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Messages - Tropheus76

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Grow bags?
« on: December 08, 2023, 09:34:24 AM »
I would like to experiment with growing some trees in grow bags. I have heard good things especially on growing mango and other trees that dont like to be water logged. What are some good bags in the 20-30 gallon range that have a stated 5 year or so lifespan?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Lychee Thread
« on: November 20, 2023, 10:55:30 AM »
I have a sweetheart that has been in ground in east Orange county(FL) since 2012. Its one of my original trees I planted after Bob from Green Jungle(RIP) gave me some fruit from his trees. I was hooked. My tree is about 15 feet high and about 10 wide. Never had any cold or frost issues while nearby longons, which are supposedly more cold hardy, froze. I have also never even had a flowering. Really flipping annoying for one of my most otherwise successful trees. My Texas plum at least blooms.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: New USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Update?
« on: November 15, 2023, 09:18:17 AM »
In Central FL I went from 9b to 10a. Guess I will toss all my heat lamps and tree blankets since I dont need to protect my mangos anymore and will start collecting ultra-tropicals to put in the ground. Woo-hoo! Will Durian grow in 10a? :P Maybe my Royal Poinciana wont freeze back to the roots every year now.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pickering Starting To Flower
« on: November 09, 2023, 01:19:42 PM »
I have one in ground as well with pretty similar growth. As opposed to a Sweet tart which I pugged to a three foot tall stump about 8 years ago and I have to top off every year at 8 feet tall and about 8 feet wide if not a little more. Im half tempted to just let it go next year and see if it can survive a winter without help.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pickering Starting To Flower
« on: November 09, 2023, 08:15:52 AM »
There are no true "dwarf" mangoes. There's vigorous growers and non-vigorous growers. All will grow large if not pruned and controlled. Pickering is a slow grower and is easy to maintain in a small form, thus "dwarf." I doubt a pruning back in 2022 is having an effect now. Mangoes are weird trees when it comes to weather. Maybe it thinks that brief cold spell we had a few weeks ago was winter and this new warm weather is spring? Combined with not having fruited since 2022 and wanting to get it out.

I learned a few years ago to quit doing anything to mine once they are settled. I trim to keep them about 7 feet tall and wide so I can easily cover them when it freezes and thats about it. I dont even fertilize them or add any kind of pesticide unless I see those nasty weevils. Then I will add a root drench. Now that I have several avocado trees the weevils tend to congregate there instead of on the mangos.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cacao Growers, zone pushing and varietals
« on: November 06, 2023, 09:27:49 AM »
Not sure why you used lychee as an example. It actually requires chill hours that would kill a cocoa plant, its why they grow fairly well here in Southern Central Florida 9B where we get freezes every year. Cocoa is incredibly fragile and I think even in zone 10 it would require a greenhouse or to be brought indoors on the regular.

-'Dream' atemoya
-Lemon Guava

None of these will survive 22 degrees. Most of them will not survive 30 degrees. Not sure on the others as I have not tried them myself. I dont think almonds particularly like cold weather either.

Curious why pecans wont do well, the temperature is perfect on the cold side. I know the groves in GA regularly get down to the lower 20s and teens. I lived in GA for a time near the groves areas. Is it the lack of 90+ degree weather?

Pecans might be interesting to try. Arent there some avocados that survive that low in temp? Paw Paws. There are lots of apples, peaches and plums that will work for you. In my opinion you are in a much more ideal temp zone than I am in 9b Florida where we have the worst of all conditions, too cold for tropicals, too hot for sub tropicals, and all the disease and bugs of both.

Just to tag along, right there with you in a slightly cooler 9b. I have some recently acquired land I want to put fruit trees on and paw paws are high on the list.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Kei apple cold tolerance
« on: September 21, 2023, 01:42:09 PM »
I started two from seeds back in 2013 or so. One is about 4 foot and the other is 7 feet tall, they are about four feet from each other. In my experience, it doesnt care about cold in Florida 9b. But it neither of mine have flowered either. I would have pulled them long ago but they are in a corner of my yard I dont really care about so I let them do their slow thing.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 14, 2023, 09:01:56 AM »
We had fruit thief issues here while I was deployed. Some big dude with a machete picked all my citrus and star fruit trees clean and then knocked on the door to be answered by my wife. He said he hoped we didnt mind him taking the fruit. She replied that yeah she minded but its a little late now. He then cussed her out and she slammed the door. We keep a shotgun by the door now. She was also severely suffering from a migraine and wasnt thinking straight.

Nicks Edibles over in St Cloud has some at very good prices.

I went walking through my new property last night and discovered some more clear areas in the palmetto under oaks I hadnt noticed before. Next year I might give some more varieties of citrus a try. Always happy to try a new mandarin flavor and while I personally do not care for grapefruit, they do turn into really nice big trees that would look good under the oaks. Dont know what a sun dragon is but it has a cool name.

I have no clue what variety of jujube I have is. It does have thorns and the fruit is about  the size of 2/3 of my thumb. Yeah it tastes like a super grainy and dry apple. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: CLM & Citrus Canker
« on: August 01, 2023, 10:20:21 AM »
What can be used to control CLM? In FL Neem and other oils are a No-Go since we tend to hit 85 in early spring and doesnt cool down until late November.

Jujube? In winter? Its a deciduous tree or it is in 9b. Loses its leaves in fall and is fairly unattractive, the fruit is kind of meh anyway. Irish Strawberry isnt specifically winter ripening and ripens throughout the year. Citrus of course but has its own issues and if you dont have oaks, dont bother.

My favorite cactus is my Peruvian apple cactus that I took a 1 foot cutting out of someones garbage in the tampa area while I was visiting. In one years time, it is over 6 feet and with many offshoots. Im hoping for some fruits this year

I have one in a pot that is about 2' tall. I have had it since last fall and it hasnt grown at all. It does have a single what I think will be a bloom on it. I am clearing a bit of a glade in my new property and am planning on putting it there in ground over the winter when I can get some heavy work done in more than 15 minute efforts due to the heat.

That was the idea, plus supposedly the psillids do not like oak trees. Ill give it a bit, not using the land for anything else and once established I will only have to fertilize every so often so no real work involved although right now I am lugging 5 gallon buckets of water over there to make sure they get started well.

Just some background, I have recently picked up an adjacent plot of land which has a large section covered in oaks with some fairly decent open areas under them hidden behind an outer layer of palmetto and I didnt even have to clear it. About six months ago I planted a Ponderosa lemon in the greyish sand there. Grey sand seems to be formed in areas of current or former heavy palmetto growth and is also the reason we cant grow figs thanks to a nasty nematode infestation. On the outskirts still under the canopy, about 2 years ago, I planted a blood orange and a tangerine of some kind and mulched them with oak leaves from the neighbor. I fertilize them sporadically. So far, so good. I havent noticed even any leaf miners like I have on my other citrus elsewhere in my yard who are in full sun for the most part. Leaves on the three are much greener and the growth and bushiness is much thicker. After I move some logs and drive my mower through to knock down some of the stickers and wild grape I am going to plant a red naval orange, a Persian lime and a Centennial kumquat that is hurting in a pot I have it in now. Given the success so far, I will likely start fertilizing more often using the fertilizer listed higher in this thread and doing some fish emulsion leaf spraying which is always highly recommended for citrus.

Mostly this is to continue my experiment on the whole oak protection thing. Not sure if I will expand the citrus aspect of my grove past that point as I have other trees and such I am working on. Maybe a key lime if it looks like there is space to test the micro-climate aspect of the under-canopy.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Spice trees
« on: June 06, 2023, 07:40:55 AM »
All-spice is a great tree. Very slow grower, will survive short freezes. Deer will rub their antlers on it. I have mine in the shade under oak trees. One is a tiny bush from the deer, the other I fenced off and is about 8 foot tall and produces fruit.

Aside from a freak shower here and there its almost a standard dry season for us in Central Florida. Mangos are developing correctly and should be ripe soon. Typical light winter and spring. Still in the 80s, hopefully that continues.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Show Your Loquat Fruits - 2023
« on: April 18, 2023, 11:34:41 AM »
Mine that fruited did their thing back in late Feb, early March and are long gone now. Crazy to be hearing about loquats in mid April. Ripe mango season is coming up soon.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Blame the rain on me
« on: April 17, 2023, 10:03:17 AM »
Meanwhile, I'm in east Orange county and we have barely gotten a drop, most of which evaporates as soon as it hits the hot ground.

Supposedly if you grow a citrus under an oak canopy with oak leaf mulch you are more likely to have less problems. I am experimenting with this currently in a neighboring wooded lot. I know I see a lot of citrus in pine farms under the canopy and they appear from the road to be doing quite well.

You guys are odd. I am 9b, in east Orlando, we get at least one freeze and several frosts a year and it is disastrous every time.  The last one we had in March nuked almost all fruit production on all of my trees for the year and my mangos never recovered fully. This one strikes early where most trees that do it havent even went dormant yet while my mangos are pushing new growth. My Friday is going to suck.

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