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Messages - jcaldeira

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Best way to water young trees
« on: August 20, 2014, 07:23:25 PM »
During a period of drought, is it better to water deeply at one place in the root zone, or spread it out with a lighter watering?   I water some of my one and two year old trees pouring from 20-liter plastic cans (no hose to reach).
 
It's not really practical for me to give each young tree more than one 20-liter can of water per week.  I'm trying to maximize water uptake by the tree, but also encourage deep roots.  The soil is clay-loam and soaks up the water quickly in most places. Most of these trees were planted 9 or 21 months ago at the start of the rainy season.  So, pour it one spot or spread it around under the tree?

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: forcing mango bloom
« on: August 19, 2014, 10:19:51 PM »
Potassium Nitrate works:


3
The sections will start to separate, and will have more yellow between the sections.  Ants are attracted to them when they're ripe, so if you ants, it's time to pick.

 It's okay to pick a few days early, as they will ripen more on the kitchen countertop.  Storing in the refrigerator retards ripening, if you want to keep them longer.

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Papaya propagation by cuttings?
« on: August 12, 2014, 12:50:31 AM »
I successfully propagated a couple of papaya trees with cuttings, but don't think it's worth the effort.  I cut off side branches on old papaya, including the swollen knob at the base of the branch.  I removed all the leaves except the growing tip, planted in a sandy soil with compost added so it retained moisture but had good drainage.  They were kept in mostly shade for a month or more.

Papaya fruit so fast, and seedlings are relatively true to the mother fruit, so there's little to gain from using cuttings.

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Recommendations Please
« on: August 10, 2014, 12:54:37 AM »
I think your plan to cut the one remaining original branch is a good one.  Cut it above the fork where the lowest shoots come off it.

In essence then you'd have a tree with three main branches, and the one main branch with several shoots coming off it.

If you're fortunate, the stronger roots now should cause your two new main branches to catch up.

Be sure the tree receives enough sun.

Thanks

To be clear, are you suggesting that I cut it above the uppermost fork (the fork in picture one just above the baseline of the house),
 not just above the fork where I made the first cut?

Yes, that is what I am recommending.  Just above the baseline of the house.

It wouldn't hurt to wait a bit, either, so there is more above ground leaf volume to feed the roots for a while.

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Recommendations Please
« on: August 09, 2014, 03:34:49 PM »
I think your plan to cut the one remaining original branch is a good one.  Cut it above the fork where the lowest shoots come off it.

In essence then you'd have a tree with three main branches, and the one main branch with several shoots coming off it.

If you're fortunate, the stronger roots now should cause your two new main branches to catch up.

Be sure the tree receives enough sun.

7
Citrus General Discussion / Re: True Or False
« on: August 05, 2014, 04:54:21 PM »
What is the scientific basis for heavier citrus being better?  Has anyone actually tested this?

Older dried out fruit will have air pockets, and thicker rind probably weighs less, and water lighter than soluble solids. Is it one of these or something else that makes heavier fruit better?

8
Citrus General Discussion / Re: True Or False
« on: August 04, 2014, 11:10:13 PM »
Hmmm. . . My guess is that heavier fruit is better, as sugar (soluble solids) is heavier than water and it might indicate a sweeter fruit.  At least the heavier juice should be sweeter.  That's my guess and I'm sticking to it for now.

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango graft
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:50:17 PM »
The graft is 3 weeks old. The scion wood and graft union were completely sealed in Buddy tape. I done a cleft graft with a new blade in my utility knife. It was a bare branch that is now budding out.

Thanks Adam, Mike and Clean!

Ed

Nice! and fast to sprout.

It looked to me that to top was unwrapped.  I agree with bsbullie that it's best to leave it wrapped until there is more healing of the graft wound.  It results in less water stress for the plant.

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Australian Avocados
« on: August 04, 2014, 07:25:19 PM »
This morning I grafted 15 avocado seedlings with an unknown variety.  I have not seen the fruit because it's not in season now, but I was told it has a purple skin, unlike the green-skinned West Indian variety that is most typical here in Fiji.  Can anyone guess the type of avocado this might be?

It's unlikely to be a Mexican type, as it is very humid here.  I'm hoping someone of the forum might have a clue, especially our Australian friends since most foreign fruit stock here was brought here by Australian agricultural aid.

11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango graft
« on: August 04, 2014, 06:52:35 PM »
Did the leaves in the photos sprout after the grafting, or were then on the scion already?

I always take all leaves off the scion when grafting mango, and completely wrap it with kitchen plastic wrap to conserve moisture.    There is no sap flowing up until the wound heals a little, so prevention of drying out before the wound heals should be a top priority.

12
Very nice.  I think you'll be running out of yard space soon!

13
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.

14
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.

15
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.

16
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.
 


17
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. 

18
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.

 

19
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.

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Peeling a mango
« on: July 06, 2014, 10:53:31 AM »
After deseeding, . . .


21
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.

22
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.

23
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.

24
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?

25
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Processing cashews
« on: June 23, 2014, 12:01:33 PM »


Processing starts near 3 minutes into the video below:


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