By the pricking of my thumbs, Solanum lycopersicum this way comes

Originally published at: By the pricking of my thumbs, Solanum lycopersicum this way comes | Boing Boing


I am extremely jealous. Our strawberries are about 3” tall right now and we’re weeks away from even thinking about planting out tomatoes. Everything looks great!

Why is that, I wonder? Serious insect pressure is virtually nonexistent for apples west of the Rockies as are most fungal issues. If you have a pollen source nearby I don’t see why you wouldn’t have a great crop after it matures.

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Have you tried growing citrus in an Earthbox? I’ve got a seedless lime and a mandarin tree going in mine. I got fruit the first year but both trees were severely denuded by the Santa Ana winds last year. Now they are growing leaves back and even have some blossoms. Not sure what the long term prognosis is but so far I’m happy.


Apples need cold weather. Like sustained periods of time below 45F.


Ah, yes you’re right. I hadn’t thought about dormancy… and frankly had totally forgotten that there are parts of this earth that don’t have Upstate NY winters.

ETA: Maybe if you have a friend with a walk-in cooler they’d allow you to overwinter there :wink:


Yep, however, this tree was sold to me by a local nursery who swore these semi-dwarf fuji apples will do great here in West LA. It gets cold at night during ‘the dead of winter’ and I had to use my heater a lot in February and early March. Someone told me even 8-9 nights in a row will have been enough.

It is growing well and flowering like mad.

I do not know!


Right, or Michigan winters. Our apple tree should be pretty happy with how February went this year. :wink:

@jlw: Jason, I wish you the absolute best of luck with your food growing adventures! There are apples that need a lot less cold time than my tree needs, and hopefully you have one. :crossed_fingers:


Honestly, we’ve had years recently that were on the verge of not reaching the sustained temps for dormancy. 2 winters ago was virtually early spring weather all winter. Or maybe it was 3 years; does Covid year even count?

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I hope it counts, because this year is supposed to be the heavy production year for our tree! Last year was terrible, but that was the down cycle year.


No, I have a blueberry bush in one that looks to be doing quite well and a tomatillo in another that is growing so huge and fast I had to steak it as the weight of the plant nearly broke the trunk. Strawberries throw off a lot of fruit in them. Tomatoes and weed were unstoppable.

Trees are all in giant containers with more space for roots. I wanted them to grow 6-8’ tall if I can get them there. Apple is already there.

I think dwarf citrus should do well in an Earthbox tho and now I bet I’ll spend some time searching the internet looking for some.

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I switched from the liquid/powder fertilizer to an organic granule last year and my garden looked the best it ever has. The only downside is that poultry manure is one of the main ingredients and the smell lingers for some time after the 2nd application.

I’m about to move next week so i’ve desperately been holding off on re-planting my indoor plants and also starting a bunch of seeds. This just makes me want to get started ASAP, i’ve been wanting to get some indoor tomato plants going… there’s a couple of varieties i’ve had my eye on.

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Clip those runners on the strawberry plants until they’ve finished their fruiting season. Runners are a great way to get plants, but they also discourage the plant from devoting all its energy into fruit production.


Fruit trees like plum, pear, peach, apricot, apple, quince, olives, figs (among others) need a specific minimum number of chill hours as part of their routine to flower, set, and bear fruit.

Florida, Texas and Israeli apple cultivars are bred for a lower number of chill hours required than what grows in Missouri, Michigan and New York. Useful discussion here:

So if you, Jason, are curious about your area’s official chill hours (and the formulas and calculations vary; broken dormancy that causes sap to rise during hot spell followed by a cold spell has been argued that one must deduct “heat hours” from total chill for the winter in question to get a more accurate sense of real chill), try visiting this site:

[My partner and I have been begging this guy (he’s a one-man operation) to please please please not take down this site, and have periodically sent him some support money, because he has made some moves to cut costs and this site may be on the chopping block, still.]

First, go get your weather station ID. The easiest way to do that (I find) is to go get the ID from the station nearest you via Wunderground. I dunno where you are in SoCal but for demo purposes, I’ll use Monterey as an example. (Search for a weather station nearest you by clicking “change station” and look at the map and options listed.)

To get the weather station ID, click the place name displayed next to the current temperature, which goes here:

So the ID for that station is
and plugged into the GetChill, you end up with…

Oh man, I need to email the guy back, this site may be messed up again… will repost when I get a workable answer from him… ugh.

Some cultivars recommended for warmer climes include:

(sorry no wiki entry for the Ein Shemer as a apple) :roll_eyes:

see also:

I get it that California ≠ “southern climate” but…

I do not love the flavor of most “southern” apples, which are great for baking, making cider, applesauce, but not so much for eating out of hand (directly from the tree). I used to think Jonathans were tasty because I picked apples in Missouri for one summer and they are nice. Great for cider. Having tasted many more kinds of apples, I probably need to live in Vermont on a farm that has a McIntosh orchard. Winesaps are also delicious. A kind of exquisite torture for me are these kinds of stories:


Pruning (even when you are growing a semi-dwarf or dwarf cultivar) is beneficial, helps the tree longterm, and will improve yields.




W00t! W00t! W00t!


Feel free to periodically foliar feed with liquid seaweed (like Maxicrop etc.) on the whole plant (apply at dusk or dawn-in-the-shade) to increase brix.

I love this picture. Thanks for posting. Fruit is nature’s message that she has not given up on us humans (and bees).

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