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Messages - simon_grow

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 14, 2019, 06:46:13 PM »
Hey Frog Valley Farm,

I used to be an Organic purist but Iíve since started using different chemicals/fungicides/insecticide as a last resort. I still believe in feeding the soil food web and taking care of it so that it can feed and take care of my plants.

In my extremely high pH soil, it is difficult to keep everything happy without occasionally adjusting the soil pH and Foliar feeding with minors and trace minerals.

I used to do research on mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacteria and many of the organisms can actually survive and thrive in harmony with chemical fertilizers and other non organic products. I canít go into detail because of non disclosure agreements.

My largest LZ tree is growing like gangbusters this year so hopefully it will be able to store up a lot of reserves to hold more fruit with each successive year.


Last time I checked the root zone of my larger LZ tree, there were a ton of worms. This tree has a lot of compost and mulch over the drip zone. I donít need to give this tree any Nitrogen because it is getting enough from the soil food web.

Simon

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Purple passionfruut comparison
« on: September 13, 2019, 10:06:51 PM »
Thanks for the description and comparisons. I need to get a few more fruit from you and then Iíll get my wife to make the Passionfruit Ricotta torte I was telling you about. I canít believe how loaded your vines were last time I was over.

Simon

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 13, 2019, 11:44:07 AM »
Yeah, Leo gets plenty of PM at his orchard but the varieties he is growing is at least partially resistant to PM.

PM is definitely one of the causes of low fruit set because it really affects the blooms but I get multiple blooms and the later blooms donít get affected as much.

Maturity of the tree or a shift in hormones within the tree is likely a cause for fruit drop post fruit set.

My potted DSGed LZ dropped two more fruit yesterday and again, I notice that this is correlated with new vegetative growth on the plant. This natural attrition is probably normal for Mangos but perhaps LZ is just one of those varieties that get a little heavy handed when it comes to self thinning?









Iím thinking that as a large tree, the Lemon Zest variety naturally wants to reach a larger size before hormones levels tip the scales and trigger a reduction in hormones that signal for fruit drop or the opposite happens and there is an increase in hormones that signal for holding onto the fruit.

It could also be that a certain level of stored carbohydrates can influence fruit drop/retention.

Some may argue that VP is a large tree yet it is very precious but it could be variety specific.

In Cherimoyas, the Dr White variety is a large tree canopy variety and it does not hold fruit well until the tree is established for several years and attains a relatively large canopy.

Simon

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Lychee grafted onto Longan?
« on: September 12, 2019, 03:36:12 PM »
Thanks for the update Max! Long term compatibility is looking better and better. NMT doesnít grow well on its own rootstock so hopefully you will get better growth on the Longan rootstock. Please continue to update us with this cool experiment!

Simon

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sudden lychee death
« on: September 11, 2019, 11:37:00 PM »
A disease has been killing Lychee trees around San Diego for several years. It killed my Sweetheart Lychee and I warned other people about it. It appears to be a disease that affects the vascular tissue and you begin to see wilting of the leaves and then the smaller branches start drying up and getting slightly wrinkly. The leaves eventually die and stay attached to the branches but eventually falling off.

The same symptoms killed a huge Sweetheart and Brewster Lychee at Leo Manuelís place.

I saw the same symptoms just beginning on one of my potted Sweetheart Lychees and I immediately foliar sprayed it with Abound, a systemic fungicide, and it immediately stopped the progression of the disease. Eventually the tree fully recovered and is still doing well to this day.

Simon

6
Iím sorry to see that. Hopefully they will send you replacements. You might get lucky with growth above the graft union.

Simon

7
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 11, 2019, 11:24:03 PM »
Simon gave me some LZ budwoods -- thanks Simon -- back in 2016 and the grafts on Manila are big now but have not held a single fruits. About 3 or 4 fruits got to 2.5" then dropped. The tree always had PM but still there were a few fruits formed and growing. I think I will build a big pool next to it like Gary. Heavy dew in April is the reason for PM, even I tried to cover with tarp but didn't help.

Sapote,

Iím glad itís growing well for you. We may have to just suck it up and begin a spray regimen. I know some people have stated that they sprayed and still got PM but that just tells me that the spray program/chemical/concentration or contact time was not effective.

Simon

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 11, 2019, 11:19:36 PM »


Lemon Zest is one of my all time favorite Mango varieties but my young trees set very few fruit. This picture above is a Lemon Zest tree grown in Palm Springs California by Gary and as you can see, his tree consistently sets good amounts of fruit, he probably had 60+ fruit this year.

I would like to gather information from members that grow Lemon Zest in hopes that we can come up with a strategy to improve yields for this excellent tasting variety.

I have heard from two growers that say their trees started setting and holding significantly more fruit after their trees reached a large size.

My tree set a good amount of fruit this year and last year but most the fruit dropped at around 2 inches in length which coincided with an increase in temperatures.

As soon as the fruit dropped from my trees, my tree exploded with vegetative growth. Iím wondering if I can decrease fruit drop by slightly backing off on watering. I already back off on Nitrogen pre bloom.

Any observations or comments are greatly appreciated.
Simon

My trees are small and in sand & full sun and typical low yields so far so I can only add observation comments.

Looking at the picture, It appears a eugenia or other hedge competing for nutrients as well as a paver area changing the ph. Also the hedge is probably shading the tree which is probably advantageous in his area to prevent high heat and fruit drop as you also mentioned with your fruit drop as heat intensifies.

Perhaps the competition with the hedge taking away some minerals, nitrogen, etc. may be slowing growth and fruit drop. Perhaps the ph of his soil is actually not ideal and may be for example higher ph 8 etc. and decreasing again some nitrogen/mineral uptake. So we may actually be loving ours too much vs. his tree in setting up a growth vs. fruiting environment... All guesses. It would be nice to know his soil ph levels around the trees root zone.  A partial canopy/sun block would also be a fairly easy installation on 1 tree to try before temps. increase to see if fruit drop slowed...   

I know little about pools but here is a google quote on concrete affecting soil: "Concrete Raises Soil pH
Concrete is alkaline in nature, meaning it has a pH of 7.0 or above. ... One ingredient is limestone, which is made up of calcium carbonate and is commonly used by home gardeners in a finely ground powder form, called lime, to raise the pH of overly acidic soils.".. Thus obvious also may try increase ph, increase calcium carbonate, etc. etc. etc.

Palmcity, thanks for the observations. I have a Lemon Zest tree on Kent rootstock in soil with a pH approximately 7.5-8 and it has the same issues. The pH was so high that it wasnít able to uptake most of the minors and trace minerals from the soil and it got chlorotic and sickly. I saved it by using a systemic Fungicide and foliar applications of minors and trace minerals. It is a tiny stunted Bush only a few feet tall and wide but it is fully recovered now and it bloomed last winter but dropped all its fruit.

Gary in Palm Springs has good draining soil but I donít know the pH. Iím still hoping that size or maturity of the tree will allow the tree to hold more fruit.

Simon

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 11, 2019, 11:03:37 PM »
in So Cal, PM seems to be the big issue. I sprayed and still it didnt help. blooms turn black and if you have bead size fruitlets, they end up falling. If that is not enough, then Santa Ana takes care of drops OR mangoes split. Our winter/Spring is weird with wild temp swings, fog, extreme cold and warm days.  Frank has a big tree, now sure how it performed this year. He always start of with over 400 fruits, end up under a dozzen

Behl, my first blooms always get PM really bad but my second or third blooms usually donít get hit as hard. I get plenty of fruit set but they just fall off when they reach 2-4 inches which usually coincides with the heat and a vegetative flush.

Heres a Lemon Zest fruit that just fell off my potted DSGed LZ. Itís about 4 inches long and if it were any other variety, I would expect all but one or two fruit to fall off but since itís LZ and a small potted Bonsai tree, I would guess that all the fruit will fall off. If I can get one fruit to full maturity on this little tree, that would be quite an achievement.

This fruit actually fell off about two days ago. Notice that it doesnít have any signs of fungal disease or Bacterial Black Spot.




My little potted tree still has 3 fruit hanging on that one panicle so Iíll keep everyone updated. My little tree is currently pushing some new growth flushes.

Behl, for my LZ trees, I only notice cracking of fruit on nubbins that werenít completely pollinated. These fruit are much smaller and more rounded in shape and have very prominent dark colored lentils.

Simon

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 09, 2019, 12:43:15 PM »
Simon
Gary climate is perfect for LZ, Alfonso and other varieties that suffer from powdery mildew in our areas. Iíll give him a ring to see if we can get our old friend in the tasting next month.

Great, itís been a while since Gary came to one of the mango tastings. It would be wonderful to see the old group back together!

Simon

11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 09, 2019, 12:41:08 PM »
Thank you Simon for this very informative post. I live in phoenix in a farming community. I have seven seedlings in the ground doing well. Five are on Flood irrigation.
Lemon Zest will definitely be one of the varieties i plan to graft on one or two of the trees when they get to size probably in 3 years. I'm patient. In the desert we get none of those fungus issues.
Congrats to Gary his tree looks phenomenal!!

Thanks again for the valuable info.
Mike

Mike, I would expect you to have huge Lemon Zest seedlings that are fruitful in the coming years. With your heat and low humidity, there shouldnít be any issues with fruit set.

Simon

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 09, 2019, 12:35:13 PM »
Simon.... Reading in between the lines that Zill puts out. They will no longer graft Lemon Zest due to so called "issues". My take is LZ will do just fine in lower humidity southern California and Arizona you have proof already fr Starch. You just have to iron out the kinks. Right rootstock etc. Maybe some  minimal sprays. How about a dose of potassium?

Iíve tried a multitude of Foliar sprays including seaweed and Citrus Nutritional spray. My particular location in San Diego is more coastal inland and the humidity is relatively high compared to more inland locations. I get heavy fog in the mornings which causes a lot of fungal issues for me.

My area is an excellent growing environment for Powdery Mildew. I do feed my trees with a good amount of Potassium and micro and trace elements. I also increased silicon levels with Potassium Silicate.

Simon

I made too many assumptions Simon. San Diego has annual precipitation of 10.4". Looks like this precipitation comes at exactly the wrong time for you in the form of morning fog. I never would have guessed you could fungal issues in a location with 10" annual precipitation. Maybe try iron? Do you think ferrous sulfate thrown on top of mulch will chelate into the wood chips and become an organic-bound iron?

Yeah, the rain comes at the wrong time of year and heavy fog in the mornings means my plants are covered in dew and my roof sometimes drips with collected moisture. I donít have this issue with the fog in Summer, it happens more in Winter and Spring.

I do give my trees Iron. Initially when I first planted my trees, my soil had a pH of around 8 so I used Iron chelate EDDHA but now my soil in the better parts of my yard has a pH of around 6-7 so I just use Iron EDTA. I use Sulfur to bring the pH of my soil down.

I have some compost and mulch over the root zone of my trees. I donít add compost into my planting holes, instead, I top dress with it so that the nutrients can leach down.

Realizing that fungus is one of the most likely candidates for poor fruit set, I am considering removing the mulch around my trees. The mulch is extremely beneficial for my trees so Iím hesitant to remove it but it is an option Iím considering. I will probably begin a fungal spray regimen before removing my mulch.

Simon

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 08, 2019, 10:55:50 PM »
Simon, can you have a friend in the desert (Gary?) plant an LZ tree for you?  When the fruit's in season, you can make a couple of trips to harvest the fruit.  Maybe a dumb solution, but it would work!  I'm thinking it might be a losing battle to get a variety to produce where it doesn't want to produce.

John, I donít want to burden him with work. Growing in the desert is a lot of work because temps can reach 117 or maybe even higher. In extreme heat, he has to put up shade cloth.

LZ is just so incredibly delicious that Iím willing to experiment some more and wait for the tree to mature even more to see if I get better fruit set.

I already have Sweet Tart and other varieties that are more disease resistant and productive. I also have a PPK tree and several Orange Sherbet seedlings growing. So far, the Orange Sherbet seedlings blooms seem more resistant to PM. Itís just a small graft but at least it set a fruit. I plucked it off so I donít know if it would have held to full maturity but Iíll find out in the coming years.

Simon

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 08, 2019, 08:29:15 PM »
Simon.... Reading in between the lines that Zill puts out. They will no longer graft Lemon Zest due to so called "issues". My take is LZ will do just fine in lower humidity southern California and Arizona you have proof already fr Starch. You just have to iron out the kinks. Right rootstock etc. Maybe some  minimal sprays. How about a dose of potassium?

Iíve tried a multitude of Foliar sprays including seaweed and Citrus Nutritional spray. My particular location in San Diego is more coastal inland and the humidity is relatively high compared to more inland locations. I get heavy fog in the mornings which causes a lot of fungal issues for me.

My area is an excellent growing environment for Powdery Mildew. I do feed my trees with a good amount of Potassium and micro and trace elements. I also increased silicon levels with Potassium Silicate.

Simon

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 08, 2019, 02:04:04 AM »
I only know one grower in Palm Springs and he harvested about two hundred Mangos from his various trees if I remember correctly. In the extreme heat, some leaves and fruit can burn but otherwise his mango trees are thriving and producing very well.

I would presume that Arizona members will also get high yields from LZ.

Simon

There is one LZ tree that I know of second-hand that does very well in Phoenix. Very productive and clean fruit (I got to taste an LZ from the tree, even though I have not seen the tree). Perfect LZ flavor.

My LZ tree has produced a couple of fruit for me, but that is because of the size. It has been growing steadily since I planted it as a 3 gallon a few years ago. Now it is up to 8+ ft tall x 6 ft wide. Assuming our winter this year was not as bad as last year I would expect a decent crop. Tree grows like a champ. Loves the heat. Most mangos do, but LZ seems to do especially well in the desert.

Starch, thanks for the info! It does seem that Mango trees thrive in the heat. From a biological standpoint, we know that Powdery Mildew prefers a specific temperature and humidity and desert like temps of Palm Springs, Coachella Valley and Arizona are too harsh for PM to proliferate. The lower humidity in these locations will also inhibit other fungal organisms like Anthracnose.

Simon

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 07, 2019, 07:19:22 PM »
Doc Campbell said his LZ took more than 10 years to really get going.

Future, Iíd gladly wait ten years if LZ will set more fruit. I have to look at my tags but I believe my LZ has been in ground for about 4-5 years already. I consider my tree large and established enough to start holding fruit so Iím hoping i will get lucky next year.

Probably the number one thing we can do is to begin an integrated pest management system that includes the scheduled spraying with various fungicides that have different mechanisms of action.

Alternating with Copper, Sulfur, Garden Phos or even baking soda solution will probably work but Iím wondering if my tree was just too young. Iím still trying to figure out why my tree can set fruit but they always drop around 1-2 inches in size. If itís just a matter of maturity, Iím ok with that and will gladly wait another five years.

Simon

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 07, 2019, 07:12:44 PM »
Hey Simon,

One thing to throw out there is how are you pruning post harvest season? I have heard that if you cut over 1ft off of a fruiting branch it will set that branch back by two years until it fruits again, tip pruning is great for inducing branching and management but excessively pruning a mango can also cause low crop along with rainy season fungal spread.

-Joep450

Hey Joe, here in SoCal, even late pruning or pruning more than a foot will still give us blooms.

A big issue we have here in SoCal is that young trees bloom incessantly in Winter. We want our young trees to grow vegetatively and increase in size before blooming and setting fruit.

I have experimented for many years on techniques to inhibit blooms including late pruning, increased Nitrogen levels, even into Winter, increased watering, even into Winter and nothing has worded except moving the plants indoors and increasing soil and ambient air temperatures above 62-63F.

Simon

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 07, 2019, 07:04:50 PM »
Frank has said in the past that if it rains during one of the several LZ blooms, to remove the panicles for a rebloom. Hopefully the rain misses one of the reblooms, if not try for another rebloom.

Yes, my trees always rebloom if the first blooms get infected. Sometimes I prune off the old panicles because it gets rid of a lot of disease causing spores but even if I donít remove the panicles, they will fall off and new blooms will emerge on the terminal but there will be a lot of spores left behind.

Simon

19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 07, 2019, 07:01:32 PM »
Simon,
I only got 2 fruit from LZ on Manila rootstock that is 4 years old.  This is the first year it ever fruited.  I spray with 2 types of fungicides.  Most leaf/flower damage is encountered in Feb Thru June. I never get PM (powdery mildew) after June...so a combo of heat and humidity (Aug) seem to be necessary for good leaf growth and survival from PM, at least for our socalírs.  If we canít get LZ to work in socal, I may try to switch to Orange Sherbert.




Great info Warren! The thing that confuses me is that my LZ trees have great fruit set but once the fruit get to about 2 inches in size, they tend to drop most their fruit. Then comes a massive growth flush. If Powdery Mildew were the main issue, I would expect it to heavily affect the blooms, which they do, but my trees always have a second or third bloom that have significantly less PM and I get decent to great fruit set from the second or third bloom.

Now that my larger tree is fully established, Iím hoping that it will set good fruit next year. I donít want to use any Plant Growth Regulators. I give my larger trees very little Nitrogen and this time of year, I already stop giving Nitrogen only to my larger trees in order to decrease leaf Nitrogen levels.

My Double Stone Grafted Lemon Zest fruits are about 2 inches in length and there is currently a small growth flush coming out so I expect it to drop a couple more fruit but at this time of year, I suspect this little tree will hold at least one fruit since it is already past the heavy fruit drop period that begins when it starts getting really hot in SoCal.

Simon

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 06, 2019, 10:13:54 PM »
I only know one grower in Palm Springs and he harvested about two hundred Mangos from his various trees if I remember correctly. In the extreme heat, some leaves and fruit can burn but otherwise his mango trees are thriving and producing very well.

I would presume that Arizona members will also get high yields from LZ.

Simon

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 06, 2019, 08:26:37 PM »
I have several different LZ trees on various rootstocks and my only LZ tree that is still holding fruit is this Double Stone grafted LZ tree that I just dug up from Leo Manuelís house. I gifted him this tree several years ago but it kept getting fungal diseases and never set fruit at his place. I dug it out of the ground early this year and stuck it into a big pot and after it established, it threw a single late bloom which set 5 fruit. One fruit just fell off as I took this picture. This tree is about two feet tall and 3 feet wide at its widest side.




In the last three years, my LZ grafted onto LaVern Manilla is the most consistent in production but it still only produces about three fruit max. It is in mostly shade which definitely isnít helping with the yield.

My LZ tree on Turpentine rootstock is my largest tree and itís bloomed heavily the last two years and initially set a bunch of fruit the last two years but most eventually drop. Last year I had one or two full sized excellent tasting fruit but this year, it dropped all its fruit. Last Winter, this tree suffered from lots of dieback in Winter and it looked like a skeleton but once it warmed up, it exploded with growth.

This picture I just took shows how bushy it is. It is approximately 7 feet tall and 8 feet wide and is very dense with foliage.


Simon

22
Tropical Fruit Discussion / How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 06, 2019, 08:04:49 PM »


Lemon Zest is one of my all time favorite Mango varieties but my young trees set very few fruit. This picture above is a Lemon Zest tree grown in Palm Springs California by Gary and as you can see, his tree consistently sets good amounts of fruit, he probably had 60+ fruit this year.

I would like to gather information from members that grow Lemon Zest in hopes that we can come up with a strategy to improve yields for this excellent tasting variety.

I know that in hot and dry Palm Springs, Powdery Mildew and other fungal diseases are not an issue and this is likely why Gary gets such good yields from his tree.

Over the years, I have harvested a few fruit here and there from my various LZ trees but Iíve never harvested more than 3 fruit per tree( excluding nubbins) from any one tree in a given year. I do not spray my trees with Fungicide unless they have an obvious fungal infection but I will probably start a fungicide spray regimen in hopes of increasing yields.

I know that in some locations in Southern California, fungal diseases are not as much of an issue and in those counties, LZ probably has a decent to good yield.

I would like to hear if anyone has successfully increased yields for their LZ trees wether you are in Florida, SoCal or some other location. Iím especially interested to hear from individuals that initially had low or no yield and then saw a significant increase in yield after they started a Fungicide regimen or alternative method to increase yield.

I have heard from two growers that say their trees started setting and holding significantly more fruit after their trees reached a large size.

My tree set a good amount of fruit this year and last year but most the fruit dropped at around 2 inches in length which coincided with an increase in temperatures.

As soon as the fruit dropped from my trees, my tree exploded with vegetative growth. Iím wondering if I can decrease fruit drop by slightly backing off on watering. I already back off on Nitrogen pre bloom.

Any observations or comments are greatly appreciated.

Simon

23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit bags
« on: September 06, 2019, 05:05:10 PM »
I have not noticed any correlation with bagging fruit and increased fruit drop. Your tree is very small so I would not expect it to hold too much fruit. Itís better to let it get a little bigger before pushing it to hold a lot of fruit.

Simon

24
When you use newly emerged seedlings in the copper leaf stage, itís like having stem cells that are undifferentiated. In this stage, the grafts will easily take.

The main problem with these young seedlings in this stage is that the stem is extremely soft, fragile and juicy. You have to use a thin blade and a steady hand because cutting into these seedlings is like a hot knife through butter.

If you use older seedlings, the grafts will still take but they just take a bit longer to heal. Iíve done double rootstock grafting with green leaf seedlings and they were fine.

Simon

25
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Innarched and grafted Jaboticaba trees
« on: September 06, 2019, 12:36:16 PM »
My double rootstock Sabara has a flower or two coming from a surface root. Iíve seen pictures of Jaboticaba trees with a bunch of fruit coming from the roots but itís still cool to see it on one of my own plants.






Simon

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