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Messages - zands

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HD and Lowe's have their own brand slow release nitrogen fertilizer that has micro- elements. Bags come in different sizes. There are superior fertilizers but if you want convenience head to HD or Lowe's

Vigoro --- Citrus and Avocado Plant Food  -comes in a few sizes---Lowe's has similar

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Temporary irrigation with pool vacuum hose
« on: March 18, 2018, 12:57:36 PM »
I am posting this in case the pool vacuum hose idea helps someone with any kind of irrigation. I have an old lawn sprinkler system I am reviving with some detective work. But until I get ir running I am using a Home Depot pool vacuum hose to water my lawn during the South Florida dry season. It is their own HDX  brand /35 feet long and $39.99/ and called heavy duty.  We shall find out how heavy duty it really  is.
This pool hose will fit into a 1 1/4 inch PVC pipe coupling. So this hose mates well with 1 1/4 inch PVC pipe
Meanwhile I can water my front lawn in ten minutes. Hitting the parched spots first. Hit some fruit trees too.

The water is pumped from my well so the only cost is electricity.

let it rip!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!
« on: March 18, 2018, 10:59:52 AM »
Well Chris you have a pretty good life my friend! What are you growing in Old town, I work in Orange and it never seems to amaze me the abundance of fruit trees I see there. Thanks for your recommendation on the fungicide I think I will give it a few months of drying out before I try the fungicide.

Maybe help it dry out by positioning a 9"-12" desk fan by least when you are at home.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is my carrie mango a goner?
« on: March 17, 2018, 04:42:17 PM »
BEST mango ever! Keep the faith! And stick with your Zill selected Carrie tree. A 1940s Zill selection. Carie is so good you should buy another for backup in case yours fizzles out.

"The original tree was grown on the property of Laurence H. Zill in Boynton Beach, Florida and was reportedly a seedling of the 'Sophie Fry' mango." Wikipedia entry by Squam

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Decomposed granite and how to amend?
« on: March 17, 2018, 04:35:42 PM »
The area where i live only have 1/2 to 1 foot of topsoil and the rest is decomposed granite. 

How fine is your granite? I would love to have granite in my soil. Look up - granite rock dust

Home Depot has granite rock dust. Sadly it is out of stock. Like forever? Anyways I signed up for an email alert. 50Lbs for $10

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!
« on: March 16, 2018, 07:14:45 PM »
You and your wife made a good decision. Redundant thick Manila trees to work with is a good idea. I don't know how to heal trunk rot. But with such a good canopy, despite injured trunk, the tree is strong and should do well.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Too Late for Mango Rebloom?
« on: March 16, 2018, 07:06:05 PM »
I saw your info for location saying United States so I googled (before reading markinNAPLES) for Golden Gate Estates and picked up an interesting old rant about the subdivision.
Most of the lots were sold by 1965, but unsuspecting buyers still get suckered into paying over $15,000 for a lot worth about $3,000.

It's funny reading it today and saying, Now Who Got Suckered? With land values priced today vs. 1965...

In a similar vein I have an old newspaper from about 1970. It has a full one page advertisement with Johnny Carson appearing in person in Coral Springs, Florida to promote and sell houses in a development. If I find it I will scan and post it. So Johnny was out there hustling for extra $$$ besides hosting the Late Show.

Coral Springs is the  town just south of Parkland with the tragic high school shootings.

I agree with Jeff, break off the new growth and wait for new bud to form. What variety is that by the way?

  Sweet Tart that someone wanted scions from but there are few branches that are not pushing out new growth like in the photos.

Too late. Much of the energy stored for pushing new growth has been exhausted. The flushed growth will just die and fall off.

Can it work? Probably, but very much non-ideal.

Many thanks!  Your explanation sounds logical. Oh well.....


I think it is too late to use the scion.

I would think it might be better this way. It shows this wood is ready to go for this growing season.

Should be OK right?

Thanks everyone for all the valuable suggestions. I am going to rent a back hoe and make 3' * 3' holes .
Federico , I will need your help with finding mulch and some guidance on making holes. I will send a message.

I would diversify. I would dig 3 x3 ft or wider (5ft wide more better) planting holes for some trees. AND the criss cross X pattern of trenching for some trees. Since the criss cross X pattern is how many are doing it where you are then it must have merit.

See if you can find and visit an orchard that has been done and dug out in criss cross X pattern. A 5-10 minute talk w owner might really clarify this for you. Anyone know someone he can check out ..his criss cross dug out fruit orchard

I would agree with everything but adding chemical fertilizers.  If your going to all the trouble adding all those allowable organic iinputs you should stay organic.  The organic market is growing.  it is extremely easy to make awesome organic fertilizers, there are numerous ways and you can probably make them in less time than it takes to go to the store to buy the chemicals.  Tropical trees respond incredibly well to organic farming practices.  Horse manure really is just good as a nitrogen source.  I have two horses and I have yet to add any horse manure to any of my trees here at this farm, but have started a biodynamic compost pile with it and plan on applying this fall to stay in compliance.  If you are doing it for money you might as well do what will pay you the most and that is the organic way.  Just to make it easier if you want to get certified USDA organic start taking daily notes of everything you do.  Also you could go beyond organic and be biodynamic like our farm.  They said they will sell all of our biodynamic grown fruit, a quality and b quality at a 30% premium over organic prices.  You do need to incorporate livestock into a biodynamic farming program which might be hard on 3 acres.  If you do biodynamic you can not feed GMO feeds or ad GMO inputs like hay.  Planting, adding inputs by the moon cycle and try to be a self contained system.  Seemed like an obvious move for me. A quick and easy mulch is hay rather than Home Depot bagged mulch.  Add Biochar and use EM1 has been incredibly helpful at breaking down organic matter fast pepping up the plants, and I just started applying.

Greenmans62 has the right idea.

You have a commercial situation. If you can get higher prices for biodynamic and organic fruit....If this makes for more profits then it makes sense to go Org and BioD. I see biodynamic wines. So if there is a market.....Then yes.

Yes you need livestock to go biodynamic. Or other people's livestock.

If I was running your project this is what I would do:
  • Dig your tree planting holes the way I described above
  • Plant trees in rows leaving enough space between rows so you can access trees w a small pick-up truck or gator
  • Lay things out to leave enough perimeter space for tree trimmers trucks to get close to your trees....Say on all four corners of your orchard.
  • This will greatly save on grunt labor done by Y-O-U!
  • Do you want to be a slave to your trees or do you want your trees to work for you?
  • -
  • -
  • Plant trees
  • Put in irrigation
  • Mulch them with tree trimmers mulch
  • To get trimmers mulch stop and talk to tree trimmers you see as you drive around day to day. You can try phoning them but face to face is best
  • Last resort is Home Depot. They have a sale 6 bags 10 dollars until April and must be lots cheaper by the pallet. Figure one bag mulch per tree in the beginning. I will admit that driving down your tree rows and throwing a sealed bag of HD mulch by each tree can be a labor saver for your first mulching.......
  • Since you are large and in this long term you need to establish w your local tree trimmers who will deliver for free! Unlike HD or a garden center.
  • -
  • You are going to haul in horse manure to be organic? Too much work and hassle.
  • Just get a very organic soil going
  • Mulch will make your soil blacker and more and more organic over time with lots of microorganisms.
  • Use a little chem fertilizer instead of animal manures. This will not harm the soil bacteria worms etc
  • Your very organic soil will buffer and tame chem fertilizers when used in small amounts
  • We are always discussing - debating the best chem fertilizers here

Just a thought ....But after trenching and digging down into the limestone. When you are are refilling these planting holes why not just put half the limestone back. Discard the rest of limestone. Cover the limestone with a plastic tarp or old 1/2 -1/4 inch plywood. Then heap 18 inches of trucked in topsoil onto tarp - plywood. So that you have 18 inches of good soil to work with and the tree roots are encouraged to spread outward, not down into the useless high alkaline limestone. This will delay your topsoil washing downward. This will delay, hopefully for years, the tree roots heading down. This way you also maximize use of your existing topsoil between fruit trees that you have not touched - disturbed with the backhoe due to tree roots seeking out laterally instead of downward.

This would involve digging out individual planting holes. Not criss cross trenching as described above.

The higher quality top soil you truck in the better the results. More expensive too. Perhaps reserve the best topsoil for certain fruit trees that need it more.

I read a good story on a Permiculture site. A woman was always disappointed by her lawn. So she excavated and removed all existing poor topsoil and trucked in expensive topsoil. Had it laid on 18" high. Her lawn grew so well that she never had to water it. Not even when it was the months long dry season. Probably was in the NW United States.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Time to water?
« on: March 08, 2018, 09:18:00 PM »
Any other opinions and any others that water at the tree trunk like Zands does during the dry periods and any bad effects noted or not???

Let me correct that to watering mango trees with my garden hose at ground level. As opposed to having your mango trees planted on a lawn like many members do. Then having your lawn sprinkler system sending sprinkler water into the mango leaves and panicles and developing fruit. Then you might promote rot and fungus.

So do not train your garden hose only where the tree trunk meets the ground. But within the four- five foot diameter around the tree trunk. None of my trees are mulched more than a five ft diameter so this is where my roots and root absorbing action is. So I think. My philosophy - The feeder roots are on their own and should go scrounging for their food and water, which I know that many do not advocate.

My own specific theory for my own specific situation is to want my roots going downward more than outward. I used to dig crazy deep planting holes, fill them 75-100% with Home Depot top soil to encourage downward root development. Then  mulch in a four-five ft diameter. I think my mulch is too deep and might be depriving roots of oxygen but I only get tree trimmer mulch once per year. Sometimes twice. So when I get it I have to put it somewhere. I do not have the luxury of doling it out gradually which I could do if I bought it gradually at Home Depot.

btw HD has all mulch on sale 6 bags for $10 until April 2nd. Bought some of that toxic red mulch for landscaping plants.

How about some mini version of ground penetrating radar to locate feeder roots? If I had this I would be watering them and fertilizing them.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Time to water?
« on: March 07, 2018, 04:41:06 PM »
This is all great discussion guys.
My takeaway so far.
I will likely irrigate (depending on the rainfall or lack thereof.)
I will be stingier with my mature trees but more regular with my younger trees.
I will check out earth worm activity to help with the decision on when to irrigate
Please keep the opinions coming.

Water can be the best fertilizer for younger trees --- Harry   

Older trees with their more extensive root systems find their water. Also morning dew on their more extensive leaf system waters the tree. Same for light rains

500 trees? Get a Florida nursery licence so you can buy wholesale from nurseries like Pine Island and Excalibur. This licence is free and straightforward and easy to get. Your need is legit because as your farm develops you will have costumers asking to buy fruit trees from you. Legit also beacuse for 500 trees the large nurseries want your business so want to sell you to you wholesale...This nursery license makes this all go more smoothly.
Warning! Be sure to keep the Florida tax collectors happy by filing quarterly reports. They get angry if they don't hear from you even if all you can report some quarters is zero sales due to you planting all trees you buy wholesale on your fruit farm.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Time to water?
« on: March 06, 2018, 10:18:42 AM »
Here in Puerto Vallarta, most commercial mango groves are in lands that only have rain water, so they have lots of rain from July-November then dry season from December through June, with some sporadic rainy days 3-5 around February,
My trees are small now buy in a couple of years I'm going to stop watering, I kind of think with less water the flavor is more concentrated and fruits are prone to reduce disease.
Was prolly four seasons ago it was really dry as mango fruits were growing. The flavors got concentrated so much that my Nam Doc Mai came out complex flavored. The second half of my Nam Doc Mai production actually. I did not water any mango trees but others just might be right that watering in such conditions increases mango production, size etc.  So you get more pounds of mangoes so more money if selling them.

Watering right at the base of the mango tree will not make it disease prone in such dry conditions

Pine Island Nursery  - huge place in Miami area

Last time I was at Pine Island they did not mind if you wandered around and gawked. I am not 100% sure they have the same policy but they probably do. Plus I believe they have the ability to ship your fruit tree purchases back to California. Phytosanitary etc.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Apical dominance in soursop?
« on: March 03, 2018, 11:23:36 AM »
Thanks guys for the good soursop info!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: look at that giant mango trunk
« on: February 19, 2018, 12:24:55 PM »
This video is worth watching because she gives a quick review of about 10 of her mango trees fruits. Her Truly Tropical mango grove in Delray has what? 100 mango varieties? Chris (don't know her last name) also has other Florida fruit trees such as avocado and sapodilla ...iirc.

I see that some of her mango trees are about 15' by 15' and planted in a dense row. Planted to where the trees leaves/branches touch each other.

I would do both. One emitter to help melt down the mulch into black gold if it is thick, say over 4-5 inches. The second to get water to the newly planted trees roots. For thinner mulch one emitter on top of mulch will be enough. You can always drive your hand under the mulch to see if water is getting to the soil and then to your trees roots.

Newly planted need water.

I've got a young Carie  3 years old in ground from a 3 gallon pot that have dropped most of the fruit only about 5 left, after a full bloom , it had a good initial fruit set and got the size of peas to marbles size. It's getting watered 2x a week.I hit it with Cu-Pro 500 (62% copper) just as the first flowers starting coming out about a month ago.
Same thing on a Val-Carie.
I'm worried  now about my NM and Keitt there loaded with pea size fruit now...what to do to prevent more  loss..

#1 - Carrie fruit is delicious as any new Zill for me. So it was worth waiting for my Carrie tree to get older
#2 - Planted from a 3 gallon pot- My Carrie tree's first years were disappointing. I had profuse blooms and bb size fruits that never went anywhere.
#3-  In year five my Carrie tree took off as far as production and has been a good producer since then.

So you might have to wait until year five. Meanwhile you can buy Carrie fruits at Excalibur or Tropical Acres that will remind you that Carrie is worth waiting for.

We like a cold dry winter for dormancy for mangoes and lychees in South Florida. This leads to a better bloom.
Various Caribbean islands such as Haiti and Jamaica have warmer winters than Florida. How do they get decent mango production with nil or no dormancy? Is it the mango varieties that they grow?

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