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Author Topic: Kind of had to share this. Growing Fruit with the Stun Method  (Read 961 times)

naturelovingfarmer

  • Joined May 2021
  • Ohio River Valley
Picture says it all about this particular tree. But for the differently abled folks using text readers, I am growing a fig in a way that most experts say not to. Figs supposedly require sandy loam and mild winters. I planted this one in a claybound bog during a cold spell in late winter and there was a freak blizard the next day. The picture shows the buds popping open with perfectly healthy leaves. But I have more to say about the method in general. I use the STUN Method for trees. STUN stands for Sheer Total Utter Neglect. It's pretty accurate, but the name does leave out some nuance. It's true that you basically do nothing to help an individual tree. But, there's a good reason for it. It puts selective pressure on the species. The more we care for plants, the more they will need our help to survive. If you want a perennial or even an annual plant to not need us, you have to plant them and forget them. The ones that need our intervention will usually fail to produce offspring. The ones that make it are the ones to keep around. In addition, I plant a lot of varieties, and a lot of seeds. I select for sturdiness straight out of the gate. I look for sprouts with thick stems and plant them out in adverse but not inhospitable conditions. Some don't make it.* To discover traits that allow you to grow plants in adverse conditions outside of their usual range, you have to plant seeds with parentage from more than one variety, and plant a lot of them, and then don't help them. Or if you do plant rooted cuttings or grafted cuttings, there's some slightly different rules. Rooted cuttings should be from as many kinds as possible. Grafted cuttings should have rootstocks that were grown from seed and have survived at least 2 years in the worst place in your property, even if you're going to plant them bare root elsewhere on your land later. It should be the most exposed area so it bears the brunt of the weather. It should also be the same or lower quality of soil as its final location.

*I planted 25 hazel trees from seed. I have 14 that have made it to 2 years old. But I have no doubts that they will survive here. These ones made it through an unusually warm winter, an unusually cold winter, being set up by a road, being in boggy ground, being in the shade of the north side of my house, and being accidentally hacked down by an old lady with a weedeater. (The weedeater affected plants mostly bit the dust, but 2 just came back from the root with multiple stems.)
Turn your problem into a solution. Learn new things. Adapt as you go. Plans should be fluid and subject to change. I start planning for things years in advance and by the time I do them they have usually changed radically.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Kind of had to share this. Growing Fruit with the Stun Method
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2021, 08:39:34 am »
Itís not quite the same as STUN but Iím hearing more from agronomists promoting nothing but fixing soil microbiota.
Eg. They say not to lime as healthy soil microbes will change the ph for the plant and keep it healthy. One was saying he grew excellent carrots in ph 4.5 on a commercial scale.
They say everything the plants need the Trace Elements are there already in the parent material of the soil. Microbes make it available to the plant.
Every fungicide, or anything cide hurts the microbes and promotes imbalance creating further problems Down the line which are rarely attributed to the  previous actions taken.

naturelovingfarmer

  • Joined May 2021
  • Ohio River Valley
Re: Kind of had to share this. Growing Fruit with the Stun Method
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2021, 04:01:05 pm »
Yeah, the soil microbes really will save the day. Most of the various methods of regenerative agriculture take this into account. I use biochar for example. And the soil additives I use in the vegetable garden are natural because I don't want to use synthetic chemicals. So I use Tomato Tone for example. It contains bone meal and kelp meal which have to be broken down by bacteria before the nutrients are available to plants. My seed starting mix is inoculated with Mycorrhizal fungus to get the plants off to a good start. Unfortunately, most vegetables have requirements because we have bred them selectively for thousands of generations to require our assistance. I'm trying to develop a landrace tomato for my region so that I can try stun method on its offspring. It's been a work in progress since 2017. I'm also developing a variety of corn with high disease resistance that can handle the Appalachian Mountains' heavy rainfalls, has good milling qualities for cornmeal and grits, and is blue in color. When I have a final stabilized variety, I plan to call the tomato Sherman's March and the corn General Grant.
Turn your problem into a solution. Learn new things. Adapt as you go. Plans should be fluid and subject to change. I start planning for things years in advance and by the time I do them they have usually changed radically.

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Kind of had to share this. Growing Fruit with the Stun Method
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2021, 06:39:38 pm »
A friend kindly donated a fig tree to me a few months ago - using STUN methods I have managed to cultivate a dry, dead and tall brown stick.

Not had the guts to tell him yet... when he asked about it last time I told him it was doing fine..
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit.

naturelovingfarmer

  • Joined May 2021
  • Ohio River Valley
Re: Kind of had to share this. Growing Fruit with the Stun Method
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 05:32:26 pm »
Well Q, that happens sometimes. It's a feature, not a failure. Plants with unsuitable genetics will be eliminated. That's why when you do this in a climate not suited to the typical plant of that species, you plant about 100 seedlings and hope to get about 30 survivors. Of those survivors, maybe just a few will actually thrive. The thrivers are the ones you're going to want to propagate in the future to force an adaptation to the new climate onto the variety of plant you've got. It's an acceleration of the natural selection process. The unsuitable climate puts selective pressure on the variety and only leaves you with the ones that can live there, the ones that have genetic variations or mutations that allow them to survive where their brethren cannot. For example, Fuji apples will not grow on my land. They've died every time. But Black Twig, Black Arkansas, Crown Prince Rudolf, Orleans d Reinette, Goldrush, Grimes Golden, Liberty, Summer Rambo, and others did survive. I tried 14 apple varieties so far, and only one of them crapped out on me. The method isn't about the survival of individual plants, it's about the improvement of the varieties, and forcing adaptations to adversity to be selected for.
Turn your problem into a solution. Learn new things. Adapt as you go. Plans should be fluid and subject to change. I start planning for things years in advance and by the time I do them they have usually changed radically.

 

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