David L. Green wrote:I remember reading an article years ago, about growing apples in Ecuador. They were grown at a suitable elevation, so it was not a tropical environment. But neither was there any real seasonal changes. So they were stripping the leaves off the trees to simulate winter dormancy. I wonder if you know anything about this experiment, Robert? I think maybe they did some other things as well, but I can't remember all the details.
beth Cromwell wrote:[...] then googled directions that said to cool the seeds in damp peat in the fridge from November to Jan or so! Really? [...] Any hope?
Ken W Wilson wrote:I wonder why they use crab apple? It seems like they'd use a useful variety for a pollinator.
Robert Sniadach wrote:Here in a semi-arid sub-tropical area of Ecuador, citrus of all kinds (but esp madarins) and avocados grow everywhere. Most of the locals have been planting and re-planting their huertas (small orchards around the house) for probably centuries. Literally everyone grows a lot of their own food, including abundant citrus and avos. As you might imagine, genetic drift, spontaneous mutations, newly introduced varieties and whatnot have all played their part to offer a crazy diversity of citrus and avos. As far as I can tell, all the old-timers just plant avo seeds as they want, and inevitably the result is good, or at least decent. You can find all sorts of variations at the market. There are lots of subtle variations of mandarins/tangerines, all grown from seed, up until about 20 years ago, when new grafted varieties began showing up. We've got several small orchards on our property, and there must be 20 different types of mandarins growing on very old trees, all from seed, and all of them ripening at slightly different times.
Maureen Atsali wrote:I need more trees.
We have an abundance of avocados and mangoes. The parent trees were planted by the "grands". My observations are that the mangoes are smaller, uglier, but much sweeter than the parent. I prefer the taste of the second generation mangoes, although size and appearance probably make them less marketable. Avocadoes seem to be a mixed bag. Some are great, some produce a watery, flavorless fruit. Fifty-fifty.
Are there any recommendations for tropical fruits from seed? There are so few choices here, apart from mangoes and avos. I wanted to try starting seeds from fruits at the market, or from some imported pits. Red plums are on the market, and a pear of unknown variety. They grow macadamia nuts on the coast, but I haven't been able to get raw nuts or seedlings. There are apples, but I think they might be imported. Oranges are sour here, but edible. And there are extremely seedy lemons. I would love to experiment with some other stuff, that doesn't need cold dormancy... Any ideas? Would almonds grow here? Peaches? Olives?
Maureen Atsali wrote:JJ, while I think most of the fruits you listed could grow here - for whatever reason they just aren't. (Except the loquat, I believe that is what they call lisibibi here, and I bought a couple seedlings for that.). Biodiversity just isn't here. Maybe near Nairobi, but not way out here. I'll have to look into importing seeds if I want more diversity.
And now I have to google miracle berry bush. I learn something new every day.
I looked up dragon fruit. Definitely never seen that here.
Maureen Atsali wrote:David, we do have lots of bananas. I never mentioned them because they aren't really a tee and have no seeds.
Tea is grown as close as kakamega, but I am not really interested in starting a tea plantation. A couple bushes for fun and personal consumption might be nice!
Some things mentioned - Like cashews and macademias are only grown on the coast. Does that mean they can't be adapted to grow in western Kenya, or that nobody has tried? Hmm.
Jackfruit - my husband says it can be found in nurseries, so I do plan to add it... For fun and diversity. I find the fruit kind of repulsive. Like biting into a perfume bottle.
Thank you for posting the Kenyan links. That newspaper publication "seeds of gold" usually has a classified section, which I try to scan weekly (when I remember to buy a paper). Sometimes there are listings for unusual fruits, but mostly its the 'usual' mangoes and avos.
Point well taken that shipping seeds might not work. Bummer.
Thanks everyone for the feedback about tropical trees, so much appreciated.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:
Growing fruit trees from seed is indeed a long term investment since it will be a minimum of 7 years from sprouting to first fruiting and more likely 10 years to a decent harvest quantity.
Elizabeth Basden wrote:I once worked with a woman who had a bounty of oranges from a 10 year old tree. One family picnic, grandpa ate his store-bought orange, scooped some dirt into a styrofoam cup, put the seed in. Ten years later the tree was higher than the garage and produced more oranges than the family could ever eat. She brought baskets of oranges for quite a while. They tasted great. In my experience, it works.
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