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Messages - TheWaterbug

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Rare pineapples
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:46:58 PM »
Here's a list of several ways to increase the number of plants you can generate with propagation material. I wish they had more illustrations, but it was written back in 1987, when the world was in black and white.

Mark in Texas found another article with more detail on propagation techniques.

Some tidbits:
Quote
Stump sectioning. Stumps are harvested after the one-inch open heart flowering stage or after fruit har­vest. Leaves are stripped off starting at the base, or they are cut off leaving the leaf bases attached to the stump. The stump is cut longitudinally into quarters or sixths, which are then cut into wedge-shaped sections weigh­ ing 15–20 g, each having at least one axillary bud. The sections are dipped in fungicide and planted bud upward 2.5 cm apart and 2 cm beneath the soil in a well-prepared, fumigated nursery bed. The bed may be lightly mulched with straw or compost. As many as 50 sections may be obtained per stump. A section will produce another stump in about two years.


Quote
Crown sectioning. Crowns are cut vertically into quarters or sixths, starting at the top and cutting toward the base. The vertical sections may be cut horizontally in half between the crown base and apex. After drying for one to two days, the sections are dipped in fungicide and sown 2.5 cm apart in nursery beds, with the leaves above ground. Plantlets from crown sections should reach the original crown size in less than one year. Un­der semisterile conditions, crowns have been micro­ sectioned to produce up to 100 plants.


 :o

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: White Jade Pineapple
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:38:37 PM »
Some water and nutrients will probably also be absorbed from in between the leaves.
Simon

Hawaiian commercial growers foliar feed in the cup using boom sprayers.  Water is applied via irrigation tubing.  Apparently the root system is more of an anchor than a part used for nutrient uptake by the plant.  My drill is to feed using Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro, 9-3-6 in the cup letting it overflow into the pot with a two gallon bucket.   https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/f_n-7.pdf

BTW, I cut down to a 2" stub a mother plant that had fruited leaving the pup alone.  It's growing pretty fast.  I mean, why disturb it and the awesome established root system if you don't have to?

But is the root system important if it's just an anchor? :D


I'm still just a axillary bud on the Great Bromeliad of Knowledge, but I do question a lot of the conventional wisdom on pineapples. I did a post-harvest examination on my first fruiting plant, and it had a really well-developed root ball. In fact, it looked root-bound in the too-small pot that I'd used.


So to me it looks like the roots are important, even if the plant prefers foliar feeding.

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:34:49 PM »
Here is my tissue cultured White Sugarloaf from WellSprings gardens. Tissue cultured plants grow relatively slow from my previous experience but with the slow release fertilizer, they are growing exceptionally well. I planted these plugs on 04/13/17 and they are now 10 inches tall and 15 inches wide.



Yours are growing way faster than mine. But I haven't been fertilizing the way you have. Perhaps I should start. What do you use, and do you apply it to the leaves and cup?


I presently have my pineapples on the same drip system as some other plants, and I feed them through an Add-It proportional fertilizer injector. But it all goes into the roots.

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: September 16, 2017, 01:18:55 AM »
In more pedestrian news, last night I had two varieties flower simultaneously, for the first time ever! La Verne Pink and Physical Graffiti.

I'm 0/10 on crossing these two so far, but I've always used stored pollen, so maybe my storage/freezing technique is poor.

Last night I transferred the fresh pollen directly from flower to flower, so if they're compatible, this should work. Fingers crossed!

My yellow and my white varieties are also pushing buds right now, so I might finally get my first fruit this season.
I have a 6 year old LaVerne Red taking me 3 years to find the right pollinator.  S8 is the right key.
I have two S-8 plants that I put in pots about a year ago, and they took a looooong time to get going. But they're growing now, and might have flowers next year. I hope.

I will go down to Teuchert Park in collect pollen next time those all bloom.

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: September 15, 2017, 08:50:05 PM »
In more pedestrian news, last night I had two varieties flower simultaneously, for the first time ever! La Verne Pink and Physical Graffiti.


I'm 0/10 on crossing these two so far, but I've always used stored pollen, so maybe my storage/freezing technique is poor.


Last night I transferred the fresh pollen directly from flower to flower, so if they're compatible, this should work. Fingers crossed!


My yellow and my white varieties are also pushing buds right now, so I might finally get my first fruit this season.

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Rare pineapples
« on: September 15, 2017, 08:45:52 PM »
Here's a list of several ways to increase the number of plants you can generate with propagation material. I wish they had more illustrations, but it was written back in 1987, when the world was in black and white.

7
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« on: September 15, 2017, 08:44:16 PM »
Pineapples definitely grow here in Los Angeles; I've harvested 4-5 so far, and I have 7 in various stages of fruiting right now. But it takes forever, and the fruits aren't very large.


I'm just trying to get the best out of them that I can, and a local friend swears by this method, so I thought I'd try it.


I'm also all ears on the best way to fertilize pineapples. I have everything on a timered drip system, and I have Add-It fertilizer injectors, but I keep reading that pineapples are foliar feeders. That's part of the reason I put in Spot Spitters instead of the drippers I normally use.

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: September 15, 2017, 02:38:57 PM »
Bad news: the owner of this house apparently passed away recently.

Good news: he willed the property to the City of Lomita to develop into Teuchert Park! It's beautiful! So now anyone can go and view this extraordinary dragonfruit plant.

Bad news: There are dozens of dropped blossoms on the ground, and no fruit set. This may need a cross-pollinator.

Good news: I might sneak into the park some time and stealth-plant another variety  :D

Bad news: There are no hours posted, and when I stopped by yesterday evening, the gate was locked.  >:(

The gate was open a few days ago, so I walked in. It's wonderful! There are 4 giant Dragonfruit vines climbing up 4 trees! There's also some nice citrus, fig, and pomegranates, but we're all here for the DF, so I'll ignore those others for now. Look at the lower branches/roots on the first one! I have OJ-sized hands:












All the DF have dozens and dozens of dropped flowers, and no fruit set right now, so it's possible that all 4 are the same variety, and that it's a variety that needs cross-pollination. I've been watching the largest of the 4 vines for 2 seasons now, and I've never seen it set fruit.

I also have a cutting from a neighbor of this tree, who allegedly got his vine from this mother tree, and I successfully pollinated a flower on my cutting from my La Verne Pink last year.

A couple of thoughts:
  • This park is going to be _full_ of flowers in 4-6 weeks, when the next flush of flowers blooms.
  • This could be an interesting place for all of us DF fans in Los Angeles to meet up, collect pollen, pollinate some flowers, exchange cuttings, etc.
    • It would be a night-time meet, when the park is typically closed, but I/we might be able to ask the park manager to open it for us. Maybe.
    • 2 of the 4 vines are on trees that are outside the gate, so we could still see them if the gates are closed, although the neighbors might get antsy with a bunch of wild DF kooks running around on their streets with pruners, cuttings, and pollen brushes.
    • Who's interested in meeting up? I'll drive by every week as the blooms get closer, so we can set a date.
  • Assuming I'm correct about the vines, this park could really use another variety to donate pollen to all these vines.
    • I'm assuming S-8 would be a good variety to use. I'll see if I can figure out who the park manager is, so I can ask.
    • Maybe the City doesn't want the park full of dropped fruit. Then again it's already got figs, pomegranates, and citrus dropping all over the place.
    • They should probably post a "Fruit collection policy"
  • This really ought to be named Dragonfruit Park! Or maybe "Teuchert's Dragonfruit Park."

9
Agreed. Armstrong has mangos in 5 gal or possibly larger for $35 or $50 or something like that. Certainly <<<<<<<$100.


I think they were grafted Keitts, but I didn't take a photo of the tag.

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My first avocado harvest - New variety
« on: September 11, 2017, 01:34:35 PM »
I've no idea how could i name it  :D


The "Lorenzo" avocado.

11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: September 11, 2017, 12:55:06 AM »
After some thought I think I like my design for the bottom of the trellis and Tim's for the top. So I modeled it in Sketchup:



There's a free version of Sketchup (see link, above), so anyone can download the model, view it, modify it, etc. It's dimensionally accurate, so you can click on segments and get lengths, etc.

It's a pretty big trellis; the center 4 x 4 post is 6' tall. The upper "clear" distance/radius around the center post is 1' in both directions, and the bottom arms extend 2' from the center post. It could probably be scaled down, but I like to overbuild things. ;D



Minor changes when I actually built it:





and an updated SketchUp file.

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: September 08, 2017, 09:56:23 PM »
For support you might try something like this:



I'm pretty happy with how the bottom part turned out, and with the overall strength. I'm 220#, and I can hang from the top supports without any scary creaky sounds. It should be able to handle whatever grows through it.

But I wasn't really thinking very clearly when I made the top a mirror of the bottom. As it is I have to thread the vertical stems through the gaps between the 2 x 4s, and there really isn't much in the way of lateral supports for the horizontal branches. I might nail some 2 x 4s diagonally across the corners of the top supports, but that makes for a funky miter angle.

Due to the way I've nailed these together, disassembly is pretty much impossible.

If I were to do these over again I'd probably do something like what Tim did at the top of his trellises:



except bigger. Come to think of it, I could use Tim's design both top and bottom. From what I can see it uses less wood and labor.

After some thought I think I like my design for the bottom of the trellis and Tim's for the top. So I modeled it in Sketchup:



There's a free version of Sketchup (see link, above), so anyone can download the model, view it, modify it, etc. It's dimensionally accurate, so you can click on segments and get lengths, etc.

It's a pretty big trellis; the center 4 x 4 post is 6' tall. The upper "clear" distance/radius around the center post is 1' in both directions, and the bottom arms extend 2' from the center post. It could probably be scaled down, but I like to overbuild things. ;D

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: September 08, 2017, 09:46:22 PM »
That's great! I too have some S8 cuttings that are in the same position as yours. Now I'm just looking to see if I can find a Frankie's red.
I didn't know la Verne nursery sells the yellow one. Did you order online?



I bought in person it during a pilgrimage to La Verne's nursery in Fillmore a few years ago.

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: September 08, 2017, 06:04:47 PM »
I have two S-8 cuttings (thanks, Ric!) that have rooted and that are growing now, but I'm probably at least a year from having flowers.


Speaking of which, I probably need to build at least 1 or 2 more trellises. I know how I'm spending my weekend!

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Pineapples--The Half Pot Experiment
« on: September 08, 2017, 05:57:11 PM »
Los Angeles is cooler and considerably drier than the regions where pineapples normally grow. Mine grow, but they don't get very big (the plant or the fruits), and they take a long time to fruit (2.5 - 3 years). I'd been growing them in terra cotta pots, filled nearly to the rim with soil.

A friend suggested that I use black plastic pots, filled only halfway with soil. His theory goes as follows: the black plastic collects heat and creates a "humidity well" near the base of the plant, which keeps it happy. Pineapples are allegedly shallow-rooted (despite my photographic evidence to the contrary!), so having a half-filled pot doesn't hurt them.

I decided to try this, so I took 4 propagules of approximately equal size from Kona Sugarloaf plants, and I put two of them in half-filled black plastic and two of them in filled terra cotta. Here's a size comparison, with one cu ft of soil in each:





And here are 2 of the 4 propagules, planted. I added more soil to the terra cotta pots to top them up:






All 4 plants are on a timered watering system with a fertilizer injector and Spot Spitter waterers. Check back in 2 years to see how this goes!

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: September 08, 2017, 05:12:37 PM »
Nice flower, SandyL!


I'm excited, too. My La Verne Yellow just pushed out its first buds:





I hope it's self-fertile, because I don't have any other similar varieties around, and I'm sort of assuming it won't cross with regular DF, correct?


Then again even my regular DFs won't pollinate each other. I've been putting La Verne Pink's pollen on my Physical Graffiti and vice versa, but neither has set any fruit yet. >:( >:(

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Planting avocado tree on a slope?
« on: August 30, 2017, 05:55:57 PM »
If the tree is on a slope, there is no danger of the root crown getting flooded. So dig down to plant.


So I should dig down until the top of the root ball is more or less flush with the slope, as with a more normal tree?


Also, I've read that Mar-Jun is the best time transplant an avocado tree. Should I wait until then? Or can I get started now? I'm impatient!!!

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Planting avocado tree on a slope?
« on: August 29, 2017, 06:45:41 PM »
I keep hearing drainage, drainage, drainage is key for avocado trees, and I've read two separate guides that recommend "building up" instead of digging down.


But how does this work on a slope? There's really no practical way to build up that big a mound on a steep slope, especially on the downhill side.

19
Wait, citrus doesn't have bare root. Yes, LaVerne grafts 5 to a plant and sells them as 4 in case one dies. They were around $100 when a small group of us went to visit the nursery a couple years ago.

Bare root stone fruits are much cheaper than potted plants. They have a greater chance of survival too.



Yeah, sorry for writing poorly. I meant that I hoped the bare root stone fruits were less than the cocktail citrus that I saw.


I was watching a planting video from DWN, and they prune the heck out of the plants when they put them in the ground. There's almost nothing left! Is that normal and necessary?

20
Thanks!


I actually wanted to stop by my local garden center so I can talk to folks who know which varieties grow well, here. The manager at my local Orchard was very familiar with the DWN trees, and he said I should wait until December/January to plant the bare-root ones when they arrive. He says transplanting a potted stone fruit tree at this time of year is setting myself up for failure.


The pricing was also surprising. 5 gallon, 4-in-1 Citrus Cocktail from La Verne for $129!


I hope the bare roots are less expensive.


Yes, I'll research the varieties I want and then I can ask Orchard to order in November or so.


I'm thinking about a cocktail citrus and a cocktail stone fruit for myself, and then a cocktail stone fruit for my parents. And maybe an apple/pear for myself as well. If they're not too expensive.

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: August 27, 2017, 12:13:35 PM »
I think some people in Florida don't realize how dry and different California weather is compared to Vietnam, Malaysia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Florida.



Yup. Especially Southern California. Many areas are, climatologically-speaking, a desert. In many years we get less than 10" of rain.


I can't think of any food crops in S. California that are not irrigated.

22
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: August 26, 2017, 06:06:56 PM »
Whoa! I just found a monster dragon fruit planting, right near the McDonalds that I frequent in Lomita, CA:







It's not as big as the one from ricshaw's photo, but it's pretty impressive, especially for Los Angeles.

Look at that stem in the 3rd photo! It's as big around as my biceps, and there's a second one around the back.

There are plenty of blooms on it right now (lower right of photo #1) but I saw zero fruit set. They probably need pollinators and/or different pollen.

I removed the geotag from the photos, but if anyone in LA wants to make a pilgrimage, send me a PM.


Bad news: the owner of this house apparently passed away recently.

Good news: he willed the property to the City of Lomita to develop into Teuchert Park! It's beautiful! So now anyone can go and view this extraordinary dragonfruit plant.

Bad news: There are dozens of dropped blossoms on the ground, and no fruit set. This may need a cross-pollinator.

Good news: I might sneak into the park some time and stealth-plant another variety  :D

Bad news: There are no hours posted, and when I stopped by yesterday evening, the gate was locked.  >:(

23
Thanks! It took me some time to figure out what "DWN" means, but now I know!


It turns out that there are multiple retailers in Los Angeles that carry his "fruit salad" trees, so I'm going to make a visit this weekend and see if they have varieties that I like, and that will grow well here in Los Angeles.


Thanks!

24
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: August 22, 2017, 04:26:16 PM »
I'm not sure if mine are 15 gallon containers. They're about 11 inches in diameter both top and bottom and about 11 inches tall. So it's 11x11x11 .. would that suffice.
If that container is a cube, then 11 x 11 x 11 = 1,331 cubic inches, which is about 5.7 gallons.


If it's a cylinder then it's 1,044 cubic inches, which is about 4.5 gallons.


That seems a bit small for my tastes. I'm using ~11 gallon terra cotta pots, and I put 3-4 stems in each.

25
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hornworm galore
« on: August 22, 2017, 03:55:07 PM »
What kinds of critters will eat these critters? And can we eat the critters that eat the critters?

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