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Messages - simon_grow

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Any Info on Cotton Candy Mango?
« on: September 18, 2019, 10:25:02 PM »
Has anyone had a good Cotton Candy Mango this season? I saw on the Truly Tropical videos that the samples were not perfectly ripe. CC has set fruit and appears to have good disease resistance in San Diego. Ive only had a premature fruit and I could taste the potential but Iíve never had a perfectly ripened one picked at full maturity and properly ripened.

I have two fruit hanging on my small potted tree but my little tree is on Florida rootstock and half the tree is dead so there arenít many leaves to support the fruit. For a potted mango tree I would ideally like to have 70-80 leaves per fruit but my tree probably only has around 70-80 leaves on the entire tree with two fruit holding.

In case youíre wondering, Iím only letting it hold fruit at this small size because I already used this tree for scions so Iím not too concerned if it dies.

Simon

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal grown mango brix
« on: September 18, 2019, 09:51:52 PM »
Man, I love Sweet Tart! You are growing a great selection of Mangos and your Brix readings are a good indicator that you are fertilizing and watering properly. Keep up the great work!

Simon

3
Luke from GPF is a great guy with several different varieties of Sugarcane. The Buddha Belly and other varieties that bulge in the middle are a bit difficult to peel compared to the straight canes. The Asian Black/Purple is a great tasting variety that is easy to peel and is excellent for chewing.

Simon

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« on: September 18, 2019, 09:27:33 PM »
Excellent thread, so much information!! What I didnít see asked yet is when is the best time to source seeds? Iím not familiar with the ripening times. There are a few local sales of mango trees coming up that I had hoped to buy a tree at. I had bookmarked this thread a while back and came back to read it all the way through. Now I am thinking of skipping both sales. The question is, am I late to the game to find quality variety polyembrionic seeds right now? I planted a store bought Keitt seed yesterday, but would love to source LZ, St, and others if possible.

I don't believe there are any out of state growers of new Zill varieties that ship fruit to our state. It's too late for seed, as the season for any but the ultra-late is over (Keitt,Neelam).

Our season begins about now until February or so. I don't believe any in state growers are selling their fruit though. You may get lucky on seed.

There are many here who have had excellent results with the turpentine rootstock. I wouldn't be discouraged, you can always in-arch later.

Actually, there arenít a lot of people that have had excellent results with (Florida) Turpentine rootstock trees. The people that have good results with them are generally more skilled and live in areas with more heat.

I have a thread or two on this forum and I have done some detective work and tracked down many of the people that claimed to have success with Florida Turpentine rootstock trees and after about two to three years, many of the trees were dead. I interviewed approximately 30 members, many of which had 10+ Florida Turpentine rootstock trees and was absolutely shocked at the death rate.

Yes, some vigorous varieties like VP, Sweet Tart, LZ will grow fine, even excellent on Florida Turpentine rootstock but try to grow a less vigorous variety or one that isnít so disease resistant and you will find that they donít grow well here.

Simon

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« on: September 18, 2019, 09:16:51 PM »
Excellent thread, so much information!! What I didnít see asked yet is when is the best time to source seeds? Iím not familiar with the ripening times. There are a few local sales of mango trees coming up that I had hoped to buy a tree at. I had bookmarked this thread a while back and came back to read it all the way through. Now I am thinking of skipping both sales. The question is, am I late to the game to find quality variety polyembrionic seeds right now? I planted a store bought Keitt seed yesterday, but would love to source LZ, St, and others if possible.

I actually donít recommend LZ right now because it can have severe production and fungal issues. Also, I noticed that Kent, Haden and Tommy Atkins seems to perform better as a rootstock compared to Kent but thatís just at my location. As long as itís growing well, it should make a good rootstock.

Florida Mangos May not be available but itís worth a shot posting on the buy/sell forum for seeds. I believe the Florida season is pretty much over however.

Simon

6
Are you sure it canít be a multi allelic trait? The whole thing regarding polyembrony can be more complex than a simple dominant/recessive trait. I believe the genes are on multiple different alleles and the more of these genes you can get, the better the chance of getting a Polyembryonic mango seed.

For some varieties that are almost always Polyembryonic, it may be a simple dominant/recessive trait. Other varieties may have been selected for so long that the alleles are set and act like dominant/recessive traits.

This is similar to how crown tail bettas used to be extremely difficult to breed because the crow tail trait was on multiple alleles and you needed multiple copies of specific genes in order to get a certain percentage of crown tail babies.

The crown tails now a days are so strongly set in their crowntail trait that all you need to do is cross a crown tail male with a crowntail female and youíre pretty much guaranteed to get a certain percentage of crowntail babies. This was not true before the genes were set through inbreeding, line breeding and out crossing in order to get healthy babies.

Simon

7
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Young Mango Tree - Help!!
« on: September 17, 2019, 06:32:09 PM »
You tree looks like it is lacking Zinc, Magnesium, Iron and maybe Manganese. You may want to add a bit of Sulfur if youíve been getting a lot of rain considering you are using a cactus mix.

A Foliar feeding and soil drench should fix the problem but you may want to plant your tree into the ground, ideally in full sun away from the shade of your fence.

If you keep it in a pot, give it a good quality smart or slow release fertilizer. When you water it, water until there is about 10% excess water runoff in order to avoid nutrient lock.

Simon

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hurricane Humberto
« on: September 17, 2019, 06:22:45 PM »
Man, that sucks! Hopefully your family, friends and orchard will be spared. Tell your family members to stay safe out there.

Simon

9
That looks awesome Behl! Hopefully there will be some available for the mango tasting. Did you happen to get a Brix reading and does it resemble Juliette or Julie in terms of flavor profile?

Simon

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal grown mango brix
« on: September 16, 2019, 09:36:47 PM »
Gozp, I just saw your video. Be careful when you squeeze the juice from the fruit. Any tiny particles/pulp from the fruit will interfere with the refraction of the light giving you a false reading. Iím not saying that your readings are inaccurate but just be very careful so that you can achieve the most precise readings as possible.

I usually cut a slice of mango with the peel on and squeeze the peel applying pressure on the meat of the fruit so that I donít get particulates of fruit in the juice used for the refractometer.

Simon

11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal grown mango brix
« on: September 16, 2019, 08:09:43 PM »
Yeah, nice Brix readings. At that Brix, they must have been amazing if not too sweet. Sweet Tart, LZ and PiŮa Colada have been amongst the top in terms of highest Brix readings Iíve collected so far. Thanks for the update!

Simon

12
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

13
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

14
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

15
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

16
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

17
Iím sorry to see that. Hopefully they will send you replacements. You might get lucky with growth above the graft union.

Simon

18
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

19
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

20
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

21
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

22
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

23
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

24
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

25
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

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