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Messages - Greg A

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1
Absolutely. That's not what I meant to imply. Only that this isn't the first time that antibiotics are being approved for use on tree crops. Previous administrations/EPAs approved the use on apples and pears long ago (I don't recall which or exactly when).

2
To put this into context, we do have to remember that antibiotics are already being used on crops like apples and pears to control fireblight here in the U.S.

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: GEM avocado in Los Angeles area?
« on: October 19, 2018, 12:01:58 AM »
Matt,
If your goal is a Hass-like avocado and you want to keep the tree to 15 feet, maybe you should just plant a Hass. I have a Hass that I keep to 15 feet, and it's easily done. I'm certain you can manage it.

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Brutal heatwave 7/06/18 in Socal
« on: July 07, 2018, 03:34:50 PM »
Looks like someone ran through my yard with a torch. Terrible day. 113 degrees and less than 10% humidity, plus wind.

5
I pay $6.71 per hundred cubic feet (748 gallons), and I put almost 3,000 gallons on a 14-foot Hass last year (not including rain) that gave me 156 avocados. The tree's average production is a little lower overall, but if it's 100 per year then that would be around $0.27 per avocado in water cost. And water is pretty much the only cost.

6
Sorry if the table is misleading, guys. The gallons are for the entire month. So, for example, a tree with a 14-foot canopy (maybe in its fifth year in the ground, maybe not) needs about 631 gallons for the entire month of July. If you water every five days, that would amount to around 100 gallons every five days.

In the article I linked to I explained some important factors that affect how much a particular avocado tree will actually need, as well as how much water you may actually have to give it. Some factors include shade, variety, soil type, and water quality.

The table is for trees in full sun and with typical Southern California quality water (read: "salty"). If you have a tree in half-day sun that gets very clean water, you don't need to irrigate it as much.

On this note, for example, I watered a Reed with only stored rainwater one year and it did way better (in terms of foliage appearance and fruit production) than my other trees getting district water.

One last remark: after a tree's been in the ground for a couple years it will be drinking from any water source within reach, sometimes way beyond its canopy edge, and that includes the tree you're irrigating beside it or the neighbor's hedge. So people in urban/suburban settings often don't need to water as much as the table shows. I know of a large Fuerte that "never" gets watered, but it's also got an irrigated lawn growing beneath half its canopy.

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. And good luck with this heat wave if you live inland like me!

7
I made up a table to help us water avocado trees efficiently and effectively in California. I put a lot of thought into it. So I thought I should share it here. I'd also love to hear feedback if you think I missed anything important or if you find that your gallons and frequencies are far different. Remember though, that I'm not saying this is a table everyone should follow; it's just for reference to get started homing in on the gallons and frequencies that are ideal for your situation.

I remember wishing something like this existed when I first started growing avocados, but finding that the tables made by farm advisors weren't very accurate or easy to apply for backyard growers like us.

Anyway, here's some explanation about the table: http://gregalder.com/yardposts/how-much-and-how-often-to-water-avocado-trees-in-california/

And here's the table:



8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 09, 2018, 04:17:52 PM »
Luisport,

Of the varieties I grow and feel like I know well enough, Gwen and Pinkerton seem most precocious.

And I'm also thinking of the trees not being in especially great pollination conditions, like with many bees and near opposite-type varieties. (In those conditions, it's harder to say how precocious a variety is on its own.)

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Reed Avocado tree Weeping?
« on: February 16, 2018, 01:06:37 AM »
I see what you mean now. Yeah, that's irritating. My Reed actually stood up on its own before some of my other avocado trees. It seems to depend more on the individual tree and its training in the nursery more than the variety, in my experience.

You can stake it, especially with two stakes on either side. I can attach some photos if you'd like. You can also do some pruning. I tend to do a combination of both if necessary because I get impatient. I hate trees that can't stand up on their own after no more than a year of staking, max.

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Reed Avocado tree Weeping?
« on: February 14, 2018, 09:01:19 PM »
Yes, my Reed weeps whenever a limb has a lot of fruit because Reeds get heavy. Sometimes I thin or prune such limbs, but you can also prop with 2x4s as the commercial farmers do.

11
About Holiday:
I'm not sure why Julie Frink mentions it as one to plant if you have a small space in your yard, except that the tree is very small. I've never known a Holiday tree that is very productive, especially compared to some other smallish avocado trees like Pinkerton or Gwen. My suggestion to someone with a small space would be to grow one of those or a Reed or Lamb, and use your pruning shears to keep it to size. You're guaranteed to get more fruit that way. And isn't the fruit the reason to grow an avocado tree?

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado tree water requirements
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:55:25 AM »
"How water hungry are Avocado trees compared to other fruit trees?"
In my yard, I've tried to get away with the least water possible, and I've noticed that deciduous fruit trees like apples and peaches need the least, citrus are intermediate, and avocados need the most.

"What happen if you don't give it enough water? Will it not fruit at all or will the fruit be smaller or less tasty?"
In the town where I grew up, I knew of a couple of avocado trees that were unirrigated. So they lived off of only rainfall, and this is in Southern California where it's dry all summer and only around 18 inches of rain fell there in the winter, on average.

The trees didn't look great. One had only a couple fruit each year and its leaves always looked very stressed in the fall. The other had a dozen or more fruit each year and looked better than some irrigated trees I've seen (maybe even some in my own yard!). But this tree was in a flat area in a vacant lot near a road and probably gathered a lot of extra rain through road runoff. It also had a deep, undisturbed, natural mulch.

So, the fruit were few on both trees, but I must say they always tasted very good.

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Nabal vs Holiday
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:40:48 AM »
Yes, the eating seasons are similar among the Reed, Holiday, and Nabal. But some other qualities are dissimilar.

Fruit of all three taste excellent to me. But a slight nod would have to go to the Reed and Nabal over the Holiday. That's just my taste though.

If I were choosing to grow a Nabal or a Holiday, I would grow a Nabal provided I had the space to let it get at least 12 feet. Nabal is more productive from the trees I have and the trees I've seen. The only downsides of Nabal I've noticed are that it gets thrips damage (which is only superficially ugly) and its skin is thick like a shell so you do have to learn to judge its ripeness by toothpicking into the stem or another technique.

14
Totally agree that this is so subjective.

A month or so ago, I found myself surprised to find that when I ate a Bacon side by side with a Hass, I slightly preferred the Bacon. Of course, Bacon's season was about prime then while Hass's prime taste will not come for a couple more months (in my yard in San Diego County). And I find Hass to taste awesome at the right time, as good as any other avocado I know.

I sometimes think Fuerte is my favorite, but it's not perfect. Sometimes it has a few fibers, the seed is on the large side, and sometimes the seed coat doesn't adhere to the seed. But dang it tastes so rich just to the right level for me.

Reed is hard to beat in almost every category. And the productivity blows most varieties away.

If you're just thinking of flavor, you might say Jan Boyce, for example. But it's not perfect as it doesn't peel as well as Hass does.

And how about Pinkerton?! Tastes great to me, plus its seed is tiny so you get so much flesh.

About when to harvest Gwen: it might help to refer to the release dates that the Cal. Dept. of Food and Ag. issues for commercial farmers. URL: http://www.californiaavocadogrowers.com/sites/default/files/documents/Avocado-Maturity-Release-2017-2018.pdf

For Gwen, smalls can be picked starting April 3. I find it helpful to compare the release dates to other varieties I have. So, you might compare the Gwen release date to Hass (Jan. 16) or Lamb (July 17) just to give you the idea that Gwen is predicted to be mature some three months after Hass but three months before Lamb. It's just a prediction on their part, but I think it's useful all the same.

15
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Can you overmulch citrus in San Diego?
« on: December 26, 2017, 10:13:55 PM »
Bush2beach,

I am in San Diego county and my experiences align with your perspective on mulching for the most part. I've never seen a citrus grove that adds much around here though. They don't remove leaves, but neither do they truck in wood chips, for example. When I've asked they say they know it's a good thing but it's too expensive.  I'm wondering if you can guide me to a commercial grove that mulches in our area. I'd like to check it out.

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Overmulching?
« on: December 15, 2017, 11:05:18 AM »
I'm in San Diego county. I normally mulch with tree trimmings to about six inches deep once or twice a year.

Doesn't matter if it's touching the trunk in my yard; I have sandy loam soil, and I irrigate relatively infrequently and out toward the trees' canopy edge.

I wait to apply a new layer until midwinter though, once we've had a few inches of rain, because otherwise you've got to water a lot to soak the mulch and get water down to the soil below.

I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to get that second load. Never know when you'll get another convenient chance.

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: December 10, 2017, 10:42:24 PM »
Check out this article that talks of seedless avocados. Do you think they're referring to Fuerte cukes? And my gosh, do the Brits really find it that challenging to cut open an avocado that has a seed?

http://amp.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/12/cocktail_avocado_promoted_as_safer_version_by_british_grocer_selling_them.html

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:15:09 AM »
Thanks Mark. Speaking of Gwen, mine is flowering right now, more and earlier than any of my other avocado varieties. Same for you?

19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: December 03, 2017, 05:25:19 PM »
Mark,
Are the avocados in your greenhouse hand-pollinated or pollinated by insects?

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: November 05, 2017, 10:45:01 PM »
Anyone notice their Sir-Prize getting more tip burn than other varieties? I have about ten varieties, and every year my Sir-Prize has the worst tip burn. I'm certain I water it as much as my other trees, so I'm wondering if it's the scion or the rootstock of this particular tree that's susceptible.

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 23, 2017, 10:02:04 PM »
Yes, a nasty day indeed.

My Fuerte and Pinkerton are also pushing a couple of flower buds, not yet open. But my aunt lives about a mile from the ocean in San Diego County and her Fuerte was already in near full bloom last week. I was surprised to find that.

22
P.S. It's so odd to me that Sprouts isn't marketing them as locally grown and charging a premium as WFMarket is. Not only that, but the fruit is in a bin that just says "Green mangos." If you didn't notice the Ava's USA sticker you'd never know.

23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sir Prize Avocados from Mexico?
« on: October 09, 2017, 08:16:43 PM »
I'm in SD county. My SirPrize has yet to bear, so I can't speak from experience, but I'm sure someone will. (Brad?) Everyone I've talked to says their season is about the same as Fuerte, which starts around November and gets better through winter and even into spring. I'd love to see a photo of your tree. Please share if you can.

24
There are also California Keitts at the Sprouts in Poway, as of last week. They're not conspicuously signed, and they're only $2each

25
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 03, 2017, 10:18:03 PM »
I agree that the left one looks like it could be Fuerte, and the middle one could be Pinkerton, but the one on the right looks unfamiliar. Arc310, is it from a tree in your yard that you didn't plant? You're so lucky to have the varieties this month.

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