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Messages - fruitnut1944

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1
Both USPS and UPS get plants safely to their destination over 99% of the time if properly packaged. That's based on shipping about 4,000 live plants in the last 8 years. I'd never use the flimsy USPS boxes. As mentioned Uline boxes are much better. I wish the box makers won't crush the boxes down making the sidewalls thinner than they should be before sending them to Uline. But that's another story.

If you believe all the talk on the web you'd think 30% losses or more were the norm. That's simply not the case if properly packaged. Either that or I'm the luckiest shipper ever.

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: This Season's Pickering Are Bland
« on: June 23, 2022, 12:23:37 PM »
I just mail ordered mango from FL. Not here yet. I'm afraid they are going to be poor to middling like the last batch. Too much rain there this month. That's why they're washed out. I guess I need to watch FL weather better before I order.

When I can get mine going in my greenhouse no more excess water ruining the fruit or causing disease.

3
It's very easy to protect mango at 25. I know a guy in north FL where it gets to 25 many years. His are in a greenhouse that's covered all year. A heater costs next to nothing to heat to 35 on a few days a year. The best part is he has none of the disease issues associated with rain and humidity. All it takes for cooling is a big exhaust fan up in the peak and openings on each end. I just saw videos of his place and the mango are loaded with fruit.

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Organic scale control
« on: April 15, 2022, 12:53:49 PM »
A dormant oil spray has worked in my greenhouse for 18 years. Occassinally, I have to add a summer spray with all seasons horticultural oil. The hardest crop to get control on is citrus because all the nooks and crannies hinder full coverage. On most tree crops it's not that difficult. One spray a year.

5
Thank you, that's a nice video. I learned a lot. Australia has been a leader in high density systems for many tree fruits.

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango scion question
« on: April 01, 2022, 06:19:33 PM »
No fruit I've worked with would sprout from bare stem between nodes. If you are taking off nodes include at least one node on the scion used for grafting.

Why would you not include a node? Makes no sense to me and very little chance of success, like zero.

7
Do you have anything official about these increases? I can't find this on USPS website.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Irrigation: outdoors in a dry climate
« on: March 15, 2022, 09:28:39 PM »
We have very low humidity and it's not a problem for any fruits that I grow. Also, my greenhouse is very dry during the day and that's not an issue either.

Mist into the air is a terrible waste of water and doesn't raise humidity that much. It just blows away. You can't humidify the whole yard. It's just a waste. Especially in Southern CA facing decades of drought I don't see this as a good plan.

You can cool things off with shade cloth. You can raise humidity with a greenhouse if managed properly. I like my greenhouse as dry as possible because that eliminates all disease issues and makes sweeter fruit.

If you have plants that really need high humidity then get a humid greenhouse. Those plants aren't suited to outdoors in a dry climate facing constant water issues.

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fertilizer to % for foliar mix
« on: January 21, 2022, 03:37:02 PM »
A gallon is 3785 grams. So one percent of that is 37.85 g. That would be my guess.

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Root Feeding: Yea Or Nay?
« on: January 18, 2022, 07:17:41 PM »
The technique sounds like a marketing gimmick. Hey guess what I can do for you that you can't do yourself.

Putting all the fertilizer in a small area is similar to fertilizer spikes. The experts routinely recommend against them.

On sandy soil broadcasting a slow release would be my plan.   

11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango second cuts not as promised
« on: November 29, 2021, 01:55:05 PM »
Your plant won't push multiple shoots even from nodes where it could if it doesn't have enough vigor. You see this on most plants. If you cut way back on a vigorous plant it will push many shoots. Why, because it has a big root system and suddenly a much smaller top so it pushes many shoots in order to regain it's former size. Cut back a little ways on a plant that's not growing and it may not push anything.


12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango second cuts not as promised
« on: November 28, 2021, 09:15:34 AM »
Isn't every cut both above and below a node unless you are cutting off the tip?

The reason you don't get enough new shoots after cutting back is because the tree didn't have enough vigor. Maybe it was too dry, maybe you didn't cut back far enough, or maybe you just didn't wait long enough before making more cuts. So give the tree more time, wait for good conditions, and more shoots should emerge after cutting back.

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best mango mix
« on: November 13, 2021, 08:30:59 AM »
My potting mix is about 50-60% pine bark mulch which here is finer than pine bark nuggets. The remainder is mostly Miracle Grow premium potting soil and a smaller amount of perlite. So about 50/35/15. Sand is too heavy for my needs. Compost breaks down too fast and is too variable. You don't know what you're getting with compost.

14
Hmmmmm....maybe that's it. I think it's sunlight bit it could be root competition. I was thinking about trying to find a better spot with more sunlight and moving them but maybe I'll just wait. They just don't seem to be growing at all....but are staying green.

The lack of growth sounds like root competition. Trees don't need much light just for vegetative growth. Be patient and your new trees will start to grow probably next yr. Meanwhile if it's dry water the little tree.

15
Often it's the root competition from big trees that holds back nearby newly planted trees. If I plant any kind of tree near big established trees I have to baby them just to keep them alive the first yr. Babying meaning frequent water. By the second yr things are better. But it's usually the third yr before the small tree can hold it's own against the big root system of a nearby established tree. Light isn't the issue. But then I usually don't water my trees much because less water means sweeter fruit. In FL it rains a lot more. But still root competition has been a big issue here in dry west Texas and in Illinois when I grew things there.

16
You didn't get more shoots when you tipped because the tree didn't have enough vigor to push more. It wasn't well enough established ie didn't have enough active roots or growing conditions didn't warrant more vigor ie it was too dry. So getting one shoot to replace the one you already had tells you it wasn't ready to be tipped for purposes of increased branching. Next yr if you tip/cut it back to the same position and growing conditions are good you'd probably get several shoots.

17
I don't think you can stop the condensation in an economical way. But how about figuring out a way to intercept the water droplets and funnel them off away from the plants. The water will condense on the cold outer skin but not on a layer of poly hung below that to intercept the water and run it where you want.

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Bubble wrap for greenhouse insolation
« on: September 25, 2021, 05:23:12 PM »
I've seen it recommended for inside the greenhouse. That makes sense to me. More effective and would last longer.

I've now got a greenhouse within my greenhouse. Not what you are thinking about. But how about bubble wrap on the inside surface of the greenhouse. Then make a frame and drape frost blanket over the plants. The more layers between your plants and the cold the better off they'll be.

19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this a stupid question?
« on: September 12, 2021, 09:24:58 AM »
How about a thread title like: Why are so many tropical fruits named apple?

Can you see how that might be helpful?

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best tasting fig for SoCal?
« on: August 24, 2021, 10:12:10 PM »
I'd say your tree is getting too much water. Those are huge figs indicating lots of water. And they split another indication of too much water. If you can somehow keep the water from potted trees out of the soil anywhere near the in ground tree that would be a start. Maybe saucers under the pots.

I work all summer keeping water from potted plants away from my in ground figs. If I don't they grow until forever and the fruit is no good. The inground trees need some water but not lots every 2-3 days.

I think you are right. Breba have a different shape. Watch next spring. Breba form on last years wood. Main on new wood. If there's a leaf petiole by the fig it's main crop. Breba form on bare wood from last yr no leaves.

Main crop are better if watered properly.

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best tasting fig for SoCal?
« on: August 24, 2021, 08:12:09 PM »
The early ones that didn't split are probably breba. The others probably main crop.

How much and how often are you watering?

22
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best tasting fig for SoCal?
« on: August 24, 2021, 03:06:01 PM »
fruitnut, you make some good points. I didn't know the real difference in taste of the caprified and uncaprified fruits. I wanted to ask about this of mine only adult fig tree I have which is the common Brown Turkey. I couldn't tell which fruits  was brebas and which ones were the main crop. I have been eating fruits for a few months now and still have fruits ripening now every 2-3 days. Some were very large fruits and many were nice looking but flat shaped and not just splitting but really exploding like a flower. I will post some photos of my Brown Turkey fig fruits showing these characteristics.

Bad news if the BM uncaprified figs are the better tasting since I have many grafts of it now and just last month I found some fig wasps on my capri fig tree.
In CA if your figs are exploding you are likely watering too much or they are getting too much pollination. Unpollinated figs only split/explode if they get too much water during final expansion. Too much pollen can cause the same thing.

I didn't say uncaprified BM was the best tasting fig. I said sweetest. Caprified figs can be terrific with flavors that unpollinated don't have. But they aren't sweeter they have too much juice to be sweeter.

Uncaprifed figs that shrivel on the tree can reach 45+% brix. But there's no juice to measure brix. They need to be diluted 2x with water, finely chopped in a blender, and measure brix of the resulting solution then multiply by 2.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best tasting fig for SoCal?
« on: August 24, 2021, 10:53:09 AM »
You'll get the sweetest figs without caprification and by allowing them to dry on the tree until they are shriveled up. Caprification results in a bigger jucier fruit but not a sweeter fruit. On many varieties caprification results in a better tasting fruit but that's all subjective. The caprified fruits are messier, more prone to split, and more likely to spoil. They often can't dry on the tree like uncaprified can in a dry climate.

Uncaprified I do think Black Madeira and it's siblings are the best tasting figs.

24
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Blueberries in FL
« on: August 19, 2021, 12:23:59 PM »
There is a large and successful commercial blueberry industry in Florida. Follow their lead and you can grow them in areas with some winter chilling. And even in south Florida they might work.

 https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/AC031

My favorite varieties are from FL developed by Univ of FL. If you haven't eaten Sweetcrisp then you've missed out on the best I'm aware of. I've grown them in my greenhouse with as much as 26 brix and very crisp texture.

25
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Land purchasing and search discussion
« on: August 04, 2021, 06:51:20 PM »
My thoughts are sell plants not fruit. Fruit is too perishable and it takes too long to come into production. I started selling plants on eBay 6 yrs ago as a hobby to cover a few expenses. By yr four I sold more than I paid for my place and 3x what my greenhouse cost. Next yr if I were younger I could net 150K but at nearly 80 am thinking about selling out. My margins are 75-80%. Sales from a 1700 sqft greenhouse are 90K. Before that fruit I sold from the same greenhouse was maybe $500 a yr.

There are house plants selling 10-20K each. That's not going to happen but there must be plants you'd find interesting that have a strong market. If possible sell online by auction and ship as widely as possible. I'm starting, growing out, selling, and shipping nearly 1000 plants a yr. A young man should do much better.

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