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Topics - simon_grow

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Iím looking to purchase Polyembryonic mango seeds for the following varieties
Brahm Kai Meu
Keow Savoy
Kook Lom Krong
PiŮa Colada
Mun Khun See
Lemon Meringue(PPK)
Orange Sherbet
Lemon Zest
Sweet Tart
Coconut Cream

Grafted trees in San Diego tend to flower too early and constantly so seedlings have been growing much better for me. If you have any seeds for the varieties listed above, please pm me with details including price. Thanks for your help,


Just wondering if the newer, tastier varieties of Australian finger limes are in SoCal yet? Does anyone know if the CCPP has them yet? Anybody grow seeds and get lucky with a good tasting variety? Any Nurseries selling the better varieties? Thanks


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Breeding Cherimoyas/Atemoyas?
« on: March 26, 2018, 01:21:30 AM »
Cherimoyas/Atemoyas are one of my favorite fruit with their extremely sweet and fragrant velvety white flesh that has the perfect balance of pineapple like acidity to balance out the high sugar content. When I first saw a Cherimoya, it looked very alien to me and I had no clue about the deliciousness that hid beneath the green alien skin. Thankfully, my first taste of Cherimoya was from my friend who offered me a fruit from a tree his dad grew in their backyard and it was an excellent variety. He told me to wait a few days to let it ripen, which I did, and after one taste I was hooked for life. This was about thirty years ago.

Iíve been growing Cherimoyas ever since and recently began thinking about trying my hand at breeding Cherimoyas, maybe crossing them with Atemoyas.

Cherimoyas are so friggin delicious but also crazy expensive. Iíve watched the price of Cherimoyas slowly climb each year and good quality fruit are now going for around $7-12 per pound with about $8-10 a pound being average in my area. One of the reasons Cherimoyas( Atemoyas to a lesser extent) are so expensive is because many of the varieties need hand pollination in order to set reliable and nicely shaped crops.

Recently, while pondering the possibility of crossing a Lemon Zest Mango with a DOT Mango, I thought to myself what a pain in the ass it is to cross Mangos. With huge bloom panicles on Mangos and with pollinating insects busily collecting nectar and thus potentially contaminating virgin female flowers, I would have to emasculate hermie flowers, remove male flowers and bag virgin females in order to procure my starting material. At that moment, I thought to myself, the disadvantage of requiring hand pollination with Cherimoyas can be an advantage when it comes to breeding Cherimoyas.

Several years ago, Leo Manuel offered me a fruit from a Cherimoya x Atemoya cross. He simply called it #3 and it was easily one of the best Cherimoya like fruit I have ever tasted. The Fruit had a very sweet Rasberry like acidity, very reminiscent of the acidity from a regular Cherimoya but you can taste the tiny bit of Atemoya in there as well. The best thing about Leoís Fruit was that he gets fruit without hand pollination.

Iíve grown Cherimoyas from random seeds before and one of my seedlings produced awesome fruit. Unlike many other types of fruit( besides clones/polyembryonic) Iíve heard from others that they also got great tasting fruit from seedlings. This leads me to believe that the major traits that we( us Fruit snobs) are looking for such as good size, sweet taste and good acid balance are concentrated in a narrow gene pool which may indicate that breeding Cherimoyas and Annona hybrids may be worth the effort.

I began a short search and immediately found this article that talks about mapping the genetic diversity of Cherimoyas

I also came upon this more interesting article regarding breeding strategies for Atemoyas and Cherimoyas which touches upon creating seedless fruit through utilization of polyploids to create seedless triploid, which I theorized in another thread, which was based on the process of creating seedless watermelons.

Anyways, to make a long story longer, I am seriously contemplating some future breeding projects to focus on creating an excellent tasting fruit with lower seed count, high sugar, high acid and most importantly self pollinating. Leo Manuel already created something to this extent but Iím not going to settle and Iím thinking about crossing Leoís hybrid #3 with Dr. white, Pierce, El Bumpo or Orton. Maybe all 3?

Anybody have any good articles, suggestions or reasons why I shouldnít do it? Thanks in advance for any comments.


Edited to correct tetraploid to triploid

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Indian Mango season 2018
« on: March 24, 2018, 11:51:46 AM »
Any news about the 2018 Indian Mango Season? Hereís what Iíve gathered so far:

According to, the season starts in 22 days.
They are introducing a new variety called Swarna Rekha( AKA Sunderi) from Andhra Pradesh.

Hereís a link to last years thread:

Iíll update this thread as I get more info.


I would like to know a hat everyone is getting for their Brix readings of the various citrus you are growing. It would be great if you can provide the variety name and what month you harvested. Iíd would be great if you can provide any additional info such as flavor descriptions or anything else you feel is relevant. Thanks,

Gold Nugget, March, 14% Brix
Tango, March, 16% Brix

Even though the Tango has higher Brix, it tasted much more tart than the Gd Nugget because of the sugar acid ratio. My pH meters membrane dried out so I canít get an acidity reading but Iím sure the Tango has a lot more acid than the Gold Nugget.

On a side note, I like to cure my Tango and/or any other citrus that tastes a bit too tart for me by allowing them to cure at room temperature for about 2-3 weeks. The acidity level seems to drop off which brings out the sweetness of the fruit.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Lychee grafting experiments
« on: February 25, 2018, 06:01:41 PM »
Lychees are one of my favorite fruit and Iíve been growing them for some time now but unfortunately they just donít grow well in ground at my house because of my alkaline soil and water. Iíve resorted to growing them in pots for now and I also planted trees at my in laws place where their soil is closer to neutral pH.

In the past, I was growing some highly coveted varieties like Kwa Luk, No Mai Tsze and Salathiel but they all eventually succumbed to my poor soil conditions. Reports from people I contacted in Florida indicated that Kwa Luk and No Mai Tsze are particularly susceptible adverse soil conditions and many of the trees for these two varieties eventually died.

Emperor is another Lychee that Iíve noticed performs poorly on its own roots if soil conditions are not ideal. Iíve personally experienced this myself with my Emperor growing great for a couple years and then it dies out of the blue.

Because of these circumstances I have to deal with, I decided to try innarch grafting Emperor onto seedling rootstocks to see if I can get it to grow faster and to survive long term in my poor soil.

I will also be innarching two Lychee seedlings together to see if they will grow faster with two rootstocks. After the Union has healed, I will innarch a named variety onto the double rootstock seedling tree.

A third experiment I will be testing out is to innarch a Longan seedling to a Lychee seedling. Once the graft heals, I will top off the Longan seedling leaving the Lychee top which I will then innarch a named variety onto.

My fourth experiment is to follow the same technique I used for growing avocado and directly plant Lychee seeds in my alkaline soil and hope that the seedling with its intact tap root will be better able to adapt to the native soil.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / First Frost of the year
« on: February 20, 2018, 09:17:19 AM »
My yard was hit with the first frost of the year. There was frost all over my car and the weeds in my front yard were also iced over. I hope everyoneís plants are doing ok. There is another frost advisory for tomorrow.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Vietnamese black watermelon?
« on: February 15, 2018, 06:35:05 PM »
I was at Lucky Seafood last week and they had a watermelon that looked very similar to the Hokkaido Black watermelon(Densuke) that I used to grow. I picked up the watermelon and another customer told me it was a Vietnamese watermelon but the label said it was from Mexico. I decided to try it out and it was very sweet for a Winter Watermelon.

I went back today and asked the cashier and she didnít know where it came from but said maybe it was from Vietnam and shipped to Mexico and then to the US?

Anyways, this watermelon looks almost identical to the Hokkaido Black I grew and tasted a lot like it as well. It only had a couple formed seeds. This Watermelon has a Brix of 13% which is very sweet, especially considering itís Winter now. Hereís a picture of the fruit.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Improving Mango Fruit set
« on: February 08, 2018, 12:05:19 PM »
Iíve posted this before but thought it would be useful for members to re read this article since many of our Mango trees are now in full bloom.
This article is referring specifically to Keitt Mangos but it may help with Fruit retention, Fruit size and Increased Brix for other varieties of Mango as well.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Star Apples from Vietnam
« on: January 18, 2018, 04:51:04 PM »
A good friend from the forum just informed me that they are selling Star Apples imported from Vietnam at Luck Seafood so I picked up a few. They are selling for $7.99/pound. Iíve never eaten them before so Iím excited to try this new fruit but Iím not expecting much from these imported fruit. Iíll give a taste report when I cut them open.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Grafted Avocado on clonal rootstock video
« on: December 28, 2017, 03:17:58 PM »
Hereís a great video about grafted Avocado on clonal rootstocks.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Giant Yellow Ecuador Megalanthus Dragonfruit
« on: December 08, 2017, 04:43:04 PM »
I stopped by Nijiya Market today and noticed again that they had giant yellow Megalanthus type Dragonfruit for sale. I passed on the Fruit last time because there was only one left and it didnít look good but they had a whole case of them today so I picked up a few.

The sign says they are from Thailand but the sticker says they are from Ecuador. From the internet research Iíve done in the last 10 years, i would believe that these fruit are from Ecuador and not Thailand.

I purchased three fruit and the Fruit averages about 12 Oz each. Each fruit costs $9.99 each and they are not sold by the pound so in terms of price per pound, it works out to about $13.33/pound for these fruit.


I felt two earthquakes at my house yesterday, the news said there were a total of 4, and the winds are now blowing like Iíve never seen before. My neighbors debris is in my yard and my yard debris is now downwind of me getting blown around town. Many of my potted plants are blown over and several trees almost snapped in half.

The few remaining Cherimoya I had hanging on the tree have blown off and winds are still supposed to pick up. I could barely keep my eyes open because dirt keeps blowing into them.

My neighbors banana tree is already leaning halfway into my yard and it looks like it may crush my mango, Achachairu and Lucs Mexican Mangosteen.

I hope everyone in SoCal stays safe and receives minimal damage to their plants and property.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cherimoya prices skyrocketing
« on: December 02, 2017, 01:55:25 PM »
Iíve been purchasing Cherimoyas from the local markets for years and have noticed a steady rise in the price per pound but this year, itís reached an all time high. The American grocery stores are selling Cherimoyas for $10+ a pound and even my local Asian market has marked up the price from $4.99/pound to $6.99/pound.

Howís the price elsewhere? The farmers markets still have reasonable prices for their ďBĒ grade Fruit, $3.99/pound and last time I checked their ďAĒ grade was going for $4.99-5.99/pound depending on the vendor.

I havenít checked Whole Foods but they are probably the most expensive. This is an Excellent backyard fruit because itís easy to grow, not readily available in the markets and the varieties in the markets are very limited.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / How to bud graft Mango
« on: November 13, 2017, 11:22:52 PM »
Hereís another Truly Tropical video on bud grafting Mango.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Puerto Rican Turpentine Mango
« on: October 18, 2017, 10:50:28 PM »
I got an email from Leo Manuel today saying that he has a lot of Puerto Rican Turpentine Mango Fruit Fruit that I may be very interested in for my Mango rootstock experiments. Leo mentioned that the fruit was very sweet and tasted really good but it is extremely fibrous. He explained to me on a previous visit that I can let it fully ripen and then squish it into pulp and suck the juice out like a mango juice box.

I keep Leo updated with all my Mango experiments and he believes this rootstock is one of the better rootstocks for growing in SoCal and he personally has several very large trees on this rootstock. One of the varieties he has on this rootstock is called Todos Santos and it is one of the most productive and disease free trees that also has. It is a moderately vigorous tree with a dense canopy and the consistency of its heavy fruiting is one of its more st attractive features.

Leo also mentioned that some others that have sampled this Fruit noticed that the fibers are not as noticeable if the fruit is eaten in a less ripened stage.

Here are some pictures of the Puerto Rican Turpentine Mango Fruit


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 2017 SoCal mango tasting
« on: September 30, 2017, 12:09:07 AM »
I'm going to do things a little different this year and start things off with the group picture because I wanted to show the diversity of our close knit group. With all that is happening around the world today, it's amazing how fruit has brought us all together!


The California (Coachella Valley) grown Keitts were excellent last year and I was wondering if anyone has seen them around yet? I purchased mine last year from Trader Joe's, Costco and the local Asian markets like aluvky Seafood. I would love to pick some up if anyone spots any so please post here if you happen upon some. Thanks in advance!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / What kind of fruit is this?
« on: August 14, 2017, 03:44:42 PM »
My friend has this growing in her yard. Does anyone know what this is? Thanks for your help!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Shocking! Watch for yourself
« on: July 29, 2017, 12:43:04 AM »
I care about all the members of this forum and I recently watched a show called "What the health" that just shocked me. I didn't do any research on the claims of that movie but I want to bring it up for discussion here. The movie is on Netflix and I strongly urge everyone on this forum to watch and keep an open mind. Let's stay civil. I want all of us to live healthier!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 2017 Cherimoyas
« on: July 18, 2017, 01:41:30 PM »
How's everyone's Cherimoyas doing this year? I hand pollinated and got too much fruit set so I thinned out about 70% of the fruit. This is the picture before I thinned. By keeping too much fruit, the size is much smaller and the quality decreases significantly because there is more seed and skin and less flesh. Sorry about the blurry pictures.


Here are some interesting videos from Pete Kanaris:
Part 1
Part 2

I'm interested in some of the varieties Dr. Campbell is growing.


I just saw this video regarding next generation mangos with speaker Dr. Noris Ledesma. The video was taken by Pete Kanaris. In this video, Dr. Ledesma talks about how they are trying to use lowland mangos such as Kasturi and Wani(White mango) to cross with Haden and other mangos to create a hybrid that is more genetically diverse and potentially more disease resistant.

Dr. Ledesma talks about how they are putting a cage over a Kasturi and Haden and releasing bees for cross pollination. She mentions that the Kasturi has a waxy coating on the fruit that resists Anthracnose and potentially other diseases.

I can't put into words how much respect I have for Dr. Noris Ledesma, Dr. Richard Campbell and others out there that are pushing the boundaries in regards to cultivation and the future of mangos. The incorporation of new genetics may add new flavor profiles that have never been tasted before. The smell, taste, color and texture may be something new and exciting for us to look forward to in the near future.

I'm really hoping that her team will be able to come up with a rootstock that has high resistance to, especially fungal diseases such as Anthracnose and Powdery Mildew so we can decrease or altogether eliminate the need for fungicides.

Here's the video:


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Looking for Josapine Pineapple
« on: June 24, 2017, 01:36:24 PM »
Hello everyone, I'm looking for Josapine Pineapple plants to buy. I need shipping to San Diego. I've searched online for a long time but can't find anywhere that sells this variety. Thanks,


A friend from this forum recently notified me that there were some Asian mangos available at Lucky Seafood so I went there and picked some up. My friend said they could potentially be Kook Lom Krong but I know very little about Asian mangos so I have no idea what it is. 4 fruit were $6.99

Today, I stopped by Vinh Hung in Mira Mesa and they sold these same mangos in cases for $26/case.

I spoke to an Asian lady there and she said these mangos are sweet even when they are green and crunchy so I decided to purchase a case.

The 4 pack I bought from Lucky Seafood is blushing with a bit of yellow so I decided to cut one open so that I can sample these at different stages of ripeness. This one I cut open is just starting to turn soft so it is not in the crunchy phase anymore. The flesh gave little juice in this stage and it had a Brix of 19%! The flesh was sweet and tasted a bit like a sweet green apple and was very enjoyable. I think this mango will be excellent if prepared in the southeast Asian tradition with a bit of fish sauce or shrimp/crab paste and some chilly peppers and eaten chilled on a hot day.

The most exciting thing is that these were grown in Mexico so they were hot water treated and not irradiated. This variety is polyembryonic so it is a candidate for my seedling experiments.

Can anyone confirm the identity of this new commercial variety?


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