Now is the Time...

by Eunice Messner

NOW is a good a time as any to check on your citrus for scale and if you had rust mites damage the cosmetic appearance of your fruits, spray with lime sulfur and oil. Rust mite turns the skin a dull,

gray/tan color. You might as well prune out dead branches and cut your tree to a manageable height

before you spray. (It will make you feel good, too, to accomplish all these tasks and – it offers a little

shade.

PILLOW GREENHOUSE

If you've been to England lately you may have visited the new giant geodesic domed ‘pillow' greenhouses at the Eden Project in Cornwall. This horticultural attraction, on 123 acres, features three biomes; the largest, covering 4 acres, is 180' tall and houses tropicals and a waterfall. Since steel and rigid glazings would have been far too heavy for such huge structures, the biomes are glazed with giant interlocking, hexagonal panels of air-filled transparent material described as a plastic-like Teflon-based foil.

If you'd like to make your own pillow glazing, use two sheets of a long-life clear plastic, each 2" wider than the space between the framing members of the greenhouse. Install a valve of the type used to inflate

plastic toys in one of the sheets with vinyl cement. Then take the sheets to a plastics fabricator (look in the yellow pages) and have each pair electronically sealed together all around – one inch from the edges.

Each fused section is laid between the framing members, with the valve inside the greenhouse, and the 1" outer edge is stapled or taped to the member it lays on. A 2" wide batten or strip of tape can be used

over the staples. The pillow is then ready to be inflated, just enough to give it a pleasing curve. I hope there is one of you out there whose dream is to grow their own mangosteen, durian and breadfruit tree.

FREEBIES

Elixir cherimoya scions will be available at the meeting. I had 100% take when I grafted last August on ˝" rootstock. Elixir is progeny of a Fino de Jette fruit. It has a slightly yellow skin, large size, superior flavor and fewer seeds than most cherimoyas. I have registered it as a new cultivar.

Also, I will be removing my Kohala longan in the spring to create a planting space for my Carnival mango Though it may be a little late, if anyone is so inclined to try airlayering the Kohala tree, they are welcome to all of it.

MORE ON CHERIMOYA

My Pierce cherimoya has an extremely heavy crop of fruit set this year. This is without hand pollinating. I merely hose it down mid-mornings when the weather is hot. Unfortunately, the Elixir is growing on my neighbor's property that I take care of. It didn't get hosed down much—so far less fruit is set and they are also not perfectly formed. So much for my resolution to take better care of that tree.