Monday, March 16, 2015

MANGO'S



 I've been experimenting with exotic tropical fruit for a few years, I'm always pushing the zone requirement of fruit that the experts say won't grow in tampa bay because it is to cool here. I believe that if you maintain control of the critical growing factors, you should be able to grow anything in this sub-tropical zone ( 9A to 9B  ). Some of the plants that is marginal is mangos, location is the prime issue with growing them. Below 40 F mangos start to go into shock and a little below that they just die. What I am trying, is planting them close to a window on the south side of the house. I expect that the heat escaping from the window should be enough to protect it from the cold.

March 8,2015
Follow-up:
                 February 2015, the temperature in Tampa Bay dropped down into the 30's (F). My mango's had already flowered and set fruit, had the normal fruit drop. But the tree's retained a large number of fruit.

       
                                                         
                                                            MilkWeed flowers

Milk weed flower leaves are the only food eaten by Monarch Catapillers. You need at least a half dozen flowers to insure that there is enough food for them.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Monarch Butterflies just hatched.

Monarch Butterflies


Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis

Chrysalis is the last stage of the catapiller before it transforms into a beautiful butterfly.

Monarch Catapiller

Monarch Catapiller 
                                                               

Monday, March 2, 2015

What's Growing in My Yard This Month March 2015


The warm weather perked up all my plants, starting with my mango's flowering and fruiting early. Then the cold hit, we went down to 33 degree's. I though I would have lost them including the tree's. I believe I may have found a solution by planting my mango trees close to my kitchen windows they may have been saved. The heat given off by the kitchen utilities brought the temperature up enough to protect them. My Surinam cherry trees are now so full of white flowers that I can hardly see the tree, even had a few early fruit (2 or 3). A hand full of blueberries also showed up. My carambolas really kicked out a lot of fruit, been giving them away to friends and family. Loquats, they've turned yellow and are almost ready to pick. Been picking oranges for awhile. Bananas have slowed down again, but not before we were able to pick and eat some of them. Avocado tree has lots of flowers, expecting a nice crop this year. Same on my pomelo, lots of flowers and fruit.

This month I started a monarch butterfly garden, planted a dozen milkweed plants. Last week I found a monarch butterfly caterpillar. Saw it today and it has been growing well. Monarch butterflies are becoming extinct, anyone interested in gaining more information can contact me at sl.rainforest@gmail.com    


Friday, September 19, 2014

Carambola

   The best way to eat carambolas (star fruit) is right off the tree, not from the super market. The super market offers carambolas that are at least a week or two old. Note that the ridges which should be green are dark brown. Most of the nutrition is lost within a few days.
   First wash your super market carambola off so that there are no pesticides left on them, then cut the front tip and back end off. The next step is to shave the green (or brown) ridges off as the contain a chemical that prevents your body from retaining calcium. One of the many things super markets forget to tell you. Finally lay them on their side and slice them so that they look like tiny stars, hence their name.