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Topics - RollingInTheWeeds

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Banana uneven ripening
« on: July 18, 2019, 05:16:57 PM »
My Monthan bananas are ripening unevenly this year.  Never had this problem before, but one or two at a time are developing a yellow spot on an otherwise green banana.  If left on the stalk, this spot splits open while the rest of the banana stays green.  Anyone know what's happening?  My only suspicion is that I watered too heavily recently (after the bananas have swollen to nearly their full size).  Here's a pic of one with the problem next to a green one (had to remove it to get to the problem one).  I live in the Los Angeles area near the coast.



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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Persimmon seedlings dying
« on: June 13, 2018, 04:06:05 PM »
These persimmon seedlings are a few months old now.  They're beginning to die off, with leaves turning brown and it looks like the stems are turning black, beginning at ground level and traveling upward.  Is this a simple case of damping off from over-watering?  The soil in these pots is sandy, so that doesn't seem likely.








Many thanks!

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Help with brown "bark" on bananas
« on: June 13, 2018, 03:52:57 PM »
Please take a look at the pictures below.  I don't get bananas every year, and when I do some of them develop dry ends and this brown scaly skin.  The variety is Monthan.
Does anyone know what this is, what causes it, and how to eliminate it?  Many thanks.





Thank you!

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If you grow cherimoyas in some part of the world where the natural pollination rate is low, you may have been advised that the only way to get good-sized, full-fleshed cherimoyas on your tree is to pollinate by hand.  This isn't the whole truth.  Especially if you're growing them in your back yard, why not (A) look at some of the research that has been done on the topic, and (B) experiment yourself and find out what really works?!

I live in Southern California (USA).  In their native habitat, the cherimoyas' ecosystem includes insects that help the flowers pollinate naturally.  We don't have those insects here.  Instead, we have fruit fanatics who buzz around their trees with paint brushes or pollen guns.  I love cherimoyas, but I'm not willing to do all that work; there have to be other ways to get great fruit without all that bother.  So I'm starting this thread as a place to share information on getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand.

I've posted a couple of these points already in another thread.  I'll summarize those here, and add some:

  • Here's a short Youtube video showing a man in San Diego, California (USA) who has a Honeyheart cherimoya tree that has a good-sized crop of fruit on it.  He doesn't pollinate by hand, and he attributes his success to how he shapes the tree's canopy.  He describes his as "umbrella-shaped."  Perhaps a "dome" is a better image?  The idea here is to create a calm, humid area inside the canopy, which improves the natural pollinating conditions.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKAmrsBnOmA  This echoes what I've seen in the cherimoya grove at the Agricultural Research Station in Irvine, California.  The big old trees there have canopies that drape down close to the ground, and I've seen some very large fruit that came from those trees.  They may not be maximizing fruit production, but they're still getting good results with zero hand pollination.
  • Another source that adds to this idea is an article titled "Flowering and fruit set in cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) as affected by the tree-training system”  at www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14620316.2010.11512706 .  A big point made here is that you can increase natural pollination by prolonging the flowers' female stage.  How?  Increase humidity and decrease drafts that flow through the tree.
  • Third, there's another article titled “Reproductive barriers in Annona cherimola (Mill.) outside of its native area” at https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/586737 that summarizes a number of factors.  One point that's interesting here is each (geno-)type has its own specific timing for its flowers' sexual phases.  Multiple types of cherimoya means you're more likely to have one type in its female stage while another type is in its male stage.  I don't know for certain, but I hope that by grafting multiple varieties on one tree (i.e., all within one tree's canopy) I'll be creating an ideal environment for natural pollination.
  • And finally, there's the little Nitidulid beetle, which is pollinating anonnas in Florida:  https://academic.oup.com/ee/article-abstract/23/4/878/411821?redirectedFrom=fulltext .  Maybe I can get these little guys to help me out!

Anyone else have specific information that's based on evidence?  Or experiments you've tried that failed?

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