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Regional seed swapping - Texans or Oklahomans

 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Anyone interested in swapping seeds with other Texans or Oklahomans? This would just be small padded envelopes of seeds unless folks want to swap larger amounts. I have a lot of different winter squash seeds, but they're not named varieties, they're grow outs from a number of Southwestern varieties from Native Seed/SEARCH.

http://nativeseeds.org/
 
Casie Becker
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I don't have a huge amount of any one seed. I have some basil seeds, some dill, some cilantro and a very tiny bit of amaranth.

Great germination on the amaranth this spring, and the dill last fall. Never bothered to try the cilantro because it had already self seeded before I was ready to plant. Last summer my saved basil seeds did fairly well scattered throughout the garden.

It's probably borderline on planting time for Dill and Cilantro, they'll fail as soon as it gets hot. Time for the basil and amaranth is just coming up, though.

Would you be interested in some excess seeds from packets I ordered this year? If you've seen my transplant offer, I don't even need the all of the few seeds I started in my squashes this year. I want to keep a few seeds back to use for a fall crop and try for another crop next year, that still leaves about 10 seeds per variety that will be wasted.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'd love some of your extras! Would you like only squash seeds in exchange, or should I put in other things as well? I have a large seed collection and some of them are aging and should be grown out. I also have some extra plants - cardoon, canna, Canada onion, garlic chives, rosemary, oregano, and probably some other things I'm forgetting, if you want them, but of course I'll need to use a box for those.

We can exchange addresses in PM.

I don't think it's too late for dill and cilantro in my locale because we tend to be a little cooler. I see by your photos that your Iris are blooming - mine are just beginning to send up buds, so I'm guessing I'm a week or two behind you, which is weird considering you're farther north. Maybe you're close enough to Austin to get a bit of heat island effect.

 
Casie Becker
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Posts: 796
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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My irises are actually turning into a good indicator of micro climates in my yard. The ones between the house and the driveway (on the south) started blooming at the beginning of January and the ones on the Northwest edge of the yard are just starting to form their first flower buds. By the time the iris actually stop blooming my gladiolus will be starting to come up.

There isn't much delineation between the Northwest edge of Austin and the city proper of Cedar Park, so you're probably
spot on about the heat island.

I'll send you PM about plants and seeds after I go through my stores to see if there are others I've forgot about.
 
Dan Boone
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This is an excellent idea!

I've got small quantities to offer of a land race Okra I'm working on. I call it "field okra" because I'm selecting it for survival without irrigation. It's only got a couple of varieties in its genetics so far, but this will be its third season, meaning I've collected it from two seasons of plants that made seed without any added water.

I'm specifically looking for anything in the squash family that laughs at powdery mildew, squash bugs, and vine borers. But just about anything that's locally adapted is of interest.

I also have quite a bit of local and wild fruit tree seeds if anybody is looking for those.
 
Casie Becker
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I'm looking for squash with those same characteristics myself. I had good luck last fall with the Tatume. Since I do hear good things about it, I'm trying it in the early summer garden this year.

I'm a little worried the Seminole squash will need more water than I can provide, but it grows wild in an area which if anything has more disease and insect pressure than here. I was actually surprised at how fast the roots outgrew the first seedling pots so they might be able to find enough water.

If you consider cucumbers/melons to be close enough, I had a snake melon interplanted with assorted squash and melons last spring. Bugs eventually killed all the squash and mildew did in the melons. The snake melon literally grew through the other vines as they died and was still producing until daylight hours got too short in fall.
 
Tyler Ludens
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If anyone wants some of my squash seeds, message me with your address and I can get them in the mail next week.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Wow, Casie really spoiled me with all the iris and seeds she sent in our first swap!

Thank you!

swap1.jpg
[Thumbnail for swap1.jpg]
 
Casie Becker
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If you've ever grown one of those old cemetery iris, you'd understand how sharing them is no hardship.

Now I'm wishing I posted a picture before I planted the onions. Now they're spread through the front yard beds.
 
Tyler Ludens
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No worries. I do a lot of swapping on Craftster, where we're obligated to post pics of the things we get, so I did it kind of automatically. But there is no obligation to post pics here.

Are the iris the pale purple kind you see everywhere?

 
Casie Becker
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Probably not. It was a the second spring after I first divided them that I had any purple ones bloom. They're less vigorous than the white ones, and so both multiply slower and take longer to recover when they are divided. Those are almost certainly white ones.

If you really want purple, I can mark the few that do bloom purple this year and send divisions after the blooming season. They do bloom a little later than the white, also.
 
Casie Becker
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The purple ones by my front door have finally started blooming. Are these the kind you're thinking of?

(I love the way it looks like I put tons and tons of effort into maintaining a perfect lawn here. Grass really isn't worth that kind of effort )
003.jpg
[Thumbnail for 003.jpg]
 
Tyler Ludens
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I don't need any purple, though yours are lovely - I have some purple ones I swiped from a roadside and thought they might be "cemetery iris."

Maybe I can get some of your purple ones in a future swap.

If those are aloe next to the iris, you are definitely warmer than here, as I'm nearly certain aloe would die in my yard. I have aloe envy.

 
Tyler Ludens
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I have Soapberries, if anyone wants some!

 
Casie Becker
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What kind of terrain are the trees growing in? I'm still planning to try gathering some of my own when I find a tree.
 
Tyler Ludens
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These were all gathered along the road in fencerows, generally near pastures or crop fields.



 
Tyler Ludens
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I still have some Soapberry if anyone wants some.

One thing I really want to obtain is Choko/Chayote, Sechium edule. I know I've seen it in the vegetable section at the store at some point, but they didn't have it last time I looked, although they do have roots of Taro and Turmeric, which I bought and will plant. Both of these subtropicals are hardy in my zone, as far as I can tell.

Apparently Choko won't grow from dried seeds; you have to plant the whole fruit. http://www.harvesttotable.com/2009/03/how_to_grow_chayote/

Anyone here grow them?
 
Casie Becker
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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The Texas Gardener Magazine did an article about them which suggests that the varieties grown in Louisiana are commonly known as mirlitons. Not that I have any, but maybe it will help your search if you find someone growing them under the other name.
 
Victor Thomas
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Location: South Central Texas, Zone 8b, Guadalupe County
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Tyler, I wouldn't mind some soapberry seeds. How do you use or plant to use soapberry in your permaculture landscape? I had grabbed some soapberry seeds a few years ago, but apparently lost them, since I had nowhere to plant them and moved since then.

I also want to grow chayote. I tried to start some last fall that I bought at HEB, but I think it was to cool and I didn't want to keep it inside all winter. It started to get leaves and also I may have had the soil to wet. I started it out by keeping it in a paper bag in my cabinet, when it started to sprout on its own I put it in a pot...but if you have a spot picked out, I'd guess you would plant it in its permanent location at that point. There is quite a bit of info online about sprouting them, but you're right. You have to sprout and plant the whole fruit.

I'm just starting out getting things planted and ordering seeds here and there in addition to grabbing what I see in the wild. As soon as I have a bit stocked up I'll try to get a list posted here.
 
Tyler Ludens
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PM me your address and I can send you some soapberry seeds, Victor. I'm just tossing the seeds into brushpiles to try to get more diversity of trees on our place. The berries themselves can be used as laundry soap by putting them in a cloth bag and adding to the wash. I haven't tried it yet.

Maybe our local HEB will have chayote again later in the year, and I'll be able to pick up a couple. I'm a little worried they only show up in the store when it's actually too late to plant them; apparently they need over 100 warm days to mature. I wonder if the root can be kept alive in the ground over the winter even if the plant isn't old enough to fruit. I wonder if it's possible to store the fruit in the fridge over the winter and plant the next spring, or if it will just rot.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I finally obtained a Choko! My husband found it in the zucchini area at HEB.
 
Casie Becker
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Do these require cross pollination? I've seen mixed reports, but maybe starting two would be advisable.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Looks like some people claim it is self-pollinating, others say you get better fruiting with more than one. Maybe I'll see how the one does this year, and if it seems to need a pollinator, plant another one next year (assuming they grow here at all, or survive the winter).

 
Victor Thomas
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Location: South Central Texas, Zone 8b, Guadalupe County
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I just picked up two chayote at the store the other day as well...and thinking of how some people grow potatoes under mulch, even though chayote is totally unrelated, I thought of this: since the chayote is often sprouted in open air, a paper bag, or cabinet and then placed in soil after it sprouted, I wonder if I could just bury the chayote under some leaf mulch and it would just root itself in place and begin to grow out of the mulch. Any thoughts?
 
Tyler Ludens
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I stuck mine in the dirt and put a little mulch over it. No sign of sprouting yet.

 
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