Cris Bessette

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since May 20, 2011
North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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Recent posts by Cris Bessette

About 5 years ago I planted two kiwi vines.  I bought and planted one labeled FEMALE and one labeled MALE. 
As luck would have it, they finally both bloomed this year, and both are  clearly FEMALE.

How do nurseries even know if a vine/tree is one gender or the other before they have obvious sex characteristics like flowers?

I've bought a third kiwi vine, supposedly male, but I hate to plant it just to find out in 4-5 years that it is also female.
Good luck with the kumquat.  My personal opinion is that kumquat is one of the best choices for cold hardy citrus.
Mine took a beating last winter, might have to dig them back up and repot, grow indoors for another year or two
so that they will have more adult resistance to cold.
2 months ago

Make sure you have things that eat mosquito larvae.  Frogs and fish think they are yummy.  Dragon flies. Birds.  A healthy eco-system in your pond will attract mosquito predators.
2 months ago

Kyle Neath wrote:You're correct in your hunch — an individual strawberry plant may only produce for 3-5 year, but any new plants from runners reset that timer. Often people pull the whole "rip up the whole patch and replant" when they keep the strawberries in a contained, linear row under plastic that prevents runners from creating new plants. If you let strawberries do their thing, they'll keep going indefinitely.

That's pretty much what I was guessing.  Putting strawberry plants in an artificial situation results in the necessity for replacement. 
Letting them grow like they do in nature, should result in self-replacing plants.
3 months ago
The plants I have are mystery plants.  They came from the edge of the woods of my property.  They definitely spread by stolons.
I started with about five plants a few years ago, now I have hundreds. 
3 months ago
Thanks for that response Miles.

I spent a good hour searching Google and everything I read says that you essentially have to start over every so many years.
Just watching how they grow and spread themselves and procreate that seems questionable to me. 

Maybe that's just some "garden wisdom" that is just handed down generation after generation without question? 
3 months ago
I've looked around the web but I can't seem to find an answer to a question about strawberries:

Every where I look it says that strawberry plants have a lifespan of 3-5 years, then they stop producing berries, die off.

Everything I read says that basically you have to rip out the whole patch and start all over, but that doesn't make sense to me.
Wouldn't the younger plants produced by the stolons of the original plants take over for the ones that die off?

Shouldn't a patch be more or less permanent,  Just replacing itself little by little each year? Or is there some built in genetic
limit that kills off the whole patch, older and younger plants all at once?

3 months ago

I think this is a really interesting idea. Algae appears in a pond because an excess of nutrients in the water.  The algae itself is "charged" by the nutrients in the pond / sunlight.

It makes logical sense to me that running the water through a filter (biochar in your case) would result in the algae and its nutrients/organic matter being deposited in the biochar.

3 months ago

John C Daley wrote:What are minnows and where would you get them?

Sorry, don't know where to get minnows myself.

Frogs will tend to appear out of no where if you build a pond, so right there you have something that will take care of mosquito larva.
I got some gold fish years ago and they bred until I have a hundred or more now. Between the two of these common pond dwellers,
I have no problem with mosquitos breeding in my ponds.
3 months ago
I actually already have about 8 paw paw trees that I have planted over the years. 

I grew those from seed, but I don't have any experience with bare root paw paw care. I'm just mainly worried that fertilizing them too soon might have a detrimental effect, though
like I mentioned,  the instructions that came with these particular trees said not to do so.
3 months ago