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Messages - jcaldeira

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They seem like varieties I'd like to try.  They need to find better names for them, though. 

Thanks, Millet. 

In more tropical environments, where chilling hours are not possible for citrus, water stress from dry conditions tends to induce flower buds.

The yellow leaf vein problem may be due to low phosphorus.  I had a similar problem on part of my farm and it turned out to be low phosphorus, possibly made unavailable to the plants due to high copper or some other mineral.

I reported my problem in this thread (see reply #30):

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: World's largest Cashew tree (Natal, Brazil)
« on: November 19, 2014, 03:39:45 PM »
Has that huge cashew tree expanded by dropping branches to the ground that root, or by root suckers?  It seems impossible a tree that expansive could be nourished only from the main trunk.

Most of my passionfruit are growing up in the trees, but some on a trellis and fences.  I cut back the entire vine after approximately 2 years, after production has fallen, leaving a meter or two of the old vine above ground level and pulling off all the dead vines that I can.  If the dead vines are not cut out, some of the fruit get caught in it and are prevented from falling.  It's nearly impossible to remove the dead vines without cutting the whole vine back. 

Here's a trellis before and after pruning:


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mastergrafter video from Australia
« on: November 16, 2014, 10:55:37 PM »
Interesting video.  Thanks for sharing, Bangkok.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Spinach May Save Florida's Citrus Crop
« on: November 15, 2014, 10:13:50 AM »
Sounds great, but how do you combat the public relations problems due to people thinking they will grow a third arm out of their forehead from eating those citrus?

There is something in human nature that tells us to be cautious of change, which overall is probably good.    However, technophobia has been a problem since the dawn of the industrial revolution, with almost every new significant invention having detractors.   Truth becomes more apparent with time, experience and education.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Spinach May Save Florida's Citrus Crop
« on: November 14, 2014, 04:59:30 PM »
That's encouraging news, Millet.  Thanks for sharing.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Visiting Dallas - Where are the fruit?
« on: November 11, 2014, 04:16:12 PM »
Just returned from the Carrollton supermarket. 

Rambutan, longan, cherimoya and persimmon in hand!  I also saw (frozen) durian, various guavas, dragon fruit etc.

Good deal.

Glad you were successful.  That Carrollton market often has good black sapote.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Free Greenhouse Heat
« on: November 11, 2014, 01:08:03 PM »
Millet, how much temperature drop do your barrels actually experience on a typical winter night?  I realize there's a lot of variables, but I'm just looking for a rough range.

By the way, one million BTUs, when generated by electricity, costs  over $25 USD so you have some good daily savings there!

Turgut, how are you ventilating the greenhouse?  That's a lot of space to keep from overheating.

Nice.  Thanks for sharing.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Citrus - Number of years to bear fruit
« on: November 10, 2014, 02:01:22 PM »
Canopy?  My grafted citrus mostly look like each branch has a mind of its own.  I only prune to keep branches off the ground, and rubbing off rootstock suckers.  Once in a while I cut down a water shoot to encourage branching, but most I leave alone.

We had some rain recently in Fiji and the citrus are blooming.  I now have bloom on Valencia and Mandarin.  The only citrus not blooming are grapefruit and pomelo.

Brilliant!   You are NOT going to regret this.  Within two years they'll be fruiting and you can move on to the next phase.  ;)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Visiting Dallas - Where are the fruit?
« on: November 08, 2014, 01:36:43 PM »
Dallas Farmers Market has local and Mexican fruits.

Most Hispanic and Asian supermarkets have seasonal tropical fruits.  One of my favorites: Asian Super Market at 3040 N Josey Ln, Carrollton.

I enjoyed reading the list, but there were so many!  Who were/are the top contributors to citrus?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Help identifying citrus problem
« on: November 07, 2014, 08:12:40 PM »
Ants often suggest mealy bugs, aphids or some other pest that they feed on.

I don't know the answer, but suggest trimming off the dead/dying wood and carefully observe the remaining tree. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fruit packaging
« on: November 07, 2014, 03:12:52 PM »
Inspired by this ridiculous sighting: , a little web search on fruit packaging yielded these creative but mostly-absurd packaging ideas:

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Research on Maximizing Crop Yields
« on: November 03, 2014, 08:18:12 AM »
This interesting work was done on tomatoes.

Interesting.  Thanks for sharing.

From the article:
"In tomatoes and all other flowering plants, the balance between vegetative growth and flowers is controlled by a pair of opposing hormones, called florigen and anti-florigen. Prior work by Lippman and Israeli colleagues showed that a mutation in florigen can shift the balance between vegetative growth and flowering, modifying plant architecture in a way that increases yield."

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fiji Drought
« on: November 01, 2014, 04:52:25 PM »
Approximately two weeks ago my farm received 30mm (1"+) rain.   We need more, but it's made a world of difference to the plant life.
We're entering the rainy season soon, so there's a good chance for more rain within a few weeks.

Here's a post-drought shot of a calomondin and lemon I took this morning.  Most citrus lost more than half their leaves but are trying to recover:

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Yes, The Grapefruit Diet Actually Works
« on: October 30, 2014, 10:59:02 PM »
I am curious to learn the actual biological mechanism that caused grapefruit juice to result in lower-weight mice, and whether the mechanism injurious to health.  Some fruits cause diarrhea, which reduces weight.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Potted citrus, keeping a certain size.
« on: October 30, 2014, 02:59:52 PM »
I severely pruned several citrus trees to relocate them.  The remaining foliage bloomed just fine, at the same age as my others.  I doubt you'd retard blooming by trimming where you need to.  However, as Millet indicated, less young growth means fewer flowers.

The most amazing thing I've come to appreciate about citrus blooming is that drought stress, and even physical damage, appears to promote flowering.  It's actually the re-hydration after drought stress that induces blooming.  It is almost as if the plant focuses on reproduction when its life is threatened.  I'm not recommending your threaten your citrus into blooming :) because its harmful to overall growth, but holding off with the water until some leaves start to curl does seem to induce blooming.   Some citrus growers control watering to achieve off-season fruiting.

Citrus General Discussion / Citrus - Number of years to bear fruit
« on: October 28, 2014, 06:02:18 PM »
My farm has plenty of two and three year old citrus trees, but none of my Valencia oranges have flowered yet.  Is this normal?  All are grafted onto rough lemon rootstock.

Most of my Navel oranges had a few fruit last season.  The lemons fruited in 1-2 years, limes in 2-3, but no Valencia, no mandarin (except one Cleopatra), no grapefruit or pomelo.   How much longer?   All are grafted from mature scions on rough lemon and sour orange rootstocks. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best % shade cloth?
« on: October 25, 2014, 02:51:02 PM »
I like 50% shade cloth.  It provides a simulated understory environments that is ideal for most juvenile plants.   

If you go with 70%, the plants will need more hardening off before out-planting them.

For more sensitive plants a few coconut fronds on top can further reduce sunlight, or add a second layer in a smaller area.

Mango trees seem pretty good about dropping fruit if they can't handle it without any help. There's a good chance the tree will drop all on its own.

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