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Messages - TheWaterbug

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: November 06, 2017, 09:02:17 PM »
Here's the vine that's closest to the street. I'm calling this the "A" vine.



This was 9:00 PM in the evening; it's a 15 second exposure to get that much light. Full resolution, here.

There were at least 2 dozen blooms tonight, of which 5-6 were easily reachable on foot, and one more with a stepladder. I have about a teaspoon of pollen in my fridge, because some of my own vines will bloom within a week.

I didn't have any of my own pollen with me, so I couldn't pollinate this vine, but I will bring some next time I visit. I did hand-pollinate these flowers with their own pollen, though I suspect they're self-infertile (but I don't actually know for sure).

The B vine (also outside the gate) had only one bloom, but there are more buds ready to pop over the next several nights.

The C vine (inside the gate) also had lots of blooms tonight, but I couldn't get inside.



None of the flowers I hand-self-pollinated set fruit, so apparently the A vine is self-infertile, and I never did get around to bringing some foreign pollen to it. Maybe next bloom cycle, if we have one, or perhaps next year.

A cutting of S-8 or other pollinator will take years to get to flowering stage.


But I had another idea--What if I were to graft some S-8 on these vines?

Can one graft DF onto descending branches? Is it hard to ensure contact on an upside-down graft? When causes a grafted piece to flower? Its own maturity, or the maturity of the host plant? Or a combination of both? When is the right time to graft?

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: November 06, 2017, 01:39:16 PM »
My first fruit!


This was my LaVerne Pink on Saturday:





and my Physical Graffiti on Saturday:





I was going to ask all y'alls' advice on when to pick them, but this morning they'd colored up quite a bit, and seemed more than the "2/3 color" mark, so I picked them!





I don't have a Brix-meter, nor much experience eating DF, so this evening's review will be more along the lines of "Yum!" or "Yuck!"


I've waited 3 years for the LaVerne Pink and 2 years for the PG. Wish me luck!

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to open a mango seed. . . .
« on: October 27, 2017, 12:46:18 PM »
I remember Chapman field, USDA experimental station, in Homestead also used a special prying tool to ease opening. It was kind of like a needle nose pliers in reverse. Instead of tightening the ends would pry open when squeezed. They opened a lot of seeds so this tool really came in handy. When planting a lot of mango seeds for rootstock opening the husks also makes them all germinate more uniformly, rather than spread out germination.


Opening pliers. Yes, these would work very well, especially if you had to do this a lot.

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to open a mango seed. . . .
« on: October 25, 2017, 04:48:20 PM »
I usually clean the flesh off the seed with a butter knife and let them dry on the counter for a day or two (or a week). One quick snip on the corner with a pair of shears, and they just crack open with your bare hands.


Do the seeds need/want/like to be dried before planting? Or are they better if they're "fresher?" I know some seeds need a period of cold, or dry, or passing through an animal's gut to induce germination, but I don't know about mango seeds. Since I often find mango seeds already germinated inside their husks I assumed that humidity was a good thing.

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to open a mango seed. . . .
« on: October 25, 2017, 04:46:00 PM »
Then most of the time I open it with bear hands , I prefer this way to protect any roots developments inside the seed


Sorry, but I couldn't resist the visuals.




6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / How to open a mango seed. . . .
« on: October 20, 2017, 07:58:44 PM »
I've watched some videos and read some sites recommending that people use scissors, or a knife, or even a screwdriver. <shudder>


I use a spoon. Easy and safe:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP9CPO5o5ww

7
Many of us Dragon Fruit growers collect pollen from different varieties' flowers and mix the pollen together before we hand pollinate the flowers.


I'm starting to do this as well, but if I only have 2 varieties flowering right now, I'm wondering whether half of my pollen mix is incompatible, and whether that "crowds out" the other half.


My understanding of pollination is that the spermatozoa from the pollen grains have to grow long, narrow pollen tubes through the stigma to reach the ovules, where fertilization takes place. There are several mechanisms whereby this can be interrupted, and the specific mechanism for dragonfruit might determine what happens when there are multiple strains of pollen "competing" for a spot.

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Does self-pollen compete with cross-pollen?
« on: October 12, 2017, 06:47:15 PM »
I'm asking because I have dragonfruit varieties that need cross-pollination, but I suppose the question is valid for other plant species as well:

If a plant cannot be pollinated by its own pollen, but its own pollen gets brushed onto its stamen stigma, will the incompatible pollen then prevent successful pollination if compatible pollen is also brushed on?

e.g. will the bad pollen be "ignored" by the flower, or will it compete with the good pollen?


edit: fixed error

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2017 King Of Mango
« on: October 10, 2017, 07:26:59 PM »
One of the Sweet starts that AZ sent home with me after the Mango tasting was one of the best mangos I’ve ever had but I still give the edge to Lemon Zest. I think it’s just personal preference and I’m really partial to the citrusy taste of Lemon Zest.

Lemon Zest and Sweet Tart are two of the top favorite mangos in my book but I really like to mix things up to cleanse the palate because these two heavyweights have a knock out punch of sweetness and intense flavor that can overwhelm taste buds. Kesar would be a great palate cleanser in between these two heavyweights and it would hold its own in a top ten list, especially if there are Indian resin flavored Mango lovers on the tasting panel.

The three varieties listed above would make up the Trinity and you can get the four horseman of the apocalypse if you throw in a Coconut flavored Mango such as E4 or Coconut Cream.
I read stuff like this, and I get depressed. Where can a mere mortal go to taste such mangos in Los Angeles?


How can one acquire budwood?


I feel like I've been left out of the club!

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: October 10, 2017, 07:08:36 PM »
Nice! What cultivar is that? What are you doing about pollination?

11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: October 09, 2017, 05:56:12 PM »
Hmmm. Notice anything unusual in this photo?



Probably not, right? It's just two buds, ready to pop that night.

NOPE! That one on the left flowered the night before. I hand-pollinated it and collected its pollen, expecting it to be dried up and withered the next morning, like every other DF flower I've ever seen in my (admittedly short) experience.

But the next morning it was closed up as if it had never bloomed at all. That next night (last night) the flower to the right bloomed, and the one on the left was still closed up like this.

Has anyone observed this before? Does that flower on the left want a re-do?

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: October 06, 2017, 02:21:05 AM »
Here's the vine that's closest to the street. I'm calling this the "A" vine.



This was 9:00 PM in the evening; it's a 15 second exposure to get that much light. Full resolution, here.

There were at least 2 dozen blooms tonight, of which 5-6 were easily reachable on foot, and one more with a stepladder. I have about a teaspoon of pollen in my fridge, because some of my own vines will bloom within a week.

I didn't have any of my own pollen with me, so I couldn't pollinate this vine, but I will bring some next time I visit. I did hand-pollinate these flowers with their own pollen, though I suspect they're self-infertile (but I don't actually know for sure).


The B vine (also outside the gate) had only one bloom, but there are more buds ready to pop over the next several nights.


The C vine (inside the gate) also had lots of blooms tonight, but I couldn't get inside.

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: October 05, 2017, 05:01:20 PM »
A couple of thoughts:
  • This park is going to be _full_ of flowers in 4-6 weeks, when the next flush of flowers blooms.


They're blooming! There were 3 open this morning, and I didn't have my pollen collecting kit  >:( .


I'm going back tonight, around 9:30 - 10:00 PM to collect some pollen. Anyone want to join me?

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2017 SoCal mango tasting
« on: October 04, 2017, 01:22:01 AM »

We are a few years away from a Mega mango festival in SoCal for CRFG members with an admission charge


 :D 👍


I will buy my ticket the day they go on sale!


Maybe someone can host a budwood sale/exchange in the spring! (or whenever prime grafting season is)

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: October 01, 2017, 09:48:50 PM »
What about Physical Graffiti?

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: October 01, 2017, 07:07:42 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!

And I have fruit set! La Verne Pink:





and Physical Graffiti:





It's only 2 fruits, but that's ∞ better than no fruit.


When I should I pick them? Does this guy have it right? He sure sounds authoritative :D

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« on: September 27, 2017, 02:36:31 PM »
I'd say nearly half of the total foliage is brand new.

This tree has done almost nothing for 3 years, but it's finally starting to grow. I wonder what prompted it to get going.
Looks nice.  I guess it was the heat wave we had 3 weeks ago.  How hot did it get there for the heat wave?
80s and 90s. Not terribly hot. And not terribly different from what happened last August. Maybe it just hit adolescence, finally.

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« on: September 26, 2017, 11:08:46 AM »

I heard from a guy who grew florida mangoes in California to pluck off the fruits after they get to the size of a large lima bean, then it thinks it's done fruiting for the year. I tried it myself and even in cold weather, the mangoes don't seem to be putting out new flowers, rather, a heck more leaf growth has pushed out!

My 3-yr-old Keitt tree (from Plant-o-gram) sprouted some panicles this summer, and I snipped them all off when the fruits got to about that size. It just pushed out the nicest vegetative flush it's ever grown.

So maybe there's hope, yet!

And here is it:





I'd say nearly half of the total foliage is brand new.


This tree has done almost nothing for 3 years, but it's finally starting to grow. I wonder what prompted it to get going.

19
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

20
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.

21
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.

22
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.

23
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.

24
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.

25
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.

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