Saturday, October 9th @ 10 a.m. Greenhouses and other Great Stuff for growing fruit

Ahead of the holiday gifting season, we thought we would ask you all to share your favorite Fruit Growing Stuff (you know, so we can add it to our lists).

At our last meeting, Charles told us how he goes commando and does all his propagating outdoors.  But some of us are trying to propagate tropicals that require more humidity than SoCal offers. So Bruce will be telling us about the nifty greenhouse in which he resurrected Eric Durtschi’s struggling cacao seedlings and now has dozens of coffee plants building strength for our holiday sale.

I will offer my much humbler (and cheaper)  greenhouse currently housing 11 cacao seedlings and 1 yang mei seedling.  I will also reveal a great source for horticultural sand (100 pounds for $10!)

Jane will be telling us about her wondrous little electric shredder and her equally wonderous compost bins.

Margaret may be telling us about her metal hoses (or who knows what else lurks in the heart of her garden?).

And any of you who want to offer up your favorite discoveries, please do so.  If you want to get  on the Official Participant list, just Contact Us.  Though of course there will be opportunities to join the gabfest as the spirit moves you.

This was supposed to be our November, first post-Pandemic in person meeting but our October field trip has now been moved to November.  So this will be again on Zoom.  Links will be provided in your newsletter.

September 18th (NOTE DATE CHANGE!) @ 10 am: Charles Portney on Propagating Fruit Trees

Okay, you clamored for this and now —  at long length —  we can deliver!   Yes, Charles Portney on propagating fruit trees.

A good number of you first became members because of the bounty of our plant sales and many of those plants were provided by the inimitable – and generous — Charles .  On September 18th, he will take you behind the scenes and teach you how he works his magic.  You do not want to miss this meeting!

Because of the Delta Variant, we are still meeting virtually.  You will receive the Zoom links in your newsletter. If you are not a chapter member, but wish to attend, please contact us.

Photo by おにぎり on Unsplash

DIY trap for Black Fig Fruit Fly

Chapter member (and SD organic commercial farmer) Ellen Maisen found an interesting article from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It  was aimed at olive growers who are battling the olive fruit fly but the traps seem identical to what are being proposed for Silba Adipata McAlpine (the Black Fig Fruit Fly).

These are the instructions in the article for an easy DIY trap.  In the absence of torula yeast, I have found that Marmite and other yeast products work pretty well also as attractants.

Olipe Trap

Olipe traps are made with 1.5 to 2 liter plastic non-food bottles, with several 4 to 5 mm sized holes drilled or melted at the top, and baited with 3 to 4 torula yeast tablets per liter of water. Pheromones may or may not increase trap catches.

  • Place two traps for each 5 to 10 acre block for monitoring and one trap per tree for mass trapping control. Mass trapping usually does not work as a stand-alone treatment, but can supplement the efficacy of other treatments or reduce the number of treatments by reducing the overall number of flies in the orchard. Flies attracted to the bait, crawl into the bottle through the holes at top, and drown.

Growing Mangos in Los Angeles! (via Zoom) August 14th @ 10 am

Jeff Wasielewski is the Commercial Tropical Fruit Crops Extension Agent for UF/IFAS Extension in Miami-Dade County. He is an expert horticulturist with 25 years of experience working with tropical fruit crops and growing techniques in south Florida. Jeff’s goal is to assist all commercial tropical fruit growers in south Florida by providing current, science-based information through classes, lectures, publications, videos, and social media.  And  — although we are mostly amateurs far from Florida  — he is being kind enough to share his wisdom with us!

“Growing Mangos in Los Angeles” will cover topics such as plant selection, planting, pruning, fertilizing, and general mango care. We will also talk about the main form of propagation for mangos which is grafting.

If you are a chapter member, you will receive your Zoom links in your newsletter.  If you are not a member but would like to tune in, please let us know.

 

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Black Fig Fruit Fly redux

As Sagi pointed out at today’s meeting, many fig growing areas around the world continue to be able to  harvest crops despite the fact that this fly has been there for decades.  The appearance of BFFF here is not a cause for total despair but it is definitely a reason to be vigilant in inspecting your figs, collecting and dissecting any that drop prematurely, safely disposing of any that are infested (NOT in compost or yard waste) and being very wary of accepting figs or potted fig plants from unknown sources.

If you do find larvae  in your figs, please contact the CFDA. 

If you don’t have them yet but are concerned, join the ourfigs. com forum for up to date discussions and advice.

A webpage that discusses different home brew lure recipes and a home-made trap is here.    BTW, a 5mm hole in the US basically requires a 7/32nd drill bit.

I have just ordered 100 1.5 ml propylene test tubes if anyone wants some to try experimenting with lures.  I also have some hexanol but thus far am not seeing any results with it.

Good luck!

Field Trip to Mark Steele’s orchard July 10th @ 10 am

Most of us know Mark Steele as the extremely knowledgeable banana expert who has generously shared with us (at both LA and WLA chapter meetings) his vast experience with the AAA and BBB genome groups (and everything in between).

He is also, however, a self-proclaimed Fig Nerd… as witnessed by his co-hosting a major sale of exotic fig plants this past fall.   And now we have a rare chance to see both his banana plants and fig tree, as well as citrus, stone fruit, cherimoya, and other fruits he grows.

When not in his garden or chasing his 4-year-old son, Mark is a Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge.

On Saturday, July 10th, he will be taking us on a tour of his yard and discussing the ups and downs of fruit cultivation.   While most of us will be tuning in via Zoom, he says he can handle up to  5 warm immunized bodies, so if you would like to attend in person, please let us know.  This may well be your once in a lifetime opportunity to head home with some of Mark’s special plants, so attendance will have to be on a first-come, first served basis.

Zoom links, etc will be in  members’ forthcoming newsletter.  Mark’s address will only be provided to those who  make the 5 body cut -off.  PLEASE do  not claim a spot unless you are 100% you can attend.

Photo by Martin Angelov on Unsplash

Warning: New Fig Pest in California!

Black Fig Fly

This PSA came from member Alan Caramatti.   Eric Durtschi, who is referenced in the post, gave a memorable talk to our chapter on Cacao a few months ago.  He is also an extremely avid fig grower.

“Just in the past week or so several people in SoCal have discovered a horrible new pest in figs in their orchards.  Please see info in this thread on the OurFigs forum, which Eric Durtschi posted:  https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-home/1002499-urgent-psa-for-all-california-growers
This is something all CRFG-ers need to be vigilant about.”