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Messages - Greg A

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado tasting
« on: May 02, 2021, 03:48:57 PM »
Thanks Brad and Brianna. Great to meet everyone. That was way more fun than tasting avocados alone. I loved hearing everyone's impressions, and like Brad said, the impressions varied a lot.

Some of the few consistencies I heard were many people's surprise at how delicious the Bacon was, as well as how bland the Reed was. But it's all about harvest seasons, as Brad said. Those Bacons were as rich and flavorful as Bacons can possibly get before dropping off the tree whereas the Reeds weren't even ready to be harvested yet.

At the same time, I heard lots of people say there were surprised at how good the Nabal was there on May 1. I too couldn't believe how tasty it was so early in the year, before its usual harvest season.

Simon, I have to repeat what everyone else has said: the avocado smoothie and sugarcane juice were amazing!

I was sick of eating avocados at the end of the day yesterday, but then to my surprise I still cut one open for breakfast this morning and enjoyed it.

What a great hangout. Great idea and great generosity, especially Brad. I hope we can do something like that again.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Comparison of 3 top Pomegranate varieties
« on: November 28, 2020, 11:09:06 PM »
I hear you guys about appreciating pomegranates more and more. I used to take them for granted because they are so easy to grow. But this time of year when they're starting to split open on the tree and so full-flavored I actually crave them.

Here's a bad (but very short!) video of how I like to open pomegranates:

I always just eat them out in the yard though. So I don't mind it being a bit messy.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: November 10, 2020, 11:58:51 PM »
Looks immature to me. I would wait to pick one for testing around May of 2021.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: So. Cal avocados varaiety
« on: June 16, 2020, 09:37:08 PM »
Thanks for the heads up.

Can anyone identify the mango in the photo below? It is from a grafted tree growing in San Diego, but the owner doesn't recall which variety he planted. The photo was taken yesterday, December 3.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: November 30, 2019, 09:02:48 PM »
Definitely second the idea of using a Bacon tree to graft other varieties onto. That's a great way to use the nice Bacon tree structure.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: John Herd avocado
« on: September 15, 2019, 11:45:49 PM »
Thanks for this, Jack. Is this about the middle of your Hass season in Nipomo?

On a side note: Anything distinctive about Leaven's Hass that you've noticed (compared to Hass)?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Purple passionfruut comparison
« on: September 15, 2019, 11:36:44 PM »
Thanks for posting this, Brad.

My experience is the same as Oolie's, in terms of taste and color in summer passionfruit compared to other seasons.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado grafting
« on: June 09, 2019, 06:42:46 PM »
It's going to work!

You might be interested in some of the observations of Bob Bergh, who ran the avocado breeding program of the University of California for decades. (The first paragraph deals with speeding up the fruit production of seedlings, and the second paragraph is about how many years it usually takes for seedlings to produce.)

"Perhaps the greatest problem of the avocado breeder is the length of time required, in conjunction with the large amount of space required. There are 2 ways that we are going at this problem of shortening the juvenility stage. One is to graft the seedlings onto large plants. This is an idea that we thought about vaguely and I finally was stimulated to try in a visit to Israel 2 years ago when I saw it in operation there. Often you can get fruiting the year after you graft or at least 2 years afterwards.

"The other way is to breed for more precocious seedlings. The new 'Pinkerton' variety is astonishingly precocious for us and it will be the basis of this precocity breeding. In California we say that the earliest cultivars will come into production in maybe 3 years with a few fruits and more in the fourth and fifth years. Seedlings come in maybe the fifth or sixth year and more in the eighth and ninth year. After 10 years we drop it. Seedlings of 'Pinkerton' have the remarkable ability to start bearing the second year from planting as seedlings. The little seedling is seemingly barely up, as we don't get as much growth in 2 years in California as in Florida or the more tropical areas, and can have maybe 20 or 30 fruits on it. This is just turning up now. The first fruiting is this year because we didn't know about the 'Pinkerton' until 2 years ago."

This is taken from:

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: March 21, 2019, 11:31:41 PM »
Cool comparison. Thanks. If you could only grow Pinkerton or SirPrize, which would you keep?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Help with Citrus Leaves
« on: February 18, 2019, 04:08:18 PM »
Which tests are those? Maybe they're more recent than what I've seen.

I looked into the leafminer and imidacloprid issue some years ago because I was sick of one of my citrus trees getting attacked so badly. I wrote about it here:

But the essence is that I read that soil drenches are said to translocate into flowers and harm bees. The University of California's webpage for imidacloprid says this: "Imidacloprid applied as a soil treatment can move up into flowers to injure or kill bees, other pollinators and beneficial insects." (The page:

But maybe I'm not understanding it correctly, or maybe it's wrong or outdated?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: February 17, 2019, 11:30:15 PM »
Any chance you could add a photo of the trees? Are the trunks 6-9 feet apart or is there 6-9 feet of space between the canopy edges?

And just curious, is this in Glendora?

Low of 28 for me too. Plenty of frost. Some leaf damage on bananas and new flush of avocados.

Only 31 in my yard this morning. Just bits of frost. No damage seen. January 4 was colder at 29.

Tonight is looking more dangerous though. I've put some blankets on baby avocados.

Love this winter so far. Good chill for the deciduous trees, no real damage on the subtropicals, plenty of rain.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: What is wrong with my page mandarin tree?
« on: January 14, 2019, 08:57:47 PM »
I don't have an answer, but as commiseration: Many of my citrus trees look most yellow this time of year, every year. I'm in SD County and I also mulch most of my trees heavily with wood chips. I no longer worry about it because they always green up well in spring and produce fine. Maybe your Page will too, on its own.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: What citrus would you plant?
« on: December 20, 2018, 07:31:34 PM »
The mandarin that I'd keep if I could only keep one would be Kishu. A close second would be Gold Nugget.

Absolutely. That's not what I meant to imply. Only that this isn't the first time that antibiotics are being approved for use on tree crops. Previous administrations/EPAs approved the use on apples and pears long ago (I don't recall which or exactly when).

To put this into context, we do have to remember that antibiotics are already being used on crops like apples and pears to control fireblight here in the U.S.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: GEM avocado in Los Angeles area?
« on: October 19, 2018, 12:01:58 AM »
If your goal is a Hass-like avocado and you want to keep the tree to 15 feet, maybe you should just plant a Hass. I have a Hass that I keep to 15 feet, and it's easily done. I'm certain you can manage it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Brutal heatwave 7/06/18 in Socal
« on: July 07, 2018, 03:34:50 PM »
Looks like someone ran through my yard with a torch. Terrible day. 113 degrees and less than 10% humidity, plus wind.

I pay $6.71 per hundred cubic feet (748 gallons), and I put almost 3,000 gallons on a 14-foot Hass last year (not including rain) that gave me 156 avocados. The tree's average production is a little lower overall, but if it's 100 per year then that would be around $0.27 per avocado in water cost. And water is pretty much the only cost.

Sorry if the table is misleading, guys. The gallons are for the entire month. So, for example, a tree with a 14-foot canopy (maybe in its fifth year in the ground, maybe not) needs about 631 gallons for the entire month of July. If you water every five days, that would amount to around 100 gallons every five days.

In the article I linked to I explained some important factors that affect how much a particular avocado tree will actually need, as well as how much water you may actually have to give it. Some factors include shade, variety, soil type, and water quality.

The table is for trees in full sun and with typical Southern California quality water (read: "salty"). If you have a tree in half-day sun that gets very clean water, you don't need to irrigate it as much.

On this note, for example, I watered a Reed with only stored rainwater one year and it did way better (in terms of foliage appearance and fruit production) than my other trees getting district water.

One last remark: after a tree's been in the ground for a couple years it will be drinking from any water source within reach, sometimes way beyond its canopy edge, and that includes the tree you're irrigating beside it or the neighbor's hedge. So people in urban/suburban settings often don't need to water as much as the table shows. I know of a large Fuerte that "never" gets watered, but it's also got an irrigated lawn growing beneath half its canopy.

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. And good luck with this heat wave if you live inland like me!

I made up a table to help us water avocado trees efficiently and effectively in California. I put a lot of thought into it. So I thought I should share it here. I'd also love to hear feedback if you think I missed anything important or if you find that your gallons and frequencies are far different. Remember though, that I'm not saying this is a table everyone should follow; it's just for reference to get started homing in on the gallons and frequencies that are ideal for your situation.

I remember wishing something like this existed when I first started growing avocados, but finding that the tables made by farm advisors weren't very accurate or easy to apply for backyard growers like us.

Anyway, here's some explanation about the table:

And here's the table:

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 09, 2018, 04:17:52 PM »

Of the varieties I grow and feel like I know well enough, Gwen and Pinkerton seem most precocious.

And I'm also thinking of the trees not being in especially great pollination conditions, like with many bees and near opposite-type varieties. (In those conditions, it's harder to say how precocious a variety is on its own.)

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