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Messages - Galatians522

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Maybe the nut is a calophyllum species. It appears that the platter is natural medicine of sorts (no one that I have ever heard of ate noni because they liked the taste), so that would fit in.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Terrible season
« on: May 15, 2022, 04:18:48 PM »
I think part of it is the bounce back from a great season last year.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: whick rootstock is this?
« on: May 15, 2022, 10:01:06 AM »
Cleopatra has small pointed leaves, like most of the small fruited seedy mandarin species.

Good point, the leaf tip does look rounded.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: A watermellon question.....
« on: May 14, 2022, 11:31:33 PM »
I had a local watermelon grower tell me that crimson sweet is more disease resistant. If disease is a problem, maybe that would be a good one to try (especially since you mention that it is available there).

I probably waited too long to try my emperor lychee. I left them on the tree so they were very ripe. That is the way I like my Brewster lychee. But that is probably what caused the emperor lychee to be flat and bland. My emperor didnt flower this year so I will have to wait until next year to try them again.


I would definitely give that a try when it fruits again. It took 10 years and an article from Australia for us to figure out that we were waiting too long to harvest the Florida Hak Ip and Sweet Heart.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Most Cold Hardy Dragonfruit?
« on: May 14, 2022, 11:15:32 PM »
My yellow variety I started from a piece of plant attached to a fruit from an Asian market. It survived our early 2021 insane record winter here in Texas. We lost power and water for 2 weeks so my main greenhouse got down to 26f. I had a little dieback. Maybe 10%.

Wow, I had always thought that the yellow Dragonfruit was more sensitive to cold.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Most Cold Hardy Dragonfruit?
« on: May 14, 2022, 11:13:45 PM »
I gave my parents some cuttings of Purple Haze and Voodoo Child and they made it through upper 20s in north Florida just fine.

That is interesting, did they protect them at all, or were the vines in a naturally shelters spot like under trees or againstva house?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Most Cold Hardy Dragonfruit?
« on: May 14, 2022, 03:05:22 PM »
Texas Mark posted a while back about how his Sugar Dragon survived some pretty extreme cold when his green house lost power. That got me thinking that there might be some clones with more cold tollerence than most people realize. I was hoping everyone could chime in on what varieties they are growing and what temperature they have survived without getting damaged. My Delight got toasted pretty good in the mid 20s here. I am especially interested in information on any of the forms of Paul Thimpson's S8 (Sugar Dragon/Voodoo Child) and Houghton (its parent) if you have them. Thanks for your help!

In our grove, Emperor is best when there is still some yellow on the peel up until the point that it gets to the fully red stage. If it gets purplish, it will typically be flat. Sweetheart and Florida Hak Ip are also best when there is still some green and can even be picked when they are about half red/green. In contrast, Brewster should NEVER be picked until it has fully changed color to red (if you like tangy) or dark red/purple if you like mainly sweet. Maybe someone from California could comment since it is probably different, but that is the rule of thumb here in Central Florida

Citrus General Discussion / Re: whick rootstock is this?
« on: May 14, 2022, 12:15:38 AM »
Cleopatra (Cleo for short) tangerine would be my guess. Cleo, sour orange and lemons are the common monofloiate rootstocks that I am familiar with. Lemon leaves have a slightly scalloped margin, and sour orange has more of a wing on the petiole. Cleo has small leaves. So that seems to fit with your picture. I supose there are plenty of other things it could be including a couple other tangerine types, but Cleo would seem to be the most common option.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: lychee tree sick need help
« on: May 13, 2022, 11:57:26 PM »
I went through the free treatment program through the state yet my lychee tree still has the LEM pock marks on the leaves in a few places.  Is there a solution to living with this disease or does my precious tree need to be removed? In places where they have LEM (Australia, Hawaii), people still have lychee trees, so is there a solution to control LEM and keep it down without it being eliminated completely? So sad, this is a 9 year old tree that only produced for the first time last summer.

You can spray sulfur yourself when you have noticeable levels of infestation. I believe that is how it is managed in Australia.

A couple random thoughts on soil fertility as it impacts fertilizer needs.

According to the University of Nebraska each percentage point of soil organic matter can contribute about 20lbs of nitrogen per acre through the natural mineralization process.

Also, earthworm castings will have close to 1% available nitrogen even when they are fed with high carbon feed stock like paper--this greatly surprised me.

As a result of all this, I conclude that a plant's nitrogen needs can be reduced over the long term through heavy applications of mulch (which can sometimes be obtained for free). However, in the short term there may be a deficite as the high carbon mulch will absorb available nitrogen.

I have been looking into nitrogen fixing legumes. The best I have found so far is Jack bean. It can fix between 167 and 205 lbs of nitrogen per acre in a year's time. That would be enough to meet the nitrogen needs of most plants. It also has a large root system that does a great job scavenging potassium and phosphorus and requires very little water. Unlike many other legumes, it does not seem to be very paletable to deer. After nibbling a few new sprouts they have left them alone.

Lychee is immune to fruit fly unless the skin is cracked.

Maybe it is because we have well drained acid soil here in Central Florida, but Emperor is one of our best lychees. I have read reports from Australia that said it was sour there, though. I have also had lychee experts from south Florida say that the Emperor fruits they get down there are "washed out" compared to our fruits.

High temperatures (over 80 ish degrees) cause the fruits to stop developing and make the pollen sterile in Cherimoya. That is why they can be grown in Puerto Rico or Hawaii and not Florida. I think we could fruit any Cherimoya with the right cultural care. It would need to defoliate in September and bloom in October so that the fruit could develop over the cool part if the year and then finish ripening in April before things got too hot.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Transplanting Mature Lychee Tree?
« on: May 08, 2022, 08:19:28 PM »
We moved an 8' Emperor tree once. I had told my Dad that it was a waste of time and that it wouldn't survive. But, I was wrong. It dropped a lot of leaves at first but it pulled through and is growing strong to this day. Cover the whole tree in shade cloth and leave a hose on a slight trickle 24 hrs a day for the first few days.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: May Mango Bloom in Florida???
« on: May 08, 2022, 05:35:59 PM »
Wow, Galatians522, you have an Okrung seedling that's flowering? Gary Zill mentioned in a Truly Tropical video that he never got one to fruit. Has yours fruited before? If so, how was the fruit? How old is the tree? Thanks!

That seems strange. I had no trouble fruiting mine. It had 3 fruits last year and was loaded with bloom this year until the freeze. Flavor was excellent in my opinion (like a more intense Nam Doc Mai with a better sugar acid balance). As far as I can tell it was identical to the fruit I planted the seed from (purchased at Excalibur). It was about 6 years old when it first fruits.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: May Mango Bloom in Florida???
« on: May 07, 2022, 10:09:57 PM »
Same with mine. Just a couple panicles. What varieties bloomed for you?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jack Bean for Nematodes
« on: May 07, 2022, 10:08:33 PM »
In companion planting studies it was learned that French marigolds, the smellier the hybrid, the better the nematode repellent properties were.  Those properties were from the marigolds' root exudates and also by tilling the spent bloomed-out marigold plants into the soil as green manure so as to provide a bit of residual repellency as the plants decomposed.

This article, which also mentions the painted daisy as repellent, may shed some further light:


Paul M.

That is interesting. Its good to know that the root exudate has repelent properties.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jack Bean for Nematodes
« on: May 07, 2022, 12:00:40 PM »
Just curious, but have marigolds lost their effectiveness against nematodes?

Shouldn't it still be useful to plant smelly French marigolds around the base of any of the worst affected plants (at least in smaller-sized plots) and later till under the old, bloomed-out marigolds once they've passed their prime, to incorporate some further residual protection into the soil?

Bulk marigold seed should not be all that expensive.

Just pondering marigolds as an alternative option for the smaller fruit grower of whom there are many here on TFF . . .

Paul M.

I have not researched marigolds much, but I believe they do have an effect. Unfortunately, I think that (like jack bean) they would need to be incorporated into the soil to be effective. This reduces the effectiveness for already established tree crops. I think these types of plants work best as cover crops and prior to planting an orchard.

There are several reasons I have been focusing on jack bean. 1). It has proven highly effective at reducing nematode populations (you will notice that plants in the study varied in effectiveness). 2). It fixes nitrogen in large quantities. Actually, it had the highest reported level of nitrogen fixation of any of the plants that I looked at (3-4 times the level of cowpeas in a year's time). 3). It can be grown without irrigation durring our summer "off season" for vegetable crops. This allows the same space to be used for my garden in the fall. 4). There are some other studies out there showing that jack bean can also reduce other soil pathogens and that it may even be possible to create an organic herbicide form seed extract.

I guess I am just really excited about this particular plant. Lol!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jack Bean for Nematodes
« on: May 06, 2022, 10:37:28 PM »
There has been a lot of discussion lately about dealing with root knot nematodes. So, I thought people might be interested in this article. Apparently, Jack Bean seed powder is highly effective at controling nematodes. 1% inclusion in potting soil (by weight) reduced nematoed galling by 98%!

According to my calculations that would require an application rate of approximately 4 cups of jack bean seed powder per square foot. Assuming that 1 cubic foot of soil (sand) weighs 100 lbs and that most nematodes inhabit the top 10" of the soil matrix. One would also have applied approximately 1,500 lbs of total nitrogen per acre (most of it presumably slowly available). Assuming that jack bean powder would weigh about the same as chick pea flour and that jack bean seeds are 4.5% nitrogen (equivalent to 29% protein).

There always seems to be a catch...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / May Mango Bloom in Florida???
« on: May 06, 2022, 09:59:45 PM »
So, I was out in the yard today and noticed that an okrung mango seedling has some bloom just starting. I pruned it back hard around the beginning of April because of cold damage (I didn't have time to freeze protect the tree because of everything else I had going on). I have always thought that somewhere around the middle of April was the latest opportunity for mango bloom here, but I guess I was wrong.  8)

Pachira aquatica
Pachira glabra or is it glauca?  Anyways pachira adore swamps and can grow tall enough.
Saludos, Peter

You took the words right out of my mouth--acai palm. Fruit, vegetable, timber all in one tree. Pachira aquatica was also a great recommendation. It grows in the same swamps as pond apple in Mexico. I'm not sure if they have bald cypress in Peru, but it would love that kind of environment as well.

Some relatives from the north tell me that it makes excellent jam and that some trees have fruit that is paletable enough to eat out of hand. Choke Cherry should be a shrub or very small tree. My understanding was that it is not graft compatible with regular cherries (sour or sweet) because it is in the bird cherry section with Capulin and Black Cherry.

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