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Messages - sunworshiper

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Baptiste Mangoes Imported from Haiti
« on: July 15, 2019, 10:25:48 PM »
Thanks for the flavor descriptions! I look forward to trying it. With luck my graft should be ready to produce next season.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Baptiste Mangoes Imported from Haiti
« on: July 15, 2019, 08:36:56 PM »
What is the flavor profile like? I'm actually growing it - I received a scion as a freebie included with the other scions I ordered. My graft took and now I'm curious to know more about it. I didn't find much info on it online.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Keeping my trees small
« on: July 13, 2019, 10:05:03 PM »
Emperor lychees are bigger - although they have a large seed so the amount of flesh is probably similar to other varieties with a smaller seed. But I love them and they look pretty!

The lychee is the easiest care tree I have - remarkably disease free. Hard to tell in today's cloudy weather- but it is in full sun which probably helps. The only issue is occasional nutrient deficiencies because of my sand soil if I forget to fertilize. When the spring is damp the mangos will get powdery mildew and sometimes anthracnose.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Keeping my trees small
« on: July 13, 2019, 09:05:07 PM »
I aggressively prune to keep my trees small enough to cover in winter. My trees are 10 years old and this is the normal post harvest pruning.

Emperor lychee

Manilita mango - apparently I was too busy eating mangos to remember to take a pic of the tree when it had fruit / well here is bloom and post harvest prune - it produced around 100 mangos this year.

If the tree has other branches, totally fine to tip the first flush. I have done this on nearly all the grafts on the cogs hall I'm topworking. The ones I didn't do it on was just because time got away from me...  I leave at least 2 leaves on the branch I tip.

Such sad pics! But from looking at them, the fruit is yellow all the way to the seed - I think they will ripen fine if you pick them and let them ripen inside. I picked all my cogshalls early last year to avoid jellyseed - just spread out a bunch of newspaper on my counter & layed them all out. The ones I put in the garage (no a/c) ripened faster, but I didn't notice much difference in quality of ripening in a/c vs not.

Maybe get a cat if you can? I have 2 cats and I suspect they might be keeping the squirrels away enough that they don't have time to figure out the clamshells I use. I know for sure my male cat has caught a couple squirrels - he brings them home as "prizes", lol. Raccoons are too big for him to wrangle with...but luckily those don't seem willing to chew through plastic. They will sometimes tear a mango in the clamshell off the tree and then leave it laying somewhere on the lawn - usually still ok inside the clamshell.

Frustrating! I'd sacrifice this one to test ripeness. Cut this one open and see what the inside looks like down to the seed. In my experience if it is yellow all the way to the seed others picked are likely to ripen properly. If it is only a thin bit of yellow and the rest of the interior is white then they don't ripen properly. Probably some middle ground those with more experience can comment on.

I had some that dropped due to drought stress when still most white inside- made really amazing mango pickles. Not the same as a ripe mango- but at least I got to enjoy them.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are these maha chanok ripe?
« on: June 06, 2019, 04:31:04 PM »
Thanks Gambit for the info on your watering schedule! We were up over 100 a few days and high 90s a lot of days, very unseasonable for May. A lot of things are showing the stress of early heat without the daily rains having started yet. Got a good downpour today, so maybe that means the weird dry/hot snap is over.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Minimum spacing in bananas?
« on: June 06, 2019, 03:09:24 PM »
My neighbor planted them along a ditch probably on the order of 6' apart - they are now a solid row, with pretty close to zero space between plants. As long as there is enough water & nutrients, they don't seem to mind being crowded.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are these maha chanok ripe?
« on: June 06, 2019, 02:15:27 PM »
Not sure if it is coincidence or not, but I haven't had any more fruit drop prematurely since I started giving extra water. So fingers crossed I get a couple to ripen this year=)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this citrus greening?
« on: June 06, 2019, 11:37:34 AM »
I second southern ag nutrient spray. I have 3 citrus trees that produce well. I alternate between granular fertilizer (regular kind formulated by a local nursery for my soil type rather than a citrus specific type) and the nutrient spray. I give the granular fert first to and that induces foliar growth, when the leaves are about 3/4 expanded I spray with nutrient spray. Older leaves with nutrient deficiencies don't always get nice & green in response to fertilizer but new growth should if the tree is worth saving. I'd try that and see what happens with the next growth flush before deciding to get rid of the tree.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are these maha chanok ripe?
« on: June 02, 2019, 03:38:36 PM »
Thanks for the pic of the fully ripened one - that is definitely what I expected them to look like when ripe. Mine definitely are not ripe, and not ripe enough to mature properly on the counter either - just starting to wrinkle & are still very sour. Still white about half way in to the flesh when I cut them open. I've left one to ripen in my garage just to see - but expect it will not ripen properly. The others I made into green mango pickles which I like.

I've only got 3 left on the tree - really hope one will ripen properly so I get to taste it this season. When racoons pull them off the tree, there are usually some claw marks on the fruit. But none of these have been marred, so I'm wondering if they are dropping for some other reason? It is much hotter than usual for this time of year & no rain - will trees drop fruit with lack of water? I wonder if I should hand water the tree? My manilita & pickering are both loaded with fruit at about the same level of maturity and they are not dropping fruit. Thoughts?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are these maha chanok ripe?
« on: May 31, 2019, 09:36:32 PM »
Thanks Jeff! They have a little give, I'll cut one open for breakfast tomorrow and see how it is:)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are these maha chanok ripe?
« on: May 31, 2019, 08:16:41 PM »
Thanks all! Cookie Monster- is the skin usually still green at the stage you like them? The ones I've had in the past were fully yellow when I got them.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are these maha chanok ripe?
« on: May 30, 2019, 10:23:01 PM »
Thanks! I'll let them sit and see what happens. I hope the raccoons leave the couple still on the tree alone so I can get one fully ripened on the tree!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Are these maha chanok ripe?
« on: May 30, 2019, 06:16:41 PM »
First year my tree is producing. Found these on the ground today - they look underripe to me. I suspect a raccoon knocked them off the tree - they were inside strawberry clamshells so raccoon couldn't actually eat them, just pulled them off the tree. Think they will ripen properly on the counter?

I usually have about 15-20 fruit. I think the tree could hold more, but that seems to be a good number where I have enough to enjoy and don't have too many ripe all at once. I hand pollinate them and spread out pollinating over about a month. That way I get one or two ripening at a time.

I keep my Gefner pruned so it is 5' high and 5' wide. Very easy to conrol. If you are willing to prune, I'd think you could fit one in easily.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Peaches not ripening properly
« on: May 24, 2019, 08:31:31 PM »
Nice tip! Googling a bit I found
Apparently "buttoning" - those tiny fruit happens when there are insufficient chill hours! I would never have guessed that! Now I know there's nothing I can do about it - it's a weather dependency.

I suspect within the next couple years that spot in my yard will be turned over to another lychee tree - my number of chill hours is perfect for those:)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Peaches not ripening properly
« on: May 24, 2019, 08:22:24 PM »
So do chill hours impact the ability for fruit that sets to mature? I had previously thought that chill hours only impacted whether or not the tree would bloom.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Peaches not ripening properly
« on: May 24, 2019, 05:24:23 PM »
Thanks for the responses! Yes, I have one of the newer low chill varieties (planted around 9 years ago), i would need to go look back through my notes to find the exact variety but 150 chill hours is about what it needs. Great flavor and I consistently get enough chill hours for it to fruit. There was only one flower flush in Feb. what is so puzzling is that the fruit that developed properly and the ones that didn't all set at the same time. Lack of nutrients might be possible - I fertilize it heavily because the soil is poor here. If that is the issue would you expect the foliage to show deficiencies? That is not the case - nice bright foliage that is growing vigorously. I've seen off season blooms in the fall a couple times and those fruit never mature. I generally cull them proactively so they don't stress the tree. But I wonder if this year because the weather got hot faster than usual if it made some of the fruit act like off season fruit? Overall while you can grow peaches here can't say I recommend it. Disease and pest vectors are too high. Most years I've got only a couple fruit - insects and raccoons get them all. And it is a high maintenance tree. They are known to be short lived here. Is this perhaps an aging tree problem? The best crops this tree produced were when it was about 4 years old (hundreds of fruit that year).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Peaches not ripening properly
« on: May 23, 2019, 08:03:11 PM »
About half the fruit on my peach tree grew to normal size and ripened properly. But there are also a bunch that are about the size of a grape and not growing at all. They aren't maturing small, just sitting there hard and green. The tree wasn't overloaded - only ripened about 12 normal fruit. And probably around 15 of these weird tiny fruit. Anyone know what causes it? I don't see any obvious signs of insects or disease.

Small second bloom on Maha Chanok, on tips that didn't flower the first time, those that did have thumb sized fruit.

Ha!  You got me on that one, sunworshiper.  I'm the one who started the other thread about Angie, and I had even speculated about sandy soil!  But no one backed that up.  Forgetting sh*t in my semi-old age (68)!  I've kept my tree because it's an awesome, perfect-growing tree with beautiful fruit.  The fruit is still variable in flavor, but it's so different than Pickering that it's a good early mango to have as a companion.

No worries John! I hope when I'm 68 I'm still growing mangos=)

For all the newbies out there trying to wade through all the info, here's the info I'd have liked to been able to find easily for getting started:
* No variety has significantly better cold tolerance, they are all about the same and will require protection if the temps drop below 32F
* All varieties will require pruning to keep small. Ones that are listed as "dwarf", "compact", "low vigor" or with "short internode lengths" will be easier to keep small. I chose compact varieties, and I still regularly prune off 2-6' of height each year to keep them small enough that I can frost protect
* Environmental factors like kind of soil, amount of moisture, and fertilizer can impact flavor. Some varieties are very stable, and have fruit with consistent quality from year to year despite a wide range of environmental factors. Other varieties are more sensitive, for example cookiemonster helped me figure out that my soil is so sandy I'd have to add massive quantities of gypsum to keep my Cogshall from having jelly seed. Too much work for me, I'm topworking that one too. So if you can only have one tree, might be worth it to make sure it is a variety that has consistent quality. If you can have a whole orchard full of trees, then you can just chuck the ones that taste bad and still have plenty of tasty ones.
* Different varieties can have substantially different disease tolerances, so it is worth understanding what diseases are prevalent in your area and finding resistant varieties
* Don't worry too much about getting the perfect variety. If you get a healthy tree to grow and you don't like the taste of the fruit (or just find a variety you like more), learning to graft is easy and you can convert it to a different variety, a process that takes a lot less time than planting a new tree. Of the 4 original trees I planted, 1 lost to frost and I replanted a different variety, 2 have been topworked to different varieties and only one of the original trees remains untouched (Manilita).

All that said, mangos are second only to lychee as my favorite fruit trees. They require way less work to grow than citrus, and it is a complete joy to harvest each fruit!

I bought an Angie, which apparently produces great fruit in south florida's soil, but on sandy soil (what I have) the fruit are not good.

I never heard that before--that Angie mangoes grown on sandy soil are not good. What is that based on?  Please give us the facts on which that statement is based.  There's a hell of a lot of sandy soil in South Florida, including at some of our major players--Truly Tropical (Delray Beach), Tropical Acres Farms (WPB), and Walter Zill's (Boynton Beach)!

Perfectly fair to ask for evidence. There isn't enough evidence to say for sure what causes the variability just discussion speculating that soil seems to be one of the differences. The thread discussing is here I'd love to hear if anyone has a tree on all sand soil that is producing good tasting fruit. Anyhow, so as not to hijack this thread, I recommend for varieties like this that seem to vary according to growing conditions & whose taste can be polarizing - taste the fruit from a grower whose trees are producing good tasting fruits to make sure you like it, and ask questions about the growing conditions to see how similar they are to your own before deciding to plant one. I gave mine 2 years fruiting with both years producing off tasting fruit before I top-worked it into a Maha Chanok, which is now fruiting for the first time. So I'll have an opportunity this season to find out if there is some factor affecting that spot in my yard that isn't variety specific. I have tasted Maha Chanok from other growers and love it, so I'll know for sure if the ones my tree produces taste off in some way. I'm not expecting that to be the case since my pickering is about 8' away and produces good fruit. But if there does turn out to be something about that spot influencing taste, I'll start a new thread and post what I experience so others can learn from it too.

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