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Messages - BajaJohn

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Absorbing the Vegetable Subforum
« on: March 23, 2017, 10:04:31 PM »
My translation is that you cleaned it up. My take is this forum originators, murahlain and Patrick are bored and done with it. When was Patrick's last post? That this tropical fruit forum would do better with you running it. Or someone like you.
No - Sheenan (murahilin?) cleaned it up (a BIG thank-you). The only contribution I've made so far is to volunteer to help keep it clean. And I'll be willing to help wherever it finds a home.
I m so thankful of the originators of this forum.
Me too

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Absorbing the Vegetable Subforum
« on: March 23, 2017, 05:32:23 PM »
The vegetable forum has just been cleaned up so it is usable again although there are already 2 new spam threads. It happens in the fruit forum too but gets cleaned up within a day or two. If the vegetable forum can get help to keep it clean perhaps we can keep it where it is and retain the history it has collected.
I've no issue with either choice. I just want to grow veggies as well as fruit. It just comes down to maintaining it, wherever it resides.
One issue with several subforums is that more general topics like pest management, irrigation, fertilizers related to garden management get diluted across several subforums. Maybe it would be an idea to also have a general horticulture section.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: In praise of Loquat...again.
« on: March 22, 2017, 01:18:35 PM »
I have a loquat tree with delicious fruit in Santa Monica. Another tree inherited with the house. A friend in Culver City has a similar one that is a magnet for the local parakeet flock. They have a good orange taste with just the right amount of tart for me.
It seems strange that this "food" plant seems to survive in gardens because people don't recognize loquats as food. I've always wondered why food plants aren't given more attention for landscaping. Maybe in cities like Los Angeles they take up too many poisons/pollutants to be healthy.

Citrus Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Key limes
« on: March 19, 2017, 10:49:43 PM »
We have been drinking margarites, making line chicken, lime whiskey, lime pie....  We are all limed out but the tree isnt done yet.
I juice them, freeze the juice in ice cube trays then bag the cubes. Limonadas are a very refreshing drink in the summer. 1 cube lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 24 fl oz water/ice. I like them best with mineral water.

There seems to be some hope of lessening HLB damage, if not of eradicating the infection -

Other factors have contributed to loss of grove acreage - such as a demand for property development as Florida's population tripled over the same time period. Damage from citrus canker and hurricanes also played their part in pushing land from agriculture to commercial/residential - It isn't just citrus either. All of Florida agriculture seems to be in decline -

What is the best method for "deep watering" plants like these? I was afraid of destroying the small root system.
I've just lost my fourth seedling sown in a pot so sympathise. I have one left that I put directly in the ground.
Looks like you are using peat pots which dry out very quickly. A heated room is probably low humidity too. Maybe create a mini-greenhouse by putting a clear plastic bag over them next time.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Grapefruit from seed
« on: March 09, 2017, 10:47:56 AM »
Thank you all for your interest/help with my potential rootstock. It has been quite a learning experience for me - very much helped by forum members. If you Google citrus rootstock, several websites come up with dozens of different rootstock varieties, none of which closely match my tree. I am in an area where citrus cultivation predates introduction to the current US and there seem to be several local varieties of "lemon" that have been around so long that many consider them naturalized here. Some are almost as big as a football. The fruit from my rootstock was recognized by locals as one such variety. It looks very similar to the "brain" citron but doesn't have the characteristic thick albedo of the citron so I assume it is some kind of hybrid that originated in earlier years of citrus culture here. The rough lemon looks fairly close Laaz and descriptions note a lot of variation in the plants, so that may be it.
It tasted somewhat like lemon but was much sweeter with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I will try to find out more and let you know what I find.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Grapefruit from seed
« on: March 08, 2017, 01:15:30 AM »
Bajajohn, I can't tell from the photo of your "lemons" if the leaves of your tree are unifoliate or trifoliate; is each leaf large and singular like most citrus leaves, or is each leaflet in three parts kind of like leaves on a rose bush?
I don't recall, although the leaves never struck me as different from my other citrus. The root suckers are all unifoliate but the biggest leaf right now is only about 1 cm long. I'm sure I've seen other trees around town, but now I'm looking for one I can't find any.
One thing I've learned in trying to identify the rootstock is that there were no citrus native to the area. They were introduced by the missionaries.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can you eat avocado seeds?
« on: March 08, 2017, 12:55:50 AM »
They did an LD50 on it in mice
and it is 1767mg/kg
thats 1.7 grams per kg

236 grams (8.3 oz) for a 180lb man
(dried seed )

if i got my math right  ??

which is strange, because the tox report for rats showed 2.5g/kg for 28 days
with no effect. (from extract)

so maybe the extract is safer.

Persins may be the culprit here - They disrupt cancer cells but also other kinds of more useful cells. They are even present in the avocado pulp we eat, but we aren't affected because they are stored inside specialized cells that our wimpy digestive systems are not able to break down. The persins seem to migrate to skin of the avocado and maybe the seed along with natural insecticides and fungicides.  They are not so insulated from us there. The effects of persins vary across different species. Birds are extremely vulnerable and can die from eating avocados. Ruminants, mice and rabbits are quite vulnerable and may also die whereas dogs and cats just get sick -

Sooo - it depends which extract!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can you eat avocado seeds?
« on: March 07, 2017, 10:40:56 AM »
Doug is one of many people demonstrating that you can eat avocado pits without immediate ill effects. That is about the extent of the research going on into eating whole avocado seeds.  Apple seeds contain amygdalin, the cyanide generating material at the center of the almond seed / laetril uproar a few years ago ( Small doses won't hurt but turning them into a "superfood" might. The official position on avocado seed is that not enough is known to make a recommendation either way.....

The most informative article is a peer-reviewed article...
It notes that avocado pits are used in traditional medicine and that there are many EXTRACTS that belong to classes of chemicals that have health benefits. Neither necessarily makes avocado seeds a good choice for regular consumption. Too much of a "good" thing in medicine often turns bad.

It also notes that the pit is 10-15% of the avocado bulk which suggests that using seeds for health extracts could be a significant additional income stream for the avocado industry - especially if they gain traction in the "superfood" marketing craze and can be sold commercially in a conveniently used form such as powder. Maybe the current internet craze is a test-marketing ploy to see how much interest / potential market there is.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are your lychees blooming?
« on: March 05, 2017, 06:50:40 PM »
It looks like one of the flowers is growing again now  (March 5th).

Apart from deciding if I need to prune the flowers/fruits, I'm also wondering how best to deal with what appears to be a dead branch of rootstock above the graft. It is cracked and dead right down to the graft. Should I cut it off? How close to the graft? Presumably I also need to seal it.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Grapefruit from seed
« on: March 05, 2017, 05:45:19 PM »
Thank-you Laaz. I'll give some cuttings a try. Lovely looking fruit.
Congratulations on your grapefruit Millet.

Here are a couple of picture of my "rootstock" taken before I pruned most of it away. It is the same tree that is in my previous post loaded with oranges. It is the tree on the right.

This a zoom-in of the knobbly "lemon" fruit. They are about 10cm * 8cm.

Tropical Fruit Online Library / History of California Citrus
« on: March 05, 2017, 03:03:28 PM »
A history of the development of citrus in California from their 18th century introduction into Baha California to the 21st century...

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Grapefruit from seed
« on: March 04, 2017, 07:58:07 PM »
Millet and Laaz, thank-you very much for your feedback. As I noted, this is a new venture for me.

Maybe the rootstock isn't lemon. The source is new growth from the base of an existing tree that is producing a good and tasty crop of normal (valencia-like) oranges. When I 'inherited' this tree, it was full of lemon-like fruit. Their surface was somewhat rough - almost like big warts. The fruits were about 8-10 cm long and slightly smaller diameter. I was told by several locals that it was a wild lemon native to this region of Baja California. They looked somewhat like citrus macrophylla. I noted a single branch with an orange on it and concluded the tree was probably originally an orange grafted onto the 'lemon' rootstock. The tree had probably not had any attention for a decade or more and I assumed most of the growth was from the original rootstock. Over time I removed all of the 'lemon' bearing branches and now seem to have a magnificent orange bush. Now, unfortunately, I have no fruit to identify the rootstock.

Given that this bush already produces good oranges, do you think that the new growth from the rootstock of this bush may be a good source of new rootstock?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Grapefruit from seed
« on: March 04, 2017, 12:58:47 PM »
I have just planted seeds from a remarkably sweet yellow grapefruit in the hope of producing more trees. My first question is if the seeds germinate, will the trees produce fruit true to the parent tree?
Laaz - is that picture of a ruby red, even though the fruit looks yellow? Is the flesh red and is the fruit unusually sweet? I ask because my grapefruit are yellow with yellow flesh but taste as sweet, if not sweeter than ruby reds.
Finally - and remember I'm very much a novice at this - I'm also trying to propagate vegetatively. Any advice would be appreciated. I've taken some cuttings and have them in water with some rooting hormone. I'll also give air layering a shot. I'm trying to produce some rootstock for grafting from prunings of a very vigorous native lemon rootstock used for one of my valencia oranges.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are your lychees blooming?
« on: February 26, 2017, 08:59:16 PM »
My unknown variety looks to be blooming for the first time since I planted it 4 years ago. There are 3 stems with buds. They barely seem to have progressed in the last week. Is this normal and should I remove some of the buds.

Asked a friend who planted seeds from store-bought papayas. He said they didn't germinate well in shade but did fine in full sun. The plants also seem to do better in the sun. One seedling he gave me was planted in an area that is partially shaded, especially in the morning. It is dwarf compared with those planted in full sun.....

The one in shade

The others were younger seedlings planted in full sun a few weeks after the first. The same ruler is leaning against the trunk of the second tree. There is even a small fruit growing on the first tree.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Accurate weather tracker?
« on: February 22, 2017, 10:04:10 AM »
Besides the forecasting aspect, i am always looking for a website that keeps the track of the temperatures of the last days.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Solar power generator for space heater
« on: February 21, 2017, 12:40:48 PM »
You need a bigger greenhouse! I thought you were talking about enclosures for single plants but solar electric heating still seems a burdensome option.
There are solar water heater panels available that you could use to heat water in 55 gallon drums if you have the space. One example is You could also look into insulating your greenhouse - even a removable cover for nighttime.
Google insulated greenhouse kits and insulated greenhouse covering for more ideas.
A fine wire mesh box will isolate combustion as a fire precaution. There are also small kerosene, propane and solid fuel heaters available (5000 BThU / 2's) that are completely enclosed ( at around $600. The kerosene models use about 1 gallon per 24 hours but they may produce too much heat for you.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Accurate weather tracker?
« on: February 21, 2017, 11:35:30 AM »
I've used forecasting sites for more than 10 years and found to be most reliable. If you are in coastal areas has great wind forecasts.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best battery backpack sprayers
« on: February 19, 2017, 11:49:57 PM »
There are reviews for these sprayers out there if you Google them. I use a Greenwood 4 gallon hand sprayer from Harbor Freight - about $30 which is $10 less than Amazon. It works very well for me although I get my spraying done with just one fill.

4 gallons of water weighs about 32 pounds. The battery sprayers weigh about 60 lbs when full. If you need a heavy duty sprayer maybe think about something bigger as spaugh suggests.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Solar power generator for space heater
« on: February 19, 2017, 10:20:03 PM »
The problem is storing the energy to generate heat overnight. LaCasaVerde has one solution. There are others ways to store heat directly.
Other thoughts would be candles, a kerosene lamp or heater or even a tiny wood or charcoal stove using trimmings from your trees although you may need to rig a thermostatically controlled blower to keep the temperature in a good range.
As for solar electricity, as with all methods, you need to figure the energy you will need. I will assume that a 100w incandescent light bulb would fit your needs. If you burn it for 12 hours you will consume 1.2 kWh of energy, equivalent to 100Ah at 12 volts. That determines the battery you will need. It needs to be double the energy you will us - in this case 200 Ah - at a cost of around $600 for an appropriate deep cycle battery. Solar panels run around $1 per watt. If you get 10 hours of usable sun per day, you need a minimum of 120 watts. With losses and cloudy days you should at least double that. A 250 W panel would cost you $250. A 20 amp charge controller runs around $100 and a 300 W inverter to produce the 110 volts for the light bulb would run under $50. That is about $1000. The battery is the limiting piece here (other than usable sun) and is also the most expensive.
Prices are from Northern Arizona Wind and Sun ( which also has an awesome online forum with many real experts to answer any solar power questions you may have.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: soil ph
« on: February 19, 2017, 06:35:25 PM »
Here is a list with pH of common items you could try as a quick test.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Advantages of Eating Apples Every Day
« on: February 19, 2017, 02:27:01 PM »
For me I will continue to avoid pesticide exposure where it is meaningful, and especially for my kids.
That is good, and is your choice because you can afford it, but to influence the choice of others by misrepresenting apple juice as a "neurotoxin cocktail" is inappropriate, especially given the conclusion of the EWG. The concern about autism related to vaccinations is a similar issue. Did you have your kids vaccinated?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: soil ph
« on: February 19, 2017, 02:05:48 PM »
All those readings seem rather high. You might want to check your pH meter.
Rain is generally under 6 but can be affected by local conditions. Higher pH usually arises from dust in the atmosphere which washes out fairly quickly. Did you test immediately the rain started and was your second test after a dry, windy spell when more dust could have been loaded up?
As he said, sulphur intensifies the "heat" of onions which isn't what sweet onions are grown for.

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