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Messages - FigoVelo

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This silence is unnerving ...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are black and white sapote worth it
« on: February 19, 2024, 10:29:06 PM »
Gross? Can you elaborate?

Iím not in an area with hot summers. It averages 75-85 April through about October. Winter nights occasionally get down to 27. So the temp range is fine, and the trees will thrive. What Iím unsure of is whether they will reliably fruit at this latitude. There seems to be a problem of this sort with the cold hardy Pouteria species. They can grow just fine in Nor Cal, but fruiting gets iffy the farther north you go. Yes, in theory WS will do great in coastal Sonoma County. But do they actually fruit with vigor? I havenít seen it. Iíd love to hear reports of productive trees.

Hi all,
There seems to be increasing interest in white sapotes, as I think there should be. It's one of my very favorite fruits. I very near Sebastopol, Sonoma County Calif. and have planted 11 white sapote trees outdoors (and 1 in a greenhouse).

But I am becoming more and more doubtful that these trees will ever be very productive. The largest of my trees keeps aborting its blossoms. I have heard similar stories from others, plus stories of trees dying back badly in cold snaps. In fact, I have never heard any verified accounts of large and consistently productive trees north of the SF Bay watershed. There is (or was) reportedly an orchard of white sapote near Chico, Calif., but I don't know if the trees were ever productive.

All the accounts I've heard of wildly productive white sapotes come from SF, Richmond, Fremont, the Peninsula, other bayside cities, and south.

So, does anyone know if there any large and productive trees -- OUTDOORS -- in Sonoma County? Napa? The cities of Davis, Woodland, or Sacramento?

I've put too much work into these trees to back out now but I wonder if they might wind up being fruitless conversation starters.

The question struck me the other day as I was grafting figs. If rootstock can slow or accelerate wakeup time, ripening speed, and hardiness of the plant overall, wouldn't there be way more discussion about selecting the right rootstock for the right cultivar? In the world of figs, there is endless fretting over how early a given variety ripens, yet we graft willy nilly onto almost any rootstock available. (At least, I do.) Now that I've grafted over half my collection, I wonder: Does a late rootstock slow down an earlier grafted cultivar? Or does the early cultivar draw the rootstock out of its slumber and force accelerated performance?

More specifically, can I expect a certain measure of frost hardiness from a lucuma cultivar if it is grafted onto some other Pouteria species?

Curious what y'all think.


Iím putting it in the ground now, full sun. Should I set up a shade structure? If so, how long should I keep it in place?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Casimiroa edulis vs C. tetrameria
« on: February 07, 2024, 11:32:51 AM »
Question about a variety of "sapote": Is the "Chestnut" variety part of the C. edulis species (white sapote) or C. tetrameria (wooly-leaf sapote)?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« on: January 31, 2024, 03:16:08 PM »
I prefer M. alba varieties over all other mulberries tasted in my experience. I find the M. nigra fruits too sour, even when jet black, and much too messy for my tastes. I spent some time in Greece during peak mulberry season. I had never eaten mulberries before and came into the game without bias. I quickly learned to love the honey sweet flavor of alba, and I found passable, at best, the mess and tartness of M. nigra berries.

My favorite alba berries were the white ones that darkened to pink and lavender when ripe, and the bigger the better. I filled my 1-quart Nalgene water bottle with them almost daily and downed gallons and gallons. I was cycling and always had an appetite. I even juiced one batch and fermented it with yeast from a bakery, eventually getting a nice mulberry wine buzz one evening in camp.

Iím hoping M. alba ďTehamaĒ and ďEaster EggĒ, both grafted in my yard, eventually bring me the same joy. Iím growing an unknown M. nigra too.

Howdy. Iím planning to put 2 carob trees in the ground soon. I wonder if I need to fuss over the soilís properties the way many of us do when planting avocados. Does anyone have experience with carob they can share? Should I mound up with sand and loam before planting? Are carob trees as sensitive as avocados to mucky soil? I ask because the literature, as with most tree species, says carob trees require well drained soil.

Background: My soil is relatively heavy clay-sand loam. Figs, apples, pears, grapes, persimmons, stone fruit, mulberries, and citrus do very well in this native soil. Avocados have grown very slowly, leading me to believe mounding is necessary.

But is it necessary for carob?

Thanks for any feedback.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Duke avocado scions
« on: January 30, 2024, 08:56:43 AM »
Graft them, like you're thinking. It's a famous tree and probably value to have some little copies of your own.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: California Plant Hardiness Zones - 2023
« on: January 24, 2024, 10:29:43 AM »
The new map gave me a downgrade, pushing the 9a-9b border farther up the hill from my shivering avocados and white sapotes.

It doesn't quite make sense. In 6 years (short, I realize), it has never dropped below 27.5 here, and usually the lowest low is about 29. I have closely studied the new map and compared it to topographic details of my area, where 9a and 9b interweave like the edges of puzzle pieces. There are frosty valley bottoms that got 9b status with the new map and hillsides above that for some reason are in 9a. There is also a known frost pocket, in the Salmon Creek watershed, that is the coldest non-mountain spot in Sonoma County, with temps every year dropping below 20 degrees -- and it's designated 10a.

Funny what you say about mangoes disliking temps in the low 30s. Some people say they are much hardier, able to tolerate mid-to-high 20s on occasion. That's the narrative people like me must believe, but it seems like a stretch.

I'm a little confused by the table you prepared, Kaz. Does it mean that all those cultivars are of the C. tetrameria species? I sure thought Clytia, Younghan's Gold, and Chestnut were C. edulis.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pouteria lucuma
« on: January 20, 2024, 08:44:47 PM »
Yeah, why does that San Diego lucuma look like a rotten avocado?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pouteria lucuma
« on: January 20, 2024, 08:27:23 AM »
Thanks for the good reading, Roman. I noticed in the article below that the authors describe successful rooting of cuttings using a blend of material including Styrofoam shavings. That's a material that ain't coming into my garden!

As some may know from my other posts, I am modifying some heavy soil, mostly for avocados, but I wonder if lucumas (and cherimoyas for that matter) require similarly elevated planting arrangement and loose, well-drained soil. Does anyone know about that? Should I build up some mounds for my Pouterias? With all the trouble we take with these plants, it would be a shame to mess it up with bad planting.

Roman, please PM me if you want to discuss purchasing some plants from SoCal. I'm interested. Maybe we could pool resources/time/etc for a bulk buy.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pouteria lucuma
« on: January 18, 2024, 10:05:56 PM »
With just two rootstocks to play with, I'll need to wisely choose my cultivars (though I could diversify later as the branching multiplies).

What would be the best way to learn about cultivars? I have seen references to Seda and Palo. What's available in the US? 


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pouteria lucuma
« on: January 18, 2024, 10:01:21 AM »
I got rid of my lucuma.  Too sweet.  Fruits hang 1 year. 

I also got rid of canistel.  Have lot flowers, but not fruits over a decade.

If I feel like eating them, I go get purple yam and steam.  Taste very simular.

haha wild! Well i guess thats good to hear though, hopefully the fruit can take our colder wetter winters up here on the northern end of the central coast.

Try the southern end of the CA North Coast! I think it would be interesting to see a map, built with volunteered Google Maps pins, of places in the United States, or even the whole planet, where P. lucuma has fruited successfully, producing fully ripened fruit. I'm not quite sure how to even start such a process, however.

Thanks Jonah. But my soil is unfriendly to avocados. In five years, my trees have barely grown or died. When wet, it's straight up goopy. Does it make sense to mound up using this soil?

Does anyone know, generally speaking, if playground sand (in this case from a small backyard play tub for kids) might be a good option for creating a sandy soil base for my mounds? I would hate to mix in something that has been treated with anything bad for plants. Considering that children play in the stuff, I would think it's nontoxic and/or chemical-free.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pouteria lucuma
« on: January 16, 2024, 09:53:05 AM »
I'm going to be needing scions from lucuma cultivars soon. I live in Sonoma County, smack on the boundary of zone 9a and 9b. I have 2 very happy seedling lucumas from Wildlands, purchased over the summer. I plan to plant one in my greenhouse and one outdoors. I could probably graft this year though it wouldn't hurt to wait, either.

Does anyone have suggested varieties to graft, given my location (light frost most winters)? And, where might I find scions?

I ate loads of lucuma in Peru in 2013. I was biking north along the coast and I discovered this fruit at a roadside fruit stand within an hour of leaving the Lima airport. I ate them daily, along with giant cherimoyas that could be bought for a dollar, until I reached Ecuador - then, like a light switch, no more lucumas except for one isolated fruit stand somewhere along the Avenue of the Volcanoes. I have no idea what varieties I was eating.

I also discovered mamey on that trip, and the best mangoes of my life.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: figs!!!! an underated fruit
« on: January 12, 2024, 11:21:58 AM »
Is Bakor self fertile or does it require a wasp?

These Bakor/Albacor figs are self-fertile, as far as I know.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: figs!!!! an underated fruit
« on: January 09, 2024, 07:28:14 PM »
Problem I don't know the names of our varieties in English lol

But I will. Share some. Picture and how we plant them
For me this is the best one

We call it
Bakor in our dialect

The tree produces big ones at first then it's final production in the season small. Ones

Howís it taste? Looks massive

Best one

I have three Albacor varieties - Comuna, de Molla Blanca, and Vermello. I am eagerly awaiting my first crop of these beauties next year, I hope.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this lucuma, canistel, or Ö ?
« on: January 09, 2024, 01:04:18 PM »
Pointed end on fruit would indicate Pouteria type fruit like Canistel not Lucuma. Flesh seems moist in your pic was it moist flesh?

I had the texture of a cooked sweet potato or squash. So, a little moist.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this lucuma, canistel, or Ö ?
« on: January 09, 2024, 09:26:20 AM »
I'm aware that canistel is less hardy than lucuma, but suppose I was to cut the sensitive rootstock 2 or 3 inches above the ground, then graft on a lucuma scion. Would that not eliminate the frost damage risk? To further the concept, what about pulling some soil away from the stem, then cutting and grafting below the ground? 

After all, isn't it the foliage of a plant that we are most concerned about with frost - especially minor frost (say, 27F for a few hours)?

And I'm still hoping to hear more opinions on whether this is canistel or lucuma. Thank you!

Hi yíall. This question has been asked a thousand times but I canít find the nuanced info Iím looking for so am starting a new thread.

I have a familiar problem: heavy clayish soil that mucks up when wet. So, Iím building avocado mounds. Iím building them about 2.5 feet high and 8-10 feet across. I am building the mounds with a blend of sandy loam, pure loam ordered from a soil provider, coarse sand, a little gravel, and lots of very rich topsoil, including mature compost.

Am I doing this correctly? The uncertainty in my mind is how much organic versus mineral/sand/rock components to use. I want the trees to remain elevated indefinitely. Soil built mostly of composted organic matter sinks and eventually evaporates away. Thatís why Iím going heavy on sand, loam, etc. Of course, I donít want to overdo it and eind up with poor sandy soil.

Any tips?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this lucuma, canistel, or Ö ?
« on: January 08, 2024, 08:27:30 PM »
Thanks. Iíll see what others say.

I may be asking this prematurely, but can I graft lucuma scions onto canistel rootstock?

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