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Messages - Aiptasia904

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Help with rooting mulberries - stage 2
« on: March 30, 2023, 08:06:22 AM »

Quote

Great write up! Thank you.
Do you wrap cuttings in parafilm to prevent moisture loss?
I mean right now itís fine, but in the summer we get brutal heat in South Florida.
 I was talking more about fall cuttings to get them propagated inside to be ready for spring planting.

Nope, stripping off the leaves is sufficient to halt transpiration. I don't cover them or enclose them for fear of roasting/steaming them in the summer. I just put their pots in full shade and water the pot twice a week or so. Starting them inside or pruning while they're dormant for winter starts would be fine. I might be tempted to use a heating pad under their pots.

Quote
One way I have done them not mentioned is to cut the ends diagonally
and place 4-5 cuttings in a glass of rainwater. I put them on a southern
window ledge. In a month or so they begin to root. Change the water every
3-5 days Once I see some roots I put in a one gallon pot.

I wish I had better luck doing that. Even if I change out the water and add 3% hydrogen peroxide to the water jars, my plants usually don't root in full water and succumb to rot. So, I tend to stick to soil or vermiculite. For harder-to-root plants, I like to make cuttings at second year growth and then use a much stronger rooting hormone, either Dip-n-Gro or Hormex #16. Hormex comes in several different strengths and #16 is their next-to-highest concentration of indole-butric acid (sp?), recommended for difficult woody plants and tree clones. Dip n Gro is a liquid concentrate and can be mixed for higher dosage dipping. The only thing I hate about dip-n-gro is the very short shelf life once it's mixed up with water. I don't use it unless I have a crap ton of cuttings to do because of so much wasted product as it only keeps for about an hour after it's prepared.

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Here's one. Certain plant based colors and dyes are pH reactive. For example, Elderberry juice can shift from bright pink to deep purple depending on if you mix it with an acid or a base. Mix with lemon juice, bright pink. Mix with alkaline water, deep purple.  Butterfly Pea Flower is also pH reactive and in powdered form is used in mixology tricks your bartender can use to blow drunk people's minds.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Help with rooting mulberries - stage 2
« on: March 29, 2023, 06:40:34 PM »
I clone a bunch of Thai everbearing every year for people when I prune back my mulberry after first flush. It's almost time for me to do it this year but the flush this season has been so vigorous, we've been picking mulberries for a solid month. Every. Day. I've been reading your posts in this thread and might have a few suggestions.

Peat moss and perlite is a very dry soil mix. They're both hydrophobic, so you might consider doing a slightly different mix for your cuttings and transplants. Maybe go with rinsed/flushed coco coir and the perlite, or mixing in vermiculite instead of perlite if sticking with the peat moss. Vermiculite absorbs water while still keeping the soil loose and friable, so it has it's uses. Even adding in some pine bark fines can add a little moisture to the substrate.

How I do it is lop off a pruned branch, cut the branch into five inch sections, strip off all of the leaves and use my thumbnail to scrape off the bark at the base to expose some of the green cambium layer. Usually, I don't dip it in any rooting hormone at all. I pre-moisten the substrate in a five gallon pot to field capacity (moist, not wet) and jam in the 5" cuttings usually around ten or so to a pot. I stick the pots in full shade for a month before attempting the first tug test. No direct sun. Re-watered if and when I water the rest of my garden depending on rains.

Sometimes the cuttings push new growth immediately and/or stress flower. If they do, I will let them keep one leaf and strip flowers off. Eventually, the majority of them will push out new growth and if it's getting towards the end of the month in the pot, I let them push normally. Then they get the tug test. If there's resistence I will very carefully tease them out of the pot with a spoon or a chopstick or whatever I have handy. Then, I continue to the next. If no resistence and no new growth, I toss the stick. If new growth but no root resistence, I let them sit longer. With no rooting hormone, my average is about 50/50% take. With rooting hormone at 3% I can get about 80% to take.

Phase #2 goes in my own mix these days, which is: Two parts coco coir/peat moss (50/50%), one part vermiculite, one part organics (leaf mulch, pine bark fines, scooped up topsoil from the woods, etc.). I also add either chicken poop compost or osmocote to the mix. Once they start getting fed with a little organic material and compost, their growth is explosive. I put them in 1 gallon pots and then 3 gallon pots after a few months of growth.

One last thing. When they get transplanted into the one gallon pots, you'll want to harden them off. The way I do it, i put them in full sun for an hour, then move them back into full shade. I do that for 3-4 days, then bump it up for 2 hours full sun, then back into the shade. Repeat another 3-4 days increasing the light exposure in full sun by an additional hour. Rinse, repeat. Once you hit six hours full sun, the plants should be hardened off for full sunlight. 

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No. But I do grow heat resistent camarosa strawberries in the winter. If you grow them in containers and put them in the shade for the winter, you can keep them alive for about three years.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jaboticabaholics Anonymous
« on: March 18, 2023, 12:38:32 PM »
Fingers crossed my Jaboticaba cocktail tree from Our Kids Nursery flowers this year. It's been putting out a heck of a lot of new growth and the bark is peeling off like a sycamore or a birch tree.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: variegated eugenia uniflora
« on: March 18, 2023, 12:35:14 PM »
Very cool. I've heard that if it starts to produce non-variegated growth you should try to prune it off. I hope it continues to grow like that for you. Very cool.

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Hey everyone, my 4 season cold climate greenhouse uses a dessicant dehumidifier in the winter to both minimize condensation and also provide some heat for when itís really cold (-40). The issue is the dry air it produces isnít great f for some plants. My meyer lemon dropped almost all the leaves that were in the area where the dehumidifier blows.



Does anyone have suggestions for plants that could handle dry warm air in the winter?

Dragonfruit, guomi berry, Prickly Pear, Apple cactus, etc.. I have done a little charcuterie and have used both a humidifier and a dehumidifier in the same refurbished refrigerator space, so maybe consider something like that for your greenhouse. If you can run power to the greenhouse, you can definitely install a small dehumidifier that you can set to a specific humidity level with or without a humidifier to dial in a specific humidity level. For example, mold is inhibited below 40% humidity level so maybe set it for 20-30% humidity, or set the dehumidifier for 30% and the humidifier for 20%. That way, if it drops too low you'll get some humidity and if it gets too high it'll drain it out. That's kinda the way you need to set it up for aging cheeses, salami and sausages and the like but I'm sure you could do something like this in a small greenhouse if you had power running to it.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2023 Mango Season
« on: March 18, 2023, 12:23:06 PM »
I have a decent fruit set on my potted Pickering. My little Venus from Lara Farms has exactly two set fruit on it that I'll probably prune off in another few weeks because it's far too little to fruit. Nothing on my Irwin but it needs more time as it's just maybe two years old now but I just up-potted it and my other seedling mangos are way too young. But, you know... Pickering is a great mango and it's nice to see the Venus is vigorous.  :)

9
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Fig winter protection
« on: March 11, 2023, 09:31:51 AM »
I have Chicago hardy and Turkey fig. Both took a little tip damage this past December when we got the week long hard freeze in my area. I pruned off the dead tips a few days ago and they're both doing just fine, growing new nodes and branches lower down on the branch. There are some instances where removing the growing tips on a branch can force them to fruit sooner and just like topping other citrus trees, forces them to branch more into a more bushy pattern. So, losing the tips to a cold snap can have it's silver linings.

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Yep, the week long December chill was brutal in North Florida. I had to move several potted plants inside into my workshop and my more temperate plants took a lot of cold damage. Pineapple, dragon fruit, plum, citrus and apple trees all took SOME cold damage. Nothing that they can't recover from though. I think my dragon fruit took the most damage.

The other problem we've had with an otherwise-warm winter is that it confuses a lot of plants into flowering too early. My apple trees are bad for that and flowered early, then got hit with a cold frost which wipes out the flowers and you lose the crop for the season. I hate it when that happens.

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I know that nectarines fruit on one year old growth from the previous year, so pruning them might be sacrificing that season's crop. If you're attempting to train the fruit trees into an Espalier pattern, expect to sacrifice at least a portion of the fruit crop while you prune a tie off the branches into the pattern you want. Worry about the fruit later in that case. If you want fruit sooner than later, don't prune them. Or, you can do the old orchard farmer's trick of pruning HALF of the tree one year and then pruning the other half the next year so you'll still get a partial crop.

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Citrus General Discussion / Re: Importing Citrus to USA from Japan
« on: March 11, 2023, 09:12:15 AM »
Hello,
I was curious if anyone has imported citrus trees from Japan to the USA. I tried to make sense of the CITEs and APHIS permit websites but I didn't quite grasp what I needed to do as a buyer. I am trying to purchase citrus trees from Japan but the inspection officer in Japan is saying citrus trees cannot be shipped to USA.

It can be done if you have a vendor in Japan that's willing to get a phytosanitary certificate for the citrus and work with you and an agent(s) at the USDA. Probably too prohibitive and expensive for a non-commercial purchase. Just be aware that the USDA is very vigilant about imported citrus from ANY foreign country due to the current problem with Hunglongbing (Citrus greening) basically ruining the national citrus crop. I'm not saying it CAN'T be done, but just be aware it's going to be exceedingly difficult to get it through USDA inspection and quarantine. It would be far easier for you to find varieties of citrus already inspected and growing at nurseries in your home state than trying to import them at this time.

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Citrus General Discussion / Re: Florida Buyer Beware - Publix Citrus
« on: March 11, 2023, 09:06:27 AM »
We ran into terrible fruit at Winn Dixie this week. The culprit were force ripened strawberries on BOGO sale. Now I know why they were on sale. No flavor at all. Terrible. Force ripened fruit should be banned.

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They are picking Valencia oranges here in Highlands County now. They make excellent juice. Not from concentrate Valencia juice can be frozen for 4 months without much loss in quality. That is how most of the NFC juice companies got year round production. Valencias were picked until June and they used their stockpile of frozen juice until October when Hamlins started being harvested again. Perfume is not an ingredient in OJ concentrate to my knowledge. I am glad to hear that Joshua Creek is still selling NFC, Maxwells here in Avon Park does as well. They are our last local juice stand. There used to be one one every corner.

I used to pick valencia oranges in Placentia, CA, every day on my way to school in the morning. Our housing development was built on the hill of an abandoned valencia grove and the developers had the foresight to leave some of the old orange trees on the hillside. They are an incredibly good juicing orange. As far as citrus psyllid and Hunglongbing virus, our local citrus trees in my little town are all thriving and doing well. I have Owari satsuma, kumquat and pomelo flowering for the season and several neighbors have older trees that have never shown signs of citrus greening disease. I suspect the reason for that is we are right on the banks of the St. John's river and are surrounded by water oak and pin oak trees. I know that U.F. has been stuyding oak trees for a protein they produce that helps "awaken" the natural defenses of citrus trees to resist and recover from Hunglongbing. My citrus trees wind up with at least some oak leaves in their mulch all the time and I have a few open topped rain catches (blue barrels and an IBC tote) that often get oak leaves mixed in with the rain water making oak leaf tea. It's mainly what I water with because our tap water is literally liquid chalk with a super high pH that most of our acid loving trees don't like. Anyway, if you have citrus, consider adding some oak leaves to their mulch from time to time.

15
Can you report on what varieties of Mangos and Avocados have survived the cold spells of the last 3 years in zone 9B in Florida?

Would be much appreciated.

I hear Brogden, Winter Mexican and Mexicola are slightly frost tolerant for avocados.

I'm up near Jacksonville (9a) and I'm growing dwarf mangoes and bananas in 29 gallon pots. I have five varieties of mangos including: Pickering, Irwin, Rosigold, Venus and Ataulfo. Mangoes don't do cold at all, so anything totally tropical, I grow in pots that I can drag inside of my workshop with a hand truck during a cold snap. If it threatens to get below 40f., I haul it inside. I'm not aware of any avocados that you can grow in pots, but I could be wrong. At least a few are slightly frost tolerant.

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Nut: Pecan, because they grow very well here even if semi-neglected.

Beans: Snake beans (yardlong) beans because they're hecka productive in the heat of summer and could care less about bugs and crappy soil. They're a great green bean. For shell beans, I like pinto the best.

Fruits: Kumquat, because they're super productive and somewhat resistant to greening and the cold. Mangoes, because I can grow dwarf or semi-dwarf in containers and haul them inside when there's frost. Jaboticabas, because they're just so cool and somewhat frost resistant with delicious fruit.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: in-container tree support
« on: March 07, 2023, 04:54:57 PM »
Functional doesn't have to be pretty. As long a it's strong and will support the trees you should be good. They look fine. Literally a bush fix.  ;)

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: in-container tree support
« on: March 06, 2023, 04:43:41 PM »
How big of a tree or tree weight are you looking to support? 1/2" rebar is fairly strong. I have a welded 4 tier shepherd's hook made out of 1/2" rebar rods that's super stable and strong enough to hold four 40 lb. felt tomato growing bags with no bending or swaying. It's maybe eight feet tall, welded to a steel plate base. You might also use a 4 x 4 post attached to a square 2 x 4 box frame that will fit in the base of the pot like the trellis posts that people make for dragon fruit. I've seen people put those in like 29 gallon pots and larger.

I mean, you could do what you're proposing if you have a little welding skill. Having an anvil to curve out the base of the rebar would also be helpful by repeatedly heating it and pounding it against the curved horn on the anvil with a ball and peen hammer. Tig weld the vertical piece of rebar onto the base and you'd be done.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2023 Mango Season
« on: March 04, 2023, 09:00:14 AM »
I think it's going to be a banner season. I have a potted up pickering that has a lot of fruit set and a young Irwin that's taking the season off to grow more roots (I recently transplanted it into a 29 gallon pot). Woohoo!

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Loquat fruit fly
« on: March 04, 2023, 08:55:13 AM »
None that I can suggest. You might consider covering the fruiting panicles with nylon fruit protecting bags secured with a zip tie to the branch in the future, or apply a pesticide. Whichever you're more comfortable with. The mesh nylon fruit protector bags are available at amazon.

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Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: 1000th Post Giveaway!
« on: February 01, 2023, 08:41:05 AM »
5/6 @ 12:00 pm.

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Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: WTB Variegated Jaboticaba Scions
« on: January 24, 2023, 12:36:09 PM »
These are some of the most rare specimens in the world, and very slow growers. The only people that have them took the risk from overseas or paid a high premium in a trade or auction, and most peopleís specimens are probably very small. Itís going to be difficult to find someone willing to hack up half their tiny tree they probably paid a fortune for. Maybe you can start some hard to source seeds and trade your way up? Lots of great seed sellers on here. Many can be purchased for $5-10 shipped and grown into $100+ trees within a year. Good luck with it.

Yep. I knew the odds were long when I posted the request. I suppose I'll just have to save my pennies for a few years.

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Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: WTB Variegated Jaboticaba Scions
« on: January 18, 2023, 06:26:46 AM »
With variegated examples selling for $400-$800 you'll be hard pressed to find someone selling scions, but I hope someone is nice enough to sell at a fair price. Just buy a plant or two from jason, graft up some seedlings, make your money back handily.

IKR?! The auctions are going for crazy amounts and I can't afford it. Overseas always makes me nervous because of the way plants regularly get seized in customs. I've lost a few that way and would've gotten burnt by the sellers if not for buyer's protection programs on etsy. Plus, it's the wrong time of year to be shipping across the planet in the Northern hemisphere.

I'm hoping some kind soul that has one would be willing to sell me just one branch cutting. Just one shipped in a USPS small box at a sane price. Say $30 for the branch and $15.00 for the shipping and hassle.

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Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: WTB Variegated Jaboticaba Scions
« on: January 18, 2023, 06:24:22 AM »
idk if i would use Red as a root stock.  Do you have sabara instead?  I thought there was discussion of having some issues as being a rootstock aside from its crazy growth habit. I could be off on my recollection.

I do have Sabara. I just have far more red. Good tip though.

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Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / WTB Variegated Jaboticaba Scions
« on: January 17, 2023, 12:29:03 PM »
I know I'm going out on a limb.... see what I did there?  8)

But, I'm looking for some variegated Jaboticaba pruning that I can use as scions to graft onto Red Hybrid stalks. They say that begging is good for the soul, so if anybody has a variegated Jaboticaba with some crossing or spare sucker branches that need pruning off and wants to sell me a few then hit me up! I'd also be interested in scions from other unusual varieties for grafting.

I'm poor as dirt due to health problems and this is one of the few ways I can think of to be able to afford my Jaboticaba obsession is by grafting scions. I can't afford the max bid amounts of a typical ebay auction for one or the import fees/phytosanitary certificates to buy from out of the country.  Anything over $50 is just out of my budget. But, maybe somebody somewhere out there would send me a cutting or two for scion grafting. One can hope anyway.

Cheers,

-John

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