Author Topic: Greetings from a new member  (Read 2327 times)

BajaJohn

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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.









Mike T

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Re: Greetings from a new member
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2016, 05:31:02 AM »
Welcome aboard John and there is an introduction section above this one for new people to give a little info about themselves. It doesn't matter because you are here now. It sounds like your climate is similar to what is experienced in  some parts of Australia and you have been pretty successful by the looks of it. Plant Physiology?

Lory

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Re: Greetings from a new member
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2016, 07:01:21 AM »
Welcome John!
According to your description and to your pictures your climate is similar to the one is present in some dry area around mediterranean sea like south Italy or south Spain.
Probably even a bit warmer/drier with milder winters.
You should have a good success in growing well several tropical and especially sub-tropicals fruits like guavas, citruses pommegranate and others
Lorenzo

Saltcayman

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Re: Greetings from a new member
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2016, 08:35:24 AM »
Welcome John,  I can relate to desert like conditions...  :)  These is some GREAT information on this forum.  Try searching as a starting point.  Here is a good thread.

http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=729.0

Mulch is great!  You also could try drip irrigation.  But it looks like your trees are growing well:)

Best, Dave

shaneatwell

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Re: Greetings from a new member
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2016, 10:57:35 AM »
Great to have you here john. Dont remember anyone else posting from baja.
Shane

Guayaba

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Re: Greetings from a new member
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2016, 03:59:47 PM »
Welcome John,

You live in a unique climate and that will probably be an advantage for you as long as you can provide the necessary water requirements. Your fruit collection sounds like it is well on its way - inheriting some fruit trees always helps.  Just curious, have you seen any other lychee trees in the area?  It sounds good that you have added a wall to prevent wind damage, I know it can get fairly windy in parts of Baja.  My lychees had some delayed growth after transport, but if you keep them well watered and mulched, they should reward you with growth and fruit.  It looks like your climate still has cool enough night temperatures in winter to successfully fruit lychees and many citrus.  Would Pitaya Dulce (Stenocereus thurberi) and Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus sp.) be something you would want to grow in your collection?  I think they would perform well in your area.  It would be interesting to see if Sugar Apples would grow there.  They are grown in Israel and Egypt, so they may do well in your area of Baja.  Perhaps Atemoya if the summer temperatures are not too extreme?
Bob

simon_grow

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Re: Greetings from a new member
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2016, 07:46:23 PM »
Welcome to the forum. There are lots of very knowledgeable people on this forum and there is also lots of great info that can be found through the search feature. Please keep us updated on your plants. I personally love hearing about the taste profiles of the fruit each member grows and why they like a particular fruit.

Simon

BajaJohn

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Re: Greetings from a new member
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 12:10:21 AM »
Thank-you all for the warm welcome and suggestions. A happy New year to all.
Mike - it was animal physiology - muscle wasting and therapy for spinal cord injuries.
Saltcayman - yes, I have a drip system installed, constantly dripping around the big trees and on timers in other areas. I also supplement with short morning and late afternoon spray irrigation because locals suggested it helps some plants.
Guayaba - I haven't come across any other lychee trees here. The nursery I bought it from is about 200 miles south of me with slightly cooler winter weather. I hadn't realized they need cool nights to fruit. My citrus trees seem to do very well, so if the lychee needs are similar, I'll hopefully be OK. Cactus are prolific around here and some pitaya varieties grow wild here. Your suggestions would be a good addition. Thanks. I also grow nopal cactus which is used as a vegetable here. The sugar apple is apparently native to Mexico so I'll have to look into that.

 

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