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Dallas, Texas
Fruit and vegetable grower in Dallas, Texas -
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James: Our Che have been very slow growing, so I cannot provide a reliable answer to your question. We have only gotten a handful of fruit to date. However, I do like them. The ones that I have tried seemed to have an earthy flavor and a mildly chewy texture. I might liken it to a combination of a raspberry, blackbery, date, and prune. I'll report back if we get more fruit this year. I had a lot of success with our pineapple guava last year. It is a really unusual tasting fruit that does taste like a combination of mint, pineapple, and strawberry with a citrus twang. It is hard to compare it to anything else. My black mulberries are not fruiting just yet, but they are reported to have the best flavor of any mulberries. We also have two huge red mulberry trees that produce an abundant amount of fruit. I like to eat them when they are not completely ripe because they still have some acidity. The ripe fruit are so sweet without any acidic punch, that they can seem flat or bland. I have also noticed that some years the flavor seems better than others. For example, the flavor in 2013 was better than in previous years. Best regards, Dallas Fruit Grower
Laura: The Yoshino cherry tree is a flowering, ornamental cherry tree. This post is discussing fruiting cherry trees. Best regards, Dallas Fruit Grower
In 2014, my low chill Royal Lee and Minnie Royal cherry trees did not do well. It warmed up for three to five days in early March causing my five trees to flower. However, a subsequent hard freeze in mid-March obliterated the blossoms. On the other hand, the long winter and abundant chill hours this winter did wonders for my Dwarf Stella sweet cherry. The Dwarf Stella bloomed later after the aforementioned late freeze and produced hundreds and hundreds of sweet red cherries. Previously, the Dwarf Stella had not produced more than a handful of cherries because, I suspect, it did not get enough chill hours. Best regards, Dallas Fruit Grower
Swellcat: My elderberries have proven to be very drought tolerant and hardy. Compared to many fruit trees and bushes, they are very low care plants. They continue to grow for me, so make sure you have plenty of room in the area where you will be planting them. Best regards, Dallas Fruit Grower
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2014 on Elderberries at Dallas Fruit and Vegetable Grower
You will have to order from a mail-order nursery. I bought several elderberry from Bob Wells Nursery outside of Lindale, Texas, and several from Raintree Nursery. Best regards, Dallas Fruit Grower
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2014 on Elderberries at Dallas Fruit and Vegetable Grower
Sean: I spaced each plant approximately four feet apart in each row. The rows were five feet apart. I was trying to maximize the amount of space that I had in a suburban garden. The row spacing does not give much room to walk between the plants, but it serves my purposes. If you have more space, you can spread them further apart and give them more room. Dallas Fruit Grower
Andi: You have a lot of flexibility with these hardy perennials. I would say that the end of March or any time in April would be perfect. You can take advantage of the Spring rains, then. Last year, unusually, we had a late frost in early April, but that shouldn't be a concern with these perennials even if a late frost occurs after you get them in the ground. Dallas Fruit Grower
Michael: The roma tomatoes did not do very well interplanted with asparagus. The asparagus is so vigorous that it quickly grows into a dense canopy that left little room for the roma tomatoes to get adequate sun and also have room to grow. Since then, I have interplanted alpine and musk strawberries among the asparagus. Those plants have done very well because they get adequate sun in the spring when they are fruiting and seem to appreciate the shade during the hot Texas summers. Dallas Fruit Grower
Michael: These plants are will be in their 5th year in the ground in 2014. Both plants are growing in a bush like manner and are approximately 4.5 feet tall. There are two plants. They bore fruit in 2012; however, there were only a handful of berries, e.g. six to eight. I did not see any fruit in 2013. I am hoping for more fruit in 2014, but I will keep you posted. Dallas Fruit Grower
When is the best time to harvest pears? In growing fruit, one of the things that has been a learning process fo rme has been identifying when the optimal time is to harvest my fruit. There are different rules for different fruit. Every year, I learn something new or accomplish... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2013 at Dallas Fruit and Vegetable Grower
Thanks Bob. I am sorry to hear that you lost your peach crop this year. I did not spray my peaches this year. I found plum curculio larvae in only about 5% of the fruit this year, so I may spray Kaolin clay next year to knock down that percentage. It is an organic product. Best regards, Dallas Fruit Grower
The summer brought a bounty of fruit this year. Early summer started with a good crop of blackberries. The blackberries usually ripen in June and with three varieties, produce for three or four weeks. Our blueberries produced a modest crop. I had to replace approximately a third of the bushes... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2013 at Dallas Fruit and Vegetable Grower
Fred: When did you put up the owl house? In my experience, they nest in the early Spring. One year, I had two "litters". If you put up the house after nesting season, you may need to wait until next year. If the owl house was there in the Spring, the owls may not have been comfortable with it to nest or had other nesting options. At the end of winter, add some nesting bark in the bottom. Make sure ants haven't gotten in there, too.
Larry: The best way to produce larger fruit is to reduce the number of blossoms in the Spring or, even better for a suburban garden, thin the fruit when it is immature. The more you thin, the larger the fruit --- up to a point. Keep in mind that some varieties may have larger fruit than others, but thinning is the best way to go for increasing the size of the fruit. Dallas Fruit Grower
Erika: Pruning blackberries should be a breeze. In the late Fall, you should be able to tell the canes that have fruited and need to be pruned. They will look brown and dead. I find that the canes needing to be pruned are relatively obvious from the canes which will fruit next year. The canes to fruit next year should look green and healthy in contrast to the canes needing to be pruned. I hope this helps. Dallas Fruit Grower
Bob: My Anna apple has performed the best of all of the varieties. My pineapple pear has not done much to date. Actually, this is the first year that I have had a big crop of pears, and the Orient, Warren, and Monterrey have the greatest amount of fruit this year. Dallas Fruit Grower
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2013 on Spring 2013 at Dallas Fruit and Vegetable Grower
Here is a view of the vegetable and fruit garden in late Spring 2013. It has been a beautiful Spring with plenty of late, cold days that have kept the Spring greens from bolting too soon. The perimeter of the vegetable garden is lined with peach trees, pear trees, and... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2013 at Dallas Fruit and Vegetable Grower
Watch them during the spring. You don't usually need to water much during the spring, but this has been an unusually dry spring. New, bare-root planted trees should be fine with 2 waterings per week, throughout the year. You want to give them a good watering throughout the root zone. Handwatering, this can be accomplished in a minute or two. You want the area to dry out a bit before the next watering, and you don't want them to be soggy.
Michael: With these perennials, they are all pretty drought tolerant. I don't have to water them very much at all to keep them thriving. After the first year, they are watered with pop-up sprinkler heads and get about 10 minutes of watering twice a week.
John: I am having difficulty remembering from where I purchased this ladybug house. It may have been at a local Dallas nursery. Here are 2 websites that appear to be offering similar houses:
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2013 on Ladybug eggs at Dallas Fruit and Vegetable Grower
Mark: That is not uncommon for a fruit tree to act that way. Several of my pear and apple trees did the same thing this year. For all intents and purposes, they went dormant in August from the heat and drought, and when the cooler weather and rain came in September, they started blooming again. I have very small second-growth apples and pears on the trees now that we are into November. They are very small but taste good. Often, there is not enough time for second growth fruit to grow and ripen before the first frosts come. I read an interesting article in NAFEX's Winter 2011 Pomana Magazine by Kevin Hauser about his work in Africa on low chill apples. After their apple trees' fruit ripens, they strip the trees of their leaves to confuse the tree to think it has gone dormant. Shortly thereafter, the tree will bloom and produce fruit. In this fashion, because they have a 12 month growing season, they are able to get 2 crops of apples each year. Good luck, Dallas Fruit Grower
There are a lot of good choices from which to choose. Remember that you will need to plant two trees for pollination. There are ways around two separate plantings, e.g. planting 2 trees in the same hole or grafting a second variety onto a few branches, but you will need a secondary pollinator. In terms of easiest/hardiest to grow in our area, I suggest planting an Anna and a King David. You can often find Anna apples at the grocery store and can sample their taste. Anna has more of a tart taste profile. The fact that you can get them at the grocery store may discourage you from growing an Anna, if you are looking for something more unique. A few heirloom dessert apples that will grow in Texas that you may try, which you won't typically find at the grocery store: Ashmead's Kernel; Calville Blanc D'Hiver, Newtown Pippin, and Esopus Spitzenberg. I am growing these varieties in Dallas, and they are doing well. You may see a bit more leaf damage throughout the season with these because they are somewhat more susceptible to scab and powdery mildew. Finally, a newer varieties that will do well in North Texas is the Pink Lady/Cripp's Pink. I would not recommend the Mutsu/Crispin for your planting, since it cannot serve as a pollinator as a triploid. Here is a more updated posting on apple varieties:
On our way out to Colorado this summer, we stayed at a very nice hotel in Taos called the El Monte Sagrado Hotel. The grounds of this hotel are beautifully landscaped. As an added bonus, the grounds contain an edible landscape of fruiting trees. As you walk on the paths... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2012 at Dallas Fruit and Vegetable Grower
MJ: Thanks for your comment. In my experience, that is not that unusual that your pear re-bloomed like it did. A few of my pear trees did that over the last few years. It usually happens following a few days of rain in August or September, after the hot and dry summer months of July and August. I think the trees may be confused that it is springtime after having dropped significant leaves in self-defense of the extraordinarily hot and dry weather. I would not expect that fruit to grow large or mature. Pears take anywhere from 120 to 190 days to mature and ripen, depending upon the variety, so there is typically just not enough time for re-blooms that occur in July-September, to produce good fruit. Best regards, Dallas Fruit Grower
Madalyn: I frankly don't think you can go wrong with any of the Arkansas thornless blackberries. I recommend planting a few varieties to extend your fruiting season. Ouachita is a very nice variety that has done well for me. I think it is a great all around blackberry. It has good size and sugar content. Here is some information on the varieties that I have planted, some of which is from the University of Arkansas who bred these varieties: Arapaho: Earliest of these 3 varieties to ripen with a reported four week ripening period -- approximately the last week in May in Dallas. Fruit size at 5 grams with flavor rate as "good, higher than most thorny varieties," percent sugar averages 9.6 %; moderate yields, usually lower than Apache and Navaho. Ouachita: Starts ripening about a week to a week and a half after Arapaho -- so about the first or second week of June. Reported five week ripening period, but I would expect less. Fruit size at 6 to 6.5 grams with flavor rate as "very good", percent sugar averages 10-11%; consistently high yields in research trials - "comparable to exceeding Apache and Navaho and consistently exceeds Arapaho." Navaho: It is reported to ripen two weeks after Arapaho -- approximately the second week of June; however, my experience this year was that it ripened at the same time as Arapaho. It is reported to have a ripening period of five to six weeks. Fruit size at 5 grams with flavor rate as "excellent" and "consistently rated the highest of the Arkansas varieties"; percent sugar averages 11.4%.