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Messages - BajaJohn

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151
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mulching for New Orchard - Good or Bad?
« on: January 25, 2017, 02:45:54 PM »
Mulch shouldn't be confused with compost although some mulches express some benefits of compost. Tree trimmer mulch breaks down slowly and will be slow to add nutrients or any organics to the soil, so other amendment sources will be a benefit. The nitrogen content is generally insoluble organics which take a very long time to become available to plants. It also tends to raise pH which may be an advantage for you (http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/html_pubs/mulch/MULCH.html).
I compost chipped tree trimmings with manure, leaves and kitchen and garden waste. It requires a little labor to turn the heap a couple of times and takes about 3 months in my relatively warm climate. This may be a faster way of getting organics into the soil.
Another alternative may be plants that can be used as live mulch (https://www.jstor.org/stable/4046641?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents). Some can be permanent, others can be cultivated into the soil at intervals.
You should be able to get help/advice from the University of Florida Horticultural Extension which provides outreach to growers in the state (http://solutionsforyourlife.ifas.ufl.edu/agriculture/crops/fruits_and_nuts.shtml). Here is one article from them on mangoes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg216). You can search their website for articles on mangoes. You should also be able to contact staff directly.
Good luck with your enterprise.

152
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mulching for New Orchard - Good or Bad?
« on: January 25, 2017, 02:40:35 PM »
Mulch shouldn't be confused with compost although some mulches express some benefits of compost. Tree trimmer mulch breaks down slowly and will be slow to add nutrients or organics to the soil, so other amendment sources will be a benefit. The nitrogen content is generally insoluble organics which take a very long time to become available to plants. It also tends to raise pH which may be an advantage for you (http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/html_pubs/mulch/MULCH.html).
I compost chipped tree trimmings with manure, leaves and kitchen and garden waste. It requires a little labor to turn the heap a couple of times and takes about 3 months in my relatively warm climate. This may be a faster way to add organics.
Another alternative may be plants that can be used as live mulch (https://www.jstor.org/stable/4046641?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents). Some can be permanent, others can be cultivated into the soil at intervals.
You should be able to get help/advice from the University of Florida Horticultural Extension which provides outreach to growers in the state (http://solutionsforyourlife.ifas.ufl.edu/agriculture/crops/fruits_and_nuts.shtml). Here is one article from them on mangoes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg216). You can search their website for articles on mangoes. You should also be able to contact staff directly.
Good luck with your enterprise.

153
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Love the Fig
« on: January 24, 2017, 08:18:18 PM »
I have had zero luck with figs in So. Fla. I gave up and pulled them all.
Strange, they're one of the few fruits that pretty much grows like weeds in Southern California.
Interesting - I'll remember that if ever I return to SoCal. Here is a picture of a wild fig growing on the side of a dry arroyo in Baja California. There are loads of them around.


154
Citrus General Discussion / Re: My mandarin harvest looks promising
« on: January 24, 2017, 07:41:16 PM »
Looks like a great crop. Thought I'd add another mouthwatering pic of mandarins. A bit further ahead than yours (Baja California) but they'll be gone and I'll be pining for more when you are enjoying yours.
This and another mandarin were overgrown and pretty scrawny when I moved in but they seem to be recovering well. One issue I had with them was dry, mealy fruit for the previous 2 years although this year and the year before the 2 mealy years provided delicious fruit. The research I've done seems to recognize this happens but there is so far no explanation. Both trees have been the same, so I guess it may be something to do with the climate.
 


155
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Plant ID
« on: January 17, 2017, 01:46:47 AM »
Looks like a lemon to me. No scale on the pictures but they look too big for Mexican limes. Yellow limes are overripe and drop off the tree soon after turning yellow so it would be unlikely to find a tree with just yellow limes and none on the ground.
Identification may have been confused in the translation since the Mexican names for the two fruits are almost exchanged with the English words. Lima is a Mexican Lemon and Limon is a Mexican Lime. Perhaps the label said "Mexican Lima" - with an "a" at the end.
Here is a picture of my Mexican Limes. The close-up shot distorts the image a little so the fruit appears a bit larger than they should relative to the scale. The larger green and yellow limes are about 1.25" long. The green one is the one to eat and has greenish juice. The yellow ones are slightly sweeter but have a slightly unpleasant bitter aftertaste. The juice looks brown. I've also included a leaf. My Mexican friends can identify citrus trees just by looking at the leaves. The big distinction, other than size is the web along the leaf stem. On some citrus it is almost like a second leaf. On the lime it is barely noticeable and on my lemon it isn't there at all.



156
I had an apricot tree in Los Angeles. They blew away the taste of store-bought fruit. Yummmm.

157
Fascinating to see the effect of location. My mangos don't even show signs of flowers yet.
My pomegranate seems to flower/fruit all year round.
Key limes are done for the year.
Grapefruit, lemons and mandarins have mature fruit.
Valencia oranges are edible but could use a few weeks.
Papaya are flowering but no fruit yet.
First crop of cantaloupe are done - new seeds just sprouting for a second crop.

158
I rig tarps under my trees and only use fruit that has dropped. Cut them into sections, remove the skin and arrange on a lightly oiled tray. Freeze for 24 hours then bag the frozen fruit.
Serve in a room temperature bowl and they defrost quickly.
For aqua fresca blend 8 oz frozen mango with the juice of 3 key limes in 2 litres of water. Add sugar to taste.
Also grind them in a Yonana machine to make soft-serve mango ice cream.

159
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Greetings from a new member
« on: January 05, 2017, 12:10:21 AM »
Thank-you all for the warm welcome and suggestions. A happy New year to all.
Mike - it was animal physiology - muscle wasting and therapy for spinal cord injuries.
Saltcayman - yes, I have a drip system installed, constantly dripping around the big trees and on timers in other areas. I also supplement with short morning and late afternoon spray irrigation because locals suggested it helps some plants.
Guayaba - I haven't come across any other lychee trees here. The nursery I bought it from is about 200 miles south of me with slightly cooler winter weather. I hadn't realized they need cool nights to fruit. My citrus trees seem to do very well, so if the lychee needs are similar, I'll hopefully be OK. Cactus are prolific around here and some pitaya varieties grow wild here. Your suggestions would be a good addition. Thanks. I also grow nopal cactus which is used as a vegetable here. The sugar apple is apparently native to Mexico so I'll have to look into that.

160
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Greetings from a new member
« on: December 27, 2016, 06:33:49 PM »
Greetings. First of all, a big thank-you to all the people who organize and contribute to this forum. I'm looking forward to the help and inspiration that seem to abound here.

Iím here as an amateur gardener trying to care for (and maybe improve) the garden I inherited when I bought a house in Loreto, a small city on the Sea of Cortez coast of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Most of my previous gardening was in Northern England. I'm a retired university academic who studied and taught physiology on the Westside of Los Angeles for 20 years.

The climate here in Loreto is described as hot desert. There doesnít seem to be a direct equivalent in the US climate charts although 10b and 11 may be close. The relatively closed Sea of Cortez remains warm throughout the year and therefore keeps winters warmer. Average temperatures range between 15C and 35C (10C min, 37C max). Average annual rainfall is 6.3 inches although it is very variable. An 11-year drought ended recently and hurricane can drop 18Ē of rain in a single day. Humidity ranges between 30% and 80% for almost any day of the year.

Fruit trees I inherited are Mango (Manzana/Kent, Ataulfo/Manila, and an Ivory/Nan Doh Mai look-alike), Valencia orange, mandarin, key lime, grapefruit (yellow). Not sure a tamarind counts as fruit. The house was empty for several years so the trees had been neglected. I now recycle 3-4 cubic yards of compost/farmyard manure into the garden every year. One of the orange trees produced wild lemons with a single orange on one thin branch. I pruned the Ďlemoní branches and now have an orange tree. The mandarin trees seem capricious with delicious, juicy fruit in 2 seasons, separated by 2 seasons of dry, inedible fruit and I canít figure what Iíve done differently. A large branch of the lime tree came down in a storm last year, revealing a significant fungus infiltration, suggesting the tree should be replaced. I suspect the fungus was due to poor pruning practices in the past.

Iíve also added lychee, pomegranate, lemon and a pink grapefruit from local nurseries. They had no identification on them. The pomegranates taste quite acid and the pink grapefruit has yet to bear fruit after 3 years. The lychee had 1 delicious fruit when I bought it but has barely grown in the last 3 years and always develops brown tips on the leaves. This year a new wall that protects it from wind and daily soil soaking seems to have encouraged new leaf growth without brown tips. Papayas from the seeds of store-bought fruit are just starting to flower and melons also seem like tropical fruit to me.

Itís a challenge to find a source of plants with any provenance here. Long-distance relocating will also be a challenge due to agricultural concerns so I may be somewhat burdened with Ďchancyí buys although Iím trying to improve my luck by getting to know local growers.









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