Mary Mary Quite Contrary What Will Your 2018 Garden Grow?

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by tacmotusn, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    I have an awesome Black Thumb. I can kill most any plant commonly grown in my area with very little effort on my part. Consider me the ultimate lazy gardener. I have to search far and worldwide for potential North Central Florida invasives. Plants that will eat your house and blot out the sun.
    That said, here is what I am going to play with in 2018. Wish me lots of luck.!!!
    The following I would be perfectly willing to share seed sources if you are interested.
    Dakota Black Popcorn ... Dark reddish-black ears of corn are quite attractive for fall decorations, or popping into tasty popcorn! This variety is easy to grow, and does well in almost all growing climates. Fun for children’s gardens.
    Naranjilla. (Solanum quitoense) A very unique fruit from the Andes. Delicious sweet-and-sour taste, orange flavor; 2” fruits are round and yellow-orange in color, perfect for making delicious juice. In 1760, Mr. J. de Santa Gertrudis Siera called it “nectar of the gods” and “the most delicious that I have tasted in the world.” This plant takes at least 6 months to bear and is quite attractive as a potted plant. This year we started plants indoors about Feb. 1 and started to harvest fruit by mid-September in the garden.
    Dwarf Tamarillo. Miniature version of our regular Tamarillo, and a close relative. But this one ripens smaller fruits in clusters. When fully ripe, each fruit is a deep golden-orange. Very sweet, fruity, tropical flavor, with overtones of pineapple—dwarf tamarillos are superb for juicing, whipped into smoothies, or eaten out of hand. The foliage is very fragrant and at all stages the plants are very lovely. A beautiful ornamental as well! This South American native produced well in our Missouri gardens, but may need greenhouse cultivation in the North. In frost-free conditions, it eventually grows into a small tree. Super delicious and easy to grow!
    Giant Pawpaw. Grow a champion pawpaw! Once a staple in Native American and early settler’s diets, the pawpaw is now considered a rare delicacy. This tropical flavored treat is the largest fruit native to North America. Most available pawpaw seed is obtained from wild, small, random seedling sources of greatly mixed and questionable genetic quality. Not our seeds! Offered is a mix of do-mesticated pawpaw genetic lines for optimal cross pollination that result in large size (average 8-16+ ounces), excellent flavor, and premium quality. Peaceful Heritage Nursery is a rare fruit tree nursery and mini-farm located in Stanford, KY. Seeds are shipped in special controlled conditions for easier germination. Includes detailed growing tips.

    Planting Your Pawpaw Seeds: Pawpaw seeds must never dry out or dehydrate. This kills the seed. Remove your fresh seeds from the bag and plant immediately, or leave in the bag with moist material until ready. Plant seeds under 1 inch of potting soil in containers and keep consistently moist (but not soaking wet), warm and dark. Potting mix should be very light and fluffy with perlite or similar material. Seeds first sprout and grow roots, then the tops show. Expect tops to show in about 3-6 weeks from planting. Remember to keep moist and out of freezing temperatures. Seeds can also be direct-sown in May outside in prepared seed beds or holes. Fertilize from April-July with a balanced organic fertilizer and keep roots mulched, moist but not wet. Pawpaws should start fruiting from seed in about 4-6 years depending on care given and rate of growth. Seedling pawpaws must be shaded until about 3 years old. This can be done with commercial tree tubes or any improvised way of keeping the trees in shade. Three-foot tall chicken wire baskets covered with cheescloth or greenhouse shade cloth attached with clothespins works very well. Full sun kills young saplings.
    Cocona. An easy to grow fruit from the Amazon Jungle! A distant relative of eggplant, cocona is commonly found growing in the Peruvian Amazon. Baker Creek Seed hunters Shannon McCabe and Deb Vlietstra found these at a jungle market in Iquitos Peru. The fruits average 2 inches across with a vivid yellow to red color, the flesh is totally unique, sour and sweet with a distinctly creamy texture. Locals use them to add a tangy kick to sweet juice blends. Fruits are also diced into relishes and served with yuca empanadas. Locals tout the fruits as a healthy diabetic friendly food. Cocona performed very well at Baker Creek this season, growers in zone 6 and warmer should get fruit to mature in one season, in cooler climates these make an excellent greenhouse plant. We start seeds indoors Feb 1 and harvest fruit by Sept. in our Missouri gardens.
    Goji Berry. (Scarlet Wolfberry) is a Chinese native perennial shrub with slender stems growing up to 6.5-13 feet high if not pruned. From June to September, the shrub is decorated with pale violet, fragrant flowers. The fruits will then appear till the first frost and are rich in vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. Traditionally, these super-fruits have been used to help improve eyesight, inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol, regulate the digestive system, to reduce inflammation, and are said to slow the aging process. Naturally drought tolerant, highly disease & insect resistant, and tolerates temps down to -18 F. The tender fruit appears in two years, and a mature plant can produce almost 7 lbs of berries under good conditions by the third year. Add the fruit to tonic soups, rice or herbal tea. The tender shoots and leaves are used as a leaf vegetable and are cooked 15 minutes in soup. May interfere with blood thinners and other medications metabolized by the liver.
    Cassabanana Melocoton. (Sicana odorifera) Wow, this is exciting! I saw this crop along the roadside in Guatemala. The fruits were brilliant flaming red and about 2’ long—one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen! They have bright orange flesh that is sweet and is used in drinks, jellies and other desserts; it has a unique tropical fruit taste. The fruits are fragrant and keep for a long period, like squash, making this a hot item for fall sales for pumpkin growers. Huge vines can grow to 50’ and are quite ornamental, but they do require a very long season and are mostly grown in Florida and the Deep South. Here in southern Missouri the fruit almost ripened, but we ran short of days. This plant was first mentioned in Europe in 1658 as a popular plant in Peru. We are happy to have located a small supply of seed.
    Thai Long Soldier Bean. Vigorous bush habit for those who want to grow long beans but prefer not to trellis. Foot-long pods are firm and very flavorful. Pods are strikingly different in appearance, having tiger-stripes in dark red-brown. Superior variety from Thailand, where long beans are a staple crop. Unusual and very choice!
    Kiwano. African Horned Cucumber (Cucumis metuliferus) Very unusual fruit with spiny “horns.” The green-yellow skin turns a bright deep orange when ready to harvest, and the pulp inside the fruit resembles lime green Jell-O. The fruit has a sweet-sour, banana-lime tropical fruit taste, good juiced and sweetened and delicious with yogurt. This fruit is showing up quite often in US markets. Native to Africa, it is hardy and easy to grow; can be grown just about anywhere you can grow melons. Beautiful vine and fruit! Tiny seed.
    Seminole Pumpkin

    Photo courtesy of Miranda Castro,
    Edible Plant Project

    Gardeners in Florida often struggle to find vegetables that will make it through the relentless summer heat; Florida Seminole pumpkins just may be the answer to their search. Traditionally grown by the Calusa, Creek, and Miccosukee peoples, Seminole pumpkins remain one of the tastiest and most reliable pumpkins for Florida gardens.


    Seminole pumpkins are a cultivated variety (cultivar) of Cucurita moschata; some other notable cultivars of this species include butternut squash and Calabaza. Seminole pumpkins come in a variety of shapes and colors. While generally rounded and dull orange, their appearance can vary—even on the same plant. The inner flesh of Seminole pumpkins is orange and tastes like butternut squash, but sweeter. The flesh is firmer and less fibrous than that of a traditional jack-o-lantern pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo). The mature fruits generally weigh 6 to 12 pounds.

    Thanks to their thick skin, Seminole pumpkins can be stored for up to a year in a dry location with enhanced ventilation. More realistically for Florida's humid climate, they can be stored for a few months. To preserve their harvested Seminole pumpkins, aboriginal Floridians sliced and dried the fruit.

    You don't have to limit yourself to eating the flesh of these pumpkins, though. Young, green fruits can be harvested and eaten without peeling. The beautiful yellow flowers are also edible: raw, stuffed, or even fried!

    Here's a fun fact: the name "Chassahowitza," given to a region on the gulf in Southwest Florida by the Seminole people, means "pumpkin hanging place." It's likely that the pumpkins they were referring to were Seminole pumpkins, or a related variety.
    Seminole pumpkins take the summer heat and humidity in stride, and they're relatively pest- and disease-free. These pumpkins are resistant to the vine borers and downy mildew that can plague other summer vegetables. But keep an eye out for caterpillar infestations, and if you notice that your plants are being munched on, you can hand pick off the pests or use microbial pesticides like Bt.

    In North and Central Florida, seeds can be planted in the spring; gardeners in South Florida have the opportunity to plant Seminole pumpkin in the spring or fall. These productive vines can grow up to 25 feet, so give them room to spread. The Seminole people planted the vines below trees, which served as natural trellises, but feel free to use your garden trellis of choice.

    These plants require little maintenance on the part of the gardener; some even claim they thrive on neglect. As your vines grow, they may become weighed down by the pumpkins—this is normal for fruiting vines and not something to worry about. When watering your Seminole pumpkins, do so in the early morning. While these vines don't suffer from disease and pests the same way other squashes and pumpkins do, some gardeners have had issues with gummy stem blight. You can help prevent this fungal disease by keeping mulch away from the base of your vine.

    Within 60 to 90 days after planting, you should be ready to harvest your first crop of Seminole pumpkins. Once harvested, they should be stored in a cool, dry place. Your vine should continue producing pumpkins up until the first frost of the year. Seminole pumpkin can be used as a substitute for other pumpkins or butternut squash when cooking.

    If you need more information on growing this delicious—and often forgotten—traditional Florida vegetable, contact your local county Extension office. Also highly recommended is this classic paper, "The Sturdy Seminole Pumpkin Provides Much Food with Little Effort," by the esteemed tropical plant expert Julia Morton of the University of Miami, published in the 1975 Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society (Vol 88).
    Red Ivy Gourd. fully ripe, as sweet fruit.
    [​IMG] Picked green for salad vegie or to pickle. Taste like normal cucumber.
    Ivy Gourd Tindora or Dondakaya is a widely consumed vegetable in India, rich in beta-carotene, and available in India through out the year. The small, stubby, green colored vegetables which grow on aggressive perennial (vines) are used to prepare delicious stuffed curries, stews, pickles, salads and stir fries. It can be harvested at the green unripe stage or when red. The young shoots and leaves can also be eaten as greens and the fruits can be eaten raw.
    This plant with it's fruit is said to have many herbal uses related to diabetes.
    NOTE: This (vine) tends to take over quickly and therefore can be invasive. It's recommended to grow it in a contained kitchen garden or hanging basket only. We count on you in being a responsible gardener.
    Red Noodle - Asparagus Long Bean.
    High-yielding burgundy beans.

    16-20" long beans are borne in clusters of up to four beans each. Healthy, vigorous plants. Sweet flavor compares to Gita. Burgundy color will fade when cooked. Red seeds.
    Additional things I am considering are: Sweet Acerola/Barbados Cherry trees from seed. Chinese Wild Yams a vigorous vine with edible root that can substitute for the common white potato, but has more protein and less starch. Next Native Florida Wild Everglades Cherry Tomato. These tomatoes will probably thrive and produce but I overlooked their tiny size (smaller than a dime). I might have to kill some other larger cherry tomatoes as well. I will be happy to entertain suggestions as long as they are heirloom varieties as I would like to save seed. Also I am thinking of buying some plants that I could not find seed for. Yacon is one. Happy Gardening
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  2. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    You certainly have some unusual veggies and fruits there. It will be very interesting to see how they turn out. Best of luck!

    We're doing the normal crops: carrots, green onions, cabbage, lettuce green beans...normal stuff
  3. oldman11

    oldman11 Monkey+++

    Sweet potatoes,Irish potatoes,sweet corn,string beans,squash,purple hull peas,turnip greens,butter beans peppers,and other things here in the south.
  4. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Love that Corn , BUT here in the other side of the land in the PNW , that would only sprout
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  5. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Cattle take up my energy, although I have grown large gardens in my AO in the past. Dry land farming means adapt at each day's change of weather.

    Still and all, do have seeds to plant and hope to survive on stores and meat till a garden would come in. Good part of that plan is we only have one thing to guard at a time. Meat and milk can supply a lot of energy and trade goods.
  6. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Early English Peas and spinach, planting this week in the greenhouse. Later when it warms up, say mid April, black eyed peas, okra, Rutger tomatoes, potatoes, yellow squash, watermelons, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, onions, jalapeno peppers, acorn squash, some tobacco, and maybe some barley for my famous Homestead Black Ale homebrew. I grow a lot of veggies every year, all done by hand digging, no machinery, and all open pollinated non-hybred crops that I can save my own seed from for next year.
  7. GOG

    GOG Angry American Site Supporter

    Interesting veggies. Good luck with them.
    I've been looking at seeds online, it's that time of year.
    Seepalaces, Gator 45/70 and tacmotusn like this.
  8. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    The wife put in her seed order for the next five to ten years , just in case . They are all heritage type .
    Corn is a PITA if my neighbour farmer plants his fodder corn on his side field ..
    It will cross pollinate with out eating corn . We use wet coast seeds to the supplier of new seeds . She has 3 suitcase of seeds in order & filed by year also.
    It's a little early here to start , last night we had 3" of rain , tonight maybe 2"

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  9. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Yea , those are a few unusual veggies. I've got a friend that said he had some new tomato seeds from Russia last year he was going to try. He said the tomato's grew solid white. I never did get the chance to see or try them.
  10. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    [​IMG] something like this from Baker Creek maybe? Item Listing | Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  11. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Possibly , I never did get a chance to see or try them.
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  12. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    Just an idea I had is driving all these fruit and vegie oddities. We have 2 Farmer's Markets on different days, Thursday and Saturday very close to me. I have an old Vitamix blender. Anything that can be juiced can be made into Fruit leathers for healthy snacking, jams jellies and preserves, syrups, candies, added to quickbread loaves etc. I like the idea that they are rare and unique. I think I can charge a reasonable premium as long as I put out a local tasty quality product that no one else is providing. Of course in selling these, I will have samples available along with crackers. I might be able to fill my bluejean overall pockets with money fleeced from the gentile elite upper class lookiloos and touristas.
  13. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    You should try water melon radish they are really tasty in salad
  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @tacmotusn I had to look up most of those things you listed. I am very interested in the naranjilla. It is one of those fruits that allegedly tastes good and has many health benefits. 9 Surprising Benefits of Lulo | Organic Facts

    I am going to read some more and see if I can find a plant locally.
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  15. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Same things I have grown every year for the last 40 years :)
  16. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    One of our plant vendors started growing and selling the potted plants a few years ago and she sells out of them fast, like in the first 2-3 weeks of market season and taking pre orders for the next market season. SO there must be something right about them, personally I didn't find much use for them but I am not a big citrus type stuff fan to start with.
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  17. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Your wife and I would get along CS. She sounds wonderful.
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  18. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    It seems like you may have a fungal issue affecting your thumb. I recommend using an anti-fungal for the control of 'black thumb'....just read and follow the MSDS and the relevant product's usage instructions. Sometimes fungal infections can be controlled by improving airflow to the affected area, by judicious pruning. Cannibals should be advised of the appropriate withholding period once the appropriate anti-fungal is applied to your thumb; you wouldn't want to fall foul of your State's consumer protection laws or public liabity litigation would you? :LOL:
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  19. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Thinking of putting in an early/spring garden (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, peas, etc), to knock out some cooler weather veggies. Then 'maters & peppers (and who knows what else?), later on. With a healthy dose of herbs & flowers, to encourage the good bugs, and discourage the evil bugs, of course!
    tacmotusn likes this.
  20. oldman11

    oldman11 Monkey+++

    If it don’t quit raining here in north Louisiana I won’t have a garden. It’ll take a week of sunshine to we’re I can get in the garden,o’well.
    tacmotusn likes this.
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    I love these [IMG]
    Thread by: Ganado, Mar 8, 2019, 8 replies, in forum: The Green Patch
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