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Messages - simon_grow

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit party?
« on: June 22, 2022, 07:20:07 PM »
Iíll definitely try to make it, work permitting.  I work 6 days a week now, sometimes 7 days so I probably wonít be able to bring the juice because i usually prep everything the day before but I have no free time anymore. I should have some figs, Dragonfruit and maybe some other random stuff. I made the best tasting Jaboticaba jam using Chrisís (Truly Tropical) recipe and itís amazing. I would like to see what others think about it!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: A watermellon question.....
« on: June 21, 2022, 02:33:26 PM »
Watermelon vines are highly prone to viruses, bacterial and fungal diseases. If youíve grown Tomatoes, papaya, cucumbers or other plants susceptible to fungal diseases, you probably have a high bioburden which can infect your melon vines.

Looking at your picture, I would say that when your plant was smaller, you may have overwatered your plant. It appears, from the above ground vines and leaf size, that the roots may be weak and have not filled your pot. This often happens when the root zone is over saturated with water causing anaerobic conditions which are not conducive to root growth. The anaerobic conditions creates a good growing environment for the bad organisms.

To remedy this, be sure to start with good clean soil and preferably a watermelon variety that is disease resistant. Watermelon vines hate having their roots disturbed and they hate being transplanted but Iíve found that itís best to start them off in smallish containers like a #1 container and let them completely fill the pot with roots before carefully transplanting them into their final container.

By doing it this way, you can control the soil moisture more easily and get your seedling in a strong healthy state before putting it into its final big pot. The roots should completely fill the #1 container before transplanting and this will ensure that it will have ample root mass to rapidly grow into the bigger container. Your plant should be given full sun and the shade from your nearby plants will slow down the growth of your vines. Once you transplant into the bigger container, water it thoroughly but let the soil dry out in between watering so the roots will spread out in search of water.


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Turpentine seeds for sale
« on: June 16, 2022, 04:15:55 PM »
These actually make great rootstocks for California growers, no kidding. The seedlings are vigorous and because they are not grafted, you should get several years of good vegetative growth before they bloom.


Youíre welcome! I should also add that sunny days after the rains will promote additional photosynthates to help bring back up the TSS (total soluble solids) after the dilution of the TSS by heavy rains.

The worst is when the heavy rains or over watering occurs very close to harvest which does not allow ample time for the fruit/soil to dry up.

Just a random thought. For anyone with a lot of time on their hands, I wonder if a large fan blowing on the canopy would create enough vapor pressure deficit to increase evaporation from the leaves and bring the tree/fruit back to homeostasis?

On a side note, I frequently decrease watering about 2-4 weeks prior to harvest, depending on the type of fruit, in order to dry up the fruit and increase sugars. I think I wrote a thread about this a while back.


The flavor should intensify if you have a long enough period of dry weather to promote the drying up of the rhizosphere.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado trees video
« on: June 07, 2022, 11:08:04 AM »
Great videos Brad, keep them coming!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: June 05, 2022, 03:28:22 PM »
It looks like my plants have stabilized. Iíve had them under my misting system up to this point. Has anyone had success moving them outside? Iím trying to decide if I should have them in full shade, or under a 30% reduction shade cloth. What have been your experiences attempting to harden these off?

Iíve hardened many of my grafted trees to full sun. Do it gradually because the new grafts are sensitive to drying out and if youíre coming from a greenhouse, shade house or artificial lighting, the UV shock can kill them easily. 

Once they start growing vigorously, they can transition to full sun faster because the vigorous growth indicates the root system is recovered and also that the graft union has sufficiently healed.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Leo Manuelís passing
« on: June 05, 2022, 12:39:50 AM »
Thanks for all the kind words everyone, I will pass them on to Leo,s family once things calm down a bit. Leo did create the Leo Hybrid #1 and #3 and they both taste great. Leo also has excellent tasting mango selections like his Keitt Seedling, Apricot (mango), Best West, Leo #2, Leo Z among others.we will probably try to spread out these scions once things settle down.

Leo was an awesome person and had many of the same hobbies as myself. In his younger years, Leo was an Abalone diver and he still has tons of huge Ablalone shells scattered around his yard. Leo also raised quail for a bit and was a school teacher for some time.

Thanks to Harvey for the reminder about Leoís love of Dragonfruit. Leo has a bunch of varieties in 5 gallon pots and he was the source of many of the varieties I was growing. I got my Frankies Red cuttings from Leo many years ago and many of the cuttings floating around out there are originally from Leo.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Leo Manuelís passing
« on: June 02, 2022, 06:50:19 PM »
I am very sad to announce to the community that Leo Manuel has passed away this week. I just stopped by to give my condolences to his family and they are very appreciative of the support they have received.

Leo was a pioneer in the rare fruit community and he frequently opened up his yard for tours, especially for CRFG members.

Leo played a huge roll in getting me hooked on growing rare fruits and he also mentored me in my early years of grafting. Leo grew many different types of fruit in his yard but he especially loved his Mangos, Lychees and Annonas. Had I not met Leo way back when, I would probably not have discovered one of my true passions in life.

Leoís passing is a huge loss for the rare fruit community and he will be dearly missed.

Iím not exactly sure whatís going to happen to all of Leoís fruit trees but there are several people that have volunteered to help out with the yard.

Here is one of the last group pictures we had at a fruit tasting pre-COVID

Here are a few links with pics of Leos trees


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seedling Mango tree thread
« on: May 31, 2022, 11:41:57 PM »
Hey Joe,

Iím glad you found those articles useful. I was thinking the same thing regarding our issue with cold and dry weather inducing blooms in our mangos so I tried to do the opposite of what I found in literature to stimulate blooms but unfortunately it did not work for me.

I tried increasing watering and giving very high levels of Nitrogen and extremely low input of Phosphorus but all that did was cause additional blooms. In our climate which is marginal for growing mangos, the cold weather is the strongest stimulus that tilts the balance towards blooms and leaf nitrogen levels and water has little weight on the scale.

In Southern Florida, where the climate is great for vegetative flushes of mangos, the more vigorous varieties may inherently flush more frequently than a less vigorous variety so one flush post tip prune may not work for all varieties.

I believe that the general consensus is that itís best to prune mango trees in Florida immediately after you finish harvesting the fruit.

Some varieties like CAC are known to require additional stimulus to bloom so I ran a bunch of experiments to see if I could use it as a rootstock/interstock to inhibit precocity but i was not able to delay blooming.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seedling Mango tree thread
« on: May 30, 2022, 04:58:04 PM »
Hereís more on the physiology of mango blooms

Thereís is a great in depth explanation of what triggers blooms in Mangos.

I still find it very ironic that mango growers in Florida and other warmer areas are struggling to get their mangos to bloom while us growers in cooler regions are struggling to get our trees to grow vegetatively (inhibit blooms) . Ultimately, the science behind what triggers blooms in mangos will be equally valuable to both parties.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seedling Mango tree thread
« on: May 30, 2022, 04:48:52 PM »
Nice looking Pina Colada seedling Johnny!

Toadshade, I agree with Orkine. Also, when removing the bloom, you donít have to remove the entire bloom. At my location, removing the bloom too early will just cause the tree to re bloom.

Instead, you can remove 1/2 to 2/3 of the blooms to remove some of the weight from the branches. This will help prevent the branches from drooping. Allow the fruit to set and then remove the fruit when they are marble to thumb size or when the temps are warm enough to prevent blooms (average lows above 61-62F)

Also, when pruning off entire blooms, I like to cut above an intercalation so that I donít get a rosette of skinny weak growth. I prefer 2-3 evenly spaced branches. See this article


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seedling Mango tree thread
« on: May 29, 2022, 04:35:58 PM »
Pina Colada is Polyembryonic. Itís definitely a top tier variety for me because of its super intense flavor. It has an intense acidic component combined with an intense sweetness that creates a flavor explosion. Sweet Tart has a completely different flavor profile but it also has this intense sweet and acidic component.

I personally donít detect much if any Coconut flavor in Pina Colada but it does have a pineapple like flavor. The issue with Pina Colada is that itís a small fruit with a relatively large seed and it is slow growing in SoCal. It has been reported to me that Pina Colada also has some disease issues when grown in SoCal. I liked this variety so much that I grew out a bunch of seedlings and grafted this more vigorous seedling selection to my established tree and it has grown nicely and bloomed and set fruit without issue.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: A watermellon question.....
« on: May 29, 2022, 03:27:43 PM »
Yes, they are a Summer to early fall crop for me here in San Diego.

The Hime Kansen is an icebox type and requires 30-40 days to ripen from fruit set but after growing melons on and off for about 30 years, Iíve found that the melons grow and taste better when they set fruit when the vines are larger.

Letting small vines hold fruit slows down the vine growth so I wait until the vines have about 3-4 foot spread in each direction before allowing them to set fruit. I also wait for other subtle signs that the plant is at or near exponential growth phase when itís root mass has increased to the point where the plant just explodes with growth.

You will notice that the leaves reach their full size more rapidly once theyíre in this exponential growth phase.

This year, I noticed a part of one of my vines that got buried started to grow roots. Iíve read some people purposely do this to enable their vines to grow bigger and stronger but this is the first time Iíve tried it.

The Orangeglo takes about 60+ days from fruit set to maturity so Iíll still be in the heat as this variety ripens. My plants were recently transplanted from a small container to this huge 45 gallon container so as soon as the roots get established and the vines grow out a couple more feet, I will allow it to hold 1-2 melons for the Orangeglo and 3-4 melons for the Hime Kansen.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: A watermellon question.....
« on: May 29, 2022, 02:15:55 PM »
The weather has been really cloudy lately and relatively cool with nightly lows around 55 and daily highs around 75 but my seedlings are starting to grow and even set some fruit which Iíve been removing.

Iím going to let the plants get big before allowing them to hold fruit.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seedling Mango tree thread
« on: May 29, 2022, 02:11:05 PM »
Hey fliptop, I would prune now to clean up any crossing or weak branches but Iím not familiar with pruning techniques in Florida. The scraggly and droopy growth habit of all those vegetative growths does remind me a lot of the actual Coconut Cream.

It is very exciting to potentially select a good offtype or zygotic seedling from a Polyembryonic variety. Please keep us updated!


Hey Future,

Unfortunately, the CSMR trees got killed by gophers but I was able to confirm the concept works before the trees got killed.

The multiple rootstock trees grew with extreme vigor compared to single rootstock trees. The important take away from these experiments is that in colder climates, you want to innarch seedlings together but NOT graft the top with mature scions otherwise the resulting tree will bloom and attempt to hold fruit.

I saw noticeable increases in the growth rate with 1-2 extra rootstocks but there was a point of diminishing returns after 3 rootstocks.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My Yard 2022
« on: May 25, 2022, 10:57:28 PM »
Thatís a pretty big yard. Looks like youíve still got plenty of room for more plants!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Khans Edible Oasis Video Yard tour
« on: May 24, 2022, 12:55:16 AM »
Nice video, itís good to finally see your yard. Iíd love to see a video of your Mangos!


Now is a great time to graft if you have scions with buds. My in ground trees are pushing hard as the weather warms up.

I have not grafted onto Pennsylvanica yet but Iíve grafted grafts weíre successful on Rubra, Cerifera and Californica.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2022 Indian Mango season in SoCal
« on: May 20, 2022, 08:30:27 PM »
The boxes I purchased are irradiated so no, the seeds are not viable. If Mangos are hot water treated, they are viable.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: A watermellon question.....
« on: May 20, 2022, 08:28:59 PM »
Hey Paul, thanks for the great story! Iíve successfully grown watermelons and Cantaloupes on my South facing wire trellis but I made cradles to hold the melons. I believe the melons will fall off from their own weight without the added support, at least for the varieties I was growing.

By growing melons on a wire trellis on the South facing side of my house, the vines shade the hottest side of my house and can help reduce my energy needs.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seedling Mango tree thread
« on: May 20, 2022, 10:59:01 AM »
I have two E4 seedling mango trees (one is an actual tree, the other is just a graft onto an established tree) and both of them bloomed and the blooms are disease resistant and set a good number of small fruit. I will remove the fruit from the seedling tree but Iíll let the grafted seedling hold a fruit.

My Pina Colada seedling grafts also bloomed. The blooms are disease resistant and it is holding a good number of small fruit. The grafts are on an established tree so I will keep a few fruit to evaluate later this year. The blooms did get some powdery mildew but the blooms set fruit anyways.

My Orange Sherbet seedling bloomed but the blooms were extremely susceptible to Powdery Mildew so I hacked the tree back and top worked it with other varieties. I did keep one main branch and this seedling selection is also grafted onto another tree so I will continue to evaluate it in the coming years.

In my area, the PPK, LZ and OS seedlings tend to grow well but the blooms are susceptible to disease. The actual true named varieties, not the seedlings, also seem to hate cold weather and thrive in heat. These trees perform better at top of hill where there is good air movement. I have a tree in a spot with little air movement and it does produce but their is a lot of PM and very little fruit set.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seedling Mango tree thread
« on: May 20, 2022, 10:47:03 AM »
M4 seedling - planted seeds 11/2017, just recently planted on ground after close to 5 yrs being potbound on a 15 gallon. Now ots flowrring. Survived my harsh temps 26f (being the lowest) since it grew, 120f temps & unprotected.

I hope to an improved fruit. Yes m4 seedling is lanky just like the momma tree.

Gozp, good going! I canít remember, is M4 poly or mono? Regardless, Iím very interested in the quality of seedling mangos.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2022 Indian Mango season in SoCal
« on: May 20, 2022, 12:28:47 AM »
US President Biden to get mangoes sent by Pune exporter

Thatís awesome, I hope President Biden likes Indian Mangos.


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