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I have several trees of the Mountain Soursop from which I am willing to sell leaves. They are used medicinally. I also would offer them dried and packaged for long term storage, and have enough to wholesale them to a distributor. Please respond and I can PM you with info to discuss a price. Even if you aren't personally interested I would appreciate any sales leads.

Two years ago I planted six soursop trees. Now that they are fruiting I have discovered they are Mountain Soursop (Annona montana) instead of ordinay soursop (annona muricata). I should have been more discriminating but was not very well versed and the vendor wasn't fully honest. The trees are healthy but I would prefer the muricata for fruit. I have a source for plenty of scions from ordinary soursop and may be able to get some named varieties.

My question pertains to how to go about the project. My options seem to be to either cut the trees low and graft onto sprouts or cut low branches and graft onto sprouts coming from slightly higher up. It seems to me that the difference would be dealing with rootstock sprouts later on and maybe healing problems of a large cut trunk compared to cuts on smaller branches. I have already been removing low sprouts anyways but have seen several soursop trees which seemed to have trouble healing damaged branches.

If anyone has done this I'd be interested in any comment, and especially from Har(Guanabanus) and Adam(Flying Fox Fruits) who I see as knowledgeable in this. Here is a picture of a typical tree in the row. They are about 8-10 feet tall and 3 inches trunk diameter.

A polyculture of Dragonfruit and Pineapple. Ground cover is a mixture of Perennial Peanut and Sunshine Mimosa. This row was planted October 2017.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Unusual crested pineapple
« on: May 16, 2019, 09:36:45 PM »
This pineapple was grown from a grocery store top I believe it is an ordinary Dole Gold variety.
If my count is correct there are 12 individual rosettes on top of this fruit.
I'm not sure if it happened from a curse, nuclear radiation or alien influence but it sure is strange.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / 50 mango tree orchard- 1 year update
« on: April 06, 2019, 01:51:06 PM »
here's a one year update on my orchard.

No fertilizer, no pesticides, no water.

Would like to buy or trade for cuttings of Elaeocarpus serratus. I understand it comes with fruit in blue or green.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / 53+ pineapples fruiting now
« on: March 13, 2019, 06:50:02 PM »
The cold weather this year has stimulated a very good fruit set on my pineapples.
Here is a video:

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Experiment to control Soursop Growth habit
« on: March 02, 2019, 10:53:45 PM »

Sorry the video ends abruptly my battery ran low but you get the idea.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango Grove in bloom 2019
« on: February 26, 2019, 07:52:19 AM »

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Dioscorea yam harvest 2019
« on: February 10, 2019, 06:57:34 PM »
I've harvested the following yams this past week:
Purple Dioscorea alata
Yellow yam Dioscorea cayenensis
Cush-Cush yam Dioscorea trifida.
These were planted about 10 months ago in SW Florida on raised beds between mango trees and among other plants. I ran them up teepee style trellises of string about 8 feet tall. They had sprinkler irrigation but eventually the foliage became too thick for it to penetrate.
A month before harvest I stripped as many bulbils off as possible. Only the purple alata made bulbils but two trellises 10 feet long made 25 lbs of very nice bulbils which I sold. At the final harvest I got one 5 gallon bucket nearly full of bulbils and over 100 lbs of yams, some of which were over 10 lbs each. The D. cayenensis made very good quality yellow fleshed roots but no bulbils. The D. trifida yield was a bit disappointing, few tubers were as large as those originally planted, but counting all the smaller tubers the yield was about 5 times the mass of planting material. I think the trifida needs exceptional soil and moisture to perform well. In the position these grew there was some strong competition with a fast growing tree. I understand that in Costa Rica at small scale these are planted in bags of compost and set next to trees as trellis,

Purple alata in rear, D. Cayenensis front left, D. trifida front right

Location is an ideal microclimate for tropical fruit growing. North end of Pine Island is above flood zone and least frost prone part of the island, probably effective zone 10B or more. Parcel sizes from 1-1/2, 5, 10, 20 to 200 acres. Some parcels are better than others, much of it surrounds my place. Most has been used as palm or winter vegetable farming in the past. Large refrigerated packinghouse is available. Pine Island is in Lee County, accessible via bridge to mainland, the largest island in Florida, mostly retirement, recreation, and palm farms.

I have Dioscorea Alata bulbils for sale. There are two types, one is white fleshed and one is purple fleshed. Bulbils will be mixed sizes some small and some large. These were just harvested and should have dormancy about 2-3 months before sprouting begins.
I am asking $5.00 US dollars per pound plus shipping. $7.20 US Postal Service.
$12.20 total.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / What caused this Longan to die?
« on: September 12, 2018, 03:07:43 PM »
Full of fruit and just died of no apparent reason, no flood or drought, neighboring trees (Lychee/Mamey) are both OK.
What caused its sudden death almost overnight?

Close to my property on Pine Island, Lee County, Florida near Fort Myers, Brooks Tropical Fruit company has a 10 acre farm enclosed on the sides with windbreak cloth. The fruit is harvested regularly and shipped nationally. This is one of four fields located here. Today I took some photos inside. There are three rows on each raised section with shallow drainage ditches between each section. The trees are pruned every year to about six feet. The pruning is done section by section one section at a time in a sequence to stagger flowering and harvest across the field. At this time some trees have already been picked, some are ready to harvest and some are beginning to bud.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango ID needed
« on: August 01, 2018, 02:42:09 PM »
My place has 50 mango trees of about 25 varieties and this is one of the last I am trying to identify. The planting was part of the Treehouse nursery on Pine Island (SWFL) owned by Bob and Vivian Murray. This one did not bear last year and even after heavy pruning it has made a small crop this year.

Tree is about average size not dwarfish and not excessively vigorous.
The fruit skin is yellow with a slight pink blush, it bears in clusters of up to five fruit, and just began ripening last week. Flesh is fully yellow but not as dark as Carrie, taste is sweet somewhat spicy and aromatic but I have only eaten two so far.

For point of reference the last of Carrie has just finished here, Kent and Lemon Zest are ripening, and Mallika has been ripening for about 2 weeks.

Any thought on this variety?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Seeking avocado Id's
« on: July 01, 2018, 07:49:16 PM »
I have several avocado trees which are unmarked and I would like to get them identified especially in respect to their ripening season.
They were planted on property formerly owned by Treehouse nursery owned by Bob and Vivian Murray but probably after their deaths by their daughter.
The first pictures are of two trees which are quite different from all the rest, much smaller in size both tree, leaf, and fruit.
Of all the avocados I have these two would be considered 'dwarf' type trees.
The fruit are small and do turn black. Could this be Wurtz?

Last year I began establishing three raised beds of fruit trees interplanted with vegetables, herbs, and short term fruits like Banana and Papaya. The trees were planted on beds topped off with compost and well mulched.

This is what it looked like at first:

Later, I planted single stalks of lemongrass down each side of the beds at 1 foot (30 cm)spacing. During the first few months I grew watermelon, cowpeas, pumpkin and sweet potatoes in the sandy soil between each bed. Later, I mulched the pathways between each bed with chipped wood mulch obtained from a hurricane debris shredding operation.
The intent was to serve 3 purposes:
1. Produce a permanent source of mulch for each bed adjacent to where it would be used.
2. Stabilize the sides of the raised beds to prevent slippage of mulch down the sides.
3. Use the grass to produce some shade and a low windbreak over the beds.
4. Occupy the space alongside each bed to prevent other weedy plants from becoming established.

Here are two views of how it looked once the grass became established:

Last week after one year's growth I cut all the lemongrass and placed it across the beds. It made a very good mulch coverage and began regrowing immediately. I may be able to cut it once again this summer if needed. I believe that rather than 1 foot spacing an 18"(20 cm) spacing would be close enough. The particular clone of lemongrass used is common but I have built up a stock of a different sort which grows much taller and does set viable seed during our wintertime, I'll be testing that one out later this year.

I recently ran across what appears to be a new archive of the Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society.
It has a fairly good search feature which you can use to research topics of interest. The information goes back nearly 100 years.

Have fun!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Relative size between six mango varieties
« on: March 06, 2018, 07:39:03 PM »
I'm planning a mango grove with multiple trees of several varieties and need to know the relative growth habits between them. I'm trying to determine which may be more or less vigorous or would need more or less space.
These will be grown in full sun conditions so if you have experience with these please let me know from smallest to largest.

Sweet Tart
Lemon Zest
Cotton Candy
Peach Cobbler

Citrus General Discussion / ID this citrus, please
« on: February 11, 2018, 08:17:51 PM »
Looking to find more info on this variety, tastes like lime, seedless, from Assam Northwest India.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Wind-resistant shade house design
« on: December 25, 2017, 04:56:17 PM »
I need to build a shade house for tree and garden plant propagation. My needs are not too big, and about 800 square feet would probably be about right. The site is subject to hurricane and so I'd like to know if anyone has experience with a design that has proven to be resistant to wind. This isn't for frost protection, overhead sprinkler would be adequate for occasional use in my climate (Southwest Florida). I need rodent protection designed in.

Anyone with ideas or experience I'd appreciate it.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Banana/Plantain Macropropagation
« on: December 09, 2017, 05:27:09 PM »
This year I wanted to plant 50 banana/plantain trees but balked at prices from 5-30$ USD each. I began looking at how to grow plants myself and found a way which many people seem unaware of.

I'm going to describe to you how to obtain large quantities relatively disease and pest free banana or plantain suckers for a very low cost and at a fast high rate of multiplication. Macropropagation differs from laboratory tissue culture Micropropagation but obtains a similar result at very low cost using common materials anyone can obtain.

This technique was developed in Africa where plantain is a staple food source but many of the varieties have very low multiplication rates. The lack of sufficient suckers for planting made it difficult for small farmers to scale up their production quickly to meet food needs and market demand, even if they had space to grow more. The technique was delevoped by Dr. Moise Kwa of Cameroon for  his PhD. Thesis in the 1990's

The method is called PIF (Plants Issus de Fragments de Tiges-Fr.)(plantlet from stem fragments-Eng.) and uses the fact that hundreds of dormant buds lie beneath the leaf sheaths of every banana corm. These dormant buds lie waiting to grow but are inhibited by hormones produced in the plants apical growing tip (central bud). Using PIF techniques you can awaken these dormant buds and produce up to 100 banana plantlets from just one one sword sucker. Additionally, most pests and diseases will be eliminated by sterilization during the process yielding healthy plantlets ready to  grow well.

First and foremost, you need to select the healthiest sword suckers as 'mother' plants. They should be as large as possible and show no signs of disease. I would recommend sourcing these from an existing plant growing in a recently planted field with no signs of disease and if possible from tissue cultured plantlets. A minimum size would be 6" (150 mm). Learn how to identify common banana/plantain diseases like Sigatoka, Panama. Bunchy top, etc..

The sword sucker corms will be dug carefully from the mother plant, then trimmed of all roots leaving only bare white flesh at the base and cut closely at the top just above the ring surrounding the outer leaf sheath. This removes nematodes and their eggs and exposes possible corm weevil tunnels and will begin reducing the pest load of the material. Then a pot of boiling water is prepared and the corm is put into boiling water for ONLY 30 seconds. Alternatively, corms can be soaked in pesticides and fungicides or for 60 seconds in a 10:1 water:household bleach solution. This treatment eliminates virtually all pest/disease on the surface of the material in much the same way a laboratory treats tissue culture before micropropagation. I used the bleach method and rinsed the bleach thoroughly afterwards.

Once sterilized, you begin to peel away leaf sheaths one by one towards the center by cutting around each sheath just above where each sheath attaches to the corm. As you do this you will notice that each one has a "V" shape on one side and there is a dormant bud at the base of the "V". This would eventually form a sucker, but just as the center of the plant suppresses sucker growth, each one of these sucker buds suppresses growth of 10 dormant buds lying around it. These buds must be destroyed to allow the many others to activate, so destroy each of them them by deep cross cutting using a knife. Keep peeling off leaf sheaths one by one working inwards and killing buds at the  "V"'s until you cannot go further inwards. The result will look like a low cone shape with "X" marks every 180 degrees where you killed buds. Finally, destroy the central bud by cutting deeply into the center and removing all of it with a knife.

Once the corms are processed, plant them in a sterile humidity controlled environment. This can be fabricated using various materials wood/brick/plastic and able to hold 12" (300 mm) deep growing medium and have a height of 2 ft. (600 mm) to allow plant growth. It should be enclosed in plastic to hold humidity and at about 50% shade and be kept warm even hot 90-100F (30-36C) to stimulate growth. I used 30 gallon black plastic nursery pots covered by clear polythene sheeting to hold 3 corms.

Growing media needs to be as sterile as possible to prevent fungal disease. This can be done by steam heating sawdust, cacao or nut husks or composts. Solarization of moist medium for 30 days in plastic is another method. I used peat moss which had been solarized.

Growth should be visible in 30 days. I was able to harvest 10 suckers from each corm by 60 days. They need to be carefully cut off the corm leaving a small piece of corm and with at least 3 roots to be potted up. Another 30 days in shade and hardening off for 2 weeks and the plants are field ready. Professionals have been able to carefully kill off the first set of sucker growth which further
"re-activates" the corm to produce up to 100 plantlets from each corm.

I'll post some written descriptions with pictures and videos. Good luck and if anyone has questions or improvements let me know.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Please ID unknown flowering tree
« on: November 08, 2017, 05:43:43 PM »
This is on a neighbor's property, first time blooming.

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