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Messages - simon_grow

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: La Habra March update
« on: March 16, 2012, 06:20:58 PM »
Joe, all your plants look amazingly healthy.  I hope my plants look as good as yours when they get a little larger.  What varieties of Lychee, Longan and Cherimoya are you currently growing?  You are like the Harry of SoCal.  Please let me know if you ever have a fruit tasting! 8)


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Maha Chanok grafting attempts
« on: March 10, 2012, 04:22:23 AM »
Hey Tim, sorry to hear about your two failed T buds.  That side veneer does look promising but if you got mold on your failed T budding sites, there is a good chance there are lots of spores in the vicinity of your side veneer graft.  When I innarched my manilla mango onto my Maha Chanok, I topped both plants to get the juices flowing.  I also made sure to sterilize my knife periodically and also cleaned both plants really well before my grafting attempt. 

Leo Manuel from the CRFG San Diego chapter lives really close to me and he has lots of mango plants and is a very nice guy.  I wonder if he can give us some lessons in grafting? 

I believe it has been a little over a month since I innarched my plants and new branches are popping through my parrafilm on both my Manilla Mango and my Maha Chanok.  I'm going to wait another month or so before checking to see if my graft takes.  I have very low hopes since this is my first attempt at innarching and I made many mistakes on this first attempt.  I'll keep my fingers crossed that your side veneer graft takes.  Keep us updated on how it does 8)

I'd love two of those seedless Lychees myself. Please keep us updated.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Myrica rubra
« on: March 01, 2012, 02:18:48 PM »
Thanks for the info Oscar.  I did find a website called Ty ty that has an add on youtube that is supposed to carry the Chinese Strawberry Tree.  Has anyone checked out this site? 


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Potted lychee pruning
« on: February 28, 2012, 02:01:59 AM »
Hey Pancrazio, if you have a picture, it would help a lot.  It shouldn't need too much pruning unless it is currently shaped very poorly.  The Lychee is supposed to naturally grow dome shaped and I would only focus on shaping the trunk and main branches.  You should check out for some good info.  They recommend letting your tree have 2-3 feet of vertical growth before a bifurcation or trifurcation.  When my Sweetheart Lychee was small, I used weights tied onto the branches to widen the angles of the main branches coming off the trunk. 

I like the trunk and leaves on the Jaboticaba, Cherimoya and Lychee(with no wind damaged leaves).

JF and Oscar, I agree with both of you.  Miami Florida is much warmer than San Diego and can can be warmer than Hawaii.  I believe I heard some of the Hawaiian islands can even get snow but I could be mistaken.  Adam, sorry to derail your thread. 

Hey JF, I feel that SD has similar weather aside from the humidity because we can grow similar crops here in SD and in S Florida such as oranges, avocados, lychees and Longan. Here in San diego, we are just miles from Mexico. Although S Florida can be very different than SD, depending on what exactly you are comparing, it is my belief that SD is one of the few counties that can grow similar sub tropicals as S Florida. Besides SD, there are only a few areas in California, Arizona, and Texas that I know of.

Hey Adam, I'm actually glad you think its Sabara.  I've read they are supposed to be good eating and can produce year round.  I was thinking its either Sabara or Paulista as they are supposed to be very common.  I live in San Diego, CA with a climate similar to Southern Florida but with a lot less humidity.  I'm looking for a variety that has large fruit that tastes good with little or no astringency.  I don't have a large yard so I want to be very careful when selecting my varieties.  I'm highly motivated to find these two varieties that you recommend. 

Besides my PIN Jaboticaba, I also have two seedlings of a hybrid Jaboticaba I planted from seeds that I ordered from  It's supposed to be a cross of M cauliflora x aureana and is supposed to fruit from seeds in several years but I'll see about that. 

Hey Adam, do you know where I can purchase some M phitrantha and M. truncilflora trees that can ship?  I have an unnamed cultivar but it has a PIN tag on it.  I would love to add these two species to my collection.  Thanks,

That is awesome Lycheeluva!  Your plants look so healthy and green.  I moved some of my plants into the gargage and they are growing pretty well but I started to get spider mites.  Have you had any issues with mites or does the cold keep them away pretty well?  That Maha Chanok looks like its going to be delicious. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: tasks to volunteer Harry to perform
« on: February 23, 2012, 11:43:04 AM »
I love those Dr. Crane Mango videos.  Harry should make a video of all the popular mango and Lychee varieties! ;D

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Myrica rubra
« on: February 16, 2012, 03:39:11 PM »
Hey Ohiojay, Ong's Nursery carries Strawberry trees.  You can try giving him a call to see if he can ship. 


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: PlantOGram Woo hoo!
« on: February 15, 2012, 08:24:37 PM »
I've ordered most my trees from Mickey and he's super easy to deal with and sends me great trees.  I've purchased a few trees from another nursery and the trees were very small and in pretty bad condition.  When he is not super busy, you can request pics of the trees also.  I highly recommend Plantogram!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What is the best lychee?
« on: February 15, 2012, 01:11:46 PM »
I believe so Lycheeluva.  In orchard conditions, you are supposed to keep the trees well watered to size the fruit up.  Depending on the type of fruit, withholding water after the fruit has sized up is supposed to increase the sugar content, I guess, from the decreased amount of water in the fruit thus concentrating the flavor and sugars.  I would like to try to keep the fruiting trees well watered and give it lots of Potassium and also cull the panicles when the fruit are pea sized to see the size difference between fruit treated in this manner compared to normal fruit.  I'm just curious.

I just found out around a year or two ago that culling fruit like mandarins, Longan, Loquat when they are pea sized will drastically improve the overall size of the remaining fruit and also help with the flavor and sweetness of the fruit.  My friend has a Loquat tree that gives tons of smallish kinda sour fruit(it was grown from seed) every year and this year, I helped him cull about 1/2 of all the total fruit on the tree.  This year, his green fruit are already larger than his fully ripe fruit from last year and they appear to have several weeks left to grow.  From what I see now, his fruit may be approx. 1/3-1/2 larger than when he didn't cull and add Potassium. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What is the best lychee?
« on: February 15, 2012, 12:06:29 PM »
The person in the link I posted was able to eat the fruit.  He didn't give a good description, only saying it was sweet but not super sweet.  Phase001 grew some golfball sized Sweethearts and he didn't even cull. 

Now that I think about it, those Giant Lychees don't look like Sweethearts at all.  The Sweethearts that I have eaten didn't have flattened out bumps even when they were ripe.  I have noticed that Emperors do get flattened out bumps when they are fully ripe.  Those Giant Lychees appear to have very flattened out bumps.  I wonder if I can pump up some supersized Sweethearts and Emperors by watering heavily and culling heavily like I mentioned earlier?  Does anyone have a full grown Sweetheart and Emperor so we can test this out? 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What is the best lychee?
« on: February 14, 2012, 02:35:35 AM »
Check this out, maybe not as large but pretty close.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What is the best lychee?
« on: February 14, 2012, 02:24:50 AM »
Thats incredible but I'll have to taste it to believe it.  I'm wondering why this wasn't all over the Chinese news as many Asians would be very interested in a Lychee that size even if it didn't taste too good.  Those huge Lychees look a little like Sweetheart but also a little like Emperor.  I wonder how large a Sweetheart or Emperor could get if it were grown on a full sized tree and you culled extremely heavily as in leaving only 1-3 fruit per panicle?  If anyone know where I can get this variety, please let us know! 8) :o :-X

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Planting instructions
« on: February 13, 2012, 04:51:28 PM »
Planting instructions should be site and species specific, all too often nurseries give very general planting instructions which may not work for all situations.  Most tropical and subtropical fruit trees require full sun and good drainage so know your property.  If you know you have very poor draining soil, you may want to install drains to prevent your trees from getting waterlogged.  The South facing area of your yard typically gets the most sunlight.  Exceptions are if there is a large tree on an adjacent property or on public land that casts a shadow over your south facing property.  Most of us know already that fruit trees with the most sunlight will likely grow faster, produce more and sweeter fruit and will likely have less frost/freeze damage.  A little planning makes all the difference.

Plan on planting your shorter trees in the front and your larger trees in the back(South to North), this way, as the trees grow, the shorter trees will shade adjacent trees much less than if you were to plant the larger trees in front of the smaller trees.  You generally also want to plant your shorter to taller trees from East to West.  Take into consideration the final size of your trees and not what size they are at now.  In some instances, you may want to plant your larger trees in front of your smaller trees, say you wanted to plant a windbreak for instance. 

I have had many discussions with local growers regarding whether it is better to backfill holes with native soil only or to amend the soil and have come to the conclusion that is is site and variety specific.

For planting tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees in the San Diego area where our soil is typically poor draining, hard with lots of clay, here is how I generally plant my trees:

Water your trees very well several days prior to planting in the ground, I like to give my plants very dilute feeding with B-1 even prior to transplanting.  If your plants were in a protected area or in a greenhouse, you should acclimate it to the outside conditions about a month or so prior to transplanting into the ground.

Try to dig a hole about 3 times the width of the container and about 2-3 inches deeper than the original container and set the native soil aside.  Sprinkle some Gypsum on the bottom of the hole(according to the instructions) and gently work it into the soil and water it in.  Put back about 2-3 inches of the native soil and step on it to compact it.  Because our San Diego soil typically lacks organic matter, mix the rest of the native soil that you previously dug with about 1/3 to 1/2 organic soil ammendments.  Do not use potting soil!  At this time, I also innoculate my mixture of native soil/org ammendments with beneficial bacteria and fungi. 

Put about 1-2 inches of the mixed soil into the bottom of the hole and compact the soil by stepping on it.  Set your potted tree into the hole to ensure that it is about 1-2 inches above the soil line.  Remove the tree from the container and scrape the sides to loosen the roots.  If there are a lot of roots completely encircling the bottom, cut away most of the encircling roots.  Set the plant into its hole and water the exposed roots with the beneficial microbes/mycorrhizal fungi if you decide to use it.  Make sure the tree is straight and backfill the hole with the mixed soil.  Use your hands to gently tamp down the soil in the hole.  You want to compact the soil but don't overdo it. 

Water in your plants with B-1 and Superthrive (according to instructions) and keep it well watered for the next month.  If you had to cut away a lot of the roots because your plant was pot bound, you should also remove some of the branches/foliage.  I do not recommend transplanting on hot sunny days unless you can provide shade to your trees.  Build a birm around your tree with the remaining soil and mulch around the plant. 

After about a month, I innoculate the soil with earth/red worms.  I like to add worms even though most soils have them already because they tunnel through the soil thus aerating it and also provide worm castings which will help add nutrients to the soil.  It has been suggested that the chitinase in worm castings  may be taken up by the plants and any plant sucking bugs getting a taste of chitinase will opt for other plants without chitinase. 

These are just very general guidelines I follow when planting my trees and I did not go into specifics about the additional steps I include for each variety of tree I'm planting.  Always do your homework fist, especially regarding the pH of the soil each particular plant species prefers.  Most my trees prefer a soil pH around 6-6.5 so I usually add some peat moss.  I also recommend checking your pH every 6 months or so because even if you add acidifying amendments, frequent waterings can wash away much of the acidity. 

Sorry about the poor grammar. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Lychee grafted onto Longan?
« on: February 09, 2012, 04:14:25 PM »
In an effort to try and improve the growth rate of my Lychee plants, I started to wonder if Lychees can be grafted onto Longan.  I did a google search and found this .  Higgin's has supposedly crown grafted Lychee onto Longan and even more exciting is that he observed that the stock appeared to show influence on the Lychee scion and produced more rapid growth than Lychee growing on its own rootstock.  Higgin's also noted that in some cases, the grafted Lychee foliage seems to undergo a change!

The increased growth rate is very exciting and the changes in the foliage may be beneficial if the Longan can impart its wind tolerance to the Lychee.  If the grafted Lychee does show some Longan characteristics, I wonder if it will affect the characteristics of the fruit as well, which can be a bad thing. 

Has anyone attempted to graft Lychee onto Longan?  I will be planting some Lychee seeds this year in hopes that I can innarch the seedlings onto my named cultivars to produce multiple rootstock Lychees.

Hey Adam, have you tried "Big Jim" loquat?  It is pretty common here in SoCal and the fruits are very large, sweet and not watered down.  If you like them more tart, you can pick them slightly early. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: seedless lychees?
« on: February 08, 2012, 12:40:26 PM »
Hey Oscar, I know what you are talking about, especially the watermelons although with research and genetically modified seeds, they are producing sweeter and tastier fruit without the seeds.

An example of a fruit that tastes the same without seeds is the Tango Tangerine.  It is basically a seedless version of W. Murcott.  It was produced by irridatiating W. Murcott causing a mutation that likely renders the pollen inactive. 

I really like the Sweetheart Lychee for the extremely large, golfball sized fruit and the shrivelled seed.  Some other examples of fruit that tastes good if not better with atrophied seeds are Durian and mango.  From my personal experiences, I have purchased several Durians with atrophied seeds and they tasted much sweeter and creamier than their large seeded counterparts.  Also, for Manilla type mangoes(and probably others), I always try to select the Thinner fruit as they often have atrophied, very very thin seeds compared to the larger wider fruits with the fully formed seeds.  My theory is that the energy that would have gone into producing the seed went into the formation of more sugars.  This is just what I have noticed and I could be totally wrong 8)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What is the best lychee?
« on: February 08, 2012, 12:29:43 PM »
Hey Oscar, I believe it is Guang Zhou and Guang Dong, I have to ask my dad to be sure.  My dad comes from a lychee growing district in China and we still have several trees on our ancestrial land with a few extremely large Lychee trees that must be close to 100 years old.  Most of the varieties on my dads land are chinese named cultivars and they taste extremely good.  I haven't been back there for almost 15 years.  Last time I went back, I wasn't even into Lychees but I do remember my brother and I climbing on the trunk of a large Lychee tree next to the pond and picking the few lychee that were within reach.  I think it is that memory that has got me so interested in Lychee growing once I got back to the US. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What is the best lychee?
« on: February 07, 2012, 08:39:25 PM »
Lycheeluva, I will make it up to lord Mauritius if this years crop tastes better.  I will even consider purchasing a Mauritius since its supposed to be one of the more dependable fruiting lychees. 

Oscar, next time I go back, I will look for the Black Lychee ;D

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: February 07, 2012, 07:58:28 PM »
Not exactly sure about why the Yellow DF is so much more difficult for many of us to grow.  Leo Manuel from the CRFG San Diego has it growing in his backyard in full sun and it fruits pretty well.  My yellow DF grew more in about 1 month under artificial light than it did all year outside.  I read somewhere that the Yellow DF are supposed to be able to withstand more sun but they are less cold hardy and get badly damaged by frost. 

Frankies Red is supposed to be a cross between a Yellow DF and a Red Fleshed variety.  From what I've read online, people are suggesting that the Yellow DF will grow better and produce larger fruit when they are grafted onto a Red fleshed DF variety, they didn't mention grafting onto a white fleshed variety.  My easiest to grow and fruit variety is the Vietnamese White so I will attempt to graft some Yellow DF on my Vietnamese White and also my Halley's Comet.

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