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Maizefarmer

Growing Makua in Thailand

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Well, I have finally got flower buds, not alot but they are coming. Only one flower has opened so far. It took 3 months from seed to first flower. I did leave them inside for way too long because it was too cold outside. I think that set me back a month judging by the size differences between the first set and the second set I started 6 weeks later. The second group is almost as big as the first already. I remember a quote from several months ago, something along the lines of "one day you will wake up and there will be flowers everywhere". I am checking every morning now. :o

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Bt,

How did the Karate work out against the bugs ?

The short answer is " it didn't". I have great plants with leaves that look like sieves. Just now started harvesting fruits. The fruits are good, not a lot of blemishes but don't know how long the plants will go as they are beginning to look pretty grim.

After much consideration I am of the belief that vegetable farming here is not a viable enterprise. There are of course exceptions, chilli, lemon grass, basil, holy basil do well, no bug problems. Tomatoes are semi viable for family use but not on a commercial basis.

The variety and numbers of bugs is just way over the top. The latest is yellow spotted beetles, they just absolutely love the makua and the 40 or so orchids I've got. With the very very wet and rainy times the last few months - pretty much steady rain since a week after Songkran - the bugs are multiplying at incredible rates and I expect they will continue until the dry season starts in November. Its all pretty depressing, on the other hand Maize Farmer's advice proved to be very accurate - start small and find out what your problems will be.

I have some Actara but have decided not to use it. The risk of contaminating the nearby water is just too great. Using the bucket with holes method, I've been able to actually watch the water seep out of the bottoms and drain off towards the canals, not good.

From my experience the only way to grow is to have an enclosed environment, which I've looked into. That would mean a clear roof of some sort (just way too much rain over very long periods) and at least a screen side walls. Considering it must be totally enclosed with screen it means some sort of foundation and sealed flooring ( plastic would work for the floor ) to be effective.

Using the cheapest of materials is still a considerable expense when building on a decent scale. PVC sheet roof (which I doubt would last more than a few months with the wild winds here), wood framing, cement block knee wall, PVC sheet with gravel or rock flooring and some sort of air moving methods mounts up to substantial costs. On top of that you would need a method of pollenization. Just too much complication for the Ms too manage and we haven't even talked about the technicalities of irrigation, fert. etc.

This would be OK for a 'family' garden type thing but not for a commercial production business. Land here that is suitable for establishing a commercial garden, ie. reasonably flat, access to water, power and road runs from 100K per rai to over 200K per rai. Everyone here thinks you can get rich on land. Maybe so but not from me. Even the banks holding bad paper are out of their skulls with pricing. Two days ago I was offered 1.25 rai on a paved road, "best deal you'll find" I was told by a third party. Price, 210,000 baht.

There is a reason why this area is an orchard community/region, its because that is what does well here. Trees are much more hardy and can withstand the onslaught of bugs etc. I've spent considerable time in some of the orchards and farms that do dragon fruit etc.. These plants are strong and seem to be impervious to leaf miners, beetles, worms and what ever else there is.

A rather long reply but a fitting end to my experimenting with makua, other than a few plants to provide our own needs.

Bt

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Sorry to hear you so discouraged,

I'd agree its very hard to make any money with veggies, but I'm only intending to grow for myself.

I've got about 10 of the very small egg shaped makua growing in the ground, the leaves look like sh*t but they still produce a fair amount of perfect fruit.

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OK, I am eating makua and they are excellent. Lots of buds and flowers but the fruit are mis-shapen. They are not rounded, a cross section dividing stem half from blossom half looks like an oval and has a few very pronounced ridges/valleys. I have seen this on tomatoes but have no idea what causes it. Any guesses? It almost looks like a string was tied around it in a few places and the fruit grew out where the string was not constricting it.

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BTATE

I am too lazy to read through old posts, but were you the CHAP that challenged the big fella (MF) to a growing contest. Because at the end of the day, tropical climates are the biggest users of chemicals. That is because no frosts, and upto 10 times the insect cycle of a temperate climate.

I believe that the advances made in organic and bio farming is starting to filter through, and should be encouraged by governments and farmers, but always remember that the farmer is always the last one to see a price rise after the

Fuel Co

Fert Co

Chem Co

Broker

2nd Broker etc etc etc

And Tesco that reject 20-30% because it doesn't meet house wives visusl standards (in the west, gotta grow potatoes shaped liked eggs these days)

I am sorry this is way off the post or thread!

But MF, I hope you are well and return to help all and sundry soon

SAP

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BTATE

I am too lazy to read through old posts, but were you the CHAP that challenged the big fella (MF) to a growing contest. Because at the end of the day, tropical climates are the biggest users of chemicals. That is because no frosts, and upto 10 times the insect cycle of a temperate climate.

SAP

Nope, you got the wrong fella. Never challenged anyone since I know a little of the vagaries of farming from a past life.

I did follow MF's advice though and used the chems he recommended. The bugs in Chantaburi seem to be immune to them lolol.

Bt

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OK, I am eating makua and they are excellent. Lots of buds and flowers but the fruit are mis-shapen. They are not rounded, a cross section dividing stem half from blossom half looks like an oval and has a few very pronounced ridges/valleys. I have seen this on tomatoes but have no idea what causes it. Any guesses? It almost looks like a string was tied around it in a few places and the fruit grew out where the string was not constricting it.

Tim

Your description fits one of the symptoms of inconsistent watering cycles.?????

Bt

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Tim

Your description fits one of the symptoms of inconsistent watering cycles.?????

Bt

The odd thing is that it seems to be only the first fruit of a plant. Subsequent fruit on each plant have been smooth and round. This has held true for both ground planted and bucket planted makhua.

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I am trying to grow some of the golf ball sized aubergines in the UK as well as some pea aubergines. The larger ones are doing nicely but the pea aubergines havn't germinated at all. I tried surface sowing but it hasn't worked for the pea aubergines. I saw that maizefarmer suggested pushing finger into the soil and dropping seed into that. How deep would that be? Anybody with any other suggestions? Sorry for a slight degression to the thread! :o

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Hadrian.....I would check your seeds. The pea sized aubergine (Makua Puang) is one of the easiest to grow, over here. Something of a problem in my garden. Birds depositing them all over. :o Put one in a lump of bird poop :D:D

Regards.

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Hmmm...thanks teletiger. The seeds might be the problem but I would like to know how deep the gardeners/farmers plant the seed. :o

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Most farmers around here buy the seedlings. 100+ plants per poly pack. Whether it's .5cms or 1.5cms, any seed worth it's salt will pop up.

Regards.

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As teletiger says good seed will pop thru. The old grandpa always said the rule of thumb, is the depth planted should be 2 times the seed size. OK next question, on elongated seeds do you use flat or long measurement? For watermelon, cantaloupe, etc, I found the seed can up even using the deeper depth.

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Anything from 1/4" - 1/2" (or even a little deeper) should be fine.

Irrespective of soil type/ condition they should at least germinate (unless the soil is seriously seriously acidic) - if they aren't germinating at those sorts of depths then chances are the seed(s) are damaged and you;re going to have to get some more.

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