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Messages - simon_grow

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: backpack sprayer
« on: Today at 08:14:48 PM »
When getting a sprayer, I feel that one of the most important features is itís ability or inability to atomize the solution into a fog. I have many hand and manual pump backpack sprayers and these spray the solution out in large particles that sprays outward from the pressure inside the pump and then they fall downward from gravity.

In order to spray the undersides of leaves, you need to invert the sprayer and it is extremely difficult to get full coverage of large trees because the lack of forward pressure makes it difficult to reach deep within trees. Because regular pump sprayers donít atomize the particles like a fogger, it is extremely difficult to reach taller trees, especially the undersides of the upper canopy.

The large droplets of hand pump sprayers are significantly less efficient in terms of solution usage compared to foggers. The electric or gas foggers creates a cloud like fog that penetrates deep into the canopy and because the particles are atomized into a fog, the solution contacts the undersides of leaves and the canopy without having to contort your body or the sprayer.

Here is what my fogger looks like

I volunteer for elderly gardeners and with my electric fogger, the cost savings in saved solutions has already helped me to recover the cost of my fogger and then some, a lot actually.

Not only does it save me money but it takes maybe 1/3-1/4 the amount of time to do a yard compared to my old backpack pump sprayer.

Info on electric/gas fogger

Info on foliar feeding


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: backpack sprayer
« on: April 02, 2020, 11:38:23 AM »
I just checked Amazon and I canít even find the model I purchased anymore. Theyíre now offering battery powered versions instead.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: backpack sprayer
« on: April 02, 2020, 11:33:33 AM »
Did you empty it after use and run Reverse Osmosis water through it to clean it. I do that with mine and then let everything air dry.

I have the Petra model from Amazon and it works great for a small backyard. There is a generic version that looks identical to the Petra but itís cheaper. Not sure if they still have it and I canít remember the name but it was also on Amazon.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Eversweet Pomegranate
« on: March 28, 2020, 12:20:09 AM »
The sweet one with very small seeds is Desertenyi. Itís an excellent tasting variety for those that prefer less acidity.


You can probably get one from but it will likely be on Florida Turpentine rootstock. Sweet Tart is on of the varieties that does ok on Florida rootstocks.


I find it easy to separate seedlings at this young stage. Proceed with caution, slowly removing some of the soil around the roots. Sometimes the Polyembryonic seedlings will have multiple sprouts, each with their own root systems but attached to the main seed. If this is the case, I just split the seed in half.

If you are trying to get a clone, you should leave at least two of the seedlings in the hope that one is a clone.


Best time to graft is when the weather warms up and nightly lows(average) is above 62F. This will give you higher chance that the scion will have a vegetative growth and not blooms. I like to graft around May- August for my microclimate.

The age of the tree should not be used as a gauge on when to graft because a stunted five year old tree may still not be large enough to graft whereas a vigorous 3 year old tree may be ready for grafting.

As mentioned before, the size of the tree, when ready to graft depends on how big and how fast you ultimately want your tree to reach the desired size. Once a tree is topworked with mature scions, it will significantly slow down the vegetative growth of the tree because the tree will try to bloom and set fruit for much of the year.

The larger the tree is when you graft it, the larger the tree will become if you compare it to the same rootstock and scion combination that is grafted as a whip.


I am growing Kiamana, Sweet Heart, No Mai Tsze. Just grafted Groff , Tukhmia , Yok Ho Pau , Yok Ki Lun, Yu Her Pau (yellow). .

My Kiamana is over 7 foot tall and it produces great amount for its size. Top tasting variety, good size and good flesh to seed ratio:

Your fruit does look different than what Iíve seen from other Kaimanas. The bumps on the skin of your fruit is sharp and pointed and not flattened out. This may be caused by environmental factors, perhaps lack of water or harvesting early but but Iím just throwing out guesses.

Lychee fruit often start out with pointed bumps like in your picture but as they fully ripen, the bumps will get get flat, especially the Kaimana variety.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: JF Annona grafting in Florida
« on: March 16, 2020, 01:16:40 AM »
The Leo Hybrid #3 bumps point straight out at the base and points toward the tip or down on the rest of the fruit. See link for pictures of fruit harvested from Leo Manuelís yard.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: JF Annona grafting in Florida
« on: March 16, 2020, 01:11:41 AM »
Vernmented, your LM3 does not look like any Leo Manuel #3 Hybrid Iíve seen. Could be caused by the different climate or maybe even the pollen used but it looks very different in that the bumps are not pointing straight out.


I just also want to mention that the health and vigor of the rootstock is one of the most important factors for successful grafts. Another very important factor is timing of your grafting so that it coincides with a growth period in your rootstock and warm weather in Summer or slightly before and after.


Quang is correct that Sweetheart is one of the earliest varieties but Sweet Cliff and Groff can be earlier but it depends on your microclimate.

Kaimana has a unique fruit shape that is large and often wider than it is tall. It looks short and wide is what Iím trying to say. It also has this vertical line that other varieties also have but is very obvious in this variety. It also has a small seed.

For cross pollination, you want a consistent bloomer year in and year out, Brewster, Mauritius and Emperor are all consistent bloomers here because cold weather is the main stimulus for floral induction.

Iíve tried overwatering my trees during fall/winter dormancy to prevent blooms and it didnít work for me. High levels of nitrogen pre bloom also didnít work for me. If you want more blooms however, a dry period pre bloom is highly recommended.

The secret to Lychees vegetative growth is ample amounts of Iron along with your basic orchard fertilizer regimen.

The secret to( nutrition wise) to better blooms and fruit set is a good quality cold pressed seaweed/kelp emulsion pre bloom and and throughout fruit sizing up. Yeast supplements may also be beneficial for fruit retention as is girding or cincturing but this is a technique best left to experts unless you are not afraid to lose the branch.

I also donít want to scare anyone away from trying girdling however. If youíve been successful at air layering a Lychee or Longan, you can probably reap the benefits of girdling.


Most the grafting tools out there are pretty horrible. I would recommend practicing with a grafting knife on and plants you have available with a similar type of wood as mango.

If you must buy a grafting tool, the Scionon tool is one of the best that Iíve personally tested. The cheaper grafting tools are pretty worthless.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to make lychee bloom
« on: March 13, 2020, 11:21:42 AM »
Last year my tree bloomed nicely and I got a bunch of fruit. This year it doesnít look so good only two bloom spikes in tree earlier bloom And two more small ones emerging, I noticed something interesting about the two small ones emerging. It seems they are emerging where either I or something tipped branch. Other parts that are not tipped have new growth emerging with no flowers. Let me know your thoughts if anyone has noticed this and if so when would be the time to tip.

The flowering on the tipped branches is probably caused by exposing very new growth tips to cold temperatures that are cool enough to induce flowering.

Literature says that girdling can help with blooms and fruit retention but this is a skill that can be fatal to the girdled branches if not performed properly and timing of the girdling is critical.

As far as I am aware, Potassium Chlorate works for Longan but not on Lychee but I have not done any research on this in many years.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Questions about Calcutta Lychee
« on: March 13, 2020, 11:13:30 AM »
Nowhere I know of sells this variety. Your best bet is to order scions from USDA in Hilo Hawaii and graft it onto an in ground Mauritius or Brewster Lychee.

Remember that growing conditions significantly affect the taste of Lychees. Iíve never tasted this variety before. Brad and I have had some success grafting Lychees.


Hereís the link.

That is correct, it is one of the first to bloom but because of our cooler weather and the large fruit size, it matures late, often after September.


See this post for a picture of Kaimana. Kaimana is an excellent fruit that is large and has a small seed as is Emperor. Emperor is an early flowerer and it sets fruit well in SoCal as long as you have other varieties around with a different flowering progression. Some Lychee start with male flowers and some start with female.

Kaimana has more Lychee/rose flavor than Emperor and Brewster has significantly more of that Lychee/rose flavor than both combined. All three are great selections that Brad and I are growing out at the orchard.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Semi Dwarf Sweet Tart
« on: March 13, 2020, 10:59:39 AM »
Itís BS. Grafted trees will grow significantly slower here in SoCal due to flowering for many months out of the year. The smaller the tree is when it is grown in our colder climate, the more stunted itís growth will be because it will have significantly fewer leaves to photosynthesize during the few vegetative growing months we have, primarily June- August and slightly before or after.

For anyone growing mango trees in SoCal, get the most vigorous growth varieties or rootstocks that you can find. Non grafted seedlings are the best growers.


The angle is pretty sharp. I would remove the thinner weaker growth. Donít worry if the thicker branch is slightly curved.

Mangos grow very differently here than compared to Florida. I would not recommend trying to get a small tree to become bushy at such a young age. Lateral growth from a bushy structure will encourage precocity which we donít want here in SoCal.


Do you have a picture of your tree? If the angle of the crotch where your branches are bifurcated is very accute, you may want to completely remove it.

Generally with Mangos grown in SoCal, I will now tell people not to mess with it much because the vegetative growth is so slow. Removing branches from a small tree growing this marginal climate where we get significantly fewer heat units than Asia and Southern Florida can stunt the tree. In some cases however, if the branches arenít significant, it may be easier to remove when itís younger so the tree can focus its energy on the Branch youíre going to keep.

Your Mallika and NDM will be good for taking scions from. If you can find it, try to get a hold of some NDM seeds. Maybe post a thread on the buy/sell forum when Mangos are ripening in Florida. NDM is Polyembryonic and Iíve found them to be excellent growers in SoCal. Sweet Tart and CAC are two other great tasting and excellent growers in SoCal that are also Polyembryonic.

When you plant these Polyembryonic seeds and if youíre lucky enough to get multiple sprouts from a seed with individual root systems, there is a good chance that at least one of the seedlings is a clone if you grow out at least two of the seedlings.

The benefit of growing trees from these Polyembryonic seeds is that you will not need to graft them if you are lucky enough to get a clone. Because the tree will not require grafting, it will continue to grow vegetatively until it reaches sexual maturity, however long that may be. In SoCal, you often donít have to wait any longer than about 3-6 years.

I donít believe I have ever mentioned this before but trees that are Not grafted at a young age( in SoCal) tend to have much better structural form because small grafted trees will often flower precociously causing a droopy structure.

If you plant a seedling and let it grow for several years, this will allow the scaffold branches to form and once you get the basic structure of the tree formed, you can begin to top work the scaffold branches.

Planting Polyembryonic seeds can help to avoid many of these issues but then Polyembryonic seeds have issues of their own that needs to be addressed.

Acquiring the seeds can be difficult and when planted, some will only have a single sprout so you wonít know if itís a clone or the zygotic seedling. If you do get multiple sprouts with individual root systems, you still wonít know definitively which seedling/s are the clone so your best bet is to separate them and plant them both, or all ten!

I used to recommend that you just plant the seeds as is and keep two of the seedlings but I have since changed my thinking on this matter because as the two trees grow, they tend to push each other apart if not separated. Although this works, it may not give the grower the most structurally sound tree.


That is a good plan. Plant the Manilla mango into the ground and just let it grow for a while. The smaller and younger you graft the tree, the more it will be dwarfed/stunted. I would recommend letting it grow for 2-3 years before grafting but itís really about getting it to a specific size. The size of your tree prior to grafting is dependent on how big you ultimately want your tree and how fast you want to get your tree to that size.

You can easily multigraft it with several different varieties but I would recommend keeping the number of varieties to around 2-3 or else it becomes easy to lose track of which branch is what variety and some weaker varieties or varieties grafted onto lower weaker branches may died off.


Iíve neglected my yard this year but my Lemon Zest is on itís second bloom which is coinciding with this week long rain event going on right now. There is Powdery Mildew on my LZ blooms and new foliage so we will see if any fruit holds. Even with the PM, I usually still get some fruit set but most the fruit eventually drop at approximately 1-2 inches in length. I donít want to use PGRs in an attempt to increase yields, I donít even know if such a thing exists.

My Sweet Tart on Double rootstock is flowering and it usually holds several fruit to maturity. I did not get any frost at my location this year, first year with no frost in the last 6-7 years that I can remember.

I have not visited Leo Manuel in about a month because I donít want to get him sick, my daughters catch a lot of bugs from school. Leo has so many varieties that were selected in his yard that he always has several varieties of Mangos producing well in any given year.


If someone from Florida can please post pictures of Mun Kun Si and Keo Savoy, I would really appreciate it. A member from Florida sent me pictures of his Mun Kun Si fruit several years ago and they closely resembled the fruit in question but I can no longer find the pictures. This crunchy type mango that is now available every year around summertime is still the best crunchy type mango Iíve ever eaten.


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: WTB: Hilo Hawaiian Buddah Sugar Cane
« on: February 21, 2020, 10:24:13 PM »
For eating/chewing, the Asian black/purple is probably best. For juicing, the San Diego Yellow is the best Iíve had. Iíve grown about 10 different varieties. If you are growing Sugarcane, I highly recommend getting a Sugarcane juicer. Check out this thread


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: WTB: Hilo Hawaiian Buddah Sugar Cane
« on: February 20, 2020, 04:53:23 PM »
I was growing this variety but got rid of it. It is decorative but difficult for eating and juicing because it bulges out so itís difficult to peel and clean. Try contacting Luke from


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