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Messages - jcaldeira

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this good soil?
« on: March 29, 2015, 08:33:48 PM »
That soil looks sandy.  When the soil is damp and it is squeezed in your hand, does it stay together (clay), completely fall apart (sandy) or halfway crumble (loam).  Loam is the best.  Also, sandy soil will drain water quickly, while clay usually is slow to absorb water. 

Add organic matter and plant away!

Here's a good education on soil:
 http://soilwater.com.au/bettersoils/modules.htm
specifically: http://soilwater.com.au/bettersoils/module1/1_2.htm

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Atypical grafting techniques?
« on: March 28, 2015, 11:48:02 PM »
Not atypical methods, but I now have a much deeper understanding of grafting than I did a few years ago.

Grafting books tend to describe each method, one after another, as if all had equal chances of success.  This is not so.

There are many variables to success, but I am a big fan of cleft (or whip) grafting over any kind of bark or veneer grafting in my environment.  Especially when top-working a tree.

I've had birds and wind destroy some bark and veneer grafts, but never a cleft graft.  Perhaps more importantly, cleft grafting onto new shoots after main branches are cut, as Carlos does with Avocado and I do with Mango, gives each scion a strong flow of sap it doesn't seem to get in bark/veneer grafts.  That significantly increases the take percentage.

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Ideal Scion Length for Grafting
« on: March 26, 2015, 03:44:31 PM »
the ideal size for someone else may not be ideal for you.

If scion length didn't matter, I don't think so many sources would be recommending around 100mm for mango scions.

John,

look back through my posts...when did I say scion length does not matter?

Sorry.  What I meant was that it's more than personal preference.  Even Popenoe in 1920 was recommending 3"-5" mango scions.  What I'm looking for is the scientific or logical reasoning why this length is better than, say, 2" or 8".

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Ideal Scion Length for Grafting
« on: March 26, 2015, 02:51:37 PM »
the ideal size for someone else may not be ideal for you.

If scion length didn't matter, I don't think so many sources would be recommending around 100mm for mango scions.

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Ideal Scion Length for Grafting
« on: March 26, 2015, 11:23:54 AM »
I'm wondering whether having the right length of scion wood keeps the terminal bud from drying out before the graft wound heals and starts pumping sap.  I'm going to try some 25-50 cm (1"-2") mango grafts and see how they do.
I don't think that's the case. The two things that are going to cause a scion to die are a) desiccation and b) infection (eg, fungal). As long as the scion is well covered to prevent water loss and clean to prevent infection, a tiny shield bud will last as long as a 6 inch side veneer -- somewhere around 2 weeks in summer weather. And even if you have a 5 foot scion, a fungal infection in any part between the bud and the graft point will cause the graft to fail.

So why does one size scion presumably do better than another?  For mango grafting, many sources cite 100mm (4") as ideal, with little reason why it is better than 50mm or 200mm.

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Ideal Scion Length for Grafting
« on: March 25, 2015, 06:59:41 PM »
Mango grafts do almost always sprout from the terminal bud or right next to it.  Avocados usually do too, while citrus seem to sprout at any bud on the scion. 

I'm wondering whether having the right length of scion wood keeps the terminal bud from drying out before the graft wound heals and starts pumping sap.  I'm going to try some 25-50 cm (1"-2") mango grafts and see how they do.

7
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Ideal Scion Length for Grafting
« on: March 25, 2015, 04:40:41 PM »
What is the ideal scion length for cleft and whip grafting?  Have there been studies showing how results vary with various scion lengths?

Most of my scions are between 100 and 150 mm (4"-6") and I choose this length mostly because I am blindly following what I was taught.  I like to have 4 or 5 buds on a scion, but that's about the only justification I have.   My results are very good when the rootstock and scion are both in a growth mode, but I wonder if it would be even better with shorter or longer scions.  What do you folks think?


8
If we can build a pipeline to carry dirty tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, it seems we should be able to pipe more water to our friends in California.

Oil is orders of magnitude more valuable per liter shipped than water.

Oil costs more than water, but lack of water would shut down California's just as fast as lack of oil.  It's not an oil or water choice though.

Whether from the Colorado River, Lake Superior, or elsewhere, more long distance aqueducts are probably going to be necessity.

9
Water in California will be getting more expensive, no doubt about that.  It may put some agriculture out of business unless they get major concessions.

Don't dismiss a long-range aqueduct pipeline so quickly.  California already has an aqueduct that spans from near San Francisco to San Diego. it's 1,100 km long and has a lift of 610 meters over mountains.  If climate change makes drought a regular occurrence, I expect we'll see longer and longer aqueduct systems.




10
US may inspire by Gaddafi´s Great Man-Made River
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Man-Made_River


I wasn't aware of the Libyan pipeline.  Thanks for sharing.

A pipeline from Lake Superior (surface elevation 180 meters) to San Diego, California, would be approximately 3,200 kilometers, not much longer than the Libyan pipeline.


Unrealistic you have to go through the various large mountain ranges with elevation climbs over 8,000 ft. Libya was easy it was flat desert sloping toward the ocean. Oregon and Washington state is possible due to less distance and elevation climb needed for the pipeline.


Of course it wouldn't be easy, but neither was the Great Wall of China or the Panama Canal. 

Today's desalinization technology is energy inefficient, and water conservation and reuse can only go so far.   

We also need to look more at large-scale snow-melt capture from the Rockies.   

11
US may inspire by Gaddafi´s Great Man-Made River
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Man-Made_River


I wasn't aware of the Libyan pipeline.  Thanks for sharing.

A pipeline from Lake Superior (surface elevation 180 meters) to San Diego, California, would be approximately 3,200 kilometers, not much longer than the Libyan pipeline.

12
If we can build a pipeline to carry dirty tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, it seems we should be able to pipe more water to our friends in California.

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Too much fruit. What does one do?
« on: March 16, 2015, 08:24:59 PM »
Ill be in Fiji in about 4 months doing humanitarian aid....hook it up J...ill even take your drops 😅

That's great.  I need humanitarian aid.   :)   Especially farm labour, and I need a BBQ grill and chicken house built.

Which part of Fiji?  How long will you be here?

You are welcome to visit my farm when you have some time off, maybe go out for some snorkeling or fishing if you'd like.

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Too much fruit. What does one do?
« on: March 16, 2015, 04:25:16 PM »
This is one reason I dont grow fruits like peaches that ripen all within a couple weeks.

Bananas are the worst.  No one needs 120 bananas at one time.

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Too much fruit. What does one do?
« on: March 16, 2015, 02:45:06 AM »
It's feast of famine when it comes to most fruit production.   What do y'all do with your excess fruit?

I freeze and process a little in jams and chutneys to give as gifts, and bring bags of fresh fruit to friends.  In a year or two I'll have enough to starting selling.  What do you do with all the fruit you can't personally use?

16
According to the latest Salary Survey report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), agriculture is not such a bad career choice for those looking to make a decent living. The survey, which reports starting salaries for new college graduates, projects the average starting salary for agriculture and natural resources graduates at $51,220. This figure places agriculture above the healthcare category and just below business. - Millet

lol

puh-leeze. This is one of the worst designed Surveys I've ever seen.

Starling1, are you agreeing with me again?  I hate it when you do that.

17
Chinese honey: I think it's safer that they're using something other than real honey, since there's the pesticide issue with honey. I can't say for sure if there's actually unsafe levels of pesticides since groups making those claims usually have financial(honey cartel?) or political (government protectionist) interests.

U.S. honey almost NEVER will have significant pesticides.  Nobody puts pesticides on clover.  Or on citrus when it's blooming.  Read the label and buy U.S. honey. 

If you think corn syrup is safer, go ahead and buy it but let's not call it 'honey'.

18
A similar problem exists with Chinese honey.  It is often relabeled, and sometimes even rerouted, through a third country to avoid the stigma of being Chinese honey.   Chinese honey has been found to sometimes be adulterated with cheaper syrups, and its pesticide and antibiotic concentrations are sometimes above U.S. regulatory limits.  Some countries have an outright prohibition against Chinese honey imports.

19
Several problems with this survey.   First, the category is called "Agriculture and Natural Resources" - not just agriculture.   Secondly, the sample size was woefully small - only 20 responses in that category, and we don't know how many of those were actually 'agriculture'.

Most importantly, the survey surveyed employers, asking for the starting salaries of their new employees.  They did not survey job seekers or recent graduates of those disciplines.  We might find quite a different income if all agriculture graduates were surveyed, as it would include the ones working at Wal-mart.

http://www.naceweb.org/uploadedFiles/Content/static-assets/downloads/executive-summary/2015-january-salary-survey-executive-summary.pdf

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Self Watering Container
« on: March 10, 2015, 04:10:15 PM »
The drainage and water-holding capacity of the planting medium will have a huge affect on how well plants do in a pot.   

There is also much variability in flood and drought resistance of individual tropical fruit species that it would be difficult to draw overall conclusions on the worth of such a pot.

From a functional standpoint, self-watering pots don't appear to be significantly different from regular pots that sit in a pan. 

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Propagation by Cuttings
« on: March 06, 2015, 04:03:46 PM »
I am interested in propagating new plants from my Cherry Guava, Blackberry Jam Fruit, and Pepper vine.   What are the best practices for maximizing success when propagating from cuttings?

For herbaceous plants. such as Basil, starting them in water seems to work best.  For figs, I've had more success planting directly in soil in a plastic tent to maintain high humidity.  What works with Cherry Guava, Blackberry Jam Fruit, and Pepper?

Or is it easier to air-layer?

22
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Valencias grown in the tropics
« on: March 01, 2015, 02:54:58 AM »
With my Washington Navels, I get a good quality, sweet fruit if I pick during the cooler, drought-stressed season.  The same trees yield watery fruit if picked in the warmer rainy season.

23
Don't worry about the bees I heard monsanto is releasing pesticide resistant gmo bees, they are in the testing phase now (jk btw  ::)).

Oh yeah?  We're going to need GMO humans to eat the honey from the GMO bees, too.   :)

24
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Picking W.I. (Key) Limes - Ouch!
« on: February 26, 2015, 02:13:43 PM »
Key Lime grove workers are provided with protective gloves. - Millet

I'd need a protective body suit.  A lot stronger than a bee suit, too!


25
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Picking W.I. (Key) Limes - Ouch!
« on: February 26, 2015, 09:11:44 AM »
Yes what wicked thorns they have.
Perhaps a contraption similar to what they use to harvest prickly pears around here.

And what contraption is that?

p.s.: Millet, nail clippers?  I don't have all day to pick the fruit.  :)  These trees are fairly large.

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