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Messages - JoeReal

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A warmer winter means that this invasive species have new territories to conquer, and the ones without any natural predators. Birds and chickens don't like them... And now they're beginning to eat the US Agriculture. Let's hope these can be stopped.

Citrus General Discussion / The Ultimate Solution to Greening Disease
« on: August 09, 2019, 12:12:33 PM »
One of the best approaches to growing citruses in the face of the devastating Greening Disease is to grow it in screenhouses that will prevent the Asian Citrus Psyllids from entering. The other benefits would be of course is that it would be easier for these growers to switch to organic growing by getting rid of many insecticides that won't be needed as frequently as before. Agriculture have been growing vast amounts of crops inside greenhouses, and screenhouses are even cheaper than greenhouses. So this is one of the best ways to combat the greening disease and not losing the citrus crops.  These screenhouses are quicker to build too, and along with the availability of disease-free budwoods from CCPP or other repositories for producing disease-free seedlings, greening disease could become history. It would employ a lot more people.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Gold Nugget Loquat, just the beginning.
« on: August 08, 2019, 02:32:46 PM »
How exciting! I love loquats. Do you find them difficult to graft? I have over a dozen seedlings started this year and have plans to try and graft some next year. I have never grafted before, but will be diving in head first next season.

Treat them like citrus or avocado grafts. All techniques used on avocado or citruses work on loquat.

Citrus General Discussion / OJ with pea proteins.
« on: August 05, 2019, 03:19:36 PM »
Orange juice with pea proteins may not be a bad idea, a healthier but a better tasting drink too!

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Bark inversion tutorial
« on: July 29, 2019, 03:28:58 PM »
I have an in ground Cara Cara grafted on Flying Dragon,  I no longer exactly remember the age of the tree, but it must be around 15 years old.  It is now 11-ft tall and 11-feet wide.

At that age it must give you high quality fruits! less than a foot a year!

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: My Blueberry Growing Tips..
« on: July 29, 2019, 03:25:56 PM »
Hi Joe, when is the best time of year to graft blue berry ??
Late winter to early spring when the buds starts to swell!

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Bark inversion tutorial
« on: July 26, 2019, 01:05:41 PM »
Howdy all,

Two questions:
Anyone try this on trees grafted to Flying Dragon?
Is there any effect on fruit quality?

OK four questions
Would this be useful on potted trees? (I'm mostly thinking of lemons here.)
Does the width of the removed bark strip have any consequences?

Thanks Steve H.

I don't think it would help much on Flying Dragon, but it would be good to try. I have a 15 year old Flying Dragon and it's height stayed at 4 ft without any pruning, so I didn't bother to do the inversion.

On semi-standard trees, like citrange trifoliate rootstock, it will improve fruit quality, size and flavor, at least from my trees.
Yes, it is useful on potted trees. I am maintaining apple trees, pear trees, stone fruit trees on pots and I do bark inversion on them. It's a good way to keep them small and their fruits large and tasty.

The larger the width of the band, the larger the effect. If very wide enough, it might kill the tree slowly, and you should do a bridge graft when you see slight symptoms that the tree starting to fail.

Treat this like mild girdling of the tree where the tree is able to heal the girdle around it.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Bark inversion tutorial
« on: July 26, 2019, 12:59:51 PM »
JoeReal, is the expected dwarfing effect from this reduced vigor or actually shortened node distance? 

Btw my gold nugget failed attempt has recovered just fine with no leaf loss.  I'll try again on another tree at some point.

The effect is reduced vigor due to less root growth, not shortened internodes. It should increase fruit quality and size.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Bark inversion tutorial
« on: July 26, 2019, 12:58:00 PM »
My experiment was mostly a bust.

Rose apple just made roots, no flowers:

Wax jambo as well.

White sapote only sprouted a new branch below the inversion:

Kei apple actually flowered (out of season), but only a handful:

Interesting. Keep us updated next season. The effect is usually the next season, not almost immediately.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Columnar Trees
« on: July 17, 2019, 05:19:13 PM »
Normally, by genetic selection of fastigiate cultivars. In gen Citrus, by pruning and tying the branches to the trunk to force them grow in a narrow angle. Citrus is not a fastigiate growing kind of tree. They always develop a broad canopy with time. Stems in a very acute angle will catch rotten fruits, fallen leaves and diseases

Using several narrow trees, instead a single wider tree, mean less fruits and more trunks/wood in the same space. Multigrafting a tree looks like a better solution

I built one by accident. It wasn't meant to be columnar. The cultivar is the Sudachi hybrid. It develops fruits like grape clusters enclosing the stem. I marcotted one with lots of fruits, and so it looked like a columnar citrus. I gave it away as gift, long before our quarantine, I didn't care about columnar fruit trees.

Thanks to @starch Mark for sending me 6 different kinds of papaya seeds that he sealed and kept so well.  I was amazed at the result of the KNO3 treatment that I think I got nearly 100% germination on all of them, so will have to thin out the germinated seeds. Had I known that it worked so well, i would have just used 2-3 seeds per cup!

Anyway here's my results:

The plain water has zero germination after two weeks. And here's the 0.5% 24 hour soaking and 10% KNO3 30 minutes soaking results:

0pp3 by Joe Real, on Flickr

0pp1 by Joe Real, on Flickr

Papaya seeds float, especially if old and dry. Place the seeds in a bowl, place a folded paper towel over the seeds, then pour the solution over the paper towel. This way, the paper towel when wet will weigh the seeds down and will soak the dry seeds all around for the time required. Make sure to sow immediately after soaking, then water like you would like normal seeds.

The same substance that makes almonds poisonous is also where the flavor comes from.

In small amounts it's delicious.

It's the dosage that can make it medicinal or toxic.  Most poisons and venoms are like that too!

This is applicable not only to Tropical plants but to almost all plants in general but this is the most visited section, so I posted it here.

Foliar application is the best way to deliver nutrients into the plants. We know this already since ancient times.  What is new in this article is that nutrients can travel from the leaves, through the plant's cuticle, through the vascular bundle and then being exudated into the root system where it is needed in the  rhizosphere to interact with symbionts, or help control root problems, or change physical properties of soil to improve nutrient and water uptake. They have traced this pathway by using Gold nanoparticles. Not all nutrients are needed by the plants for growth alone, some nutrients they use it by putting it into the soil root zone to enhance their nutrient and water uptake. Something new that I learned is that those important nutrients for use in the root system can be applied to leaves instead of directly into the soil as the plants can deliver it at point of use, and therefore is almost 100% efficient without nutrient losses.


grafted tree with bids at only $5.50 now!

Is the Garcinia brasiliensis rootstock cold hardier than Luc's Garcinia? What benefits does Garcinia brasiliensis have over Luc's Garcinia's own seedling? We know of course that grafted ones fruit sooner.

Where to buy available Seeds of Luc's Garcinia? Thanks!

grafted tree with bids at only $5.50 now!

It's now $41, but by near auction's end, it's gonna sell for over $100!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Frederick Passion Fruit has fruits!
« on: June 18, 2019, 11:37:58 AM »
This is anything but a compact grower, haha. Although it can handle 9b it is s tropical and you should care to protect it from frost, especially in a pot.
It might not be a compact grower but Mr Joe its not an average gardener.He is an expert in keeping the plants in a restricted area.Like here:

Thanks! You got that right! Already I gave my tip on how to make compact vines such as grapes and now this, the passion fruit.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Frederick Passion Fruit has fruits!
« on: June 18, 2019, 11:34:58 AM »
One of my Best Of Show wines is Passion Fruit! I got the fruits from a friend growing it in Ventura County, and it is so aromatic. So it got me interested in growing one of these one day, and here I am, already have fruits. It has survived our winter here. I am hoping it is aromatic.

There are ways to make your passion fruit compact and productive. It is almost the same as growing grapes in a container. Controlled girdling of the main trunk should control its roots and produce more fruits while remaining compact with a little pruning.  If you remember my post about bark inversion, that is one of the techniques used for dwarfing plants with definite bark. In case it doesn't have definite bark, mild girdling is the next best thing and is a standard practice for table grape production.

This Frederick passion fruit is my first experiment on growing these, and surely I will experiment on it. But what I'd really like is the most aromatic passion fruit available in the world, and I hope you can point me to the best cultivar. I don't really care about the sweetness of the passion fruits, only the aroma, because I'm a winemaker. Passion fruits can impart the best fruity aroma to any white wines, especially if you use real fresh fruit juices applied during the final but slow fermentation phase.

Where to buy available Seeds of Luc's Garcinia? Thanks!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Frederick Passion Fruit has fruits!
« on: June 17, 2019, 04:36:25 PM »
Wow, she has three fruits for Papa! Didn’t know it until I upgraded her pot!

Frederick Passion Fruit. Compact ideally suited for container growing and cold hardy to our zone. Even though I would pass this up as a temperate fruit, it does well in tropical climes where it's more endemic.

0pf1 by Joe Real, on Flickr

The bitter almonds or apricot kernels have anti-cancer properties because of Amygdalin (Vitamin B-17 or laetrile), a substance that can be toxic or cancer cure depending on dosage.  Although laetrile, the human marketed version of Amygdalin have been promoted online as an overhype type of hoax, there are actual biomedical literatures compiled by the National Institute of Health about it, and it shows promise, not the definite cure yet.
Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2018;18(12):1650-1655. doi: 10.2174/1871520618666180105161136.
Amygdalin from Apricot Kernels Induces Apoptosis and Causes Cell Cycle Arrest in Cancer Cells: An Updated Review.
Saleem M1, Asif J2, Asif M2, Saleem U2.
Author information
Amygdalin is a cyanogenic glycoside which is described as a naturally occurring anticancer agent. Current review highlights apoptosis-inducing attributes of amygdalin towards different cancers and its potential application as an anti-cancer agent in cancer therapy.

Data about amygdalin was retrieved from all major scientific databases i.e., PubMed, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, Scopus and Medline by using combination of keywords like amygdalin, apoptosis, laetrile, vitamin B- 17, pro-apoptotic proteins, anti-apoptotic proteins, hydrogen cyanide, mechanism of action of amygdalin and amygdalin therapy on humans. However, no specific time frame was followed for collection of data.

Data collected from already published articles revealed that apoptosis is a central process activated by amygdalin in cancer cells. It is suggested to stimulate apoptotic process by upregulating expression of Bax (proapoptotic protein) and caspase-3 and downregulating expression of Bcl-2 (anti-apoptotic protein). It also promotes arrest of cell cycle in G0/G1 phase and decrease number of cells entering S and G2/M phases. Thus, it is proposed to enhance deceleration of cell cycle by blocking cell proliferation and growth.

The current review epitomizes published information and provides complete interpretations about all known anti-cancer mechanisms of amygdalin, possible role of naturally occurring amygdalin in fight against cancer and mistaken belief about cyanide toxicity causing potential of amygdalin. However, well-planned clinical trials are still needed to be conducted to prove effectiveness of this substance in vivo and to get approval for human use.
The anti-proliferative effect of apricot and peach kernel extracts on human colon cancer cells in vitro
Wagheda Cassiemcorresponding author1 and Maryna de Kock2
Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer
Associated Data
Data Availability Statement
Go to:
Colorectal malignant neoplasms is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women in the developed world and the incidence has recently increased markedly in South Africa. Studies have highlighted the beneficial effects of Amygdalin, a cyanogenic compound found in both peach and apricot kernels, in its ability to suppress the development of colon cancer. The focus of this study was to investigate the potential anti-proliferative properties of various apricot and peach kernels extractions from South Africa and China and to monitor alterations in cell cycle kinetics in colon cancer cells.

Studies were conducted on HT-29 colon cancer cells. The interactive role of three different kernel extractions on the modulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle progression was monitored over 24, 48 and 72 h periods.

After 24 h, all extracts of the South African apricot kernels had a dose related bi-phasic proliferative effect on the HT-29 cells. It stimulated cell proliferation at the lowest and highest concentrations while at 500 μg/mL it inhibited cell proliferation. In contrast, after 72 h, the low concentration inhibited cell proliferation while the 500 μg/mL extracts stimulated cell proliferation. Morphological changes were observed in cells incubated with Chinese kernel extracts after 24 h and South African kernel treatment (1000 μg/mL) after 72 h. A possible intra-S-phase block after 24 and 48 h exposure to South African hydrophilic kernel extracts was observed. This transient block that is more concerned with tolerating and accommodating damage during replication rather than repairing it, could explain the initial anti-proliferative effects observed after 24 h exposure to the various Chinese kernel extract concentrations.

Abrogation of the block by exhaustion of the cyanide production, most likely allowed the cells to resume the cell cycle and continue into mitosis, whereas low ATP levels caused by the presence of amygdalin in the kernels, can also cause the induction of pycnosis or necrosis. These results highlight the possible mechanisms of growth inhibition by amygdalin containing extracts and may contribute towards the development of dietary anti-cancer therapies.

Keywords: Apricot kernel, Peach kernel, Amygdalin, Colon cancer, S-phase block

"Most almonds produced today are naturally tasty and safe to eat. Back then, though, many were bitter and poisonous."

A very interesting history of almonds. There's even a 14th century method to convert a wild poisonous almond into palatable and edible ones! There's no need to do that today.

"St. Basil's Hexaemeron, a Christian text from around the fourth century, contains a curious botanical instruction: Pierce an almond tree in the trunk near its roots, stick a "fat plug of pine" into its center, and its almond seeds will undergo a remarkable change.

"Thus the ... bitter almonds ... lose the acidity of their juice, and become delicious fruits," the text reads. "Let not the sinner then despair of himself. ... If agriculture can change the juices of plants, the efforts of the soul to arrive at virtue can certainly triumph over all infirmities." The cause of this change, scientists later theorized, was stress: Jamming pine wood into the almond tree's core may have halted production of the toxins.

We don't need pine wood to turn almonds sweet anymore. Most almonds produced today are naturally tasty and safe to eat. Back then, though, many were bitter and poisonous. Even today, consuming 50 — or fewer — wild, bitter almonds could potentially kill an adult, and just a handful contain enough cyanide to be lethal to a child.

Over time, farmers have bred domesticated almond trees to produce mostly sweet seeds. But wild almonds helped us out — and now, we know just how they went from deadly to delicious. A study published this week in the journal Science, which sequenced the almond genome, shows that a single genetic mutation "turned off" the ability to make the toxic compound thousands of years ago — a key step before humans could domesticate them."

Also notice that if you keep your trees outside in a subtropical climate like California, some citrus cultivars such as those in the Fortunella group and their hybrids, and most lemons will show a lot of fake deficiency symptoms during the winter and then they magically disappear as the weather warms up in spring. These kinds of temperature related "fake" deficiencies are seldom ever discussed in many Citrus Textbooks and I have observed it throughout our lives here in California.

From an ecological point of view, the lemons and kumquats and their hybrids that shows yellowing during the chilly temperatures are actually natural adaptations that help minimize chilling injury during full sunlight in the cold mornings of winter.

When I apply any fertilizer containing N, I make sure that the Mg is 1/4 of that, in terms of elemental weight.

Citrus General Discussion / Summer Heat Blossoms!
« on: June 13, 2019, 03:11:51 PM »
"The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." - The Emperor in Mulan.

My blood oranges have blooms in the middle of this heatwave of 108 F and over. They could likely turn into the tastiest latest fruits next year! The flowers aren't as plentiful during the first flush in spring, but it would hopefully turn into a second later crop next year. Normally only my lemons and Calamondins continue blooming after the spring flush. This is a first for my potted blood oranges, to bloom in the middle of the heat wave when I already have fruitlets from the spring flush. The blood oranges in bloom are Bream Tarocco, Boukhobza, and California Rojo.

0c1 by Joe Real, on Flickr

0c2 by Joe Real, on Flickr

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: My Blueberry Growing Tips..
« on: June 13, 2019, 02:14:32 PM »
I think blueberries can take full sun. They grown them in full sun in Bakersfield commercially. Mine get full sun in the winter/spring and morning shade in the summer, with full sun in the afternoon. I have them in big patio pots to help with moisture retention and acidity. The medium has lots of peat moss, some sand and chicken manure, and IIRC some of the potting soil that was in from whatever was in here before. A 3" layer of mulch is very helpful in keeping them moist. I have to water them every two days currently, though it was down to every day in the 100F+ heat wave. I think these were in 2 gallon containers when I planted them last spring. I give them about 1 cup of sulfur when they show more than a little red on new growth, or when they have chlorosis of new growth. I think in total I've given them sulfur three times. I just water them with untreated domestic water. We've been picking a lot of berries for the past month, so what you see isn't a full crop. I think the small one (first pic) is Sunshine Blue, which seems like it has some other vaccinium species in it to me. It's got smaller, darker leaves, more like huckleberry, and the berries have a creaminess to them that reminds me of blueberry yogurt. Next is Jubilee, which goes mostly deciduous and is a later season variety. It hasn't borne many fruits for me, but is getting pretty tall. Then the other two are Sharpblue I think (nametags are burried somewhere in the mulch), which are the best producers.

Yes they can TOLERATE full sun but they don't look happy. I've been to the blueberry fields in the Central Valley of California, and have observed their blueberries during the hottest days of summer. My blueberries are far better looking when it is shielded from the sun starting at 2 pm, so they still get 9 hours of sunshine in the summer.

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