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Pastimes : Gardening and Especially Tomato Growing

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To: the longhorn who wrote (3437)10/21/2021 6:23:29 PM
From: sense  Read Replies (2) of 3484
My best guess is that the survivors of our latest round of super cold winters... down under 20 below for more than a week... is probably an Ozark hybrid...

My climate challenges though are probably quite a lot different than yours... even though we share the same concerns in terms of tolerance of drought and high summer heat...
I tend to discount the "right berry for your state" type links... as variation within a state can be pretty dramatic... so state boundaries aren't often the right way to look at the problem in the western states.

More of a focus on climate specific issues seems a better idea... so maybe you'll find more help in something like this... Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix Arizona and California: Growing Strawberries in Hot, Dry Climates

Among the everbearers, if I were somewhere that I didn't have to worry about freezing them out, like here ? In Arizona, picking from among "popular" choices... I'd probably try Seascape...

Having struggled and experimented with the bindweed issues for years... I'm pretty certain that the only reason the strawberries work well to contain it here... is that when used as a ground cover they make a very dense shade beneath them... and the bindweed needs sun on the soil to warm it up, first, and then needs enough sunlight penetrating the upper layers of the soil, to induce the seeds to germinate. The berries here in our northern climate emerge and leaf out in spring quite a bit earlier than the bindweed does... they're far more frost tolerant... and thus are well enough established by the time the bindweed wants to germinate that they shade it out effectively... IF you have allowed them to form a continuous bed.

Since the berries also benefit from / require shade in hot climates... putting them under the fruit trees only helps the berries... but it amplifies the problems for the bindweed by making for an even deeper shade beneath the berry leaves...

I've also had temporary success countering bindweed using tarps laid down with mulch over them... which works only as long as the tarp and a good depth (6" or more) in mulch remain intact. Pull up the tarp after everything else has been killed by being covered over for a couple of years... and the still dormant bindweed seeds lurking beneath it will happily emerge with vigor, and no competition. I know for certain that they'll last at least ten years that way... but I hear they'll survive and wait dormant for many decades. The only sure cure seems it is to sustain that depth in shade well enough that it BOTH prevents the light penetrating to the surface, AND keeps the sun off well enough that it prevents the soil from heating up. Bindweed doesn't do deep shade... so crops that create dense shade... or cultivation practices that mimic the natural mode of forests with stories layering into a progressively deeper shade created by an overlapping canopy of vegetation... the only thing that seems to work.

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