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Messages - baccarat0809

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Golden or Yellow Dragon Fruit?
« on: January 22, 2018, 04:01:21 PM »
Picked up one last week at the whole foods in Altamonte Springs.

Was very, very good.  Certainly the best DF I've ever tasted.  I harvested about 30 seeds, washed and dried them off and planted them earlier today in a cactus mix.  I started a bunch of red DF seeds about 2 months ago and many of those have sprouted - but they're so, so tiny.  Hope these yellow ones sprout out as they're much tastier than the reds I've had.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cleanup after the freeze in Orlando area
« on: January 09, 2018, 05:51:50 PM »
Ok, so I got hammered like most of us, and the blankets and protection I tried using didn't work for the tropicals I had in the ground.

No big loss since most of my plants were from seed and experimental at best, but now what do I do with my bananas, papayas and seedling mangos?

One of my bananas was about 5ft tall, the rest were about 3ft tall.  Do I remove the dead leaves, chop down the stalk or just let it be to provide protection, though it would be limited, to any pups that start coming out, or will the 5ft plant start to push new growth out?

As for the papaya, do I strip off the dead leaves and keep the main stalk in hopes of it coming back?  I had about 8 papayas that were about 2 feet tall and just starting to flower.

The mangos that I lost were all about 1.5 years old and less than 2ft tall (mainly altaufo).  They were small but bushy and leafy.  Do I just leave them in the grounds in hope they'll pop back up or just dig em out.

Lastly I had 3 seedling grapefruit.  1 looks to be completely fried but the other 2 only lost the new growth flush.  I assume I trim that back and those should bounce back, or is there something else.

One more - since its been so dry out lately, should I water now that we're back into the '70s or try to keep them in a bit of a hibernated state in fear of another frost/freeze happening.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Chilly Florida AM
« on: January 04, 2018, 02:47:19 PM »
Was at 32 for 8 hours in Lake Mary .....with final low of 30 for a few hours....really weird as temp hit 32 around midnight and stayed there for hours on end until it hit 30 for a few hours before sunrise....

I live in one city over from ya in Longwood, and WeatherUnderground registered us at 27 this 7AM.  I moved my potted plants indoors a few days ago but lost my bananas, mangos and papayas.  My citrus seemed to fare ok as they are small and close to the ground and I covered them up, and my pineapples, which are right next to my house and i ran an electric heater over the patch last night and covered them seemed ok - temp around the heater was at 41 this am so hopefully i saved them, but will be back at it tonight trying to keep them warm.

My Florida Prince Peach took an absolute beating last night too and dropped all of its leaves - hopefully that will come back

What eats your food becomes your food.

From the '80s song "I'm on a Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo.

"eating barb-b-que iquana"

No reason to relocate them to the bottom of your lake.  Relocate them to your grill.

Cats eye Longan are from Fancy Fruit store in Central Florida - no idea.

They were very tasty though and all of the seeds sprouted rather quickly and have done very well.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Tropical Seedlings and the upcoming cold wave
« on: December 07, 2017, 11:01:40 AM »
So, I started the following seedlings this fall:

6x Cats Eye Longan
4x Loquats
3x Rambutan
2x Atemoya
3x Cherimoya
2x Hass Avocado

Central Florida is expecting our first true cold wave this weekend and it's expected to hit a low of 37.

All are in containers except for one of the avocado's, so it'll be easy for me to bring them inside, but I'm wondering if I should leave any of them outside to help "harden them off", as I expect I'll be putting most of them in the ground around April of next year.



Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: South Florida Compost
« on: November 27, 2017, 02:43:49 PM »

These guys match arborists with gardeners and they drop off chips for free.

I posted some pics of my first drop in one of the threads on the main page.

Pretty awesome service.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Procuring mulch from storm vegetative debris
« on: September 22, 2017, 06:18:03 PM »
I live in Longwood (east Orlando) and the day after I signed up for chipdrop I got a call but was out working on the garden and missed it.

Took another 2 weeks for the next call to come in and to say I was happy with the amount / quality is an understatement.  I ended up getting a mix of palm, oak and eucalyptus as the load smelled like Mentol and while it took a while to distribute, I got about 1/2 of the mulching done that I wanted and got all of my trees mulched in the backyard.  I only found 2 larger branches in the load I got, though some of the palm leaves weren't chipped up, so i put those down first and put the chips on top of them to make the rows look better.  I have a large hill on the back of my property that cutting the grass on just sucks because of the steepness of the hill and the angle its on, so the next load will allow me to finish mulching the rest of the hill so no more worries about cutting grass back there anymore.  I've started to add fruit trees on the hill that I've started from seed and have a 6x mango seedlings, 4x grapefruit seedlings and 6x papaya seedlings and those chips will certainly help the quality of the dirt as I'm on pure builders sand with nothing organic to it at all.  Once the next load of chips are down, a neighbor offered a bunch of banana pups and I have 2x loquat and 4x longan seedlings that I can plant as well to increase the mini orchard down there.

Since they're all seedlings doesn't matter much if they don't make it as I was happy just eating the original fruit.  I'll worry about grafting name-brand stock onto the seedlings if we decide to purchase the house instead of continuing on our long term lease, if not, at least I get a good learning experience about what works/doesn't around here.  Glad to have a landlord that encouraged me to add the trees to the lot.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Procuring mulch from storm vegetative debris
« on: September 19, 2017, 07:28:23 PM »
Guys - there's a website called ChipDrop

They work with arborists who need a place to dump their chips at instead of the city dump.

I picked up this load on 08/30 for FREE. 

Its an amazing service and something I will 100% use again - just waiting for it to get a bit cooler as moving that much mulch, even with my 3 boys helping, took a ton of time and sweat.

Cocktails anyone?

Fresh mango margarita.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / How much sun for Longan seedlings
« on: September 01, 2017, 06:26:50 PM »
So, the first of my longan seedlings have sprouted and are up around 3 inches out of the soil.

I sprouted them on my patio / bird cage area but want to figure out if i need to leave them there and grow them out or if they should be put in the sun right away.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: mango seedling
« on: August 17, 2017, 07:13:23 PM »
Groetjes van zonnige Florida.

Having lived in Dendermonde and Leuven in Belgium for a few years, i agree, it will be tough with your climate, but we've got members here from Russia who are growing tropical plants.  If they can do it, so can you.

Do you have a greenhouse that you can use for the winter?  Do you have plans for supplemental light?

Groetjes terug van uit het natte Nederland :-)

not at the moment i was thinking of keeping it in a big pot for the rest of the year sitting on a warm spot in the house. till its a bit more mature (its only 1 1/2 months old)

you have any tips on what kind of temperatures i should stay at for this little guy?

Temps - keep it indoors and you'll be fine as long as it gets enough light.  Don't over-water the plant either as the roots will rot out on you.

As for growth, over the next year or so it may only double in size or it could really take off - depends on the genetics.  I've got 2 mango's that I started last June that are about 20 inches high and have 4 sets of leaves, 2 of them are about 24 inches high with about 6 sets of leaves and my star performer is about 36 inches high now and has all kinds of growth and is taking off.

All depends on the genetic lottery.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: mango seedling
« on: August 17, 2017, 04:21:01 PM »
Groetjes van zonnige Florida.

Having lived in Dendermonde and Leuven in Belgium for a few years, i agree, it will be tough with your climate, but we've got members here from Russia who are growing tropical plants.  If they can do it, so can you.

Do you have a greenhouse that you can use for the winter?  Do you have plans for supplemental light?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Best way to germinate Atemoya seeds?
« on: August 11, 2017, 07:19:11 PM »
So our local fruit market had some Atemoyas for sale a few days ago and I purchased one.

Delicious and very, very custard like.

I've ended up with about 10 seeds and want to germinate them.

What's the best way?  Damp paper towel, directly into soil, or something else.

Thanks folks.

Nice looking place  Too bad I've got 2 years on my lease here still - that would be one heck of a great start for a tropical fruit fan.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: beyond muggy
« on: July 28, 2017, 02:41:16 PM »
As a Central Florida transplant from Buffalo, I'll take this much more so than shoveling 18 feet of snow.

I lost 4lbs early this am when I mowed the grass - takes me about 2 hours and I weighed myself before and after, and that was from 9am-11:15am.  I can't image how much I would have lost had I cut the grass in the middle of the afternoon.  Now I just gotta drink that much in water today or I'll have a terrible headache tomorrow.

Getting some amazing flushes from my seedling Mango's from the heat and humidity, that's for sure.

Now are you going to go for the next generation and plant that seed?


We've had classic Central Florida weather, except its been hotter than normal, though nothing like some pf you guys in Cali have had.  I've had a bunch of days at 99, a couple at 100 and even hit 102 on Saturday here.  I'm in a bit of a micro climate and seem to be about 2-4 degrees warmer in the summer than the surrounding area - which generally means:

08am - 80 and sunny
09am - 90 and sunny
10am - 03pm - 95+ and mostly sunny
03pm - 06pm - 95+ until the storms hit then mid '80s
06pm - 09pm - gradually back up to 90 then down to uppper 70's or low 80's at night

The main reason for the thought it wasn't sunburn was those plants have had full sun since right after they sprouted.  I hardened them on our porch for a week, then did 2 weeks in partial sun, then from January - June when they were planted in the ground they had full on sun every day as we really didn't have much in terms of rain then - maybe 1 day, and they were doing well in the pots, and since the pots were black they were baking in them so much that in May I had to water every day.  The ground, i thought, would be better for them and they took the transplant well, just that the worst one started yellowing about 14 days ago and the other 2 started yellowing about 10 days ago.

They had been getting full sun since around January when they were in the pots and the ones currently in the pots that were started at the same time have no issues.

I have about 4 others in the ground now that are not exhibiting the same symptoms even though basically everything else is the same - age, sun, soil and rain/watering.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango Leaves Yellowing (inside of leaf)
« on: July 16, 2017, 03:17:48 PM »
So, three of my mango seedlings (no-name, store bought mangos - no idea what pedigree they carry), about 9 months old and they've been in the ground for about 45 days now.  Some of the top leaves have started to turn yellow in the center.  See attached pics.

Any idea what mineral deficiency this is or are there other problems here?

No real fertilizer applied yet - just a little bit of home depot citrus fertilizer when they were first transplanted.

Watered every third day if it didn't rain, but most of the time its rained at least once every three days so I haven't watered much.

No organic material added to the ground around them other than the dirt when they were transplanted with.  The general soil around them is a "builders sand".

These 3 haven't flushed since I transplanted them.  The other mango's that I have in pots have each flushed twice during this time, and the mangos i put in the ground at the same time have each flushed once in that time.

The leaves on the middle plant are a bit "brittle" and seem a bit drier than the other leaves.

Any ideas what to do here?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Smallest Mango Seed Ever
« on: July 16, 2017, 03:02:16 PM »
Update - well, its been a wet paper towel for a week and has now thrown a tap root.  Nothing coming up for a stem/leaves yet.

Back into the paper towel and will check next weekend.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Smallest Mango Seed Ever
« on: July 09, 2017, 06:54:38 PM »
So, I got a few Ataulfo Mango (or as my bodega calls them Alatufo) yesterday and cut this for breakfast.

Both real nice taste and good quality, but when I freed the seed from the husks, I was greeted with quite the surprise - certainly the smallest Mango Seed I've ever seen (and of course, penny for size comparison).

I don't know if that seed wasn't fertilized or what, but heck, whats the cost of a wet paper towel.  I was just going to throw it into the compost pile but heck, I'll try to get it to sprout and see what I have - if anything.

Mother nature at its best.

It stopped raining enough for me to out there and get them now.

Both of these seeds were thrown out were thrown in sometime in May, as my son came home from school (he's 8 years old) and said he learned about composting and he wondered why we didn't do it.  Growing up on a farm we fed the chickens our scraps or composted, so I figured even though I was in an urban area I'd give it a shot.

i've pulled out 3 watermelon plants and 2 tomato plants that started in the pile and put those into the regular garden, so we've had a nice surprise.  I'll keep this pile going until the end of July then start a new pile and transfer the organic matter to my garden in early September when I put down my fall crops.

As for those mango trees, they're shaded by a small oak tree that's back there - i just need to figure out if i'll let em grow there or try to transplant them into my main row of seedlings that I've got going.  Not sure yet.

I live in Longwood, Florida, and two of my neighbors have mango trees in the ground and I've seen another 4 or 5 trees in the Longwood / Lake Mary area when I've been running around here.

One neighbor has a NDM and one has a home depot special.  The neighbors here don't really speak much English (we live on a "worldly" block with about 8 or 9 languages spoken on the street), so it's hard to verify with them the actual name.

Anyway, the NDM produced 6 fruits this year and has been in the ground for a while (I think about 3 years) and has put on some good height and branching.  The home depot special tree is about 3 feet tall now and just as wide, as the neighbor shaping the plant in the Japanese way  to keep it low but very, very wide.

The home depot special neighbor put a blanket over the tree about 5 times this last winter but nothing else and the tree looks incredibly healthy.  I'm not sure what the NDM guy did to protect the plant if he even did anything.  We had 1 night around 30 and a few nights right at the 32 degree mark this year.

On my end, I put down 10 seedlings in the beginning of June that I had been growing in pots.  2 of those seedlings were about a year old and the other 8 were around 3 to 6 months old.  I ended up loosing 3 seedlings due to transplant shock as they really weren't ready to transplant yet from the pots they were in (I think these were the 3 month old seedlings).  The 2 older seedlings are from Keitt parents and have very, very long internodes.  They're tall but show no branching and no real structure.  All of the smaller seedlings are from grocery store mango's so I have no idea of the parentage.  2 of them have a ton of leaves with very, very small internodes and the others look 'normal' for the lack of a better word.

On a bright note, I have 2 mango tree growing in my compost pile.  I opened the husks and took the seeds out before I composed some pits and other vegetable matter and to say they have taken off is an understatement.  I thought that they needed a lower nutrient environment but man they've flushed twice now and grown more than the 6 month old seedlings I transplanted into the regular ground.  I need to dig those out and move them to a better area.

In the future for any mango trees I'm planning on planting, I'm thinking I should dig a decent size pit and use that area for compost for a month or two, then put the tree on top of the compost pile.  I really can't believe the boost those 2 seedlings have.

I also started a bunch of papaya trees from seed in the beginning of May.  They're up to about 3 inches, maybe 4 inches tall now and growing well.  They were pretty stunted (and I have them in good soil), but I started using Miracle Grow on them and they've doubled in size over the last week and have around 15 dwarf cavandish banana trees growing.  I bought 1 tree from home depot that I grew in a pot for a while, split into three trees now I've got 15 trees growing.  Haven't harvested any bananas yet as I was more trying to get multiple plants growing than getting fruit.  Now that I'm up to 15 trees I'll work on growing them bigger and not separating them out.

As for containers, I have 7 mango trees growing in pots now.  I have a 25 gallon, two 7 gallon, two 3 gallon and two 1 gallon trees.  All but the 25 gallon trees are also seedlings.  One of the 7 gallon trees has flushed 3 times since May and doubled in size, but that growth started after we got all those rain days.  Rainwater has been significantly better for my trees than Longwood City water has been.

I tried growing a mamey sapote but something got at the seed after it through its first few leaves and destroyed the seed.  I also have 5 loquat trees growing from seed and a Florida Prince peach tree in pots that I got for free from Duke Energy.

I'm only renting the house I'm at now, so I don't really want to put too much in the ground.  I much prefer to keep trees in the ground, especially for watering purposes, but don't want to put too much work into the yard if we end up leaving.  I'm buying a house when my lease is up in 2 more years - the only questions is will it be this one or somewhere else.  I don't mind leaving the mango trees as they cost me just a few pennies to grow on my own.

My citrus trees have not done well.  One has been attacked by red ants constantly and no matter what I do I can't get rid of them.  I'm pretty sure its aphids on the tree but I'm ready to give up on that tree and just rip it out.  I've spent way too much money on that tree with sprays and the like and its just useless.  The other 4 citrus trees I put in the ground haven't done much.

Do you have pictures od the seedlings in the compost pile?

I'll get the pictures tomorrow for you.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pickering was sweet, now it's not...
« on: July 07, 2017, 09:29:15 PM »

I have so much fruit now I starting trading mangos for free beer at the local Irish pub.  Win win win.

If that isn't the definition of win, win, win, I don't know what is.

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