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Messages - Ireland Family Farms

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« on: July 30, 2020, 02:01:55 AM »
Are you trapping the gophers?  I would suggest getting gophenator traps and using them until the gophers are gone.  Ive got my orchard completely cleared right now.  Killed around 30 this year, havent lost any plants since really getting on top of them.  As soon as you see mounds, go set 3 or 4 traps.

Congratulations on your success! Gophenator is hit and miss for me and a little sketchy to set. My FAVORITE is the Gopher Hawk. Boy are they effective. Try a couple and you'll fall in love with
the accuracy and ease of use. The only downside is sometimes predators will run away with them. Otherwise, it's the best and I've tried almost all of them.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« on: July 30, 2020, 01:53:54 AM »
4' gopher baskets sound excessive. Don't worry about gopher baskets strangling root growth. Once I had to remove a capulin tree growing for 3 years in a 3' wide basket from 1/2" hardware cloth. I saw 2" diameter roots growing through the 1/2" mesh as if the mesh was not there.
If you still worry, you could use 3/4" hardware mesh. I got a roll of it once. It is much easier to work with, but much more expensive.
If your gophers tend to hop into the baskets, make sure the baskets extend 6" above the ground.

As Brad said, trapping is important. I also take care of new gopher arrivals as soon as I see a new mound. I probably tpap 6 - 12 gophers per year.

Great advice, thank you! Yeah, I've got a whole arsenal of traps. We are on well water, so everything is organic. Otherwise, i'd just nuke the yard. I've been killing 3-5 gophers every day for months.
Neighbors trap too. It's a major infestation and the little bastards are clever. I've even designed and erected multiple owl boxes and released owls on the property. Honestly, it's discouraging some days.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« on: July 30, 2020, 01:48:21 AM »
I too am in Santa Barbara. I really haven't had many issues with anything I've tried, even mangoes. I do protect almost everything in winter, but am also at the top of the 154 so it's a lot colder up here. The majority of my losses have been my own mistakes with re-potting or root rot from over watering.

Gophers are very problematic up here too and I still haven't gotten a handle on killing them but did more reading today that seems promising. I've been making my own baskets as well and this has seemed to greatly reduce the burrowing around the trees and such. I did lose one fig tree to gophers. They ate the trunk like a beaver would.

So far I'm working with:

All cultivars of jaboticaba
Pitanga of many cultivars
Mangoes from seed and one grafted diamond
Cherry of the rio grande
Sapotes of various types
Tons of dragonfruit (from Spaugh)
And a host of eugenias that would take a long time to type out

All going well.
Wow! Sounds like you are doing great. Are you at the foot of 154? It's really rocky and dry up there. I'm impressed with your list!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« on: July 29, 2020, 02:08:14 AM »
Right! We plant everything in gopher baskets, mostly 15gal wire mesh. Now we are starting to use actual stainless steel welded baskets, but unsure if they will be effective and worry that they might "strangle" future root growth. We planted a Moringa tree and a papaya and the gophers actually climbed in the basket and devoured the entire root ball. We've also laid a 10th acre plot with industrial wire and they still "overland" into the vegetable garden. I am learning that before I plant any new trees there needs to be at LEAST a 4' diameter by 18-24" deep barrier around the entire tree to give it a chance. That is my new approach. Open to any ideas. I'd like not to let the year pass without giving new subtropical plantings a shot and plan on planting at least 100 more fruit and nut trees. Mango for sure. Has anyone had luck with a particular variety in this area? Kent did well and fruited here and we also have a manila mango doing will.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« on: July 27, 2020, 09:50:31 PM »
We planted about 100 subtropical trees and fruit bushes and lost around 70% mostly due to a horrendous gopher infestation. They circle the trees diverting the
water and eating the roots so the trees essentially end up bonsai or dead. The successes so far are longan, macadamia, pineapple guava, strawberry guava, white guava, Jaboticaba, mango, white sapotes, chocolate sapote, Barbados cherry. yuzu, keffir lime, sapodilla, atemoya, Australian finger lime, jujube, faux mangosteen, red custard apple, cinnamon tree, red lady papaya, coffee tree, tamarind, hops,ice-cream bean, Buddhas hand, lychee, etc. The gophers just decimated a thriving Mamey Sapote, which I had high hopes for and will probably try again in a different location. Outside of
that we have lots of stone fruit and nut trees we are experimenting with every year. We added 4 beehives this year and magically all of our plum and apricot trees bore heavy fruit for the
first time in 5 years!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Santa Barbara Tropical Fruit
« on: July 27, 2020, 04:47:22 PM »
Hello! We started planting tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees in Santa Barbara about 5 years ago. We've had some great success and also a lot of failures. Happy to share
our experience and discuss others experience in our area.


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