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Messages - Calusa

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida weather South Southwest and Central
« on: December 06, 2023, 09:54:50 AM »
It's supposed to be in the upper 40's tonight in St Pete. Anybody know the cold tolerance of mango blooms and fruit? My Maha is loaded with flowers right now and I'd like to see them pull through.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: NDM flowering
« on: November 19, 2023, 06:54:00 PM »
Good luck fliptop. I hope they mature and ripen for you.

My citrus and banana trees get fertilized year round.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: New USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Update?
« on: November 16, 2023, 01:25:05 PM »
Looks like I'm now 10b but I certainly didn't notice any change.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pickering Starting To Flower
« on: November 14, 2023, 05:53:24 PM »
Should we nip these blooms off or just let them go? I don't really want to interfere with the normal fruiting season for a Maha.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pickering Starting To Flower
« on: November 12, 2023, 12:16:05 PM »
I just discovered this morning my Maha is popping out blooms all over.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First Nam Wah bananas for 2023
« on: November 05, 2023, 10:27:59 AM »
How tall are your plants and how many bananas did it produce? I had a “dwarf” namwa a couple of years ago and it fruited but barely fit in my 14’ greenhouse (it was in a pot). Also I got 57 off of it in a 35 gallon pot, curious what they would max out at.

Mine never have gotten taller at the crown than about 6'.

Just adding my 2¢ worth here . . .

There is a parisitic wasp release program underway in Gainsville aiming to help control the Asian Citrus Psyllid populations in Florida.

That program is providing free vials to release of the tiny Tamarixia (non-stinging) wasps that feed on ACPs.  These wasps predate both the ACP adults and their nymphs by laying eggs in them or simply feeding on the adults ACPs. ACPs are the sole food for this Tamarixia wasp species.

The aim of the program is over time to drastically lower the ACP population that is affecting Florida citrus.

Interested parties may contact Amy Croft at the 'Methods Development & Biological Control
Division of Plant Industry' in Gainsville, FL at [  ]
to inquire about this free Tamarixia release program and details about it including instructions for ordering the wasps.

I released several free vials of these tiny Tamarixia wasps in my yard here in Tampa back in late spring and now no longer notice any ACPs on any of my citrus trees.


Paul M.

The wasp release program for backyard citrus will do nothing for trees that are probably already infected with HLB.

Amy Croft sent me a few vials of wasps last Winter. I attached the vials to the foliage in my two small trees. The tiny little critters exited the vials and in a day or two they were gone. The next week or so there were more psyllids.

Assuming the wasps took care of the psyllids in your yard, I suspect they flew away to parts unknown to find another infestation. This immediately left your yard vulnerable to ACP's. What I'm leading to is, what use are the wasps if they just hit and run? UF will need to breed tens of trillions of those wasps for state-wide release if there is any chance such a strategy will work.

I don't know what your greenhouse looks like or how big the trees are, but speaking of citrus down here in HLB infested Florida, my tangelo (3', planted in Spring 2023) and Tangerine (4' planted January 2023) are pest free and disease free. Both are very dark green and covered with citrus screening. I am sure that aphids, mites and other pests and disease can penetrate the screen, so there's no doubt that luck has been on my side. Never sprayed anything on them except foliar nutrition (Jack's citrus with micros). The screening will come off in a couple of years once the trees begin producing enough fruit to mean anything. You might try getting some screen "tents" and give them a try, but if all I had to worry about was scale and mites I'd just treat them with pesticide.

61 degrees this morning in Heaven's Waiting Room. Rain expected towards the end of the week and much needed.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: What brand of fertilizer
« on: October 14, 2023, 10:04:43 PM »
For my citrus, mangos and bananas I use granular Sunniland Citrus 6-4-6 Fertilizer with micro nutrients,
and water soluble Jacks Classic 20-10-20 Citrus also with micros. Works well for me.

I have a Glen and a Maha, both about 4 years old and in the ground for almost 3 years. I'm really not doing anything right now with fertilizer and I've never sprayed them with anything because there haven't been any problems to arise (fingers crossed). I am soon going to toss some zero-nitrogen fertilizer on them sometime later this month, and prune back some long branches that need it. That's about it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fall fruiting grapes in Central FL
« on: October 06, 2023, 09:07:07 AM »
Dixie comes in as late as September. Really good tasting grapes.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Freezer recommendations
« on: October 05, 2023, 04:08:51 PM »
Get one that is not auto defrost (typically a chest freezer). The defrost cycle very quickly ruins flavor (< 30 days). With non defrost, you can store fruit for a very long time (1 year+) without flavor loss.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Rabbit damage on seedling loquat?
« on: October 01, 2023, 03:52:40 PM »
Wrap the trunk in a tube of plastic like those for sale signs you get at Home Depot. Hold it together with duct tape.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 30, 2023, 05:03:16 PM »
A good old fashioned ass whipping works too. Forget the police - they don't care if someone steals your fruit.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Banana cultivar availability . . . . ?
« on: September 25, 2023, 11:15:48 PM »
Craigslist Tampa is your friend if you don't mind driving to Plant City or Pinellas County.

Calusa, I'm not at all a fan of Craig's List so if possible could you maybe be a little more specific about
who or where in Plant City or Pinellas County your reply suggests?


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Banana cultivar availability . . . . ?
« on: September 25, 2023, 11:35:32 AM »
Just was looking for a couple banana cultivars on Going Bananas of Homestead's website and noticed that they no longer do any mailouts of product.  Apparently they are only cash & carry now.

So where should one look for a decent selection of banana cultivars here in Florida that do ship?  Or is it mostly a scatter-shot effort?

Ssuggestions welcomed . . . .


Paul M.

Craigslist Tampa is your friend if you don't mind driving to Plant City or Pinellas County.


Is September a good time to try grafting mangos? A friend wants to offer me some Florigon trimmings to graft onto the trunk of my Glenn. Also what type of graft would be recommended?

I tried growing some Jewels a couple of years ago in a raised bed filled with a mixture of topsoil and pine bark, which is supposed to provide the acidic spil blueberries like. They grew for a few months, produced a few berries, then declined, turned brown and died one by one. At a total loss as to what happened but I give up on any further attempts. Additionally, what berries they produced were snatched by birds just as they ripened. How can you grow berries when the birds swipe them?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 14, 2023, 08:52:37 AM »
That's a common gray squirrel as as far as I can tell. I have gray squirrels (lot of them) hanging around in my yard, breeding in my Washingtonia palm, and a few have that same brownish/reddish breast. Some sort of genetic thing I guess. Like Galatians522 said Fox Squirrels are much bigger and have bold coloring.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 13, 2023, 11:36:17 AM »
Has anyone been shot yet? Asking for a friend.  ;)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 11, 2023, 08:03:31 PM »
Preventing people from stealing fruit off my trees is pretty simple for me. I always plant them in the back yard inside a 6' fence. If my trees were out in front by the road I would rightfully expect that some people would come by and help themselves. Same as if I always left the keys in my truck, it would soon be gone.

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