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Topics - simon_grow

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Vietnamese black watermelon?
« on: February 15, 2018, 06:35:05 PM »
I was at Lucky Seafood last week and they had a watermelon that looked very similar to the Hokkaido Black watermelon(Densuke) that I used to grow. I picked up the watermelon and another customer told me it was a Vietnamese watermelon but the label said it was from Mexico. I decided to try it out and it was very sweet for a Winter Watermelon.

I went back today and asked the cashier and she didnít know where it came from but said maybe it was from Vietnam and shipped to Mexico and then to the US?

Anyways, this watermelon looks almost identical to the Hokkaido Black I grew and tasted a lot like it as well. It only had a couple formed seeds. This Watermelon has a Brix of 13% which is very sweet, especially considering itís Winter now. Hereís a picture of the fruit.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Improving Mango Fruit set
« on: February 08, 2018, 12:05:19 PM »
Iíve posted this before but thought it would be useful for members to re read this article since many of our Mango trees are now in full bloom.
This article is referring specifically to Keitt Mangos but it may help with Fruit retention, Fruit size and Increased Brix for other varieties of Mango as well.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Star Apples from Vietnam
« on: January 18, 2018, 04:51:04 PM »
A good friend from the forum just informed me that they are selling Star Apples imported from Vietnam at Luck Seafood so I picked up a few. They are selling for $7.99/pound. Iíve never eaten them before so Iím excited to try this new fruit but Iím not expecting much from these imported fruit. Iíll give a taste report when I cut them open.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Grafted Avocado on clonal rootstock video
« on: December 28, 2017, 03:17:58 PM »
Hereís a great video about grafted Avocado on clonal rootstocks.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Giant Yellow Ecuador Megalanthus Dragonfruit
« on: December 08, 2017, 04:43:04 PM »
I stopped by Nijiya Market today and noticed again that they had giant yellow Megalanthus type Dragonfruit for sale. I passed on the Fruit last time because there was only one left and it didnít look good but they had a whole case of them today so I picked up a few.

The sign says they are from Thailand but the sticker says they are from Ecuador. From the internet research Iíve done in the last 10 years, i would believe that these fruit are from Ecuador and not Thailand.

I purchased three fruit and the Fruit averages about 12 Oz each. Each fruit costs $9.99 each and they are not sold by the pound so in terms of price per pound, it works out to about $13.33/pound for these fruit.


I felt two earthquakes at my house yesterday, the news said there were a total of 4, and the winds are now blowing like Iíve never seen before. My neighbors debris is in my yard and my yard debris is now downwind of me getting blown around town. Many of my potted plants are blown over and several trees almost snapped in half.

The few remaining Cherimoya I had hanging on the tree have blown off and winds are still supposed to pick up. I could barely keep my eyes open because dirt keeps blowing into them.

My neighbors banana tree is already leaning halfway into my yard and it looks like it may crush my mango, Achachairu and Lucs Mexican Mangosteen.

I hope everyone in SoCal stays safe and receives minimal damage to their plants and property.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cherimoya prices skyrocketing
« on: December 02, 2017, 01:55:25 PM »
Iíve been purchasing Cherimoyas from the local markets for years and have noticed a steady rise in the price per pound but this year, itís reached an all time high. The American grocery stores are selling Cherimoyas for $10+ a pound and even my local Asian market has marked up the price from $4.99/pound to $6.99/pound.

Howís the price elsewhere? The farmers markets still have reasonable prices for their ďBĒ grade Fruit, $3.99/pound and last time I checked their ďAĒ grade was going for $4.99-5.99/pound depending on the vendor.

I havenít checked Whole Foods but they are probably the most expensive. This is an Excellent backyard fruit because itís easy to grow, not readily available in the markets and the varieties in the markets are very limited.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / How to bud graft Mango
« on: November 13, 2017, 11:22:52 PM »
Hereís another Truly Tropical video on bud grafting Mango.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Puerto Rican Turpentine Mango
« on: October 18, 2017, 10:50:28 PM »
I got an email from Leo Manuel today saying that he has a lot of Puerto Rican Turpentine Mango Fruit Fruit that I may be very interested in for my Mango rootstock experiments. Leo mentioned that the fruit was very sweet and tasted really good but it is extremely fibrous. He explained to me on a previous visit that I can let it fully ripen and then squish it into pulp and suck the juice out like a mango juice box.

I keep Leo updated with all my Mango experiments and he believes this rootstock is one of the better rootstocks for growing in SoCal and he personally has several very large trees on this rootstock. One of the varieties he has on this rootstock is called Todos Santos and it is one of the most productive and disease free trees that also has. It is a moderately vigorous tree with a dense canopy and the consistency of its heavy fruiting is one of its more st attractive features.

Leo also mentioned that some others that have sampled this Fruit noticed that the fibers are not as noticeable if the fruit is eaten in a less ripened stage.

Here are some pictures of the Puerto Rican Turpentine Mango Fruit


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 2017 SoCal mango tasting
« on: September 30, 2017, 12:09:07 AM »
I'm going to do things a little different this year and start things off with the group picture because I wanted to show the diversity of our close knit group. With all that is happening around the world today, it's amazing how fruit has brought us all together!


The California (Coachella Valley) grown Keitts were excellent last year and I was wondering if anyone has seen them around yet? I purchased mine last year from Trader Joe's, Costco and the local Asian markets like aluvky Seafood. I would love to pick some up if anyone spots any so please post here if you happen upon some. Thanks in advance!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / What kind of fruit is this?
« on: August 14, 2017, 03:44:42 PM »
My friend has this growing in her yard. Does anyone know what this is? Thanks for your help!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Shocking! Watch for yourself
« on: July 29, 2017, 12:43:04 AM »
I care about all the members of this forum and I recently watched a show called "What the health" that just shocked me. I didn't do any research on the claims of that movie but I want to bring it up for discussion here. The movie is on Netflix and I strongly urge everyone on this forum to watch and keep an open mind. Let's stay civil. I want all of us to live healthier!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 2017 Cherimoyas
« on: July 18, 2017, 01:41:30 PM »
How's everyone's Cherimoyas doing this year? I hand pollinated and got too much fruit set so I thinned out about 70% of the fruit. This is the picture before I thinned. By keeping too much fruit, the size is much smaller and the quality decreases significantly because there is more seed and skin and less flesh. Sorry about the blurry pictures.


Here are some interesting videos from Pete Kanaris:
Part 1
Part 2

I'm interested in some of the varieties Dr. Campbell is growing.


I just saw this video regarding next generation mangos with speaker Dr. Noris Ledesma. The video was taken by Pete Kanaris. In this video, Dr. Ledesma talks about how they are trying to use lowland mangos such as Kasturi and Wani(White mango) to cross with Haden and other mangos to create a hybrid that is more genetically diverse and potentially more disease resistant.

Dr. Ledesma talks about how they are putting a cage over a Kasturi and Haden and releasing bees for cross pollination. She mentions that the Kasturi has a waxy coating on the fruit that resists Anthracnose and potentially other diseases.

I can't put into words how much respect I have for Dr. Noris Ledesma, Dr. Richard Campbell and others out there that are pushing the boundaries in regards to cultivation and the future of mangos. The incorporation of new genetics may add new flavor profiles that have never been tasted before. The smell, taste, color and texture may be something new and exciting for us to look forward to in the near future.

I'm really hoping that her team will be able to come up with a rootstock that has high resistance to, especially fungal diseases such as Anthracnose and Powdery Mildew so we can decrease or altogether eliminate the need for fungicides.

Here's the video:


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Looking for Josapine Pineapple
« on: June 24, 2017, 01:36:24 PM »
Hello everyone, I'm looking for Josapine Pineapple plants to buy. I need shipping to San Diego. I've searched online for a long time but can't find anywhere that sells this variety. Thanks,


A friend from this forum recently notified me that there were some Asian mangos available at Lucky Seafood so I went there and picked some up. My friend said they could potentially be Kook Lom Krong but I know very little about Asian mangos so I have no idea what it is. 4 fruit were $6.99

Today, I stopped by Vinh Hung in Mira Mesa and they sold these same mangos in cases for $26/case.

I spoke to an Asian lady there and she said these mangos are sweet even when they are green and crunchy so I decided to purchase a case.

The 4 pack I bought from Lucky Seafood is blushing with a bit of yellow so I decided to cut one open so that I can sample these at different stages of ripeness. This one I cut open is just starting to turn soft so it is not in the crunchy phase anymore. The flesh gave little juice in this stage and it had a Brix of 19%! The flesh was sweet and tasted a bit like a sweet green apple and was very enjoyable. I think this mango will be excellent if prepared in the southeast Asian tradition with a bit of fish sauce or shrimp/crab paste and some chilly peppers and eaten chilled on a hot day.

The most exciting thing is that these were grown in Mexico so they were hot water treated and not irradiated. This variety is polyembryonic so it is a candidate for my seedling experiments.

Can anyone confirm the identity of this new commercial variety?


I am looking for top tier polyembryonic mango fruit and seeds. I'm especially interested in the following varieties Po Pyu Kalay, Lemon Zest, Sweet Tart, Coconut Cream, CAC and Orange Sherbet. I plan on growing these seeds in my friends and neighbors yards. I will not be charging them, I want to be like the Johnny Appleseed of the West except I will be planting Mango trees in people's yards.

Hopefully the seedlings will produce good fruit but if they don't, I will top work the trees once they are larger. I will gladly pay for the fruit/seeds, shipping and for your time. I live in San Diego. Thanks in advance!


A good friend of mine, realizing I get lazy and often skip fertilization schedules, recommended that I purchase a temperature controlled release fertilizer. He has friends in the Ag industry and said that the Temperature controlled release fertilizers are much better than the other slow release types that are based off of moisture alone because there is less waste and the plants get more nutrients when it is hot when they are more metabolically active and get very little fertilizer release when temps are cold and the plants are dormant. He especially recommended I try it on my potted plants as frequent watering can wash away much of the regular fertilizers.

He said that Nutricote was something that's readily available online and Mark in Texas recommended Polyon. There wasn't a Polyon distributor near me and they had so many formulations, it was difficult to navigate their site so I decided to go with Nutricote. The Nutricote was very expensive to buy in small amounts from EBay and Amazon, around $10/lbs. I finally found a company that sold it in bulk but it was sold under the name Florikan out of Florida. This product uses Nutricote, it looks like the exact same thing except this product says two stage. I got the 18-6-8 formulation with Micros in the 180 day but they sent me the 270 day, I'm not complaining. Here are some pictures from the bag I received.

Anyone here use this relatively new technology in their fertilizer regime? I will be using these in my raised beds and pots. I still have issues with my ultra high pH soil for my in ground trees so I will need to lower the pH of the soil with Sulfur as I have been doing, for this fertilizer to really be effective for my in ground trees. One application should last my lazy butt a whole year but I plan on using reduced rates(VS the recommended application rates) so that I can drench with non controlled release fertilizers during growth spurts when I know my plants definitely need more nutrients.

Anybody have suggestion? Thanks,


I visited Leo Manuel last week and was pretty surprised to see he had some Maha Chanok mangos nearly ripe. I've also noticed on my own small tree that I get a very extended season with this variety. One year I had two crops, the later crop ripening in Winter. The fruit is good, I would consider it second tier, but this tree is worth having because of its extended season, beautiful shape and color of the fruit, wonderful aroma and relative disease resistance.

I did not look to see if any other varieties were ripening but I'll check on the next visit.

Maha Chanok


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mothers Day coming up
« on: May 12, 2017, 05:36:08 PM »
Just a reminder for everyone on the forum to give mom a call and tell her how special she is to you. For about the last twenty years, I've been giving my mom an orchid arrangement that I put together myself. My mom loves the beauty of orchids and takes pride because I hand select each orchid to ensure the color scheme works together as a whole. My wife loves these arrangements as well and my daughters love helping me pick out the individual plants.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / What kind of pineapple is this?
« on: May 11, 2017, 11:26:30 AM »
Anyone know what variety of pineapple this could be? I got it from Home Depotand it did not have a variety name on it. Most the longer outer leaves are thornless but some of the inner leaves are serrated.


Here in Southern California our Lychees should be starting to set fruit and some growers in warmer locations may have fruit that are already approaching pea size. This study shows that application of granular fertilizer at the pea sized fruit stage will promote fruit growth and good size. This study focused specifically on the cultivar Kaimana when grown at a specific location but there are other articles I read that came to a similar conclusion.

I'll use this thread to post various articles regarding various techniques used around the world to help increase production and quality of Lychees.

PGRs and chemicals


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Kauai White Sugarloaf Pineapples
« on: May 02, 2017, 05:08:58 PM »
About 2 weeks ago, I ordered some Kauai White Sugarloaf pineapples from this site

It was extremely easy to use the site and the best thing is that they can actually ship the fruit to your door. Jude seems to be a very friendly person from her videos and appears to have a passion for growing these fruit.

From what I've been able to gather on the internet, the pineapples are sweetest when they are grown in the heat so these early pineapples can probably get much sweeter if harvested later in the year.

The pineapples are quite expensive but for us fruit snobs, I'm sure there will be more than a few of us out here that feel it is worth the price. I think about it this way, by ordering the fruit, I can sample for myself how good or bad the quality is before I spend 2-3 years attempting to grow the fruit.

Also, for those of us growing the White Jade Pineapple, I think it was Fang, mentioned that the White Jade is a White Sugarloaf that was selected for not having sharp spines. By ordering this fruit, I'm basically able to sample the White Jade without having to wait 2-3 years.

I have not cut into the fruit yet, I'm going to try to wait until my wife and kids get home, but I'll definitely post some pictures, give a taste report and a Brix reading.

Here's a video of the farm and pineapples in the field
! No longer available

Here are some pictures of the fruit. I believe they intentionally ship the fruit upside down so that the bottom of the fruit does not get damaged. The top leafy portion got a bit squashed but they are still perfectly fine as planting material.

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