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Subject: UPDATE: Mario's Italian Fig Cuttings & Others Replies: 19
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,180
Thanks Hershell. It's rare that the whole fam is off at the same time. So, yes. Gotta jump at the opportunity.

Rest assured though everyone. I'll get right back to it on Friday.

Subject: UPDATE: Mario's Italian Fig Cuttings & Others Replies: 19
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,180
See notice in post #1.

Subject: UPDATE: Mario's Italian Fig Cuttings & Others Replies: 19
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,180
Hey James. Yes, unfortunately, it really looks like that Unk Pastilliere needs pollination. I watched it start nice looking figlets 3 years in a row. Every time they would just shrivel & fall off. So maybe only those in Cali will be interested in this one. 

Subject: UPDATE: Mario's Italian Fig Cuttings & Others Replies: 19
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,180
Here are a couple other links to some of Mario's figs:

Subject: UPDATE: Mario's Italian Fig Cuttings & Others Replies: 19
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,180
EDIT 12/13/14: Any new cutting requests are suspended until after the 1st of the year. Will have some fresh new cuttings at that time :) .  

I have a good number of Mario's fig cuttings available as well as some cuttings I took from my own trees. If anyone is interested, I'm asking $3 per cutting for all varieties listed below:

Troiano Calabrese
Hardy Chicago

I will have a few more varieties after the first of the new year. Should also have a few small trees available then. I desperately need to "thin the herd". Getting to be way too many trees to take care of on my own. More on that later though.

I will try to add some links here that contain more info about some of the varieties listed. Here's one on Salce for starters:

If you want some of the cuttings above, please email me with your wish list at:

I'll get back to you with a quote after shipping costs.

Subject: Algerian Watts Replies: 7
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 968
I just got an email back from Richard. He said the only pics available are the ones Jon has here:

Guess we'll just have to get more pictures of our own fruit next summer ;) .  

Subject: Algerian Watts Replies: 7
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 968
Just wanted to bump this thread. I now have two small trees of the variety Algerian RW and would like any additional info. Anyone gotten ripe fruits from this one yet? Pictures would be especially helpful.


Subject: My stepover fig project Replies: 91
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 5,484
Ah yes. Upon closer inspection of the picture, I see now. Sounds like you have a plan firmly in mind. Look forward to seeing how it pans out for you this summer. Thanks.

Subject: Harvey's New Fig Orchard Replies: 114
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 5,243

I'm sure Bob will clarify but those look like some variety of Morels. Quite tastey and prized buy "shroom" hunters.

The ones you're referring to look much less interesting and unassuming (not to mention - not recommended). Appearances are almost always deceptive when it comes to mushrooms.

Nice pic Bob.

Sorry Harvey, almost forgot to compliment you on that orchard. Very nice indeed. I wish we could grow ours unprotected like that. I'll have to settle for the step-over method & cover them in winter I guess.

Look forward to seeing your update pics.

Subject: My stepover fig project Replies: 91
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 5,484
Hey Will. 

Looks like they're off to a good start. It's always nice to see that first growth of the season :) .

Are you planning to train the uprights as a single row or are you planning to lean them outward into that sort-of-a "V" configuration? I imagine you could get away with the shoots being a bit closer together in the latter config.

I have 4 trees in the ground, so far, that I'm working on growing in a quasi step-over fashion. Have plans to do a bunch more. All contingent on how much time and effort I want to put into it in one season.

Thanks for posting the pics. 

Subject: Fig Tree Mauled (again) Replies: 38
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,603
Hey Paul. Sorry to see you're having such trouble with the critters. Looks more like deer damage to me considering the damage at the tip. I guess rabbits could have pulled it down to chew on the top too though. 

I know you've had several suggestions already but here's what I'd do if I were bent on saving the tree. Similar to Grasa's suggestion, I'd lay it on it's side and cover the entire tree except for the tip and at least one node below the damaged area. Could be a little tricky to do since you want to make sure the root ball is well covered also. I think this may give you the best chance of saving it. You should also have multiple shoots to choose from by season's end. Be sure to put a cage around it before any new growth starts ;-) .

Hope this helps.

Subject: Is there something wrong with my grafts? Replies: 15
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 852
Hello Shur.

As Francisco & Chapman have pointed out, you must align the cambium layers up on the scion with the cambium on the rootstock. This is where the life of the tree flows. The video didn't seem to show the importance of that. It doesn't have to align on both sides of the rootstock but on one side at least.

I've done many cleft grafts and I usually try to be a little more careful and precise in making my cuts than the old fellow in the video. Granted, he may have a great success rate but I was squirming in my seat a little while watching him "whittle" on those pieces of scion LOL. Just my way of thinking I guess ;). 

As jdsfrance mentions, the scion still looks viable. Maybe you could take things apart and re-do them. If not on the same branch then maybe on a different section of the nursing tree. Don't dismay. It looks like your parent trees are still in a good flush of growth. This is the perfect time to graft figs outdoors IMO.

What part of the world are you in? Do you know your agricultural zone?

I hope our combined information is helpful.

Subject: How to stimulate nodal activity? Replies: 32
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,016
So you've planted the cutting on its side now right Rafael? If that's correct, leaving a bud or two slightly exposed or very near the surface might help. A nice warm environment will encourage growth also.

Under warm, favorable conditions a cutting may go ahead and grow though, even if upside down. It may take a little longer but I think it should have grown anyway. I recently rec'd a small tree (rooted cutting) that had obviously been rooted upside down. The top node had started out growing down but made a sharp turn and grew upward toward the sun. It came with a bonus too. It had started branching below the surface and I was able to prune off two very small rooted starts that were below the soil line. I now have two small treelets growing in addition to the parent rooted cutting. Nice bonuses :) !

Subject: OT: i'm noticing that my hands are getting really dry. Replies: 26
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,395
Yes, working with soil/dirt of any kind sure seems to dry out the hands. I've used Aveeno lotions for years. I usually apply it every night before bed. I don't use gloves or anything like that. I just let it absorb before turning in. It's worked well for me. May have to try some of these other products mentioned too though.

Mention of the Corn Huskers and Bag Balm has reminded me of my Grandfather. He milked Jersey cows by hand for decades - just one small part of managing a 100 acre KY farm - the old fashion way. He used the Corn Huskers on himself and the Bag Balm on the cows. Some of my best childhood memories involved learning how to milk those cows with my Grandpa. Amazing stuff ;-) .

Subject: Breba 2014 Replies: 23
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,029
The figs are looking beautiful Sue. I am doing my best to patiently wait on winter to be over. It just keeps persisting for most of us. Even here in SW KY it's going to be in the twenties for the next three nights. I know it is "coming soon" though. Just not soon enough this year :-/ .

As for the Mocking Birds......there's room for all of God's creatures......on my plate right next to my mashed potatoes ;-) !  

I kid of course. Too bad eating songbirds isn't legal in most states.

Now Dove, Quail, & Squirrel (also fig thieves) on the other hand.........

Subject: OT. Calling all Blackberry Experts! Replies: 11
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 658
Hey Suzi.

Wild blackberries are always nice. There are so many that grow down near the creeks and bottoms in my area. The wild ones seem to have the most intense flavor but the thornless ones are nice because you can pick freely from them without getting scratches all over.

If you ever come across the Kiowa variety, I'd recommend picking up a few plants. They are a thorned variety but the berries are quite possibly the largest of all blackberries. The flavor also comes closer to the wild types. I can attest to both the berry size as well as the flavor. One of the best! I only have two plants of that one right now or I'd be happy to share. If you'd like to look into ordering some, I think Edible Landscaping carries Kiowa.

If you'd like to try the Arapaho thornless variety shoot me an email and we'll talk about it.

There are many other thornless varieties out there that are just great too. Some are relatively new on the scene and of those, some are reported to have greatly improved flavor over some of the others.

I have this one variety that someone gave me. I don't know the variety for sure but I like it best out of the three thornless vars I have. He said it might be either Prime Jim or Prime Jan -?

Many good ones around to choose from though.

Blackberries are also considered to be one of those "super foods" that are very good (even medicinal) for the human body & mind. As are figs ;-).

Subject: Please Help Identify Plant Replies: 11
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 529
Yep! If you have a sensitivity to it, you might want to steer clear of it. Maybe give it a dose of Gly-4 ;) .

Fortunate for me, I have never been sensitive to Poison Ivy. I can pull it bare handed, rub it on my face, and never scratch a bit. My poor wife on the other hand...........

Subject: My Frankenfig Replies: 141
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 10,730
I really like that graft. I'd never seen the bark peeled back and used in that way. It stands to reason though that the more cambium surfaces you have in contact with each other the better your odds of success should be. I will have to give it a try this spring. Thanks for sharing that.

Looking forward to seeing more progress pics of that awesome "Frankenfig" tree this summer :-) .

Subject: How Did You Loose Your Tree Tag? Replies: 38
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,130
Wind, sun and moisture are always working against me as far as tags go. Those cheap little aluminum tags were nice for awhile but the first wind storm usually finds a way of twisting them off pretty easily (good thing I'm in the habit of writing on the tree itself or having an extra label in the pots).

Those Elmer's paint markers have come to be my preferred tool for labeling my trees. I've marked on the bark of the trees on occasion but that usually doesn't last more than a year. As the trees grow the writing begins to stretch and becomes unreadable in a season or two. I've found that white markers stand out the best when writing on the tree itself.

My best answer so far has been using the red paint markers on recycled white plastic window blinds. I break them into whatever length I want and stick 'em in the pots or in the ground next to the tree. Those heavy wide blinds work the best for in-ground stuff. The red paint really shows up well on the white window blinds. It may not be necessary but it's nice when I can see the names of my trees from 10-15' away.

For larger in-ground trees, I'm considering using 2' lengths of PVC water line. Use a heat gun to flatten one end, write the name on the flattened section & poke it in the ground next to the tree. The flattening part may not be necessary but I figure it would give more flat surface to write on. 

The paint seems to last indefinitely on most plastics and doesn't fade in the sun.

I'm pretty set with this method until I hear something I like better ;) .

Subject: A Visit From The Dept Of Agriculture Replies: 65
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 3,679
@ Aaron (responding to post #37). Believe me, It wasn't my intention to try to get anyone to go against the law. Based on the limited info that was originally provided, I honestly thought someone was just messing with Coop. So, I certainly wasn't being gutsy. I know full well that no Federal agency should be taken lightly. There's simply no winning scenario for someone breaking the law.

I agree, we should all be keenly interested in what's legal and what's not when it comes to the plants we all care so much about. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of enforcement agents. It would be a sad thing for any of us to lose every plant we worked so hard to propagate & maintain just because of one piece of plant material that was obtained illegally. Really some food for thought....

No harm done Aaron. Thanks for the reply.

Now we return you to our regularly scheduled topic - FIGS :-) !  

Subject: My stepover fig project Replies: 91
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 5,484
Quite alright. I understand about the whole 'too many projects' thing. 

I just wasn't sure if things had warmed up enough yet down your way. Maybe a little later you can share an update - once things start shooting up again (as well as once you get caught up a little ;).

Subject: A Visit From The Dept Of Agriculture Replies: 65
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 3,679
Got it coop. I didn't catch earlier that it was written on the back of her business card. Additional clarifications you've added in post #29 now make it clear that this was a professional visit. This wasn't quite so clear in your first post. Sorry to hear that this happened. Thankfully you didn't go through with the transaction.

Aaron. No hand-written note left in your mailbox should be taken seriously unless it's in a proper postal envelope with legitimate postage. With the limited information that was outlined in coop's first post, my "delusions" would have been correct. Obviously, the fact that this information was written of the back of a professional business card from someone in the the USDA, negates any "misleading" suspicions. This was not originally made clear.

Also Aaron, in the future, please weigh your words more carefully before accusing someone of acting delusional. Really, you never know when someone is screwing with you just for kicks. My concerns could have been quite legit.....with all due respect.

Subject: My stepover fig project Replies: 91
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 5,484
Hey Wills.

I'm fully set and ready to start a few of these myself this season. I just have to decide which "version" I want to go with. Haven't decided if I'm going to do one horizontal trunk with a single row of verticals or if I want to try two rows of verticals (both coming off of single main trunk) leaning in opposite directions. May just end up experimenting with both or even a 3rd or 4th option just to see which one(s) I like best.  

How are your stepovers looking so far this season? I'm guessing they've started to put on some early growth for you already-?

I also really like Dave's project here. Like yours, he gives such clear photographic detail:  

This whole fig growing thing just gets more fun every year ;) !

Subject: A Visit From The Dept Of Agriculture Replies: 65
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 3,679
Personally, if I had rec'd a handwritten note in my mailbox, I would likely not even responded to it. What government agency would do that? None that I know of. You would have gotten a formal letter or a knock on your door, not a handwritten note. In my opinion coop, you've been conned/duped into calling the USDA on your own. Did they actually know who you were when you called or did you have to first give them that info?

Who else did you tell about winning (or bidding on) that auction before you got the note? That's the question I'd be asking myself. Start with the most likely rat and work your way down the list.

Subject: Does your Spouse think you are crazy? Replies: 70
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 2,111
Great thread Suzi. I still get the "eye roll" from time to time when I receive a new plant or cuttings. Not quite as much as early on. Selling some plant material occasionally has helped a bit. Having a check or Paypal balance to show for has helped to reduce all the questions of my sanity to "that's nice" or a simple "Uhh huh" instead ;-) .

I think she's also figured out that my fig/fruit trees have proven to be one of her greatest forms of leverage when she needs me to do something for her. It's pure evil for someone to threaten my babies like that but she's actually referenced it a time or two! How could she even joke about such a thing?! Now who's crazy?

Jon (@ post #26). You know we all aspire to reach that level of Grand Master fig-growing-Jedi. One day we my finally snatch the pebble and graduate. But for now we must remain "grasshoppers" and only dream of our own fields of figs ;-)) .

Dennis. Obviously, the car has to go. Back her onto the drive and give those fig trees some breathing room! Just pat her on the hood and remind her 'it's only for the winter'. She'll be fine I'm sure ;) .

Subject: LaRadek BT grafts Replies: 3
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 398
Yes, Rex. I've done this a number of times. Planning to do more this year. Has really saved me a time or two. Especially on some that are hard to get.

Subject: Long inter-node cuttings Replies: 22
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,247
I've been experimenting (using the term loosely) with Clonex as well as Dip-N-Grow. I was using the latter at only a 5X dilution though. Too early yet for results on those that I've used the Dip-N-Grow. We'll see how it goes.

I appreciate all the leg work you've done. I love the results impirical data provides but I have a hard time with the whole "seeing it through" thing. Guess I'm too easily distracted by the "next idea" I may often have (kind of a battle between creativity & logic I suppose) ;-) .  

Subject: Long inter-node cuttings Replies: 22
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,247
Thank you Pete. Interesting results. They obviously benefited to some degree from the dilute MG. Did you use the rooting hormone on the little cuttings like you had been with many of your others?

Subject: Long inter-node cuttings Replies: 22
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,247
That's a great looking "one-noder" Pete. Did you plant them directly into a potting mix? Some mix of your own making? That little cutting looks very happy ;) .

Subject: Long inter-node cuttings Replies: 22
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,247
I'm pretty sure that's right James. It seems that when a fig sends up a sucker from what appears to be below the soil line, it's actually coming from a node that was very low on the tree (or from a section of tree that had gotten buried). This is based on my personal observations as well as what some others have indicated here on the forum. If someone has experienced something different, it would be nice to hear it.........

Subject: Long inter-node cuttings Replies: 22
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,247
James. Pretty sure you'd be wasting your time. There has to be a node for a branch to develop. I think Jon experimented with this at one time and never saw any plant growth. It might actually start some roots but that would be short lived without top growth.
No, roots alone wont grow a new plant either. Apparently figs don't form nodes in the roots.

Subject: Back after rough transition Replies: 17
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 939
Whoa John! Sorry to hear you had such a rough time during the move :-/ . Sounds like it was one thing after another. A move alone is hard enough work, let alone all the other stuff you had to deal with. Knowing a little about what was in some of those boxes, I'm sure you did get a "paleo-style" workout ;-) ! Maybe you could market a new DVD workout along those lines - "The Caveman Workout 3000" - LOL!  Glad to hear that things are leveling out for you now though.

Sounds like you've ended up with a really nice place. If it were me, I know I'd be out there exploring that preserve with my son. Sounds real nice.  When you get time maybe you could tell us a little more about the watering system your gong to be using - ollas? I did a quick search on the word. Looks pretty interesting. Sort of like an in-ground SIP huh? I'd sure have to make a ton of them though.  

Here's one link I found about them: 

Subject: Long inter-node cuttings Replies: 22
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,247
I think leaving all parts in tact and starting it in sphagnum is the right move. This way you'll give the cutting it's own options about where it wants to start roots. As we all have likely experienced (& as Jim pointed out), fig cuttings don't always start roots at a node.

Even though the wood above the node will eventually die, the cutting is using the energy reserves from that area of the cutting to start roots & growth. But in re-reading it seems you may have already cut away the part above the node.

A final thought. If you ever get a cutting like this again, you could consider potting it on its side with just the node exposed - or just barely below the soil line.

Subject: OT: Looking for Apple Scion Replies: 24
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,208
Anyone know how to undo that annoying "hyperlink" under the text in my post above? 

Subject: OT: Looking for Apple Scion Replies: 24
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,208
@ Jeff. I learned all I needed to know by watching youtube videos and practicing on a few branches over the winter one year. I also looked at a few still images and instructions on Bass's website (treesofjoy) but it was really the videos that helped me the most. I've mentioned this fella on other threads before because I was able to follow his grafting instructions far better than many others I came across. The British accent might be a little distracting for some folks but it's not real thick so not a problem for me anyway. He's got a few hundred vids so you'll have to scan through a bit to find the ones specifically on grafting. You can take a look if you want:   

@ Frank. Go for it. I was very much in a similar position as you. It was something I had thought about on many occasions and even attempted a time or two but failed because I was missing a couple important basic principles. Thanks to this forum and the wonder that is youtube ;-) I was able to fill in the blanks pretty quickly. Practicing on some dormant branches that I cut form one of my mature apple trees, really helped me to bring it all together too. There's nothing like personal experience to fill in the blanks. I practiced several grafts but finally settled on the Cleft Graft as my favorite. Granted, there are better grafts that form a more solid union, but the simplicity and versatility of the cleft has served me quite well so far.     

@ Neil. I would be happy to get a re-do on some of those. I really thought I had succeeded with the Spitzenburg but I sure can't find it if I did. I know the Rubinette didn't take. So, I'll send you a PM & we can talk about working out the details. Thank you.

Subject: Question about Preto and Black Madeira Replies: 20
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,168
Christy. Whatever  you do, don't get rid of Preto in favor of Black Madeira just yet. Granted I haven't tasted Blk Mad yet but Preto is one of my most prized figs to date. Maybe I'm a little different but I like the standout, unique taste of Preto. If Blk Mad is even better, then I really better get busy babying mine ;) .

Subject: OT: Looking for Apple Scion Replies: 24
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,208
For those who've offered but your trees are in bloom, it's too late to take scion. You'd be cutting off potential fruit and the cutting would likely just die. But thank you anyway. Late fall/early winter is best time to take scion and store it in your fridge. It can also be taken this time of year depending on where you are.

In my zone, I won't start seeing apple blooms until April (hopefully). Any earlier and they would get hit by late frosts. So, based on what padsfan said in post #9, Anna will most likely be too early for me. My area has a bad habit of warming up too early. Things start to bloom and then we get one of those notorious late frosts. So late setting fruits work better here than early varieties. Our summers are plenty long enough and warm weather usually extends into November. I guess Anna is off the list for that reason alone.

Neil. Yes, it was you that sent me a bunch of nice apple scion last year. Many of those took for me. Aside from Wickson, I ended up with Golden Gem, Virginia Gold, Gold Rush, Ark Black, and Early Fuji. I'm sure these will all turn out to be some great varieties as long as they pull through this winter ok. I was just looking for the others as some that I was sure the fam likes as well as to use up the rootstocks I have. I also have a "water sprout" coming up next to one of my apple trees that's dying. So it would be nice to graft a replacement there. I'm roughly in the same USDA zone as you. How do your Honeycrisp and Gala do for you there?

Frank, I got my rootstock from Raintree. Mainly because they sell small orders. They were reasonable enough and their rootstocks seem to be of pretty good quality too. You just need to read the descriptions to determine which one seems to fit your needs : 

Subject: OT: Looking for Apple Scion Replies: 24
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,208
I think you're right. I believe I recall now who I got some apple scion from a season or two ago - maybe last year. 

Pretty sure I got several varieties of Kaki from you last year. Yep, I just found where I made up an invoice on a trade we did. I sent you a bunch of fig stuff & you sent me scion of Kaki, Pluots, and Peach. Maybe some other stuff but those were what I had recorded. Keeping records really comes in handy doesn't it? Unfortunately I didn't keep track of every variety you sent. Just made note of each species.

It is becoming clear now though that I did succeed with most varieties you sent. I also shared some of that material with a buddy. Hopefully between the two of us, we have some of everything :) . I'll have to do a walk through soon & make note of all the ones that I got from you.

You will be interested to know that I grafted 3 of the Kaki persimmons onto native rootstock down on the creek. All 3 took.
I'd got permission from another bud of mine to graft onto some of the persimmon trees growing in on his property. Those showed exceptional first season growth. I got the Tamopan scion because I had to trim one shoot that shot up as a single 6' whip.

So, what are some of your favorite apples? 

Subject: OT: Looking for Apple Scion Replies: 24
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,208
Well, I've heard good things about Anna and I know the family likes the other two. I personally like sweet/sweet-tart and very crisp apples. 

So I ask, please do enlighten me :-) .

I"m thinking I've gotten apple scion from you in the past haven't I? If so, then I may already have some of your favorites started. Can't think of any of them but Wickson Crab at the moment. I'd have to go out with a flashlight to confirm some of the others.

Subject: OT: Looking for Apple Scion Replies: 24
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,208
I'm hoping someone here will be able to help me out.

I'm looking for scion wood from the following three apple varieties: Anna, Honeycrisp, & Gala. If you have a few pieces of each of these to offer, I only need enough to graft a tree or two for my own orchard. I have some decent apple rootstock left over from last year that will be quite suitable for my needs.

If you're a grafter too & you'd like to do some swapping, I have some scion from three varieties of oriental persimmon:
> Tamopan
> Two varieties from some trees that mario got from Italy. One has fruit that mario refers to as the "Vanilla" persimmon due to its flavor having a hint of vanilla. The other is a large yellow Hachiya type. Don't know much else about them right now. I do know which variety is which and will have them marked accordingly. Hopefully we'll learn more from mario about those two as time goes on.

The latter two scion were taken back in the fall when I visited Mario to pick fig cuttings. The Tamopan was taken last month. Both are wrapped & properly stored in my fridge.

If you're not interested in a swap but still have some of the apple scion, and wouldn't mind making some available, please let me know what you'd like for a few pieces.

Thank you!

Subject: Ultimate Fig tree labels Replies: 19
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,092
Sounds like a pretty good idea for backyard Orchardists. Where devious minds might be at a minimum! Now, a more personal rock for each tree might be even better. Once you know the rock shape and size (color) that belongs with each tree - should help in keeping things in order. Especially if you take pics of everything in the right orientation.

Boy. We really are getting board ;-/ .........

Subject: BT army ready to invade - horrible!! Replies: 22
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,378
Very true Grasa.

Subject: Visit with fig breeder Replies: 53
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 2,458

Thank you for the update. It's all very interesting stuff IMO. I especially found interesting the parts about starting from tip cuttings as well as the breeding info. More details would have been nice. But I appreciate you sharing what you did learn.  

Subject: OT: blueberries Replies: 83
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 3,140
Bob, I agree. I thought the hole width seemed a little narrow. But some folks tend to underestimate the intelligence of Kentuckians based on their funny accent. I'm gonna give UK's findings a shot just to see how it pans out. 

Yes, I think Will was saying that Sulfuric = battery acid.

Also. Ignorance may be bliss but knowledge tends to set one free ;) . I think we chose the "red pill" Pete. Our eyes have been opened to the truth about figs and all their fruitful cousins.  

"This is our chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill -- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill -- you stay in fruit wonderland and you get to see how deep the figgy-hole goes."  (This is sort of a corrupted quote from the Matrix BTW - for those who took the blue pill ;) ).

I'm definitely a "red pill" kinda guy. I'd much prefer to see the light, even if it might hurt my eyes a little (aka require something of me in return). 

Subject: BT army ready to invade - horrible!! Replies: 22
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,378
Yea Steve, but are they really all BT? Same token for LSU Purple. Of course they are what they say they are - because that's what everyone is looking for. No way of knowing for sure until you see the fruit.

Am I saying that a nursery would sell us a fig tree but not really know the true variety? And they would label it something just because that's what most people come in asking for - just to make a buck?? Nooo, they would never do that? (please infer sarcastic humor :) )

Granted, the trees labeled BT, I picked up at Tractor Supply a couple seasons ago, do seem to be BT. But still ya never really know what you're going to get from any large nursery or big box store.

Never hurts to buy a couple though because you could end up with some great variety because the grower bought a bulk of cuttings from someone who said they were BT. 

Subject: OT: blueberries Replies: 83
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 3,140
Pete, Just goes to show that you never know what might spark a cascade. Most of us are obviously into more than just figs :-) .

Will,  Thanks so much for the tips. I'll do the PH test before I run out to the parts store. Sounds like you're getting stellar results using the sulfuric though. So, I'll likely go with that if the need arises. I do know a local horticulturist (his dad is also a soil specialist) as well as a chemistry professor. So I guess I could also consult them if need be ;).

Thanks again.

Subject: OT: blueberries Replies: 83
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 3,140
Glad to hear that the AS is pretty cheap stuff. Living in a farming community, I'm sure I'll have adequate access to it.

That's also a very interesting tidbit about adding AS to Glyphoshpate to increase its effectiveness. Didn't know that. I'm sure the local farmers use it extensively. 

I'll look for PH test paper next time I'm at Lowes or farm store.

Where do you get your Sulfuric Acid? If it's an ag product I should be able to access fairly easily (if I need it at all). If not, can an alternate acid be used such as HCL or even vinegar or similar? 

Subject: Anyone else growing GM #175? Replies: 0
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 377
This one was brought up over here on this other thread, starting in post #22:

Thought it would be nice to hear from anyone else who may have succeeded in getting this one started. Seems like a promising variety. So far, experiences have shown that it is the common type without need for caprification. It may have tendencies to grow in a low spreading habit (not fully proven yet). And may very well be a very productive variety.

So if you are growing this one and don't mind sharing pics & info, it would be great to hear from you. Please include info about your rooting methods, successes, failures, etc. If you have pictures, please don't hesitate to share.

Pictures of the fig mentioned would be preferred but not necessarily required ;-) .

Subject: OT: blueberries Replies: 83
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 3,140
Thanks for the great info!  So, using the acidified water eliminates the need for Sulfur or Ammonium Sulfate all together? Sounds like a much simpler fix over using the solids. I do have well water here but I have no idea what the bicarbonate levels are. I'm guessing that the lime levels are lower in this part of the state when compared to what we might see further east. More clay here but I'm sure the bicarbs are not great either.  

I plan to use a few rain barrels and one large plastic cattle watering tank to collect rain water in. I'll continue to water my figs with the well water & use the rainwater for my blueberries. The watering tank is 10' diameter and about 30" deep. I'm going to drain it and move to a more convenient location sometime before the end of this month. With the heavy spring rains we get, it should be full again by the time I need to water anything.

Here's one potentially useful tip I learned from reading that document put out by UK:

"Recent research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has showed that blueberry plants set in deeper, narrower holes produce more fruit. It is thought that plants with a deeper root system experience less drought stress. Holes can be dug using a tractor-mounted auger or by hand. Plants that grew in holes that were 18 inches in diameter and 24 inches deep produced better than those that were grown in holes 24 inches in diameter and 15 inches deep."

Based on that info I plan to make 18" square raised beds with a whole dug beneath them to meet those specs. It's worth a try. That UK document was written more for commercial growing in mind but the info still applies to those of us who would like to learn more about getting better results from our blueberry bushes ;) .
If interested, here's that link again:

Subject: OT - Banana Plant Veinte Cohol - Taste? Will it really fruit in 1 season? Replies: 14
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,777
Calvin,  Ditto what GreenFin said - hundreds of other edible varieties, all of which are not Cavendish. The tropical fruit growers I knew in So. FL grew dozens of different varieties of fruiting bananas - all edible. I'm sure Jon can attest similarly.

Cavendish just happened to be selected, long ago, as one of the best commercial varieties = ships well, has a long shelf life, and responds well to ripening when gassed. I have no explanation for what that banana breeder might have said. I think he was briefly featured in that "Fruit Hunters" doc. Only thing I recall him saying was that the Cavendish plants had to be meticulously hand pollinated and even then it took a lot of bananas to provide only a few seeds to experiment with (going for a replacement for the current Cavendish) .

One of the few banana varieties I was able to get to fruit on my property in Fl was a small, very sweet banana. Had a very good flavor but was just a little more fibrous than Cavendish. Can't recall what var it was. 


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