Articles written by Darryl McCullough (unless otherwise noted)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

And Then There Were Twenty-Seven

The freeze cloths gather dust in my garage, as January continues with barely a chill hour. Still, last Sunday night saw some weather damage of a different sort, as an intense weather front barreled through the Suncoast. The 1.7-inch rainfall in my location was more than welcome, but the winds left their mark.

Monday morning my strawberry containers looked like the aftermath of an orgy of the ring-tailed forest gods, but the fruits were still on, and apart from a bit of spilled potting mix, no harm was done.

One of my unusual specimens, a Moringa stenopetala, was down again, about the same as after last October's flooding rains. I should have left the stake in. It's been righted and restaked, but looks like it's going to defoliate. Maybe it's a goner, but moringas are tough so I am hopeful.

The papayas, of course, were all over the place. I've begun the fallen papaya recovery sequence, standing them up and bracing them with heavy sand packed in around the trunk. I expect that at least one of the two broadleaf papayas is destined for the next step--- chopping off at 4 feet--- but we'll see how things go.

A couple of newly planted jaboticabas, a Red and a Grimal, were pushed partway over. I think this was as much due to erosion of the loosely packed soil around the root balls as to the wind. But they've been stood up and repacked, and seem fine.

More impressively, this Grimal in a 25-gallon container was on its side, again with soft ground more than likely aiding the wind. But jabos are tough, and again no harm done.

The real damage was to my Coconut Cream mango, planted back in August of 2013. With its 4-inch trunk and a couple of fine fruit last summer, it seemed to be on the road to good production this year.

No such luck. Monday morning the trunk was still there, but the rest was 50 feet away. Steve Cucura told me he had heard of this problem with Coconut Cream mangos, and indeed there is a thread at Tropical Fruit Forum that documents some cases. It's said to be a "compatibility problem" at the graft union. CC's can exhibit a peculiar growth habit, as if they aeren't quite sure which way is up, and maybe this is somehow related. Whatever the reason, my collection of 28 mangos is now 27, but I can't complain about that. And for me, a no-freeze winter would be more than a fair trade. But we're still a ways from that.

No comments:

Post a Comment