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Messages - z_willus_d

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Yes.  I need to find a good source for seeds.  The random seeds from store bought avocados I've attempted to sprout have been hit and miss.  I'd like to get healthy, grafted (to ideal seed/rootstock) Duke, Aravaipa, and maybe one of Joe's "Lynn's Cold Hardy Hass" specials.  I have a couple spots reserved in a raised bed for these candidates.  It would be great to not have to fret so much each winter with the C9 lights and thermal mass heat dispersion assists.

Yeah, I had extra cutting and thought I'd try.  I've heard with air-layering that it's possible, but grafting is the only "sure way" to propagate avocado.

Hi Brad, it's the same plants you see in the two images above in the blue bags. I was just trying to increase humidity.  I've never managed to get an avocado cutting to root with this method.  Works great for Fig, stone fruits, olives, and sometimes blueberries though.  I'm sure someone has a more sophisticated method for rooting avocado cuttings that works with a greater than 0% success rate.

Nice to see some success in my area. I'm actually pretty close to some GIANT duke's in oroville.
Did you plant in a mound or directly at ground level? I know standing water is a huge issue out here.
Joe, excellent and extremely interesting (and to me) important work that you've presented.  I've been on a similar, if less sophisticated and successful, quest to successfully grow avocados here in Sacramento (Roseville suburb), where we often see the wild temp drops, particularly with these artic inversions we've been getting of late.  I came upon the Duke story (and even held dialogue with it its progenitor and others related to it).  I've made several trips to Oroville to take cuttings and search for seeds.  I've only found one half-eaten avocado from in my visits.  The 2nd set of cuttings I took were grafted onto 2 or 3 box store 5G trees I purchased.  The trees were not healthy due to the winter they withstood, and wild several of the grafts took, the trees ultimately died.  I'm now banking on my Fuerte, Mexicola, and Bacon to survive the transplant I just subjected them to in my front yard.  These trees just produced their first fruit (the Mexicola was excellent) last year.  I had them in large ~50-gal containers for 5+ years.

At any rate, I'll be following your work very closely.

Thanks for sharing.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Reed avocado thread
« on: May 20, 2019, 03:44:29 PM »
If you want to slow down your Reed by defoliating it which deprives it of food and it's getting you what you want, OK.  My Reed is also very vigorous but I control that with pruning, an application or two of Bonzi, a plant growth regulator, which if done during mid bloom increases fruit set and size according to field studies.  A tree without fruit will be vigorous with more vegetation.

My Reed is now in mid bloom and 2 months late.  At least the bees and other pollinators finally found it.  We had a helluva flush of wildflowers in Texas this spring which I think side tracked pollinators.  I also think my two applications of potassium sulphate and Solubor helped initiate the blooming response earlier this year.  Here it is last month.  It has hit the top of the greenhouse roof since then and is wider.  3 leaders/trunks, about 3" in girth, after freezing back to a stub Jan. 2018.

Hi Mark, I'm curious where you source your "Bonzi" (is it Paclobutrazol)?  I looked for some a while back for my side-yard project, but I couldn't find an accessible source for a suburban consumer.

Also, I want to point out that Surround is damn near impossible to remove.  It's withstood direct hosing, several inches of sustained rain, wind, squirrels...  I think my biggest issue with it is that aesthetically, it's really a bummer.  I'm surprised I'm as affected by the looks of it as I am.  It's also irritating the way Anakin describes sand and dust at the end of some prequel or another.  Other than that, the only thing to note is the Holiday is the most insipid of the bunch, while the Lamb Hass the most robust and strengthy, that despite probably getting the least light.

And here's a pictorial update from earlier this morning.  We've been having unseasonably cool weather with a lot of Spring rains this past week.  The trees seem to be happy enough.  In order, I have Lamb Hass, Stewart, Holiday, Sir Prize, and Pinkerton.

Here's an update with some pics from the first of the month (5/1/2019).  In order, I have Lamb Hass (2x), Stewart, Holiday, Sir Prize (2x), and Pinkerton (2x).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 18, 2019, 09:30:34 PM »
Good question.  I've never really drank Kombucha, and I have a brew in my kitchen now that's about 3 weeks in.  I don't like sugary drinks, so I'm going for a very acidic "brew."  I have peach trees that often suffer from leaf curl, despite my best efforts to protect against it in the off season.  A person I met recently selling eggs from the backyard chickens told me they improved their greatly blighted peach tree with a few foliar treatments of Kombucha (actually you only want some low ration to water due to its high acidity).  She said after spraying the leaf curl leaves dropped off and new growth quickly replaced the leaves.  I've sprayed once with the juice she brought over, and I might try a few more once my personal brew is complete.  The trees I sprayed are looking great, but I haven't yet fully examined them in terms of the leaf curl.  It's been raining here lately, so it will be interesting to see to what extent this helps.  I also question how this compares to the EM-1 treatments, which I believe are a different type of bacteria (aerobic + yeast for Kombucha SCOBY vs. anaerobic lactic for the EM-1).  Will treatment from both be optimal, conflicting, overkill?  I don't know.  This is just an somewhat easier to produce substitute to the compost teas I usually brew.  It's very difficult to find scientific results to weigh all these "natural" home remedy type options.  At least with the Kombucha plan, I get some taste probiotic drinks to enjoy as a side-effect.

A quick search on the topic found this site.  I guess there are others trying to monetize along these lines.  Absolutely no affiliation of course:

That's incredible.  How long did it take for them to build up that mound?  On the plus side, they're shading your PVC and manifold (I just had to replace mine).  Also, that "red-brown" dirt looks fine as coffee grinds.  How can you put it to use?!?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 13, 2019, 01:01:52 AM »
At it's current 10-day-in state, it's reading ~3.8.  I've got some poor man's fertigation setup.  I'll stick to the recommended ratios.  I'm hoping this and the kombucha sprays can stand-in for my regular, compost tea brews that I haven't had time to get to this Spring.  Thanks.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 13, 2019, 12:04:56 AM »
Brad, I've got loads of Idle heat mats.  I'll double up, and get those bugs breeding.  Did/do you stick with the recommended 1/128 ratio for foliar and/or soil-drench (i.e. 1-ounce activated EM-1 per gallon of water)?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 12, 2019, 11:23:55 AM »
Hi Brad, we've been lucky up here in the Sacramento Valley this Spring to not hit summer early this year.  It's been great weather, and I'm sure that's helping with the survival rate of my three transplants.  The one that is flushing is pushing out leaves (~1" in size currently) on all its branch terminus.  There are buds showing along the branch, but no growth as of yet.  I think that tree will be fine.  The middle tree, has a handful of similar flushes, but the majority of its branches have yet to wake up.  The 3rd tree, has only one such flushing branch.  The trees are definitely shocked to more or less extent from the transplant.  Like I said, I think/hope they'll recover, and they have the ghastly surround to protect most branches.

On a brighter note, my sideyard project avocado trees are all looking great, having dropped their old leaves somewhat simultaneously with pushing out new growth -- lots of fresh, happy leaves there.  Good munchies for leaf-hoppers that are taking over too, so I need to do something about that soon.

On a separate note, I purchased a bottle of TeraGanix EM-1 from Amazon, and I have it "fermenting" or activating in a large container (air tight) right now.  Has anyone used this product for soil drench or foliar spray.  I'd be curious to hear how it's worked on fruit trees and/or vegetable gardens.  Thanks!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 11, 2019, 01:49:02 PM »
Hi, yes, I know we discussed it before (the leaf drop phenomenon), I was just curious to what extent Mark is seeing this on his Greenhouse trees.  I do remember the original conversation.  It's kind of top of mind for me this year, since the three previously potted trees that have always dropped most leaves for me, now transplanted, are dropping all leaves, and I have yet to see new growth on 2 of the 3.  This is different from before where there was an immediate if not concurrent flush of new growth contemporaneous to the leaf dropping period.  I owe the difference this year to the shock of transplanting the mature trees from their large pots -- many roots were tore asunder in the process.  I hold faith the trees will recover in time and push out the new growth they sorely require to shield them (though I have sprayed surround) through the scorching summer heat here.  Sorry to be a bit forgetful seeming in my posts.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 10, 2019, 02:20:23 PM »
Lovely pic Mark.  Question, do you see heavy leaf drop in the Spring (or after post-winter seasonal warming) on your Avocado trees?  My outdoor trees seem to drop nearly 100% of their leaves over several months going into the Spring/Summer.  If they're happy, the put on new leaves and branching shoots to replace those, but there's a good period of time where the trees are brought down to a skeleton of itself.  Scary on a number of levels.

I'll pile on.  Everything looks great there Mark.  I'll post an update to my side-yard avocado project soon with updated pics.  The five avocados along the fence line seem to be doing well.  1 of 3 of my front-yard, now Surrounded, tree should make it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 02, 2019, 12:28:26 AM »
That's not a bad idea (the surround painting idea).  I tried to spray my front-yard trees with surgical application, but it ended up getting everywhere and on everything within 10 feet.  It looks pretty terrible (especially all over the wood-chips), so I'm thinking about washing it away (if that works).  I think I would have been better off just painting the trees as originally suggested.  I do see how this stuff could work well in a situation where aesthetics were of no concern.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 01, 2019, 05:39:39 PM »
Great.  PM me before one of these weekends.  If the weather is good, chances are I'll be out in the yard working the "field."

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 01, 2019, 03:31:55 PM »
Sure Kris.  I just purchased two bags to help with shipping.  If you want to split the price, you're welcome to one of the 25lb bags.  It would be nice to meet you and visit sometime.  You ever get into placer county?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 01, 2019, 02:13:46 PM »
Wise suggestions Brad.  I'll try and take is slow and perform "micro-coats", particularly on the branches, doing my best to limit  exposure on the leaves (if that's possible).  Here are some updated pics of my front-yard trees (2 of 3).  One of the three seems to be recovering and pushing out new growth (last set of pics), however the first two are still struggling.  I've no sense of new growth, and one has very yellow limbs showing.  :(

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 01, 2019, 11:56:25 AM »
Thanks Mark/Brad-

Brad, wasn't tsp/gal in reference to miticide comment from Mark's previous post?  UPS says I will get my bags today, so I'll try and spray my Avocado Side-yard project trees this afternoon.  You're using ~7.5 cups per gal?  I'm hoping in addition to sun protection, that this stuff will also help with the bugs.  They like to chew on my fresh avocado leaves.  I still have to head out in the dark to see if the June bugs someone posted about above are in effect already.

One other question/concern I had was whether the surround coating will occlude some (or too much) of the light getting to the leaves.  If so, this would probably not be a great idea to spray on the top half of the leaves on my trees that get limited light (side of house).

I'm debating whether to spray my other fruit trees: apple, fig, peach, citrus, blueberry bushes, etc.  I'd be curious to hear folks' opinions as to those targets and the benefits (or lack there of) w/ the surround clay.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 29, 2019, 11:47:18 AM »
You might toss some 50% shade cloth over the ones that have lost a some of their leaves, because when avocados get sunburn they really struggle, then lose more leaves, and it's a downward spiral.  I've had bad luck with amended soil with avocados, because the roots don't really spread out properly from the amended area, but I guess you mixed it so maybe it'll be fine.

1.  Never amend backfill especially if your soil is heavy.  You create a non draining pot.   "Amend" from the top down with mulch.

2. For sunburn protection ditch the shade cloth and go smart - Surround spray.


Just posted this planting guide in Central Texas Backyard Gardener's forum. --> "I love trees, probably planted 10,000 by hand around the house and the Xmas tree field since 2005. This was a hay field and now our backyard oaks and Bigtooth maples are large, many going 25 - 40' tall and quite broad. Here in Central Texas with our limestone clay based soils most folks fail by not using proper planting procedures, instead following label advice which is usually wrong. Being that I'm in heavy clay loam that DOES NOT drain internally, I fractured the bottom and sides of all my planting holes with one of the following - tractor pulled subsoiler, hand held pick ax, breaking bar. This breaks up the glazed clay sides and allows roots to find those fractures and quickly grow into native soil. I backfilled with native soil only, applied a handful of 12 mo. 18-4-9 Osmocote and mulched. The rootballs were treated with Mycorrhizae fungi drench at the time of planting. #1 and 2 pic is the large Shumard oak tree shown in the back left today. Was a pencil size, 2' tall seedling planted in May 2005 in clay muck. Our back yard is now a cool oasis. I also like fall color. "

Mark, what is a good price for Surround WP? I found it around $70 with shipping online, thanks.

Sounds high to me.  I ordered at a Crop Protection Systems  distributor now this for around $42 delivered.  Probably one near you.
I ended up buying two 25lb bags of Surround for $55 shipped from Keystone Pest Solutions before I saw this reply.  Mark, I noticed a large number of negative reviews have to do with this product clogging up the spray nozzles of the applicator.  Do you have any tips or can you recommend a sprayer for this stuff?  I'm going to try and perform a few surgical applications to my burning trees to hopefully protect the topside of their exposed branches w/out making the entire tree (leaves and all) look like it's living under the fallout of a nuclear blast.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 25, 2019, 10:16:25 AM »
That's what most of my surface roots looked like in the wet season.  The ones that were still attached to the tree, I assume were still providing some value.  I wondered the same, as I know others describe beautiful, white surface feed root systems, that I've only observed a few times (more off white really).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 25, 2019, 01:16:21 AM »
How important is using a root rot resistant rootstock in SoCal? I want to plan a couple of plants in the ground and I'm in Santa Barbara county. Clearly phytophtora is a problem in the wider area, but I'm several miles away, uphill and generally upwind from the closest commercial planting. The soil here is totally sandy and on a slope, thus drains well. As far as I can tell the trees found in retail nurseries are on seedling rootstock (Laverne, which supplies a large fraction of nurseries here uses Zutano). I'm wondering whether it's really necessary for me to locate plants on clonal rootstock, any thoughts/experiences?

Due to the wildfires having affected some of the growers (Brokaw in particular) it's almost impossible to find any avo plants in the larger area. Commercial growers are telling me they haven't been able to get any plants either. If I have to get clonal rootstock I'm probably best off just forgetting about all this for a couple of years...
Yes, that's what I had in mind.  I'm worried about having the trunk get wet and blistering, so I'm thinking of an array of micro-spraying heads distributed throughout the bed.  For now, I'm just hosing it in about once a week - around 10-min of light flow.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 24, 2019, 11:58:28 PM »
Very nice video.  Scares me though.  I don't know that my soil is clay based so much as very, very poor, rocky, and cement-ish (like a dry mortar in places).  It drains fairly well from what I can tell, and I did jack-hammer holes all around the bottom of my "beds."  I wonder if the points he was making will apply to 7+ year old transplants, as are the case in my situation.  Do the tap-roots wake up and work downward after being snubbed for so long?

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