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Messages - mbmango

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First time grafting jitters
« on: October 27, 2019, 04:22:15 PM »
An update: It (Peach Cobbler) hasn't done much.  Just a smidgen of growth:

The other graft (Orange Sherbet) on the same tree started pushing.  The tips just started drying up, so it may have been the recent heat/dryness, although the PC doesn't seem affected?

This is the tree:

The new flush to the right started after the initial post above and has progressed quite a bit, so it looks like there should be sufficient energy for the grafts, but not sure how to get more of the super juice to go to the grafts.  I rubbed out all other buds that were pushing on the tree, but left 3 on that one branch, to allow for some net new growth in case neither of the grafts were successful.  Should I just cut those off too?

I started thinking the rubbers might be girdling somewhat, so unwrapped a bunch of grafts to satisfy my curiosity.  For some, I could feel the impression left on the host branch, so maybe I wrapped too tight?

This is the PC union:

There was a lot of extra sap that had oozed out under the wraps.  Some had hardened, but the whole joint was still pretty oozy.

This is PC#4 on another tree, that had even more ooze out (the big blob still being visible).  No other grafts have had as much ooze out, or at least still wet at the time of unwrapping.

It had also pushed out a bud, but has also kind of stalled, while another graft (Fruit Punch) continues to push.

Finally, this one (Sweet Tart) doesn't look like it'll make it:

I rewrapped all the unwrapped grafts with just parafilm for now.  Interesting to see things progress at various stages or with varying results, and then guessing what may be happening.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How do commercial guava growers do it?
« on: October 24, 2019, 12:19:23 AM »
I gave up on my guava since the squirrels strip the tree clean while gnawing on the bark of any major scaffolds for dessert.  I took a cutting for a large pot to see if I can "hide" it closer to the house.  That one gets a bunch more bugs but I haven't bothered dealing with it since it's been growing well enough anyways.  It's flowering for the first time, so we'll see if any can survive the rodents next season, but at least it will be small enough that I can cage it if need be.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2019 SoCal Mango tasting
« on: October 11, 2019, 11:39:47 AM »
Great report!  Next time someone needs to tap out, let me know :P

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First time grafting jitters
« on: October 11, 2019, 02:12:33 AM »
Thanks for the tips!  I did cut the rootstock first, since I was thinking the same thing (even though most videos seem to be the other way).  And I also do cut away from myself since I'm allergic to my own blood oozing out of my body.

Although I've studied the cambium diagrams, it just wasn't very clear to me in practice since it's more of a gradient from green to beige, at least in the branches I was working with.  When I did finally get that one piece of bark to pull out on that one attempt, it had beige on it, so I wasn't sure if I just failed and happened to pull some sapwood up with it, or if it was supposed to look like that.

Good to know about the Keitts.  I usually only buy Kents, Keitts, & Ataulfos, but I don't have any Keitts that have survived a winter here yet.  I could have sworn I had a couple Kents left, but my notes say I only have 1 left, and the rest are Ataulfo.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First time grafting jitters
« on: October 11, 2019, 12:18:09 AM »
It was pretty warm when I started this, but we're dipping into the 50s overnight now.  These stocks are on the west side though, against a block wall, and surrounded by concrete so I'm guessing that's why at least 2 of the stocks are still actively flushing.  The main one, where I put on 4 scions, is the only one to not flower after last winter, so it actually got to put out 3 flushes this year, and those grafts have also started pushing.

I blame it all on the luck of checking in and seeing Phelipe's offer for trees.  Soon after, I see Behl's scions.  After grafting Behl's, I was feeling pretty good about it in general, and then I thought why not try to save some of the terminals from the shipping-stressed trees that had already defoliated their freshest terminals.  So, clipped those, soaked them in a glass of water to plump them back up, and did those too.  It was already dark by the time I was doing the last one.  Plus, it was at the highest point of my precious branch, so I was pretty much blind and just doing it by feel.  I wasn't really expecting much, but 2 of the 3, including the last one, are looking surprisingly good.

My current project is putting up a mini-greenhouse for the new trees and any future projects.  They're currently sitting in my office for now.  Will try to get some new seedlings ready for next year.  Still got the jumbo Mexican Keitts left at 99 Ranch.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / First time grafting jitters
« on: October 10, 2019, 05:36:09 PM »
I'll go practice with some seedlings before I try with some real scions.

Oh, look there's an offering on TFF!  It's GO time!
Ok, lets see what I'll need. Schick, handle, rubber, tape.  M or grafting?  Why can't this ship to Cali?  Eh, just get the cheaper one.  Click, click, click...

Ooh, pretty scions.  Alright let's wrap them.  How do you do the tip?  I don't want to snap off anything.  Oops...
Where should I put this?  Brown looks too tough & green is too high.  Alright, the middle then...
I don't want to just cut off this fine branch.  Let's try with just a veneer type then.  The sizes don't match anyways.
Now, how far do I cut into the stock?  Well, that must be straight enough.  Where's this cambium?  Somewhere between green and beige, I suppose...
Trim this flap?  Stop it!  You're thinking too much and time is ticking!  Just leave it...
Damn, why can't I slice this thing straight!  Oh shoot, it's not flat now...
Well, let's try to line up the border on one side at least since these clearly don't match size-wise...
Darn, it won't sit flat.  Let me shave the stock a little higher... Aww, that's really not straight now.
The thing keeps moving every time I wrap this rubber around!  Is that tight enough?  The cuts weren't really flat.  Let me tighten that some more.  Crap, it moved again!
Man, this tape keeps snapping!  Grr, why do little holes keep tearing in it?
Hmm, how to seal the crotch?  Let me just drape some tape around there... (bumps scion)  Is it out of position now?
Oh, this is going to get too much sun.  Need some foil...
There!  Only 4 more to go!
Let's try a bark one like they were talking about on TFF.  So cut horizontal, then verticals, then pull... Why doesn't it pull off?  Oh that doesn't look smooth at all...  Let's just stick with the easier way for now...

They aren't dead yet!

I should've put that scion on that other branch over there.

I hope that condensation in the tip won't cause problems...

Will I have to wait till next year for some action?

Is that swelling?

Will it really be able to push through the tape?

Booyah!  Welcome a new master gardener!

I actually have a chance to layover at MIA on the 14th, and was wondering where I might be able to buy any of the mangoes I can only read about.

Scraping some bark to get a better picture of the wound, but it went in a good amount.  UCR opinion is a canker (  I wasn't advised of a specific treatment, so will go with Richard's advice.

Sprayed it with a hose to see if I could see anything underneath but it just looks like a wound, as if a branch had fallen off and not healed properly. The tree had a much larger scar higher up from last year that has totally healed over this year.  I don't see any entry/exit holes, but I may just not be able to recognize them.  I had contacted Dr Eskalen from UCR ( and got a reply, so I'll see if I can figure it out.

And the fruit also fell off on its own (stem was partially dried up or blackened), or was knocked off, so hopefully it will turn out to be edible.

The Holiday avocado was just planted last May (15g) so it is still young, with that picture being of the main trunk.  The tree itself seems to be doing well still, although it had recently dropped a lot of leaves which I thought was due to the hot spell a month or so ago.  I was checking in on a single fruit I had left on it, which happens to be above the injury point.  I've never grown avocado (to fruiting), so should it be left on till next year?  It seems a good size already. 

I will try "cleaning" out the wound tomorrow to see what kind of visible damage is in there.  I don't think I'd call in an arborist for such a young tree.

The white crust was originally a mound and when I touched it (very lightly), most of it fell off exposing this hole.  What might be causing it?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: March 20, 2015, 02:17:26 PM »
the new treehouse

another sumo experiment

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: March 19, 2015, 07:30:29 PM »
Didn't think I'd have to rotate each picture :(

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: March 19, 2015, 07:28:54 PM »
LZ arrived - 3gal ~5ft package

Looks cozy in there, but a mess to pull out


waiting for home

I recall reading that shipments should be potted first, but what if I put up some shade cloth if I stick it in the ground directly?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: March 10, 2015, 02:42:32 PM »
Patiently awaiting news from Tim.  Luckily this winter has been mild with no significant frost damage so far.  My measuring stick is the guava which has held on to much of its leaves.

The Kishu was yummy, definitely on par with Gold Nugget, so it has now displaced one of the previously reserved mango spots.

I also just ordered a Lemon Zest from TT, so hopefully this experience goes well.  Only 4 spots left for Tim's stuff now.

Sweetheart lychee is in bloom.  It still looks rather chlorotic in its pot, so I'll have to try to figure out what may be going on there.

Papayas have been pretty neglected and the leaves are all covered in some white fungus, but have so far survived the winter unlike attempts in prior years.  I just sprayed them with some Organocide to see if it will help.  Note - I've never sprayed anything on any plant before, so I'm just learning what would be effective without going nuclear.  Which brings up my next concern on the Gold Nugget which got attacked pretty heavily by all sorts of pests last year.  After the winter "cleansing", I'm looking for more preventative measures this year.  Imidacloprid is sounding pretty reasonable at the moment, but still researching.

Tried to dig out the guava, but it was too much.  I'll just have to keep cutting it off at the ground until it gives up.  For now, it will stay as a canopy tree for the new mangos.  I'll just have to keep trimming the roots to reduce competition.  Took a cutting to keep potted, or perhaps into the side planter eventually.

Anyone use compost from  I don't have a truck, so picking up from the yard or local recycling center is problematic.  I've checked at the local soil yard and the prices are about the same as my usual Amend bales from HD.  Even if not the same product, rototillerguy is comparable price-wise, but includes delivery and hopefully spreading it out (I don't need the tilling).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: August 28, 2014, 02:26:18 AM »
@Warren - Oh, that's awesome!  I didn't realize it was a secret location, but makes sense.  I'm sure the hillside of mangos will be pretty impressive as well.
@nullzero - Awesome too! Looks like I'm going to pass by Champa's this weekend to look for that Kishu and Sweetheart, and who knows what else seems yummy, since I still have to retrieve stuff in temp storage at my parents' in Montebello.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Monthly sales for Champa Nursery
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:25:55 PM »
I'd be interested in a sweetheart lychee and kishu mandarin.  I'll be able to stop by this weekend, probably on Sat.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: August 27, 2014, 07:40:10 PM »
Tim's mangos are relatively newly released so I would be surprised if someone had a mature tree to sample off.  From what I've read and my communications with him, he's primarily targeting commercial growers, so he is selecting based on marketability, so I'm expecting some tradeoffs with taste and fiberlessness.  Even if not "top-tier", I'm still expecting them to be home garden worthy, i.e. much better than imported fruit (crossing fingers). We'll see.

A tour?  Samples! I've been thinking of asking him about a visit, even if only to see what a football stadium sized greenhouse is like and how it runs.

btwm here is a shot of the earwigs when I first was inspecting the condition of the Manila.  After peeling off a little bark around the poorly pruned stem to see if it was cleanable, they started pouring out like in a horror movie.  I definitely want to avoid this going forward.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: August 27, 2014, 04:28:10 PM »
I probably would have to agree [wag] on a limited range of hardiness across mangos that we care about.  Getting acceptable growth/quality/production in my heat-limited climate is my primary concern.  I'm pretty sure I can keep most alive with more effort than my prior attempts, but I don't want to slave over them or just keep them surviving only.  I'm hoping some of Tim's mangos will be a good baseline.  He did not recommend them all for my climate, but due to volume pricing I just got them all besides the kilo green.  I'm still willing to try other varieties, and Simon is making a good case for the LZ.

I'm not familiar with blackberries (I actually don't like them but the kids love them), so watching it in a pot before I put it anywhere.  And thanks for the raspberry pointer.  I read somewhere that they will do fine on the north side, almost full shade, in our area, so hopeful on that.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: August 27, 2014, 03:37:15 PM »
Will have to drive by soon to take a look!  And thanks for your generosity!  I've never tasted any of the Garcinias, but it seems to have much hype from what little I've read so far.  I may take you up on that just out of curiosity.


There is a Jackfruit tree that is producing and holding fruit, not taking a ton of space in Hermosa Beach on 8th street between Ardmore and PCH. I suggest you walk by it and take a look. I have not talked to the owners/occupants yet, I have seen them outside a few times during the summer weekends.

Seedlings from this tree should be a good selection to produce fruit in your location. You have quite a collection you recently picked up, I may have an extra Luc's Garcinia seedling if you want to stop by Hermosa sometime.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: August 25, 2014, 06:47:20 PM »
Been busy moving into the new house.  Just spoke with Tim and I won't be taking my order till May 1 2015.  The trees wouldn't be sized enough for this year, and I'd have to worry more about the winter protection, so they'll be in better hands with him till the next season.  Also got the chance to find out about some of his other fruits he's working on, so I can look forward to other opportunities later.

Did a bunch of pots with the DIY MicroKote.  Not sure if I should've used a better paint, but it doesn't adhere terribly well to the injection molded pots (PE?).  Enough to stay put before I fill them, but it does flake off easier than I'd want.  I'll probably still be able to reuse them with only minor touch up for big flakes.  I wasn't sure of coverage thickness, but I decided to put it only pretty light.  Will see how it goes when I repot the smaller ones next year.  I used about half the copper and 1 gal of paint and used up not even a third of the gallon on 22 x 1g, 13 x 3.4g, 20 x 5g, 2 x 15g, 7 x 20", 6 x half barrel, 1 x 20g, and 1 x 40g pots, so it's going a long way.

Tried to dig up the guava, but it's looking to be more work than I expected.  I'm just going to get a new guava and kill this one.  Already put in the replacement manila mango, but I don't think I'll dig out the existing one just yet.  Sampled some dropped fruit and it was still yummy.  Might as well let that one keep going until the new trees need the space.  I didn't realize the true trunk damage until recently though.  Apparently earwigs have made a huge nest right under the bark.  The trunk is at least 2/3's girdled, yet the tree continues to hold several small fruit and is still pushing new growth.  I'm waffling on whether I'm going to mulch this bed at all now since I don't want to have future earwig problems.

Got papaya seeds from U of Hawaii, but not yet sure where to fit them in the garden yet.  Will probably intercrop them in between the future mango sites.

Ordered some stuff from Florida Hill and Wellspring - emerald and jewel blueberries; sugarloaf, white gold, elite gold pineapples; mulberry, kiowa blackberry, purple possum passion fruit, allspice, tea, katuk, and ylang ylang.

Picked up some citrus, to stay potted - pixie, moro, cara cara, and meyer.  Still looking for a kishu, and that will probably be it.

Pomegranates have space in the suboptimal front yard but hoepfully enough to get something - parfianka, angel red, and eversweet.  The parfianka had immature fruit on it already, but it was so yummy already when I removed it.

Tried my first fresh jackfruit - yummy!  I planted some of the seeds just for kicks.  I don't think I'll ever be able to fit it anywhere.

Another experiment is that I'm going to try growing gold kiwi seedlings all along the brick walls.  Might as well cover up the walls and maybe one day something will come out of it, or not.

Also tried some lychees that were just too good.  Now I must find one of these, but I'm not sure what variety to get since it wasn't labeled at the grocery.

Also still looking for a good raspberry variety for this area.  Seems like Baba would be good, if I could find it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: When Can I Pick My Papaya?
« on: June 10, 2014, 05:46:23 AM »
@JeffDM, what size pots are you using for your papayas?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: June 10, 2014, 05:38:21 AM »
Placed my order with Tim 2 weeks ago, so just waiting until Sep/Oct for an early x-mas.  At least I'll have a fair amount of time to prepare.

Just received the Acurite gateway with 3 tower sensors, since there was a Memorial Day sale.  I'm just testing it indoors for now since we're still in an apt, and we don't have net access at the house yet.  The sensors are relatively consistent within a degree of each other so far.  Had to set a -1 calibration on one of them.  I don't have a reference thermometer though, so hopefully they are close enough to reality.  Only 1 of them was reporting consistently when they were all placed in the fridge, so I'm hoping I don't have reception issues later.  Too bad it won't out-of-the-box report all the sensors to wunderground, but the Acurite site is workable at least, and still better than the iOS app.

Picked up some CuPro 5000 from to try diy MicroKote since I'm a lazy repotter.  Going to try pumice instead of perlite in my mix since it's a little cheaper and seems more durable.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: May 23, 2014, 05:05:53 AM »
Here's the back/south and side/west yards.

The trees don't seem too bad for not being manually watered for almost a year.  The guava in sw corner will be moving to the north of the side yard to make room.  Some of the side planter will be taken by a future BBQ, but the planter is only 18" wide, so I'll probably try some Hawaiian papayas in the remaining space.

Potted seedlings trying to fruit

and what's left of the manila

Any chance that if I could cleanly remove the stumpy part that the tree would heal over the wound?

The front/north yard

Over the week, picked up a 15g Durling Holiday avocado from the local Armstrong, which will be going in the SE corner next to the mandarin.  Looked overwatered and I didn't notice a big gash near the top, but seems recoverable.  Also picked up small Parfianka, Goji, and Li jujube, destined for containers.

Had to put in minimal front yard landscaping to satisfy the inspectors, but have to also do a little research on roses.  We plan to border the entire front with a thorny hedge, but not so opaque, to discourage any casual fruit pickers.  The landscaper had popped in some iceberg roses, but they don't seem intimidating at all.

Looking for thermometers and wanted to get something that logs periodically.  I had picked up a TI SensorTag to play with, but I don't think I'll have time to deal with writing firmware.  Also thought about DIY with some 1-wire sensors to a Spark Core (, but it'd probably cost the same overall, plus take time again.  Anyone using an AcuLink internet gateway (  I'd get just the gateway and 3 temp sensors since I could just lookup wind, pressure, etc from other local stations.  It logs to their site, and also to weatherunderground, and you just view it via a phone app or the WU site.  I'd use a sensor in the front, back, and the future tunnel (hopefully).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos for mild climate
« on: May 14, 2014, 06:20:02 PM »
Thanks everyone so far!

@nullzero and maniac2, that is sobering.  I will try with just Tim's recommendations then since he seems optimistic that they should be able to flavor up.  Thanks for the Holiday avo rec.  I will definitely look for that.  We are in a small depression, east of PCH, right next to Polliwog Park which is the lowest point on the east side of the city, which is likely why we see frozen grass and windshields at least a few times each year.

@zands - Tim's choices, (the 3 except for the Pineapple), besides being currently available, happen to also give an extended season, so crossing fingers.  The Pineapple, I just want to try for the taste.

He did not recommend Glenn for the climate, nor even Manila, but I may try the Manila in the front yard for as close to a stealth mango as I can easily find.  I was thinking of NDM alongside also.  I do love them SE types (grocery Ataulfos are so yummy), not necessarily more than Indian types, but that's partly because I haven't really had the opportunity to try out all the other good stuff I only read about.

I hope this will be all worth it.  The value is all relative, but I don't really have any other fruits I'd prefer to try, that would at least preclude the space for the mangos.  Used to have an Owari Satsuma, but it wasn't good enough to keep.  If I could find a Sumo orange, I'd grow one of those in a heartbeat.  If I could find kiwis like the Zespri gold, I'd make space for those too.  I haven't yet tasted a Cherimoya that I liked, even though my dad is trying to grow several of those from seedlings.  Asian pears are yummy, but seem troublesome to grow.  Am trying pineapples, although a damn subcontractor jacked my largest potted plant that was carrying a fruit.  Would like a chestnut tree, but son is allergic to nuts.  I might resolve myself to just citrus, or stone fruits (which I've never really explored), but I'm going to give this a shot at least.

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