Before and after

bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)September 13, 2012

I have to say I am a complete newbie when it comes to peach trees and I have been amazed how fast the darn things grow.

This past spring I planted 7 peach trees, Well I say spring but I actually planted them In February (when my spring starts) so they have been in the ground 7 months. When I planted them they had dime size trunks. I put down a 10 foot across piles of tree company trims and planted the bareroot trees directly in to our sand with no ammendments. I did put rabbit manure on top of the soil before I placed the mulch down. The trees looked a bit ridiculous as a twig in a 10 foot across island of mulch. The first picture is about 3 weeks after I planted them as they had no leaves when planted.

Feb 2012

Today the trees are 8 feet tall and 10+ feet wide.

Last fall I also put in a few muscadine grapes I bought at Just Fruits and Exotics. They had adult specimens of each grape that were fruiting and the owner went and picked grapes from each so my wife and I could try them, they are great people. Each vine has a 25 foot row and has already filled the entire row plus more I cut off. At the same time I planted a couple supposedly Pierces disease resistant bunch grape and they did not even make it up to the wire yet:)

This is the new sweetcrisp bed I put in just before or just after Christams, can't remember which it was......

Today

Those were potted plants from Trublue..I will say they did not grow as fast as the last set of sweet crisps that were bareroot.

This is my main BB bed, holds about 40% of my blueberry bushes.

A before shot from fall 2010

and today so 2 year span, have added a lot of plants to this bed in two years. You can now just barely see the bird bath.

This is the duck bug patrol on duty. For bonus points can you spot the two chickens in the picture? A hint is they are no where near the ducks.

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Bradybb(wa8)

Very nice pictures bamboo.Cool looking area.Is that a Fig or a Mulberry to the left of the grapes?I think there is a brown chicken at the near bed by the drive. Brady

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 7:21PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Brady,

Good eyes times two. That is a pair of buff orphingtons under the bush (plumbago) at the side of the drive, you can just see their back ends.

Yep that is a fig, a green Ischia. It is another of the fast growers. I bought it this spring at the same place as the peach trees. The fig was 2 feet tall.......now it is 7 feet tall and currently loaded with figs. My idea was to plant one fig at the end of each grape row to cover up the tension wire. There are 6 rows so it would be 6 different fig cultivars. The problem is the fig is getting too tall already and don't want them to shade the grapes. Not sure if I should prune it lower when dormant but that would hurt it's fig production or if I could possibly bend the shoots over, weight or tie the limbs in an ark. Guess I should ask the fig forum unless anyone here has a suggestion.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 7:42PM
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mrsg47(7)

Darn! Picture is not big enough to find the chickens? Are they the two brown spots under the left hand shrub?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:18PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Yes that is them, well their tail ends anyway.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:36PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Sweet spread Bam, in a couple years your going to have so much fruit your not going to be able to keep up! I notice you didnt show your Sunshine Blues by your house? I would like to see some pics of them and also your Windsors? My Sunshine is 4ft by 4ft now and thick like a jungle. My Windsor is rather short but very stout!!! Its a very slick looking plant though. Its rated at like 400 chill hours, you ever had a problem with Windsor fruiting in your zone? I think we pretty much have the same chill hours for the most part.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:02PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Blue,

If I took a picture of everything it would be a long post:) Just this year I added 2 new types of fig, 5 new citrus varieties( 2 Kishu's, ponkan,sunburst, gold nugget and best of all and so hard to get a Dekopon. so up to 18 citrus now. 2 new plums, a jujube, 3 pineapple guavas. 8 pineapples of 2 varieties, 3 persimmons and two grumichamas.

I never show the BB bed in the back of the house as it to me looks ugly. It sits partially under a huge 150 year old live oak so all the bushes grow at an angle for light. Mostly back there is Jewels, few emeralds and the odds and end bushes.

Big project this winter is ripping out 60 feet of Ouchita and Natchez black berries as I simply hate them. I will replace them all with Kiowa which do great here and taste awesome.

I trimmed the Sunshines back quite a bit this summer as my wife was complaining they were blocking the dogs view out the windows from their window seat(rolls eyes). I will take a shot of the sunshines and the windsors tomorrow for you. The sunshines have not been mulched yet as I ran out of tree trims so forgive a few weeds:)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:48PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Blue,

Sorry forgot to answer.....nope the Windsor produces great for me no matter the winter. They are very reliable and the fruit is large and very good quality. Not as productive as say Emerald but better taste. My windsors are all quite tall between 5-6 feet. They do grow a bit slower than some varieties.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:56PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Good to know about Windsor, thanks! Im growing Kiowa and Tupi blackberries, 4 plants each. Just plant the Tupi last spring and dont know if its going to out produce Kiowa or not but Tupi canes are much longer than Kiowa and send out way more branches than Kiowa. Will that extra vigor result in a bigger harvest than Kiowa??? Thats to be seen still but Ive been very impressed them overall. Im sure they would do well where ever Kiowa thrives. Ive tasted Tupi from the grocery store and they were much sweeter than my Kiowas. I believe 2012 was the first year they have been offered here in the states. If youve got blackberries from the store and they say product of Mexico on the package, its Tupi.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:22PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Beautiful photos, Bamboo! I wish I could have chickens, I'd have 1/2 the snail and slug population. Very nice. And I see your chickens too, or at least, their tail ends. And, lucky you to snag a Dekopon. Still no source here in California for them.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:51PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Hoosier,

The ducks and chickens are amazing bug destroyers. In the past I had all sorts of trouble with grass hoppers, just hordes of them. Now they are gone.... ducks are easier than chickens and if you get a breed like Muscovy nobody will know you have them as they are basically mute. From 10 feet away you can't hear them even when they are excited. The Pekin ducks on the other hand are LOUD!

More and more municipalities are allowing chickens every day. City keeping of chickens is very much on the rise. Most don't allow roosters but hens only squawk when they lay an egg and just for a couple seconds. We are outside the city limits here so it does not matter. Here is a link about changing the laws if you are interested in trying.

Here is a link that might be useful: chicken laws

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:46AM
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mrsg47(7)

Bamboo, lovely gardens and your new peach orchard is amazingly beautiful. It is a wonder that peaches grow so quickly and become quite strong. Every year your peach crop will double. (I hope!) Mrs. G

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:36AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Blue boy,

Here are the sunshine blues and windsors. I looked up the Lupi blackberries..have a good source for them?

The windsors are 10+ years old.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:50AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, I live in a gated community with fairly strict CC&R's. I'd love to try to get our CC&R's amended to allow chickens (but no roosters, I get that), and ducks. Our problem with having fowl in our yard are the coyotes and bobcats. We back a fairly large wilderness area, and have a very large coyote population. I have coyotes that stroll right behind my back fence at least 4 to 6 times a day, every day. In fact, one lone coyote has made friends with our neighbor's pit bull next door (they run up and down the fence playing, the coyote I think is in love with her.) And, that same next door neighbor just last week watched our resident bobcat jump into her back yard and take a short cut across her yard to the front street, and then strolled across my driveway and front yard on his way up to the northern part of his territory. We'd just be attracting the bob cat to make much more regular "visits" for a snack, as well as a coyote jumping our fences for the same thing. Plus, the other detractor is our huge rat population. Having to put down chicken scratch attracts rodents. So, we're probably better off without them, unfortunately.

Question, do you have to amend your soil for your blueberries, or is your soil acidic enough in your part of Florida for them? They look so good!!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:58AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Patty,

We have coyotes and bobcats here also as well as tons of alligators which is another issue as we live on a lake. The birds are fine days as our land predators unlike yours just prowl at night but at night everyone is locked up nice and tight. The ducks have a 12x20 house which is also where they nest and the chickens have an elevated coop so they are safe. Not many rats here...it is probably the owls that keep them away. We do have small hawks but they never bother the ducks or even the ducklings. The hawks here mostly eat lizards and snakes.

It would be easier to get the city to change their minds than the HOA.

Sadly the soil here is just on the acidic side but not nearly as acidic as BB want. I plant in a mix of peat and pine fines and because I have over 140 BB plants it has been a lot of pine fines:) The main problem here is our high PH high bicarbonate load water as we are on a limerock aquifer. I finally gave up and bought a 325 gallon tank and now acidify the water. The tank has it's own pump and pressure tank as well as a timer and is tied in to the 3 watering lines for the BB's. The advantage is I never have to give them pine fines again.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:43PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Sweet plants Bam, do you thin small fruiting wood and buds before they break or not? I couldn't imagine thinning that many plants before they wake up!!! I finally got rid of some of my plants to friends and family. I was feeling over whelmed with 52 and I've got it down to 42 and still will get rid of some more after this spring. Hopefully sweetcrisp is as good as y'all say! If so I will keep a few of the better varieties I have now and get rid of atleast half my current SHB only to replace them with sweetcrisp.

The only place I've seen online that have Tupi blackberries is Berries Unlimited. I got mine at a local fruit tree sale put on by Urban Harvest. Its a Houston area fruit growing community that put on some great tree sales a few times a year. You got me interested in peaches now. I've read up on them the last couple days and for the Houston area their life expectancy is only 10 at the most. I assume this typical of southern humid areas for peach trees??? The recommended varieties for my area are Tropic Snow, Tropic Sweet, Mid Pride, Texstar and Florida Prince. Do you have any experience with any of these varieties?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 2:43PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Blueboy,

I didn't know you had so many BB lol. I trim after harvest is over fairly hard and some of the smaller wood down low while dormant but I have so many plants I can't give that much time to any one bush. I do make sure on bushes like the emeralds to thin so as not to have too many fruit. As it is the BB take up a lot of my time. Just that center bed of BB and that new sweet crisp bed took two full tree company truck loads of chips to mulch. The weather here and where you are is so warm for so long and humid the chips break down fast. The mulching is a yearly event. The new acid system though has made my life easier as now I don't need to deal with getting 100 bags of pine fines a year and spreading those also.

The peaches live fast and die young:) I mean look at the growth they put on in 7 months......it is amazing. Compare them to the 3 persimmons I put in at the same time, the persimmons still look exactly the same as when I put them in, maybe 2 inches of growth, maybe.

I am growing 5 varieties (7 trees. The layout is below if you want to compare it to the pictures. The two trees on the opposite side of the drive are plums and they are also growing fast. This land was (well still is) covered in mixed hardwoods, oaks and hickories and I get a lot of Armillaria root rot mushrooms popping up and since it can last in the ground 100 years I just know the peaches will get it eventually. That is the advantage of a tree that grows so fast....even if in 4 years they start to decline I still got a good crop from them and will just plant more in different spots.

The link below really helped me. I tried very hard to get UF2000 and UFsharp but so far have not found them locally. The citrus growers are tearing out groves and replacing them with peaches and they are hogging them all:) Florida has the first peaches of the season so it is a profitable crop for the growers. I'm not sure how your weather is but it is mostly dry here during the peach fruiting season so getting good fruit is pretty easy I guess.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peaches

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 4:01PM
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