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Messages - Johnny Eat Fruit

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Soil for Mango trees
« on: May 31, 2018, 12:52:40 PM »
No, The mango roots will eventually grow into the clay soil but by that time the tree will be larger with a good root system and larger roots that make penetration easier. Clay is not the ideal soil for mangos but over time the manilla seedling will adapt. Having ideal soil for the first three years really helps to get the plant established and growing rapidly. I never tried putting a mango tree on turpentine into clay soil but I am guessing it would do poorly.  The manila seedling is well adapted to Mexican soil which is heavier than the Florida soils in general and closer to our soil here in California. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Soil for Mango trees
« on: May 31, 2018, 09:04:48 AM »
At my location, the soil is very poor for tropical plants(heavy clay). The most effective way to deal with it is to Remove and Replace the clay soil. It is labor intensive and does involve some expense so I know most people will not do this but it is by far the most effective method.  I remove the clay from a 4 foot X 4 foot area about 20-24" deep and replace it with a mix of beautiful sandy loom soil I purchased along with some sand and pumice. The mix is as follows 75% topsoil, 15% washed sand and 10% pumice. After the hole has been backfilled I plant a manila mango seedling tree. Growth has been excellent using this method.


I grafted several Honeyheart cherimoya scions to my Fino de Jete and they took.  Seems to be compatible.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Gold Nugget Mandarin Problems
« on: May 10, 2018, 01:35:00 PM »
Sounds like the Okitsu might be worth trying if you want a earlier season mandarin. I personally have a number of excellent citrus trees with fruit stat start to ripen in January so I have no interest at this time. In November to December I am still eating fresh apples off my apple trees in the back yard and I love the taste of homegrown apples as they have superior flavor and a much higher juice content than the store fruit.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Gold Nugget Mandarin Problems
« on: May 10, 2018, 12:18:10 PM »
I have never planted the Satsuma mandarin or any of it's variants. The standard Satsumas are juicy but can not match the flavor of the top mid season mandarins that start in January. It is personal preference I suppose but since I have limited space I tend to want to grow the most flavorful varieties that are available.  If you really want citrus in November to December the Satsuma is a good alternative but the flavor of the Page mandarin, Cara Cara Pink Navel and Washington Navel that start to mature in early January are superior in my opinion.

There is nothing wrong with the Satsuma but I have found it's flavor to be just average, not exceptional, so it comes down to personal preferences and how early you want to start eating citrus.

If the Okitsu Wase Satsuma has improved flavor compared to the standard Satsuma it might be worth trying (or Grafting) but I already have a lot of citrus that start producing in January.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Gold Nugget Mandarin Problems
« on: May 09, 2018, 10:57:39 PM »
My gold Nugget is on C-35 rootstock which is considered standard. If I had to do it over again I would use semi-dwarf (trifoliate) rootstock, from durling nursery, which tends to produce smaller more intensely flavored fruit.  The larger fruit on my Gold Nugget is indeed Sub-standard. This is classified as a late-season mandarin but based on my experience is a mid-season variety that dries out more quickly than other mandarin cultivars. In 30+ years of growing citrus I have never experienced this level of eating quality variation. As Previously stated Gold Nugget can produce some excellent fruit and at it's best is wonderful but its juice content is lower than every other mandarin I have eaten.  The key to success is catching it at the right time and selecting the smaller fruit for maximum quality.  The large lumpy fruit are far more variable. At my location, I am about 5-6 miles inland from the coast.

The perfect mandarine for me would be a combination of the following:

-  The large size and juiciness of the Yosemite Gold mandarin
-  The intense rich and complex flavor of the Kinnow and Page mandarins (The Page is also extremely juicy and makes great juice but the fruit are too small in general)
-  The sweetness of the Gold Nugget at its peak

At the present time no such citrus exists, or is likely to, so I can do is what John Lennon says is "Imagine".


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Gold Nugget Mandarin Problems
« on: May 07, 2018, 01:04:32 PM »
Certain Mandarins like the page, Yosemite Gold and Kinnow in general do not get puffy and dry out nearly as much.

Evidently the Gold Nugget is very suspectable to this drying out effect much more than other varieties of mandarins. The smaller fruit on the Gold Nugget are far better in terms of eating quality. The problem is with the larger fruit, which are already low in juice, becoming a ball of citrus fiber with poor flavor.  This year I have about 200 fruit on my Gold Nugget tree and about 25-30% were sub standard. On the positive side about 25% of the fruit are awesome and taste great. The other 50% of the fruit on the tree are somewhere in between with quality ranging from good to very good but short of outstanding.

The fruit quality on the Gold Nugget is quite variable. The Yosemite Gold is much more consistent and juicer even though it's sugar content is lower and doesn't hit the highs of the best Gold nugget.   

I have been eating the last of my Yosemite Gold's recently and they are getting sweeter while still retaining there high juice content.

No fruit is perfect but the Gold Nugget is overrated as being the best new mandarin.


Citrus General Discussion / Gold Nugget Mandarin Problems
« on: May 07, 2018, 09:41:33 AM »
As my Gold Nugget Tree matures and produces more fruit I am finding the fruit quality to be somewhat inconsistent. I have noticed the larger fruit left on the tree until late April or May dry out and become uneatable. The smaller fruit that are less bumpy and have thin skin are excellent and are among the best I have tasted this season.  The gold Nugget has a lower juice content compared to most other mandarins but late in the season many fruit are drying out completely. When you get a good one it's wonderful but too many of my fruit are less than perfect, what a shame.

My Yosemite Gold mandarin is much more consistent so far with all of the fruit so far being juicy and having excellent flavor. Yes the Gold Nugget is sweeter and certain smaller fruit on the tree beat the Yosemite Gold but there is a high level of fruit variability with the Gold Nugget cultivar. I am throwing away most of the large Bumpy fruit and just eating the smaller, smooth skinned fruit on my 14 foot tall tree. It is almost like there is two varieties being produced from the same tree with one being great and the other being poor.   


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sweet Tart Budwood Graft
« on: April 22, 2018, 09:44:59 AM »
Hope you have success with your grafted Sweet Tart. From my own experience, mango grafts are most successful from late July to Early September when temperatures are highest and both the scion and rootstock are in full bud swell and growth mode.

Here is a recent photo of my Sweet Tart mango tree blooming on manila rootstock. I grafted this Sweet Tart in Late July 2016 and it has grown quite nicely over the past 1 1/2 years. The Bottom Photo is my Coconut Cream Mango Tree which was grafted to a manila seedling in late August 2016.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dot mango dying in SoCal
« on: March 20, 2018, 08:03:04 PM »
That is strange your Dot mango tree is dying. I purchased mine in 2015 from Florida on Turpentine root stock and placed it in a 15 gallon container. It has grown fine for 2 1/2 years with no disease issues or spraying required.  I will be grafting some scions from this Dot tree this summer to some Manila Seedling tees I already have in the ground.

Hear a a few photos I took in February 2018 of my tree in bloom.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: When to Pick Moro Blood Orange?
« on: February 21, 2018, 02:45:25 PM »
I can not recall eating a sweet moro blood orange. It did have some berry flavors but the fruit never reached the sweetness of a good Mandarin (it was always tart) or did it ever have the balance flavor of the Washington Navel Orange. Fruit production for the Moro was Fair to Fair+ at best even when fully grown. Perhaps other that have grown the Moro at a warmer location than I have had better luck but that tree was a looser for coastal Orange County.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: When to Pick Moro Blood Orange?
« on: February 21, 2018, 11:48:41 AM »
I had a Beautiful mature Moro blood orange tree at my house about 10 years ago but I removed it. The problem is at my coastal location the Moro blood orange tree requires more inland heat to ripen and the fruit never fully sweeten up or ripened properly even with a long growing season. Also if the fruit are left on the tree too long they get a unpleasant fermented musty after taste. The overall fruit quality was sub par hence the removal. The Washington Navel tree that replaced it produced excellent quality fruit from a early age and was a much better match at my area.


The Best is relative to individual taste but I will list my preference based on growing citrus the last 25 years at my location.


-Washington Navel and Cara Cara but the Cara Cara is a smaller slowing growing tree.


-Gold nugget - a high sugar mandarin with very Good to excellent flavor.  A tall tree with good production once the tree is mature (6+ years) Note: the juice content is not high but it is seedless.  The best late season Mandarin.

-  Yosemite Gold Mandarin - A large fruit and very juicy. Excellent strong mandarin flavor that is more sub-acid than super sweet. My tree is a consistent and high producer of quality fruit. (seedless)  January to April.

Kinnow - This one has it all (high sugar, high juice and high flavor impact) and may be the best mandarin I ever had if properly tree  ripened but it has several major flaws in that is is alternative bearing and has 25 seeds per fruit. Very seedy. (If this tree produced annually and had no seeds it would be the ultimate late season mandarin)


Meyer Lemon - Everybody loves this fruit and it is the only lemon tree I recommend to homeowners.


Oroblanco:  My 22 year old semi dwarf tree produces the most fruit, in poundage, of any of my citrus trees.  Over the years it is the most reliably consistent producer of high quality fruit with no alternate bearing whatsoever. A winner indeed.

There is my two cents


Citrus General Discussion / Re: C35 rootstock tree size
« on: January 25, 2018, 02:12:00 PM »
I have Three Citrus trees on C-35 root stock (Tango, Yosemite Gold and Gold Nugget) that are 7 years in the ground.  They average 12-14 feet tall so far and continue to grow. This is a very productive year for all three trees with the Yosemite Gold being the most loaded with fruit.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:18:17 AM »
I tried growing David Bowie Dragon-fruit at my location in Orange County and had very poor results. Low vigor and scant growth after two growing seasons . Perhaps others will have better luck then I. Removed the Bowie and replaced with Sugar Dragon "8S" which has taken off with strong growth. What a difference.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Maha Chanok close to ripening in San Diego
« on: November 08, 2017, 06:15:57 AM »
Interesting as my Maha Chanok is just starting it's first growth flush in November.  This tree is on Turpentine root stock and my goal this year was to graft it onto one of my mango seedlings in the ground but the lack of growth and cool summer prevented that. Perhaps in 2018 it will grow better and I can do the graft.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Venezuela Sapodilla Tree
« on: September 14, 2017, 08:10:09 PM »
Earlier this summer I purchased a 3 gallon Venezuela Sapodilla tree from Mimosa Nursery in L.A. I asked the owner what it was like and he indicated it was similar to Alano but the leaves are larger compared to the Alano Sapodilla.

Does anybody know anything about this cultivar?  I took a chance when I bought it but I like the way it looks and grows so far. No Idea on the fruit quality but any information would be appreciated.  At the time they had 8-10 of these Venezuela's along with some Morena's and Molix. At the time I purchased one of each to try. I already have an Alano and small Tikal.



Buying Trees is easy. Sucess in your local climate is a different story. Be careful of what you buy.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Lychee problem - please help
« on: August 07, 2017, 08:37:32 PM »
Try applying Spinosad every 10-14 days with a sprayer. It works well on sucking insects.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Coconut cream in california
« on: July 30, 2017, 10:31:05 PM »
The Large Coco Cream Champa had was one the removed from a customers home that was in the ground. The owner of Champa told me the lady did not like the fruit from the young CC tree so she wanted it removed. It was on Turpentine rootstock. Based on my own two-year experiment I would avoid turpentine root stock mango trees in California.

I purchased a number of Florida mango trees on turpentine root stock and thus far at my location there performance has been poor compared to the same trees grown on manila or ataulfo root stock.

The first picture is a Coconut Cream mango Tree I purchased from Florida two years ago. It is in a 20 gallon container and has grown modestly but last year I grafted a scion onto a manilla mango tree and it has taken off. On the second photo you can see the Coco Cream just flushed out and on the Florida Turpentine CC there has been no growth yet in 2017 as of the end of July.

The third and 4th photos show the Florida Sweet Tart with no growth yet while the grafted Sweet Tart on Manilla is flushing nicely now. I am only using the Florida Trees for grafting scions now and will likely sell them later when I am done with them.



Coconut Cream on Turpentine

Coconut Cream on Manilla Root Stock

Sweet Tart on Turpentine (No Growth Yet in 2017)

Sweet Tart on Manilla Root Stock (already doubled in size in July)

The only local Nursery that has grafted mangos on Manilla root stock is Mimosa Nursery in LA. I am taking Simon's advice and planting my Kent and manilla seedling in the ground and letting them grow for several years prior to grafting. I have some mango trees on Turpentine root stock I purchased from Florida two years ago but they are in containers and are only used for creating scions for my mango seedling I planted in the ground. Based on my two years of experience doing this, the Florida mango's do appear to look droopy and in general do not grow as well relative to my non turpentine trees. I would avoid using Florida root stock in California.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Grafting techniques
« on: June 28, 2017, 09:45:17 PM »
Try grafting mangos in August or early September. My attempts last year in June/July were unsuccessful due to a lack of heat and/or no growth flush. When the heat is up and you have new growth starting to pop in the scions your chances are highest, at least that has been my experience. Sweet Tart had the highest take rate for me in 2016.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Gold Nugget
« on: June 01, 2017, 10:17:55 AM »
From my experience Citrus performs poorly, in the long term, in containers (even large wood boxes). The Citrus roots really like to spread out laterally and all containers prevent this. They can do OK for the first few years but they will never produce or look like in the ground plants.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit David Bowie
« on: May 31, 2017, 08:16:55 PM »
I tried growing it in the ground for over one year but gave up after very little growth. Pulled it out and put something more vigorous in( Sugar Dragon AKA Paul Thomson S8) which grows very well. Perhaps others had more luck than I with David Bowie.


Very well said, Simon. I am letting my Manilla and Kent seedlings grow and develop in the ground and then I will graft top cultivars onto them. Our conditions here in So. Cal is quite different from Florida. Thanks for the advice and input from your learning experience as it is much appreciated.


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