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Monday, September 17, 2012

Mo Fruit

   Before planting anything I improve the soil with  compost
After, 70 more Pineapple plants 
I'm starting my 23rd growing season and  have to get about 170 pineapple plants in the ground before I get to busy planting lettuce.  Next summer I should get well over 100 pineapple .

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

December 21 2012 , the world ends !

"You People" are on your own
I've been so busy playing Farmville and keeping up with American Idol  I completely forgot  we have 2 days to live ...Doh    Don't get me wrong I'm totally stoked that Mariah Carey is the new Judge  , but December 21 2012 is the end of the 13th b'ak'tun  !  wow   time flies . Yesterday  I picked up a  Mesoamerican Long Count calendar  at the Dollar store ,   no doubt  its over !   I was on the back porch smashing a few cold ones , pondering how does a person prepare for the end of the world ??  and even if you do survive good luck getting internet or an  iced caramel macchiato !   I can't disclose my secret  plan for survival , but I can  give you a few tips. 
If you find my Dog , please give her a good home . she had a dysfunctional childhood

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Purple Haze, Physical Graffiti, L.A. Woman and David Bowie

 You have to love the names given to Dragon fruit  varieties  .  I have  4  varieties in my side yard;  Vietnamese Jaina, Natural Mystic, Dark Star and Halley's Comet.
The Vietnamese Jaina is the large white fruit. I got  3 cutting's from a   neighbouring farm , The plants flower on the same day as the parent plants . The texture is similar to kiwi fruit with crunchy little seeds
Propagation is easy ; cut on and angle and stick in a pot. you don't even need root hormone . These are the easiest plants to propagate . Even if you just drop it on the ground it will likely  root  !
I always use  a premium potting mix , Tall pot and moist soil . I don't use any  fertilize for about 6 weeks ,  then light Organic 6-6-6
I get best results putting the pot's under the shade of an  Oak Tree
The  first bud's appear  in mid June
The plant produces large beautiful night blooming flowers   
I pick the fruit  after it turns this pale red. There is no benefit to leaving it on the plant longer it will not become any sweeter 
The plant is Cactus like and makes a great place for birds to nest 

Friday, July 6, 2012

weather or not

    This year the weather has been different ; We had one night January 5th very cold, frost and near freeze with selective crop damage but over all it was warm and mild . Spring was about 3 weeks early and our rainy season was early as well, I have never detected a pattern  .     We are seeing Record heat in the South and Northeast , Record Drought is killing Corn crops in 6 States and Wild fire rages in Colorado and we are having an early and active Hurricane season . I have also seen more Tornadoes this summer than ever before, The Tornadoes seem to pop out of storm clouds in the late afternoon then struggle to form , rarely touch down . Some suggest an above average Hurricane season and trouble for South Florida . What does it all mean ?  I dunno 

Thankfully these are not the F 3 or  F 5 Super cell monster  storms seen on the Oklahoma and Kansas plains 

These Tornadoes are called by some "Landspouts". . They generally are smaller and weaker than supercellular tornadoes, though many persist in excess of 15 minutes and some have produced F3 damage. They bear an appearance and generative mechanism highly similar to that of waterspouts.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

container growing

Sunday Mornings at the Farmers Market I love to talk gardening with customers and friends . If you know me , then you know  I'm not a fan of container growing for many reasons.  However Pineapples seem to be the exception to the rule.       For the last 4 years or so  I  have been experimenting  growing pineapples and has learned a few things. One thing I've noticed is that Pineapples do very well in containers; I use large  15-25 gallon pot's  filled with  premium  potting soil, a hand full of Organic 6-6-6 fertilizer and water every day. I've also found slow growing pineapples can some times sunburn so I leave the pots under the shade of a small oak tree.  The fruit harvested from these potted plants can get nearly as big as fruit bought in grocery stores.   Gardening is about results so spend the money on the premium potting soil, I do not recommend bagged "topsoil" or "50/50"



Friday, June 22, 2012

Redland Rambles ( re-post) thanks Marian



Giant pineapples revisited

One year old plants which started from hapas.
Recently, farmer Margie and I were invited over to The Lettuce Farm to pick some pineapples. Really! Farmer Tim Rowan has all kinds of fruit growing during the summer, when it’s too hot for lettuce and cabbage.
Whenever you visit a farm for the first time, the farmer will take you on a tour of all the significant plants and features of his or her place. Tim pointed out Tommy Atkins mango trees loaded with blushing round-shouldered fruit, ribbon-like dragon fruit cactus vines ready to bloom and complete with an abandoned bird’s nest, passion fruit vines thick on a trellis, and quite possibly the area’s largest compost pile running the length of his property. The field where he grows lettuces and cabbages in winter was covered densely with elephant grass as tall as our heads, and home to twittering birds.
Farmer Margie learns the fine art of picking pineapple.
But what drew our attention and curiosity were the large raised beds, loaded with pineapple plants, which ring his modest house. In the west bed, all the plants were two years old, fully grown from green tops cut off pineapples, and they were loaded with fruit. Each plant produces only one fruit, which grows on a stalk at the center of the plant. The fruit were very large, and the ripest ones were peeking out golden through long leaves. In the east bed were plants bearing slightly smaller pineapples, which looked like they would be ready in about a month or so. Those plants were a year old, originally hapas (or slips) that sprouted from the bases of the older plants. Last summer Tim had snapped off hapas and planted them in their own patch. Each mature plant sprouted one or two hapas. Plants grown from hapas bear fruit in one year, but plants grown from tops bear in two.
More hapas potted up. These will be transplanted to a raised bed.
Tim let us pick our own fruit. He pointed out the ripest ones, and told us what to do. Picking a pineapple is fairly simple. Grasp it firmly with both hands, give the fruit a snap to one side and a small twist, and it easily breaks off the stalk. I was once again surprised by how heavy and substantial it was. After picking, Tim aimed a hose at the base of the fruit and washed off a bunch of ants. They are attracted to sugar in the fruit, which start to ripen from the bottom.
Hosing off the ants.
The pineapples we picked were amazingly heavy. Out came the scale to check weight. One was eight and a half pounds and the other was nine. (I haven’t weighed the ones you can get at the store, but they’re about half the size and weight.) Must be the special soil mix and organic fertilizer that Tim feeds his plants! The ripest fruit was ready to eat, and its sweet aroma tantalized us on light breeze, as we chatted on the back patio. Tim’s feisty Chihuahua jumped from his lap onto the table and sniffed at the fruit, which easily dwarfed her. It can truly be said that on that small farm located at the edge of the Everglades, pineapples grow as big as a dog.
Tim’s chihuahua is dwarfed by a giant pineapple.