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Messages - Mark in Texas

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocados in containers?
« on: August 14, 2019, 02:17:50 PM »

 Yep I moved to California in 1983 and it really was the golden state back then and there were good paying jobs everywhere . Iíve been watching over the last 36 years how this state has went to shi- , and I donít see anything getting better anytime soon. The same crony politicians keep getting elected ( I have my theory on how that keeps happening too )  so nothing is going to change. I donít really want to leave because there are things that I really love about living here but when I see year after year the same problems never getting resolved I have to wonder how people can be so stupid to continue voting for the same useless politicians who never even attempt to solve any problems. Austin is getting a bunch of the loons moving there from California to implementing their kooky ideas so itís no wonder that itís getting screwed up. Anyway sorry for venting my frustration.   On another note I talked to the rep from microkote and he said that the paint works very well on wooden tree boxes without a primer and actually extends the life of the wood.


I hear ya.

I used a lot of Griffin's Spin-out. They still make but sold in large quantities.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocados in containers?
« on: August 13, 2019, 10:44:49 AM »

Iím growing them in pots for two reasons first reason is that my yard is out of space and the other reason is that Iím retiring in a few mor years and if California continues going koo koo for coco puffs then I probably going to get out of dodge. My sister lives in Idaho and I love it up there. They still have some common sense in their local government. I would take the trees with me when I move.


Funny you should mention California and Idaho.  FOX news interviewed a Silicon Valley high tech pro yesterday. Subject was the liberal California govt. instituting a new payroll tax on high tech industry, on Silicon Valley.  Their wisdom is that yes, this industry brings good paying jobs but with it comes congestion, inflated housing prices, etc. which local and state govts. must deal with, so they need more money.  ;)  Some of that is true as Austin who is also high tech is now a shithole of traffic, congestion and the homeless.

What's interesting and mentioned in that interview is apparently Boise and other areas are experiencing a boom.

Good luck!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: August 12, 2019, 10:02:31 AM »
Hi guys. It may seem strange and stupid, but I grow dragon fruits in Russia. Today I have 11 varieties.
1. American Beauty
2.Bien Hoa Red
5.Cosmic Charlie
6.Dark Star
8.Halleys Comet
11.Purple Haze
I've been looking for cuttings of the "Yellow Dragon" Selenicereus megalanthus for a long time. Can someone sell me with delivery to Russia?

Amazing!  Are you fruiting those in a greenhouse?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: August 12, 2019, 09:29:09 AM »
First American Beauty of the year. Many of my fruit have some rotting back by the blossom end because I didnít remove my dried blooms in time. I only just removed them about a week ago.

Simon, I yanked one of the dried flowers off and the long stigma came with it.  Won't this leave a hole for water entry and rot?  Would it be better to cut the blossom off at the new fruit?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocados in containers?
« on: August 12, 2019, 09:25:47 AM »
I use 2 drills to keep my trees compact - pruning and Bonzi, a PGR.  Here's a ditty on it's use.

Expensive but worth it especially on leggy mangos that have long internodes.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocados in containers?
« on: August 12, 2019, 09:19:09 AM »

Mark uses bottomless pots so itís more like planting directly in ground in a raised bed.


True, more like a raised bed.  BUT, I sell RootBuilder by the panels to folks who make them up into 10-40 gal. pots and move them indoors during the winter.  One guy has his on homemade carts using galv. pipe as a push handle and large swivel 6" wheels.  Rootmaker sells fabric bottoms or you can design your own bottom.  You pot up in the spring and by fall the fabric bottoms will be locked in by the root system.  Me?  I'd just go with big fabric pots.

This fuzzy picture shows a huge old tree in a RootBuilder that must be 20' diameter.

Cantor, don't do Reed.  It's too vigorous for your setup.  I'm doing everything I can to keep that monster down to 12' X 12' and it was a frozen back stub after a heater failure Jan. 2018.  In 7 months it grew to 10'.  Of course it had the benefit of massive root system created by the RootBuilder system.  All my trees get is Osmocote and rainwater....when we have it!

You'll be better off spending your time on quality compacts like GEM and Pinkerton.  Both of mine are very manageable.  Wurtz fruit is said to be fair to good but it's a weepy tree rather than upright.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: August 12, 2019, 08:10:57 AM »
Like my new mangos I'm trying to force plenty of vegetation.  I'll back off the high N food next year.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: August 11, 2019, 08:37:09 AM »
50 fruit, that's just crazy Simon!

I noticed your branches are very light green which suggests more N is needed.  Mine turned that way, almost yellow and are greening up with a very heavy hit of Polyon 18-4-9. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: August 11, 2019, 08:32:22 AM »
I know it's been asked before but what are ya'll feeding your faves with?  NPK and micros please.

Same as most stuff.  Use a high nitro full package fert until the plants are mature size then switch to a flower bloom high PK full package fert. 

And calcium, gypsum or super triple P or something with Ca.

Thanks, that's pretty much what they're getting via Polyon - 18-4-9 with micros and Ca.  I started those cuttings last year and already got a couple of fruit making now and more blossoms just popped up.

I've got 6 cuttings of Physical Graffiti and 2 of Sugar.  If anyone wants them pay for a medium USPS flat rate box and there yours via PayPal to my email account - PM me. Caveat, they've been sitting on a table in the A/C for about 2 weeks so there's some moisture loss.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: August 10, 2019, 07:14:00 AM »
I know it's been asked before but what are ya'll feeding your faves with?  NPK and micros please.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado grafting
« on: August 03, 2019, 03:50:35 PM »
Well done!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal - GEM AVOCADO + Recommendations
« on: August 02, 2019, 10:51:00 AM »
On DUSA rootstock, ya'll did good.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado tree problems - need advice!
« on: July 31, 2019, 11:35:10 AM »
Cause they suck.  I grew Joey, yech.  Big seed, small fruit, grassy taste.  Waldin (pure W. Indies) or at least one of the Florida "Slimcado" pits would be a good rootstock as they can take saline water really well.  Starting in 2012 I grafted to those pits because of my hard well water which has a TTS up to 800ppm!  Not only was the rootstock very vigorous, was ready in 2 months but all the grafts took.

Whatever, you can't fight mother nature.  Plant only what will work for you.


Other choices would be the very high quality, rich, slow growing SoCal "compacts" like Pinkerton, Gwen or GEM.  Put them in RootMaker pots and shelter them when temps dip below 30F. I grew Gwen until a heater failure.  It stayed a runt for the 4 years I had it.  My Pinkerton and GEM are very slow growing.  They've taken the greenhouse heat really well too.  Also low RH.

Good luck!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado tree problems - need advice!
« on: July 30, 2019, 04:01:06 PM »
Looks like salts damage maybe from your water source exacerbated by the heat.  You may want to shade until just before sunset until Sept.

Hate to pop your bubble but I don't think you're going to like those varieties.  I'd use them as rootstocks and come  spring graft something like Mexicola or Stewart to them.

Where in the RGV do you live?  If in Brownsville you could try Reed or Pinkerton.  Mine laughed off a quick bout of 112F with no damage.

Also there's a Mexican grower in Nuevo Leon (Saltillo area) growing and selling native named Criollo varieties.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado grafting
« on: July 30, 2019, 03:48:35 PM »
I lost mine too.  It's too damn hot.

Yes, propane heating.  We have seen single digits here.

I thought i saw a big cold snap in texas last year, do you add heat to your greenhouse ? I wonder how well wood boilers work to heat green houses piped in by hot water tubing, got to be much cheaper to heat that way than propane or electric.

Don't waste your time on seedlings.  My Brogdon/Waldin is now a rootstock hosting 4 healthy, vigorously growing GEM grafts/branches.

For S. Florida I'd recommend Reed, which used to be sold commercially there.  It laughs off heat.  My greenhouse recently hit 112F until I got to it and gave everything a shower.  No damage. 

Yes pumice not cheap to ship but will outperform vermiculite  by far and perlite performs better than vermiculite but its stll not anywere near the performance qualitys of pumice, the pots will for sure be heavyer but for more heatlhy  roots pumice is unmatched and its still lighter than sand and/or gravel much less dence.

Tell that to my trees.  I've had to top this 11' cocktail citrus tree about 4X since it froze back to a stump Jan. 2018.  It is loaded with limes and oranges.  Left side, rear corner.

Tree in the front, left side of photo, is a 8' Sharwil, Lamb Hass, Pinkerton grafted tree from last year that also froze back to a stump.  It's a good 8' wide and growing like a weed. I hope to get a heavy fruit set next year.  Am rebuilding now.

Frozen back Reed stump, March 19 2018 pushing some fresh shoots.

7 months later, 10'.  I've had to top it twice when it hits 13' at my roof!

I gave up on perlite because the dust is hard to deal with and it's so fragile, falls apart when shipped and handled.  That once "Coarse" grade soon becomes a "Fine" grade.  Vermiculite contains some beneficial elements such as Silicon, is light and doesn't break down thereby maintaining an open soil structure.

To each his own.......  :)

Avoman, not to rain on your parade but I think shipping cost on pumice is gonna be a deal killer. Stuff is not light compared to vermiculite or perlite.  I'd try to sell for pick up only locally.

I buy large bags of vermiculite for around $22.  Hard to beat for being lightweight and super "airy".

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: July 07, 2019, 10:23:07 AM »
My new Ettinger avocado tree arrived today! It's great! I'm very happy!
I will post pics tomorrow...   ;D
My new Ettinger avocado...



Good choice, congradulations and good luck with that one.

Cant beat that for a windbreak.And you have a reason to be proud for planting those trees .Each tree has advantages and disadvantages and those Cypress did grow fast but if its like im suspecting,that when you planted them they were allready 4-5 years old ,add 12 years and we get 16-17 years

Nope, less than a year old, 30 cm. tall when I planted them. They are started from cuttings at a wholesale nursery.  Sometimes before a rain I do a drive by in my ATV and toss scoop fulls of a high N food at their base.  Haven't done that in a long time.

I used them for Xmas trees, choose and cut.  Notice the striking color differences.   I've got two huge ones down at the highway gate which have never received supplemental water nor fertilizer.   They will grow at least a meter a year if fed and watered.  I know trees, all kinds of trees - fruit, nut, landscape, shade.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: July 07, 2019, 08:01:35 AM »
If the variety you are talking about is actually ĎSugar Dragoní, it wonít take much pollinating. You could probably sleep in and do it in the morning 👍👍

I did just that, this morn at 5:30 a.m.   I "diddled it" but didn't see any pollen sticking to the make up brush.  Huge flowers, must have been a foot across.

Nice work!

Whatever you use, sharpen it with a WorkSharp.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: July 06, 2019, 01:05:30 PM »
Have a big "Sugar" blossom looking like it will split tonight.  I know what's gonna happen too.  My wife will be yelling at me to come to bed from my home theater's easy chair and I'll forget to get to the greenhouse to hand pollinate it.

The pitaya bed has grown crazy since I planted it last year in Sugar, Physical Graffti, Santa Barbara Red, Frankie's Red.  Some are 8' high crawling up the greenhouse covering.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: July 06, 2019, 12:57:42 PM »
Haha.  You should really make up some new names if you plan to share scions.
Really?  :o

Absolutely.  They are seedlings, not Stewart or Sir Prize.

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