UF/IFAS Tropical Fruit Tuesdays Sows What You Need To Grow, Maintain Tropical Fruit Trees

For some, the pandemic brought with it an unexpected interest in all things gardening and growing, including cultivating herbs, vegetables and fruit trees.

If you love fruit trees, wish to grow some on your property, and have 45 minutes to spare on a Tuesday at 2 p.m., then make a placeholder on your schedule for Tropical Fruit Tuesdays.

Jeff Wasielewski, a UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County commercial tropical fruit agent, leads the virtual workshop series with a mission. His goal is to teach and empower homeowners and commercial growers the key points of selecting, planting, growing, and maintaining fruit trees that are perfect for subtropical and tropical counties. Each episode focuses on a specific tree or a growing or maintenance technique.

“The information is presented in an easy-to-understand manner, but covers beginning and advanced topics,” he said.

Wasielewski, who is gearing up for his 16th episode, will cover basic integrated pest management techniques during  the next workshop set for June 8 at 2 p.m. He stresses to interested attendees that pesticides are only one tool in your belt, not the only tool.

For this next episode, he will focus on other ways to combat pests that can impact fruit trees. To register, use the following link https://bit.ly/3pgbS20 or email Wasielewski at sflhort@ufl.edu to receive invites.

Over the last 15 workshops, he has covered topics including how to grow a variety of trees including avocado, lychees, sapodillas, mamey, canistels, carambolas, mango and jackfruit. Other topics covered include planting tips and tricks, grafting, propagation by seed, cuttings and division, pruning, air-layering, and fertilizer basics.

All previous workshops are available for viewing on the UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade YouTube site.

Upcoming webinars scheduled include:

  • July 13, 2 – 2:45 p.m. : Growing Mangoes in South Florida
  • August 17, 2- 2:45 p.m. : Aftercare. What to do to your tree after it has fruited or after it has been planted.
  • September 14, 2 – 2:45 p.m. : Propagation by cuttings and division.

The workshop, which typically draws between 50 and 100 participants, provides benefits to homeowners and commercial growers and is best for those who are in counties that enjoy sub-tropical and tropical climates of southeast and southwest Florida.

“For homeowners, the information is presented in an easy to understand manner, addresses typical tropical fruit tree problems, and provides time for questions and answers,” he said. “For growers, new cultivars are discussed, along with instruction on cultural practices, propagation and pest control.”

If you want to suggest a topic, get more information about Tropical Fruit Tuesdays, or looking to be added to the email list for upcoming topics and reminders, email Wasielewski at sflhort@ufl.edu.

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