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Topics - jcaldeira

Pages: [1] 2
1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Peeling a mango
« on: July 06, 2014, 10:53:31 AM »
After deseeding, . . .


2
Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / *Delete*
« on: May 21, 2014, 03:10:57 AM »
*Delete*

3
Citrus General Discussion / Mystery Citrus
« on: May 19, 2014, 10:38:07 PM »
Today I bought two citrus I have never seen before at the local market.  They are the size of a large grapefruit, with a skin resembling Rough Lemon. While flesh inside.   Any idea what it might be?   Here's a photo:




The only Pomelo I've seen here has a very thick rind.

It taste similar to an old-style sour grapefruit.  Tasty with enough honey drizzled on it.  The most remarkable thing about this fruit is the ease in which the flesh separates from the segment walls.  The flesh peels right off - I wish most grapefruit would do that!



Any idea what I might have here?

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Avocado Runt Seedlings
« on: May 12, 2014, 05:53:24 PM »
Approximately 15% of my young grafted avocado trees are clearly runts.  At one and a half years old, most of my trees are near 2 meters high, while the runts are not much bigger than when planted out a year ago (30 cm).    Are the runts caused by being too long in a plastic bag that inhibited taproot growth, or are they primarily genetic runts?

It's easy enough to replace them, but I'm curious to learn the cause.  It seems 'once a runt, always a runt' - no fertilizer seems to help.

5
Citrus General Discussion / Rootstock Sucker Madness
« on: April 13, 2014, 11:10:41 PM »
I recently pruned the lower branches off many of my citrus trees, and now I'm plagued with shoots coming out of the rootstocks.  Is there a good way to reduce the number of rootstock suckers that a plant generates?  How long with this plague last?

I only cut off the braches low to the ground to keep fruit off the ground, facilitate cutting grass and reducing mosquito habitat.

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Name my farm
« on: April 08, 2014, 12:33:13 AM »
I'm looking for a clever name for my farm.  Any ideas?

The farm is approximately 15 acres, seaside, tropical.  Predominant fruits are mango, citrus and avocado, but growing a little of everything I can find that thrives here.  And honey bees.  Hillside, facing west.  Beautiful view, sunsets. It's near the northernmost point on the island, adjacent to Bligh waters, where Captain Bligh of Bounty fame sailed through after the mutiny. Wildlife includes fruit bats, crabs, mongoose and fish.  The area is known as Volivoli ("trading place").

Edit: It would be best if the name looked nice on a jar of fruit jam or honey.

7
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Theory of Bark Grafting
« on: February 26, 2014, 03:35:07 PM »
I need help understanding the theory of bark grafting.  When bark is peeled away from a stem/stock, which layers are on the bark, and which remain on the stock?  Does peeling a bark tear the vascular cambium layer in half, or is it on one side?  Is the graft joining only on the stock side, or the bark side?




I recently made three bark grafts to top-work a citrus tree, and only one succeeded.  That's enough, as it's quite healthy, but I don't really understand how bark grafts work.  Specifically where is the scion and stock joining together?



Thanks!
John

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Pale Leaf Mystery
« on: February 16, 2014, 03:52:50 PM »
I need help diagnosing a problem I have with young fruit trees planted on one section of my farm.  On this area, maybe  40 meter square (1/2 acre), most of the trees have pale, yellow, leaves.  The same trees on other sections of the farm are fine.  Since it is not species-specific, my thinking is that the soil is either deficient in some nutrient, or has some toxin.

The soil is clay-loam, with a bedrock of old black volcanic lava underneath, maybe 1-2 meters below.  I can rule out salt, as my other trees near the sea are fine.  I've also fertilized same as my other trees:  Half-rotted manure top dressing and an NPK (13-13-21) sprinkled every few months.

I've sampled the soil in a few locations between the trees (so not tainted by fertilizer) and sent them to an Agriculture lab for testing.  It will take a few weeks to learn the results, but I doubt anyone in Fiji is capable of telling me which nutrient is the one causing the problem.

Here are some visuals.  I welcome your thoughts and speculation.  * Click to see full-screen images *

Overview of area:
   

Detail of Citrus, Abiu and Custard Apple (Sugar Apple in U.S. lingo):
   

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / What variety of mango might this be?
« on: January 12, 2014, 10:32:06 PM »
A guy from the department of agriculture visited my farm last weekend to help with some mango grafting.  He brought some scions from an unknown variety, along with one of the fruit.  I'd appreciate any thoughts on what this variety might be.  It was imported to Fiji, so is likely a named variety.

The fruit skin when ripe is light green with bit of yellow.  Medium size.  The flesh is yellow-orange and very low fiber.  The seed is very thin and mono embryonic. 

   

Any ideas? 

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Lucky Durian Find
« on: January 06, 2014, 04:45:33 PM »
I've been searching for durian seeds and seedlings for a long time.  Word was out in this small island nation and, finally, a friend-of-a-friend comes through for me!  I am now the proud owner of 5 young durian trees, each 60-90 cm (2-3 feet).  A bit spindly, but I can not believe my luck.  I also have one seedling spouted from a Thai seed, so 6 plants total.  Just wanted to share my joy!



John

11
"Growers and scientists suspect that many of Florida's 69 million citrus trees are infected, with some estimates as high as 75 percent." 
USDA is coordinating an emergency response:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/12/citrus-greening-disease-usda_n_4431741.html


12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Some ideas for our fruit trees. . . .
« on: November 26, 2013, 07:37:11 PM »
Some creative ideas for a fruit garden on these web pages from Axel Erlandson's garden:
http://truthseekerdaily.com/2013/11/the-strangest-trees-in-the-world/
http://www.arborsmith.com/treecircus.html

Sample:


If anyone's achieved something like this with a fruit tree, please share a photo!


mod edit: removed hot linked image
I thought the image I posted fell under "fair use" copyright, but I changed it to an image on my postimage account.  -John

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Grafting: Accelarating Time to Harvest
« on: November 16, 2013, 03:03:59 PM »
Would grapefruit fruit faster if I top-worked it onto, say, a 5-year old rootstock instead of grafting onto a 9-month old seedling rootstock?  In my environment, the time to first fruiting of citrus grafted on rough lemon seedling rootstock is roughly 1 year for calamondins, 1-2 years for meyer lemon, 2-3 years for limes and mandarin, 3 years for oranges, and longer for grapefruit. Would using more mature rootstock push grafted grapefruit scions to fruit earlier?

John

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Durian tree smell
« on: October 23, 2013, 06:06:07 PM »
Durian trees apparently like a lot of water and have shallow roots, so I'm considering growing one next to a grey water soak pit near my house.  This pit receives the water from the kitchen, bathroom shower and sinks, and clothes washer (all water except toilets), which leeches into the soil.  My concern is whether a durian tree is suited at all as a dooryard tree due to potential odors from rotting fruit.  What do you think?

My single successful durian germination:

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Climate affects on fruit taste
« on: October 21, 2013, 06:15:59 PM »
Which fruits taste better or worse in the tropics, compared to the subtropics?  It seems that citrus doesn't attain the sweetness in the tropics that it does in the subtropics.  Conversely, tropical papaya tends to excel in taste over the same variety grown in the subtropics.  Which other fruits are significantly affected by climate?

And what's going on in the fruit that causes this?

John

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / When is a Giant Granadilla Ripe?
« on: October 18, 2013, 07:19:59 PM »
My first giant granadilla are ripening now.  What are some ways to learn if it's ripe?  Will they fall off the vine when ripe, similar to passion fruit?




Another vine-fruit question:  What kind of squash is this?  What is a good way to prepare it for the table? Someone gave me some seeds a few months ago.



Thanks.   -John

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Making liquid fertilizer
« on: August 28, 2013, 01:59:06 AM »
My access to professionally-prepared liquid fertilizer is very limited.  However, I'd like to use a liquid fertilizer to fertilize seedlings in my shade house bags if I can.  Currently, I simply sprinkle a little NPK on the top of each bag every two months or so and water it in.   If I want to liquefy the fertilizer, what concentration should I use?

I have access to a general NPK formula 13-13-21, and also urea, cow manure and compost.  My potting soil is a reasonably good loam. If I choose to go with a liquid fertilizer, what recipe might be good?

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jamaican Cherry or Weed?
« on: August 28, 2013, 12:12:30 AM »
Most of my fruit seeds are started in plain ol' top soil.  Not sterile.  Typically I spend the next few weeks pulling out all the familiar sprouting weeds while keeping an eye out for the unfamiliar.   I have an unfamiliar plant coming up in two bags where I had planted Jamaican Cherry seeds approximately two months earlier.   Is this a Jamaican Cherry seeding or a well-pampered weed?



The serrated edges of the leaves look similar to some web photos of mature leaves, but I'm not sure. 

Thanks,  John
PS:  I do plan to import some moss in the future for planting tiny seeds, but this is what I have now...

19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Longan in the Tropics
« on: August 26, 2013, 04:50:36 PM »
Does Longan grow well in tropical environments?  It's unclear to me from Julia Morton's description in the Fruits of Warm Climates book whether it needs chilling similar to Lychee.

Also, advice on it's resistance to wind and need for shade when young would also be appreciated.

Thanks, John

*** mod edit:  corrected last name ***

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fiji Farm Report - August 2013
« on: August 05, 2013, 07:21:13 PM »
Fiji Farm Report

Allow me to share some photos from my hobby farm with you.  The farm is only 2 years old, so most tree fruits haven't started bearing yet.  Here's some of what is in season now, which is our dry winter season. 




Last month I planted out some Longan, Purple Malay Apple and Ice Cream Bean grown from seed, and also 30 grafted Tahitian Lime and Meyer Lemon.  I don't like planting much in the dry season because it means more watering chores, but I dislike root-bound plants in bags even more. 

The shadehouse has seedlings of Blackberry Jam Fruit, Rolinia and Surinam Cherry growing.  For some reason, I'm having poor results germinating Miracle fruit seeds (2nd try).


Made some tasty and simple Kumquat marmalade, earning my kumquat tree a reprieve from the ax.  I don't like the sour flavor of the raw fruit but it makes a nice preserve.
 


On a whim, last month I grafted tomato onto a vigorous weed resembling eggplant.  I think it is Solanum Torvum.  Here's the weed and one month old flowering graft now:
 


Mango and cashew are flowering now.  I sprayed potassium nitrate (100 grams in 5 liters of water; roughly 2%) one the lower branches of two non-flowering mango trees last week and again yesterday to promote flowering.  No sign of flowering so far.

Figs are bearing, but the flavor is not as good as most figs.



First flowers on coffee!



The thing about papaya is that there's either too many or not enough of them.  My first papaya from Hawaiian seed are bearing fruit now.



Most days I enjoy just wandering around the farm to watch things grow.  Here's a sunset from the farm.


John


21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Germinating Nutmeg
« on: July 08, 2013, 06:28:28 PM »
What's the best method of germinating nutmeg seeds?  One of my local Agriculture Department guys who raises the seedlings to sell advised me to plant the nut only halfway into moist soil, similar to planting Mamey Sapote seeds.  However, a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization document advises planting 2.5-5.0 cm (1"-2") deep
( http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5047e/x5047e05.htm ). 
What do you folks think?  And should I crack the nut as is often done with Mamey Sapote seeds?

22
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Which Cinnamon is this?
« on: June 18, 2013, 11:32:38 PM »
Not exactly a fruit, but I don't know where else to ask:

Is my cinnamon tree "Ceylon Cinnamon" (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) or "Cassia Cinnamon" (Cinnamomum cassia or Cinnamomum aromaticaum)?  I did a Google image search but still aren't sure.





23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Buddy Tape
« on: June 15, 2013, 06:17:15 PM »
Where can I buy Buddy Tape at a reasonable price? A U.S. supplier preferred, but Australia or New Zealand is okay, too.

Also, how does Buddy Tape compare to Parafilm?  I've been using Parafilm but am looking for a tape that can bind a graft tighter without breaking.  Also, suggestions for a tape with more bounce-back 'memory' than Parafilm would be appreciated.  I use the tape primarily for cleft, veneer and bark grafting.

Thanks,
John

24
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Tethering branches to shape a tree
« on: June 12, 2013, 01:15:05 AM »
How long should a branch remain tethered to train their growth?  I have young Jackfruit tree with a vertical growth habit that I want to shape into a broader tree with more horizontal lateral branches.  Yesterday I tethered some branches into a more favorable position.  How many months must the tethers stay on the tree to train these branches?



Similarly, I have a Black Sapote that shows the effects of strong trade winds so I tethered a couple of branches to balance the tree.  How many months?



I do prune to encourage broader shaped trees, but these trees needed more.

Thanks,
John

25
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango Grafting Weekend
« on: June 09, 2013, 12:13:45 AM »
This weekend two guys from Fiji's Department of Agriculture helped me graft mangos on my farm. Allow me to share what we did.

For background, my partner and I have a 15 acre seaside hobby farm in Fiji.  In a 4 acre section near my home I am planting mostly dooryard fruit, while focusing on citrus, mango and avocado for the remainder. The farm also has an area with a low water table and shade for those that need it (cocoa, mangosteen, jaboticaba) and a higher-elevation area for native fruits and those that need wind protection (Fijian Longan, Rambutan).

I asked for help, since my prior mango grafting success record has been poor (~20%), compared to 50% on avocado and 80%-90% on citrus.
   
They came with enough scions for the 117 in-ground rootstocks plus some extra.  We had 4 varieties of scions, in approximately equal numbers:  Mapulehu, Kensington Pride, Nam Doc Mai, and Baramasi.

 

The rootstocks are all 'Fiji mango' - very fibrous but well-suited to the climate.  The rootstocks were in the ground, since I had a powdery mildew problem last year in the shade house and planted them before it became to severe. This meant walking from tree to tree in the field.  My farm hand and I assisted the two grafters as we could.

Almost all the seedling grafts were cleft grafts.  They brought their own tape, and didn't like my Parafilm for mango because it didn't 'bounce back' like their tape did.  I don't know the name of their tape, but after stretched it would contract to tighten on the graft much more than Parafilm.  It was made by Donco but I couldn't find the specific tape on the web. It wasn't a sticky tape and needed to be tied.

They also criticized my knife as not being sharp enough, though I was proud of my sharpening skillls (plenty sharp for kitchen use, too!).   They preferred sandpaper for sharpening.  Something like the 'Scary Sharp' method.   

We also did a few bark grafts when the diameter of the rootstock and scion were extremely mismatched. They preferred this to matching up only one edge on a cleft graft.

   


We also top-worked one young tree in my yard.  On this, they preferred bark grafts.

 
 
The Ag guys expectations for success on the grafts ranged from 70% to 90%.   Even 70% would be great, from my perspective, and we'll do another round to fill the holes in a few months. This is a great step forward for my farm.  Thank you for reading this far.

John


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