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Topics - BajaJohn

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Anyone had dealing with the Greenss Shop based in Veracruz, Mexico?
Seeds at
They advertise an impressive collection of fruit trees shipped internationally.
They also have a Facebook page -

Anyone had any success with then in hot climates? My plants seem to grow well but haven't produced sprouts. Is there a secret to triggering the sprouts or is it just too hot for them here?

My thriving sweet potatoes have an area of dying leaves with webs over the top of them. Does this look like a spider mite infestation?

Anyone planning to go, or have feedback from previous years?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Any info in these mango varieties
« on: June 27, 2017, 12:57:58 PM »
The mango varieties I have here in Baja California Sur are known locally as Ataulfo, Mamey and Manzana. There is a Wiki page for Ataulfo so I know a little about them but I haven't found anything on the other 2 varieties although they seem very common around here. Does anyone know anything about these varieties or know where I may be able to get some information about them?
Here are photos of my current daily hauls....

The mangos in the box are the Ataulfos and have been producing for about a month now. The small squares on the tiles are about 3" across. I'm not even sure if they are true Ataulfos since they max out at around 6oz and seem a bit more fibrous than the Wikipedia article suggests.
The slightly elongated one on the left is a Mamey which are just now ripening. Not my favorite taste and somewhat fibrous. This one fell off the tree and is still a bit green.
The red, oval ones are the Manzanas. They just starting and are my favorite. The early ones are a bit small - around 10 oz but later ones are larger. Haven't weighed them in earlier years but I would guess 1 lb. They have barely any fiber. All the trees are quite large - probably 30' but quite slender - possibly due to the close planting.

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Ginger
« on: June 08, 2017, 03:37:32 PM »
I've had success getting store-bought ginger to sprout and grow but I don't seem to have hit upon good growing conditions. The leaves seem to turn brown and dry up regardless of the amount of water I provide. Many rhizomes just dissolve in the dirt. The best I have done is in dappled shade where I got small new rhizomes that seem to be sprouting for the second year. The bigger plants in the photo are from bigger rhizomes that have produced bigger plants but the shoots still look sickly. The soil is sandy with lots of compost and irrigated from a drip system. Any suggestions to improve my plants?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Papaya problem
« on: May 02, 2017, 11:49:13 AM »
The papayas I planted from the seeds of a store-bought Maradol are looking sick although one has growing fruit on it. Can anyone identify the problem and offer a solution.
The trees were planted as 30cm high seedlings about a year ago in a 50/50 soil/compost mix. There are a few tiny (2cm long) ants running around the trees and there are a few other black, oval shaped creatures about 1 * 1.5 mms on the underside of leaves.

Newly sprouting leaves on two of them emerge malformed and shrivel back to the major leaf veins.

The other two seem to be producing new leaves but the mature leaves are badly mottled.


Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Worm management
« on: April 09, 2017, 12:11:50 PM »
Basically looking for tips on how to improve the soil in my dry, semi-tropical climate. Worms always come up as a beneficial soil organisms so I wanted to tap any experience people have with worms in hot, dry climates. Temperatures in the summer remain in the upper 20s and 30s (C) even throughout the night.
I've put a lot of effort into composting and after 4 years found a population of what appears to be pot worms as I dug up potatoes from a compost filled trench. They seem to have populated only the compost as I haven't found them in any soil. The natural soil here is so dry that it is accepted that worms are uncommon here. The challenge now will be to keep them going through the hot summer when local advice is to clear the garden, dig it over to turn the soil and leave it to dry as the wildlife extracts pests from the loosened soil. I'll be attempting some vermiculture but suspect it will be a challenge in the 3-month long spell of 90F+ that barely moderates at night.
I don't find worms in my compost bins, most likely because they get quite hot.

Tropical Fruit Online Library / History of California Citrus
« on: March 05, 2017, 03:03:28 PM »
A history of the development of citrus in California from their 18th century introduction into Baha California to the 21st century...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Selecting mature fruit from the tree
« on: February 16, 2017, 12:05:08 PM »
Some fruits more than others are at their best when left to mature on the tree. I'm also guessing that some fruit keeps better on the tree than if they are harvested and stored, unless you have special storage facilities.
My question is how to harvest and/or treat fruit for the best eating quality. One issue for me is how to select fruit on the tree that is mature/ready for picking. I'm sure that it depends on the fruit and non-commercial growers have much more leeway for getting that perfect fruit, so I'd like to hear how people do this.
I was never able to pick good apricots from the tree and noted that the best tasting were the ones that had fallen, so I rigged up a cloth to catch the fruit when it fell. I couldn't see/feel any difference between the fruit still on the tree and the fruit I caught in the cloth, but the fallen apricots were way juicier and sweeter. I do the same with my mangos now - in part because because of the numbers and the trees are so high that it would be a major undertaking to check the individual fruits.
Citrus, I used to check with a gentle tug but the mandarins often sounded like I was tearing something inside. I now rotate the fruit 90 degrees to the stem and pull even more gently. That seems to work well with Valencia and Mandarin oranges and grapefruit but doesn't work with Key limes which are at their best when still green, before they yellow and they are far from their best if they are left to fall from the tree.
I also seem to find that the citrus at the top and on the South side of the trees seem to mature first, presumably because of sun exposure.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Greetings from a new member
« on: December 27, 2016, 06:33:49 PM »
Greetings. First of all, a big thank-you to all the people who organize and contribute to this forum. I'm looking forward to the help and inspiration that seem to abound here.

Iím here as an amateur gardener trying to care for (and maybe improve) the garden I inherited when I bought a house in Loreto, a small city on the Sea of Cortez coast of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Most of my previous gardening was in Northern England. I'm a retired university academic who studied and taught physiology on the Westside of Los Angeles for 20 years.

The climate here in Loreto is described as hot desert. There doesnít seem to be a direct equivalent in the US climate charts although 10b and 11 may be close. The relatively closed Sea of Cortez remains warm throughout the year and therefore keeps winters warmer. Average temperatures range between 15C and 35C (10C min, 37C max). Average annual rainfall is 6.3 inches although it is very variable. An 11-year drought ended recently and hurricane can drop 18Ē of rain in a single day. Humidity ranges between 30% and 80% for almost any day of the year.

Fruit trees I inherited are Mango (Manzana/Kent, Ataulfo/Manila, and an Ivory/Nan Doh Mai look-alike), Valencia orange, mandarin, key lime, grapefruit (yellow). Not sure a tamarind counts as fruit. The house was empty for several years so the trees had been neglected. I now recycle 3-4 cubic yards of compost/farmyard manure into the garden every year. One of the orange trees produced wild lemons with a single orange on one thin branch. I pruned the Ďlemoní branches and now have an orange tree. The mandarin trees seem capricious with delicious, juicy fruit in 2 seasons, separated by 2 seasons of dry, inedible fruit and I canít figure what Iíve done differently. A large branch of the lime tree came down in a storm last year, revealing a significant fungus infiltration, suggesting the tree should be replaced. I suspect the fungus was due to poor pruning practices in the past.

Iíve also added lychee, pomegranate, lemon and a pink grapefruit from local nurseries. They had no identification on them. The pomegranates taste quite acid and the pink grapefruit has yet to bear fruit after 3 years. The lychee had 1 delicious fruit when I bought it but has barely grown in the last 3 years and always develops brown tips on the leaves. This year a new wall that protects it from wind and daily soil soaking seems to have encouraged new leaf growth without brown tips. Papayas from the seeds of store-bought fruit are just starting to flower and melons also seem like tropical fruit to me.

Itís a challenge to find a source of plants with any provenance here. Long-distance relocating will also be a challenge due to agricultural concerns so I may be somewhat burdened with Ďchancyí buys although Iím trying to improve my luck by getting to know local growers.

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