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Messages - barath

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Oh, nice -- well I'll move the seedlings to their own tall pots and hope they grow well!

At least a few. This Madruno is taller than I am , no greenhouse protection, 7 hours north of San Diego.
The tree has apparently hopscotched over CA and looks like it wished it lived in San Diego though. No new growth flush yet this year. Still trying to dial in the best location for it.

What garcinias can you grow in SD? Do you have a large greenhouse for them?
I used to have button mangosteen seedlings before they died.

Nice.  Which Madruno is it?  Is it one you started from seed?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Suggestions on how to use comfrey
« on: May 24, 2018, 12:00:55 AM »
I've seen lots of discussion about comfrey pulls minerals out of the soil -- that may be true, but perhaps no more than a lot of other plants.  I think the main things it has going for it as a cover crop is that it has thick roots that grow fast and wide, even in hard clay soil, and it produces a lot of biomass that can be turned into a compost tea or just mulch.  I used to grow a lot of it but found that it really wanted water in the summer or would wither (it would come back in the winter when we'd get rain).  Comfrey compost tea really helped the trees I gave it to, but making it was more effort than it was worth for me so I stopped.

I didnt want to start a new thread but if that was the right thing then I can delete this and start one.

I got some scions of the premium Mexican from Raul for grafting.
I kept 3 and passed the rest on to friends.  I put all 3 on G. intermedia.
One browned at the top and is likely a goner.
One stayed green with no change, may still be a take.  Watching.
The third appears to be pushing.  Its early yet, I will keep an eye on it and report progress.
Stoked.  Anyone else has an experience to share?

I grafted several scions from Raul on May2016 (2 years ago). Some on Luc's Garcinias and some on achachairu. About 80% of scions took well and are still fine, but growth has been really slow, just a couple of flushes a year on the grafted scions, much slower than regular luc's garcinia. Only time will tell if grafts produce faster than the ungrafted trees. F.

I grafted a couple from that same batch in 2016 to my in the ground Imbe, and one of the grafts is over 3 feet tall now. My in the ground Imbes are over 10 feet tall so that might be the best rootstock for the Luc's.

I remember seeing your Imbe and was amazed how big it was.  Did you grow it from seed, or did you get a starter plant?  I have several imbe seedlings that are growing as slow as all other garcinias -- very slow.  The only one that seems to grow faster for me is achachairu.

I have no cuttings, not allowed due to restrictions. I do have seeds and seedlings. I have collected seeds from the larger tastier fruits.  The seedlings I have are from pitaya de jalisco strains from Raul seeds.

There are small spines on the fruit which are easily removed when the fruit is ripe.  The fruit is taken off the cacti with a pole with a cage.  The spine removing procedure can be seen on some youtube video.

Someday I'd love to get some seedlings of this, if you do end up with some extras.  Looks like a nice fruit for SoCal.

Looks wonderful.  Did you manage to get any cuttings of good varieties?  Or are there sources of cuttings / rooted plants of good types?

I guess I should only include fresh fruits, because a lot of fruits last for a long time if dried.

Navel oranges seem to last a long time, as do apples.  Pomegranates are also relatively long lasting, though not quite as long.  Tamarind and carob are sort of dried fruit so I don't know whether to count them, but they also last a reasonable amount of time.  Pineapple guavas are also relatively long lasting before they ripen.  Fuyu-type persimmons are also relatively long lasting as long as they aren't bruised.

So I wanted to mention to those who were wondering when I'd be able to send black ugni fruit and/or seeds -- my plant has (finally!) started growing again and is flowering for the first time in ages.  I had it on a now-abandoned rooftop garden and about half the plant died back from a lack of water and too much sun.  I have it protected in my backyard now and it's slowly coming back and is flowering.  I will have to move it again in a few weeks so I hope it holds the flowers and fruit.

By the way, I tried rooting ugni and black ugni cuttings and failed for a long time, but recently found that ground layering ugni is a really easy and effective approach and I assume it'll work for black ugni as well.  So once I move and get settled I will try to ground layer it.

I'm hoping to plant a bunch of seeds of good Zill varieties, and would like to get seeds.  (I know the mono varieties aren't going to be true -- that's fine.)  If you are growing any of these (or other Zill releases) and have seeds now or soon, could you send me a message?  Thanks!

Lemon Zest
Coconut Cream
Fruit Punch
Sweet Tart
Honey Kiss
Cotton Candy
Orange Essence
Pineapple Pleasure
Peach Cobbler
Juicy Peach

I do hope to dig swales to retain water.  I'm curious if there are actual groundcovers that cover the whole ground surface that are useful and grow in such climates, or if using mulch is as good as it gets.  (I had thought about perennial peanut and birdsfoot trefoil, but they may need more water than is available.)
The beans I use self-sow and come up when conditions are right for them suggesting that even annual plants can help moisture retention as well as provide a constant supply of organic material.
There are cactus and succulent varieties that you may be able to use too. Ice plants come to mind but some (like carpobotus) are considered invasive in some areas. Lampranthus, Aptenia and Oscularia are others.
Trailing acacia(a. redolens)?

Ah, interesting.  What beans do you plant?

Barath, I would think that if you put in some Kei Apple seedlings in Autumn-Winter time they might make it trough rest of year with little water! Just a thought ;)another one once established that's hard to get rid of would be goji berry's 8)

Ah, yeah -- Kei Apple!  I had been thinking something spiny might be needed to keep coyotes out, so maybe that's the right choice.

Can you build swales to help water retention? Good ground-cover will also help water retention. I've found some beans to be drought tolerant and good ground cover. The best were a gift from a local and weren't identified.
Many cactus are nitrogen fixers - opuntia for nopal and prickly pears, stenocereus (slow growing) for pitayas.
Similarly desert trees such as acacia and mesquite are nitrogen fixers although mesquite can be invasive in some areas.
You might also get some help from

I do hope to dig swales to retain water.  I'm curious if there are actual groundcovers that cover the whole ground surface that are useful and grow in such climates, or if using mulch is as good as it gets.  (I had thought about perennial peanut and birdsfoot trefoil, but they may need more water than is available.)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Tamarind in CA?
« on: May 14, 2018, 03:29:37 PM »
My friend in Point Loma has one in the ground and it flowered this last summer but didn't fruit. Mine has done fine outside in Chula Vista but no flowers yet.

That's great Mark.  How drought tolerant has tamarind been for you?

Hi Barath,

I usually keep my tamarind watered pretty good. My friend in Pt. Loma doesn't water as much and hers has done fine.

Ah, great.  If it's handling minimal water in San Diego, then that's promising.

I remember seeing a tamarind in a a parking lot in Kailua Kona, in a very hot and dry part of town, and figure it probably gets no water and San Diego level rainfall.  But then again they are much more humid so there's less evaporative loss.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: White Sapote, should I uproot it?
« on: May 13, 2018, 10:41:30 PM »
Hi everyone,

I mistakenly bought a white sapote tree (McDill) as I thought it was a Chico Sapote one (the one I am looking for). I would much appreciate any advice on should I keep this tree as I have never tasted this fruit before. 

Also, any suggestion for tropical fruit trees that can thrive in Zone 10a is welcome. Trees that I have now are a Pixie Mandarin, a Reed Avocado, a Kohala longan, a Stella cherry, a white flesh nectarine tree (unknown variety), a yellow-skin pomegranate gifted by a friend.

Best regards and thank you all!!

I would keep the tree but graft it.  McDill isn't that great of a variety, though it is large fruited.  Vernon is a good variety that will bear within a year of grafting, and others (Walton, Rainbow, etc.) are good and worth the wait.  And the fruit doesn't cause drowsiness -- there are some inaccurate articles on the Internet that mix up the seeds and leaves and fruit.  (The seeds and leaves do cause drowsiness -- I know of a guy who made a tea from the leaves because he wanted to find out, and he said it knocked him out.)

I wouldn't bother with Chico Sapote/Sapodilla in Newark.  While you do have a good microclimate there, from experience growing it in the East Bay it's still going to be a long road getting it to grow, and getting it to fruit and then ripen that fruit is going to be really challenging.

If you don't have any Cherimoyas, you might get some -- they'll do well for you.  Macadamia is another good option for your area.  Bananas will do well if you are in a spot in Newark that is frost free.

Does anyone have sweet tamarind seeds that germinate well?  I would love to get some if so.  I've tried growing some of the sweet thai tamarind from the store, but nothing germinated.  Thanks!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Tamarind in CA?
« on: May 13, 2018, 11:11:55 AM »
My friend in Point Loma has one in the ground and it flowered this last summer but didn't fruit. Mine has done fine outside in Chula Vista but no flowers yet.

That's great Mark.  How drought tolerant has tamarind been for you?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Tamarind in CA?
« on: May 11, 2018, 07:34:58 PM »
I've been wondering the same.  I've heard of folks with tamarind trees in ground in San Diego and they survive fine, but I haven't heard any reports about fruiting / fruit quality.

Could you post a picture?  And how big are they?

Oh, good.  I didn't realize there was a backup route!

Read this morning that there are new vents that opened up very close to Highway 130, which is really bad news -- that's the main highway going through that area and has the potential to really cut off those communities like Oscar said.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: San Diego garden photos
« on: May 09, 2018, 01:02:35 AM »
Your garden looks wonderful.

How have you been dealing with coyotes, and do they eat your fruit?  I see you have deer fencing up -- do the coyotes go under / over / through it?  I've been hearing from folks that coyotes are making a comeback in SoCal and that you can't have outdoor cats or small/medium dogs anymore in some areas because of them, and that means that rodents can have an easy time in the garden.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: geetas merah guava
« on: May 09, 2018, 12:09:34 AM »
Looks great.  Where did you get it from?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Rainbow Eucalyptus
« on: May 09, 2018, 12:06:00 AM »
I wonder if you could grow coconuts with the waste water, maybe with a brackish lagoon to provide some humidity (maybe with some mosquitofish for good measure), lined with black plastic to absorb heat and keep the water temperature up.

That's too bad about moringa -- I was hoping they might grow with minimal water, but I guess they're native to humid (if dry) regions, so they might not lose as much moisture over the summer in their native climate.

If you want to get fast growth in a drought-prone area of poor soil with no shade, both to provide shade and organic matter, I don't think you could beat moringa.  It doesn't take freezes, but if you're 10b/11a you shouldn't get them.  In good conditions it can put on half a dozen meters per year.  Even in poor conditions like yours (you're at the lower end of its annual precipitation range) it should give you dappled shade and organic matter pretty fast. It can take almost any soil, and it doesn't need to be deep. It's native to monsoonal climates, so no need to worry about your summer droughts.  And whenever you want to prune it back or remove plants... you get a super-nutritious vegetable.  No annoying thorns.  Not invasive (just prolific!).

That's just what comes to mind, assuming that your top priorities are establishing organic matter and shade.  If your top priorities are "tasty sweet fruit", I can dig through my db later to see what might be good options.  Just cacti alone could fill a book.... indeed, it's filled many!  There's so many interesting dry-climate full-sun drought-tolerant fruit and nut plants.  It's just that none will get established as fast as I'd expect moringa to in your area.

Yeah, Moringa has seemed promising.  Does it really need no irrigation in the summer?  I ask because I thought its monsoon climate was with an inverted rainfall schedule, with rain in the summer and none in the winter.

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