By Eunice Messner

I have two varieties of carambola and neither one blossomed or set fruit last year, even though I fertilized with cottonseed meal. A few months ago I foliar sprayed the trees with "Fert-all" (Iron
oxide and Ligno Sultonic Acid derivatives made by Grow-More). The trees soon took on a very lush, healthy look and are now starting to bloom. This may also be a boast for your citrus, avocados, eugenias, etc.
My carambolas have filtered sun in the morning. Sixty per-cent shade was an earlier recommendation but now "they" are saying - full sun. The carambola test plot at the Irvine Field Station is doing very well in full sun.

I learned from Doug Richardson (the former commercial banana grower in coastal Ventura County) that he puts a handful of Sul-Po-Mag down in the hole when he plants a banana. These are essential nutrients that I also incorporate in my soil for vegetables. A sprinkling of mycorrhizae on the roots at planting time is also especially helpful to bananas and other fleshy rooted plants that don't have root hairs (avocado, citrus). Orange County Farm Supply carries a 50# bag of Sul-Po-Mag for only $12 - a bargain for this great organic fertilizer. After you have planted your banana, put some EZ Green chicken compost on top of the soil and cover with compost or apply some humates and you will have a happy banana. And, if for pure visual enjoyment you want to look at a macho, majestic banana, plant the OGoldfinger'. Tasty, too.

If you would like to pose a question on-line to other growers of a particular fruit, then join one of the following fruit forums:

Leo Manuel, a CRFG member, is web master. He posts the questions and answers bi-monthly but you can correspond directly to members, too.

Bob Cannon in tropical Florida posts all questions and answers on receipt. Some members of these forums exchange seeds and scionwood, too.


The article I quoted last month about the OCoffee Cake' persimmon said they should be pollinated by the ¹Fuyu' persimmon or they would be astringent. Frank James pointed out that ¹Fuyu' has no male blossoms (except ¹Cal-Fuyu', which is no longer propagated). Gary Matsuoka says his OCoffee Cake' had seeds and was pol-linated by the OChocolate' persimmon. But, without its pollination, it was like a regular OFuyu'. He did not find OCoffee Cake' a particularly impressive fruit, so let¹s cross this one off our wish list.