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Topics - Tropheus76

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I have a grey sand berm in my back 40 from when they dug the canal behind my property. Are there any fruiting or flowering trees anyone can think of that will grow there? Sand is pretty loose and dry. Gopher tortoises love it and have many burrows in there. But my neighbor across the canal is planning on clearing the woods there(grrr) and I would rather not see his property out my back windows. Something bushy, preferably fruiting, and likes being relatively dry. I have tried various desert and beach type trees like mesquite and sea grape with no success. As Nick from Nick's Edibles likes to say, I live in what was the arctic of 9b, although now its 10a in East Orange County. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Grow bags?
« on: December 08, 2023, 09:34:24 AM »
I would like to experiment with growing some trees in grow bags. I have heard good things especially on growing mango and other trees that dont like to be water logged. What are some good bags in the 20-30 gallon range that have a stated 5 year or so lifespan?

Citrus General Discussion / Variegated varieties and shade?
« on: November 28, 2022, 09:27:24 AM »
Is there any truth to the rumor that variegated varieties of citrus prefer dappled shade over full sun? I have variegated pink lemon and centennial kumquat that have seen better days and I am wondering if they might perk up a bit if I move them to a better, more shady location like some oak woods.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Central Florida Food Forest planning ideas
« on: November 22, 2022, 02:57:40 PM »
I am in 9B but a fairly cold 9b in east Orange county(makes a difference since west OC is typically warmer with more rain). My soil is light grey sand and with water being anywhere from three to five feet below the surface. The property is 150'x105'. Currently it is covered with very thick palmetto, a few small and a large pine tree, and a couple oaks on the outer edges. As it is adjacent to my neighbor's property I am going to plant various flowering shrubs like azalea, I plan on starting to clear from the north to the south and planting as I go since I am doing the work by hand. Palmetto is actually not hard to remove if you have hedge trimmers and a reciprocating saw with a bush blade plus a shovel. I am going to throw the palmetto stumps deeper into the think woods where they will eventually over the next 15 or so years break down. The fronds I plan on using as palm mulch ground cover. The property does get wet during extremely heavy long rain storms like Ian so many of the trees I will be planting on mounds(I have plenty of dirt). Eventually I hope the added wood chips, palm and such will decay and cause build up and cause the rain to run off into the ditch in the front and the area I will not be clearing between the food forest and the road. I might dig a small swale as well.

My first things I plan on planting that I already mostly have clear are some paw paws(A. tribola(?)) which I have a couple seedlings already growing in tall pots. I think these will be the biggest trees so they are on the most northern edge. Slightly forward and between them I was thinking starfruit with jabo tucked in here and there. I am hoping the nearness of the heavy oak/palmetto stand a few feet away will provide a bit of warmer microclimate during the few cold spells we get. Further down along the neighbor's fence on my side is an old oak tree that I am going to use as a scaffold for passion fruit. I will have some dragon fruit in there too as a third attempt to keep it, every attempt I make tends to result in a nasty yellow bacterial infection in the cactus). Mostly this step is planting stuff I currently already have on hand or can easily get.

My neighbor actually dumps the grass clippings and sticks from his large open 5 acre yard on this property which I told him to please continue doing.

Trees are the easy visible part. I am not sure what to plant in between the trees as the bottom layers. I know my Surinam cherries will survive the winter here without protection as will lemon guava. I am not sure on what other low growing under story bushes and small trees I should get and look into. Figs are a no go, the nematodes here will take out an LSU resistant fig in 3 years no problem. I was thinking marigolds scattered throughout and probably some rosemary since it grows without any effort at all.

The problem is no where else in the US is like 9B scrubland Florida. 9B absolutely sucks for growing as we are too cold for tropicals and too warm for temperates and all the disease and pests of both. I even have heard iguanas are moving northward as the years go by(I have a .22, not worried about them). Its hard to go look online at all these youtube people and find someone nearby. Pete Canaris while interesting is more of a edible landscaper(the land being edible). I have read Jon the Good's stuff and it isnt very specific. Everyone else I can find appear to be Yankees and Canadians growing mostly stone fruit and apples. Their information and ideas are great but the specifics are not. They love comfrey, I have tried comfrey, it doesnt last very long in our sand.  I need lots of wood chips but I havent seen a tree trimming truck in years and chip drop is a waste of time thus my using palm fronds until a better option appears.

So in a nutshell:
What are some trees in addition to what I already mentioned?
What are bushes and shrubs that produce food or herbs I should look into?
Anyone know any good youtube Central Florida youtubers with food forests?
Any other suggestions?

Does anyone know of any sellers of Florida native Paw Paws? I am looking for either seeds or seedlings. Species I am looking for:
Asimina Parviflora (Smallflower Pawpaw)
Asimina Pygmaea  (Dwarf Pawpaw)
Asimina Incana (Wooly Pawpaw)
Asimina Angustifolia  (Slimleaf Pawpaw)
Asimina Reticulata (Netted Pawpaw)
Asimina Tetramera  (Four Petaled Pawpaw)
Also a source of native plums and blue berries would be cool too.
Setting up a small food forest which is currently a 150x105 foot area of palmetto scrub, pine and oak.

Citrus General Discussion / Raised bed/container growing citrus
« on: March 03, 2021, 08:48:38 PM »
SO my next project is a raised bed garden. In the back(North) row I have 2 4 foot wide circular plastic pipes that I am cutting from a larger piece I found in the woods. Long story short, previous owner was big into motorcross riding and used these giant plastic and some concrete pipes as the basis for his ramps and then he dumped them in the woods. So depending on the height I can get 8 to ten 24-30inch containers out of it.  I want to try a couple citrus trees. My plan is to put topsoil on the bottom half of the pot and citrus potting mix cut with perlite on the top half. The first two I am going to try are a Shiranu and a Sanguinelli Blood Orange.

Before I start cutting past what I have cut on the pipe to make sure I could, is this a direction any of you would try? What would you do different? Any further advice on the subject? I am very new to  the world of raised beds and container citrus in general.

Well out temps are tropical in the summer and spring and fall so I think it fits here. I am working on a large multi-year raised bed garden and my first over-engineered bed is just about done. Its 30" tall 4'x4'. Full sun. I want to grow pickling cukes. Would putting up a north, east and west sided trellis work in this case? I am thinking all three sides should end up getting enough sun at various times of the day and maybe provide a little shade to each other so it isn't too intense.

Citrus General Discussion / Citrus pruning and soil mix options
« on: February 08, 2021, 09:02:52 AM »
Citrus are a very scraggly tree especially as they get bigger and leaf miners have their way with them. Is it safe to prune larger trees to get a more ball/vase shape?

Also, whats a good soil mix for a potted citrus tree that will remain potted?

Citrus General Discussion / Do nematodes attack the roots of citrus?
« on: January 25, 2021, 11:21:36 AM »
As the subject says. I have some trees that I have had for 8 years and I barely touch aside from reducing the blooms so all the branches don't hit the ground when they have fruit. Then I have others I have tried over the years than just don't make it no matter what I do. My area has heavy nematode presence and figs for example do not stand a chance in the ground. So it just came to me out of the blue as all of my surviving and producing citrus except one pumelo is on mounds or not on the ground level of natural soil(House is 6" above ground level from imported topsoil.) I am curious if nematodes will attack the roots of citrus?

For reference my current producing and living citrus, all of which are 8+  years old are Key lime, 9 pound lemon, yuzu lemon(non-producing but alive and growing), pumelo, naval orange, pink lemon, Unknown orange(was already 16 feet tall when I moved in). Looking at adding a limequat and a centennial kumquat.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango ID?
« on: October 05, 2020, 09:04:03 AM »
I was talking to a contractor who was replacing my roof. He was telling me about a mango he had down in Kissimmee. He said the fruit was very small, very sweet but also had a really small seed. He said the owner called it a pineapple something. To complicate things his English wasn't too great.

Due to this just not being the right environment for them, I am going to pull three of my front yard pomegranates that are scrubby and never fruiting after 6+ years. Waiting til fall for heat reasons.
So what I am looking for:
- is something that grows well here in full sun.
- is bushy, not scrubby, part of the purpose is to disrupt the view of the house from the road.
- produces fruit.
- Prefer something that stays green all year. 
- Things I don't want. Citrus, loquats(I already have 6), pecans(already have three), Avocado(already have 4) Star Fruit( do not do well in this area of the yard), Peaches, plums, apples, mangoes(already have 6 or 7), figs(nematode issues).
-Something with nice flowers is a plus since this is relatively close to the street.
-In FL 9B where we occasionally get a decent frost.

This season I am taking a go at coffee. I am planning on growing them (trying to get hold of robusta and liberica seedlings, already have arabica) in my young camellia garden which is in the shade under several oaks and pines.

When someone says full shade does that mean dark like a garage  or simply an area with zero direct sun? The area I am doing all of this in is as said directly under a large oak canopy with morning and mid day sun having to get through several pines and the area really only gets direct late(4 or 5pm+) afternoon sun for a short time. Will this be suitable for coffee or should I move it to the back side of a different oak where it gets more of what I consider dappled?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Grrr the Weevils are back on my mangos
« on: February 04, 2020, 08:11:20 PM »
Had a good last two years of no weevils. I guess this winter wasnt cold enough. Went out to my Lemon zest and sweet tart who have blooms and lo and behold Shri Lanken root weevils. Probably killed about 20 of them.  Since the current blooms are about done I went ahead and did a spinosad(?) root drench. Maybe it will kill any remaining larva in the ground and take out the adults when they start shredding the leaves. Keep an eye on your stuff, this winter sucked for killing off pests.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Pistachios in Florida?
« on: November 19, 2019, 02:59:06 PM »
Are there any varieties that are "low chill" able to take Central Florida humidity and rainy season and still fruit? I realize we are the southern edge of their livable zones.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango maintenance
« on: July 25, 2019, 09:58:21 AM »
I have these three mangoes which to me seem fairly leggy. Should I pug them down and if yes, do it this season? No fruit on them at all this year. Rapoza, Pickering, maha chinok varieties. Would pugging them produce a more pleasing bush form?

Citrus General Discussion / Cuties or Halos variety?
« on: July 24, 2019, 09:53:23 AM »
What are Cuties and Halos? I know they are copyrighted but its a trade name, what are the actual varieties or something close?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Palmer Mango
« on: July 18, 2019, 03:26:16 PM »
Saw these mentioned in a video as being a very middle of the road mango, but more stable and reliable than some of the high end ones. Anyone else have these and or have a source for them? A source that ships. As much as I want one, I'm not driving halfway across Florida to get it.

Citrus General Discussion / Growing citrus in pots
« on: March 21, 2019, 02:44:22 PM »
I seem to have issues keeping citrus trees alive in my grey sand soil. They just seem to fade out with a few exceptions. My key lime, 9 pound lemon and pommalo seem to do fine. A couple more seem to survive but I wouldn't call them flourishing. But nothing else lasts more than a year. So I am wondering if citrus in a large pot might be a better plan. I really like Shiranu mandarins and they are one of the normal failures. So anyone who keeps them in pots, and suggestions?

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Hazelnut trees?
« on: October 06, 2018, 01:15:40 PM »
Looking at getting a couple hazelnut trees when I get back Stateside. What are good cultivars for zone 9? Yes I know this is the extreme southern range for them.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Stolen fruit grrrr
« on: August 07, 2018, 07:12:33 PM »
So I am deployed and just got an email from the wife. She came home to some jackass in the yard with three baskets of fruit from my various trees, likely mostly citrus and gauva I think, and some baskets of palmetto berries. Had the nerve to tell her "Just fruit, no big deal." She filed a police report not that they will do much. I dont care what 3rd world sh!thole country this a-hole is from, theft of fruit is theft. I have no tresspassing signs and a high palmetto hedgerow so he had to go out of his way to get in the yard. Aside from cameras and signs, I am going to have my rottie outside more often when I get home, but how else do you keep these marauding monsters off your property especially if not home? Makes the situation worse when you bring the berry pickers up on the neighborhood facebook page and a good chunk of the bleeding hearts want to defend them "oh they are just trying to make a living..."

Wife filed a police report but being out in the edge of the county with the worst, most useless excuse for a sheriff in the state, Demmings(who is running for Orange county mayor BTW) means that my area cant even get patrol car coverage for stolen cars, I doubt they will do anything for the fruit thieves.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Pecan Trees
« on: February 17, 2018, 09:05:27 PM »
With the cold having killed off a good chunk of my tropicals, I was thinking on more temp hardy trees. I grew up on an island in GA with 50 foot tall pecan trees all over the place that were completely without any sort of care. Any advice on keeping them here in central Florida? My local Tractor supply has a couple varieties I was going to grab.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Wet tree covers in the cold issue?
« on: January 03, 2018, 07:52:43 AM »
So I got home before it got dark yesterday and began mounding all my sensitive trees with mulch as high on their trunks as I was able, bringing most of my potted trees that cared into the garage, and putting covers over the mangos and in ground sensitive trees and in some cases where they were too big to cover, I wrapped the trunks in cloth or old blankets to maybe keep them a little warmer. I mostly protect against frost so extreme temps like they are predicting down into the 20s isn't the norm. So imagine my surprise when I wake up and its pouring rain this morning with the cold weather following tonight. I imagine there wont much time for the covers and wraps to dry off. What will the results of freezing weather and wet wraps be besides ice?

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Looking for loquats in Central FL
« on: November 12, 2017, 07:30:07 PM »
I am removing harder to keep trees that have faded and am replacing them with easy to keep trees like loquats. I have Big Ed and Gold Nugget and some tree that was here when I moved in. Wouldnt mind an arvi. I just havent seen many sources of named loquats, especially here in Central FL. Any ideas for seedlings and nurseries?

I have to go away for quite a few months over the summer months here in Florida and I have someone elderly who has volunteered to watch my trees for me. I have a large mix of trees, mangos, apples, annonas, citrus, you name it. I plan on hitting the mangos and citrus with a spinosad drench before I leave and leave some for use on select trees in July and Sept for the summer, mostly for mango and citrus. Aside from hitting everything with fertilizer before I leave what else can I do?
-I have auto sprinklers on all of them.
-I plan on heavily mulching everything with pine bark.
-I am spraying my sprinkers in florescent paint so whoever mows while I am gone hopefully misses them.
-What else can I do to put as little work on my guy as possible?

He knows a little about trees having a couple mangos himself and if my other neighbor across the street doesn't have another heart attack during this time he can ask him for advice too. He also has a tractor which is helpful to get around with. I do have 100+ trees in ground though.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Wanted Myrica rubra seedlings in US
« on: September 25, 2017, 11:24:33 AM »
As the title says, I am looking for one or two seedlings of this. I see seeds available all the time but every single time I have tried seeds they fail. As common as this tree is in Asia I am not really sure why its so hard to come by in the States. Thanks in advance.

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