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Messages - Mark in Texas

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado 24/7 Thread
« on: May 25, 2020, 10:16:28 AM »
What is considered an abnormally large leaf for avocado? I have an unknown seedling that is 1 metre in height and one of the leaves is 33cm (13 inches) long. There was previously shade cloth on the sun-side to block harsh summer sun, maybe this caused it?

I wish I knew whether the ancestry was Mexican or Guatemalan the former having leaves that can be processed as a food additive or to brew tea. Guatemalan leaves are apparently toxic.

Yep, I have some leaves that big.  Means you're doing a good job too!  Guatemalan hybrids and pure race (like Reed) will have juvenile leaves with plenty of red as opposed to Mex. and W. Indies which will push green.

Interesting concept.  Wonder how the seals, etc. hold up over 10-20 years?

I just replaced a 15 year old Grundfos 1 HP pump which was working fine with a 3/4 HP, keeping my old one as a spare.

Nice project.
Hope the expensive fan fogger works well for you and you get enough rain to sustain your cooling sistem.
RO water is also an option in case its needed and if you can afford to buy that fan you can afford to pay the water from the RO installation also :D.
Or polyphosphate filter better wich will stain your plant leaves but we do that with foliar fertiliser anyway.

R/O is not an option, this after checking all kinds of ways to make it happen.

Those black tanks would be good to store heat.
No room inside for those tanks?

Real estate is too expensive for water storage.

That is one beautiful greenhouse set-up you have there.
Good luck!

Kevin Jones

Thanks.  Been a lot of hard work but also very rewarding.  For example I clipped cuttings of Big Beef the day before a hard freeze took out my garden last November. Using gel rooting cups rooted a few, stuck one in a 5 gal. pot the other in with an Ardith avocado tree.  Been growing Big Beef tomatoes for years, it's as good as it gets regarding everything that matters in a medium to large red slicer. Productive under all kinds of Texas conditions, no cracking, no cat facing (no waste), no blossom end rot a rich sweet taste and good acid profile. This is what high quality fruit breeding is all about.

5" of rain coming our way via a low moving out of SoCal?   Let 'er rip! Me and an old German boy gotter done in spite of my fear and hate climbing ladders. Will interconnect the 2 tanks at the bottom outlets, feed the trees and a new AquaFog cooling unit. Lifting that heavy pipe, gluing and sticking the el's was lotsa fun at my age. 🤪🤪🤪

Doing an experiment on 4 caged tomatoes - full east sun until 2 p.m., 7 gal. RootBuilder pots sitting over a fracture that was ripped 2' deep.

Not had it long but my PG never sets on it's own.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Reed avocado thread
« on: May 24, 2020, 09:16:41 AM »
Had one drop off and we ate it for dinner.  Was pretty good but they need another month to get more oil.

Mine is just beginning to break flower buds, 3 months late.  Craziest thing I've ever seen.  Weather is all screwed up with repeated night temps in the 40's which has induced a 2nd bloom on Pinkerton and Ardith.

Have a fun weekend.  Put on a Prime brisket at 5:00 this morn.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: May 02, 2020, 10:08:25 AM »
Mark, you may be surprised, but I don't like the taste of mango, and I know a lot of people who have tried to grow it in a container. None of them have achieved the result. We have more popular citrus,cocoa, eugenia, they give good fruit when growing in pots.

Have a friend in Austin that  moves his pitaya inside come winter.  Here's his ingenious new cart.

Curious, does Zill or any of the other breeders have a patent (copyright) on their work, new offerings?

From what I can see in this photo, your soil looks very fertile.  Is the feral pig problem in Texas as bad as I've read?

You bet it is.  There's a high end leisure ranch not far from me.  Owner has several interests like grapes and hog hunting by helicopter.  One of our house cleaners told us he got 92 in one day via helicopter.  Friend brought me a newly butchered juvenile the other day.  Gonna do me some full rack baby back ribs!

That all sounds fantastic, Mark. And I respect you greatly for being a good steward of your land.

Thank you. Didn't come cheap either.  I hired a farmer to disc, sow, and then drag the tilled soil to cover the seed.   You can't get a farmer to unload a large tractor off the trailer for less than $500.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: April 29, 2020, 07:46:37 AM »
Your suggestions are correct, but unfortunately they are not suitable for my country. The only way to get something from dragonfruit is to grow it in large pots and, when the weather is cold, move it to the room.

Based on your limitations I'd be growing another fruit.  Pitaya can't hold a candle to mango for example when it comes to taste and yields.  The amount of work it takes to keep it trellised is just B.S.   Also a fruit like mango pollinates on its own, pitaya is iffy at best.  Pickering produces excellent fruit on a small manageable tree.

Then there's a greenhouse......

I'd say anything that conserves soil and soil health, forests, aquifers, and ocean health is good ....

Of course.  It's the extreme wackos and their lawyering whores I have a problem with.

This membership is in the 1,000's and I bet there is not one person who has spent the money and time it takes putting in cover crops and legumes 2 years in a row.  I have, on 14 acres.   FWIW my aquifer's output is plentiful and my #1 pump/well is shallow set at 120'.  The well is capable of producing a whopping 150 gals/hr. if need be.

Elbon rye, cut it at 6' tall.

Hairy vetch is flowering now. That legume and the sweet clover I planted have been reseeding since 2004.

Grafted last year if all goes well will be eating Glenn, Orange Sherbet, Fruit Punch and Pineapple Pleasure in a few months.  My mangos are about golf size now   We recently had a low of 46F which has induced my Pinkerton avocado tree to bloom the second time this year.

:D Yah, it's gotten overboard. What I find humorous is that Bruce Ames (previous chair of biochem at Berkeley) proved that organic produce is higher in carcinogens than conventional back in the 80's.

That is funny!  ;D

Excellent, solid points you made. 

We are a country of fearful neurotics and hypochondriacs.  Here's a quote from a SoCal avocado growing group I belong to:

"I've heard a few people mention white washing the bark of your tree and I don't understand why one would need to paint a tree with a chemical based paint? I want all the trees in my yard to be 100% organic. so tell me what white washing is and why it's important? Is it important? I live in Claremont California."

My response:

$%*(@#@$$, so you've run a lab analysis on such painted tissue and found levels of "chemicals" exceed EPA standards, what exactly are those chemicals? 95% of the organic/natural movement is a joke based on fear and ignorance. Having said that I have been pushing a spray of kaolin clay wettable powder not because I'm a fearful neurotic but because it's cheap and a helluva lot easier to mix and apply.

Don't know if Captan would help but it has no REI interval posted on our Aggie vineyard pesticide list.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: April 26, 2020, 08:56:25 AM »
Hi guys, today I finished making containers for my dragonfruit. A total of 6 containers. I decided to economy and plant two different varieties in one container. Someone tell me which land is better to use? I have a good humus from chicken manure, is it possible for pitahaya?

Brad made a good point, watch the heavy use of organics. They will break down over time and there goes your nice aerated soil structure.  Go heavy with stuff like vermiculite if you want to keep it light, builders sand for some weight.

Also, that base of yours needs to be wider than the top as the top will become very heavy.

I built a reinforced trellis/hog wire PVC set up tied to the rafters.  I just cut down growths that had snaked their way 10' into  the rafters.     This was last year ago when I first planted. It's one huge tangled mess now. 

A properly ripened Mallika is very similar in flavor to Lemon Zest.

Got a source for some of dat good ol camel dung?   ;D  I thought PIN was kidding including it in their description.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 20, 2020, 08:48:14 AM »

I've had a Hass mounded for half a year and some of the new growth leaves have been browning and falling off, and some of the limbs are yellowing. Is this root for? Please see the photo.

Need more info. Did you amend clay backfill by chance?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 20, 2020, 08:45:40 AM »
Ardith is growing normal here.  My tree has a bunch of fruit, I havent picked and tried any yet.  Probably should soon.  We are drowning in avocados...  Reed hasnt flowered here yet either.  My guatemalans are about to bloom but not yet.  All the new hawaiian trees heres are budding up.  Lots of good stuff.

Drowning in avocados?  Wow, fate worst than death.  I can help. ;)

Everything looks great.  You're planning, care, etc. is first rate.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 19, 2020, 08:54:00 AM »
My Bacon avocado full of flowers!   ;D



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 19, 2020, 08:52:09 AM »
Nice looking sharwil mark.  The sharwils here are really excellent.  Home grown hass is pretty darn good too, hard to say which are better.

Thanks Brad. Yeah, I've grown Sharwil. It's an excellent tree in all respects - the way it grows, fruits, quality of fruit.  Damn thing is just loaded but of course it's also dropping some of that fruit load.  Lamb has set fruit.

BTW, what's up with Ardith?  Mine with it's single trunk is now pretty thick, like 2", BUT the internodes are outrageous, like 12-18".  Is that just the way it grows?  It's holding fruit at the top, 9' but I may just have to cut it down to a stump and start all over regarding it's profile, which really sucks. 

BTW, GEM is blooming well and sending off a fine leaf flush. If you recall I grafted that one last year. 

Reed is really acting up. Holding nice fruit but no evidence of pushing buds any time soon.  I was worried because it was super late going into dormancy last winter for some reason.  It's a good 6 weeks behind schedule.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 19, 2020, 08:43:14 AM »
Never heard of a Ettinger . Don't think they are very popular in south Florida . Any reason why you recommend them over the more popular Day's or Simmonds  options ? We are the same environment as Carlos in Miami .

There's a lot of great avocados not recommended in Florida, what can I say.  Ettinger has a thick peel for starts which helps with your anthracnose thingie.

Taste is reported good. This from a large scale Aggie trial in Weslaco in 1989.  Tech I talked to loved it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 17, 2020, 12:09:43 PM »
looking to try a Day avocado . I live in Naples Fl and want to plant another tree . Would like to try a Day and possibly a few others before planting . Any idea where I can buy some different varieties to try ? I currently have 2  Nishikawa , Oro Negro and a Brogdon . So if someone wants to swap a couple I good with that .

The Nish and Oro  are late trees . Looking for something earlier in the year .


I'd go with Ettinger, a seedling of Fuerte.  Does well in the RGV (rio grande valley) which is similar to your area.

For me, Mallika is the hardest to pick.

Taste like a carrot to me.  It now hosts Zill varieties.

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