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Author Topic: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit  (Read 1678 times)

Ireland Family Farms

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Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« on: July 27, 2020, 04:47:22 PM »
Hello! We started planting tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees in Santa Barbara about 5 years ago. We've had some great success and also a lot of failures. Happy to share
our experience and discuss others experience in our area.

Mark

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 05:44:02 PM »
Hi Mark,

I am at 100 ft elevation and 2 miles from the ocean in Santa Barbara.
You can check my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKVwnQcxjXcCVtX0e621CLg/

What is your elevation and distance from the ocean?
Have you tried growing mango trees?

Vlad

CherimoyaDude

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 07:22:22 PM »
Do you have a list of what has succeeded and what has failed?

Ireland Family Farms

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 09:50:31 PM »
We planted about 100 subtropical trees and fruit bushes and lost around 70% mostly due to a horrendous gopher infestation. They circle the trees diverting the
water and eating the roots so the trees essentially end up bonsai or dead. The successes so far are longan, macadamia, pineapple guava, strawberry guava, white guava, Jaboticaba, mango, white sapotes, chocolate sapote, Barbados cherry. yuzu, keffir lime, sapodilla, atemoya, Australian finger lime, jujube, faux mangosteen, red custard apple, cinnamon tree, red lady papaya, coffee tree, tamarind, hops,ice-cream bean, Buddhas hand, lychee, etc. The gophers just decimated a thriving Mamey Sapote, which I had high hopes for and will probably try again in a different location. Outside of
that we have lots of stone fruit and nut trees we are experimenting with every year. We added 4 beehives this year and magically all of our plum and apricot trees bore heavy fruit for the
first time in 5 years!

johnb51

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 09:53:53 PM »
Once again those dastardly gophers! >:(
John

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2020, 10:59:53 PM »
I plant everything in gopher baskets: 1 to 3 feet wide and 1 to 2 feet deep.
It takes time to plant, but I didn't lose a single tree.

CherimoyaDude

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2020, 11:44:55 PM »
We planted about 100 subtropical trees and fruit bushes and lost around 70% mostly due to a horrendous gopher infestation. They circle the trees diverting the
water and eating the roots so the trees essentially end up bonsai or dead. The successes so far are longan, macadamia, pineapple guava, strawberry guava, white guava, Jaboticaba, mango, white sapotes, chocolate sapote, Barbados cherry. yuzu, keffir lime, sapodilla, atemoya, Australian finger lime, jujube, faux mangosteen, red custard apple, cinnamon tree, red lady papaya, coffee tree, tamarind, hops,ice-cream bean, Buddhas hand, lychee, etc. The gophers just decimated a thriving Mamey Sapote, which I had high hopes for and will probably try again in a different location. Outside of
that we have lots of stone fruit and nut trees we are experimenting with every year. We added 4 beehives this year and magically all of our plum and apricot trees bore heavy fruit for the
first time in 5 years!
Have you fruited all of those? What is faux mangosteen?

Ireland Family Farms

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 02:08:14 AM »
Right! We plant everything in gopher baskets, mostly 15gal wire mesh. Now we are starting to use actual stainless steel welded baskets, but unsure if they will be effective and worry that they might "strangle" future root growth. We planted a Moringa tree and a papaya and the gophers actually climbed in the basket and devoured the entire root ball. We've also laid a 10th acre plot with industrial wire and they still "overland" into the vegetable garden. I am learning that before I plant any new trees there needs to be at LEAST a 4' diameter by 18-24" deep barrier around the entire tree to give it a chance. That is my new approach. Open to any ideas. I'd like not to let the year pass without giving new subtropical plantings a shot and plan on planting at least 100 more fruit and nut trees. Mango for sure. Has anyone had luck with a particular variety in this area? Kent did well and fruited here and we also have a manila mango doing will.

Sandiegojane

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 03:05:03 AM »
Time to call a pest control service or buy a shotgun!

spaugh

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 12:22:17 PM »
Are you trapping the gophers?  I would suggest getting gophenator traps and using them until the gophers are gone.  Ive got my orchard completely cleared right now.  Killed around 30 this year, havent lost any plants since really getting on top of them.  As soon as you see mounds, go set 3 or 4 traps. 
Brad Spaugh

K-Rimes

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 01:42:40 PM »
I too am in Santa Barbara. I really haven't had many issues with anything I've tried, even mangoes. I do protect almost everything in winter, but am also at the top of the 154 so it's a lot colder up here. The majority of my losses have been my own mistakes with re-potting or root rot from over watering.

Gophers are very problematic up here too and I still haven't gotten a handle on killing them but did more reading today that seems promising. I've been making my own baskets as well and this has seemed to greatly reduce the burrowing around the trees and such. I did lose one fig tree to gophers. They ate the trunk like a beaver would.

So far I'm working with:

All cultivars of jaboticaba
Pitanga of many cultivars
Mangoes from seed and one grafted diamond
Cherry of the rio grande
Grumichama
Sapotes of various types
Tons of dragonfruit (from Spaugh)
And a host of eugenias that would take a long time to type out

All going well.

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 09:39:28 PM »
4' gopher baskets sound excessive. Don't worry about gopher baskets strangling root growth. Once I had to remove a capulin tree growing for 3 years in a 3' wide basket from 1/2" hardware cloth. I saw 2" diameter roots growing through the 1/2" mesh as if the mesh was not there.
If you still worry, you could use 3/4" hardware mesh. I got a roll of it once. It is much easier to work with, but much more expensive.
If your gophers tend to hop into the baskets, make sure the baskets extend 6" above the ground.

As Brad said, trapping is important. I also take care of new gopher arrivals as soon as I see a new mound. I probably tpap 6 - 12 gophers per year.

Ireland Family Farms

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 01:48:21 AM »
I too am in Santa Barbara. I really haven't had many issues with anything I've tried, even mangoes. I do protect almost everything in winter, but am also at the top of the 154 so it's a lot colder up here. The majority of my losses have been my own mistakes with re-potting or root rot from over watering.

Gophers are very problematic up here too and I still haven't gotten a handle on killing them but did more reading today that seems promising. I've been making my own baskets as well and this has seemed to greatly reduce the burrowing around the trees and such. I did lose one fig tree to gophers. They ate the trunk like a beaver would.

So far I'm working with:

All cultivars of jaboticaba
Pitanga of many cultivars
Mangoes from seed and one grafted diamond
Cherry of the rio grande
Grumichama
Sapotes of various types
Tons of dragonfruit (from Spaugh)
And a host of eugenias that would take a long time to type out

All going well.
Wow! Sounds like you are doing great. Are you at the foot of 154? It's really rocky and dry up there. I'm impressed with your list!

Ireland Family Farms

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 01:53:54 AM »
4' gopher baskets sound excessive. Don't worry about gopher baskets strangling root growth. Once I had to remove a capulin tree growing for 3 years in a 3' wide basket from 1/2" hardware cloth. I saw 2" diameter roots growing through the 1/2" mesh as if the mesh was not there.
If you still worry, you could use 3/4" hardware mesh. I got a roll of it once. It is much easier to work with, but much more expensive.
If your gophers tend to hop into the baskets, make sure the baskets extend 6" above the ground.

As Brad said, trapping is important. I also take care of new gopher arrivals as soon as I see a new mound. I probably tpap 6 - 12 gophers per year.


Great advice, thank you! Yeah, I've got a whole arsenal of traps. We are on well water, so everything is organic. Otherwise, i'd just nuke the yard. I've been killing 3-5 gophers every day for months.
Neighbors trap too. It's a major infestation and the little bastards are clever. I've even designed and erected multiple owl boxes and released owls on the property. Honestly, it's discouraging some days.

Ireland Family Farms

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2020, 02:01:55 AM »
Are you trapping the gophers?  I would suggest getting gophenator traps and using them until the gophers are gone.  Ive got my orchard completely cleared right now.  Killed around 30 this year, havent lost any plants since really getting on top of them.  As soon as you see mounds, go set 3 or 4 traps.

Congratulations on your success! Gophenator is hit and miss for me and a little sketchy to set. My FAVORITE is the Gopher Hawk. Boy are they effective. Try a couple and you'll fall in love with
the accuracy and ease of use. The only downside is sometimes predators will run away with them. Otherwise, it's the best and I've tried almost all of them.


K-Rimes

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2020, 02:30:07 PM »
I too am in Santa Barbara. I really haven't had many issues with anything I've tried, even mangoes. I do protect almost everything in winter, but am also at the top of the 154 so it's a lot colder up here. The majority of my losses have been my own mistakes with re-potting or root rot from over watering.

Gophers are very problematic up here too and I still haven't gotten a handle on killing them but did more reading today that seems promising. I've been making my own baskets as well and this has seemed to greatly reduce the burrowing around the trees and such. I did lose one fig tree to gophers. They ate the trunk like a beaver would.

So far I'm working with:

All cultivars of jaboticaba
Pitanga of many cultivars
Mangoes from seed and one grafted diamond
Cherry of the rio grande
Grumichama
Sapotes of various types
Tons of dragonfruit (from Spaugh)
And a host of eugenias that would take a long time to type out

All going well.
Wow! Sounds like you are doing great. Are you at the foot of 154? It's really rocky and dry up there. I'm impressed with your list!

I'm actually at the very tippy top peak. The sandstone pokes out around lots of my property. I have only a few trees in the ground... Cherimoyas, inga, mulberry and that's about it. The soil is really rocky and dry, no loam at all even 3' down. It is a challenge thinking I will succeed with the in ground stuff but surprisingly... It does better than you'd think. They are all heavily top dressed.

spaugh

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2020, 02:51:44 PM »
Are you trapping the gophers?  I would suggest getting gophenator traps and using them until the gophers are gone.  Ive got my orchard completely cleared right now.  Killed around 30 this year, havent lost any plants since really getting on top of them.  As soon as you see mounds, go set 3 or 4 traps.

Congratulations on your success! Gophenator is hit and miss for me and a little sketchy to set. My FAVORITE is the Gopher Hawk. Boy are they effective. Try a couple and you'll fall in love with
the accuracy and ease of use. The only downside is sometimes predators will run away with them. Otherwise, it's the best and I've tried almost all of them.


My neighbor is using one of those gopher hawks and he likes it.

The gophenator are working well for me, I always get them, every time.  I keep 2 mole and 2 gopher size traps, a shovel, and a hori hori knife in each half acre orchard block so they are accessible.  Then set 3 or 4 of the traps whenever theres activity, put some green weeds in behind the trap and cover the hole with a rock so the tunnel is blacked out.  Game over for mr gopher.
Brad Spaugh

johnb51

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2020, 03:53:41 PM »
What a war with the gophers!  And I used to get upset with the giant ameiva lizards digging little surface holes looking for insects.  You should have it that easy!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 03:58:06 PM by johnb51 »
John

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2020, 04:45:11 PM »
 Deleted duplicated post.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 01:51:31 PM by NewGen »

NewGen

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2020, 05:10:33 PM »
OP,
Have you had any flowers or fruits with the black sapote?
My potted tree had 100+ flowers but all fell off. I've heard conflicting reports of black sapote needing, or not, a  2nd tree for pollination.
Thanks,
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 01:51:55 PM by NewGen »

K-Rimes

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2020, 01:06:03 PM »
OP,
Have you had any flowers or fruits with the black sapote?
My potted tree had 100+ fruits but all fell off. I' ve heard conflicting reports of black sapote needing, or not, a  2nd tree for pollination.
Thanks,

I have a grafted black sapote that flowers profusely but barely grows. It is a tough one to get vegetative growth on due to all the flowering. My understanding is that most trees are either female or male and you will need to graft the other gender on for cross pollination, or have another around. The one I have is from Papaya Tree and Alex's tree is large and produces heavily. It is probably 50 years old. He doesn't have another around for cross pollination, so one can infer that it isn't totally necessary for at least some cultivars.

NewGen

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2020, 01:53:13 PM »
OP,
Have you had any flowers or fruits with the black sapote?
My potted tree had 100+ fruits but all fell off. I' ve heard conflicting reports of black sapote needing, or not, a  2nd tree for pollination.
Thanks,

I have a grafted black sapote that flowers profusely but barely grows. It is a tough one to get vegetative growth on due to all the flowering. My understanding is that most trees are either female or male and you will need to graft the other gender on for cross pollination, or have another around. The one I have is from Papaya Tree and Alex's tree is large and produces heavily. It is probably 50 years old. He doesn't have another around for cross pollination, so one can infer that it isn't totally necessary for at least some cultivars.

Thank you,
I'll keep an eye out for a 2nd tree.

V

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2020, 09:03:35 PM »
Are you trapping the gophers?  I would suggest getting gophenator traps and using them until the gophers are gone.  Ive got my orchard completely cleared right now.  Killed around 30 this year, havent lost any plants since really getting on top of them.  As soon as you see mounds, go set 3 or 4 traps.

Congratulations on your success! Gophenator is hit and miss for me and a little sketchy to set. My FAVORITE is the Gopher Hawk. Boy are they effective. Try a couple and you'll fall in love with
the accuracy and ease of use. The only downside is sometimes predators will run away with them. Otherwise, it's the best and I've tried almost all of them.


I also like Gopher Hawk traps. They are effective. I wish they lasted longer than 1-2 years. Thin metal springs holding the bottom ring rust quickly. There is no way to repair it once one of the springs breaks.

V

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2020, 11:40:03 PM »
OP,
Have you had any flowers or fruits with the black sapote?
My potted tree had 100+ fruits but all fell off. I' ve heard conflicting reports of black sapote needing, or not, a  2nd tree for pollination.
Thanks,

I have a grafted black sapote that flowers profusely but barely grows. It is a tough one to get vegetative growth on due to all the flowering. My understanding is that most trees are either female or male and you will need to graft the other gender on for cross pollination, or have another around. The one I have is from Papaya Tree and Alex's tree is large and produces heavily. It is probably 50 years old. He doesn't have another around for cross pollination, so one can infer that it isn't totally necessary for at least some cultivars.

I didn't know grafted black sapote grow very slowly. I just went and removed all 25+ flowers on my newly planted Bernecker black sapote. Hopefully this will stimulate some growth.

CherimoyaDude

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Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2020, 10:38:08 AM »
What is faux mangosteen?

 

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