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Old 02-19-2012, 12:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default From Northwest Florida

i joined to seek specialized information on fruit bearing plants in my local northern gulf coast area.
I have tried a banana plant, but apparently an occasional spell of 20-25 F degree weather is not compatible with the cultivars I have come across so far.

I have all sort questions about other fruit bearing plants, grafting, and other strategies fir obtaining a fruit harvest. The worst one for me are the depredations by my local wild life. I found out that coyotes will eat pears.

I have a lot of wild persimmons that I am trying to graft over to Japanese cultivars. I did 10 this morning prior to a rain driving inside. I started to digout a planting area for asparagus that probably will not make it in my clime. I have finally found an apple cultivar that does well here. It is the Joy apple that was found IIRC on an old homestead that I got from Just Fruits and Exotics a little south of Tallahassee. My peaches and nectarines are being killed by borers and I may try grafting on to plume rootstock. I will ask questions on that later.
I am a few miles north of Escambia Bay and a few more miles north of Pensacola Florida. We have hot raining weather from may to july and then often drought for a few months and then the winter. Low chill pears often bloom in late December. Citrus needs to be protected from the cold to avoid damage. My soil is acidic and poor with a hardpan underneath. I am on a hill grading down to a creek.
Elevation goes from 78 to 100 plus feet about mean sealevel. My 8 acres was a planted pine forest that I am still cutting down.

Well the previous should give a concept of my circumstances. I look forward to gleaming useful information from this forum.

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Old 02-19-2012, 02:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

Orinoco is a really cold hardy cultivar. You can find them everywhere here in the San Fernando valley. I know that the p-stem can survive down to the mid twenties without freezing down to the ground. Other ones to check out are Musa Basjoo and Namwah.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliboy1994 View Post
Orinoco is a really cold hardy cultivar. You can find them everywhere here in the San Fernando valley. I know that the p-stem can survive down to the mid twenties without freezing down to the ground. Other ones to check out are Musa Basjoo and Namwah.
Thanks for the response.
I looked up Orinoco and found
Quote:
They give you that tropical feeling, but will not produce fruit.
I forgot to add I am looking for fruit yield. My banana plant comes up each year, but is killed off each year prior to it being able to produce fruit. I think it takes over a year for most bananas to yield fruit. I have very little use for "ornamentals" and if the plant will not yield me shelter, land cover, or produce for me or wildlife, I will not grow it.
The musa bananas fruit and I will find out if they will yield in my area. The San fernando valley is in southern CA andI am not sure but probably the valley extreme low temp is warmer than my locale in winter. It is different for sure since we average 60 inches of precipitation a yr and tropical storms, but no severe earthquake.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

C.A.S.T.- Our Seed
We bought and grew seed from them and they did good until our attle decided to dine on them. Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

Welcome to a fellow fruit explorer in the region!

My search has shown Raja Puri to be the best fruiting banana for cooler climates. I'm on my second winter with it. Last winter, I tried to protect it outside, but it still froze to the ground. This year, I dug it up and brought it in for the winter. It tends to be stocky, so that isn't too hard to do. I have a couple of offsets and bulbs, in case you're interested in a trade of some kind.

I also have the (unidentified) passaround banana that is common here. I don't know its name, but I do know that, in protected areas, established stands will start to form fruit before the freeze gets them. I've dug up three and brought them in this winter. (They're promised, but I believe I have offsets, if they survive the winter. I suspect they're the same as yours, though.)

Raja Puri has far more roots than the other, which has hardly any in comparison.

Perhaps we can learn something from each other by comparing notes.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

Hey, and welcome. You'll like it here. Hit the "search" button up near the top of the page. Find the thread "Roll Call for Gros Michel". Search through that thread and you'll find a long list of bananas and their zones. Pick out the ones in zones 8 and 9 and see if you can find some that will fruit for you.

There are bananas that will fruit here. I worked for a nursery over on Old Palafox and we grew grew some there that had fruit. Some years we had to cut the fruit and take it inside before a freez hit.

Don't you just hate our winters. Some years it will only freeze one or two times but just thos few times that it does freeze ruins it for so many things. In my life there we a few years that it never froze.

There are several of us in the area, I know of one other member in Pensacola and several of us over in Alabama, so perhaps you'll hear from them. I'm in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.

Anyway, welcome and you'll find the right ones. I go more for the foliage than the banana, but I am hoping to fruit one of the Gros Michels in a year or so.

Terry
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnetmill View Post
i joined to seek specialized information on fruit bearing plants in my local northern gulf coast area.
It's really great to have you here.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

Welcome to the forum. There are several fruit growers near you.

Use the "Find me on the map!" so we can see where you live. Living in Northern Escambia Co you have colder winters than me but you still have many fruits you can grow.

Orinoco will fruit in Pensacola. I know I fruited and ate them in the summer of 2011. I have several P-stems I expect to fruit this summer and due to our lack of winter I have one fruiting right now however the mat may not make enough leaves to support the stalk. I did not offer my bananas any protection this year but we had an unusally mild winter. I had planned a substantial protection but a family situation stopped me. I only lost my leaves when we had a frost in January. There are citrus that will grow here. I have about thirtry trees that are young but I expect all of them to produce and live IF I can get them to year five which shouldn't be too hard. Blueberrys do exceptionally well here. I will be able to give you some Orinoco and blueberries if you want. I am trialing some other bananas that may work here. I'll know more in a few years. Either way I'll have pups. We have a banana friend that lives near us and he will certainly have pups from various bananas that he will give you. Figs also do well here. To get rid of Coyote find something that eats them. A 30-06 should do the trick!
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

Thanks to all for the kind felicitations:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilkKnoll View Post
Welcome to a fellow fruit explorer in the region!

My search has shown Raja Puri to be the best fruiting banana for cooler climates. I'm on my second winter with it. Last winter, I tried to protect it outside, but it still froze to the ground. This year, I dug it up and brought it in for the winter. It tends to be stocky, so that isn't too hard to do. I have a couple of offsets and bulbs, in case you're interested in a trade of some kind.

I also have the (unidentified) passaround banana that is common here. I don't know its name, but I do know that, in protected areas, established stands will start to form fruit before the freeze gets them. I've dug up three and brought them in this winter. (They're promised, but I believe I have offsets, if they survive the winter. I suspect they're the same as yours, though.)

Raja Puri has far more roots than the other, which has hardly any in comparison.

Perhaps we can learn something from each other by comparing notes.
Any banana that will grow in central Alabama should certainly relative to temperature fare better in my region. I am considerably warmer than are sites just 20 miles to north near the Alabama border. Significant frost strikes about the middle to late November here. By march frost is generally not occurring.
i would certainly be most willing to share notes or anything else that is related. Major thing at the moment for trade is a good supply of heirloom pear cultivars for our region along with some other materials.

Here is a general question for all. Today I was planting some asparagus as a trial and in preparing the bed I dug up a lot of green brier tubers. I put them near some commercial blueberry cultivars, an australian raspberry and japanese berry bush.
Apparently sarsaparilla and other things are commonly extracted from them. Does anyone have any knowledge of what to do with such tubers? I read that people also stew them, but due to the fact people extract substances that in some cases are medicinal I am not going to do anything on my own with them for now.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

QUOTE: My soil is acidic and poor with a hardpan underneath. I am on a hill grading down to a creek.

With acid soil, slope planting drainage and your loc in N Fla go for Blueberries - lots of em. Rabbiteye Southern highbush for you.

Where I am in S Fla I think I can get a first planting of low chill to work but keeping the pH low may be tough. Will have to bark much heavily and keep it that way.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkman View Post
Welcome to the forum. There are several fruit growers near you.

Use the "Find me on the map!" so we can see where you live. Living in Northern Escambia Co you have colder winters than me but you still have many fruits you can grow.

Orinoco will fruit in Pensacola. I know I fruited and ate them in the summer of 2011. I have several P-stems I expect to fruit this summer and due to our lack of winter I have one fruiting right now however the mat may not make enough leaves to support the stalk. I did not offer my bananas any protection this year but we had an unusally mild winter. I had planned a substantial protection but a family situation stopped me. I only lost my leaves when we had a frost in January. There are citrus that will grow here. I have about thirtry trees that are young but I expect all of them to produce and live IF I can get them to year five which shouldn't be too hard. Blueberrys do exceptionally well here. I will be able to give you some Orinoco and blueberries if you want. I am trialing some other bananas that may work here. I'll know more in a few years. Either way I'll have pups. We have a banana friend that lives near us and he will certainly have pups from various bananas that he will give you. Figs also do well here. To get rid of Coyote find something that eats them. A 30-06 should do the trick!
I tried to enter coordinates but apparently something is not right. I live in Santa Rosa county 1.5 miles from Pace Highschool. i am colder than you in part because I live in the bottom of valley where cold air accumulates. I am also just a little bit north of you that makes a difference.
Thanks for all of the information on bananas and we will have to talk more about them. I protected my citrus this year, but it was not necessary. We only got down to 25 F for a short time.
At least two kinds of blueberrys grow wild on my place as do wild persimmons.
Relative to coyotes I have a 30-06 some where in my vault and a lot other smoke poles, but coyotes tend to come out late at night (These were around about 1-2 AM). Hard to shoot what you cannot see. Since I am planning on free ranging chickens I will be looking into the for eating coyotes thing. I have my eye on some old time farm bulldogs (really should be called Shepherd's mastiffs) that are being rescued from extinction in Mississippi from the few remaining non-cross bred traditional Carr White English stock that came from Georgia. They are stealthy and attack silently and have longer jaws that open very wide with long front teeth. They arrived in the americas during early colonial times. May have arrived here first with the spanish and latter the french and english. They have not existed in England probably since the 18th century. No need for them there with the extinction of the wolf. I may also get night vision goggles, but that is an investment as would be a suppressor.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunfish View Post
working white english bulldog pups 7 wks - YouTube[/url]
Thanks for the youtube link. Those are not the specific strain that I am interested in. Pups are generally very cute, but it is the adults that are most important and need to be observed. The major thing is how obedient they are relative to stopping an attack instantly upon the command of their master and if they can be left to range the property without leaving its boundaries. A chained or penned up dog is not too useful for fighting coyotes. They should be highly territorial, but not aggressive to other dogs without good reason. They must be completely sub-dominant to all family members and never ever snap at a child. If they do they should be culled. Many of todays mastiff-bulldog types breeds will challenge the members of the household for dominance and that just will not do.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

In the west, some ranchers will raise a pack of Queensland Healers for this task. The dogs are smart, territorial, and quick. Being half dingo, they will fight off predators with a passion. A couple of months of walking the younger dogs on the property line is all they need. They keep grazing animals within the property line and animals that are not part of "your pack" out. Many times I have seen them chase deer, fox, etc. full speed to the property line and stop right there.

As a humorous downside, they will also be compelled to herd the chickens into "their" part of the yard, the cats to some area near the house ... !! I love those dogs. In the northwest they are often employed on roundups of range cattle.

Not a good dog for a homeowner with under an acre of property unless you are going to run the dog 2-3 times a day for several miles.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Richard,

That sounds like an awesome companion dog too. I currently have a pack of Toy Poodles. Don't laugh. I promise you will not enter my back yard without an immediate and unpleasant response from them. They will surround and quarter anything entering the property and if it climbs they will campout and wait under the tree.

BUT

you'd need about thirty of them to take on a pack of coyotes! LOL
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

When I told you that there was a member in Pensacola, Darkman was who I had in mind. Glad to see that you'll connected. That 30-06 got a chuckle out of me.

You mentioned that you were 20 or so miles south of the Alabama line. Well, I'm in Alabama, but to your west. I'm at the very bottom of Alabama sw of Mobile, between Grand Bay and Dauphin Island. Any chance of getting some of your persimmon trees? I didn't realize that they grew here.

When I was a kid we always played a joke on our cousins from the city when they came to visit. We'd tell them how good green persimmons were and then offer them a handful to taste. You ever tasted a green one? They make your mouth pucker and draw up so much you can hardly talk. We thought that was so funny!

Now should be a good time to dig and ship them bare root. If you'll ship me some I'll trade you something. I've got bananas, one very small, real small now, blackberry. Maybe a division of kiwi. I've got passion vine - maypops and I'll have to look around to see what else I'v got that you might want to trade for. Or, I'll outright buy the persimmons from you. Oh, if you think you would ever use it, I've got eatable gingers and later on I'll have some gourds.

The passion vine is a food source, maybe the sole food source, of the Gulf Friterilly butterfly.

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkman View Post
Richard,
That sounds like an awesome companion dog too. I currently have a pack of Toy Poodles. Don't laugh. I promise you will not enter my back yard without an immediate and unpleasant response from them. They will surround and quarter anything entering the property and if it climbs they will campout and wait under the tree.
BUT
you'd need about thirty of them to take on a pack of coyotes! LOL


Yes, poodles are under-rated and over-groomed in the general public. They need space, exercise, and attention or they will become nervous and irritable.

Same is true of the Queensland Healers, perhaps even more so. Great companion, but they need a couple of jobs all day long or they'll go stir-crazy.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You mentioned that you were 20 or so miles south of the Alabama line. Well, I'm in Alabama, but to your west. I'm at the very bottom of Alabama sw of Mobile, between Grand Bay and Dauphin Island. Any chance of getting some of your persimmon trees?
YES there is.

I didn't realize that they grew here.

When I was a kid we always played a joke on our cousins from the city when they came to visit. We'd tell them how good green persimmons were and then offer them a handful to taste. You ever tasted a green one? They make your mouth pucker and draw up so much you can hardly talk. We thought that was so funny!

Now should be a good time to dig and ship them bare root. If you'll ship me some I'll trade you something. I've got bananas, one very small, real small now, blackberry. Maybe a division of kiwi. I've got passion vine - maypops and I'll have to look around to see what else I'v got that you might want to trade for. Or, I'll outright buy the persimmons from you. Oh, if you think you would ever use it, I've got eatable gingers and later on I'll have some gourds.

The passion vine is a food source, maybe the sole food source, of the Gulf Friterilly butterfly.

Terry
Yes you can have some wild persimmons and wild blueberrys too. Any member here is welcome to any grafting wood that I have also.
I calculate from what you said that you are an hour and half from me if you are able to drive. If you can not drive then I will see what I can do. First, for now the persimmons are leafless. With out leaves identification is not positive and I would wait a month for them to leaf out. They appear to be very hardy and should survive. I was cutting them down as a weed tree until I figured out what they were (they had persimmons on them) and they always grew back. You can come on a weekend when I am here and I will direct you to the woods where they grow and point out the smallones for digging up and potting.
This year I am some what over loaded so do not have the time to ship them. Next yr I will have all of the time in world. Next year I would like to take you up on some of the cultivars that you have.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: From Northwest Florida

Quite seriously attacks on fruit by birds and mammals have caused more losses than anything else. And if I want to harvest fruit I will have to come up with some sort of pest management program for vertebrates. This includes diverse birds.
The bird eat small berries, crush the larger berries, and peck holes in the fruit.

Squirrels eat everything. And then there are the raccoons and possums and I sure did not expect coyotes to eat up my pears.
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