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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:59 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
I generally prepare the area with lots of compost and manure first as well as inoculate it with mycorrhizae.

After I get plants in the ground, I will add some 5-10-5 pelleted fertilizer as well as some azomite once in a while.

When the plants are at a good size, close to fruiting, I do add a bit of calcium chloride, ironite, epsom salts and potash to ensure that there won't be any apparent deficiencies in the plants.


To top it off, I do keep sprinklers on most of the edibles. Canteloupes just seem to grow very well here.

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:53 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
Here's a few bhut jolokias finally maturing. They are similar to tomatoes in that they can stay green for a very long time.
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Some of my carrots are getting up to around 2 inches in diameter. Some of them stick out. I hope they are growing nice and long.
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Wintermelons sometimes will produce twin fruits.
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It looks like my black diamond watermelon is still gaining size, and every other fruit on the vine appears to have aborted to put their energy into this one.
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This new bittermelon should exceed 1ft in length as it just formed recently with the warmer temperatures.
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I have some of the pumpkin vines climbing onto the trees for support.
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Here's the first garlic plant for the year to sprout which is unusually early, especially for a softneck kind.
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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:28 pm 
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Location: zone 3a-4b
Thats another thing that wont grow here...... peppers. I can get away with banana peppers but thats about it. Great lookin plants

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Location: HALIFAX, NS
re: peppers

Even here in Halifax peppers are big producers. Maybe not on the outer coast or in the extreme south but they, tomatoes, corn and eggplants are not a problem. Big watermelons and okra are a disaster, sometimes roma tomatoes don't ripen 100%. In the valley last week the blue jays must have buried raw peanuts in a friend's garden as they were growing everywhere. Is it the shortness of your growing season or lack of heat there?

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:16 pm 
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For all the plants that I know had long season requirement, I simply started them indoors so there is no problem in getting them to produce and ripen. Starting them in early April gives watermelons just enough time to get ripened because the growing season and lack of heat is still a problem here.

The relatively cool summer seems to be stunting rhizome growth on my bamboos, and the lack of precipitation now isn't helping it out either.

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:41 pm 
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Location: HALIFAX, NS
Steve - Watermelon plants (fine inland) will live on the coast but produce fully developed melons. Okra on the otherhand collapses unexpectedly after a few cool foggy nights.

Don't understand why your phyllos aren't up to snuff height-wise as they certainly look great. Do you mean the ones that may be from a more southerly part of China? Here the aureosulcatas are taller than last year by 1.5-2 meters.

johnw

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:24 pm 
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Location: zone 3a-4b
John - for most of the year, our temps are relatively the same (im assuming the data I saw was halifax airport, so closer to the coast the cooler they may be). The difference is mid november to february- march. I am somewhat new to peppers, but I start them in april with my tomatoes. Sweet peppers dont seem to do good here, but others have had great luck with many kinds. I do ok with tomatoes, even though i have a habit of overcrowding them. This year however they are doing quite well, and have found 3 types that seem to do good here, glacier being the one which produces small plum tomatoes in 60 days, and stay a foot or so tall.

Melons on the other hand, I am generally new to. I start them early as well. This year they may have been too far from the grow lights and withered when they went outside. I have honeydew, 2 kinds of cantelope (minnesota midget and another) and crimson sweet wateremelon. The one cantelope that i cant remember the name of produced one fruit. Most of them got swamped my the tomatoes.

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:21 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
Canadianplant,

I think you may be able to grow a lot more stuff if you get an attached greenhouse on the south facing side of the house, and use a few 1000 watt metal halide lights to supplement the plants as the daylight simply isn't enough in April to early May when seedlings are growing outside. I've found that 2X 4 hour sessions seem to work well, such as 7pm-11PM, then again from 3AM-7AM which is enough to get them adapted to outdoor conditions, but 2-3 hour sessions would still be sufficient as it still gives them exposure to relatively strong light.

In your climate, I believe it may be necessary to get up to 3-5 gallon pots for some plants, and keep them inside until around June. My set up is only with a fish tank, and a 400 watt metal halide which hardly costs anything extra on the electricity, but to get good results, you will probably need to take more measures to get them started. I also go pretty heavy on the miracle gro when my plants are younger so that the stems can grow nice and strong. Nitrogen is still important now as you still need some for fruit production, but I usually go with a more balanced fertilizer once the plants reach a decent size and I want them to start producing.

Based on my experience, nitrogen is pretty necessary to get vines growing quickly and producing thick green leaves.

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:39 am 
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Location: zone 3a-4b
Well, the thing is mine and your climate in summer and mid spring and fall are relatively the same. I dont think you get too much more heat then I do. I know me and john have practically the same high temps for about half the year. You have a longer season, but im not sure by how much. This year was horrible though, and I will say that if there is a difference, its the unpredictability of april and may here which can be 20C and warm, or snow until mid may (like this year, which hasnt been like this in 20 years).

There could be a few reasons for my failings:

1) I have over 120 species in my small city lot, so competition is quite high, although my soil is extremely fertile. Nettle pops up everywhere and it usually only inhabits highly fertile soil.

2) I could be using the wrong types. Melons have a range of ripening dates, and same with tomatoes. I try to stick with the shortest maturing variety i can find. I also try to find ones that do well in "cool climates"

3) this was the first year i tried melons in earnest. They were started inside under 2 flourescent lights that work out to about 30 000 luminens. NOt bad, but nothing extreme. They were too far from the lights. I am also wondering if like some plants they will do better germinating in a bright south window. Morning glories are like this, and if started under lights or too early the vines get wimpy and thin, and dont grow at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:01 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
The blackberry bush is getting pretty big now so it should have the potential to produce many times more fruits next year. I snip the laterals so they keep splitting for more fruiting buds the following year.
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Some of the canteloupes are starting to turn ripe with the orange tinge.
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Some type of pumpkin/ squash.
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Tomatoes
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Sphere wintemelon
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They come in all different shapes and sizes.
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I don't even know what these are called.
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Air potatoes keep forming.
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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:58 am 
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One of the things I kind of figured out after a couple of my Asian pear seedlings more than doubled in height is that they will have a pretty big size potential, larger than normal pear trees so I had to space them out to about 14ft apart when they were pretty close together before. Here's the comparison.


Before.
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After
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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:53 pm 
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I know that my blackberry plant will probably produce several pounds of berries at its current size, but another interesting thing I've found about them is the root very easily.

When I was separating out my cuttings into their individual pots, I found that the apical tips are loaded with roots after about 3-4 weeks of being potted up.

Here's how it looks.
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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:12 am 
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Wow steve those arent the 2 or 3 foot tall asian pear seedlings from this spring are they?

ALso the black berries tip root too easy. That is how they spread so fast in the wild, they "walk" as well as shoots from the roots, on top of their seeds.....

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:36 am 
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canadianplant wrote:
Wow steve those arent the 2 or 3 foot tall asian pear seedlings from this spring are they?

ALso the black berries tip root too easy. That is how they spread so fast in the wild, they "walk" as well as shoots from the roots, on top of their seeds.....


Yep, they were only 2-3ft tall, making it up to more like 7-8ft tall within a season. It's nothing special as my peach trees got up to 4ft from seed in one season, and have the potential to break 10ft the next season, but I'm not too worried about the height since a fruit tree needs the strength to support tons of fruits before it can be useful. A 4 year old 20ft tall fruit tree with only a 4 inch trunk would simply break all of its branches once it fruits, or break apart without the foundation which usually takes many years of growth. In other words, getting tall fast means nothing for fruit trees. I only keep a handful of these fruit trees since I'm not creating an orchard here.

Also for anyone who is interested in growing fruit trees from seed, now is around the right time to get some seeds, and place them into a pot with soil to vernalize underground, or into a garden bed in a marked off area.


I can see how blackberries in the wild will spread like crazy if the growing tips make tons of roots once they get in contact with soil. This propagation method hasn't worked on any of my other shrubs or trees. Fruit tree propagation takes quite a few more steps and time than just sticking a twig in the soil.

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:08 am 
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It looks like the blackberry plant has basically reached its max in terms of growth for the year. The limbs got pretty long so I had to wrap them around and then tie them to the wooden pole right next to the plant. It was planted right in this location just for that purpose. As long as you keep the branches off the ground, I don't think this plant is invasive at all because it's basically a shrub which has canes that shoot one year, flower the next, and die the 3rd year to be replaced by newer ones.

Here are some pictures.
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It's pretty thick so it should be very productive next season. This is super cold hardy because it stayed evergreen through all of last winter.
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