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Messages - Greg A

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: John Herd avocado
« on: September 15, 2019, 11:45:49 PM »
Thanks for this, Jack. Is this about the middle of your Hass season in Nipomo?

On a side note: Anything distinctive about Leaven's Hass that you've noticed (compared to Hass)?

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Purple passionfruut comparison
« on: September 15, 2019, 11:36:44 PM »
Thanks for posting this, Brad.

My experience is the same as Oolie's, in terms of taste and color in summer passionfruit compared to other seasons.

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado grafting
« on: June 09, 2019, 06:42:46 PM »
It's going to work!

4
You might be interested in some of the observations of Bob Bergh, who ran the avocado breeding program of the University of California for decades. (The first paragraph deals with speeding up the fruit production of seedlings, and the second paragraph is about how many years it usually takes for seedlings to produce.)

"Perhaps the greatest problem of the avocado breeder is the length of time required, in conjunction with the large amount of space required. There are 2 ways that we are going at this problem of shortening the juvenility stage. One is to graft the seedlings onto large plants. This is an idea that we thought about vaguely and I finally was stimulated to try in a visit to Israel 2 years ago when I saw it in operation there. Often you can get fruiting the year after you graft or at least 2 years afterwards.

"The other way is to breed for more precocious seedlings. The new 'Pinkerton' variety is astonishingly precocious for us and it will be the basis of this precocity breeding. In California we say that the earliest cultivars will come into production in maybe 3 years with a few fruits and more in the fourth and fifth years. Seedlings come in maybe the fifth or sixth year and more in the eighth and ninth year. After 10 years we drop it. Seedlings of 'Pinkerton' have the remarkable ability to start bearing the second year from planting as seedlings. The little seedling is seemingly barely up, as we don't get as much growth in 2 years in California as in Florida or the more tropical areas, and can have maybe 20 or 30 fruits on it. This is just turning up now. The first fruiting is this year because we didn't know about the 'Pinkerton' until 2 years ago."

This is taken from: http://www.avocadosource.com/Journals/ITFSC/PROC_1976_PG_36-42.pdf

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: March 21, 2019, 11:31:41 PM »
Brad,
Cool comparison. Thanks. If you could only grow Pinkerton or SirPrize, which would you keep?


6
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Help with Citrus Leaves
« on: February 18, 2019, 04:08:18 PM »
Which tests are those? Maybe they're more recent than what I've seen.

I looked into the leafminer and imidacloprid issue some years ago because I was sick of one of my citrus trees getting attacked so badly. I wrote about it here: http://gregalder.com/yardposts/dont-spray-for-citrus-leafminers/

But the essence is that I read that soil drenches are said to translocate into flowers and harm bees. The University of California's webpage for imidacloprid says this: "Imidacloprid applied as a soil treatment can move up into flowers to injure or kill bees, other pollinators and beneficial insects." (The page: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/TOOLS/PNAI/pnaishow.php?id=42)

But maybe I'm not understanding it correctly, or maybe it's wrong or outdated?


7
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: February 17, 2019, 11:30:15 PM »
Any chance you could add a photo of the trees? Are the trunks 6-9 feet apart or is there 6-9 feet of space between the canopy edges?

And just curious, is this in Glendora?

8
Low of 28 for me too. Plenty of frost. Some leaf damage on bananas and new flush of avocados.

9
Only 31 in my yard this morning. Just bits of frost. No damage seen. January 4 was colder at 29.

Tonight is looking more dangerous though. I've put some blankets on baby avocados.

Love this winter so far. Good chill for the deciduous trees, no real damage on the subtropicals, plenty of rain.

10
Citrus General Discussion / Re: What is wrong with my page mandarin tree?
« on: January 14, 2019, 08:57:47 PM »
I don't have an answer, but as commiseration: Many of my citrus trees look most yellow this time of year, every year. I'm in SD County and I also mulch most of my trees heavily with wood chips. I no longer worry about it because they always green up well in spring and produce fine. Maybe your Page will too, on its own.

11
Citrus General Discussion / Re: What citrus would you plant?
« on: December 20, 2018, 07:31:34 PM »
The mandarin that I'd keep if I could only keep one would be Kishu. A close second would be Gold Nugget.

12
Absolutely. That's not what I meant to imply. Only that this isn't the first time that antibiotics are being approved for use on tree crops. Previous administrations/EPAs approved the use on apples and pears long ago (I don't recall which or exactly when).

13
To put this into context, we do have to remember that antibiotics are already being used on crops like apples and pears to control fireblight here in the U.S.

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: GEM avocado in Los Angeles area?
« on: October 19, 2018, 12:01:58 AM »
Matt,
If your goal is a Hass-like avocado and you want to keep the tree to 15 feet, maybe you should just plant a Hass. I have a Hass that I keep to 15 feet, and it's easily done. I'm certain you can manage it.

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Brutal heatwave 7/06/18 in Socal
« on: July 07, 2018, 03:34:50 PM »
Looks like someone ran through my yard with a torch. Terrible day. 113 degrees and less than 10% humidity, plus wind.

16
I pay $6.71 per hundred cubic feet (748 gallons), and I put almost 3,000 gallons on a 14-foot Hass last year (not including rain) that gave me 156 avocados. The tree's average production is a little lower overall, but if it's 100 per year then that would be around $0.27 per avocado in water cost. And water is pretty much the only cost.

17
Sorry if the table is misleading, guys. The gallons are for the entire month. So, for example, a tree with a 14-foot canopy (maybe in its fifth year in the ground, maybe not) needs about 631 gallons for the entire month of July. If you water every five days, that would amount to around 100 gallons every five days.

In the article I linked to I explained some important factors that affect how much a particular avocado tree will actually need, as well as how much water you may actually have to give it. Some factors include shade, variety, soil type, and water quality.

The table is for trees in full sun and with typical Southern California quality water (read: "salty"). If you have a tree in half-day sun that gets very clean water, you don't need to irrigate it as much.

On this note, for example, I watered a Reed with only stored rainwater one year and it did way better (in terms of foliage appearance and fruit production) than my other trees getting district water.

One last remark: after a tree's been in the ground for a couple years it will be drinking from any water source within reach, sometimes way beyond its canopy edge, and that includes the tree you're irrigating beside it or the neighbor's hedge. So people in urban/suburban settings often don't need to water as much as the table shows. I know of a large Fuerte that "never" gets watered, but it's also got an irrigated lawn growing beneath half its canopy.

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. And good luck with this heat wave if you live inland like me!

18
I made up a table to help us water avocado trees efficiently and effectively in California. I put a lot of thought into it. So I thought I should share it here. I'd also love to hear feedback if you think I missed anything important or if you find that your gallons and frequencies are far different. Remember though, that I'm not saying this is a table everyone should follow; it's just for reference to get started homing in on the gallons and frequencies that are ideal for your situation.

I remember wishing something like this existed when I first started growing avocados, but finding that the tables made by farm advisors weren't very accurate or easy to apply for backyard growers like us.

Anyway, here's some explanation about the table: http://gregalder.com/yardposts/how-much-and-how-often-to-water-avocado-trees-in-california/

And here's the table:



19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 09, 2018, 04:17:52 PM »
Luisport,

Of the varieties I grow and feel like I know well enough, Gwen and Pinkerton seem most precocious.

And I'm also thinking of the trees not being in especially great pollination conditions, like with many bees and near opposite-type varieties. (In those conditions, it's harder to say how precocious a variety is on its own.)

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Reed Avocado tree Weeping?
« on: February 16, 2018, 01:06:37 AM »
I see what you mean now. Yeah, that's irritating. My Reed actually stood up on its own before some of my other avocado trees. It seems to depend more on the individual tree and its training in the nursery more than the variety, in my experience.

You can stake it, especially with two stakes on either side. I can attach some photos if you'd like. You can also do some pruning. I tend to do a combination of both if necessary because I get impatient. I hate trees that can't stand up on their own after no more than a year of staking, max.

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Reed Avocado tree Weeping?
« on: February 14, 2018, 09:01:19 PM »
Yes, my Reed weeps whenever a limb has a lot of fruit because Reeds get heavy. Sometimes I thin or prune such limbs, but you can also prop with 2x4s as the commercial farmers do.

22
About Holiday:
I'm not sure why Julie Frink mentions it as one to plant if you have a small space in your yard, except that the tree is very small. I've never known a Holiday tree that is very productive, especially compared to some other smallish avocado trees like Pinkerton or Gwen. My suggestion to someone with a small space would be to grow one of those or a Reed or Lamb, and use your pruning shears to keep it to size. You're guaranteed to get more fruit that way. And isn't the fruit the reason to grow an avocado tree?

23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado tree water requirements
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:55:25 AM »
"How water hungry are Avocado trees compared to other fruit trees?"
In my yard, I've tried to get away with the least water possible, and I've noticed that deciduous fruit trees like apples and peaches need the least, citrus are intermediate, and avocados need the most.

"What happen if you don't give it enough water? Will it not fruit at all or will the fruit be smaller or less tasty?"
In the town where I grew up, I knew of a couple of avocado trees that were unirrigated. So they lived off of only rainfall, and this is in Southern California where it's dry all summer and only around 18 inches of rain fell there in the winter, on average.

The trees didn't look great. One had only a couple fruit each year and its leaves always looked very stressed in the fall. The other had a dozen or more fruit each year and looked better than some irrigated trees I've seen (maybe even some in my own yard!). But this tree was in a flat area in a vacant lot near a road and probably gathered a lot of extra rain through road runoff. It also had a deep, undisturbed, natural mulch.

So, the fruit were few on both trees, but I must say they always tasted very good.

24
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Nabal vs Holiday
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:40:48 AM »
Yes, the eating seasons are similar among the Reed, Holiday, and Nabal. But some other qualities are dissimilar.

Fruit of all three taste excellent to me. But a slight nod would have to go to the Reed and Nabal over the Holiday. That's just my taste though.

If I were choosing to grow a Nabal or a Holiday, I would grow a Nabal provided I had the space to let it get at least 12 feet. Nabal is more productive from the trees I have and the trees I've seen. The only downsides of Nabal I've noticed are that it gets thrips damage (which is only superficially ugly) and its skin is thick like a shell so you do have to learn to judge its ripeness by toothpicking into the stem or another technique.

25
Totally agree that this is so subjective.

A month or so ago, I found myself surprised to find that when I ate a Bacon side by side with a Hass, I slightly preferred the Bacon. Of course, Bacon's season was about prime then while Hass's prime taste will not come for a couple more months (in my yard in San Diego County). And I find Hass to taste awesome at the right time, as good as any other avocado I know.

I sometimes think Fuerte is my favorite, but it's not perfect. Sometimes it has a few fibers, the seed is on the large side, and sometimes the seed coat doesn't adhere to the seed. But dang it tastes so rich just to the right level for me.

Reed is hard to beat in almost every category. And the productivity blows most varieties away.

If you're just thinking of flavor, you might say Jan Boyce, for example. But it's not perfect as it doesn't peel as well as Hass does.

And how about Pinkerton?! Tastes great to me, plus its seed is tiny so you get so much flesh.

About when to harvest Gwen: it might help to refer to the release dates that the Cal. Dept. of Food and Ag. issues for commercial farmers. URL: http://www.californiaavocadogrowers.com/sites/default/files/documents/Avocado-Maturity-Release-2017-2018.pdf

For Gwen, smalls can be picked starting April 3. I find it helpful to compare the release dates to other varieties I have. So, you might compare the Gwen release date to Hass (Jan. 16) or Lamb (July 17) just to give you the idea that Gwen is predicted to be mature some three months after Hass but three months before Lamb. It's just a prediction on their part, but I think it's useful all the same.

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