pumpkin in shed window curing with vegetable garden in background

Heirloom vegetables what are they and why should we be eating and growing them? Plus, we touch on hybrid and GM vegetables vs true-to-type. ...

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Monash, thanks for commenting!...
  monash — Thanks for the great article . Monash...
finger lime tree with ripe fruit unsusal
Product lines for fresh fruit in supermarkets just don't "cut it" anymore. Where has the variety gone? Too often we have to settle for the staple more traditional fruits when other local fruiting trees are laden with exotic and tasty fruit to eat.

 

Cucumber vine and hanging fruit on black plastic trellis
Here's some well known champion cucumbers to try and grow in your part of the world wherever that may be.

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Helena, better still I'd love it if you joined our forum and created a discussion thread in our "Fruit & Vegetable Growing" section then simply drag your cucumber pics onto the page and I could take a look? http://www.selfsufficientculture.com/ Cheers ......
  Helena — I can a plant that came unexpected in the same pot as my alovera plant. I think it is a cucumber plant, but I have no idea what do to and what type it is. Is is already being attacked by the mosaic virus as you mention. I can sent you pictures. Thanks...
  Mark Valencia — Hi "Trade Tested" thanks for you comment and encouragement! It's great to hear others with a similar cucumber love as I and you certainly seem like you've got that passion for growing this awesome food. Cheers, Mark...

some large variety tomatoes on bench grown in subtropical climate

To be a successful tomato grower we must follow some fundamental guidelines as pests and disease love our tomato plants as much as we do and the best tip I can offer and show is how to grow them on a strong trellis - that's what this article is about. Plus, I give a few more special tomato growing tips.

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Ashley, thanks for the feedback and I'm glad you enjoy most of my articles. Reference your comment about me stating hybrids are the same as GM I'm not sure how you perceive my article to mean that? I know full well the difference between Hybrid and GMO but I wrote Hybrid and GMO together just to ......
  Ashley Bean — I have really been enjoying your articles, especially the quail ones, which was the reason I landed here. I do have a problem with this one though. Hybrids and genetically modified plants are NOT the same. The fact that you allude to them being the same is alarming, especially for someone who seems ......

Rosella plant red calyx and flower

I'm not scared to try different plants in my garden (especially edible ones) and giving rosella a go in my backyard turned out to be a great decision.

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  Mark Valencia — No probs at all Dehydration doesn't take long either... All the best ...
  cookinmom — Thanks so much Mark...my bad regarding seeds & sugar. This turned out awesome! Loved it and will be making more many seasons ahead. It really is simple once you do it. Your video was very clear. I just picked the last of the season's Roselle. Did really well this yr. The were 7-8 ft tall. ......
  Mark Valencia — Hi there Cookinmom! I actually did weigh the pulp after the seeds were removed... Step 4. Also, check out this video on making rosella jam - thanks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO8hLOW9vSk......

Eden grow room with family

Ever heard of grow-rooms? I have, although, I hadn't really considered building a grow-room personally. But, when the guys from Eden Grow-Rooms contacted me to ask if I could run a story on their product (for free) I accepted because I find grow rooms interesting, and I thought the readers of Self Sufficient Me might like to read more about them also.

Home grown ripe strawberries

As we all know, strawberries are a divine and decadent fruit but they can be pricey to buy from the markets so I grow my own. Coincidently, I play tennis at my local tennis club with a strawberry farmer called Adrian and he has been kind enough to teach me a few tricks of the trade about growing the tastiest strawberries ever.

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  growing strawberries — Growing a strawberry is a good idea..Throughout the season a small patch of strawberry plants will produce a few handfulls of berries once or twice a week...It has many benefits that includes good health also if we eat it on a regular basis.....

To grow the best peas and plenty of them there are several fundamentals, which are needed to be done right or the pea crop can become a disaster.

Valencia orange tree thriving

How can we transplant a fruit tree successfully?

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  Rob — Thanks Mark. I own a small earthmoving business (me and a stand on digger). The job I'm doing next week has a great orange tree they done want. I have two young kids and am putting a few fruit trees in the back yard to keep them fed. I was going to do pretty much what you said but there are a couple......
  Mark Valencia — Hi Kenny, yes moving your trees in late fall will give them the best chance since you can't move them in winter. At least in fall the trees are winding down so if not fully dormant they would be close to it whereas in spring and summer they would be growing hard and storing nutrients to prepare for......
  Kenny — Hi Mark, my friend just bought a house that has two apple trees that he wants to cut down. I would like to transplant them to my property rather then discard them. I know you say move them in the winter but I live in northern Canada and when winter sets in the ground freezes and we end up with a cou......

Dragon fruit flowers at sunrise

Dragon fruit or called by its proper name Pitaya is one of the lessor known fruiting plants in the Western world (perhaps the whole world).

The name “dragon fruit” has its origins in Asia and probably was formed as a way to describe the bright coloured fruit with a chunky scaled skin resembling large scales - like a dragon.

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  Mark Valencia — Just one cutting was started in that pot TY cheers ...
  Mark Valencia — Not me no... I would advise growing DF separately rather than on a living host tree....
  simon — just wondering if anyone has seen or tried growing dragon fruit on a tree that gets pollarded?...

yellow cherry tomato lettuce

Read on to see how the Yellow Cherry tomato scores on the SSM's tomato rating board.

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Jo, Yes this variety is an "indeterminate" tomato which means it will continue to grow out and up like a vine. Trimming it at about 2m high and letting it grow out the same wide will make a great plant - just keep pruning to keep it under control. After its initial flush of fruit, you can get a l......
  Jo — Does this variety of tomato need pruning?...

Holding cauliflowers

Cauliflower, a pretentious vegetable to grow but extremely satisfying when we do, especially, when big heads are produced.

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Kaatzy, how cool! I love your organic method to control cabbage butterfly. I have read sprinkling egg shells around the base of the plants can help to deter the butterflies because of the reasons you explained. However, your milk bottle fake butterfly trick sounds much better and I'm going to try......
  Kaatzy — Thisis a cabbage butterfly deterrent that is sort of strange. Someone discovered that the butterflies are territorial and so if they see others of their kind on your brassica family plants (cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower)they will stay away. First you cut out some plastic shaped "butterfli......
  Mark Valencia — Hi Pink, pyrethrem will work on the cabbage butterfly caterpilla but not on the eggs or the actual butterfly. Try some derris dust, it is also low toxic and may curb the outbreaks. Only apply if the crops are getting decimated - don't worry about a few holes in the leaves as this dosen't justify che......

Ginger rhizome in ground

This article explains how to grow ginger and also how to make ginger candy two ways both spicy and mild.

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  Mark Valencia — Thanks DC appreciate you taking the time to comment! ...
  DC — Thank you for sharing the information - I've successfully grown my first lot ... About to harvest :-)...
  Mark Valencia — Hi Pink! Yes, skip the sugar coating bit at the end by all means, especially if you are going to use it for cooking. We like to coat ours in sugar for eating (straight) as it softens the bite from the ginger. Cheers ......

Lantana a noxious weed in Queensland Australia

This article explains what a weed is by definition, ways to remove weeds, and ways to control or suppress them in the home garden.

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  Mark Valencia — Elaine, I have heard many weeds can be eaten (like certain thistles) but you've definately got my interest! I'll check out the books you recommend by Peter, cheers ...
  Elaine coolowl — Weeds do have a vital place though, odd though that may seem. See either of Peter Andrew's books (in Moreton Library) 'Back from the Brink' and 'Beyond the Brink'. Peter's views, backed up by practical use, will give the reader a whole new perspective on 'weeds'....

orange good

It's hardly surprising that oranges have evolved into one of the most favourite and commonly utilised fruits in the world considering its taste and versatility as a food, drink, ingredient in cooking, a pharmaceutical and beauty product, cleanser, or deodoriser - I'm sure there's plenty more examples too.

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  Mark Valencia — No worries Bahadir happy to chat with you about fruit trees - it's what I love talking about! Osmocote Bloom fertilizer - yes, we have it in Australia and it's a good brand to use. I tend to use a lot of mulch and some rotted chicken manure but also a good citrus fertiliser with trace elements bec......
  bahadır gökçe — Thanks you Mark. Normally we produced washington trees but they have not taken good money so we grew the fruit first season. That is september is important for us because of sell merchant. so ı will produce mandarin but first mandarin Also I ask you Do you know Oscomote Bloom fertilizer ? if us......
  Mark Valencia — Hi Bahadır, thank you for taking the time to say hello and ask a question. I have not grown either types of mandarins you mention so I can't honestly say what they are like and how well they grow; however, in regards to diseases I can be pretty sure if you're growing oranges successfully for so lo......

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