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Messages - Mark in Texas

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Reed avocado thread
« on: May 18, 2019, 02:04:42 PM »
I just let it drop what it wants then come in mid to late summer and remove more when they are like golf ball size. ......

What I dont want is the tree to put a ton of energy into fruit thats not going to be there for the long haul.   

I'm surprised you let them get up to golf ball size.  Peach growers and that includes me thin their trees up to 40% when the fruit is pea size. 

Fruit on the left is from a peach growing friend.  Betcha can't guess who grew the wimp on the right.  ;D  Same variety.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Reed avocado thread
« on: May 18, 2019, 12:48:41 PM »
Once the tree sets fruit it will slow way down. 

My reeds set pretty much every flower.  They drop most but still hold 2-3X more than they can.  I go in around July or august and do some thinning. When they are young they will drop the fruits early(this time next year) if you dont thin down to the proper fruit load.

Man, that is just crazy.  Here's some great advice regarding thinning and the ones to choose and the ones to let stay.  Agree with this?

No question, avos shed a lot of fruit, especially those fruitlets set late in the bloom period, when competition for energy and water arises between developing fruitlets and new shoot growth. Bigger, older, earlier-set fruit have an advantage. With an avocado, itís last hired, first fired. If the late-set fruit is all self pollinated because the pollen partner is done blooming, that fruit will drop at a much higher rate than the more established (and possibly cross-pollinated) fruit. It will drop not because it is self-pollinated, but because itís smaller, and the tree has less invested in it. If this fact is overlooked, then analyzing the dropped fruit for paternity would skew your impression of the need for cross-pollination.

Newer, more nuanced DNA research has shown no correlation between cross-pollination and yield.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Reed avocado thread
« on: May 18, 2019, 12:44:25 PM »
Topping screws up reeds shape.  Just let it grow up thats how it wants to grow.  Otherwise it branches at the very top and you get a screwed up shape tree.  I have 6 reeds and a couple of them are screwed up because I topped them or they started screwed up from the nursery.  You want 1 central leader.  I saw a high desity planting where they put a 10ft T post in the ground and train each tree up that never topping.

Mark thanks for the heads up! i thought i recall somebody  saying that they topped it and it screwed up the shape but couldn't find the thread so i thought i asked.  I also figured i better ask now because some trees need it done early enough.  I was actually planning to pug it to knee height and see if i can create a bush rather then a vertical tree.   But i will let it be it's healthy and happy. :)

Like Brad advised.  It happened to me.  I topped very low and it turned out with a goal post shape, hollow in the center.  I chose 3 shoots to become the new trunks March of 2018:

Last summer I had a fire ant problem.
I mixed borax with peanut butter and put the mixture on a credit card.
I set it by the mound.

I don't see any fire ant so far.

Borax or boric acid is a stomach poison.  Good call.

I hit them with permethrin, my favorite all around pesticide, Tenguard brand.  Mound is dead.  There were thousands of larvae and thank gawd no leak!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Reed avocado thread
« on: May 18, 2019, 07:33:04 AM »
If you want to slow down your Reed by defoliating it which deprives it of food and it's getting you what you want, OK.  My Reed is also very vigorous but I control that with pruning, an application or two of Bonzi, a plant growth regulator, which if done during mid bloom increases fruit set and size according to field studies.  A tree without fruit will be vigorous with more vegetation.

My Reed is now in mid bloom and 2 months late.  At least the bees and other pollinators finally found it.  We had a helluva flush of wildflowers in Texas this spring which I think side tracked pollinators.  I also think my two applications of potassium sulphate and Solubor helped initiate the blooming response earlier this year.  Here it is last month.  It has hit the top of the greenhouse roof since then and is wider.  3 leaders/trunks, about 3" in girth, after freezing back to a stub Jan. 2018.

That's incredible.  How long did it take for them to build up that mound?  On the plus side, they're shading your PVC and manifold (I just had to replace mine).  Also, that "red-brown" dirt looks fine as coffee grinds.  How can you put it to use?!?

Being that it was covered by the granite plastic facade I have no clue how long they've been building that nest.  I hope my permethrin drench got them yesterday.  The dirt is clay loam.  It's a bitch to work - hard as concrete when dry, gooey slop when wet but stuff in it grows like crazy.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: May 16, 2019, 08:08:09 AM »
I was very tempted to just remove the plastic and put up shade but its such a PITA.

Yep.  Can't use it where I live - gusty prevailing winds and an occasion hail with the storms.

Well...I've had mounds of fire ants but nothing like this.  Obviously I have a leak at a manifold that services my greenhouse and turf irrigation system.  I noticed fire ants ON TOP of the plastic granite facade and thought....hmmmm, that's weird.  It was packed by so much ant engineered dirt, eggs, larvae, winged bastards from hell I struggled to get the top off. There's enough of them bastards to kill a horse!

This repair is NOT going to be fun.  :-\

Knocked down to stir them up and baited with Amdro.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado grafting
« on: May 15, 2019, 02:55:04 PM »
Lookin' great Brad.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Geodesic dome greenhouse build
« on: May 15, 2019, 02:50:51 PM »
On this triangular board i cut all the struts by hand( with a hand saw ;D).
This is the joint of a hexagon.On exterior they fit perfect but on the interior i had somme gaps wich i filled with injected fiberglass adhesive.All the joints and the triangles have to be arranged in one direction,clockwise or anticlockwise and the result is a pattern that looks like a swastica with 5 or 6 arms.

Nice job!  Cut by hand? 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« on: May 15, 2019, 02:45:49 PM »
The tap root of a pecan seedling from an air pot.It did the job but it also killed most if not all of my pecans.

I and the forest service has been using root tip pruning systems for decades.  I've never lost anything in them.  Something else is going on like your watering schedule.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« on: May 15, 2019, 02:38:11 PM »
My pots are better than the airpots for sale, for a narrow and tall volume because you can see in the pictures they dont have holes in the upper part so that the water doesnt leak out of the pot too fast.But it was a bad idea after a closer look at the trees ,most of them are dead ,probably because i didnt watered them for half a year and pecans like wet soil.Bad news to find out that my seedlings of wild and northern pecans died.I scratched the bark on every tree and 14 are still green but they didnt leafed out as they should by now.Maybe inside a greenhouse these air pots work but not outside and not with pecans.

Airpots will work indoors and out by terminating the root tip via light and air.  If you don't have holes, you have root spin out.  I've posted a very large and old tree in a RootBuilder "pot"  (actually it's a raised bed) that was a good 25' in diameter, never to be moved from that site.

Your pots need to be much wider to be effective regarding building a massive fibrous root system.

Being that the rootball is fibrous and there's no roots at the perimeter of a pot trees come out of these pots much easier than conventional.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: May 13, 2019, 10:51:21 AM »
Heres the roll up sides.  It rolls up 3ft or so.  Takes about 10 seconds to open up or close.  Can open both sides and the wind passes right through and keeps the HH cool.  The end walls are open for summer too.  The zig zag rope is there to hold the roll up wall from flapping in the wind.

"Very cool".  :D

Quite a few folks in Texas cover their hoop houses in vinyl come winter and substitute shade cloth for the vinyl come spring.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: May 11, 2019, 11:05:39 AM »
I don't think TAC is a scam. See for example. Since I've added a TAC filter to my house I've had fewer scaling problems with my instant hot water heater. I also see the difference in the rest of the plumbing and cooking. The magnetic "descaler" works as well, but is much less effective than TAC and it's not just a couple of magnets affixed to a pipe. Interesting stuff, actually.

TAC is not a scam. I personally witnessed a nice restaurant that had foggers installed over head at an ourdoor eating patio.  Place was covered in plants too, no white dusting.  I contacted the owner who was nice enough to get me all the details on his TAC installation and the vendor.  TAC conditioned water is used for all his water needs including cleaning dishes, coffee/tea, etc.  Area has the same limestone based soils and water sources.

What brand do you have?  I've looked at quite a few. 

R/O vendor said even with a TAC installed as a prefilter the hardness is still there.  The membranes will tend to foul up prematurely even though scale is mitigated.  I really need 0 hardness which can only be accomplished with a salt based water softener.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: May 11, 2019, 10:58:08 AM »
Thats a nice fan and has no nozzles so it might not necesarely need RO water and should be easy to clean in case it does get jammed.

Brad's right, I don't want my trees to be dusted white with salts.  My TDS is 800 + ppm and hardness is 25 grains, bicarbonates.  Trust me, I've covered every angle of this for 3 years and seem stuck.

One solution to heat gain in greenhouses is choosing a film that has IR inhibitors in it.  Fairly new technology.  Fella who installed nano ceramic film on our new BMW front windows told me he uses the same, but clear, film (for vehicle front windshields) on greenhouse glass glazing.  Says it makes a huge difference.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 10, 2019, 06:09:28 PM »
Lovely pic Mark.  Question, do you see heavy leaf drop in the Spring (or after post-winter seasonal warming) on your Avocado trees?  My outdoor trees seem to drop nearly 100% of their leaves over several months going into the Spring/Summer.  If they're happy, the put on new leaves and branching shoots to replace those, but there's a good period of time where the trees are brought down to a skeleton of itself.  Scary on a number of levels.

Yep, it's happening right now but new leaves have been coming on for months.  New first, versus new later, may be variety driven.  My Reed is getting ready to dump big time.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 10, 2019, 06:04:32 PM »
Lovely pic Mark.  Question, do you see heavy leaf drop in the Spring (or after post-winter seasonal warming) on your Avocado trees?  My outdoor trees seem to drop nearly 100% of their leaves over several months going into the Spring/Summer.  If they're happy, the put on new leaves and branching shoots to replace those, but there's a good period of time where the trees are brought down to a skeleton of itself.  Scary on a number of levels.

Yep, it's happening right now but new leaves have been coming on for months.  New first, versus new later, may be variety driven.  My Reed is getting ready to dump big time.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: May 10, 2019, 05:57:20 PM »
Thats a nice high tech looking fogger but i would find out first in what way does it makes the fog,with high pressure nozzles or by ultrasounds.Also how much electric power it draws its important because at somme point ( if it works on ultrasounds) it might be cheaper/more efficient to just install an AC. I will probably use the cheaper misters that everhybody uses for greenhouse that work on 4 bar pressure and in case they got stuck il use a polyphosphate filter .Mounted on a humidity controller like Spaugh reccomended .

Way ahead of ya. I'm a research freak.  "Aw shit!" is not in my vocabulary. 

Brad, got it, THANKS!

Product description:  Hanging Sump Fog System

The GT 500 Hanging Sump is a ready-to-operate unit designed for interior humidification, evaporative cooling, and chemical fogging. Components are UV stabilized and suitable for outdoor use.

This centrifugal atomizer has a rear-feed blade system that produces billions of tiny, fog-like particles that evaporate quickly. A hydrophilic front guard helps keep floors dry. The unitís sump recycles wastewater and conserves water, making this unit great for use in drought-prone areas. The GT Hanging Sump uses a float valve to maintain the water level in the tank, a submersible pump to send water to the fogging head, and ball valve to control the fogging output.

The Hanging Sump comes equipped with an on/off power switch, 20í of water line, and a 15í power cord with plug. Units hang by either a single U-bolt or a universal mounting bolt.

So far I'll need a 48,000 grain water softener, Axeon 300 gpd R/O, 80 gal. pressure tank, fogger. Done.  All my research regarding non salt water conditioner have their short comings.  Best choice is TAC or Template Assisted Crystalization water conditioner.

A 9,200 gal. water tank is about $10,000 locally installed and hoping it rains which it doesn't come summer.  A dome of high pressure will soon set up over central Texas and does not move out until Sept.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: May 10, 2019, 10:24:00 AM »
Mark, you have big vents but its still not enough obviously.  You probably won't like my idea but after dealing with the same problems, its what Im doing.  I'm removing the end walls and lifting the long walls open. 

In your case, it might be easiest to just remove the the panels on E, W, and N Ends of the GH and let it fully breath.  If thry come off easily thats what I would do instead of building a big mist system that sucks water and power and filters...

I'd just open that SOB up half the year.

This aint cheap polyvinyl. I can't just pull 1,000 self tapping screws out of corrugated polycarbonate panels plus we still get temps in the upper 90's and it's not unusual to have temps over 100F for days on end.  If you knew what it takes to drive one of the screws into this hardened steel you'd understand.  You have to use a carbide/tungsten drill just to start the hole.

Again, I'm not building a big mist system.  I don't have the patience for all the crap that goes into it.  Did you see the Aquafog device for $1,347?  Hang it, plug it in and you're done. 15 gph of fog which studies have shown is much more effective and energy conscious than stuff like wet pads.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: May 10, 2019, 10:13:53 AM »
Grafted Frankencado continues to explode in growth, as does the sprawling volunteer tomato.  Sharwil, Lamb Hass, Pinkerton.

Finally some pollinators like this small dragon fly.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: May 09, 2019, 09:48:06 AM »
I put roll up sides on the hoop house and ditched the mist system.  Im pretty happy with that move.  So much less crap to deal with. 

Mark, are you able to just install more windows or something on the GH so you dont have to buy all that stuff?  It seems like a like of pieces. 

Regarding RO unit GPD ratings, go way bigger than you think you need.  My experience is they dont make as much as they claim by a longshot.  Some of those specs are with really high input pressure ratings like 400psi.

Like we discussed on the phone, I have about 10X the venting most greenhouse techs recommend.  Wall vent is 4' X 36' and faces south prevailing winds that can sometimes get into the 40's mph. Roof is 2' X 36'.  2 swamp cooler provide a total of 10,000 CFM input.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: May 09, 2019, 09:41:19 AM »
Off course that the bigger the membrane the better and i posted that 150GPD /30 dollars housing and membrane as an example for the right price and having in mind that Mark wont really need 600 litters of RO water a day.In his link the RO unit has 2 membranes and housings.Membranes are set to work between 40-60 psi .100 psi would damage most peoples instalations in homes.No matter what membrane you will use you will still have probably 4 times  more wastewater than the quantity of the RO water.I know its frustrating to need the RO water fast and to have to wait hours until its produced .That polyphosphate filter i found on Ebay ,would last years if only used without RO membrane ( with RO membrane,lifespan reduces to probably less than a quarter of time because you will throw 3 quarters of the RO waste water and will have to filter those also.For cirsculating high pressure pumps ,the chinese make somme really nice 12 Volts diaphragm pumps for like just 20 dollars.They really strong,stronger than the expensive booster pumps and they last the same as the expensive booster pumps @ 3000 hours because they have brushed motoŕs and those brushes are consumable parts. These small pumps get to 130 psi and can work on lower voltages like 4 volts or so, to last longer oŕ be more quiet.Can also be used with solar pannels but they  need amperage @4 amps.

Thanks for the info!  After looking at units on Amazon, ebay, etc.  I've settled on this unit.  Not the cheapest but it has a booster pump, gauges to monitor pressure, etc.  80 gal. bladder tank on top of that.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: May 09, 2019, 09:34:20 AM »
Those RO filters dont make as much water as they claim unless you have several hundred psi input pressure.  And you need to run a lot of waste water to get low TDS.  You are much better off getting an industrial size 4040 membrane and housing.  Trust me on this.

Mark, if it were me, I would hook the RO unit onto your rain catch tank on a float valve.  Then use a small boost pump from the tank to the mister.  Probably need a small bladder tank after the booster to give some elasticity to the system.  You wanna size the booster correctly also or its going to be cycling on and off constantly.  Thats a great way to burn up a motor.

Get the water softener and put it outside the GH along with a proper 4040 stainless membrane housing.  They must make weather proof softeners. 

And to control the mister, they have 30$ humitidy and or temperature controllers on amazon, that part will be easy.  But you should ask the mist company how often their mist pump can be cycled on and off.  That was a problem I ran into, the mist pump was cyxlig too much and the charge cap on the motor didnt have time to charge.  Motor wouldnt start, and breaker would get thrown on that outlet. 

Major pain in the ass.  Glad Im not doing that anymore.

Yes it is and thanks for the detailed food for thought.  Hell, I might just install a 9,000 gal. water tank under the other gutter, tie it into the tank I already have and draw from that.  The existing 305 gal. water tank would last all of 3 days.

No misters, pump, etc..... just hang one of these and forget it.  Video is worth watching.

Or, install a TAC system.  This no salt softener tech is bonafide.  Here's some lab tests on 3 water conditioners - magnetic, electromagnetic and Template Assisted Crystalization or TAC.   

I assume that because scale does not form that the R/O unit would flush it out, meaning I could go direct from the conditioner to the R/O system?

I got a couple of quotes so far.  Still working on it.   One includes a booster pump before and a small pump aft, pressurized tank, etc.

EvilFruit, what's the NPK of the food that mango is getting, what's your soil profile like including the pH?   Not a Mg issue.  Mg deficiencies only show on lower leaves as a pale yellow hue but can work its way to the mid level. It's a mineral transportation thingie regarding Mg. 

Hi Mark,

This mango is supposed to be Ewais or Taimoor Mango from Egypt.

My soil is pure sand, desert sand. It is very poor in almost all elements that is essential for plant life. As for NPK, I use water soluble fertilizer (19-19-19+1MgO) that is injected to the irrigation line and granular Fertilizer (8-8-16). I also add Trace Elements powder every three weeks and I use potassium sulfate before the plant start flowering. I don't use the full recommended dosage by the manufacture, I use only 1/3 of recommended dosage and some organic fertilizer (manure, compost) when I have it.

I have never tasted my soil pH.

Here is the products I use.

I took a look at the photo of those leaves again. I don't see a real problem based on the mature leaves.  They are dark green with no chlorosis evident.  The new immature leaves show a very minor chlorosis but nothing I'd be concerned about.  I think you're doing a great job considering the challenges you have.

Thank you Har.  I have looked up pics of Mango Scale and you are correct.
I initially tried to simply wipe the white spots off the mango leaves, but they came back.
In this forum you have suggested Neem oil and Insecticidal Soap as remedies.  Does liquid Sevin work?  I also found a link suggesting Bayer Tempo SC.  Any experience with this?

Apply Bonide All Season Hort. Oil or any high quality paraffinic oil. Shake before applying as it contains an emulsifier, a non ionic surfactant

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