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Messages - Epicatt2

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1
Imidacloprid is supposedly fine for eating after 2 weeks in the soil. I dunno, reading about how it makes insect's brains explode seems uhm, a lil concerning for consumption haha.

Just to address your comments above:

Imidacloprid interrupts the life cycle of the developing insect so that it cannot mature and reproduce. That means if the insect is in one of it's immature instars then the insect cannot further develop towards attaining a mature form which could then reproduce.   And that puts the brakes –so to speak– on, keeping any more scales and aphids from being created.

And yes, the fruit is safe to eat some two weeks after a soil application of Imidacloprid granules and watering them in.

Of course here in west central Florida with our frequent, strong summer rains and generally sandy soil, the Imidacloprid lasts more like two months instead of 90 days. But it does work for me although I do have to apply it more frequently because of the rains.

Paul M.
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2
I, too, had an infestation of aphids and scales on some of my fruit trees and on a gardenia.  Both pests were being farmed by ants.  I treated the affected plants/areas with bifenthrin granules but the ants (they were crazy ants, BTW) just walked thru the bifenthrin; it never fazed them and they just kept on 'farming'.

Subsequently I tried using Imidacloprid granules around the base of the affected plants and watering it in per instructions for the product.  That killed both the aphids and scales, plus when the ants 'discovered' that their 'farmed animals' were dying they moved to other non-fruiting, non-treated plants in the yard.  When the Imacloprid's effect wore off the ants came back to my fruit trees and resumed 'farming'.  Then when more Imidacloprid was re-applied the ants left again. 

Eventually, after continued re-treating my afffected plants the crazy ants did give up and apparently moved elsewhere and I've had no further problems wth aphids and scales.  I recommend using Imidacloprid.

Paul M.
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3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Talking to your plants
« on: December 31, 2021, 11:14:32 AM »
I have been known to mumble at my plants when they are reluctant to grow properly or bloom.

I had a friend who was an excellent orchid grower and when she had a plant that would not bloom she would write 'OMY' on the plant's label, which stood for 'one more year'. Anyway, she would tell that non-blooming orchid, "I've watered you, fertilized you and repotted you, so I'm giving you one more year and if you don't bloom it's into the garbage with you!"

I suspect I picked up talking to my plants from her.

Cheers!

Paul M.
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4
Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Anatto trees
« on: December 30, 2021, 03:29:01 PM »
The two anatto plants that I ordered arrived today in good condition and well packed.

They are a nice size for the price, thanx, Derek!

Paul M.
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5
Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Selling: Chupa Chupa plants
« on: December 26, 2021, 09:50:10 AM »
PM sent . . . .

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: South/Central Florida Cold Fronts
« on: December 24, 2021, 10:56:57 PM »
The lowest temp that I had here in (urban) north Tampa was 48ºF. overnight during the last three days.

So fortunately it seems like we got a reprieve for now.

Paul M.
Zone 9b
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7
Gentle TFF Mango Aficionados, with the recent threads about mango bloomspike initiation I am moved to ask:

Generally speaking, is there much diference between the inception time of flowering for mangoes in zone 9b vs zone 10?

Or would the flowerspikke initiation be more related to the particular cultivar of mango that's involved?

I ask because I've only had my 4 mango cultivars* for one season now and haven't been able to find anything related to my question on here or online.

Comments appreciated!

Paul M.
Tampa, FL
Zone 9b
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* BEVERLY, FAIRCHILD, ICE CREAM, IRWIN
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8
Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Anatto trees
« on: December 19, 2021, 07:13:25 PM »
PM sent

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How do you get bananas to fruit?
« on: December 15, 2021, 03:11:00 PM »
Hi Fliptop,

Bill Lessard who wrote a nice banana book some years back explained that however many banana fruit you will have on a developinng stalk is determined in the embryonic stage while the sword sucker is only a few inches tall.

To maximize the number of fruit that will develop, the banana plant requires enough Potassium (aka potash).  Lessard suggested using a fertilizer balanced for bananas that is N-P-K  9-3-27!  (I always remembered this because nine times three is twenty-seven.)

Once you have fed the bananas their 9-3-27 fertilizer –Lessard explains that bananas are heavy feeders– and the sword sucker is a foot or more tall you can shift to something like 10-10-10 or similar fertilizer, given every six weeks at a pound and a half per pseudostem.  That sounds like a lot but bananas love it and will grow like mad.  Just be sure to water them a lot if it's not the rainy season where you are.

And FYI, my bananas started making fruit regularly after I began dumping all that fertilizer on them.  (I am up to seven varieties now in my yard.)

OK — HTH

Paul M.
Zone 9b
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10
OKAY!  Out of curiosity I just phoned the GoodNature distributor and was advised that, no, the A18 model is not available in the US currently.  But it could be available anytime now, but I'm not holding my breath.

What I did learn is that if someone has a friend who lives in the UK or Canada or maybe in New Zeland that resident could buy an A18 and send it to the States on behalf of that someone here in the US.

Also it might not hurt for interested TFF members to write to GoodNature and ask that the A18 be made available in the US.

Fingers X-ed!

Paul M.
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11
I looked into the a18 last year, it's banned in the usa.

Maybe I overlooked something last night but when I visited their main site it directed me to their USA site.  So maybe it is now available here in the US.

But I do agree with you, Tim,  last year when I checked this product out it was not available in the US.  But that seems now to have changed.

Paul M.
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12
Hey Y'all,  I still hate destructive squirrels and so . . .

Here's another non-poisonous option for offing them and similar sized rodents:

The Goodnature A24 Home Trapping Kit  (Good for mice but not larger rats or squirrels.)
https://goodnature.co/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=flag

A18 Grey Squirrel Trap in Action - Apr/May 2020  (Not for the easily offended.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr0TVShiAC4

A Video of A24 Trap
https://goodnature.co/blogs/news/how-does-a-goodnature-trap-work

These two devices use a CO2 cylinder to charge the unit and can fire off a large number of times before the cylinder needs to be replaced.

Bait is placed inside the aperture (A18 Trap) and when a squirrel puts its head in to get to the bait the piston fires striking the animal in the back of the head killing it instantly & painlessly.

The dead animals tend to disappear reqularly once they are discovered by scavengers and so clean up afterwards is minimized.

The unit is on the pricey side but many consumer reviews testify to its effectiveness.

OK — HTH

Paul M.
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13
I have no love, love, love for squirrels!  (That's three things isn't it?)— None. Vienas. Nessunokeine. Nada.

Over the years squirrels have eaten the buds off my orchids before they even get to open and sometimes even have eaten the orchid plants –if they didn't happen to dig into the medium, dislodging the orchid right out of its pot.

Now they have started devastating the fruit on my trees which had just this year started to bear after being in the ground now for closing on three years.  Every one of the two dozen Mexicola Grande fruits disappeared this summer before they began to ripen, as likewise vanished the three fruits hanging for the first time this spring on my Ice Cream mango tree.

So I shall have to deal with this problem by falling back on my no-fail remedy:  A half cup of toasted wheat germ (with two to three drops of anise oil added in, which the rodents absolutely love the flavor of) mixed thoroughly with one half cup of concrete powder.  That mixture is set out in a bowl where the squirrels can get to it but not pets or kids can.  A bowl of water is set nearby since the squirrels are thirsty after eating the mixture.  (BTW this mixture also works on rats.)

This mixture never fails because it creates an intractable B.M. that the squirrels never develop an immunity to as they often do with Decon, etc.  Plus this mixture cannot cause a secondhand poisoning of any dogs or cats that might catch an affected squirrel and eat it.  (Usually though a hawk or an owl will be what gets the affected squirrel.)

But unfortunately squirrels are territorial and after dispatching all the squirrels in my yard for one season, more move in the next season from adjacent areas, nature abhorring a vacuum as she does. 

Anyway, I do know that I never will manage to wipe out all of them because I will need to be re-supplying these destructive fluffy rats with more mixture next year when the new individuals move into my yard.  My feeling is that if I've put in the effort to grow and care for the fruit I intend to eat so I can  avoid having to buy it at the grocery store where I wind up with beautiful-but-mostly-flavorless, expensive fruit then I don't want what I've grown to fall victim to the destructiveness of squirrels.

OK — HTH

Paul M.
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14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: anyone growing meiogyne cylindrocarpa?
« on: November 26, 2021, 09:34:13 AM »
Don't know when mine might decide to bloom.  ButI know that while it is quite a lot larger than in 2020 it is still very slow growing.  It is closing on two feet tall but is also growing all its branches horizontally, similar to the habit of a Norfolk Island Pine.  It's about 20-inches wide at this writing.  It is developing a vey attractive shape, overall but its growth rate is really tortoise-slow.

It is now in a three-gallon pot and looks like it could benefit from being moved into a 5 gallon pot before long.

I'm letting it dry these days to barely damp between waterings since our rainly season has ended for this year. It seems happy with that watering arrangement.  It sits in full sun for half the day and then is shaded by my house.

I'm hoping that it'll take off growing a bit faster in the coming season and perhaps will see some blooms then.

Fingers X-ed!

Paul M.
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15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Vine ID purple berries
« on: November 22, 2021, 12:38:13 PM »
Looks to me suspiciously like Passiflora subrosa which we have in Florida growing wild as a native, and since the birds eat the fruits and then spread the seeds around vines can pop up anywhere, often on chainlink fencing.

I've tasted the ripe fruits, which are dark black-purple and look like what's in your photo and they run onto the insipid side and are neither sweet nor sour.

Another identifying characteristic is that the stem of the vine near the base is corky and tan colored.

This species is the larval food for a couple of our native butterflies here in west central Florida.

Have a look here:   https://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2080

OK — HTH

Paul M.
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16
Gentle TFF Members,

Since there always seems to be a lot of discussion about mango cultivars on this group I was hoping to get some feedback from the members about any mango cultivars which are considered dwarf or semi-dwarf trees and which would be suitable for zone 9b.

I have these four cultivars now:

Beverly
Faiechild
Ice Cream
Irwin's

Are these decent choices for dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties?

What other cultivars would you recommend which are touted as dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties?   (Someone already suggested Pickering.)

I plan to keep my manngo cultivars pruned to about eight feet max.

TIA

Paul M.
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17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best mango mix
« on: November 19, 2021, 03:03:06 AM »
I just use builders sand in my mix and get that at HD.

OK — HTH

Paul M.
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18
What a great deal at that price!  Thanx for the headsup!!

I ordered some this evening and the same price was available.

Cheers!

Paul M.
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19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: New(ish) Rollinia
« on: October 31, 2021, 12:53:57 PM »
It may depend upon where the seed came from.

I have seen reports of outdoor survival and fruiting in northern Argentina--- mild Temperate Zone.  Varieties from the Amazon region don't seem to have that hardiness.

Thanx for the reply, Har.

I wasn't aware that that Rollinia ranged that far south in S. America, but if that is the case then it sounds like natural selection is at work to impart a bit more cold tolerance to some of that species.

Paul M.
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20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Modus operandi of the Manacoo or possum
« on: October 31, 2021, 10:22:35 AM »
Hmmm.....  I thought it was probably squirrels that took all my Mexicola Grande fruit this year, the first time that my tree had finally set a decent crop at about four years old.

What you reoprt here, Bovine, makes sense to me for why my avos all disappeared in August before they ever had a chance to ripen.  'Til now I had blamed the squirrels for the fruits' disappearance but an opossum now seems a likely culprit, although there were no half-eaten fruits found at the base of the tree..

I will have to try a slick galvanized shield around the base of the trunk to protect next year's crop, but wonderiing how tall is going to be necessary.

Miffed!

Paul M.
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21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: New(ish) Rollinia
« on: October 31, 2021, 01:44:01 AM »
Sebring gets cold.  The species that you mentioned doing well are somewhat more cold hardy.

Har,

Have you a sense of how many degrees of cold a Rollinia can take once the tree is approaching maturity?

I'm thinking that between being in zone 9b (near the edge of 10a) and global warming that my R. mucosa should survive with occasional protection if we have a bad cold snap, even if the tree's eventual size only allows for wrapping its trunk and base with insulation.

Paul M.
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22
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: New(ish) Rollinia
« on: October 30, 2021, 05:49:18 PM »
Maybe the soil where you are in Sebring is too alkaline for Rollinias.  Have you checked that?

Much of the soil in the Amazon Basin is flooded annually so it may be leached of many minerals.  I'd wager that the soil that Rollinias prefer may be more acid than alkaline.

Amending the soil where you are to make it more neutral or slightly acid might solve your problem.

Just pondering, FWIW . . . .

Paul M.
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23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can a fresh mulch pile self ignite?
« on: October 29, 2021, 11:27:13 PM »
I gave up on building a compost heap in my yard and instead I just spread all the raked-up leaves from my yard in my flowerbeds at about six to eight inches deep and let them sit there and rot down.  Periodically I'll have my lawn man use a loop-hoe on the flowerbed when a lot of weeds or pitanga seedlings start popping up around the bed. That gets rid of the nuisance seedlings and turns the mulch enough so it doesn't stratify and repel water.

I generally do not fertilize the flowerbeds and, as the leaves burn down during the summertime, I will add more leaves to the bed, as needed.

Eventually I dig under the top of the mulch to 'harvest' some of the humus that is developing there.  That humus is used in a 1:1:1 ratio with coarse builders sand and milled shpagnum (moss) and mixed together thoroughly to use as potting soil for my fruit trees and other plants.  Way cheaper, that, than buying expensive potting soil!

HTH

Paul M.
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PS -  In the Fall I have been known to appropriate bags of leaves that the neighbors have raked up and set by the curbside.  That's just all the more mulch for me, eventually!  And it is mostly safe to do because few people spray their trees for anything so the bags tend to contain only leaves, oak for the most part.....
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24
Is this book still largely unavailable due to COVID issues in Brazil, either in the Portuguese print edition or the English language eBook?

I looked and found a copy today on Amazon for US$112 and a 2nd copy there for $98.00.  Both are listed as hardcover & em Português.

Incidentally, I found my copy two years ago for $86.00, so I personally feel that the prices mentioned above aren't all that unreasonable for a book that is a getting bit hard to find.

OK — HTH

Paul M.
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25
It they're like many of the orchids which are native to the Brazilian serrados then they get most of their water from fogs that settle on them and dampen the leaves down during the nighttime.

OK — HTH

Paul M.
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