Next up is my big cherimoya tree. This tree was quickly inching up on my "pissing me off" list. Just ask my Gold Nugget jackfruit and the two big Imbe's what happens when you reach the top of this list!
This tree is one of my biggest...and most frustrating. Many years ago I grafted several varieties onto it. Quite a few actually and some had multiple graftings. But over the years, for some unknown reason...and after thriving for several years, some of them died off. I'm down to maybe three or four with a huge part of the tree being the original seedling. I don't believe I've gotten a fruit from it since it was in a container many many years ago. Damn thing just wouldn't bloom. I've pruned and defoliated and even done it again during the year and nothing. I should have been wading in cherimoya fruit by now.
So maybe it's the timing when I prune and defoliate? Seems to me that I've done this so many times, I've lost track of all the different times attempted. So this year, the first week of February, I fertilized the shit out of it with triple phosphate and then pruned and defoliated.
Bottom left is my Namwah banana. This banana is fantastic. Great texture and awesome flavor. Everyone enjoys them. They are also great in various dessert dishes. This bunch has been as productive as anyone could ask for. They never stop. A little slower than they would be growing outside in Thailand of course, but they kiddyup quite well inside the greenhouse. However, they are sort of a pain in the ass. While this is considered a small growing variety, they can still easily hit the top of my greenhouse. Their 7' leaves spread far and wide shading plants I do not wanted shaded. So I just bend the leaf at the base and let them hang down. Takes away the grand look of a banana, but keeps them the hell out of my way! A win-win for us both.
Last pic on bottom right is one of my white sapotes. This particular plant is one I grew from seed and grafted from scions I got down in Florida. The variety is Redlands...can't remember if I have Suebelle grafted onto or not. Anyways, this one has a very attractive canopy and shape, when it doesn't defoliate. It is compact and spreading. Yeah, both of my white sapotes will defoliate more often than I like. Get their feelings hurt...defoliate. A little lack of watering...defoliate. However, they always quickly bounce back with a full flush and normally a bloom. I would like them to start setting more fruit though. The fruit is good. Not Florida mango good, but "I'll take a win in the greenhouse when I can get it" kind of good.
Next pic is one of the flowers on the jaboticaba. One of only a few...but better than none! Bottom left is one of four jaboticaba fruits that set. We're into late March now. The last pic is a full shot of the plant. This is April 1st.
As you can see, the brasiliensis are doing very well and put out flushes nearly as often as Lucs. The mangosteen graft...not so much. Pitiful actually. Small, immature leaves is all that gets put out. I'm not convinced that this graft will survive much longer. Just a feeling, but I believe it will end up dying off like the rest of them. This one is just hanging on a little longer.
I will soon be able to start moving some of the plants outside to the patio. This makes it easier to clean as well. Get better growth and stronger branches outside too.
Won't be long before I start getting the garden in either. This winter I experimented in grafting some tomato varieties onto a more disease resistant variety. Complete and utter failure. Didn't get a single attempt to take. So this year, the tomatoes will be in large containers since my garden soil seems to have every tomato disease known to mankind in it. This will be more expensive and quite the pain in the ass I'm sure.
May 17 we go to Thailand and visit the folks. Yeah...I'm going this time around. I will be carrying my three pulasan plants with me! They survived the winter...so far. I just got to keep them going until then. I've got my phytosanitary certificate application with the USDA complete. I'll call for a plant inspection at the end of April. Then right before I leave, secure the plants in the container. This will all be a part of the next Thailand blog. I will try and upload pics to my Facebook page as we go. The first part of the trip should be all fruit hunting. So stay tuned!