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Please welcome new members here and if you have not introduced yourself yet, take a minute to let people know a little bit about yourself.

Hi from Arizona

Postby ajbcirc » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:37 pm

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ajbcirc
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:02 pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 9b, Sunset Zone 13
Long time lurker, first time registered user to Cloudforst.

I live out in Phoenix, Zone 8b on a pretty decent size lot. I have roughly 30 fruit trees on the property -- mostly stonefruit (peaches, plums, apricots), apples (dorsetts, fujis, galas), figs, and citrus (oroblancos, tangerines, one kieffer lime).

For the last three or so years, I've moved on to tropicals, mostly Lavene stuff that I could get from Lowes. I have a few Manila mangos, a Mexican cream guava, a Red Malayasian, and one Big Jim loquat. This year, I've added on two Timotayo mangos and a Nam Doc Mai that's been having some leaf issues (see the exotic fruit forum post).

The biggest problem with growing out in Phoenix are our weather extremes. We can easily have stretches of 115+ degree high days in summer and days in winter that can have highs of 70 during the day and lows of anywhere from 25 to 30 at night. This can make traditional container gardening for tropicals a monumental challenge.

Re: Hi from Arizona

Postby Axel » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:04 pm

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Axel
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Posts: 3533
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: Hanalei Bay, HI & Fallbrook, CA
Climate Zone: 12b/H2 & 10b/S23
Welcome to the Cloudforest. Arizona is a tough climate to grow fruits in, but you do have plenty of heat, and quite a few tropicals including mangoes thrive in that. I would certainly love to hear about how you manage with apples in that heat. Your guavas must be delicious!
Tropical gardening in both Kaua'i windward Sunset H2/USDA 12b and Fallbrook Sunset 23/USDA 10b.

Re: Hi from Arizona

Postby ajbcirc » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:31 am

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ajbcirc
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:02 pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 9b, Sunset Zone 13
Apples tend to do pretty well here, strangely enough. The low chill varieties (Anna, Dorsett, Beverly Hills) grow like weeds here in extreme full sun and I get a ton of fruit in the summer. Unfortunately, much of that is mealy if it isn't picked early, due to the maturation in the extreme heat. The low chill varieties also don't tend to hold very well. I've resigned myself to use them for baking and apple sauce.

Certain dessert apples (Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady) also do well here. I don't get quite the crop that my lower chill trees produce (my three full size Fujis produce half as much as one of my Dorsetts), but the apples taste extremely sweet. I don't really have much of a fruit drop problem, despite the heat and occasional water stress issue in July/August.

Guavas are fairly similar. Most guava varieties that mature in the summer (Turnbull and "Tropic Pink") taste mealy. The exception appears to be Mexican Cream (a yellow/white variety). The fall varieties tend to produce exceptional fruit here. The big problem with guavas here is their frost sensitivity -- if the temp drops under 30, the trees completely defoliate and the trees fail to flower in the spring. I've resigned myself to putting them in pots and greenhousing them during "winter" here if I want to try for fruit.

This year I have a few Laverne Suebell White Sapotes in the ground. Anecdotal evidence here shows that they're as tough as limes in regards to frost in Arizona (meaning, only occasionally covering is needed). The fruit, suprisingly enough, is very good in Arizona -- or so I've been told by a few of the CRFG members who sweat it out here.

Re: Hi from Arizona

Postby Axel » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:41 am

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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: Hanalei Bay, HI & Fallbrook, CA
Climate Zone: 12b/H2 & 10b/S23
I recommend you try some other apple varieties. Summer ripening apples aren't good for Arizona. Beverly Hills is famous for being heat intolerant, it will never ripen properly in Arizona.

Fuji should grow well for you. The only reason dorsett golden produces so much is because it's a highly spurring variety - it's not necessarily a chill issue. Fujis do well throughout inland Southern California, which gets less chill than you do.

If you want good dorsett golden apples, I would recommend stripping the first crop of the year and waiting for it to bloom again. It will bloom again in the late Spring to early Summer and give you a Fall crop that should be higher quality.

There are a number of other varieties that ripen late and don't need a lot of chill. William's pride should be a great apple for the desert, it's from Western Australia. Granny Smith is also an excellent choice, ripening in January, (they are sweet lemon yellow apples when tree ripened.)

Bramley's seedling is good for hot climates, and so is Rome Beauty.

I should send you some "Santa Cruz" white sapote wood, it's a large tree and has survived in Santa Cruz for over 30 years. It's hardy down to the low 20's.
Tropical gardening in both Kaua'i windward Sunset H2/USDA 12b and Fallbrook Sunset 23/USDA 10b.

Re: Hi from Arizona

Postby ajbcirc » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:46 am

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ajbcirc
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:02 pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 9b, Sunset Zone 13
I'll definitely try stripping the early crop next year on the Dorsetts. I didn't realize that it could theoretically give two crops a year. That being said, September and October are still pretty hot months in Arizona, with temperatures stil in the low to mid 90s until Halloween. Would I still have issues with mealy fruit? The Fujis haven't been an issue since I've been picking them ripe in November.

Re: Hi from Arizona

Postby RodneyS » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:50 am

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RodneyS
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Posts: 549
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:41 am
Location: Cerritos, CA
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 11a
Greetings, ajbcirc. Please post pics of your desert oasis when you get the chance

Re: Hi from Arizona

Postby Steve in Brookings » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:20 pm

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Steve in Brookings
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Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:16 pm
Climate Zone: SSZ 5/17 - USDA 9b
Zone 8b in Phoenix? You mean 9b, don't you? A zone 8b climate would see winter lows from 15-20F on a fairly regular basis. Even most of Tucson is 9a (8b when you get out of the urban heat island).

Re: Hi from Arizona

Postby ajbcirc » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:49 pm

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ajbcirc
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:02 pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 9b, Sunset Zone 13
It's listed on multiple sites as 8b. I had always assumed that meant 15-20 as the extreme low for that zone. In fact, during the big killing frost of 2010 (we tend to get those every 5 or so years), the lowest it dipped to was about 24 degrees for an hour or two.

Now I have a good idea why the Sunset zones are often the preferred way to delineate temperature hardiness in the West.





.

Re: Hi from Arizona

Postby nullzero » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:08 pm

nullzero
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:26 pm
Climate Zone: Sunset Zone 21
ajbcirc,

Would love to see pictures of all the trees, sounds like you have a edible garden going.


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