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Messages - spaugh

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First Frost of the year
« on: February 20, 2018, 11:08:35 PM »

Samu are your stone fruit flowering and flushing now?  I have some trees with big fruits already and others are completely dormant and bare.  Im hoping this week of cold will wake them up.

Yes, I noticed a couple of stone fruit trees started pushing nubs and even few flowers popping sporadically; but no big fruits like yours, Spaugh! (Interesting, how could that be ? Please talk about it at the Temperate Fruit section).
Yeah, this cold nights are good to our stone fruit trees that may require a certain minimum chilling hours. (But unfortunately is the opposite effect to our Tropicals...  :( )

The florida prince peach already has golf balls all over it.  It is always really early to ripen. 

No action on some of the others.

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First Frost of the year
« on: February 20, 2018, 08:17:12 PM »
Only 37F here last night, 13 Miles inland. All soursop seedlings are inside already; annona scions still under wraps; budding mango scion still looks good; stone fruit trees are liking this...yes, hope yours are ok too!

Samu are your stone fruit flowering and flushing now?  I have some trees with big fruits already and others are completely dormant and bare.  Im hoping this week of cold will wake them up. 

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: February 20, 2018, 02:44:51 PM »
If you run it non stop it will be so foggy you will not be able to see in there.  And you will have water on everything. Trust me on this you will need to get a humidistat to throttle it back. 

This is the one I use and it keeps the humidity at 40%

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01FQKXRXA/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1519155758&sr=1-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=humidistat&dpPl=1&dpID=41p3jLw61%2BL&ref=plSrch

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: February 20, 2018, 12:43:47 PM »
Mark, you could always add more nozzles.  I think a 1/2 gpm pump will work for you.

And you can get a humidistat like I got and it will only run a fraction of the time. 

It should use way less than you calculated, that wold be if you ran it non stop all day.  Only on the very hottest days will it be running a lot.  My pump cycles on and off like 100 times a day.  It kicks on for 30 seconds and is off again for 5 miutes or so.  Same with my venting, it is on a thermostat and opens and closes automatically and only runs part time.




5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First Frost of the year
« on: February 20, 2018, 10:55:47 AM »
35 and no frost up on the mountain.

6
I have the same issue with the 360 pattern micro sprinklers.  The ones that are the spider shape with 8 jets outward seem to clog way less.

I would put water on top of mulch regardless IMO.  Then you can see if they are still working.  And it helps breakdown the mulch.

7
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Good greenhouse management site
« on: February 19, 2018, 07:03:27 PM »
Have you looked into rocket mass heaters?

There are some awesome setups out there.  They heat up several tons of rocks with it during the day and the heat is release over the next 24hrs.

For the cooling, only one way to find out. 

On my mist system, I have the pump on a humidistat set to 40%.  It wont even run unless the humidity in the hoop house drops below 40.  It basically kicks on only when the vents and fan are running which is maybe 20% of the time.

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pics from the garden
« on: February 19, 2018, 03:24:52 PM »
Looks awesome 8)

Your yard must have a really ideal micro climate.

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: February 18, 2018, 11:06:41 AM »
Could you get a system half that size to augment you existing coolers?


10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: February 16, 2018, 04:15:31 PM »
Went and looked at my trees today.  One of my sir prize trees had its first black fruit.  Its still hard.  Glad I checked on them, will report back on quality black on tree vs green on tree.


11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: February 16, 2018, 03:21:30 PM »
If you get enough rainfall throughout summer to keep the tank from drying up then for sure that is the best option.

I dont doubt a softener helps the RO unit last longer.  What I don't really know is if buying one and then paying for salts will ever offset the cost of membranes.  The membranes are only 20$ and I really can't see needing to replace more than 2 per year.

I will find out though.  I am nonitoring the TDS of my RO water that feeds the mist pump.  As long as its staying at 35ppm or close to that I'm not touching it.  Its been a few months now and still at 35ppm.  I use the water for misting and watering.  Seems like it should last quite a while before replacement is necessary.

I will for sure keep an eye on it and let you know.  If I had rain here, thats what I would use too.

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: February 16, 2018, 01:10:48 PM »
Did you settle on a pump?

I think no softener is good.  You would just be paying for salts instead of membranes and more crap to maintain.

Not yet.  I need to get other farm chores out of the way and we still have about 3 mos. before hot weather hits.  BTW, I did all the calculations a few years ago.

R/O was originally designed for purifying salt water.  Talked to quite a few techs and they parrot the same thing - considering my super hard water which is high in bicarbs of Mg and Ca and sulfates, I should precede the system in order to extend the life of the membranes.  I know, doesn't make sense to me either.

I would try it and just see how it goes.  Membranes are an easy fix and you are back to new again.

13
Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Your secret soil ingredients
« on: February 16, 2018, 09:38:21 AM »
We have a bowl in the kitchen that all fruit and veg scraps go into.  Once its full, its goes to the garden.  Shovel out a small hole and dump it in then cover it back up.  Worms take care of the rest.  Works great.

14
Citrus General Discussion / Re: hydroponic citrus?
« on: February 15, 2018, 02:32:20 PM »
unless you are out there adjusting and cleaning your pool every day or 2, its going to be more work.  I'm not trying to discourage you.  You should just try it first on a plant like a tomato that you don't mind tossing out before you commit to fruit trees. 

If you get lazy and neglect your dirt trees, they won't really care much.  If you neglect a hydro setup and PH and TDS get out of wack, the plants decline pretty quickly. 

If your main objective is to heat the soil, invest in some heating pads.  And also try working with some heat batteries.  Get creative, use something with lots of mass to warm up during the day and then it will release the heat out at night.  You can even bury air lines in the ground a few feet and circulate air through the ground during the day to heat it up and then it will release the heat at night.

Even heating up a large volume of water and then using it as a heat battery.  If you live in zone 6, you need a heater anyway on your greenhouse right?  You must have something already?  I would guess its pretty cold there this time of year. 

15
Citrus General Discussion / Re: hydroponic citrus?
« on: February 15, 2018, 10:17:57 AM »
Hydroponic water is usually aerated with air stones or just through movement of water.  Or sometimes the water is pumped into the rootzone and then allowed to dry for some time the pumped again.  That way the roots get air.

It is totally possible to grow a citrus tree hydroponically.  I have done a lot of hydroponics and all I can say is its way more work than dirt.  You hae to constantly monitor the PH, TDS, change the water, clean the tubs, look out for mosqito larva etc.  It really is a pain.  I would suggest you try growing a single tomato plant in a deep water bucket and see how that goes and decide if you are really going to want to do hydroponics.

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Reed Avocado tree Weeping?
« on: February 14, 2018, 11:52:20 PM »
Mine are weepy too.  I stake them until they can hold themselves up.  Not all varieties need it.  Hass and fuerte seem pretty erect.  Reed, holiday, sir prize, all get the saggy limbs.

17
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Good greenhouse management site
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:28:52 PM »
Thanks for this.   I'm still very interested in setting up a fogging system for my greenhouse.  I'm not in a prime climate for evaporative cooling, but I'm hoping its still worthwhile.

I just browsed the daily weather for my area from last year.  If I look at midday hours where it was warm with clear skies, the relative humidity is usually around 50%.   A quick browse around suggests that 50% humidity is low enough to get a significant benefit from evaporative cooling, even if its not as good as in drier areas.  Using daily averaged humidity to judge effectiveness seems misleading to me, because my greenhouse only needs cooling when its sunny.  Most cooling guides are about air conditioning for people's homes, and they care about maintaining temperature even at night and when its cloudy and rainy. 

Mark, I just noticed you are talking about heating guides, but the link you provided is about fogger cooling.  Do you have a link to the heating guide you're describing also?  Maybe you pasted the wrong link.

I've been thinking a lot about heating also.  My understanding is plant roots like to be warm, but foliage can be rather cold.  I started dreaming of a fully hydroponic growing system using heated water, while running only minimal air heating.  Would this work?

If you are adding a lot of moisture and its already 50% humidity, you may end up with mold or mildew issues. 

If your greenhouse is small, you maybe better off with an air conditioner.  Window units or mini splits are fairly cheap.

19
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Good greenhouse management site
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:22:22 PM »
I'm still very interested in setting up a fogging system for my greenhouse.

I'm looking for a small scale fogging system that lets me spray 5 seconds every 30 minutes like what you find in the produce section in a grocery store. This would be for a small propagation box/tent and not for a whole greenhouse. If anyone sees anything like that when you are poking around the Internet...

That would be easy to do.  They sell on/off interval timers on amazon.  You could easily have it control a valve to run water to mist lines.

20
Craiglist has worked well here.

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: February 14, 2018, 10:36:50 AM »
24 hours before this photo was taken the dragon fruit stem was one inch below the disc, so it is 'flying' upwards at more than 1" per day! That was yesterday morning I expect it to be above the 2" thick disk by this morning.



Awesome growth.  I really like that post and top.  Did you make those yourself?

22
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: February 14, 2018, 10:35:11 AM »
Mark, I talked to aeromist and they said no issue gravity feeding RO water to my 1/3gpm mist pump.  So I have one of my barrels feeding the pump now with RO.  Seems to work fine.  I was getting calcium on the fans and figured may as well try it with RO.  Seems fine, just have to make sure the RO keeps up with the pump size and usage.

Thanks for the info again.  Have decided to not include a water softener before the R/O knowing full well I'll be replacing filter membranes often.

Yeah, those Japanese methods are pretty wild Andrew.  Just wonder how they would hold up after 10 years or so.  Note, they can't be getting a lot of light but look at that production, sheesh!

Did you settle on a pump?

I think no softener is good.  You would just be paying for salts instead of membranes and more crap to maintain.

23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: what to do with a stunted mango tree
« on: February 14, 2018, 10:28:28 AM »
Yes it's in full sun. I have a small yard so I can only have a small raised bed which won't need a lot of pumice. Really like your yard and greenhouse setup. Your plants are thriving and amazing.

Well thanks!

You should ask Simon what he uses in his boxes, he has several boxes dedicated to mango trees.  And he has a real greenthumb, his mango trees look amazing.

24
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Tagging trees
« on: February 13, 2018, 11:37:37 PM »
I used to use aluminum labels but being close to ocean some would oxidize with in a few years now I use National band & Tag Co.I order # 2720 -which are copper tags  check out at www.nationalband.com or tags@nationalband.com. I get 1000 tags for $100. And you can just write name on them. ;)


nice, thanks

25
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: what to do with a stunted mango tree
« on: February 13, 2018, 11:24:13 PM »
another thing to consider is the cultural practices (i think this is the terminology used)
watering, fertilizer regimen, spraying etc

Sort of in line with this thought is making sure the tree holds no fruits until its big enough.
It seems like the climate in SoCal will let trees fruit themselves to death.

This is true but the manilla trees they sell everywhere are not grafted.


Regarding the soil fix, if you want some decomposed granite soil for your project you can come over and fill a truck up with it.  It will make your tree happy.  I have plenty of it.

Thanks Brad. Will pumice achieve similar purpose? I have some pumice & compost that I can add to the soil.

Pumice will help with drainage but its quite expensive for the amount you will need for an in ground tree.  Compost is good in moderation.  You don't want to add too much as it holds a lot of water and doesn't breath well without something like pumice, perlite, or sand added to it. 

The decomposed granite is really nice since it drains perfectly and holds just the right amount of moisture.  It however has very little organic matter.  So mixed with a bit of compost and topped with mulch seems to make plants happy.  It would work well for a raised bed where you need to add a lot of *something* to fill it up.

Is your tree in full sun?  That is really important too.

 

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