Guerilla Gardening: I want to be "Johnny Appleseed"


#41

The last three were firm when they first arrived (as was the one I ate the other day, and the one I peeled ln the first day). The one I peeled was hard, astringent and full of latex. Just like the one I ate, the last three also ripened in the bag with the apple, soft, juicy, honey sweet! And the skin was as tender as described. Even with their small size, the pulp-to-seed ratio was excellent. I have a clear winner here, and I got 10 seeds out of it to boot. I don’t think I would plant them near town square, the area is too small. But I’ll be planting a couple near the bench by the town entrance, and in the field of the basketball court in my neighborhood.

My mulberries are also being quiet productive, so I’ll be freezing a lot for my sister to bake with. I hope mulberry muffins are as good as they sound. There’s also plenty of branches I can use for cuttings, so as the season progresses, I’ll keep posting on how this project develops. Cashews, Sapodilla, Mulberry, Fig and Blackberry (these last two just arrived); plenty of choices to keep local foragers happy.


#42

that you could get all of those to fruit in the same locale-- wow – i am so jealous!


#43

I’ve had some family move to the mainland States, and they’d probably want me there as well. The States are an incredible place… But I wouldn’t give up the versatility of the tropics. As long as the particular crop or cultivar at hand is heat-resistant and low-chill, you could grow anything here.

I’ve seen several fruit farms over here with tropical fruit I had never heard of at the time. And I’ve seen people here fruiting apples, peaches, blueberries, and other types of “chill fruit” – and not just in the mountains, near the coast too, without many “trick” techniques. The chill fruit probably don’t perform as well as they would in their native zone, but as long as you can get a decent harvest, they’re good enough for a home garden.


#44

a ‘sweet spot’ of a zone, no doubt!


#45

My cashews have sprouted, and I’m going to try to graft the Cerrado type on the seedlings. One week old, and they already match a 1 year old Cerrado Cashew for size and girth.

My friend brought me some Spanish Tamarind (Vangueria edulis). They were good! I wouldn’t say they were sweeter than true Tamarind, but they were less acidic, without being insipid. A worthwhile substitute for sure. You gotta let the green ones get brown for the pulp to get pasty. I’ve planted the seeds, now it’s a waiting game to see if the Sapodilla sprouts first (the Cashews beat 'em both).

I’m also sprouting some seeds of the local “Cuban” mangos I got from another acquaintance. Sweet, tender, fiberless, tasty! And a bit small. They’re a local seed-grown landrace, not really a commercial grafted type. I’m not sure it’d be worth it to include them in this same project, but they’re an option.

I have a few sugar apples in a pot that I was considering for the project, but I recently binged on Annona information, and I’m wondering of I should keep them instead, for use as rootstocks. There’s an Atemoya X A. reticulata hybrid (“Temoylata”) I recently learned about that I’m interested in, and if I could get some scions, I’d graft them onto the little sugar apples. They’ve been flowering in their pot for about a year at a tiny size (stunted, they were one of my neglected plants), but unsurprisingly, none of the few fruits they’ve borne has matured to an edible state. They’re still flowering now. The fruit I got them from was sweet, and very tasty. Also seedy and small, but I didn’t find it objectionable when I was enjoying it back then, and I still don’t.

An internet pic of the Temoylata:


#46

I’m back! I’ve been gone a long time, so it’s time to update the situation.

I took a trip to the States for some family business. In preparation for that, I had to leave some things ready at home and my garden took a backseat for a month or two. My last week home was supposed to be dedicated to leaving the garden ready, but I only got to install half of the irrigation system before getting sick with a nasty bug. I was still recuperating when I left for the trip, so with a couple of months of neglect and a mere partial irrigation system, I came back to a mess. There were a few losses. Mistakes were made (all by me), and the neglect carried on to October (and carried over to the forums). I’ve gotten back to work on the garden, and back to writing here, and though I’m not sure how frequently I post, I’m here to stay, and intend to remain diligent, on and offline.

Regarding the Guerilla Gardening project… 2 surviving Sapodilla, a couple of Mammee Apples, some Baobabs, a few Cashews (none of them Cerrado, unfortunately), some brambles & mulberries, 1 Goji, 4 Ironwoods, and 3 Paloverde (along with some yet unsown Banana Carob Mesquite), no Spanish Tamarind, and little in the way of Passionfruit… My options are a bit reduced. But perhaps this will lighten my workload as I restock on some of my losses next year. For now, I’m up-potting and growing up the plants to get them ready to plant out in my chosen locations. Depending on their size, vigor and general readiness, I may start to plant out next autumn, to take advantage of the rains. I’ll mark them out with some wire caging and labels, to protect them from overzealous landscapers.

@jujubemulberry

I neglected to inquire about those quality jujube seeds you had mentioned. ¿Do you still have any on hand? If not, I can check back on the matter next year.


#47

It begins! The Jujube seeds are starting to sprout. I de-pulped and planted them about a month ago, after soaking the seeds in a daily change of water for several days straight.

I was reluctant to propagate my nameless mulberries since I’m in the process of acquiring several quality named cultivars (I’ve had nothing to compare mine with, so I don’t know how highly it rates, just that I love it). Once I grow out my named cultivars, I’ll start planting cuttings around town. I’m waiting on IE, Black Pakistan, Shangri-La, and several others. If I can get World’s Best, I’ll be a happy camper.

I’m tempted to keep the Sapodilla for myself, since I still don’t know if my efforts will be appreciated, and I’d rather not lose the only 2 trees I have left (they were tasty!!!). But then, I’ve no immediate place for them at home, so I may not have a choice. Maybe by the time they’re big enough to plant out, I’ll have a spot for them in the yard.

The Mammee Apples, Sugar Apples, Cashews and Passionfruit are ready to plant, and I’m thinking next week at the Basketball Park across the street from my house. I just planted 15 Dragonfruit cuttings this week (unnamed, pink skin, white pulp; H. undatus). I planted them all along the wall of the basketball court (same wall as in the BC’s third photo). I left a large, thin, white cardboard label in a sandwich ziplock bag with one of the plants, in case someone objects to the random cacti (“they’re not random, they’re fruit!”), and surrounded them with sticks and stones to let any yard workers know that they were planted deliberately. A few people saw me with the pick, hoe & shovel, but no one asked. I’m thinking of planting out one of my Caroline Raspberries between some of the dragonfruit, but I’m not sure if I should do it near the dry end, the moist end (really moist after a moderate rain), or the middle.

I received 20 Maya Breadnut seeds from ARS GRIN, and they’re already sprouting! That’ll be a useful species for sure!

I recently tip-rooted my Wild Treasure Thornless Blackberry, but I wouldn’t know where to plant a trailing blackberry. There’s some prime spots for PAF, but I haven’t even planted out my lone plant, let alone propagated it. Same goes for the PT Goji.

I’ll try to take some pics of my progress soon. Maybe I should add Pigeon Peas for good measure, since everyone uses 'em here. I hope my neighbors appreciate these efforts.

  • Edit: @lordkiwi I also got several seeds of a sweet Spondias dulcis for this. They’re local, but I didn’t eat them. I haven’t tasted them since I was a kid, so I don’t recall. How good are they?

#48

There great but the non dwarf trees grow to a massive 60ft. Contact Bryan Brunner montoso.gardens@yahoo.com of Montoso Gardens for the dwarf type. It’s not listed on his website but I already emailed him in the past and he has them. He has way more stuff then whats posted on his site. Since his brother past he never really got website filled out.

https://www.montosogardens.com/


#49

What a wonderful gift to the community. It reminds me of the Capillano Apricot trees in Edmonton Alberta. No one really knows how they got there, but they survived, produce fruit, and have been a source for local people to get scions for free. An apricot that tastes good and produces well in a northern climate that can get down to -40C is a treasure.

Whomever planted those trees deserves a big Thank You, someday Caesar, a future generation will be grateful you did this.


#50

I’m having second thoughts… Mine was from a big tree. :sweat:

I’ve seen the dwarfs in some local backyards, but I’m not sure where people are getting them. I’m not sure if they’re grafted or if seedlings also turn out dwarf. I’ll check out Montoso Gardens, I definitely want the tree in my backyard to be a dwarf one. As for my current seeds, I was told I could keep them manageable by pruning.

@northof53

At the least, I hope the neighborhood appreciates this enough to let the plants live. That’s all the gratitude I need. :slight_smile:

I’m sprouting every avocado seed I can find, 'cause that’s the most appreciated tree of all here. I’ve got 9 Hass seeds planted, but I’d like some local varieties too, so I’ll see if I can track some down soon.

I’m gonna try to take some Breadfruit root cuttings soon, and maybe graft a couple on Camansi Nut, for a dwarfing effect.

My Mocambo has flowered a few times since last year, but so far it’s dropped all the fruit that has formed so far. Perhaps It’ll take this year.


#51

My research found dwarf trees can be grown from dwarf seeds. As the trees are self fruitful and do not require cross pollentation. My wife grew up with a dwarf tree in her yard and my father-in law said when ever they wanted a new governor plum “Spondias purpurea”, they would hack off a branch and stick it in the ground. The internet however says they are hard to graft.

Dwarf June plum have been known to grow from seed to fruit in one year. My plant was little more then a rooted cutting and it still got flowers in its first 6 months.


#52

This is great news! I know someone who has a dwarf tree, I’ll ask them for seeds next time I see them.

I opened up a couple of small spots in my side yard (everything’s crammed together), one of them will receive Barbados Cherry. I’m debating whether to give the other spot to the PAF Blackberry or to the Sapodilla. It’s a small area, right next to the walls, but the Sapodilla’s parent tree seemed rather small in stature, and the spot is where the side meets the front yard.

Incidentally, 3 sapodillas, not 2! So I’ll be able to spare some, if they survive… I separated them from their common pot yesterday.

I also separated the 6 surviving Achachairu, and 6 Sugar Apples (born from the fruit of one of my container trees, which I’ll soon plant out).

I’m propagating the WT Blackberry further. Can I weave its canes through a chain-link fence? If so, there’s a spot in the basketball park where I could plant one.


#53

Update: I’ve been checking up on the basketball park almost daily. I found a surprise today… A tiny touch of vandalism.

I’m inclined to believe that this is more the curiosity of a young child, rather than the malice of neighborhood hooligans or the rejection of this secret project by the community. Had it been the community, I suspect all of the plants would’ve ended up in the trash, and there would be talk around here about this being unacceptable… Not the case. Had it been hooligans, everything would’ve been ripped out and thrown about in-situ, as a badge of antagonistic triumph… Also, not the case.

No, it was all just one plant. One measly Dragonfruit, the closest one to the entrance. Lifted out of the ground, but gently placed in its original position (except unburied). The ziplock bag was on the ground, its label nowhere to be seen. A freshly eaten lollipop stick in that particular dragonfruit’s patch. It very much sounds like the actions of a curious child. Perhaps the writing on the label peaked their curiosity enough to take it home for later investigation.

I came back with a hand pick, a bucket and a pair of new labels (a new one for the dragonfruit, and one with a Spanish message that reads "For everyone’s enjoyment. =) ". I picked at the hardened soil, though with the small pick I couldn’t reach as deep as the first time, and I replanted the dragonfruit, placing a label on each side. Then I took the bucket and watered the plants. Some of the dragonfruit have sun scald, the raspberry looks a bit worse for wear, and I don’t anticipate that the raspberry will do great there, but I think they should all survive nonetheless. If they start putting on growth and getting bushy, I think I’m in the clear.

Pics!

Most were planted vertically, a deliberate choice to keep them visible to the public & the workforce. At least three of them are horizontal, and one of those is planted in a fire ant hill:

Here’s the “vandalized… ?” piece and its absent label:

The new labels in place:

And the three raspberries:


#54

good man Caesar! i hope you are successful. we have a park in town that is mostly forest with hiking trails in summer and snowshoe/skiiing trails in winter. I’ve been planting acorns of red oak i got from a friend in some of the clearings. probably got 50 to take. they are 3 yrs old and about 4ft. tall now. i put little wire flags to mark where they were and so no one cuts or steps on them. so far so good. theres a mowed field in the middle of the property with some larger trees on it. I’m going try to get permission from the property manager to plant some fruit/nut bushes and trees there so the hikers can stop for a snack. maybe add a few picnic tables in the shade of the big spruces. going to stick a bunch of elderberry cuttings along the trail next spring as well.


#55

Have you found that your tagged trees have been left alone so far?

What kind of fruits & nuts will go in the mowed field? You’re in Maine, right? I think it gets pretty cold there, ¿would the trees need to be high-chill, or is cold hardiness a different factor?

Post the pics! I’m keen on seeing how others are managing their projects. :slightly_smiling_face:

I just received a package of mulberry cuttings. 7 Shangri-la:

And 5 Black Pakistan:

The buds on these things are huge! And you can really tell the difference between M. alba & M. macroura. I’ve got enough cuttings here for my own property and for the project, so the folks around town can taste some quality mulberries. I’ll be rooting them in pots for later out-planting. I don’t wanna risk losing them by planting in-situ, at least, not until I get some trees going for further plantings.

I’m bringing a lopper with me to the b-ball park to cut down some weedy Leucaena on the fence. The jujubes will be planted in their location, after they’ve put on some size. I’m waiting to get some pvc pipe before I start planting out the larger potted trees & the passionfruit. I’m also propagating the WT Blackberry again, which I’ll weave between the links in the cyclone fence as it grows.

The more the project progresses, the clearer I can picture the outcome. I started this with just some vague ideas, and now it’s starting to take off in full force. I’m pretty excited about it, it gives me something to look forward to. :smile:


#56

thinking honey berry, gooseberries, red currants, some local wild apples, hazelnuts, blueberries and some raspberries. most grow easily from cuttings or i can transplant from somewhere else. ill get some pics next summer to post. son far all of the trees that have come up haven’t been disturbed. they weed whack the edges and have gone around them. i suspect that several others have been doing the same as I’ve seen some plants in there that are rare here. theres a well cared for small apple orchard next to the ski lodge. mostly wild varieties. after a long hike in late summer i go and sample the apples. not big but pretty tasty after a long hike up there.


#57

I would only guerilla farm with local native plants we should be careful about spreading non native plants.


#58

everything on my post is native to here and they aren’t the kind of plants that will rampantly spread. even though the birds may spread seeds they will just be improved cultivars of the wild ones out there.