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Citrus General Discussion / Disease resistance citrus?
« on: June 06, 2018, 06:21:19 PM »
I am growing a number of varieties of citrus here in this very wet climate, and I'm noticing that different types have different resistance to fungus. With the oranges the worst by far is Washington Navel. Valencia is next along with Malaguena. Pina and Temple seem to be somewhat better. Dancy and Clementine Tangerines are pretty good, but Orlando Tangelo seems to have problem. The grapefruits seem to take care of themselves.

The best citrus trees I have are the Ortantique. There is very little evidence of fungal problems, or, for that matter, is there a problem with the black bees which do a number on the orange trees.

I don't like to spray, even with soap and H2O2 (I'm a lazy retiree, gacias adios). I would be interested in others' experiences here.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Anybody here growing Mimosa hostilis?
« on: June 03, 2018, 07:45:58 AM »

I have successfully sprouted five seeds to about and inch tall. Just curious for opinions of the best way to handle them going forward.

Somebody here told me they planted an avocado seed and got fruit in five years. Is that a possibility? I have several cado trees I planted from seeds that are over 7 years old now. Very large trees now but no fruit yet. I've always understood it can take 10 to 15 years.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Video tour of Peter's CR farm .....
« on: April 13, 2018, 12:49:38 PM »
Yesterday I found on a really interesting recent video tour of Peter Kring's remarkable farm in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica. It's titled "30 year old food forest". Peter of course is a frequent expert poster here on TRF. In case anyone's interested, the people doing the video also did several other tours of farms here.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Kandi fruit tree?
« on: April 13, 2018, 12:40:19 PM »

Again I've been gifted with a type of garcinia that I can't seem to find any info on in the internet. It's called "Kandi" and looks like a mangosteen seedling except the beautiful glossy leaves are much longer. Any info would be appreciated. (Don't ask for a're dealing with a tech-challenged person here.)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Sex and the Salaks . . .
« on: March 24, 2018, 11:20:09 AM »
Maybe this question is for Peter in here in Costa Rica. I have three Salak Palm trees which are now four years old. One has flowered and is male. The other two haven't flowered as yet so I don't know if I have any females. My question is if there is any way to distinguish the plants by sex before they flower. The two which haven't flowered are somewhat smaller in size than the male but are the same age, planted at the same time in the same area. Thanks!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Manzana Taiwaneze...Taiwan Apple?
« on: March 09, 2018, 06:36:34 PM »
Have any of you heard of this variety of fruit? I can't find any info on it anywhere, and the person who gave me the trees doesn't know much about it as well. I wonder if it's a type of wax apple?

A couple of weeks ago I finally visited with fellow forum member Peter at his truly amazing fruit farm in Puerto Viejo on the beautiful southern Caribbean coast. Living somewhat in the same neck of the jungle, it's stupid of me that I hadn't gone over there to visit before now. Actually though, my first visit with him was shortly after I moved here 18 years ago. During that visit he gave me my first mangosteen to eat. WOW! But, I only got bitten by the tropical fruit growing bug seven years ago after I finally decided to settle down and buy a farm here on the Caribbean slope. Anyway, Peter's place is simply remarkable...along with his equally remarkable knowledge gained by many, many years of growing tropical plants. Finca La Isla is billed as a botanical garden, but it's not like other prim and proper manicured botanical gardens here and elsewhere. It's a true "fruit forest"...or I should say, "fruit jungle". Perfectly natural! In fact you need a guide or I'm sure you'd get very lost. As we rambled and talked along the many rough paths, Peter pointed out each fruit tree along with details about the particular variety, and I was able to see what my plants hopefully will eventually look like. Growing here and there across the large jungle farm were scores of varieties of fruits that Peter raises for market. Visitors can sample whatever is in season. I got to taste a durian....which was the first durian that I ever tried that didn't immediately prompt the gag reflex. It was sweet and "somewhat" now I can understand how some people can develop a liking for the fruit. (Never me though!) Great place to is Puerto Viejo which is arguably the most eclectic and unusual town in the country. BTW,  I came away with a nice seedling zapote variety that I hadn't been able to find elsewhere. I plan to go back soon to find some more rarer varieties. That place is a Costa Rican jewel for sure! (Not a paid commercial review...LOL)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Different forms of calcium . . .
« on: August 12, 2017, 08:37:02 AM »
I went to the agro for a bag of calcium for my bananas and citrus but they didn't have my usual brand. So, I bought another brand. When I got home I realized I'd bought calcium hydroxide instead of the usual calcium carbonate. I know organic farmers won't usually use cal hydroxide. What is the objection? I'm not a scientist but it seems ultimately calcium is calcium. Have any of you had problems with the hydroxide form?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Types of Key Limes . . .
« on: July 07, 2017, 01:30:06 PM »

Here key limes are called limon criollos, and they are quite good. But, even though they look the same, they don't quite have the same taste (to me at least) as those key limes we had in Florida. I like Florida ones much better. So, a
re there different types of key limes?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Longon really slow grower....
« on: May 03, 2017, 07:19:13 PM »
I started some longon seeds six or seven months ago. They all sprouted fine and grew up to six inches or so very quickly. But, that's where they stayed. I saw some longon seedlings started from the same trees at about the same time at the CATIE nursery the other day, and they all seemed to be stuck too. Any ideas?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Glyphosate problems?
« on: March 27, 2017, 04:55:56 PM »

A week or so ago my good neighbor sprayed a section of his farm which borders a section of my place with glyphosate ("Round Up" weed killer). Some Costa Ricans use the damn stuff like water. Within days the weeds and brush on his place were dead. But, it was a relatively breezy day when he sprayed the stuff, and I'm wondering if some of my fruit trees were affected.

I don't see much damage to the grasses about, but I noticed a couple of days ago new growth on three young mammon chinos (Rambutan) in that section of my farm is dead, and one very tall flowering ornamental tree called llama del bosque is yellowing and losing its leaves. I have always used organic growing principals both here and in the states, and so I have been aware for many years of the environmental concerns about the wide popular usage of this powerful poison...and of course I never have used it.

I have searched for info on the possible dangers to some types of trees, but I can't find any. Maybe this is a stretch, but have any of you growers had personal experience with glyphosate? BTW, my concern is more about my fruits and veggies actually CONTAINING glyphosate, which studies have proved is the case when they're exposed. If possible I would like to be sure of my facts before I visit my good neighbor to "kindly encourage" him re-learn the traditional skill of using a machete! LOL.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Guanabana "healing" powers...
« on: February 09, 2017, 02:43:57 PM »
I don't know if this fits the boundaries of this discussion board, but I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience using guanabana fruit or leaves as treatment for disease? A friend here enthusiastically says he is growing the trees to be used as a potential cancer treatment in place of chemo. Interesting idea! I have read about the fruit's supposed medicinal qualities but never have heard it directly confirmed by someone who has used it for this purpose. I have no opinion pro or con and am not interested in argument...just experiences. But, wouldn't it be wonderful!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Moving a mango tree . . .
« on: December 14, 2016, 12:16:25 PM »

I have to transplant (or, God forbid, to cut down) a Tommy that has been in the ground over three years. What are it's chances of surviving? I don't have any idea how big the root ball would be. It will be leafing out in maybe a month, so I thought maybe this is the time to do it. Any suggestions? I have others so I won't go into mourning if I lose it, but it really goes against the grain to kill a fruit tree.


I have three Sacha Ichi vines with loads of seed pods ready to harvest. There's lots of info on what to do with the nuts AFTER they're cooked, but I can't find any info on how to more easily extract the seeds or how to cook them. The beautiful seed pods are very difficult to open. There has to be a secret! I tried to eat a nut raw and was spitting for an hour afterwards. Very astringent. Any ideas?

By the way, the vines are very beautiful and carefree to grow. Mine are only eight month from seed and are already VERY prolific.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Info about borojo trees . . .
« on: October 17, 2016, 09:27:08 PM »

I have heard a lot of good things about borojo fruits least from the nutrition standpoint. But, there isn't much I can find about growing the trees. Some say they are fast growing trees. The trees I've seen are smallish and are growing in a fair amount of sun, but I'm told they are understory trees. One source said they can be self pollinating while others say that you need a male tree and a female tree. I've got four seedlings to plant, and I was wondering what the chances are of having a male in the bunch.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Biriba or cherimoya...which is best?
« on: October 01, 2016, 11:00:22 AM »
I've been gorging myself on big yellow tree-ripened biriba fruit this week from my four-year-old tree. I ate four yesterday! I have eaten a number of highly praised cherimoyas in the past (not from my trees yet), and they were wonderful. BUT, I have never had a cherimoya that I would rate as highly as these biribas. Also, the biriba trees are completely care-free, at least in my area.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Getting sugar apple seeds to sprout. . .
« on: September 18, 2016, 10:42:19 AM »

I have several annona trees and one in particular has really nice fruit. I want to start the seeds from its fruit. Over a month ago I planted a bunch of the seeds in bags. As of today not a one has sprouted. I dug up a few and they are as hard as when I put them in the soil. Is that normal for annonas?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Good tropical fruit market in the St.Pete area?
« on: September 13, 2016, 05:55:27 PM »

I'll be in St. Pete in a couple of weeks and I would like to know of a market in the area that sells a good selection of tropical fruit. I want to collect some seeds to take back home. Thanks for the help.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Rambutan vs. Pulisan
« on: July 16, 2016, 08:55:00 AM »

Any opinions about how Rambutan fruit compare with that of Pulisan, other than Pulisan fruit doesn't have the hairy spines? I love Rambutan fruit but I've never had Pulisan fruit. I planted both types of trees here in my finca in CR at about 1000m altitude, but I really like the Pulisan trees better because they are growing much faster and don't have any leaf insect problems at all. Both types of trees are five years old now and should start producing fruit in a year or two....fingers crossed. I'm hoping I like Pulisan as much as Rambutan.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Papayas are simply weird!
« on: May 23, 2016, 08:29:37 PM »

Papaya fruits are at the bottom of my favorite fruit list. In fact they're not even on the list. I don't care for their taste, but I do eat them in fruit salads probably because when I was a kid my grandmother told me to eat them. She said they were very good for the body and would prevent bad diseases. Then she died...of cancer! But I still try the eat them. Maybe out of guilt.

Anyway, my problem is that I can't seem to grow them. I more or less successfully grow all sorts of fruits, but my papaya trees will grow up maybe three or four feet and then mysteriously die. One did grow about 30 feet tall, down my the river. But it only put out a few skinny malformed fruit.

Finally somebody told me to dig a big hole, add lots of compost, plant 10 or so seeds, and then choose the one that's growing especially well and pull up the others. And as the tree is growing pour the 15-15-15 to them. I don't use commercial fertilizers here on my place, but I followed that seeming good advice. Now I have two beautiful Papaya trees, maybe 15 or 20 feet tall. But, all I am growing are two beautiful tall trees with lots of wonderfully deep green leaves on them. (I guess all that nitrogen works?) The trees flower well and a few baby fruits do form, but they just turn yellow and fall off.

BUT, here's the mystery for me. As I take my walks around about I often will see a tree someone has planted in the far corner of their place, tall and green, full of fruit in various stages of ripening, but obviously completely ignored and uncared for. Then on the side of the roads I see nice wild volunteer papaya trees, with large fruits, perhaps planted by some bird who took a dump there. How does that happen??

But, the papaya tree that takes the award is in town beside a little store. It's a very healthy large tree absolutely loaded with big melons...mysteriously growing out of a small crack in a very large rock. No soil, no fertilizer, no nothing.... but rock! And, I can't grow papayas?

Once I heard a Japanese "master gardener" say that successful gardening is more of a mental activity than just a physical one. Maybe that's my  problem with papayas. I just don't like them.

Still, I'm open to any suggestions. Thanks!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Costa Rica farm for sale . . .
« on: May 15, 2016, 12:58:23 PM »

I have a 23.5 acre farm in Costa Rica that I'd like to sell. $180,000.  It's located on the Carribean side of the country, 12 miles from Turrialba. The entrance to the place is 200 meters off the highway to the beaches. Good soil, good water, great panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the fuming 10,000 plus foot tall live volcano is the center attraction (at a respectable distance). We're located about an hour and a half from San Jose and the same for the ocean.

The farm's terrain is largely part flat to gently rolling with primary jungle to the rear of the property connected to a mountainous biological corridor, lots of nature trails and lots of birds and animals, alt. 1000 m , not much of a dry season here...always lush and green and a very mild comfortable climate all year long. No crime problem in the Turrialba area, and property is much less expensive here because it's largely agricultural.

BTW, the ag research center, CATIE, is close by. Great resource with hundreds of tropical fruit varieties. This is a really great place to grow damn near anything.

Also, there is a large bodega (garage, workshop, etc.) and a big greenhouse at the entrance, and there are good roads throughout the farm. A large pristine river is 250 m away where we get our pure spring water. Public water and electricity is at the entrance. Many house sites!

I want to sell the whole place rather than breaking it up into smaller farms if possible. My farm is next door, so to speak, and I really don't want too many neighbors if I can help it. The farm is partially being used by a local farmer to grow ornamental plants for export. All that will be removed when I get a contract. I want to sell the property because my daughter in St. Pete wants to buy an house someday soon, and Daddy would love to help her.

You can view the place on youtube: finca cacique. Also you can check out the wonderful small city of Turrialba on youtube....even if you don't want to buy my place, it's good daydream material! This is a great little country. I've been here almost 20 years and plan to croak and become compost here.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Can we post farm for sale info on here?
« on: May 14, 2016, 07:03:25 PM »

I have a farm for sale here in Costa Rica. Is it kosher to post info here?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Growing a Pachira Aquatica tree . . .
« on: March 30, 2016, 01:40:00 PM »

I want to plant a Pachira Aquatica tree both for its beautiful leaves and flowers and for the edible seeds. But since it is a tree that grows naturally in tropical swamps I was wondering if anyone has grown them in less than swampy conditions with relative success? Also, how about in part sun?


I picked up a seedling the other day at a Costa Rica vivero simply because I liked its name, Pan de Vida (Bread of Life). Its botanical name is Pouteris Hypogauca. The folks at the nursery couldn't give me any info on the species, and I found very little info on the internet about it other than it's called Cinnamon Apple and is a small to medium sized tree. Before I plant it I would like to know where and how to plant it and if the fruit would actually be worth the trouble. Thanks for any help!

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