Whole Leaf Tobacco

New from Texas - Need a grow plan

peterd

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175
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Location
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I ran out of steel edging! I will have to buy about 3 more lengths of steel to finish this but its not necessary to finish the front garden photos. It will only change and clean up the small area near the front door into a nice outlined mulch area.

Landscape01.jpg

I give you the front yard! This is before moving all the plants you see in the what was the original mulched garden area. Everything is just about getting moved once winter dormancy kicks in.

Landscape02.jpg

Once it cools down I can manicure the top layer with a rake and get the larger pieces under the wood chips but its hot and I felt like a beer so I went inside.

Landscape03.jpg

Every house down the street is almost 100% grass front yard, cement driveway and a small planting of bushes near the front door. Almost everything a single uniform shade of the same green with no variations. This house definitely does not look anything like the cookie cutter houses.

Landscape04.jpg

When everything settles after a few rains I will will do a leveling raking to keep uniformity.

Landscape05.jpg

The official color scheme allowed in the HOA CCRs rules and regulations are shades of brown :ROFLMAO:.

Canna.jpg
Following along in the seed germination testing front I have the first five of a hundred Cannas starting germination testing. A little dedicated for task nail clipper nipping and a soak and we will see what these seeds do.

Life is good!
 

Cray Squirrel

Squirreled a lot!!
Joined
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Messages
261
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Location
Colorado
I ran out of steel edging! I will have to buy about 3 more lengths of steel to finish this but its not necessary to finish the front garden photos. It will only change and clean up the small area near the front door into a nice outlined mulch area.

View attachment 39411

I give you the front yard! This is before moving all the plants you see in the what was the original mulched garden area. Everything is just about getting moved once winter dormancy kicks in.

View attachment 39412

Once it cools down I can manicure the top layer with a rake and get the larger pieces under the wood chips but its hot and I felt like a beer so I went inside.

View attachment 39413

Every house down the street is almost 100% grass front yard, cement driveway and a small planting of bushes near the front door. Almost everything a single uniform shade of the same green with no variations. This house definitely does not look anything like the cookie cutter houses.

View attachment 39414

When everything settles after a few rains I will will do a leveling raking to keep uniformity.

View attachment 39415

The official color scheme allowed in the HOA CCRs rules and regulations are shades of brown :ROFLMAO:.

View attachment 39416
Following along in the seed germination testing front I have the first five of a hundred Cannas starting germination testing. A little dedicated for task nail clipper nipping and a soak and we will see what these seeds do.

Life is good!
Grown cannas a lot from seed commercially. They want 80⁰ or warmer temperatures. Dont keep wet and rot the seed. Clean, sterile potting mix..
Did you get a named variety of canna seed?
 

peterd

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Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
175
Points
93
Location
Texas
I ordered edulis but this isn’t a commercial retailer I dealt with but another residential gardener so I don’t have any hopes that it’s true to type. Canna is one of my biomass generators I chose for my zone so don’t flinch when I come in later with a machete and chop them down to feed the soil while letting new Canna growth come from the tubers. If I was two zones warmer I would be doing similar but with bananas in place of Canna.

The maize I selected is another biomass generator and this variety is known as also being good for silage.

Wherever I put in a fruit tree will be a planting of Cannas. As the fruit trees grow the Cannas get chopped and dropped to feed the fruit trees.

Those five seeds are on my seedling germination heat mat cooking away.
 

Cray Squirrel

Squirreled a lot!!
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
261
Points
93
Location
Colorado
I ran out of steel edging! I will have to buy about 3 more lengths of steel to finish this but its not necessary to finish the front garden photos. It will only change and clean up the small area near the front door into a nice outlined mulch area.

View attachment 39411

I give you the front yard! This is before moving all the plants you see in the what was the original mulched garden area. Everything is just about getting moved once winter dormancy kicks in.

View attachment 39412

Once it cools down I can manicure the top layer with a rake and get the larger pieces under the wood chips but its hot and I felt like a beer so I went inside.

View attachment 39413

Every house down the street is almost 100% grass front yard, cement driveway and a small planting of bushes near the front door. Almost everything a single uniform shade of the same green with no variations. This house definitely does not look anything like the cookie cutter houses.

View attachment 39414

When everything settles after a few rains I will will do a leveling raking to keep uniformity.

View attachment 39415

The official color scheme allowed in the HOA CCRs rules and regulations are shades of brown :ROFLMAO:.

View attachment 39416
Following along in the seed germination testing front I have the first five of a hundred Cannas starting germination testing. A little dedicated for task nail clipper nipping and a soak and we will see what these seeds do.

Life is good!
Grown cannas a lot from seed commercially. They want 80⁰ or warmer temperatures. Dont keep wet and rot the seed. Clean, sterile potting mix..
Did you get a named variety of canna seed
I ordered edulis but this isn’t a commercial retailer I dealt with but another residential gardener so I don’t have any hopes that it’s true to type. Canna is one of my biomass generators I chose for my zone so don’t flinch when I come in later with a machete and chop them down to feed the soil while letting new Canna growth come from the tubers. If I was two zones warmer I would be doing similar but with bananas in place of Canna.

The maize I selected is another biomass generator and this variety is known as also being good for silage.

Wherever I put in a fruit tree will be a planting of Cannas. As the fruit trees grow the Cannas get chopped and dropped to feed the fruit trees.

Those five seeds are on my seedling germination heat mat cooking away.
You're going to plant seedling fruit trees instead of chip budding a proven variety?
Yeah will flinch when I see cannas bite the dust. They can take over. Have you got any experience with this type of organic growing? Looks like 3 tons of work? If you were closer you could plant in my corrals. Foot deep, old cow and horse..
Harvesting some edamame and carrot seed.
Be glad when I dig the last of the straw bed potatoes. Getting to look like heck with all the oats growing in it....
 

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peterd

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Joined
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Messages
175
Points
93
Location
Texas
Those pictures remind me of when I lived on my farm overseas, best times I had!

Nothing I do is novel, its all been done before, its only new to someone who's never seen it before. I have not introduced the concept yet, but even three pecan trees that normally grow to a height of 70 to 100 feet planted in the same hole in a small suburban back yard has already been done before.

I find people can accept Bonsai in their reality, even espalier forms of food trees in their reality but for some reason have a harder time with dwarfed trees not on dwarfing root-stocks that are still productive enough for a single household.

I have a lot of grafting work ahead of me. I use traditional nursery stock grafted fruit trees where necessary or where I need to save years of time and effort. For example I've already bought a seven year old tree for the front yard where its on public HOA display. But at the same time I can't help but push the HOA CCRs which only wrote no growing vegetables in your front yard unless behind an approved screen. Approved screen section of CCRs is a fence. I will have the first edible fruiting tree as the front yard tree in this estate. Because HOAs are usually just a bunch of grumpy old men who want to tell others what to do or other various arm-chair pontificates in a given community. I may plant some of the Cannas out front because to the HOA/old grumps, in their ignore-ance its some sort ornamental plant they themselves may have growing in their front yard, but it has been an edible starch vegetable staple of the Incas for thousands of years as well as those peoples in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Oceania, et al.

What is likely also not novel by a long shot is my plan for the backyard of assembling various ideas into a new-to-me-only assemblage in a new-to-me eco-tone. This area is marked USDA zone 8, one of the colder zones I have grown in, and to me USDA zones are woefully inadequate to describe a growing area as they only take into account the average minimum temperature a region receives and that is it. Aside from winter lows you can take cities within USDA zone 8 and they will have drastically different climates. What is marked USDA zone 8 as a plant may grow in my area but not thrive and may die off in winter while it doesn't in another USDA zone 8 area.

Some of the most productive areas on the planet are edge-systems, the coalescence of two growing systems. Bjorn Wistrom wrote a paper in Swedish Agricultural Science but its been written up in many places over many time periods and if you observe nature you can see it yourself.

Screenshot 2021-10-10 093418.png


On an ecological zone level the crossing of two ecological zones is also more productive than within either zone itself. What I have here to experiment and learn from is being placed right in the middle of two strong ecological zones. Here the growing season is mid-April through Oct/Nov. Warm Gulf Coast air and colder continental/arctic fronts both play a major role in this eco-tone; their unpredictable interplay results in a wide range in annual rainfall (22″ to 52″) and winter lows (20 degrees to 0 degrees F/-7 degrees to -18 degrees C). Summers are muggy and hot. This is a challenge as I have not grown in this before but I think it will keep me on my toes. Regardless of anyone's stance on climate change the trend over the past two decades is this area is having winters that are growing shorter in length but at the same time growing deeper in cold intensity.

What I am planning for assemblage is a Forest edge system that has been removed, miniaturized and inserted into a row cropping system. I will be removing the final over-story canopy layer from the design and have the low tree-layer as my canopy within a miniaturized suburban back yard design. Though with the 3 tree per hole technique I can now bring large fruit & nut producing trees down in scale and into a suburban back yard system, it is just I will be missing the large over-story canopy trees sizes, but not the productive contribution to the design.

512px-forgard2-003_1.gif

The idea here is to give up maximum production on a per crop or plant basis but to exceed mono cropping by 200% or more in total weight and volume of food production for a given sized area that is produced.

I also have a strong preference for multi-role plants. Cannas being both an excellent biomass accumulator but also a food crop although slightly less tasty than a potato due to missing the bitter chemical compounds that give the potato a more complex taste. I have Chinese yam in the design, a traditional Chinese medicinal as well as a food crop and will thrive all the way down to zone 4.

Main mainframe design so far for the rows is the following blueprint:

GroceryRowMainframeDesign.png

Rows can be as long as you like, you just repeat the basic pattern within and between rows.

It is basically a forest edge assembly mirrored onto itself and then repeating with annuals food production inter-cropping. Trees are in the design in diagonally offset inter-planting and the beauty is if I don't continue with the design the trees if un-managed will grow out naturally into standard orchard spacing.

The rest of my life is too short to not think and design and try new things.
Keeps my mind engaged!
 

peterd

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Joined
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Messages
175
Points
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Location
Texas
We were on tornado watch until 2am so I stayed up to monitor and to bake off the latest bread experiment. I had a craving for raisin cinnamon bread and thought about it and I never made it so I came up with the following recipe additions to try out:

1/3rd all purpose mix to bread flour
1/4c sugar
1Tbsp powdered cinnamon
1/2c raisins
1 1/2c milk
1 egg

Not having made such an enriched bread before with this method I bunged the bowl on the seedling heat mat with the seedling containers and went about my day outside.

60796E8A-9CFE-43A5-B248-2A50F77D5306.jpeg

Nearly 24 hours later the dough hadn’t risen a whole lot so I folded it out with some more flour an hour before baking and bunged it in the oven.

Only modifications I made, thinking the sugar might burn the bottom of the loaf was to leave the parchment paper in and after potting the loaf and inserted into the oven I dropped the thermostat to 400 to allow a tapered declining bake temperature over the thirty minutes then remove lid and brown for ten minutes.

Result. Very tasty, I’m doing this again!

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Having some with coffee for breakfast toasted with salted butter I noticed that the coffee cleanses the cinnamon palette so that subsequent bites hit you with more cinnamon. Probably why they roll it with a thin layer of cinnamon. I’m not going to the effort of flattening and rolling and loaf panning but I’ll try omitting the cinnamon from the dough and sprinkle it on during the folding step to get a more marbled distribution of cinnamon.

Next morning a quick inspection of any wind damage as I had new seedlings out but nothing to worry about as only one bucket had it’s lid blown off as the only visible sign of the storm.

Ginger spiking up with Mexican Papaya, Garlic, and the unfurling leaves are Pomegranates and a lettuce in foreground.

D4DABB13-C539-489E-B772-F91EE0312B8F.jpeg

Just a few weeks back.

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And today.

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If I overwinter this Mango tree indoors and it survives I’ll give it a go at life as an espalier against the south facing brick wall as a long shot zone pushing experiment.
 

Cray Squirrel

Squirreled a lot!!
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Did you already prep, scarify, the seed for cannas? I forget to mention that at one of the nurseries we tried the method you described but soon changed to easier methods with better results. I believe the girls ended up putting the seed in very hot water and allowing it to cool, then sowing seed the next day. The penetrating the testa mechanically damaged and killed a lot of 50 cents seed... sigh..
I would web search it first but think it might get better results and less tedious work.
 

peterd

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Messages
175
Points
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Location
Texas
I only prepped the test germination seed. I didn’t try hot water method but will given your success. I’ve had this pair of dedicated nippers for all seeds to date but there is a reason canna seed is used for maracas and similar instruments, they are one of the hardest seed coats around. Smooth and slippery round ultra hard seeds and a hardwood floor make for fun times when one pops out of your fingers. :whistle:
 

Cray Squirrel

Squirreled a lot!!
Joined
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Messages
261
Points
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Location
Colorado
I only prepped the test germination seed. I didn’t try hot water method but will given your success. I’ve had this pair of dedicated nippers for all seeds to date but there is a reason canna seed is used for maracas and similar instruments, they are one of the hardest seed coats around. Smooth and slippery round ultra hard seeds and a hardwood floor make for fun times when one pops out of your fingers. :whistle:
Yeah the seed go every where. Girls hated doing it. Lots of seed damaged. Even tried locking the seed in my tiny jewelers vices that I use for silver smithing and filing with a jewelers file. . Check online to confirm but think they used this method to good effect.
 

peterd

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Messages
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Location
Texas
2C5AE82B-88EA-494E-808F-C2CED6CFBD85.jpegWell that settles it. It looks like I won’t be making any maracas this winter to play along with the cigar box guitar. Covering removed for photo was replaced afterwards.

Nothing a lot new as it’s raining and most time is indoors at the moment.

I did get a couple rain gauges and hung them up outside in multiple locations.

5CD3AF94-317D-49A1-B27B-9D4C3D638F33.jpeg
This was last nights rain. Any no flooded swamp to walk through in the backyard was great for a change.
 

Cray Squirrel

Squirreled a lot!!
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Messages
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Going to get interesting around your house next spring when it warms up and so many biological process kick into full speed. Wondering about the decomposition of all those wood chips. Many times my compost piles are fairly innocuous but at other time... well it ain't purdy...
Thinking about some raised walks to make moving around your garden paradise easier in wetter weather?
Cheers..
 

Cray Squirrel

Squirreled a lot!!
Joined
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Messages
261
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Location
Colorado
View attachment 39592Forgot to post this with everything going on. This is from a week ago, guessing though.

Date Palm seeds are germinating too. This is an easier pushing the zone species to do here.
Date palms will grow in any soil. Takes sooo long to get fruit but fun... except when you have to trim the dead fronds. Too bad you dont have a time machine and come back and look at it every 10 years..
What part of Texas? Do Mexican fan palms live there? Washingtonia robusta
 

peterd

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Yes, in most of Texas it would grow and Sago Palm for those that like slow although there is a new scale insect pest starting to come into southern areas of Texas, the Rio Grande area especially is getting hit. I’m closer to Dallas as the closest major city, it would take me just over an hour to drive to the airport there, so that puts me in the edge for Mexican Fan Palms. A decent amount of palms will pull through winters with no to minor frond damage.

I used to visit large date palm farms in California and sampled a quite a few different and exquisite dates when there but now I only get what’s in the stores locally which is usually far from prime peak freshness and none of the varieties available direct on the farm. I also got introduced to eating green almonds from Greek and Lebanese folks I met there. There’s a tradition of visiting friends and family late into the night eating nuts, fruit and drinking Turkish coffee and even the occasional hubbly bubbly.

Good times.
 
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Cray Squirrel

Squirreled a lot!!
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Yes, in most of Texas it would grow and Sago Palm for those that like slow although there is a new scale insect pest starting to come into southern areas of Texas, the Rio Grande area especially is getting hit. I’m closer to Dallas as the closest major city, it would take me just over an hour to drive to the airport there, so that puts me in the edge for Mexican Fan Palms. A decent amount of palms will pull through winters with no to minor frond damage.

I used to visit large date palm farms in California and sampled a quite a few different and exquisite dates when there but now I only get what’s in the stores locally which is usually far from prime peak freshness and none of the varieties available direct on the farm. I also got introduced to eating green almonds from Greek and Lebanese folks I met there. There’s a tradition of visiting friends and family late into the night eating nuts, fruit and driving Turkish coffee and even the occasional hubbly bubbly.

Good times.
Know your area.. I drive down past the edge of Dallas so I can avoid traffic on my way to Florida. Yep. Have to protect the crowns of even fan palms in Tarrant county..
Where at in date country California? Indio, 29 palms?.lots of rock hunting there abouts and north. When I was importing pottery loads from Mexico for the nurseries, at times bring a truck up through Mexicali. Wouldnt risk a load skirting the border on the Mexican side to Otay or San Ysidro.. That Rumorosa is one bad, twisty snake of a climb. Littered with burned out trucks up and down
Dang...
 

peterd

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Messages
175
Points
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Location
Texas
I used to take the 10 freweway past Palm Springs/Thousand Palms area you get into a little section of date farms in and around Cochella. Thousands of varieties exist though most of them grow the top four varieties. I was partial to the Barhi variety, because you could also pick them when they are yellow, firm and crunchy, with a flavor of coconut, sugarcane and cinnamon. Just about all I see around these parts of the country in stores are just about only Medjool dates and the ones in stores here are usually quite old, dry and are as close to fresh Medjools in flavor as cardboard. I long for fresh ripe dates dripping with honey sweet centers. Back in the day I could visit friends in the area and a short drive you were out in the middle of no where and could pull over to the side of the road and go plinking in the desert but I don't know if it shows how old I am but decade or two ago I visited and we drove out to go plinking we just had non-stop endless masses of housing built out all the way into the desert. We never did plink that day.
 

Cray Squirrel

Squirreled a lot!!
Joined
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Messages
261
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Location
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I used to take the 10 freweway past Palm Springs/Thousand Palms area you get into a little section of date farms in and around Cochella. Thousands of varieties exist though most of them grow the top four varieties. I was partial to the Barhi variety, because you could also pick them when they are yellow, firm and crunchy, with a flavor of coconut, sugarcane and cinnamon. Just about all I see around these parts of the country in stores are just about only Medjool dates and the ones in stores here are usually quite old, dry and are as close to fresh Medjools in flavor as cardboard. I long for fresh ripe dates dripping with honey sweet centers. Back in the day I could visit friends in the area and a short drive you were out in the middle of no where and could pull over to the side of the road and go plinking in the desert but I don't know if it shows how old I am but decade or two ago I visited and we drove out to go plinking we just had non-stop endless masses of housing built out all the way into the desert. We never did plink that day.
Sad that there have become so many of us humans and were getting more each day... want it or not.. deep sigh..
 

peterd

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Messages
175
Points
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Location
Texas
Don’t hate me but I caught four cabbage moths today and drowned them in the plant feeding stations to become soylent green to feed the same plants they’ve been striking.

4CD62910-DB32-4BCC-A5E2-A7D6E229CE04.jpeg

On a brighter note I did some clean up in the front yard and prepared a bunch of cuttings to work on tonight for something to do.

I only have boxwoods and lantana to play with at the moment but after next year I hope to have a heap of new plants to propagate from. (y)
 
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Cray Squirrel

Squirreled a lot!!
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Messages
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Location
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Good show on getting rid of cabbage loopers.. Such a pest in many ways. All lepidopteras aren't our friends. Just cut some bird or spider out of a snack. Hehehe
Have you had success rooting soft wood cuttings in water using a powder rooting hormone? I do it well differently.
Hit me up if you want.
Well you may only have lantana to play with now but from my experience, with lantana, you'll some have some fun bemesia too!!.
 

peterd

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Joined
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Messages
175
Points
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Location
Texas
10E96134-1B26-4765-B13E-FF84682E0963.jpeg

25 Lantanas

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35 Boxwoods, sad thing is I’ll probably need twice or thrice to build a small border hedge around the front garden.

Was there a nursery trick to accelerating boxwood growth for market?

I’ve struck some things in just water without powder hormone but not done water and powder. So I’m all ears to learning more techniques.

I’ve used willows as rooting hormone before when out in whoop whoop and a long way from a store.

Short scissors for power stroke. I soak mine in a strong bleach solution when not holding them.

Edit: The birds can have all the lepidopteras they can get their fill of once they are here. I need to get the bird side going but not had time. My solar birdbath pumps and bird feeders have sat for an as time permits projects.
 
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