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Topics - zands

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Seeded watermelons are getting harder to find in Broward County...Target gets them in. Publix rarely. Winn Dixie gets them. My local Walmarts used to but now only have seedless

These at Aldi (store locator) are nice firm watermelons. Aldi seems to have some good quality control on them. Weight is about 15-20 lbs. I have bought three so far this year and not one dud. Seeded watermelons are the real deal. Don't waste time on the seedless. Don't throw out the rind. Juice it with some apple and ginger or by itself

Tropical Fruit Discussion / My Van Dyke and Nam Doc Mai #4 mangoes
« on: May 14, 2012, 01:58:31 PM »
Really like the coloration on this Van Dyke and I like the small size fruit. The photo is washed out by sunlight and does not do justice to the coloration. Other ones got blown off this year. Tree is about 4 ft tall. I have not tasted it yet.  I have other larger productive mango trees planted 2008 but these are two hot prospects from my bush league

Also included is my little NDM#4 (3.5 ft high) putting forth lots of nice fruit for its size. I have three other NDM trees (one is the old type) but only this one has fruit this year.  A much larger NDM#4 gave me nada. Bought this NDM#4 at Home Depot same as the Van Dyke. Both originated at Pine Island Nursery

All the below trees were planted last year except the Kent mango planted 2008

NDM#4 mighty mouse if you look hard you will count 4 mangoes (origin is Pine Island Nursery)

Van D  ....... had more good size developing mangoes but they got blown off by spring winds. But at least it is flushing with new growth to be bigger and better next season. (origin is Pine Island Nursery)

Van D  ....  small size mango..... me like

Check out this small (3-4ft high) Murcott tangerine with lots of fruit set...also called "honey tangerine". Batting .777 in the bush leagues. Bought at Home Depot, origin is probably Record Buck Nursery

This Kent tree is 12 ft high but only five fruits this year. Propping up the fruits with the visible wood stick. Bought at Lowes, origin is Pine Island Nursery

Pickering producing planted last year....yardstick there to gauge the size. Origin is the Zill nursery


MARK SUISO OF MAKAHA MANGOES / In case you couldn’t tell already, mango season is upon us, as manifested from Chinatown streets to farmers’ markets to highway shoulders to–if you’re lucky–your backyard tree. For Mark Suiso of Makaha Mangoes, mango season means not only keeping up with demand at Whole Foods and Alan Wong’s, but preaching the gospel of a mango tree in every backyard. A financial planner by day, Suiso continues to give advice after hours–on how to start and maintain mango and fruit trees; during these sessions, the currency is fruit and the bank is your soul. Suiso spoke with the Weekly about why he’d rather you grow your own mangoes than buy his.

How did you start growing mangoes?

My father started growing some trees. He got a parcel of land in Makaha and started planting mango trees long ago. Back in the ‘50s that’s what a lot of people did…what’s been happening over the last decade or so is that people have been cutting down these big mango trees that were planted in the ‘50s.
Instead of taking care of the trees, they’ve been chopping them down. So that’s why we’ve been telling people, don’t chop down the trees, just take care of them.

How did you develop a passion for mangoes?

I get up in the morning and I walk around my fruit trees and I feel like that’s my church. I know I’m in the presence of God when I do that…I keep telling people if you have no fruit tree in your yard, you have no soul…When you come to someone’s house and they give you something from their yard–say they give you a hand of bananas–there’s something really special about that kind of lifestyle. It’s really wholesome…I have to be the Pied Piper, the Johnny Appleseed…

I just feel like we’re moving the wrong direction. If we go through a whole generation of people that are not connected and we have these advocates about going green and being environmentally conscious, and you have no fruit trees in your yard, you’re a hypocrite. Reverend Mark, yeah, just call me Reverend Mark.

What’s the direction of Makaha Mangoes as a business?

The direction we want to go is to help people grow their own trees so that there’s more and more [mangoes] all the time…We’re helping them trim their trees, we’re helping them get their trees established.

What I’m also doing is helping people broker their fruit so that we get a consistent supply…I’ve been coordinating with different growers out in Makaha area. Collectively we’ve got quite a volume…It’s kind of like a little cooperative we’re forming on our own.

How many people in the cooperative?

Right now I’m working with four or five farmers in the area…we’re bringing in on a weekly basis close to 2000 pounds a week.

What are the varieties that you currently sell to stores?

We have a lot of varieties that we’re always experimenting with. Our main product is the Hayden mango because the trees are so good. A Hayden to me is still the standard here in Hawaii…I have Mapulehu, which is a mango developed here in Hawaii. It’s very fragrant, very mild tasting. It has very little fiber in it. There’s the White Pirie and the Pirie…[and] Gouveia, a good late -season mango.

And then we’ve got Keit that comes in late in the season. We’ve got a couple varieties that we developed ourselves. We’ve got one that we named after my dad. We call it the Reuben mango. It’s big and round and it tastes like an orange. We have a couple other show-off mangoes.

Whenever we do these mango tasting and displays, we have a whole array of different types of varieties. There’s hundreds of varieties that are available here in Hawaii. Thousands if you look around the world…we can essentially rival the wine tasters out there, tasting all these exotic wines. We can do that with mangoes as well.

Anything else you want to add?

I think the main message I’m trying to get across is I think there’s something special about having a fruit tree in your yard and a mango’s a good example here in Hawaii. But any kind of fruit tree growing in your yard is really nice. And any opportunity you have to do that–you can actually have mangoes in pots and fruits in pots…we them condo mangoes…If people take care of their trees with maybe a small percentage of what they do to take care of their dogs, I think we’ll be in good shape. Your fruit trees are part of your family, you know.

perennial madagascar bean

This Australian (Byron Bay) video had me very interested. Seems like a great bean for Florida. If anyone has some growing. I would love to get a few beans to plant. Will pay via paypal for any expenses

You could grow a hedge of this stuff or have it grow over a trellis
Perennial lima (Phaseolus lunatus; 'Seven year' or 'Hopi' varieties)
Danny Blank writes, "We first came across these beans when Lance Edwards from Zimbabwe reported how he would promote them among families with one or more members having HIV/AIDS. He encouraged planting several seven year lima seeds around homes, where they would grow up the sides of houses and even cover the roofs. Perennial lima varieties, depending on climate and conditions, can produce beans for many years. We grow them successfully as a food producing cover crop during our dry season at ECHO. However, long-term health and production appear better when growing on a trellis of some kind. They are characterized by vigorous growth and wide adaptability with good tolerance to some common insect pests like leafhoppers. We recently heard of some perennial lima types used as food producing ground covers in wet and humid climates. We acquired seed from Central America and will be experimenting with these. The two cultivars we currently offer are best suited for dry climates, but can persist through our intense rainy season, especially if growing on a trellis. It is one of the easier pest-tolerant beans to grow at the ECHO farm." EDN 81-8.


 ********I am merely forwarding this email I received*********

Just wanted you to know that I have some finger limes ready for sale.  If you are still interested, let me know.



Nate and Anna Jameson

Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery, LLC

480 CR 416 South

Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538

352-793-6861 office

352-793-3674 fax

That's my impression with the wind and rain of last weekend. My older trees held onto them better. A very promising PSM tree just has one left. Another young PSM lost its last two. Young Pickering lost. Young Van Dyke suffered. Young NDM#4 held onto fruits. My older Kent Glenn and Hayden held onto fruits better than the young trees

Tropical Fruit Discussion / White Sapote --anyone growing it?
« on: April 22, 2012, 11:11:43 AM »
This fruit was ripe in Homestead, South Florida about April 7th 2012. I got a few tastes this year. It is sweet with a little tart. It is fairly close to mango in taste. If you want an early mango this would be a good substitute. I see Pine Island nursery lists them. Any other sources in South Florida for it? thanks!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / At Publix--- Honey Mangoes for 69¢
« on: April 19, 2012, 02:19:19 PM »
These are yellow and from Mexico. These are the Ataulfo mangoes? They looked good. Maybe not all Publix have them because I don't see it listed in the weekly sales circular.

Maybe Dade and Palm Beach counties too in SE Florida. I've lost mangoes from upper branches. My guess is half would have dropped off anyways but half are just gone due to the spring winds. The mango tree spent resources on them that could have gone to better things like leaf and branch growth. ...... this hurts if the tree is small and young

Such as right about now? It's generally a no-no to water mango trees that have fruit but I'll bet many of you give them a squirt now and then especially if they are still young, say less than 10 feet tall......

If it was really really dry right now (which happens some Florida winter-springs where you can have one inch of rain in five months until the wet "hurricane season" starting June) would you be watering your younger and larger trees? I definitely water my young mango trees that have no fruit.....  3x per week

thanks-  Zands

236    (more photos and examples)

Fruit bush hedgerow - 5 feet apart

Originally, eight trees were planted two feet apart in a hedgerow. We found this planting much too close and removed the entire row. We planted three new pluot trees five feet apart. We installed a raised bed to allow for better drainage.  From our experience, trees planted in a hedgerow need to be planted at least five to six feet apart.

Po Pyu Kalay price for both mangoes is identical $35 at my local Coral Springs Florida Home Depot (selling mangoes from Pine Island nursery of Florida) and Excalibur Nursery in Lake Worth Florida (Wikipedia: Excalibur is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Great Britain)

 Finally got to the famous Excalibur nursery a few days ago and bought a Po Pyu Kalay mango. Excalibur is 50 miles away from me. Here are some comparison photos of a Home Depot Po Pyu Kalay that comes from Pine Island nursery and the Excalibur Po Pyu Kalay which they graft their own. They used to buy from Zill but now graft their own
 Excalibur is a trip. Robert was the guy who zipped me around in a golf cart to three different locations where they had Po Pyu Kalay of varying sizes. Robert is very bilingual (English Spanish if that helps anyone) When it came time to pay...Business was transacted under a tent in front of a house. Cash and check only no credit cards. They had a few sapodilla fruits which Robert said "Go ahead and take them for free" as part of the Po Pyu Kalay purchase.
 Excalibur is very spread out on two sides of a street. They have the hugest mangoes I have ever seen in a pot. Huge pots 6 feet across. Robert said they bring a little "Cat" to the buyers site to excavate for such trees.
 They had a bunch of new variety mangoes labeled "Cat" on the pot. Robert said this was code for the new Cocker mango??...if I got him right. Those were nice looking 3 gallon trees so rush up there and get one if you want one. They looked vigorous with thick trunks. Squam256 has commented that they are the new "Cat Chu" mango.  Very fine specimens that I happened to see only because they were next to the best bunch of Po Pyu Kalay from which I picked mine

  (The well known Pine Island tag)

  (Comparison of trunk thickness. I am holding the Pine Island trunk))

  (Pine Island graft)

   (Excalibur graft)

  (mangoes side by side)

  (Excalibur on the left)

Po Pyu Kalay sounds pretty interesting going by the Pine Island nursery description------->>>>>

Po Pyu Kalay is a unique Asian mango from the exotic nation of Myanmar (formerly Burma).
The large vigorous tree produces small, yellow, elongated, somewhat pointed fruit with a
bright lemon-yellow, moist, spicy, flesh.
Commercially it has been dubbed the “Lemon Meringue” mango for its aroma.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Any Meyer Lemon comments and commentary?
« on: March 09, 2012, 04:10:40 AM »
I have two plants that I bought at Lowes just for the hecks of it which was flooded with small Meyers...One for $10 and the other for $20. They are taking off and fruiting. Very precocious. Still in pots but the large one will be planted within 7 days and heavily mulched with tree trimmer wood chips  THANKS!  Z

My friend has 20 ft high mango tree that has lots of black on its leaves and branches. A new branch starts out good but then turns black. It is not producing. He is getting ready to dig it out and and start all over. He already pruned it back severely once and it did not help, the black gunk came back. The trunk is 5-6" in diameter.

I hate to see a seven year investment in trunk diameter and rooting be destroyed.  But since he is on the verge of demolishing it he has nothing to lose.... I have been suggesting this plan to him. Cut the tree back to the trunk at about 4 ft high. Scrub black mold fungus gunk off that remaining trunk with soapy water and a scrub brush. Next day mist it with hydrogen peroxide H2O2  to kill remaining dug in black fungus. Repeat this as needed. Ways to use Hydrogen Peroxide in the Garden

Then give it some NPK fertilizer with micro-elements and mulch heavily with wood chips to keep in the moisture. Any ideas on rehabbing this mango tree are appreciated.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jean Ellen mango size and taste
« on: February 24, 2012, 10:59:00 PM »

300 g = 0.661 pounds

Not too much information on this mango. Fairchild claims it is 300 grams. That is as small as I have heard a mango described which is good for me because I would have to plant it where it is more vulnerable to theft So my questions are

  • how does it taste?
  • Does it really bear the way Farichild describes--- "there are typically multiple blooms during the year. The season is from April to June in South Florida"
  • what size is the fruit?


Tropical Fruit Online Library / Soil And Health Library
« on: February 22, 2012, 01:59:37 AM »

Organic agriculture books some of it tropical such as by Sir William Howard in India

It's mango bloom time in South Florida. I would be just as happy if I lived up North and had apple and cherry blooms in my backyard.

Here are my best
#1 is my large backyard Glenn   ( I also have a stunted Glenn blooming out of proportion)
#2 is my Carrie in front yard  (background is blooming PSM (Pim Saen Mun)

This Glenn has weak spreading limbs that will need post harvest pruning

244   (from Palm Beach Post)

Citrus resurgence: Florida residents must pay a lot more to bear fruit again after canker war

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 6:52 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011

Along State Road A1A just south of Southern Boulevard, motorists can catch a glimpse of dozens of citrus trees planted last year on a residential lot. The 3- to 4-foot trees are thriving.

Six years after the failed state and federal war on canker, backyard citrus is making a comeback, whether it's the wealthy planting a small grove or homeowners trying their luck with lone orange trees.

But the billion-dollar battles left their scars: People can no longer expect orange, grapefruit, lime and other citrus trees to grow like weeds and produce buckets of fruit. Canker-free citrus seedlings cost more than ever, and protecting them from disease requires time and effort.

Owning a citrus tree was once taken for granted as part of the Florida lifestyle. The trees that dotted backyards provided fragrant blossoms, fruit, shade, a nesting place for birds and more. But after the destruction starting in 1995 of more than 16.5 million citrus trees in a $1.6 billion effort to stop canker, thousands of homes were left without their beloved fruit trees.

The federal government declared the program aimed at stopping the fruit-­blemishing disease a failure, determined canker was endemic in Florida and lifted the ban on planting trees in 2006. It's taken a while for supplies to bounce back and for people to realize they are once again permitted to plant citrus trees.

Florida nurseries propagated 3.1 million citrus trees in the year that ended June 30, said Michael Kesinger, chief of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Citrus Budwood Registration Division. That's far below production in 2002 of 5.8 million, but a rebound from the low of 1.4 million trees when the war on canker ended in 2006.

"I would estimate between 10 to 15 percent of those trees are for home­owners," Kesinger said.

Ann Bolin of Palm Beach Gardens recently purchased a single potted calamondin tree.

"It smells nice, and it fits on the patio," said Bolin, who moved here from Texas.

To help her tree thrive, Bolin turned to for

advice and purchased KeyPlex, a nutritional supplement used by growers and now available to homeowners.

Richard Johnston of Canal Point, who is a member of the Erickson Farm family, founded My Citrus Tree two years ago and formed a partnership with Record Buck, a commercial tree nursery in Howey-in-the-Hills, and Winter Park-based KeyPlex, which makes the nutritional product.

"For me it is about empowering others' success," Johnston said. "Citrus is a Florida staple, and I want to support an industry that our forefathers and pioneers have grown."

Canker prevention is driving the cost of citrus trees. In 2007, the state began requiring that the trees nurseries sell to commercial groves and homeowners be grown in secure greenhouses built to specific standards.

"Everything has gone up 60 to 70 percent," said Richard Wilson, owner of Excalibur Fruit Trees west of Lake Worth. He sells standard grafted trees in 5-gallon containers for $50. The largest he sells are the 95-gallon size at $900, which used to be priced at $550 to $600.

Once the tree is in the ground, there is more work to do.

If tree owners do not spray with copper, the trees will get canker, Wilson said. Treatment also is needed to combat psyllids, the tiny insects that spread greening disease, which kills trees.

"People are still buying citrus. They have to treat it like a grove and spray it," said Wilson, whose company planted the Key lime, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit and orange trees on the Palm Beach property, dubbed "The Grove."

"It will be difficult for the average homeowner to maintain a healthy citrus tree. It's amazing how many pests and diseases are attracted to a citrus tree," Kesinger said.

But many are willing to try.

Kathy and Bob Powers of Boca Raton were heartbroken when their two healthy mature citrus trees, one a Ruby Red grapefruit tree, were cut down in 2003 during the canker fight. The government program required the destruction of trees within 1,900 feet of an infected tree.

The couple replanted citrus around 2006, but three years later, the trees were removed after contracting greening disease. They're considering planting once again.

"I hope everybody plants tons of them," Kathy Powers said. "It is a right of being a Floridian. Those trees were my babies."

Two more days of crud then comes relief--->>

Good news for mango production. Lotsa panicales at my place but 99% of my panicles have not opened up into flowers so its looking good at my house at least. I'm thinking the damp hurts mangoes most when the flowers are open and subject to pollination. This is when the fungus can take hold. Or am I all wet? :)

Just putting these out for your consideration. Why should we be slaves to expensive store bought mineral chelates. I have done neither yet though I do have iron and copper sulfates on their way to me and I already have DMSO sitting around. You will find one gallon 99.85% pure DMSO at Amazon from a horse tack shop.Delivered for about $40.  Though I would just deal direct with this source, they are on the internet in a big way. Big Dee's Tack & Vet Supplies.
 DMSO is a lignin product. Look at the label of your Southern Ag Citrus Foliar. You will see unbound (unchelated) iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese sulfates plus their sulfates bound (chelated) to lignins.

Ascorbic acid= vitamin C and goes for about $14/lb

DMSO based foliar sprays

DMSO based foliar sprays

DMSO based foliar sprays

Ascorbic acid + mineral sulfates nutritional sprays ---   Research done at USDA in Miami. The ascorbic acid helps mineral sulfates penetrate leaves same as DMSO

In South Florida I'm looking at the rain today and drizzles of the previous four days and probably the next four more days. The mango panicales are out, this moisture is making them susceptible to anthracnose. Copper is supposed to prevent it. The time to apply it would have been before this rainy interlude.

How much is this rain going to hurt 2012 mango production here? Based on what you have seen in previous years.

Tree trimmings delivered today at neighbor's house!
This is my neighbors place...he got the delivery
I made off with some of this free tree trimmers mulch for my own place and might get a delivery myself in a few months
Some was caked up and hot w vapor coming out

Below are:
Boniato as ground cover and perennial peanut ground cover
Surinam Cherry tree
Chinese brasscia of some kind
Neighbors smaller mango tree of unknown variety
His large Keitt mango tree
Avocado on left, lychee at right
lots of mulch on aloe vera in the front yard

avocado with lychee on the right

neighbors low and wide mango tree....belongs to his neighbor one over



Surinam Cherry tree


perennial peanut ground cover

Any potting mix ideas greatly appreciated and fertilization advice too
 I have always  potted in Home Depot topsoil but can now see the drawbacks. I have planted mangoes and citrus but would like to grow some in  pots such as my Meyer Lemon and my Red Naval Orange.

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