Tuesday, December 29, 2020

World's Best mulberry

 The tree seems to be small, but I only have 2 seasons of experience with it in the ground. It fruits all summer long, making it similar in the fruiting pattern to the 4 seasons mulberry. However, the fruits are smaller and not as complex as the 4 seasons mulberry, and they are less juicy. They should have a better shelf life than the 4 seasons.  The fruits have longer petioles than the 4 seasons,  and they separate from the shoots easier with less mess.  The shoots are strait and a little thicker than the 4 seasons mulberry shoots. They root easily from cuttings.


Monday, December 28, 2020

Adara Plum

Adara is a Prunus cerasifera selection with a wide range of compatibility with various Prunus species. Adara is also known as Puente, which is a trademarked name.

Adara is mostly used as intersteam for grafting cherries onto plums.  First, graft Adara onto plum, then graft cherry scions a season later.  It is possible to do both grafts in the same season as I described earlier. 

Adara can also be used as a rootstock and tolerates a wide range of soils.  I have a very good experience using it in heavy clay soils as a rootstock for sweet and sour cherries. The only problem I see with some vigorous sweet cherry selections is that they grow wide faster than Adara rootstock. In the picture below, Coral (left) and Lapins sweet cherries grafted on Adara at 3 years age. Grafting low maybe a better option, especially for vigorous cultivars.

The scions of Adara are occasionally available at reallygoodplants.com

Late December Mandarins

 I tasted 5 different mandarins today.  In the pictures, they are in the following order, left to right:

Daisy SL
Lee x Nova (Supernova)
Page
Shirokolistvenyi Satsuma
Algerian Clementine

Daisy SL is an excellent sweet and complex mandarin but a week or two past its prime time
Lee x Nova (Supernova) is very sweet and at its peak flavor now
Page is getting ready, sweet and complex, but it will get even better later
Shirokolistvenyi Satsuma very juicy but mild in flavor and the membranes are hard.  This is the first fruiting of this graft on my Algerian Clementine. 
Algerian Clementine is still sour and needs couple more weeks on the tree

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Maple Leaf mulberry

Large fast growing tree with very pleasant fruits in early June. The flavor is intense with high sugar content. It still has some acid, but less than Oscar fruits, that ripen at the same time.

Maple Leaf (left) and Oscar





Buluklu mulberry

 Large fast growing tree with snow white honey-sweet fruits without any acidity. The fruits are about the same size as Oscar mulberry and smaller than 4 season mulberry. Buluklu is in the lower left corner  in the picture below.

Starting from top left: Pakistan, 4 seasons, Saharanpur Local, Shangri La.

Starting from bottom left: Buluklu, Oscar, FL Big Leaf, Illinois Everbearing.



Buluklu (white) and 4 seasons mulberry (black)


Himalayan Mulberry, DMOR9

 

This cultivar is a large and fast growing tree.  It produces excellent fruits, sweet with some acidity, and they are slender than Pakistan. Normally, it fruits before Pakistan and produces just one crop in the Sacramento Valley area. However it produced a second small flash of fruits in October 2020.

This cultivar does not root from cuttings, and it should be grafted onto alba or macroura species.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

White sapote cv. Vernon

 Vernon is a very good cultivar and performs great in Davis, CA.  My tree came from Home Depot in Woodland in 2015.  It produces every year in November- December.  The tree is still small, around 5 ft tall. 

The pictures are from the 2020 harvest.


Monday, December 14, 2020

Long White Mulberries. Saharanpur Local, Australian Green, and Pakistan White.

 These three mulberries are probably the same accession propagated under 3 different names. Saharanpur Local mulberry came to my garden directly from USDA. Australian Green was donated by a friend, and Pakistan White came from a CRFG exchange.  I do not see any differences in the fruit flavor, shape, or the tree size.  The leaf shapes are identical too.

These are very fast-growing large trees that will require pruning. The fruits are long, very sweet, with no acidity. 








Thursday, December 3, 2020

Lubimyi and Girkanets pomegranates

 Lubimyi and Girkanets are late season fruits, ripening from November to December.  Both are hard-seeded and complex in flavor.  

Lubimyi


Lubimyi - Hard-seeded, large seeds, sweet-sour with sweet cherry flavor. Nice flavored, but the seeds are large, probably best for juicing.

Girkanets


Girkanets - Hard-seeded, but the seeds are small, sweet-sour with some tannins. Exceptionally flavored with all attributes of classic pomegranate taste profile. Can be used for fresh eating or juicing.

Girkanets (left) and Lubimyi


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Late November Avocados

 This month I don't have any avocados on my trees.  When my Mexicola tree was young, it used to fruit into November, but this year it started very early, as I remember picking the first fruits in August. Most of Mexicola fruits we harvested by early October. On October 25, I picked the last fruit from my tree. It was a Brazos Belle fruit from a recent graft onto my large Mexicola. The fruit was good, but not as intensely flavored as Mexicola.

In November, I started to buy store avocados.  The first pack of small fruit from a fruit stand made me question if those were even Hass. They were watery, but OK in flavor. The next pack of medium sized Hass from a large store seems to be even worse.  Today I compared one of the Hass fruits with a fruit of Mexican cultivar that my neighbor gifted me.

The Mexican cultivar definitely wins, although it is not very oily, not as nutty as Mexicola, but overall a better one in this comparison. My neighbor does not know the cultivar name. I thought that this is Mexicola Grande, but not sure about it anymore.  More fruits from this tree are in the last picture.  Please comment if you know the variety name.


  

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Pomegranate cultivar Linda

This chance seedling is from the farm of Harvey Correia in Isleton. He grows various excellent cultivars of pomegranates, and he suspects that this tree is a seedling of one of them. The fruits are medium to large in size, very dark. The arils are very large and dark with soft seeds.  The seeds seems to be softer than Desertnyi's seeds. The flavor reminds me of Desertnyi, but a bit sweeter, like a cross with Vina. Overall, an excellent accession, and I am planning to make a tree for myself.



White sapote cultivar Fisch

I have a small graft of Fisch white sapote on my Golden Globe tree. The Fisch graft was from 2018 and produced two ripe fruits in November 2020. The fruits are pretty different from most white sapote cultivars I tasted.  Fisch fruits are dense and do not macerate when overripe. The skin is not bitter and very thin. The flavor is very nice with citrusy notes.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

November fruits of Sacramento Valley

I am planning to write quick posts here on what I have fruiting every months of the year.

November might be the most productive month here in the Sacramento Valley. 

1. Pomegranate - most if not all cultivars are ready

2. Feijoa - midseason cultivars are dropping fruits

3. Persimmons - mostly just Jiro from the old trees on the farm. From the newer grafts, I just collected the first fruit of an old astringent cultivar I call Watermelon.  A few American persimmons, Early Jewel, Lehman's Delight and Meader

4. Citrus - Early satsumas (Okitsu Wase, Miyagawa, Miho Wase), Rangpur Lime, Thornless Mexican lime

5. Tropical guava - My Brazilian seedling produces plenty of fruit 

6. Kei Apple - The productive "Sweet Female #4" - good amount of fruit into November

7. Che - Oregon Exotics is ripe and the production is good

8. Occasionally I pick dragon fruits. On November 11, I picked "Hardy", and on November 21 "Haley's Comet" and "Vietnamese Giant"

9. Cherimoya Fortuna produced one very nice fruit

10. No avocados on my trees, all finished, but my neighbor's tree is fruiting now.  The cultivar might be Mexicola Grande or another Mexican large fruited cultivar.  I need to graft her wood onto my tree.

Watermelon persimmon below
Haley's Comet and Vietnamese Giant dragon fruits
My neighbor's avocados


Friday, November 20, 2020

Early Satsuma mandarins

Okitsu wase satsuma is ready in October, and it is my first mandarin.  It is followed by Miyagawa satsuma, and Miho wase is just starting now.  My Miho wase is grafted onto a Navel orange tree, and the fruits probably would be better if grafted on a regular rootstock or another mandarin.

In the pictures below, left to right are Miho wase, Miyagawa, and Okitsu wase satsumas. 

Okitsu wase is very good starting from October, and it is still the best one out of these three satsumas in November. The outer color of these mandarins are often green and does not reflect the fruit ripeness. 



Thursday, November 19, 2020

Cherimoya cultivar Fortuna

This cultivar was registered by Nino Cupaiuolo with the California Rare Fruit Growers in 1997.  Fortuna is not distributed widely, as it did not make it to any of the large commercial nurseries. La Verne propagates many other cherimoya cultivars, but not Fortuna.  Five years ago I was gifted a small grafted tree by a friend in Southern California.  The tree made it through couple of first harsh winters we had in Davis, and finally started to produce.  I do not expect to get a lot of fruits, as the tree is growing in a very densely planted bed along with a few other trees. Like many home gardeners I grow too many trees in too little space.  Never the less, today I harvested a very nice sweet fruit.  I believe this cultivar deserves a better distribution.  An important attribute of this cultivar is its early fruiting time, that should allow to harvest the fruits before the frosts. We occasionally have them in the Sacramento Valley.


Monday, November 16, 2020

Hylocereus undatus cv. Hardy

Back in 2015 I visited the garden of Leo Manuel in San Diego.  Leo is known for his collection of dragon fruits, mangos, and other tropicals.  The purpose of my visit was to buy the book on dragon fruit written buy Paul Thomson. During the yard visit, Leo offered me two cuttings from the plants that were not well distributed.  One was a hybrid between some tropical species that promptly died in it's first winter in Davis.  The second one was a pure H. undatus acquired from a friend. All he knew is that the plant should be hardier than most.  He called it "Hardy". Five years after, the plant still lives in Davis and occasionally fruits. The flowers are self fertile. The fruit is typical of an undatus. It is large, white fleshed, mildly sweet. The flesh is significantly sweeter in the middle of the fruit as compared to the fruit periphery. The fruit in the pictures below was collected on November 10, 2020 and was of an excellent quality. 


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Kei Apple selections. Sweet female #4

In 2014 I decided to germinate the seeds from the fruit I got from the garden of Edgar Valdivia in Southern California. In 2015 I planted six seedlings by the Western fence in my front yard in Davis, and another five seedlings at the Vacaville farm. While I got the first fruits from my Davis seedlings, these were shy bearers as they only get the sun in the afternoons. In 2020 I didn't get a single fruit from my Davis kei apples. 

This year all five Vacaville trees bloomed, and I could easily sex them by looking at the flowers. I got three females (## 1, 2, 4) and two males (## 3 and 5). 

The first Vacaville tree to come into fruiting was female #4 in 2019. It could be just a dozen or two of fruits last year.  This year, the tree was very fruitful with hundreds of fruits.  The fruits of this tree are unusually sweet for a kei apple.  They still have acid, but they can be eaten easily in large quantities. We started picking the fruits in September and there are still some on the tree in November. Two pictures below are from female #4 taken in September.

Females #1 and #2 produced just a few fruits this year. #1 has unusually dense flesh and more flattened shape than an average kei apple. Below are the fruits I tasted on November 15, 2020.

#1 fruit is very dense and almost crunchy. Definitely a desired characteristic as it will allow for better storage.  The flesh is darker then the other two fruits. This fruit was not as sweet as the fruit from this tree I tasted in September. September fruit was sweet, this fruit was sour.
#2 fruit is more juicy than #1.  The fruit is typical and sour, like a regular Kei Apple fruit.
#4 fruit is significantly sweeter and juicier than the other two fruits. Still, the fruits from this tree seem to be less sweet in November that they were in September.  We already had couple of frosty nights in Vacaville, and this could have affected the accumulation of sugars.  

I have a tasting video made in September. This is for mostly #4 and just one fruit of #1:

Everyone who tasted the fruit from the seedling #4 liked it, so this is a good candidate for growing it more widely.  The tree got a VIP treatment yesterday, as I pruned it to a nice shape that should allow for easier access to the fruit in the following years.

If anyone wants to continue the selection for even sweeter kei apple fruits, the seeds from my female #4 available at reallygoodplants.com 
The seeds need to be started indoors now, and the seedlings should be planted outside in the spring.

  

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Che fruit or Mandarin melon berry cultivar Oregon Exotics

I grow a couple of these, a male and a female. They go under the cultivar name Oregon Exotics, as they were originally distributed by the nursery with this name. The female produces very large sweet fruit that ripen in November. I made both trees in 2017 by grafting the scions onto Osage orange rootstocks. The female started to produce in 2018, and this year (2020) I have a pretty good crop.

The fruits are up to 2 inches and very juicy. Che fruit is very unusual in the fruit world, as it has a very low acidity with the pH of 6.5.
This fruit contained 21 small seeds. They are relatively soft and don’t bother me. 

Che fruits should be consumed when fully ripe, like figs. Before that they will bleed milky sap and will not be really edible. When fully ripe, they are extremely sweet. 

Right now we are also at the end of the Kei Apple ripening season. I happened to have a bit of Kei Apple juice in the fridge. Kei Apple makes a very bright yellow juice on the acidic side. After juicing Che fruits, I got the bright red sweet juice. They combine into a nice drink with good balance of sweet and sour.

Golden kiwi, Actinidia chinensis

 By now I have fruited three different golden (yellow) kiwi accessions. My oldest female is the result of the grafts I made in 2016. The sci...