Leo Jones of with mirlitons on his trellis in Harvey, Louisiana. More at http://www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org/index.php?page=adopt-a-mirliton. He is growing Mister Rock MIrliton Variety donated by Mirlitons.Org
July, 2011. This is an urban garden though it is located in a section of Harvey, Louisiana (suburban New Orleans) that has many empty lots and is swampy. The trellis is 96 feet long and 16 feed wide, constructed of 4 x 4, and 2x 4 lumbers and 4 inch mesh flexible hog wire fencing.
Note the planting mounds approximately 5 feet x 4 feet and at least 18 inches tall. These will provide excellent drainage once the surrounding are is drained with open V-shaped trenches on a grade. The numurous plant sites allows him to allow some to go fallow in the summer so he can solarize mounds for root-knot nematodes.
"Mister Rock" variety growing on end of trellis. There is a vine in the back that he obtained from another source which is in it's second year. He plans to add drainage the lenghth of the trellis and plant on tall mounds. He has room for at least 20-30 plants and could produce several thousand mirlitons on this one trellis.
Mound system fully installed in December 2010. This mounds are about 4 feet in diameter and at least 18 inches high. The ground slopes slightly to the right, so he plans to did a shallow ditch system to drain water from the mounds to the side of the garden. He used soil that was brough in from another site--a very porous sandy loam that will provide a well-aereated growing medium for mirlitons.
April 2011. Leo found that the original soil used for the hills was to porous of a sandy loam. He amended and expanded the hills with clay from his garden and manure, then topped the hills with more manure and composted wood chips. The plants are doing well and will have excellent drainage in this hill method.
Leo with second year Mister Rock variety. This plant was in a low area and got waterlogged last year, but he has added soil to the hill and dug some drainage around it. It is growing well now.
New plant, April 2011
Damage to tenrils on my plant caused by potassium nitrate application for powdery mildew. The organic fungicide works, but I needed to reduce the concentration because in 95 degree F weather it damaged the new tendrils and caused leaf-burn and leaf curl.
I have no idea what caused this.
More tendril damage from KNO2
Powerly mildew eliminated with KNO2
Leo Jones video of top view of his fantastic mirliton micro-farm in Harvey, Louisiana--the largest in the New Orleans area. These are mostly first year plants except for the plant in the foreground which is a third-year plant. These are all the Mister Rock variety. These is a good example of the productivity you can get using our recommended overhead trellis system, large hill-planting methods with past draining soil, and cylinder trellis's to connect plants to overhead trellis. I am coming to the conclusion that this trellis method reduces anthracnose by positioning plants in the middle of the trellis so that the dense canopy prevents leaf growth on the base stem (a ladder for fungus to climb to the top) and reduces splash-up from the soil to the vine which spreads the soil-borne fungus that causes anthracnose. Beyond growing techniques, the success of this impressive micro-farm is solely the outcome of Leo's knowledge, hard work and determination, and his daily attention to his plants.