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Messages - z_willus_d

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I followed Millet's recommendations for feeding and spraying my citrus this year, and all of my trees (save for a 2nd year Golden Nugget that set just one fruit) are holding 2-3x the fruit as they were last year.  I know comparing one season to the next is not particularly meaningful statistically, regardless, I do believe this regimen has helped.  The trees aren't the most beautiful.  They are sandwiched next to my house on the East side and receive only morning and early afternoon light.

Below are a couple pics through the home window at the Washington navel, holding 45+ fruit.  All of these trees are containerized, and it's a miracle they are still limping along 7 years after transplanting.

Thanks for all the great forum tips and support Millet!

Hi Mark, it's great to see the rebirth you have there.  I look forward to learning about all the fruit it will provide next season.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 18, 2018, 10:43:56 PM »
Very cool Kris.  We love that area, and spend much time there when we have it.  Coastal Redwoods are inimitable.  I didn't see any fruit on the tree, so I guess the owners know what they're doing (or maybe it's too foggy to fruit much).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 18, 2018, 04:33:14 PM »
I was on a trip this past weekend in the Pacific Northwest (CA), and I ran into an Avocado tree in front of a local bakery in the heart of the Ocean peninsula town of Mendocino, CA.  I'm always happy to see random Avocado trees in public.  Here're a couple pics.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:20:49 PM »
Hi Brad, here are some pics of the three trees.  I may have posted one or more of these before.  I now believe left to right these are: Fuerte, Mexicola, Bacon.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 11, 2018, 02:23:32 PM »
Wow, I'm sure embarrassed.  When I planted three Avocado trees years back, I had two type-A (Bacon and Mexicola) + one type-b Furte.  I intended to plant the Furte in between the two Type-A trees.  This middle tree always showed the most growth and height by at least a factor of 50%.  So I've had it in my mind that this tree is a Furte for many years.  But this definitely is not Furte fruit, and it definitely is a Mexicola with the thin anise flavored skin.  I think the tree to the left of it must be the Furte, and that tree is holding one single Green, slightly variegated in green/yellow color avocado.  I think the tree to the right must be my Bacon, which didn't set any fruit this year.  So Furte is supposed to be far superior in taste/consistency to Mexicola, which means I was tasting the lesser specimen.  That, at least, is good news. :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 11, 2018, 12:30:57 AM »
Insignificant relative to most updates here, but monumental to myself -- today I tasted my first personally home-grown avocado.  It's from a several year old Fuerte tree that I planted in a plastic wine barrel container of around 40-gal.  This was the first year the tree set fruit and held onto some of them -- specifically two avocados.  This one just ripened up and dropped to the ground either today or yesterday (not sure which).  I wasn't expecting ripened avocados until next year, but I really haven't checked what to expect.  This avocado was about 5 ounce, and while it wasn't the best I've had, it was actually quite creamy and tasty.  I can tell this fruit was a bit sub-optimal, but it's still far better than anything I've had from the store in recent months.  I've got one more hanging on the tree, which I expect will be a better specimen; larger at least.  I'm super excited to have grown one of these, if only the one or two, after so many years struggling to bring fruit to bear on an avocado tree that is container bound in our Northern CA climate.  I'm ready to celebrate.

Here are some pics of the tree with the fruit a month back and what it looks like on the cutting board:

South-East facing seems to do best in our climate.  If you can get afternoon shade after ~4pm, and exposure to the cooler morning light that works well.  I used to have all my citrus in the middle of the yard getting full sun for the entire day, and those trees just cooked and dropped all their fruit, regardless of the amount of water I gave them.  After moving them to the east side of the house where they get shade from 3-4 pm forward, they've been thriving for me.  The avocados on the side of my house will get half day sunlight (at least the first four), but if they can manage to grow a bit taller, they should get closer to 6 - 8 hours.  I'm not sure this project will pan out, but I'll stick with it for the time being.  Having them tucked up between the house and fence line should make it easier to protect them from frosts at least.

Hi Kris, thanks for sharing your pics.  Your trees look a notch ahead of mine, though we purchased and planted over the same period this year.  How much light are the trees getting where you have them.  I believe the limited light on my trees has been a detriment, resulting in "leggy" branching.  On the plus side, they aren't getting too damaged by sub burn on the 110F days.

Late yesterday, I pulled the one remaining dead Avocado from my Spring plantings.  Five of nine died in all, however at least three of the five were already dead going in (hailstorm survivors, and rotting root systems) from the outset.  I haven't yet replaced the others, but this replacement is a Stewart.  It fills out the five tree slots I still have growing on the side of my yard.  None are thriving now, but all are alive.  It will be interesting to see how well I can protect them going into the colder seasons.

Something I always puzzle over is the water habits at the nursery.  The general conclusion for why my trees did so poorly early on was that the soil medium was too absorbent and that the trees had wet feet.  So the old leaves would turn brown and drop.  A lot of new leaves seemed to fizzle up and dry before they even got started.  I'm still not 100% convinced it was for over-watering with my once a month one or two gallons watering regime early on.  But to the original point, whenever I stop by and check these trees at the nursery, they are soaking wet in their 5G pots.  I think they water twice a day, morning and evening.  They are grown in a kind of redwood chip heavy soil, that seems to get really wet.  Low perlite/vermiculite content.  I'm wondering how they can water the trees this way and not have problems, whereas I am barely watering them at my house and the assumption is over-watering.  It could be the limited light these trees get on the side of the house is in part to blame, however of the five trees that fizzled, four were in full or nearly full sun.  Only one of the five on the side of the house died.

Here are some pics of the new Stewart.  It's the best of about six available at the Roseville, CA Green Acres Nursery.  They're all Four Winds Growers stock.  Kind of expensive at ~$38 a tree.

That Reed of your is becoming legendary Mark.  I think that'll be one you pass on to the next generation.  You missed flowering this year, right ?  I guess it was in staying alive mode after the freeze.  Thanks for sharing.  I'm looking forward to more.

Sorry to hear about your losses.  Do you have any pics showing your HD replacements?  I'm curious how much they've advanced through the summer compared to my plants.  You can find the Reed on sale at Four Winds Nursery.  It's $35 + shipping.  I ordered a bunch of citrus from them in the mail last year.  I wasn't so happy with the size of the plants, but they've all survived and don't show any signs of disease.  It's a better deal if you can grab a 5G tree at the local nursery for the same price.  Sometimes four winds has a 10% off coupon running, but they don't seem to have one right now.

It's been a while since I gave an update on this project.  The trees have been out from Spring and through Summer now.  They've had a chance to thrive or dive.  I've lost five out of nine of the trees that were planted.  Those all were the weakest at the outset, and two were victims of my veneer grafting experimentation.  I did have a strong Duke scion for a while, but the mother plant seemed to fade, and it took the graft along with it.

It's interesting to juxtapose the pictures of these trees that I took in April to those from this week.  Those that survived look more or less the same size and health as the original specimens.  I know that most of the original leaves fell, and those were replaced with more bug-eaten versions of the same.  Here are some pics.  I wonder if these will survive the Winter.  Four Winds nursery has a good stock of trees for sale right now, including Reed, which is difficult to find in this area.  I'm dithering on whether to wait for next Spring to purchase them, or grab them through the web now.  I'd love to hear how Zephian and the others are fairing with their similar projects.


Mostly dead Stewart:

Holiday hanging on:

Threadbare Sir Prize:


I've got three avocados on my five year old trees in containers.  2 on one (Furte) and 1 one more on a Bacon; nil on the Mexicola.

Hi trang2le-

This is great news.  I haven't been on the site for a month or so.  I've been heavily involved at work.  I was checking 4-winds growers regularly and didn't see any avocados for sale, let alone the Reed.  Thanks for the heads up.  I'll put an order in ASAP.

I will take some pictures and post on my project soon Zephian.  We need to compare notes.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: June 20, 2018, 12:45:12 PM »
That's quite a Ranch you've got there in the making.  Did you landscape all that yourself, or use a crew?  I foresee one day a hundred years hence folks will talk about he Hockey ranch that survived the great heat purges of the 2030's and there remains a vessel for the continuation of the Persea americana species.  With the surround product, did you find that it washed away after rain?  Did it clog up your sprayer at 4cups to a gallon (is that right?)?  Did it work to deter ants?

Thanks for all the great pics.  They will make a nice reference in the future.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: June 11, 2018, 04:14:14 PM »
Fygee, how much light are all those potted plants you showed getting in a day.  They look like they're well shaded, which probably helps with the 100F+ temps, but may stunt growth for the Avocados in the long run.  Will you be planting them in ground soon?  Thanks for sharing.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: June 11, 2018, 11:53:06 AM »
Hi Mark, the roots in 7 out of 9 of those pots were bound and rotting when I got them from the nursery.  How bound up varied from plant to plant, but nearly all had a good amount of brown, dead root matter.  I actually did as you described with several of the plants and cut the pot down the sides, but honestly I found that it was hard not to slice through some of the roots in doing this with my box cutter,  and it was surprisingly difficult to actually extricate the plant in this manner, so I came to the conclusion that for these root bound plants it was just easier to pull them out cleanly from the pot as a unit.  I've gotten different opinions on whether it's best to shred and remove the dead root matter at planting or go to any length not to disturb the roots.  On my initial plant, I left the roots totally untouched, but then when I re-potted, I noticed there was a kind of boundary delimited by the original pot outline and the 2-3" of expansion "soil."  It seemed the good roots were mostly trapped inside the dead.  I only saw a few good roots growing out in a downward direction.  So I decided to rip-up and remove the dead roots there.  I'm sure some healthy roots suffered with that move.  I'm still hoping they can recover.  I'm looking for the day when these plants start to draw on the water held by the soil, and I can actually begin to water them again and add that so important mulch layer back.  I've planted avocados in the past and didn't have any of these types of issues, but I think the combo of less than healthy plants and perhaps too much peat and cocohull in my grow medium has led to my issues this time round.  I'll keep at it, and try to remember these setbacks for next time.

I can't imaging I'd ever spend $75 on five avocados here in California.  Better to take a SouthWest flight down south and gather 50 at $2 a piece.  It is worth noting that they have a deal now and have reduced the price by half.  I sliced open the second Reed from WF yesterday.  It was slightly better, but still not a great specimen.  It's like they picked it early but the fruit is actually starting to go bad from age.  I'll look forward to trying a better example in the future.  Where have you been posting (or have you) the progress on all your avocado grafting there in the greenhouse?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: June 10, 2018, 05:24:32 PM »
Thanks Brad.  I think I saw you sell scion wood, right.  I need to order some varieties for grafting once I have the Rootstock built up.  Or maybe you'll start an online nursery business that ships young Avocado trees, and I can just purchase the finished product.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: June 10, 2018, 05:01:09 PM »
I got them at the local farmers market in the past and they  are excellent.  Havent seen them at the grocery.  The skin is thicker than most avocados so as soon as it gives its ready.  The grit is from the peel.  If you just dont scrape it it wont come off.  They are a bit early to be selling at the stores unless they want to put people off and not have them buy more.  They are without a doubt one of the best avocado there is.  Not watery, its super high oil content by end of summer.  You will not be disappointed to grow them.  Only caveat is they may take forever to get ripe on the tree in northern CA.  A smaller mexican avocado is probably a better place to start.

Reed seeds are good for rootstock.  They grow vigorous once thry get going.  Zutanon and bacon are in season 6 months ago, I wouldnt bother waiting for them, you can always start more later.
Thanks for the info.  I wasn't too put off by the grit, and I could see that it came from scraping the peel too enthusiastically.  I'm familiar with the stuff, but I'm not sure if its indicative of the fruit maturity or just something you'll find.  I've not given up on the Reed, but I do think they picked these fruit too soon.  I'll go ahead and try and root the seeds for use as RS, and maybe I can leave a branch of the original to see if it survives the 10+ years to maybe set fruit down the road.  On second thought, that's probably a bad idea.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: June 10, 2018, 03:00:03 PM »
I just purchased two Reed from the local Whole Foods market - $3.50 each.  I've probably had Reed in the past, but I hadn't in recent years.  The avocados seemed hard, so I left them out for a day.  The first I tried had the consistency of warm margarine from the Diner plate (the one under a glass dome at room temp).  There were also small bits of something like course sand near the peel.  Overall, I really didn't enjoy the avocado, nor my wife.  I'll try the 2nd to see if it's the same.  The consistency of the avocado was very mushy and a bit too watery.  I hope these two examples are just a case of premature harvesting, since I hope to grow a Reed someday.  BTW, these were marked as Del Rey producer.

I saved the seed.  Would it work well as a rootstock, or should I wait for a Bacon or Zutano?  Anyone else purchased store-bought Reed fruit that was substandard?

Thanks Kris.  That will be great to know.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: June 06, 2018, 03:04:04 PM »
Kris- the jury is still out on the the outcome of my rejuvenation efforts.  First (2 weeks or so back), I actually "re-potted" all seven of my RootBuilderII [expandable container] housed avocado trees.  I amended the peat/cocohull heavy soil/grow-medium with Decomposed Granite.  While doing this, I kind of ripped up the roots, which were showing a lot of rot.  I assume that process wasn't easy on the plants.  This past weekend, I tried the Hydrogen Peroxide "drench" that LaidBackDood suggested.  Next time I pull one of these plants, it's to toss it in the garbage.  I'd like to know if your exposing the roots to air helps.  Seems like it would cause the outer roots to die back, but maybe that's a salve for the impending rot.

seed should be just under the surface mate....not 3 inches can also try that cocktail sticks skewered over a glass of water thing but ive never had a joy with that......hunt on you tube.
I see.  Good to know.  Now for seeds.

Use Mexicola or Bacon seeds for rootstock. Direct seed into the earth.

You could start direct seeding some rootstock Seeds into the ground now, to graft next spring. It's going to be tough , if not impossible to turn them around as described , in my experience. Instead of nursing along sick plants ,  or along with,  get some more rootstock going so you could graft your sickly varieties on there , or get more scion to graft.
Shade them from Midday sun right now. Good luck.
Yes, I've just been thinking about this, as I drop those big Hass seeds into the chicken-toss container every night.  Do you recommend specific varieties for seeding, or will any store-bought Hass do the trick.  Not all seeds appear to be equal, so probably not all are as Hassy as I assume.  I see those small seeded guys as well.  Would you say the simplest thing is to just drop the seeds 3" down with the pointy end toward Earth in a 5G container?  Thanks!
Ah, ok.  Yeah, I have no source for such, other than purchase.  I like the idea of using seeds that I'm otherwise throwing away.  Are the store bought seeds not ideal across certain factors?  Salt immunity, root rot, etc.?  I need to visit a farmers market in Avocado season to see what I can find/purchase for consumption and seeding.  I think Duke seeds work well also.

All of my citrus are in containers.  I found that as the trees grew larger to fill there 40-gal containers, they became harder to water.  In the hot Spring, Summer, Fall months, I would have to pretty much have a constant drip (w/ soakers under mulch) running for the afternoon hours.  I had a lot of fruit drop due to this (even mature fruit was dropping and/or splitting).  After moving to a spot where the trees only saw morning to early afternoon sunlight (and were shaded in the later afternoon), the plants started doing much better.  I do think they suffer in the energy and photosynthesis side somewhat from their limited ~6 hours of sun, but it's worth the trade-off.  For trees planted in the ground, I would think that it would depend on how scalding hot the sun gets during periods when the tree is pushing out new leaves.  Also, how well they can be irrigated.  Younger trees likely benefit from the adaptive shading.

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