Residential Lawn & Garden

Fruit FAQs

For information on other topics visit our A-Z Gardening Index.

If you'd like you can e-mail us a Florida gardening question.

I would like to grow a Pecan tree. Which variety do you recommend?

The three pecans recommended for Central Florida are Curtis, Mooreland, and Desirable. However, these are recommended as shade trees and should not be expected to produce quality pecans. There are several diseases and pests (like squirrels) that have a significant effect on the yield and quality of the nuts. It is cheaper to buy shelled pecans than to spray these diseases.

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Every year I get little worms in my peaches, pears, guavas and papayas. What are they and can anything be done?

These are probably the larvae of the Caribbean fruit fly. This pest is a problem on all fruits which are fleshy and which stay on the tree a long time before ripening. The fly deposits an egg just below the surface of the skin and the larvae feeds throughout the fruit as it matures. Upon maturity, a fly emerges from the fruit. The larvae are usually so numerous the fruit is inedible. Frequent and persistent appropriate sprays throughout the fruiting period will give only poor results in controlling this pest; bagging fruits with paper bags is probably more effective.

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I grew an avocado from seed and planted it in my yard 5 years ago, but I have yet to see a bloom or fruit. What can I do to make it bloom?

Avocados grown from seed rarely produce fruit before 8 to 10 years, and such fruit may be of poor quality. The homeowner who wants an avocado tree for its fruit production should either obtain a young grafted tree or propagate his own. Budded or grafted trees will produce within 2 or 3 years. (This fact holds true for citrus also).

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Why aren't my blueberries growing well?

Most likely your soil pH is too high. Blueberries like very acid soil between 4.0 and 5.5. Most of the soil in our area is not naturally this acid. Soil can be acidified before planting by thoroughly mixing 3/4 pound of elemental sulfur per 100 square feet and/or by adding 1/4 to 1/2 cubic feet of sphagnum peat moss into the planting hole. Established blueberries can be fertilized with "azalea-camellia fertilizer" to provide nutrients and to help acidify the soil. Spread fertilizer evenly over a circle of two feet in diameter with the plant in the center. Repeat in April, June, August, and October. The "Blueberry Gardener's Guide" provides more details.

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The leaves on my fig tree turn spotty, brown and drop. What is the problem?

Fig rust, a very common disease of figs appears on the leaves as small, rust colored spots. The leaves then drop and without adequate foliage, few fruits are set. There is no chemical control of fig rust. Rake fallen leaves from around the plant (they are a source of infection for next year) and apply a thick organic mulch afterwards.

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Blueberries

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