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Messages - irun5k

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You guys are the best- thanks!  For this particular situation the hose clamps were perfect.  I'm pretty confident this will heal fine now.

Using the hose clamp approach I probably could have salvaged part of the branch that invoked the split.  However, the way it split, the weight of whatever was left would have been putting direct downward pressure on that location, so perhaps it was actually best to remove it entirely.  sweetheart lychee seems to be an incredibly fast grower- in hindsight I probably should have done even more aggressive pruning than what I had already been doing.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / FL wind damage - please help me save my lychee
« on: December 17, 2023, 09:51:43 AM »
Hello, the wind was no joke here in SW FL last night- my sweetheart lychee's main trunk split.  I removed the damaged branch but I am hoping I can reassemble the trunk similar to a graft.  All Temporarily I used what I had this morning to hold it together for now.

What should I do?  I'm limited to what I'll be able to pick up at Lowes or Home Depot today.  I am hoping I can save it, even without 1/3 of the tree it still has a reasonable structure and will hopefully have a good life ahead of it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hawaiian papaya results in FL
« on: October 08, 2023, 05:24:21 PM »
I was just thinking of growing these because they are Non GMO👍🏼

It is worth giving it a shot.  I just harvested a couple more Waimanalo and they really were tasty so I think I'm going to start some new plants.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 29, 2023, 10:29:04 PM »
I feel for you, at our old house (near downtown St. Petersburg) people were constantly stealing fruit.  One lady stopped and filled up and entire large shopping bag.  In years when we didn't have a lot of fruit, they'd strip it clean.

I saw one neighbor rip off a large branch with his hands- when I went to confront him he said he was going to graft it by sticking it on top of a plant he had that wouldn't fruit (what a genius)

Also caught one kid on video ripping branches off our plumeria, and he stood there and de-leafed all the cuttings right in my front yard.

I finally put a "no trespassing" sign in our mango tree and our neighbor called city code enforcement because of the sign!

The best thing we ever did was move away from the urban area to a more chill laid back area of the county where people don't live like that and do this stuff to each other.  For many years I struggled to try and deal with it and accept it as something I couldn't realistically change.

Many people just don't get it and will say "oh, it is just a plant!"... the plumeria that the kid ripped apart I had been cultivating for years.... imagine if your hobby was, I don't know- building miniature dollhouses, and someone walked into your craft room and stepped on one.  This is exactly the same thing in my book.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Banana cultivar availability . . . . ?
« on: September 27, 2023, 10:39:54 PM »
Have you tried Tampa Tropical Asian Nursery?  That place is pretty amazing, they may have what you want.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can a Pickering of this size produce?
« on: September 27, 2023, 10:35:30 PM »
I agree with the others, it may set 100's of fruit and should hold 20-30.  I am so glad I selected pickering as our mango tree.  It is a fantastic producer and the fruit taste great.  Our previous tree was a carrie- also great taste but nowhere near the production habit, and in peak season you'd almost be drinking the fruit vs. eating it (good for jams, drinks, etc. though)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Hawaiian papaya results in FL
« on: September 27, 2023, 10:30:25 PM »
I took a shot at growing Waimanalo and Improved Sunrise here in Pinellas County, FL.  I have always enjoyed eating these solo papayas but have never really been a fan of the Red Lady or similar.

They are producing tasty fruit.  Some of them have been tiny, some have been reasonably sized and a few have been similar in size to those grown in Hawaii.   A lot of the small ones have been from a female plant so perhaps some of this is expected.

Several of the fruit are not the most beautiful things on the outside- seems like mostly black spot vs. ringspot virus at this point but I'm not expert.  To date this has been cosmetic only and doesn't affect the actual fruit.

For me, the jury is still out and I'm on the fence of starting some new plants to replace these.  (They're getting tall and will be 2 years old so I'm sure old age, virus and disease will be coming.)  I've proven they can do "OK" here but I feel they're not performing up to their genetic potential.  My timing was also bad as we were moving and I had them in pots for too long (planted seeds Feb 2022 and put in ground Sept 2022) so I'm wondering if I can improve on some things next time around.

Have you grown Hawaiian/solo papayas here in FL?  What has your experience been?

My anecdotal experience has been that Carrie is a vigorous grower and I personally would never call it a "condo" mango even though that is how it is marketed.  The canopy of my tree was really eager to grow wide and it wasn't short either.  I had to use a picker basket on a long extension pole to get a lot of the fruit.  I did regularly prune it but it was more for training/shaping- I am not sure how it would have responded to the agressive pruning that would have been required to make a major reduction in tree size.

I have seen other trees like mine (e.g. over 10 yrs old) that were also large so I don't think mine was a complete fluke. This is in Pinellas County, FL, full sun, good growing conditions.

We moved recently and I decided to go with a Pickering at our new house.  The fruit has similarities to Carrie but I actually like Pickering fruit we've been picking better.  This is a totally subjective component of course.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Papaya Fruit Fly Question
« on: June 29, 2023, 03:25:01 PM »
I am not sure either- in past years I've left brown bags on until harvest.  Now, I am using the mesh bags and they are smaller so I'm going to have to remove them at some point I think.

This year I have also added a few "traps" which are green balls covered in an extremely sticky substance (ordered from Amazon.) These have been successful at catching all kinds of flying inspects but I've done an in depth review to see if I actually caught any papaya wasps yet.

So far I've seen infected fruit aborting and falling off early which would track with only the younger fruit being attacked.  I hope that trend continues- I really don't want to take some nice looking fruit into the kitchen and find a bunch of worms after cutting them open. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2023 Mango Season
« on: June 27, 2023, 11:46:43 AM »
Our pickering has been in the ground for just a year, and we got a legit little crop this year- maybe a dozen normal sized, great tasting fruit. There are still a couple left to harvest.

It is debatable whether I should have let it set fruit this year given the small size of the tree, but I'm hopeful that I get several nice growth flushes now that fruiting is complete.

Compared to the carrie we had at our old house, I'm a bigger fan of pickering so far- hopefully it doesn't let me down.

  • I do really like Carrie's taste, but at times in the harvest season the flavor profile could get complex with some less desirable elements mixed in.  Pickering is more straightfoward, solid mango + coconut
  • Pickering is firmer and can be served sliced, diced, etc.  Carrie can be extremely soft, great for making a puree, jam, etc. but not always so great for serving fresh.
  • Pickering seems much more eager to set fruit compared to carrie
  • Time will tell but I get the feeling pickering will be a smaller, easier to manage tree.  My carrie was a large tree, tall and wide canopy.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Smallest pot size for fruiting Pitaya
« on: June 27, 2023, 10:16:14 AM »
While they aren't dense roots, they do travel so expect them to wander out from the bottom of the pots.

This is true, I recently had to cut out some fairly large diameter roots that have escaped through the holes in my 20 gallon pot with a mature American Beauty (3 or 4 cuttings.). They were diving through some crushed shells trying to make their way through weed mat down to the actual soil.

It seems like something that can be addressed through some regular maintenance.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is it dead?
« on: June 17, 2023, 08:34:11 PM »
For what its worth. Grafted jacks grow about half as fasts as seedlings (unless you pull the multi-rootstock trick). Something in the grafting slows them down. This is not an issue for mango in Florida (apparently it is an issue in California?). And Lychee is almost always air layered. So, it is normal for a grafted jackfruit to grow slower than lychee and mango.

Interesting you mention that- the nursery I bought it from (Tampa Tropical Asian Nursery) mentioned this characteristic of grafted Jackfruit.  He really tried to steer me toward the seedlings they had- but from what I had read, I was worried I might get a variation of the parent vs a true copy and it would be years before I found out.  Perhaps that concern is misplaced however because Jene's Tropicals here in town also seems to primarily sell seedings and she generally seems to know her stuff.

I did give them both Osmocote earlier in the spring but I do agree it looks like a nutrient deficiency is in play.

I Roundup'ed the lawn a couple weeks ago- the Bahia that my builder put in was DOT quality at best and full of weeds so I'm having it replaced, but that hasn't had any negative effects on any of my trees or landscaping.  However the thing I forgot to mention is that we have reclaimed water.  The higher salt content is known to be bad for things like azaleas but there is much research into which fruit trees can handle what.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is it dead?
« on: June 17, 2023, 12:45:58 PM »
Closeup of the leaves- having issues getting all the pics into one post for some reason.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is it dead?
« on: June 17, 2023, 12:40:08 PM »
So, it didn't die.  However, it doesn't seem to be growing very fast, for a fruit that I've heard is normally a fast grower.  The other trees I planted at the same time, including a lychee, mango and sapodilla have all experienced much more growth, although they were larger and this was a pretty small plant.  (I only mention the comparison to rule out any major environmental issues.)

Something is affecting the leaves- any ideas?  Wondering if I need to hit it with some fungicide.

My "backup" jackfruit is a J-31 that is still a pot- I bought it when I thought I had killed this MAI-1.  From a growth habit standpoint the J-31 looks like it is ready to take off.

Any opinions of whether I should dig up and replace the MAI-1 with this J-31?  Unfortunately I only have room for one.

So one of us has mislabeled cuttings is what I take from that 😆. There shouldn't have been fruit on my haleys comet then since you disagree with both websites, an ebay seller and my assessment of not pollinating haleys comet. In the end I really don't care about names just the fruit taste.

The majority of growers and websites will cite Halley's Comet as self-sterile, but you will also find sources that say the opposite.  There are also some sources that say "it depends" (presumably on some external condition) and I think this is the fuzziest area of all.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of truly scientific research to begin with and certainly not much across different climates and conditions.  When I first got started I had a self-sterile variety that would never set fruit (it was clearly mislabeled from Home Depot) but I did get a random fruit or two at a couple times which I would assume was the result of moths or other night insects bringing pollen from one of my neighbors?  But who knows, really.

And yes, without genetic testing it is difficult to know what variety you ended up with regardless of how it was labeled/sold.  The best you can do is buy from a reputable seller and compare your plants and fruit with what you believe to be authoritative sources, but as already mentioned there can be disagreement even among some of the larger growers/nurseries.

I normally do my comparisons against but like you say, in the end if it tastes good and has the other characteristics we desire, that is what is most important.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: cultivars, nobody knows
« on: June 16, 2023, 11:49:15 PM »
Irun5k, thanks for starting this thread.

This made me change my approach.

I guess this is how it is, and I need to stop wasting time asking what cultivar is this?

The ones who know will tell you.

That is 100% my experience, if they know, it will be labeled.  I've actually never gotten an answer when something was unlabeled and I had to ask.

A couple times we had vendors at the summer Saturday Morning Market in St. Pete that were selling all kinds of mangos or lychee and they knew exactly what they were.  It was really great to try and compare Brewster, Sweet Cliff, Emperor, etc. lychee at one booth!  They had a family farm in Pine Island.  The mango guys had a farm somewhere unexpected... I think make it was Lake Wales.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: cultivars, nobody knows
« on: June 16, 2023, 11:40:50 PM »
irun5k, when and where is the farmers market? Thanks!

I am pretty sure it is the weekend market at The ICOT Business Center. 13600 Icot Bvld in Clearwater
Sat & Sun. I think they open at 7 and close at 3.
they have some interesting mangoes there that I couldnít find elsewhere, but for the most part, itís a tourist trap.
i bought unknown dragon fruit cuttings and sugar apple trees there, and they are doing great this year.

Yes that is the place!  I would disagree on "Tourist Trap", most of the customer base comes from the local Asian American community and there are is a lot of locally grown tropical fruit; I believe many of the vendors came from the Mustang flea market when it closed.  There are also various prepared food vendors so you can get your halo halo, pancit or a number of other things that aren't easy to find locally.

These are the criteria for evaluating any variety:

Self pollinating: anthers are close to the stigma meaning pollination can happen without assistance.  However, manual pollination can still help fruit set/fruit size.
Self fertile: it can set fruit using its own pollen
Self sterile: it requires pollen from another variety to set fruit.

Universal pollinator: a variety with pollen that can pollinate most other varieties.

American Beauty is for sure self fertile and is also a great universal pollinator. However there may be two different cultivars that are known as American Beauty- my flowers have long stigmas, for example, and are not likely to self pollinate.  I've seen other "American Beauty" flowers that have short stigmas. 

I also have Halley's Comet and Delight.  They are both self sterile.  Also, Halley's Comet cannot pollinate Delight, nor can Delight pollinate Halley's Comet- they are genetically too close.  However, American Beauty can pollinate both of them.

Growing a variety like American Beauty and/or Sugar Dragon/S8 can really make things easier.  If can be difficult if you have too many varieties that require cross pollination... it is terrible to see a self-sterile variety light up with blooms if you don't have any pollen frozen and your universal pollinator won't bloom in time.

Also, it goes w/o saying but "self pollinating" is only a relevant characteristic if the variety is also self sterile.  It won't matter if the anthers can get the pollen to the stigma w/o assistance if the pollen is useless.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / cultivars, nobody knows
« on: June 03, 2023, 08:25:31 PM »
So, I have pretty much decided to stop asking the cultivar of tropical fruit that is for sale.  Over the years I've found that the few people that know what they're selling will usually label it, and the other 95% have no idea.

We have a great Asian themed farmers market here in Pinellas County.  I bought a jackfruit recently from "The Jackfruit King."  By all measures, it seems to be a significant operation, a custom-branded box truck filled with Jackfruit.  They looked at me like I was an idiot when I asked them what variety of Jackfruit it was.  Based on taste and appearance though I'd say they're selling multiple varieties.

This is true of almost every vendor at every farmers market, fruit stand, etc. I've ever visited.  Also we used to live on Kauai and nobody knew what they had there, either.  There are definitely a few exceptions here and there and of course if your'e trading fruits with fellow gardeners it is a different story also.

Not a big deal in the scheme of things- I'm usually happy enough to find fresh tropical fruit and in some cases I can identify the more distinctive cultivars myself.  What is your experience where you live?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: should I pull these pineapples apart?
« on: February 17, 2023, 10:28:04 PM »
Definitely separate before you plant! And if you do, plant one in ground and the other in pots.. see what grows best for you. Donít know what your soil is like in St Peteís but here on the other side of Fl the soil can be/gets too compacted and most of them end up with a miniature pineapple.

Thanks, I will separate them and not a bad idea to keep a couple back in pots. How large of a container is necessary for a pineapple to fruit?

I am just north of you, I use Dynamite 10-10-10 (red container.)  It is time release and contains micros, I've had no problem with it on my dragon fruit.  A good "from FL, for FL" product.

If you really want a water soluble, I've used Foliage Pro in the past- it has a solid reputation among container gardeners.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Shade cast by dwarf coconut?
« on: February 16, 2023, 07:35:43 PM »
I don't think you'll have a problem with light.   Crowding might be an issue however based on the spread of both trees?  10 feet apart doesn't seem like much space when you consider what an mature canopy is going to look like.  Of course eventually the coconuts will tower above the fruit trees but that could be decades from now.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / should I pull these pineapples apart?
« on: February 16, 2023, 07:17:23 PM »
I ordered several small white sugarloaf pineapple slips last fall.  I've been growing them in pots with the plan to put them in the ground this spring.  I've noticed that several of them actually appear to be multiple plants now.

Should I separate these out before putting them in the ground, or plant them as is?

BTW I am new to growing pineapples but fell in love with Kauai white sugarloafs so I wanted to grow some.  Therefore I'm not sure if the brown leaves are leaf obsolesence, or disagreement with the winter but they seem to be back off the races now.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Papaya leaf curl virus?
« on: November 02, 2022, 09:24:10 PM »
Thanks all.  I contacted the county extension office and they confirmed that the leaf curl virus is present in Pinellas County as well as various other counties in FL and said the plants should be destroyed.

I have found papaya to be very challenging to grow here in FL.  At our previous house we had 100% chance of papaya wasps and had to bag each fruit.  I also found odd pests on them them I'd never seen before, weird stuff like ultra fat green slug-looking things.  Here at our new house, this was the first planting so we didn't even make it to the point where we'd have to worry about wasps.   

When we lived in Hawaii, I saw so many of them growing in places, 100% ignored, and doing far better than anything I've been able to achieve here even with me serving as a constant nanny.

Perhaps this is the final sign to plant more dragonfruit, or some other fruit instead  :P

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Papaya leaf curl virus?
« on: October 26, 2022, 06:59:05 PM »
Per my research I fear that this is leaf curl virus...  is there anything else it could be?  It seems to have just started and has affected the last few leaves the plants have put out.

These are Hawaiian varieties that I'm growing- or trying to grow- here in SW FL.  I have not found much about this virus being a problem in FL.

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