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Messages - jcaldeira

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1
Very nice.  I think you'll be running out of yard space soon!

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Banana Tree Growth
« on: July 26, 2014, 10:30:57 PM »
Bananas seem to produce fruit faster when they receive plenty of water.  Heavy mulching with old banana stalks and leaves helps to hold water in the soil.

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: how to know when water a moringa?
« on: July 26, 2014, 10:28:29 PM »
My moringa occasionally does without rain or watering for a couple of months at a time.   It does fine.  This is what one of mine looks like after ten years:



Both of my moringa are trimmed back to the stump several times each year, as it grows as fast as mulberry and the leaves are too hard to harvest when tall.

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: how to know when water a moringa?
« on: July 25, 2014, 09:44:25 PM »
Mature Moringa are very drought resistant.

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Siting for a tropicals greenhouse
« on: July 25, 2014, 04:57:59 PM »
Capturing solar heat seems a key to success.  I wonder if there's anything that can be done with reflectors or heat sinks to capture more of it.

I've been impressed with the solar water heater I have on my roof.  A similar design could also be used to heat a greenhouse.   Technologically, it's pretty simple.  Coils filled with water circulate within glass panels, warming the water.  As the warmer water rises, it circulates into a tank that performs as a heat sink.

Something like this diagram, but you'd have the tank(s) in the greenhouse without insulation.
 


6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cashew Roostock for Mango
« on: July 22, 2014, 12:19:31 AM »
Garner and Chaudhri's book 'The Propagation of Fruit Trees' has almost nothing on using cashew rootstock for mango.  Only this, on page 421:

"In Martinique, cashew seedlings have been reported to be compatible as rootstocks for mango, and the fruits on cashew roots was almost double the normal size, free from fibre, with a smaller seed."

Sounds too good to be true.   I wonder about taste. 

7
Be careful to read labels.  Minute Maid (Coca Cola) Pomegranate Juice blend contains less than 1% pomegranate juice.  It is 99% grape and apple juice.

 

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Peeling a mango
« on: July 06, 2014, 12:15:15 PM »
Oh, sorry.  That gif image is not mine.  I found it on imgur.com and thought it was clever enough to share.

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Peeling a mango
« on: July 06, 2014, 10:53:31 AM »
After deseeding, . . .


10
Mango does VERY well in drought.  It grows and fruits abundantly in dry warm climates.  Pineapple, too, is very drought tolerant. And tamarind.

My figs drop a lot of leaves and don't fruit much in drought.

11
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Valencias grown in the tropics
« on: June 30, 2014, 04:13:37 AM »
Mike, I am encouraged by your note.  I currently have a few unripe valencias and navel oranges on my trees and are eager to learn how they taste.  I know the nice orange skin color will never be there, but am hoping to at least have some worthy flavor now on the valencias.

12
The most common type of guava in Fiji is yellow-skinned with pink fleshed.  Size of a plum.  Sweet and tasty, but does have a lot of seeds. 

When eating in the field, I only eat down to the seedy part.   The center is sweetest part, but the seeds in my teeth are annoying.  At home, they make excellent seedless guava jam and guava paste.

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sugar Cane Juicer
« on: June 24, 2014, 03:28:38 AM »
Is the clean-up quick and easy with this juicer?

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Processing cashews
« on: June 23, 2014, 12:01:33 PM »


Processing starts near 3 minutes into the video below:


15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing lychees in Jamiaca
« on: June 21, 2014, 08:10:42 AM »
Jamaica has mountains, so not all of it is tropical, up in mountains would be considered sub tropical. Difference is that southern Florida is flat as a pancake. The are some tropical lychee types in Thailand, but i doubt they have any of those in Jamaica. BTW chakapat, or emperor, is NOT a tropical lychee. It is mostly grown and fruited in northern Thailand around Chiang Rai.

Exactly.  Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica, has mountains to 4,000 feet.  The also grow Arabica ("Blue Mountain") coffee in those mountains.

16
Do other countries have HLB  as bad as we do? Is this a new disease or just new to the USA? You would think that if it is this devastating to citrus that it would have wiped out the citrus everywhere.


"Distribution of citrus greening disease is primarily in tropical and subtropical Asia. It has been reported in all citrus-growing regions in Asia except Japan. The disease has affected crops in China, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, the Ryukyu Islands, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. Areas outside Asia have also reported the disease: Réunion, Mauritius, Brazil, and Florida in the U.S. since 1998, and in several municipalities in Mexico since 2009.  On March 30, 2012, citrus greening disease was confirmed in a single citrus tree in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County, California."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrus_greening_disease (original sources are referenced in the article)

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can MULCH be BAD for fruit trees?
« on: June 17, 2014, 03:36:07 PM »
The primary reason that topsoil contains more nutrients than subsoil is that it has had long term exposure to rotting organic matter.   Mulch, or organic litter, is the main way that nature creates topsoil.  If there is concern about temporary nitrogen loss, mulching can be done with compost. 

My favorite soil nutrition course on the internet:
The Agricultural Bureau of South Australia's 'Better Soils' pages:
http://soilwater.com.au/bettersoils/modules.htm

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can MULCH be BAD for fruit trees?
« on: June 17, 2014, 11:27:51 AM »
Mulch is a necessity to get the full potential out of your trees.  The mulch REMOVES nitrogen, aerates the soil, helps control weeds, provides humus that supports the soils living systems, and protects from harmful funguses when properly applied.  It is time consuming though, and that may make it something that would make one hope that it is harmful.. Unfortunately, and once again..... No pain, no gain..

Mulch may remove nitrogen initially, but its long term effect is to ADD nitrogen to the soil.



http://soilwater.com.au/bettersoils/module2/2_4.htm

19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can MULCH be BAD for fruit trees?
« on: June 16, 2014, 11:24:16 PM »
It is very unlikely a soil has too much nitrogen unless someone over-applied fertilizer.  Almost all natural soil borne nitrogen comes from rotting organic matter.  Eventually, if you don't mulch you will need to add nitrogen and other nutrients by applying fertilizers.

Mulch should be kept away from the trunk, and if misapplied can cause rot.

Another way to misapply mulch is to apply too much all at once.  Some plants have a lot of roots near the surface, and could be harmed if suddenly buried under 200 mm (8 inches) of mulch.  Better to apply 50 mm and add 50 mm every few months.

I'm a big fan of mulch.
  • Moisture retention
  • Soil temperature moderation
  • A broad-spectrum organic fertilizer
  • Weed control


20
Fascinating!  I wonder how often new varieties are created at a graft union, and if it's practical at all to purposely try to cross two varieties this way with, say, citrus.   An interesting way to genetically modify plants.

Thanks for sharing the article.


21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to kill a tree?
« on: June 15, 2014, 01:51:21 AM »
Cut down the tree and immediately apply glyphosate to the stump.   I do not mean the weed-killer sold in the spray bottle.  Apply concentrated (36%, 41% or 46%) glyphosate as it is sold in concentrated form in your area, or dilute 50% maximum for sprayability. Apply it to all of the inner bark area of the tree.  Applying within 15 minutes of cutting for maximum success.  An hour later - don't bother.

I cleared 15 acres this way.  If a stump sends out shoots, whack it with a large knife and apply more.  It will die.

John

22
I'm curious to learn the species name for this red-berried pepper vine.

23
The birds love to eat my various chili peppers.  I'm surprised the mockingbirds don't like them.  I thought birds can't feel the 'hot' capsaicin of peppers.  Maybe it's something other than the 'hot' that's working.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1857/are-birds-immune-to-hot-pepper-enabling-them-to-eat-vast-amounts-and-spread-the-seeds

24
Let that be a lesson to us.   The orange industry developed varieties that were very sweet, with a high sugar content, and it ends up hurting sales.

Of course the over-processing rap they did to themselves too.

25
Some people who are into the study of citrus, might have heard about flavor packs being added back into orange juice.   I believe the general work a day public knows nothing of flavor packs- Millet

You may be right, but OJ has had widespread bad press during the last few years due to the processing and sugar content. The 2009 book
"Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice" is widely cited.   
http://squeezed.yupnet.org/

There's also a stream of bad press lately, such as these:

The Atlantic magazine: Misunderstanding Orange Juice as a Health Drink
  http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/misunderstanding-orange-juice-as-a-health-drink/283579/

and on the internet: Orange juice? That's like drinking soda for breakfast!
http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/if-you-think-orange-juice-healthy-its-time-reconsider.html

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