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Messages - z_willus_d

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Hi Mark, thanks for the insight.  I had imagined a new panel each year, but you're probably right that it's not worth the effort at such a low incremental volume increase.  Do you bump up the volume every year, or more infrequently?  We've had an extra warm winter so far here, so I'm hoping all the trees come through without the usual heavy leaf drop and reset.  How's it going there?

Hi Kris, I think we only dipped below freezing a couple times, and briefly, this winter (so far).  I hope this weather holds through late winter and spring.  If so, all the avocado trees will be thriving come late spring.  The side yard trees are all looking great, except that some of the leaves took a bit of discoloration and damage after the one large freeze we had a month or maybe two back.  They all look ready to push new buds.  One of the trees, a Bacon I believe, that I transplanted to my front yard -- one of three older Avos actually pushed out new blooms when we had a warm streak of days after that cold drop.  I guess the tree though Spring had come early.  I'm not sure what will become of all the blooms.  I'm thinking I might lose any chance of a crop on that one.  You can see some pics in the big avocado thread.

The five trees in my side yard all seem to have grown up some with beefier trunks, which is nice to see.  I probably need to expand their RootMaker containers by one slab each this Spring.  I think they're ready for a little extra room there.  I'll post an update after Spring if/when they set any fruitlets.  I hope your endeavors are growing well.

Thanks for the pointers.  I don't know what's worse the immediate damage an invading canine can wrought on a garden, or the slow, life-sucking extraction that invading roots from an adjacent neighbor's trees can apply.  I hope you can patch up the hole for good.

Kris, those buds seem to be hanging on well enough.  Where are you and Mark getting your starter material?  I know you can use the store bought ones, but I bet there are better options (at some cost).  Thanks, Naysen

Mark, looks like I've got a new mission to accept.  Maybe I'll save this one for 2021.  I'll probably DM you some more questions down the line.  Thanks!

Mark, those pineapples look delicious.  How cold can they get and produce well?  Do you have a thread detailing how you propagate them year to year?  I wasn't able to find any avocados hiding in your Reed pic, but I'm sure they're there.

Nice work!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: November 14, 2019, 01:18:49 PM »
That's great to hear.  With the mild CA weather, I'd expect your trees are in heaven.  It wasn't so too hot this summer relative to what we've seen in some other years.  Looking forward to hearing more about your new varieties.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: November 14, 2019, 11:21:51 AM »
Sounds like a plan.  We can make a bet to see if anything hold through to next Summer.  It's certainly more interesting to follow.  Thanks for the notes.  I hope you're having a good season.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: November 14, 2019, 11:09:25 AM »
Hi Brad, it's good to hear that it happens.  It's a new phenomenon from my experience.  It's as if this entire tree is blooming and it believes it's in Spring.  I'm thinking this late-Spring like whether we're experiencing has confused it.  I'm betting none of that new bud and flower makes it through the full Winter though, which is why I figured it might be wise to snip them off -- save the tree some resources.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: November 14, 2019, 10:53:57 AM »
Thanks for the reply Mark, but the question still stands around: (1) why this Fuerte tree started to flower at the start of Winter?  This has never happened to me on any of my 10 or so Avocado trees; and (2) would it be best to pinch off the flowers and new buds or just leave them alone?  If left alone, I assume they will freeze off when Winter really enters.  Thanks.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: November 13, 2019, 07:10:41 PM »
I have a question for you Avocado experts.  Earlier this year (early Spring I believe it was), I transplanted three Avocado trees in my front yard in "raised beds."  These trees had been growing in large ~50-gal food grade barrel makeshift pots for 7 years or so.  They were heavily root bound, so the transplant was shocking and they dropped all flowers fruit through the process.  They seem to have recovered through the Summer, and we've had a very long summer here in the Sacramento valley.  Right now we're nearing middle of November with daily temps in the high 70's low 80's.  There's been little winter chill yet -- an extremely warm/mild Winter start to say the least.

The reason for my post and my question has to do with the first of three transplants, a Fuerte tree.  You can see it in the pics below.  I noticed this morning that the tree had started to set blooms on nearly all of its terminal buds, and this has me worried.  The tree has never bloomed in the Fall/Winter like this before.  I wonder if it is confused from the transplant and/or this inordinately warm Winter weather.  Does the tree think it's already Spring?  We did have a bit of a cooling trend a few weeks to a month back.

Whatever the case may be, ought I to pinch off these flowers, since the Winter will surely come sooner or later?  Is this common elsewhere in the state?  I was really looking forward to maybe getting a crop this next season (Starting with the flower in Spring '20).  I'm worried that the tree will confuse itself with this early flowering and fail to set more in 4-5 months after Winter ends.  The trees are getting full/100% southern exposure where they're at BTW.  Looking forward to some good advice.  Oh, the other two trees have yet to show any signs of premature flowering.  Thanks!

Sounds like you created your own natural hybrid of the two.

Here's an enormous thread on growing tomatoes indoors overwinter, but there's so much more to find there:

Yeah, I have volunteers like that popping up here and there on my 30% grade 1/3 acre north-facing hillside.  The chickens take care of the low hanging fruit, and if I'm ever working on the hill in summer, I might pop a few.  The smaller varieties always seems to out-compete the beefier.  The only issue I have with letting a tomato sprawl is that it takes up so much more space for growing other tomatoes, and its much harder to harvest.  If you have ground running rodents, they're more likely to snag the fruit as well.  It is fun, though, to let them alone and get fruit for what seems like "free."

I stopped grafting my tomatoes two years back because it was such a heavy time and effort investment.  I have 20% worse tasting tomatoes now, but there are still some decent hybrids with resistance to my soil fungi you can find coming out of Japan and a few good ones that have worked up through the states.  Have a good day sir!

Hi Mark, that's neat.  Though, from my experience with over-winter indoor grow labs of Dwarf Heirloom varieties (with ~$1000 in LED lighting, etc.), indoor tomatoes are hard to fruit, and what comes out is never as good as their sun-kissed peers.  But maybe you're just playing around.  If you really want to take it to the next level, look into grafting tomatoes.  That was a necessity for me with my Fusarium/Verticilium infested dirt.  If you're interested about any of that, you can reference my and others blogs on tomatoville.

Everything is looking great.  What was the reason for the heavy prune on Reed?  Just getting too tall for your space?

Hi Brad, nice to hear from you.  Thank for the kind words.  I just hope the trees can survive the winter and produce.  I always enjoy following your posts.  All the best.

I also figure I might as well post updated pics of the three Avocado trees I transplanted to the front yard earlier (either this year or late last -- somehow I can't recall).  They had a hard go early on, but they've recovered well through the summer.  I hope they can weather the winter and come through next Spring to set (and hold) a lot of fruit.  Each tree has fruited a bit previously while in pots, but they dropped all fruit after the transplant this Spring.

I'm sorry to hear about your losses.  That's a real bummer.  It's usual the cold that gets them not the heat.  I thought you were going to use Surround or something like that to protect the plants?  I still have a bunch if you want some.  Here's an updated set of pics from this morning (10/3/2019).  I recently top-dressed everything with worm-castings from my warm farm (mainly fed coffee-grinds).

Pinkerton (gets the most sunlight):

Sir Prize:

Holiday, drooping as always:


Lamb-Hass (the best looking of the bunch):

Lamb-Hass Close-up:

Holiday Close-up:

Hi Kris, sure I do.  I've been babying them all season, though they really didn't set any viable fruit this round.  But as is the usual, the trees look best about this time of year before the cold snaps hit.  I'll aim to take some pictures of the five RootBuilder bound trees to show their progress.  Their size is impressive, on most (ignoring the weeping Holiday).  How are your trees fairing?

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.

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