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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:10 pm 
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marcat wrote:
I have used bamboo for trellises by drilling a hole into the first internode and ramming a rebar up it. I try to keep the bamboo a few inches above ground contact. Seem to last well. Use punting pole mainly.
MarCat


The reason I use the 10ft steel pipes is because they are very structurally sound, creating straight angles, and you can also drill holes in them with a steel cutting drill bit. I made a huge expansion on my luffa trellis which should still get filled up in another 3 weeks so that it is more like 28ft X 42ft with a couple other attached trellises on the side as well. The longest luffa vine is already about 12-13ft away from the end of these trellises so if it still gets taken over very easily, I might have to add another 1000 square feet by August just so they can produce well. These luffas seem to have trouble producing fruits when too many vines are in the same place competing for light, and my biggest vine is already over 2/3 inches in diameter this early in the season so I expect the vines to really run out. 10ft pipes are pretty easy to install as shown here, and they should last for many years. They are purposely made up to 8ft off the ground so the grass is easy to mow without ducking, and so that if a deer manages to get past the deer net, they won't be able to reach the luffa leaves anyways. I'm actually surprised how these nets which are weak enough so you can simply break them by walking through it will discourage deer from coming into an area.

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One another note, I'm noticing that the longest pumpkin/butternut/ other ground running vines are already getting up to 10ft in length so I'll have to start training them to climb up the trees as they are running out of space. These vines can grow up to 8 inches per day on a hot summer day.

I've also wondered about; How long do blackberry vines live for? I'm not sure if they produce on their 2nd year, and then die off the following year if if they continue to produce for a few years. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:42 pm 
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Steve, I can't wait to see that trellis covered in vines! Put a couple of chairs under there, as it seems like it will be a nice place to sit and relax for a while. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:31 am 
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That's a pretty good idea as it does provide very good shade. Last year, 2 of these vines crowded out the trellis way too soon so I had to double it this year, and based on the rate of growth they are showing, the trellis should be completely covered in vines about 3 weeks into August as long as the weather stays nice.

The one reason this type of angled luffa can grow these enormous networks of vines is because the pipeline or main vine will simply keep getting fatter. Last year, the bigger of the 2 vines exceeded 1 inch in diameter by a bit, and this year, the fattest vine is already about 0.7 inches in diameter at the base, so this definitely gives them an advantage in producing almost an endless supply of energy. The only problem is that their root systems are so vast, and they end up drying out the entire garden unless I keep the sprinkler on the , especially when they start producing a lot of fruits. My bigger one produced around 250 fruits that were harvested at around 2ft by 2 inches in diameter, so with 7 plants this year, and doubling up my trellis, I will have lots of this stuff to share.

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:53 am 
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About 2 weeks after snipping off the ends, the laterals have really come on strong with the longest one up to about 3ft long. Once they get too long, I may snip those ends so the laterals produce even more laterals. The foliage is getting thick enough to hide the pole now.

Here's the blackberry bush, starting to ripen its fruits now.
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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:36 am 
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dont be surprised if the laterals get almost, if not as big a the main cane! Looks great

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:40 pm 
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Location: Midwest, USDA Z5 / AHS Heat Z5
stevelau1911 wrote:
I've also wondered about; How long do blackberry vines live for? I'm not sure if they produce on their 2nd year, and then die off the following year if if they continue to produce for a few years. Does anyone have any experience with this?


Blackberry canes only appear to last through one winter, including the varieties that flower in both the first and second year. Most varieties only flower and produce on the second year from canes that survived the winter.


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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:55 pm 
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Thanks.

If that is the case, it would make sure the clump gets divided every 4 years or so as there would be too many canes in one spot over time as the clump expands, and doesn't grow like a tree.

I'm finding that blueberry plants are much different. They also produce canes however their canes can last many years.

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Water spinach is surprisingly easy to grow and fast growing given moist and fertile soil.
Most will even grow in waters, ponds. It tastes good no matter how you cook it.


Fresh Asian Penny Wort juice is very tasty. My penny worts all shriveled up and died over the winter indoor. I thought they were gonners, but apparently they have deposited hundreds of tiny seeds, and it's growing back nicely. But, to have sustainable harvest, I'll need at least 10X this amount.


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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:29 am 
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Just some pics.

Blackberries are starting to ripen.
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Air potatoes are forming quite a bit earlier than usual so they are probably starting to swell up underground already too.
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The pears should be ready to harvest in about 3 weeks.
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I just harvested my German red hardneck garlic. I wanted to get more of these so I purposely let all of them produce scapes.
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Apples are already edible, but still nowhere near their full size.
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Zucchinis that are completely neglected seem to still produce fairly regularly.
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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:15 am 
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One plant I think I may have never shown is my other apple tree which is producing very heavily, but due to no pruning, the apples are staying pretty small, yet they are still edible. They are real apples too, not crab-apples.
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Watermelons are always interesting to watch as they start out so tiny, but swell up all of a sudden.
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I can't believe my peach trees started from seed are already breaking the 3ft mark. Perhaps they can produce fruits on year 2 eh.
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Getting bigger
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The cool part about pumpkins/ butternut, or any of the strong smelling type vining gourds is that the deer never touch them so they can simply crawl all over the lawn, sending down vine roots as they go, and producing dozens of fruits.
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My new dioscorea alata potato vines looks like it will start competing with the wintermelons in a couple weeks.
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Here's a disgusting fly looking to lay eggs on my musa basjoo bananas.
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Carrots are getting up to around 1.5 inches in diameter so they should be ready to harvest soon.
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Canteloupe vines are starting to produce. I wonder how many fruits can be produced per vine? They appear to be pretty productive. I've found that deer will eat the leaves on this vegetable once in a while but don't devour it as they don't seem to like the taste of the leaves so I don't net these off either.
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One broke off here, but that doesn't matter as there's a similar sized one on the next node down.
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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:57 am 
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Just an update.

That large canteloupe in the previous post is now almost 8 inches long as they seem to prefer elongating first, and then rounding out later.

My blackberry tree is starting to produce branches that are dropping under their own weight so I will soon need to cut all the ends hoping that tertiary laterals will form, and really fill out.

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The robins used to hang around the cherry trees waiting for the fruits to ripen, but they've moved over to the raspberry plants now which are almost done producing. They will need to head over to my late everbearing strawberries next.
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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:41 am 
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Does anyone know how many canteloupes are supposed to be produced by a single vine on average?

I'm getting some of them that are only producing a couple while my heaviest producer looks like it is looking to produce over a dozen of them. They look like they will become full sized canteloupes too. I never expected this much production to happen on a melon which should be fairly limited in the number of fruits.

I just don't have any experience with this melon, but I knew that the last time I grew watermelons, they typically only produced 1-3 fruits per vine.

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:22 am 
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I think it depends. Some cantelope vines can get liek 8 feet long.... One would imagine that could hold a dozen melons easy. I do think I read they produce better the more you harvest...... but that is a bit redundant for melons I think, seeing as you can have all stages of development onone vine.

For me, the vines never have gotten more then 3 feet and only one year did I get something. Theyre tricky to grow at their best....

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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:05 am 
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Just an update on the edibles. The apples and pears are already up to harvesting size with some apples this year getting as big as the typical store apples since not too many of them are being produced. The carrots have been harvested. The watermelon in that picture from before is about the size of an average canteloupe, and growing. All the luffas, butternuts, wintermelons, are producing like crazy. The blackberry plant is now producing tertiary branches so it's looking more and more like a tree. I just planted a few of my peach trees from seed this year which were approaching 4ft and root-bounding their 5 gallon pots.

My biggest canteloupe vine is producing around 20 fruits so far with vines up to around 8ft long, and the surprising part is that they appear to all be on their way to reaching normal size, even when there are multiple melons on the same vine. Here are some pictures. My biggest one is 9 inches in length and just needs to fatten out.
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The one plant which seems to be struggling to make progress is the maranta arundinacea or arrowroot which was grown from seed, but just appears to be a very slow growing plant maybe because it is supposed to grow in the tropics. Here's a couple of them.
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 Post subject: Re: Edible perennials?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Eveything looks good! My cantelope are doing "eff" all. I have to figure out the secret here...

also about the arrowroot. They grow fairly slow but once they settle, they take off. They prefer warm shade in my experience

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