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Messages - K-Rimes

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Kaz has offered to send us a loquat tasting selection which is awesome of him. I'll try to grab some from what I consider the best loquat in town, but I am not sure if they'll be overripe by now. This cool weather is frustrating because it's slowing down ripening of a lot of stuff. My white mulberry is absolutely loaded with fruit but it's not quite as good as it can be. The pakistani has mottled green and purple half ripe due to this as well.

Still think we'll get a good feed. Don't forget to bring dough and toppings! Got tons of sauce though.

anyone ever try grafting pitangatuba and pitomba?  it might be possible since they are closely related enough to hybridize?

I have some cross eugenia graft tests going this year. I tried Pitomba onto CORG because the wood seems similar but doesn't seem it's going to work. I'll try pitomba onto pitangatuba this week. It just doesn't seem like a good cross to me personally cause tomba peels and tuba doesn't.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: May 31, 2023, 09:36:24 AM »
Instead, I doubled up on Dr. Earth Bud and bloom since it contains a bit of nitrogen.

I kind of go wacko with fertilizer for DF as they're pretty much impossible to burn. Last year there was so much slow release in some pots you couldn't see soil anymore. The chicken manure seems to do really positive things overall so I start the season with that and then move onto synthetics. Once it's warm, I'll switch to KoolBloom which is 2-45-28 and I'll use about 1tbsp per gallon and water that in from watering cans. There's not much point in throwing P at them till it's consistently hot, but they seem to grow vegetatively nicely when cooler and have lots of food.

essentially killing about 40% of the vines

Was this due to our cold and rainy winter? Or you just hacked them back for space / weight concerns?

I have a Cosmic Charlie that must be nearing 1000lb on the trellis and I know it's going to break it one day.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: May 30, 2023, 08:56:45 PM »
I dosed all my plants with chicken manure and then a bunch of vigoro slow release and they are blasting off like crazy and have just one lone flower bud. It's ok, I really need to rebuild my canopy after losing around 30% of it to snow this winter. I will hit them hard with strong flowering nutrient after they put on some weight again.

I had some lychee last weekend in Redlands and they were amazing, but all the trees had signs of mites. It's very sad to hear the state will slowly slip out of lychee productivity and all your hard work will get chainsawed up.

As I understand LEM is spread by bees and wind.

Anyone aware of the safe distance between infected and clean trees?

My trees are free of mites but my upwind neighbor has a small infected tree about 500’ away.

Bees will fly up to 4 miles to forage, so I would say minimum 4 miles. It is unlikely for them to forage that far unless in dire straits, but 500' is nothing for a bee.

Nice idea, been wanting to do the same for awhile. At the moment I just have 25 traps around the seedling area and catch mice every few days.


Should have a real nice spread of Florida mangoes to sample.

I PM'd, please let me know if you got my message Eric

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pumice Alternatives SoCal
« on: May 21, 2023, 09:01:49 AM »
DryStall. It's a pumice they use for horse bedding / flooring. I think I was paying $17 for 50lb of it, but that was a few years back. Tack shops or Tractor Supply will have it, but call ahead.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Avocado Fruit mix box
« on: May 19, 2023, 07:39:53 PM »
For me, Sharwil was a stand out and the best avo I've had. It wasn't just a single fruit, they were both that good. I'll definitely need some scion from you next year of that Brad, my Brokaw Hass is actually kicking ass even though it got snowed on pretty bad. Is Sir Prize really that bad? If so, I could top work that tree too. I am super surprised with how well avos are doing at my house.

I'll go with Boston, cause why not.

What’s the going rate in Florida ?

Serendib has them for $7.50/lb

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Avocado Fruit mix box
« on: May 19, 2023, 06:30:30 PM »
Sharwil so far are the winners for me, both just perfectly ripe and great flavor / texture, I think I'm going to grow them as seedlings and see what happens. Green gold was good, but maybe needed a little more time on the tree to oil up? Hass of course a winner, always amazing off home grown tree not commercial at Von's. Nabal is next on the chopping block.

Another reminder for June 3rd meet-up. Looks like it'll be mostly mulberries here, but I'll swoop up a bunch of stuff at the Farmer's market to make sure we got some options.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Contorted Mulberry Tree
« on: May 18, 2023, 09:27:40 AM »
Dang, I have this one but I guess someone sold me a male branch which I grafted because it has flowers not fruit. :( I would like to add female on the top if you'll sell me scions Kaz!


I thnk the issue is not the cold, as in the tree's ability to survive but to get it to fruit well.
So not sure if thats achievable with grafting

Not even sure there are varieties that bloom in spring, allegedly there are but it smells fishy if I really look into it, almost as if it was anecdotal lol

It doesn't matter what you graft it to, the scion and beyond will remain cold sensitive and die back to the graft union. It's cool to see loquat on such weird stuff though. I ponder the long term survivability. Often you can get a push just from the scion itself.

There are definitely *later* blooming varieties, but the difference is weeks not months. This can still put you in the frost danger zone. I mean hell, I can get frost in late April in my 9b climate. A standard loquat flowers and starts to set fruit around December here, a late one may start flowering in January or early Feb.

isn't that a ladybug?

Haha… Yes! The lady by population is incredible this year. They’re everywhere. Patrolling my Yangmei grafts for aphids. 👍🏼

You too? I have never seen this many lady bugs in the 10 years I've lived at the same spot. It's so cool to see them going to work!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cherry of Rio grande no fruits
« on: May 17, 2023, 08:04:57 PM »
After I moved them close to each other.  I am getting some fruits now.  Thanks K-Rimes...

Wonderful news!!!! My flowers are just opening up now, I am looking forward to the season!


Trying this again for the gazillionth time. I will add a couple more Biqi on this shortly

There are later flowering varieties already, like kanko and a few others. Being here in 9b, it's kinda hit or miss if we get fruit. If there is a late frost ciao fruit sets and flowers! Even if you have a late variety, you're still at risk for this.


Just throw a row cover on for those cold nights and call it a day! 8)

How cold did you get?

It wasn't as stabbingly cold as previous years, but we had weeks on weeks on weeks of weather in the low 30s with rain every time it was cold. The plant was already declining from being outdoors down to 26f (briefly). It was just a test honestly to see if they could survive uncovered in 9b. The answer is a big NOPE!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Injured bark -- what to do?
« on: May 16, 2023, 07:48:57 PM »
Wrap it with grafting tape or plant tie or something, it'll heal up fine. Even if that whole thing fell off, the tree would heal up without issue. I took out a huge chunk on my mulberry and it's fine now years later.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Big problem with bees
« on: May 16, 2023, 04:54:06 PM »
Are they actually honey bees? Or yellow jackets or wasps?

Yellow jackets / wasps usually have underground or paper nests and don't swarm like honeybees.

This sounds like a classic honeybee swarm which is how they reproduce. When a hive outgrows its space it creates queen cups which the queen lays eggs in and the workers tend to them as the current queen thins up and eventually flys off with 30-70% of the hive. They land somewhere (like this bbq) and start setting up a new hive. The old hive will hatch the new queens and they will battle to the death with the winner going off to mate with drones. She then returns to the old hive (as a new queen) and the process starts all over again.

A beekeeper will scoop up this swarm in the bbq and dump it into a hive and voila, new colony, more honey!

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