

There is an old saying in Japan : “Persimmons and Chestnuts fruit after 3 years, Peaches take 8 years” ... but realistically, I think they might fruit in 5-7 years after seed is planted. The seeds need 3 months cold/winter stratification and must be kept moist not dried out to remain viable.

Persimmons fruit from new side shoots growing near the ends of last year’s wood (“fruits on 2nd year wood”), so you need to know that you would be cutting off next year’s fruiting side shoot buds if you try to prune them like you would other fruit trees.

Persimmons have various health benefits, even the leaves are used for something or other. You can also make fruit vinegar, though I don’t think I will end up with any to spare.
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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Including the not pictured 4 fruits that were harvested on 9/11, I’ve harvested 92 Prok persimmons so far according to my count of the photo records —
Image

...and there are more on the tree (inside the fence)
— the big-leafed twin trees in the foreground are my two PawPaws in the Front Yard Fence Row — I weeded, established mulch zone around them to the drip line, and spread Dolomitic lime. Was getting ready to spread compost and mulch when I ran out of steam.... I’m trying to decide how to prune them, and also thinking about what to plant to their right. There is an American hazel clump just outside of the right frame.
— taller shrub in the middle ground is the elderberry
Image
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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

I think that in addition to very limited time and effort, failure in last fall/winter gardening stemmed from not keeping close records of what I attempted to grow, so I’m — hopefully — keeping better track this year... while optimistically sowing seeds wherever and whenever I can.

Tody, I sowed
- more Swiss radish mix
- Winter Giant spinach
- Miyashige winter daikon
- a few more China Rose radish/daikon

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...according to today’s quick survey, a few Eastham turnip, a few Tronchuda, just TWO Kalibos Purple cabbage, a bunch of Piracicaba broccoli, Barley, and Chantenay Red Core carrots (...in addition to the slowly growing Emerald Archer peas in VG.SIP) have sprouted

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Carrots I sowed with Takane Ruby buckwheat — Danvers Halflong 126 and last of the pelleted carrots ... maybe YaYa F1 ... have been up, and Takane Ruby has been blooming.

Image

… Bees have started to notice :D
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Re: Applestar’s 2019 Garden

Here’s an exciting surprise — I was growing this late- and slow-growing tomato plant, thinking it was a Yellow Brandywine, but look! It’s first ...and likely only fruit considering how late in the season this is... is turning out to be quite unusual-looking. Can’t wait to see what color this ripens into.

Image
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