Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mangosteen Madness

Purple Mangosteen With DIY Soda Garden Cloche

Mangosteen Madness

Mangosteens are the most challenging plant we are growing.  Specifically, the purple mangosteens.  It was time to change things up and try something different and in the process we learned a few things.

The purple mangosteens are the goldilocks of the garcinias for sure. Per our favorite Etsy seller, the mangosteens require a deep planter in order to allow the tap root freedom to go as deep into the soil as possible.  We had been looking for a proper, reasonably priced pot to do this and then settled on some really nice looking garbage bins that are 13" wide and 26" tall.

Revealing The Roots
Yellow Mangosteen

We checked the mangosteens, and amazingly the Yellow and Lemon mangosteen roots had reached the bottom of their 14" tree pots since the last time we re-potted them.  The yellow mangosteen has the most aggressively growing roots of all three types.  This is most likely why people have been trying to graft purple mangosteens onto yellow mangosteen root stock. If I ever get there, you know what I will be trying...

Lemon Mangosteen Roots
The lemon mangosteen also had significant root growth which spread across the top and reached to the distant bottom of the treepot and growing through the soil cloth put underneath to prevent soil loss.

These two are the troopers and are doing really well in a small protected area of the yard with limited filtered sun exposure, regular watering with a watering system and light fertilization.

And, here comes the wah-wah... The purple mangosteens.  I have had one purple mangosteen longer than the others and before I bought the lemon and yellow mangosteens.  The leaves are slow to grow, as are the roots.  The leaves seem to be getting dehydrated, but it could be over watering because there is no
Purple Mangosteen Roots
new leaf growth either. There is no angst like a slow growing new trial don't really know what I'm doing plant growing angst.  The good news?  White root tips. That is all the encouragement I need to keep going... and no rot smell... there is that also.

Thai Purple Mangosteen
A bigger moment of trepidation was due to the accidental breaking of a Thai Purple Mangosteen tap root. ARGH!  If that does not cause plant death, then I will consider myself very lucky.  It was my best growing one too.  :(

Because of the breakage, two were repotted together... just in case.  I still have two more.  Now that they have their tall pots, they also get their own DIY 1 liter bottle garden cloche.  With the upsizing it is really difficult to know where to put them for now so daily hand watering is on order until we get them situated.

Mangosteens In New 'Planters'

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Gardeners Paradigm

Gardeners Paradigm

It has been some time since posting.  The biggest responsibility of the delayed blogging is a distraction after acquiring 36 acres in the high desert area and gathering information about gardening in the high desert, etc. Nothing to see there... yet.

In doing some research, I happened upon a permaculture site where dry farming was discussed and a mention of the book 'Dry Farming'.  Luckily, it was last published around 1911, so it was a free pickup and a long read... still reading. 

After researching that a bit, this article appeared about a farmer who
When In Drought article
'doesn't water' crops, which seemed to validate the book.  The methods are not new, but new to our generation.

“The hardest part about dry farming is actually convincing people it works,” Bucklin says. “But in places like Spain, France and Italy, pretty much everybody dry-farms because it makes better wine.” Irrigation has even been banned in parts of Europe to preserve the quality of certain grape varieties. ~ quote from linked article

Tomato Hornworm on Pepper Plant

Dead Garden

Aside from the distraction, we also experienced a total annual/vegetable garden collapse.  This occurred during September, maybe.  After having the plants started, the white flies came.  The white flies decimated most of the vines.  To help get rid of the flies, we took the shade cover off, and all the plants promptly died.  I really hate the white flies. 

And yet, I hate these fat squishy caterpillars even more than I detest the white flies. No matter when we plant, they are present almost year round.  We don't usually see them until half the plant is defoliated and then they are pretty hard to miss. :(

On A Good Note

We have a very prolific luffa gourd plant that all the bees just love.  There is no lack of pollinators on these luffa flowers at any time. Hummingbirds, honey and carpenter bees are all over it almost all the time.

This is creating quite a luffa glut.  I'm not sure what we will be doing with all the luffa excess we have going on here.  We will have tons of seeds for sure.