Posted by oakandsage on 2015-08-17 16:57:17 UTC


I got nearly 10 lbs of fruit from my San Marzano tomato last week, and the first three Arkansas Traveler fruit came ripe this weekend. Beefmaster is still thinking about it; I fear I'll receive a late glut of Beefmaster all at once. The yard long beans are doing great and I just picked my third bunch.

Three of the four surviving grapes are doing great. I think a gopher may have eaten the roots of the fourth though, or else it REALLY can't handle hot weather. Two days ago, I noticed that the tip of the leader was a little floppy; today every leaf on the entire vine looks like somebody cut the stem and left it in the sun to wilt. I gave all the vines extra water today, especially since I didn't water yesterday. I don't think it'll make it, though. I strongly suspect gophers because the wilting was just so sudden and complete. I could cut it back to just a few leaves in the hopes that it'll re-root, I suppose.

A couple days ago I noticed a tiny fig on the Kadota fig tree I planted three months ago. Young fruit trees often have a fruit or two set on them at the nursery, perhaps partly due to stress from outgrowing their pots, so I figured it was probably one of those and it might be a good sign for the tree being old enough to bear next year but it didn't necessarily mean anything.

Today I went out to check on the orchard and there were several more. Enough that this looks like an ACTUAL CROP. I'm having a hard time believing this tree is going to fruit, for reals, the same year I planted it, but that seems to be the case.

The other trees are doing well. I thinned the new branches on the Suebelle white sapote down to my favorite three.

At the CA festival of fruit, I purchased a big (15gal? 30gal? Freakin' huge) white sapote from Bonita Creek Nursery. The guys there didn't speak much english (according to them... I thought their english was great and a hell of a lot better than my spanish, which is basically non-existent despite repeated efforts), and they also couldn't remember what cultivar it was except it was "not Suebelle" (confirmed by lack of fuzz on the leaves) and they told me it was "very sweet" and "good fruit." It had 2 fruit nearly ripe when I got it and lots of unopened blossoms.

One of the fruit fell off during the drive and ripened off the tree this weekend. It was a good sized fruit, a little bigger than the ones usually at the farmer's market, and green skinned with just a hint of yellow blush. The skin was very thin, no unpleasant bitterness to either skin or fruit (even the part where the fruit bruised a bit), and with a stronger burnt-caramel flavor than the farmer's market fruits. I'm quite satisfied with my purchase; many cultivars' fruit won't ripen off the tree. That and the other characteristics should at least be able to narrow the cultivar down.

Anyway the second fruit, still on the tree, is becoming soft to the touch. I believe I will pick and eat it tonight or tomorrow. As if they were only waiting for the last fruit to ripen, the flower buds on the tree have opened, so I may get a winter crop as well, if I can keep the tree happy.

This spring it will be time to decide whether to plant it or keep it in the big pot it's in. I know white sapote do better in the ground, but it's such a huge tree it'd be a pita to plant, and if it's flowering and fruiting in its pot, it might be better not to mess with what works.

I also planted two bananas - Raja puri (bareroot) and blue java (potted) - for the greywater system. Right now they're on drip irrigation while they're getting established, but eventually they'll be hopefully getting 100% of their water from greywater. Raja puri, of course, is doing nothing - bareroot bananas can take a bit to stop sulking - but blue java was already putting out a new leaf before I transplanted it, so I'm hopeful that it will establish quickly. I hope raja puri does come out of its bareroot sulk and root, though, because I hear it's a great cultivar.