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Messages - barath

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yay! My first pitangatuba fruit!
« on: August 16, 2018, 11:29:33 PM »
Just got my first pitangatuba from a plant Jack from Nipomo generously gave me years ago.  It has been flowering like crazy for two years and I have tried to hand pollinate, but it seemed nothing was setting.  Then today we found a dropped fruit out of nowhere.

The smell was amazing -- the taste less so (though not awful).  Somehow it reminded me of a sour Indian-type mango.

The big risk with avocado trees that are that big is that they will struggle to grow when you plant them.  Maybe you'll get lucky, but avocados seem to do best when planted young, when the roots haven't been constrained by nursery pots.  Simon has a whole thread on the forum about how after years of bad luck with nursery-grown avocados (which I have had as well), he had good luck with direct seeded avocados.  You might consider planting the trees in the ground right away to let them get established before winter.

Lately I've been doing a hybrid -- I plant avocado seeds in 1/2 gallon cardboard milk cartons and grow them until the seedling is about 4-6 inches tall and then plant them by cutting the bottom off of the carton and sliding the carton off, to as to not disturb the roots.  Seems to work pretty well, as long as I time it right.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Watermelon
« on: August 14, 2018, 10:22:58 PM »
Look great.  I'm curious what you mean by "box grown" -- are you using the technique where you grow the melon in a box to make it take a certain shape, like they do in Japan to make cube-shaped melons?  Or do you mean something else?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Anona season approaches
« on: August 10, 2018, 10:43:54 PM »
These look great.

I'm curious when we'll start seeing Ilamas grown from seed from Raul among folks here.  The seeds I got unfortunately never sprouted (they got some sort of fungus), but I'm looking forward to hearing about the good varieties that are selected from the seedlings people are growing.

Barayh, do you think they will survive the south cali winter?

I think they'll survive in Zone 10b SoCal outdoors -- they survived (barely) in my previous frost-free yard in El Cerrito in the bay area.  They really don't like cold weather and die back quite a bit when the weather is below about 45 F, but don't seem to truly die unless the temperature stays low for too long.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Brutal heatwave 7/06/18 in Socal
« on: August 04, 2018, 07:07:24 PM »
By the way, for those in California, check out -- they have detailed weather blog posts about once a month and an active message board.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: ID Southern Cali passion fruit
« on: August 03, 2018, 01:27:46 AM »
So I have been on a mission to find some different types of passion fruit that can be grown in Southern California. It seems to me that everyone has the Fredricks variety and I would love to establish a vine that has some different acid to sugar balance.
I stopped by Exotica in Vista this last Monday to buy a Grumichama and several different mango seedlings for rootstock. While we were down in the area, me and the family went to another favorite nursery, Atkins Nursery. We bought several boxes of white sapote, reed avacodos and passion fruit.
While I was picking out the bigger Fredricks passion fruit from the box, I noticed another box of passion fruit sitting next to it. The thing that caught my eye was all the different colors and sizes. I asked the young guy that was working there and he told me that a local man grows a lot of different types and gives them to him to sell at the farmers market.
If anyone has any idea what types these are or if they might be in contact with the person in Fallbrook that is growing these, I would be interested in hearing more.
There look to be three different cultivars from my observations: two yellow types (one of short, fat & circular, the other is long & oval) and a very light red colored one. This one has five distinct ridges that don't show up very well on the photos.
I will post a taste update in a few days when I have the time.

How much is Atkins nursery selling the various fruit for?

Does anyone have or know of someone in Southern California with a Duke Avocado tree?  The only trees I know of are way up in Oroville.  I'm looking for seeds of Duke (the fruit isn't bad either) sometime in the next month or so.  In Oroville they ripen in Sep/Oct so I figure a Duke tree in Southern California would be ripening now.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Aphids Alter Plant Chemistry
« on: August 01, 2018, 06:27:33 PM »
There's a type of tea that owes its flavor to the fact that they let leafhoppers attack the tea plant -- the defense compound the tea plant makes is what gives the special flavor:

I can report that these grow great from the seeds from Raul -- I had a bunch a couple years back and gave them to a local community college to sell at their sales.  I kept two, which are growing nicely in California -- they're growing faster here in Southern California, though not very fast.  Their growth looks a lot like lychee, and is similarly slow-ish growing.

Artocarpus chama naturally grows in North East India from Arunachal Pradesh to Tripura and in some places there will be very low temperature in the winter but the trees survive.

If it can really grow in Arunachal Pradesh then it probably can grow in at least Zone 10a Florida conditions and maybe even Zone 10a California conditions if it grows in the higher altitudes as well.


Cold tolerant Artocarpus chaplasha/Artocarpus chama seeds are available.25 seeds 15 USD plus 30 USD for EMS(Earlier I quoted 20 USD for 25 seeds).

Sounds interesting -- when you say cold tolerant, what sort of climate do they grow in?  Is it more cold tolerant than Jackfruit?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado grafting
« on: July 13, 2018, 11:46:32 PM »
On the rubber bands....

Yes might have got it from the tour as wslau says. But I didn't take it serious for more than a year.

In my climate the rubber bands deteriorate in about two weeks. I cover in foil for 4-6;weeks then remove after it buds out. Alternately you can wrap the rubber in parafilm and it'll last for a couple months.

I have a dumb question -- why not just let the rubber band deteriorate after 2 weeks?  I sometimes use them and do a layer of parafilm first and then rubber band on top, usually when it's a graft I won't be able to come back to later.  And even if the rubber band goes away it seems ok.

Sunrise papaya (aka strawberry papaya).  Very sweet, with no musk smell.  I have a seedling tree and love the fully ripened fruit

I agree with Rodney -- strawberry papaya tastes great, especially with a bit of lime squeezed on it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado grafting
« on: July 13, 2018, 04:16:15 PM »
This probably isn't adding much, but I've found that scion freshness matters a lot for avocado grafting, much more than any other trees I graft and probably as much as it does for passionfruit.  One trick that seems to help is put scions in a cup of fresh water (room temperature water, boiled/filtered if your tap water isn't great) for a while before grafting.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Brutal heatwave 7/06/18 in Socal
« on: July 12, 2018, 10:03:52 PM »
Just checked on some small guava trees I had planted in a spot that hit 116 F two days in a row -- not only was there no damage, but they were green and happy.  (Meanwhile argan trees, which supposedly can handle desert heat, were scorched.)

Great, thanks!

Maybe soil differences are playing a big role -- I remember being told by someone living in Fallbrook that his soil was decomposed granite that was so well-drained that the water just ran right through.  He would drench his trees constantly with a (seemingly wasteful) amount of water.  On the other hand in the bay area there are tons of large old avocado trees that get no irrigation at all despite getting not much more rain than SoCal, growing in heavy clay soil.  There are a lot of these old trees in the east bay, some in areas that get only about 16 inches of rain a year, and I bet many of them aren't directly irrigated at all.

I'm hoping to graft up a few mango trees to give to friends and would like to get La Verne "Manila" trees for cheap to graft onto -- anyone know which nurseries typically carry them for cheap ($20/each or so)?  Once in a while I would see them available for $20-25 at home depot but I don't know if that's the best option or if there are wholesale nurseries that will sell in bulk to CRFG members or the like.

Good thinking -- I planted a couple of West Indian seeds on the greenway in Albany and am thinking we can graft them next spring.  Maybe we should prioritize some Hawaiian cultivars for them.

Where are you in Northern CA?  I ask because I've found Sharwil to be a slow grower in the bay area -- might be worth considering putting it on double rootstock if you want to grow it.  (It seems to help increase the growth rate.)

Do you find that you need to irrigate them, or do they make it without water?  Because in the bay area I've seen them grow like weeds, with no water, and are hard to deal with when they grow.

There was someone who posted pictures of an amazing looking lychee tree growing in Long Beach -- maybe it's one of those things that needs a combination of warm nights (urban heat island and warm waters) plus good soil plus extra care (filtered water, acidified soil)?

I'm hoping to try Simon's suggestion of growing a bunch of lychee seedlings and approach grafting -- planted a bunch of seeds recently.

Where did you get seeds of C. imperiale?  I've been really hoping to try it here because I think our climate might be just right.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Industrial garden hoses
« on: June 16, 2018, 10:34:14 PM »
Get a hose rated for drinking water.  Hoses are notorious for containing lead.

This is something I wanted to add / ask about.  I'd like to get one that's lead free in both fittings and hose and can handle heavy use.

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