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51
HAHAHA yah there is some sort of positive correlation between wealth and aversion to foliage / nature / anything remotely unkempt.

What neighborhood in Parkland? Several of the HOAs (suchbas Heron Bay) specifically do not allow fruit trees. Others are insane with requiring architectural drawings, disclosure of the type of trees, etc. to the point I'd probably just pull my hair out (such as Cypress Head).

52
If memory serves, I got that from "An Illustrated Guide to Pruning" by Gilman (this guy: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a24555900) several years ago and eventually agreed with the results after giving it a shot (I had previously been pruning under growth too quickly, in an attempt to push trees upwards and give myself some space to walk).

53
It's a good idea to leave low branches until the tree is somewhat established. Doing so helps the trunk to thicken. If you encourage direct vertical growth at a young age, it can encourage thin / spindly trunks.

Usually, though, we try to encourage bi- or tri-furcation on our fruit trees at 3 - 4 foot height, with the goal of producing trees that are wider than tall.

54
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To Mulch or Not to Mulch (Fruit Trees)
« on: April 17, 2019, 10:41:52 AM »
Thanks. The soil is very healthy. Lots of earthworms and microbial activity. The counter-intuitive part was that my trees were all experiencing worsening nutrient deficiencies and the quality of fruit was steadily declining year after year as I continued to apply mulch. That's when I hired Har to consult, who guided me through the process of discovery that mulch alone is not sufficient for healthy plants. Took me a couple of years before I finally was able to believe it.

The awesome part is -- once I started laying down nutrition, tree health and fruit quality started to improve, and now my trees are healthier than ever. That soil is sort of like a giant reservoir. Once you fill it up, it holds nutrients very well. CEC is in the 20's.

A lot of people reference environments like the amazon rainforest as evidence as to why mulch alone is sufficient. However, few realize that the amazon rainforest actually gets its nutrition from the sky -- in the form of dust storms from ancient sea beds, which travel across the ocean. Unfortunately, Florida doesn't benefit from that :-).

Contrary to what I once believed, conventional fertilizers don't seem to have an impact on soil beneficials. I've been using conventional fertilizers for over 3 years, and worm activity has not declined as far as I can tell.

At any rate, the key is to come to grips with the notion that mulching alone is usually not sufficient, which for me was a tough pill to swallow. Over the short term, mulch doesn't have much of an effect. But after many years of mulching and the accumulation several inches of decomposed plant matter (where feeder roots begin to live exclusively in the decomposed mulch), the effects are easily observed. Also, a simple mulch ring around a tree will likely never have a significant impact on tree health nor fruit quality. It's only when you mulch over the entire yard, where one is substantially changing the soil composition, that the adverse affects are readily visible.

That there is a healthy layer of topsoil you've generated.  After two years of mulching I'm now starting to see this too.

55
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mulch problem - need your help
« on: April 17, 2019, 09:58:48 AM »
I don't think a right to farm act would help this individual. Had his farm been established prior to the urbanization of the neighborhood, then it would definitely be protected (under FL law at least). But establishing a new farm in a residential area is going to be an issue. A lot of cities specifically prohibit the conducting of commercial businesses in a residential area. In the case of Florida, one even forfeits their right to homestead protection if the home is used to conduct business.

OP should attend the hearing and try to work out a compromise. They are very likely going to want some trees to be removed and the mulching to be curtailed to some degree. But trying to defy them is going to be an uphill battle. If the situation is not addressed, they will ultimately place a lien against the property, at which point lawyers will need to get involved... a messy situation.

Alternately, OP could consider fencing in the property?

Here's the section of code that they are probably referencing:

"(2) The condition of the property is unsightly in appearance and is out of harmony or conformity with the maintenance standards of adjacent properties so as to cause a substantial diminution of the enjoyment, use or property values of such adjacent properties;"

56
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mulch problem - need your help
« on: April 16, 2019, 08:57:48 PM »
What section of municipal code are they citing? https://www.codepublishing.com/CA/Cerritos/

This is the reason why I've chosen to live in a blue-collar neighborhood.. even though I've paid off the mortgage and could easily "upgrade." It seems that there is a positive correlation between picky / finicky neighbors and median household income (or alternately median household wealth).

I asked my HOA if it would be OK to mulch over the entire back yard. The response I got was "we need to consult our attorney." I just went ahead and did it anyway. That was 12 years ago.

At any rate, cities only tend to be concerned with mulching the front yard. Backyard shouldn't be an issue. What's odd is that a Leftist California city would prefer grass over mulch -- in an area known for its water shortages and where environmental issues as mundane as cow flatulation are regulated by state law.

57
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To Mulch or Not to Mulch (Fruit Trees)
« on: April 16, 2019, 07:09:53 PM »
The related issue is that the feeder roots start to favor the thin layer of decomposed mulch (which holds moisture) and when drought hits, the trees do poorly due to the shallow root system.

The only issue i have had with mulching is once you start its hard to stop. The tree roots grow up into the mulch and when the mulch is gone the roots are exposed. Black sapote trees that we have here suffered from this badly.

58
for the regular jabo, it's by color. Should be as black as possible. Not sure about the red one.

59
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To Mulch or Not to Mulch (Fruit Trees)
« on: April 16, 2019, 05:53:19 PM »
Here's what 12+ years of mulching looks like after it's fully decomposed. This layer is 6 - 10 inches deep across 1/3 acre. The earthworms do a great job of mixing the sand below with the decomposed mulch above.









60
Thanks! Mine is somewhere around 6 - 7 feet tall but over 10 years old.

Wow Jeff - congrats !! I haven’t been on the forum for awhile , Happily surprised to see your Lucs fruiting so well !

My Lucs is putting on size, no fruit growing so far this year.  Over 10’ tall.

Seems as yours is genetically more prolific.

61
Looking forward to it. This is an awesome resource.

Thanks for the comments Jeff. We Plan on updating those descriptions again after the season is over as there’s a decent amount of stuff fruiting for first time.

62
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My pickering mango tree is hurt...
« on: April 14, 2019, 12:35:41 PM »
New disease that was described in another post from a few weeks ago. Harmless. Most of my trees have it now too.

63
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Aichacharu first fruits - SFl
« on: April 14, 2019, 12:34:05 PM »
Nuts! Must update on flavor when ripe.

64
OK this one had more acidity to it. I think I let the others ripen too long. Seed to flesh ratio isn't quite what I was hoping for. The 2 seeds were huge on this one. Flavor is quite good though.


65
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To Mulch or Not to Mulch (Fruit Trees)
« on: April 13, 2019, 10:47:27 AM »
How long does it take for mulch to decompose there?

How far inland are you? Coastal San Diego was a dream when I was out there, except for the occasional Santa Ana winds that would kick the temps up 15 - 20 degrees with 0* humidity (which was nice 'cause the night time temps would get up into the 70's for a change).

I lived in Ventura County for 30 years (mostly Santa Paula), fled to Florida when housing prices started to go nuts. 12 years later, I still miss the climate. With the humidity here, I think our heat index is probably around 110* -- but for like 5 straight months without a single day of reprieve.

Yah, you spoiled southern californians don't have the psycho heat, humidity, and rain that we have here. That load of mulch would be fully decomposed in 12 to 18 months here. After 12 years of doing that, you get a layer of muck.

The very first layer of mulch takes a bit longer (24+ months here). But once the first layer decomposes and the soil builds up bacteria / fungi, the next layer decomposes a lot quicker.

If you feed it nitrogen, it's even quicker.

I don't end up with muck after it breaks down either like cookie mentioned.  Below the mulch and above the original soil is about an inch or so layer of soft fluffy black stuff that looks like worm castings.  Its not mucky at all.

I will take some of that humidity off your hands.  When its 115 and 0% RH out and strong wind it makes gardening a challenge.

66
Ahh darnit. I wanted tart. As for flavor comparisons, too early to say. I've only ever had a couple of mangosteens that I got at an asian market.

Are these supposed to be sub-acid? The couple I've had so far have been really sweet but with no detectable acidity.

I remember Raul mentioned that if u want with sub-acid u go with the sharpie variety..

I suppose u have the regular luc variety. How does it taste compare to mangosteen and what fruit is it comparable to? Like an improved achaacha?

67
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To Mulch or Not to Mulch (Fruit Trees)
« on: April 12, 2019, 10:26:29 PM »
Yah, you spoiled southern californians don't have the psycho heat, humidity, and rain that we have here. That load of mulch would be fully decomposed in 12 to 18 months here. After 12 years of doing that, you get a layer of muck.

The very first layer of mulch takes a bit longer (24+ months here). But once the first layer decomposes and the soil builds up bacteria / fungi, the next layer decomposes a lot quicker.

If you feed it nitrogen, it's even quicker.

I don't end up with muck after it breaks down either like cookie mentioned.  Below the mulch and above the original soil is about an inch or so layer of soft fluffy black stuff that looks like worm castings.  Its not mucky at all.

68
Are these supposed to be sub-acid? The couple I've had so far have been really sweet but with no detectable acidity.

69
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To Mulch or Not to Mulch (Fruit Trees)
« on: April 12, 2019, 05:05:52 PM »
Mulch does provide a significant amount of P and K, (and N depending on the source ,ie, leafy vs woody). But the ratio of K to Ca in mulch is usually 1 to 1, which is bad for brix and flesh quality, since K takes up exchange sites that would normally be occupied by Ca. Generally want K to Ca to be 1 to 10.

You can literally watch the quality / color / flesh / brix changes by manipulating K - to - Ca ratios. I've done it.

Mulch also provides off-the-charts P in relation to K. Again not a good thing.

However while mulch provides N-P-K, organic matter locks up some micronutrients. For example, a method to ameliorate copper toxicity in soil is to add organic matter (which makes it less available).

I suppose this is somewhat dependent on mulch type. I used tree trimmer mulch, which was a mix of leaf + wood.

70
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To Mulch or Not to Mulch (Fruit Trees)
« on: April 12, 2019, 04:15:28 PM »
There are myriad other factors. For example, the amazon rainforest gets nutrition from the sky: https://www.wired.com/2015/02/sahara-keeps-amazon-green/

Also, plants like mangoes are not necessarily what one would find in a rain forest :-).

At any rate, those were my observations from a little over a decade of heavy mulching (> thousand cu yards). There's plenty of info online indicating that my experience wasn't unique.

If you go into a forest the ground is littered with fallen leaves, twigs, branches etc. Noone is watering or fertilizing these trees and they may be hundreds or thousands of years old. There are vast mycorrhizal networks connecting these trees and they share nutrients and water. They thrive in a fungally dominated soil that is created by the trees themselves. I believe replication of this by layering tree trimmer mulch is an ideal environment to grow trees. I have been adding mulch for years consisting of tree trimmer mulch, oak leaves and yard waste and have observed no negative effects nor mineral deficiencies. The soil life is alive and loaded with worms, fungi etc.

71
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: To Mulch or Not to Mulch (Fruit Trees)
« on: April 12, 2019, 12:39:46 PM »
I see that you referenced a "her." If that was Marlys (lady in her early - mid 60's), she tends to have strong opinions. So the proverbial grain of salt might be in order.

That said, mulching is a tricky subject. After placing over a thousand cubic yards of mulch on my own property over the course of a decade (and creating a 6 inch+ layer of muck), I've come to the conclusion that it's good in moderation.

Pros:
 - eliminates weeds
 - conserves soil moisture
 - adds carbon and increases soil's cation exchange capacity
 - holds supplemental nutrients better (less fertilizer waste)
 - some tree roots appreciate the mucky consistency that results after decomposition (eg, lychees)
 - encourages worms and other beneficials
 - pushes pH towards neutral

Cons:
 - causes imbalances between K and Ca resulting in lower brix (can be ameliorated with copious amounts of gypsum)
 - locks up some micronutrients (can be mitigated with heavy and consistent application of fertilizer)
 - causes phosphorous to skyrocket (not a good thing)
 - many trees dislike the mucky consistency that results after decomp (eg, mangoes)
 - can add nitrogen, depending on the mulch used (bad for mangoes)
 - resulting mucky top layer (which retains more water + nutrients when fertilizing) encourages shallow root growth

I have 2 different lots. On the first lot, I created a layer of muck several inches thick. On the second lot, I added an inch or less, so I've been able to compare the two.

If you are good at fertilizing, you can create a very rich top layer of soil via the use of mulch, since the top layer (decomposed mulch) retains nutrients extremely well (this is a bad thing if you don't fertilize -- it locks up the little bit of nutrient that's naturally present, resulting in micronutrient deficiencies). I've had to add literally tons of gypsum to overcome jelly seed and increase brix on the trees on the heavily mulched lot.

72
Wholly cow, this list is a gold mine of mango cultivar descriptions: https://www.tropicalacresfarms.com/mangos

73
Nice pad. Seems like a good retirement plan for someone with the money to invest.

74
Definitely top work. Easy to learn.

75
Maybe it's both? Helena markets theirs as nutritional too.

IF it's in a pot, I'd just throw some osmocote (with nitrogen) at it.

I bought it thinking it’s a fertilizer, manufacturer is also promoting phosgard as a fertilizer. I shouldn’t have bought it without testing my soil first.
http://jhbiotech.com/docs/Phosgard-0-28-25-Flyer.pdf

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