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Messages - Johnny Eat Fruit

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« on: September 15, 2021, 09:01:20 PM »
The best time to start growing Mango Seedlings is April-June in SoCal based on my experience. I usually start them in 5-gallon pots. Move them up to seven-gallon containers a year later. Never tried to start mango seeds this late in the season. We are heading into the cool months soon and growth will stop by late November. Not sure how they will work for you. Pots are easier as you can move the small plants inside if necessary to keep them warm during the coldest periods. Greenhouses are better yet. Let us know how they work out. Hopefully, you will have some survivors. 

Johnny

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« on: September 15, 2021, 10:58:31 AM »
Hey Victoria,

Unfortunately, the Sweet Tart seeds are not viable. Underdeveloped embryo. Actually, I was lucky to get any fruit this year considering the poor pollination in early spring. Changing my micronutrient application for all of my mango trees and as previously mentioned pulling early flowers off my ST next year. If I can ever get this tree to consistently produce this tree would be worth its weight in gold for me.

If I was growing from seed good candidates are Cac, Seacrest, and Guava. All three grow fast at my coastal location and would even do better in your area. I would contact some of our Florida mango munching friends in June-July next year to see if you can get some seeds. I would get at least 6-8 of each and select the best one or two for planting in the ground.

Johnny

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« on: September 14, 2021, 07:13:50 PM »
Just a quick update on my Sweet Tart Mango Tree. Only (3) fruit made it without major cracking issues in 2021. I picked one fruit three days ago and let it ripened off the tree. Just ate it today. Fantastic tasting mango even if it was slightly on the overripe side. Deep orange color with a rich and complex taste, juicy. I did not detect any tartness likely due to the overripeness but never the less it was a great tasting mango. I could eat these all day. This and the Indian Grown Alphonso tie as the best tasting mangos I have had. Now I can see why this cultivar is hyped and mine was not even likely at peak flavor. A great mango indeed. I hope for a better crop in 2022. I applied some calcium to the root system of my tree and hopefully, this will help next year.

Johnny

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Stop young mango from flowering
« on: September 09, 2021, 12:07:35 PM »
Yea hear in SoCal mango trees tend to grow slowly anyway and excessive flowering takes a four-cylinder subcompact car and turns it into a two-cylinder vehicle. In general 2.5 years of California growth are equivalent to one Florida year. The Pacific ocean influence really slows us down from a growth perspective especially if you are close to the coast in SoCal.

Johnny

5
For Sale is my very nice and healthy grafted semi-dwarf Yosemite Gold mandarin Tree in a 7 gallon pot. I have taken good care of it with regular feedings of organic fertilizer. It is ready to go into the ground now. Should take off next year once established. The lower root system is well developed and very healthy. This is my favorite tangerine tree. The mother tree I grafted this from has been produced consistently for the past 7-8 years. Large seedless fruit with a sweet and very rich flavor. Excellent citrus tree.

Local pick-up in Huntington Beach, Calif. Cash only. Only one tree is available.

See the attached photos.

Price : $80 Firm (SOLD)





6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal Mango Scions and Grafting
« on: August 22, 2021, 08:26:49 AM »
If your rootstock is strong and healthy and the root system of your mango tree is robust then I would allow 3-4 shoots to form just below your graft and let the shoots grow this year (2021) for grafting in 2022. A strong tree can easily support multiple young shoots and a young graft.

If the mango tree is young with a weak or immature root system then I would remove all growth below the graft and focus the tree's resources toward the new graft only. Each situation is different and this largely depends on the quality and vigor of the mango rootstock that is used. You have to use your best judgment to determine that.

Removing the lower branches was good since those were essentially suckers taking away growth and vigor from the upper branching.

Johnny

7
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Linda macadamia nut
« on: August 21, 2021, 08:53:07 PM »
I love my Beaumont Macadamia Nut tree. Beautiful growth and excellent nut quality. Probably the best nut tree for SoCal growing in our mild climate.

It is ironic in that I spend much time and effort on trying to grow mango trees and thus far have little to show for it. I spend little time on my Beaumont Mac tree and have much worthwhile. 

The photo was just taken to illustrate. The tree is 10 years old.

Johnny



Grafted Beaumont Macadamia Nut Tree (8-20-2021)

8
Sapote,

I keep a photo record of all the fruit trees. Looks like I hit peak bloom in mid to late March 2021 at my location with this grafted Sweet-Tart. Below are a few photos from early, mid, and late March. At my other more inland location I am not getting fruit crack so I believe the cooler temps and earlier blooming at my location has something to do with the fruit splits with no seed.

Johnny



Sweet Tart Early Bloom (3-3-2021)


Sweet Tart March Bloom (3-13-2021


Sweet Tart Bloom Close up 3-13-2021


Sweet Tart Bloom 3-25-2021

9
Thanks for the info, Simon. I will try to remove some from the first bloom set and see what the results are compared to the later blooms witch will certainly come with our relatively cold winter/spring.

I will also likely apply Phyton 35 (Copper Sulfate) to most of my mango trees during early and mid-bloom with two applications spaced three weeks apart to hopefully prevent Powdery Mildew (PM). I noticed my Sweet Tart tree had some mildew on the early growth and I suspect it likely had it during flowering as well. I had fruit split on this tree last year as well but there were only a few mangos that had formed in 2020. Just trying to theorize and come up with some potential solutions. Just another obstacle in growing mango trees in SoCal. Looks like I am going to lose 100% of my sweet-tart crop this year at my coastal location. In 2022 I am going to let all of my older more established mango trees fruit to capacity for the first time. I feel the mango trees I planted in the Ground in 2016/2017 are large enough to hold a decent crop. I am optimistic about Val-Carrie as It had a very heavy fruit set this year but I removed the small pea size fruit to focus on vegetative tree growth, I will not do that in 2022.   

As an Interesting side the 2019 Sweet Tart graft I did to a Manila Mango tree in the ground, in Alhambra at my Brother in Laws house, is holding half a dozen fruit when I was over there in late July. I did not see any fruit split issues on that tree. This location is much further inland with considerably more heat and thus far it appears to have performed better. I will be going over there in September to get the fruit. At least I will have some sweet-tart to eat.

Johnny 

10
This year, my sweet-tart Mango Tree had over (40) fruit on the tree but one by one they cracked open on the tree with no seed. Looks like a total loss this year on my Sweet Tart.  Most of the fruit started to split heavily at about eight ounces in weight. Interestingly my Nam Doc Mai tree located nine feet away had no such issues. As Simon said likely a pollination issue or perhaps the tree is still too immature at this stage.

Enclosed are a few photos to illustrate.

Johnny

 

Sweet Tart Split 8-14-2021


Sweet Tart With No Seed 8-14-2021

11
Hi Kaz,

Sounds like an interesting variety to try.

Can you please put me down for one.

Much Thanks

Johnny

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is it good to graft it?
« on: August 04, 2021, 01:16:41 PM »
A more wide-angle photo of the LZ tree you have would be helpful as well as the rootstock tree you plan to graft it onto. The LZ scion you previously posted is not yet ready for harvest. Best to wait or order some scions from Alex at Tropical Acres Farms. I just Grafted (15) scions I purchased from Alex last week to some of my older mango seedling trees and others I am partially top working. 

If I could go back in time and do this whole mango thing over again I would likely purchase 20-30 poly seeds from Florida, germinate them all, and put the best ones in 5-gallon pots to grow over the next year to year and a half. After one year+ I would move the best growing specimens into larger seven-gallon pots for further root development and observation. After two years+ take the top 25-30% of the seeds you germinated and plant them in the ground with sandy soil. That's just my take if I had more time and could start from scratch. I would grow seeds like Cac, Sweet Tart, Lemon Zest, OS, Fruit Punch, Seacrest, or any other faster and more vigorous variety preferably Poly. I would also observe if the young tees have a tendency to flower very young, if so then these would likely not be the ones I would pick to put in the ground as I prefer strong vegetative growth for the first four years if possible to maximize canopy development. Being able to hand select strong growing mango seedling trees will prove to be a huge advantage long term.   

Good Luck

Johnny

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is it good to graft it?
« on: August 03, 2021, 09:01:28 PM »
Regarding manila trees commonly found at home depot. Here are my personal observations, strictly opinionated. 

The quality of manila trees has declined in recent years. I don't know why? Kind of strange. I used to buy manila trees 4-5 years ago and they were largely fine.

I purchased (4) manila trees in 2020 and they were all duds. One died and the other three are not growing. I don't know why. I plant them in in same soil as my other potted mango trees but the root system is week. I saw some trees at HD in May of this year and they were all very small and looked weak with little girth. Luckily I had some ataulfo seedlings that I started to grow from seed in 2019 that were doing well so I used those for grafting.   

I have found over time the quality of the rootstock is very important and equally consequential to growing mango trees well in this area.

Most people on this forum in SoCal are focused on getting the latest and greatest variety and grafting but little thought is given to the rootstock. Both are important for long-term success. Most folks are absorbed in getting a few fruits from their small tree and sacrificing vegetative growth.

To each, his own but I will keep an eye on the end game. A healthy tree, a strong root system, and vigorous growth.

Good luck SoCal Growers

Johnny


14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is it good to graft it?
« on: August 03, 2021, 08:13:01 PM »
I live in a similar area to yours and my Lemon Zest is flushing with its first growth flush of the year. Many factors affect growth, including disease, root-stock type and vigor, type of soil, and micronutrients supplied or not supplied.

Hard to say what your issue is. Other than the photos you did not supply much information on the rootstock and other things mentioned above.

Lemon Zest once established is fairly upright vigorous. For successful grafting, you need the scion pushing and the root-stock pushing new growth at the same time. Then it comes down to grafting skills.

Grafted Mango trees are difficult to grow in this area, but success is possible if everything is done correctly. Growing seedling trees is probably easier long term but most people are too impatient to wait 5-7 years for success. Note: not all seedling are vigorous. Grow (10) and select the top (3) after one year plus of growth. I start my seeds out in five-gallon pots with sandy soil and 15% pumice and 15% peatposs.

Johnny

Sorry for the Duplicate. I was just trying to add addition information.

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is it good to graft it?
« on: August 03, 2021, 08:00:28 PM »
I live in a similar area to yours and my Lemon Zest is flushing with its first growth flush of the year. Many factors affect growth, including disease, root-stock type and vigor, type of soil, and micronutrients supplied or not supplied.

Hard to say what your issue is. Other than the photos you did not supply much information on the rootstock and other things mentioned above.

Lemon Zest once established is fairly upright vigorous. For successful grafting, you need the scion pushing and the root-stock pushing new growth at the same time. Then it comes down to grafting skills.

Grafted Mango trees are difficult to grow in this area, but success is possible if everything is done correctly. Growing seedling trees is probably easier long term but most people are too impatient to wait 5-7 years for success. Note: not all seedling are vigorous. Grow (10) and select the top (3) after one year plus of growth.

Johnny

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal Mango Scions and Grafting
« on: July 27, 2021, 01:23:50 PM »
In my opinion, you can keep the lower branches on your tree until the scions take and you get your first flush. Then I would remove all of the lower growth to force the vigor to the new scions.

Good Luck

Johnny

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal Mango Scions and Grafting
« on: July 27, 2021, 12:15:13 PM »
Over time I have found forming a strong central trunk for mango trees helps to provide strong branching and better wind protection. Here are some photos below as an example.

I select a strong growing mango seedling tree and remove all lower branching and form the tree about 48" from the ground with 2-4 main branches spreading out in a circular pattern to be evenly spaced. The main branches are few in number but form a strong frame to support fruit production. In the first photo, my three-year-old Lemon Zest mango tree has three main branches spreading out just over four feet off the ground. The second photo shows a more detailed view of this. In the last photo is my young Pineapple pleasure tree I grafted earlier this year to my ataulfo seedling. The cleft graft union on this PP is 48" from the bottom of the tree and the current flush is forming two main branches which are spreading out like a "V". This will form the structure for future growth. I always remove all of the lower branchings below 48" on my mango trees to force the energy and growth upward to where I want it to be. Hope this Helps.

Johnny



Lemon Zest Mango Tree (7-26-2021)


Lemon Zest Lower Rootstock Close-Up (7-26-21)


Pineapple Pleasure with New Flush Underway (7-26-21)

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal Mango Scions and Grafting
« on: July 23, 2021, 09:32:10 PM »
Why do you want a young mango tree like this holding fruit?  If you want any chance of success you should be focused on the root development and vegetative growth of your young tree. It needs to put on girth and foliage if you want long-term success. Do not graft for two years.

Flowering is not lucky in SoCal. It is a curse as it takes away from growth from a young mango tree.

Best to let your tree fill out and most importantly let the roots spread out. Hopefully, you planted your tree in sandy soil otherwise you will have slow growth in the heavier clay type soils so common in SoCal.

Johnny

19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Citrus Mango Showdown
« on: July 12, 2021, 08:14:34 AM »
I enjoy your mango tasting videos Satya. Keep up the good work.

Thanks

Johnny

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sugarloaf or Pineapple Pleasure
« on: July 03, 2021, 06:25:07 PM »
Simon,

Glad to hear you liked Pineapple Pleasure. I successfully grafted this scion onto an Ataulfo seedling tree I have in a seven-gallon container. Once the tree gets bigger I will graft it onto several other older Manila trees I have in the ground later this summer. Hopefully, this cultivar will do well in California.  Should have fruit to try out in 2-3 years. 

Johnny

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: San Diego garden photos
« on: July 02, 2021, 12:46:42 PM »
Your Brewster Lychee tree looks great. Excellent Job.  My Brewster looks similar to yours just smaller. Probably about 1-1.5 years behind yours in growth. Great wide-angle photos. Your irrigation system looks very good. It's what I use on my property as well.

I love DG (decomposed granite) for growing. Great drainage and excellent material for growing mangos and other subtropicals trees. Last Monday, I received a new DG shipment and sandy loam topsoil (see attached photos). I use a 50/50 mix and use this to backfill for my mango and avocado tree holes after I remove the heavy clay soil at my location. 

Keep up the good work.

Johnny


DG


Sandy Top-Soil and DG

22
Good to see other people are having success growing Sweet Tart mango. Simon looks like you will have a bountiful harvest this year with your tree.

As far the the critters go the squirrels are busy stealing my macadamia nuts and the rats and possums are happy to eat my strawberry's and apples. Hopeful my mangos will be ripen without be munched on.

A few years back I also grafted Sweet Tart and Angle onto a single mango seedling tree in Alhambra which is much further inland, and much hotter, than my location. I was there last fall and the tree was doing very well with both varieties growing robustly, I will go back again in a few weeks to see how the trees are doing. I actually have (4) mango trees with various grafts at that location. Will be interesting to compare the fruit and trees over time at the two different locations.

Johnny

23
My five year old Sweet Tart mango tree has some good fruit set this year. I am hoping the tree is mature enough to produce well hear at my location consistently. I did some modest thinning of the fruit to eliminate excessive fruitlets on the limbs. Any body else out there in SoCal that has a sweet Tart mango growing.? Would be interesting to compare notes. If we get some warm-hot weather I hope to begin harvesting in late August. Temps have been fairly mild hear throughout spring.  Enclosed are a few recent photos.

Also my Val-Carrie and Peach Cobbler produced very well this year with heavy fruit set but I had to remove all of the small fruitlets on the two year old graft to focus the tree on vegetative growth of the tree. Mallika and Nam Doc Mai also produced fairly well. The big disappointment was Coconut Cream. Heavy flowering but no fruit set on my five year old CC. Perhaps next year.

Johnny



Sweet Tart with Developing Fruit


Sweet Tart Mango Tree

24
Holy cow, what a shame 7 years and this is what you have with your mango tree. In Burbank, you have much more heat than I in Huntington Beach but my oldest mango Trees (5years) have a much stronger and robust lower rootstock with relatively healthy growth (at least by California standards).  Here are the four golden rules I came up with over time if you want to have success in SoCal growing mango trees.

1.  Grow in sandy soil. Mango trees do poorly long-term in heavier clay-type soils. The smaller feeder roots need to spread out laterally and this is more challenging in heavier soils found in many parts of SoCal.

2.  Do not use Florida Turpentine rootstock in California if possible. Mango seedling trees work best (for later grafting) but not all seedling trees are vigorous growers. Out of 10 seedlings trees, 3-4 will be excellent for rootstock. I use Ataulfo Seeds from Mexican yellow mangos I buy at the store. Germinate 10 seeds and after 1-2 years plant the top 3-4 growers. You can also get Poly seeds from Florida and do the same thing as both methods should work well.

3.  When Grafting scions to the mango lower rootstock select faster and more vigorous varieties that do best in our marginal climate. Cac, Seacrest, Peach Cobbler, Lemon Zest, Guava, 0-15, and Buttercream are some examples of fast growers at my location. Sweet Tart, Val-Carrie, Mallika, Nam Doc Mai, and Angie are examples of moderately vigorous varieties that seem to do well at my location but they grow slower than the first group in general.

4.  Plant your mango trees South facing with full sun and no blockage from other trees or man-made obstacles. Maximum heat and Sun are some of the keys to long-term success.  Roots need space and oxygen for healthy growth. Avoid planting mango trees near cement or bricks that block nutrient intake from above.

Good Luck

Johnny


25
My Lemon Zest mango tree on Ataulfo root-stock so far is doing OK. My tree was grafted in late 2017 and so far no spraying in 2021 whatsoever with any applications and I have a few fruit developing. I would not describe the LZ as a bottom Tier mango at least at my location. Need more time to determine long-term production.

I think the Lemon Zest mango tree needs more time to mature, but PM is not a major issue at my location. I suspect Root Stock may be a factor in Powder Mildew susceptibility in certain mango trees in SoCal.

Note: We are about 90 days behind Florida in terms of fruit development so I suspect this is how their fruit looked in mid-march.   

Johnny




Calif Lemon Zest Mango Tree

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