Greetings. First of all, a big thank-you to all the people who organize and contribute to this forum. I'm looking forward to the help and inspiration that seem to abound here.
Iím here as an amateur gardener trying to care for (and maybe improve) the garden I inherited when I bought a house in Loreto, a small city on the Sea of Cortez coast of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Most of my previous gardening was in Northern England. I'm a retired university academic who studied and taught physiology on the Westside of Los Angeles for 20 years.
The climate here in Loreto is described as hot desert. There doesnít seem to be a direct equivalent in the US climate charts although 10b and 11 may be close. The relatively closed Sea of Cortez remains warm throughout the year and therefore keeps winters warmer. Average temperatures range between 15C and 35C (10C min, 37C max). Average annual rainfall is 6.3 inches although it is very variable. An 11-year drought ended recently and hurricane can drop 18Ē of rain in a single day. Humidity ranges between 30% and 80% for almost any day of the year.
Fruit trees I inherited are Mango (Manzana/Kent, Ataulfo/Manila, and an Ivory/Nan Doh Mai look-alike), Valencia orange, mandarin, key lime, grapefruit (yellow). Not sure a tamarind counts as fruit. The house was empty for several years so the trees had been neglected. I now recycle 3-4 cubic yards of compost/farmyard manure into the garden every year. One of the orange trees produced wild lemons with a single orange on one thin branch. I pruned the Ďlemoní branches and now have an orange tree. The mandarin trees seem capricious with delicious, juicy fruit in 2 seasons, separated by 2 seasons of dry, inedible fruit and I canít figure what Iíve done differently. A large branch of the lime tree came down in a storm last year, revealing a significant fungus infiltration, suggesting the tree should be replaced. I suspect the fungus was due to poor pruning practices in the past.
Iíve also added lychee, pomegranate, lemon and a pink grapefruit from local nurseries. They had no identification on them. The pomegranates taste quite acid and the pink grapefruit has yet to bear fruit after 3 years. The lychee had 1 delicious fruit when I bought it but has barely grown in the last 3 years and always develops brown tips on the leaves. This year a new wall that protects it from wind and daily soil soaking seems to have encouraged new leaf growth without brown tips. Papayas from the seeds of store-bought fruit are just starting to flower and melons also seem like tropical fruit to me.
Itís a challenge to find a source of plants with any provenance here. Long-distance relocating will also be a challenge due to agricultural concerns so I may be somewhat burdened with Ďchancyí buys although Iím trying to improve my luck by getting to know local growers.