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Messages - Fruitguy

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Best Mamey Sapote cultivars
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:25:37 PM »
If one were going to add 3 new mamey sapote cultivars to their collection, which cultivar would they be, and why?  (South Miami-Dade area) Thank you.

I'm collecting Australian fruits to become part of the collection on display at the Fruit & Spice Park in Florida.  What sort of seeds would you be interested in trading for?

I was part of a group that met with the powers that be at the County today regarding the future of the Park. The job position is open until March 8, so any rumors you hear of a new Park Manager (official position title - not Director nor Curator) will be just the new Manager will be chosen down the road from that date. First a committee will be formed and ultimately Mr. Kardis (Director of Parks, Open Spaces, etc.) will make the final decision.  The County is not in a hurry to hire someone - they want the right person, which they described as someone who is a horticulturist AND an educator (realize that Chris taught half of the 36 classes that were done at the Park in 2014). This person must also have an administrative background which will allow them to manage the different factions that exist at the Park as well as work with the various members of the local community (county extension, farmers, TREC, volunteers, etc
etc). Hopefully they will find someone that can do all those things for the salary they are offering.

There is also a team of designers that will work on a redesign of the Park, and at some point, an opportunity for public input. Since there isn't much money to implement the new design, it may be quite some time before any changes actually happen.

I'm glad to see that some folks have met Jerry. He is a good guy. The other horticulturist at the Park is Louise. She is equally as enthusiastic about fruit. :-)


All the flavors are delicious, and much better than any of the supermarket stuff.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Converting Lawn to Planting Areas
« on: July 25, 2014, 11:32:28 PM »
Mulch, mulch, mulch!  I've been slowing working on removing grass from my property and replacing it with mulch.  Initially there has appeared to be a nitrogen deficiency as the mulch does take it out of the soil as it breaks down, however in the longer run, when your trees become established, the falling leaves will tend to even things out.  I do occasionally pull back the mulch and add in some compost, but mostly when I am establishing a new tree.  As the mulch breaks down, it becomes quite soil-like and weeds can grow in it, so I simply remove those weeds that do appear (mostly I the summer as the much is breaking down quicker) and add more mulch.  Nutsedge is also a problem here.  :(  Pulling them out by hand is a waste of time unless you can get the nuts out (challenging).  There is a nutsedge killer that is sold at Home Depot.

I thoroughly enjoyed the events that I attended at the conference.  It was also great to meet some of the forum members that I have either not met, or did not put face and screen name together.  There were way too many mangoes to eat, not that such problems stopped us anyway.  (A special thanks to Rob and Sheehan for hooking us "foreigners" with some of the great mangoes from the Zills.)  We had lots of speakers: Ken Love (always a great source of information), Adam (so so), Juanita Popenoe (great historical perspective of the Popenoe family), and Jim West (amazing pictures of rare species).  Jim also distributed seeds of many of the species for free!  Hopefully everyone has read this far when I confess to just kidding about Adam (he really was great!).  Now that I understand his modus operendi, I just couldn't resist! 

Way to go Clint!  Keep pushing the boundaries northward!  :)

Best wishes for a fruitful future!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mature Cupuacu Fruit
« on: December 30, 2013, 10:58:44 AM »
Way to go Berns!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: FGM my last Big Red annonas this year
« on: December 30, 2013, 10:57:48 AM »
Noel, I keep checking my mail and I haven't seen my care package yet.  Am I wasting my time?   ;D

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Durian: Smells Putrid...Tastes Awful!
« on: December 26, 2013, 09:47:08 PM »
So, Fruitguy and Ohiojay, would you say it's fair to describe you both as people to whom it didn't taste like "unbearably awful rotten onions that make you want to gargle for hours to try to get the taste out", just "nothing special / don't really care for it", right?

Not even close.  More of a garlicky custard taste. 

For me - and apparently boukmn as well - it was as if the fruit was some sort of cruel prank, as if people pretend to enjoy it to get unsuspecting victims to taste it so that their reactions can be secretly filmed for an episode of Punk'd.

I have felt the same way about other fruit, such as Surinam-cherry, Nance, Mabolo and several others.   Just like medicines do not work the same on all patients, different fruit "affect" us differently.  Some factors include genetics (as you mentioned earlier), stage of ripeness, variety, preparation (if any), and/or climate conditions where the fruit was grown.

(And I don't care what people say, there's no way that freezing something makes something that was fine taste that unimaginably awful. We all know that frozen fruit isn't generally as good as fresh. But it doesn't make things taste like some awful form of concentrated onion rot.)

Have you considered that the frozen fruit may have not been handled properly when shipped halfway across the globe?  Perhaps it was left to thaw, and then refrozen? Another possibility is that the fruit was not at the right stage of ripeness prior to being frozen initially, or even that it was treated with a chemical to induce "ripeness" (or treated improperly) and that has affected the end product. There is no way to tell at this point.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Durian: Smells Putrid...Tastes Awful!
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:18:00 AM »
My first experience with Durian was a frozen, celophane-wrapped portion here in the U.S.  It was okay, but nothing to get excited about, especially after hearing the "King of Fruit" moniker.  I tried it frozen several more times and each time it tasted a little better, but still not as good as fresh mango.  After a couple of trips to Thailand and eating fresh durian (usually purchased of the piled-high trucks on the side of the road), I'm a big fan of durian.  Definitely one of my favorite fruits!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Durian: Smells Putrid...Tastes Awful!
« on: December 24, 2013, 11:25:33 PM »
My first thought was to step up and defend the durian (after all, it is nowhere as bad as a "good" Surinam-cherry!), but then a brief flash of genius crossed my mind - the more people don't like it (or are turned off by the negative descriptions in this thread), the more for me!!!!!!  :D

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Vegetables are not happy
« on: December 11, 2013, 09:06:38 AM »
I've been having whitefly issues with peppers all Fall.  The corn has been hit and miss so far, with some stalks growing quite nicely and others not so much.  Broccoli is coming on strong now, and Romaine lettuce has already bolted.  Cilantro is doing quite well. 

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Tom-Tato!
« on: November 20, 2013, 09:21:16 AM »
I recall seeing those plants in seed catelouges back in the 1980's. 

Your description makes me want to try to grow this myself. Have you ever tried to grow it?

"Try" is a good way to describe it.  I have one small plant that I got from Sadhu a couple of years back that is actually growing pretty well, but is roughly 1 foot tall, and two seedlings that I coaxed into sprouting that are upwards of 1 inch tall each (they sprouted less than 6 weeks ago).  I have killed a few in the past.  As this species is dioecious, I have a considerably lower chance of getting one of each than Luc.  On the other hand, I do hope to get some budwood eventually and graft them onto another Garcinia species (wouldn't want to start from scratch again with my seedlings).

Damn good fruit, if you can find them.  I was fortunate enough to try some at Bill Whitman's house and they are one of my favorites.  I found the taste to be similar to tangerine as well, but without the acidity and I didn't run into any aftertaste.  The difference could be related to location or source material.  Very slow growing plant.  According to Whitman, can be fruited in a pot when they reach 3 feet.

Good news Luc, there is less than 1% chance that you will end up with 7 males! :)

My money is on Oscar's picture coming in top 3 places in CRFG's Photo Shoot!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My First Charichuela Fruit
« on: November 08, 2013, 10:58:57 AM »
In Puerto Rico, the fruits are much larger and more rounded and they are calling them acuminata.  Whitman's were like yours.  The ones I tried at his place were very light on flesh.  Flavor was good, but the cottony edible portion was scant.  In Puerto Rico, what they are calling acumianta have better flesh to seed ratio but still extremely large seeds and relative scant flesh.  Flavor was the pretty much the same.

I noticed that the ones called "Accuminata" had slightly more pointed protuberances on the fruit skin and as you point out, much more rounded.  Agree that both taste the same.  Perhaps in the next revision of the Garcinia genus, the taxonomists will lump them together.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My First Charichuela Fruit
« on: November 07, 2013, 03:43:14 PM »
Congrats Erica!  I recall Whitman saying that he planted a second tree for cross-pollination which he believed increased his fruit-set. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: October 31, 2013, 08:25:29 AM »
I also read some variety's don't need full sun but partially shade.

Location, location, location!  Just like in real estate, location is an important factor.  In the deserts of Israel (high light intensity, low humidity) dragonfruit must be grown under shadecloth.  If my memory hasn't totally failed me, most species did best under 30% shade with the exception of Selenicereus megalanthus which fruited best under 60% shade.  Here in South Florida, all of the Hylocereus species/varieties I have growing can handle full-sun in the summer (high light intensity, high humidity).  The only time of the year that I have problems is in October when the dry season starts to kick in and the nearly daily rain dries up to once a week or less, and I can start to get a little burn on some of them.  A little supplemental watering usually takes care of that.  My S. megalanthus is currently growing in a black sapote (think fairly heavy shade) and only the parts that find sun set fruit, albeit relatively small fruit (about 100 g.)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango in Pot vs. in Greenhouse
« on: October 28, 2013, 03:56:43 PM »
How low would the ground temperature go in the winter?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How often to water banana plants?
« on: October 28, 2013, 11:09:15 AM »
A few tips:

(1) It's better to fertilize earlier rather than later.  At least if you want large bunches of bananas.  The number of bananas are determined in the first few months of the sucker's life.  That said, I would still encourage fertilizing later as well to ensure a strong enough stalk to hold the bigger bunch of bananas.

(2) Plant deep.  Unlike regular fruit trees, bananas can be planted 1 foot (or more?) below the level that they were previously at.  Not only does this provide support, it also allows the mat to grow longer, since each successive generation of suckers comes out slightly higher than the previous one.

(3) Use manure.  Even though horse manure is categorized as a "hot" manure and usually needs a bit of composting to avoid burning the roots of most plants, bananas (and papayas) do not appear to be affected by this and even thrive when the plants are surrounded by the horse manure/saw dust mixture.  (Cow manure is a "cold" manure and can be applied right away on most trees.)

(4) Check for diseases before using cut stalks as mulch.  Black Sigatoka and Panama Disease can be spread to other bananas from the cut stalks.  If you do not know what the symptoms for these diseases look like, Google them.

(5)  If you have well-drained soil like we do here in South Florida, you cannot overwater bananas.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First Marangs - strange discolouration ?
« on: October 23, 2013, 12:08:12 PM »
It may well be a male inflorescense.  As many have posted on other threads, the first flowering of Artocarpus species is often male flowers only.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My 18 mo breadfruit is flowering S. Fla
« on: October 11, 2013, 10:45:53 AM »
My advice is to not top the tree unless you are going to provide a protective structure. 

Yes, this is where my thinking was headed. 

These trees have a bad habit of die back to the ground when the cold hits.  The bigger the tree when the cold hits, the more protection the above ground portion of the tree will get from its own size/canopy. 

If available, I would (will) wrap a blanket or comforter around the lower trunk as well.  I do recall Whitman's tree dying back in cold weather and then resprouting, but I do not recall if it was from the lower trunk or roots.  Might want to lay some extra blanket around the ground as well.

The second reason I was leaning towards topping it was for hurricane season.  For those who grow them, how do they stand up to hurricane force winds?  Simply deleaf or topple over?

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