Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Strange Dragon Fruit Disease?

Some one from Puerto Rico (PR) has posted to me  about this strange 'disease' on dragon fruit. Just like look closely what is it? Send your findings to me.
What do you on the pitaya barnch?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Visit To Dragon Fruit, Kendal,Semarang Indonesia

I had the opportunity to visit Semarang again. This time is much easier to go there because there is a daily  flight from Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT ) via Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur to Semarang; the journey took about two and half hours. Semarang is  the fourth biggest in Indonesia besides Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya. The airport is Ahmad Yani International Airport. The climate is hot and dry.

My way to Kendal, Semarang. The banner saying don't touch drugs or nacortics even a little bit
A beautiful big mosque in Kendal town, a two-hour from Semarang City

Red dragon fruits, not mature yet with little white spots.

'Choo Ka Nan' mango with anthracnose but could be controlled.
Discussion with Johnny and me in red white T-shirt together with others

I went to a dragon fruit farm which is about 6 hectares. The purpose of my visit is to observe how dragon fruits are grown on reclaim  soggy soil. The soil is black and very wet, but they manage the soil by mounting. Meaning that they make small mounts at each stake to drain the water. The growth of  dragon fruits is extremely good with lightings. I only manage to see a little disease and they kept the field very clean.   All pruned branches were grounded and mixed with left-over shrimps in containers for fourty days. The organic fertilizer is done sprayed to plants as foliar fertilizers. They also added extra manure to each stake. The yield mentioned is about 1-2 ton per hectare during this season and can be  more. The plants were only four-year old.I observed that the self-made organic fertilizer is natural and contains chitin from prawn that is able to protect from diseases naturally. Adjacent to the farm, they had  about 25 big shrimp ponds and six power station was installed.

Besides, they grow mango in this farm with Choo Ka Nan variety. I tasted the fruits and it is extremely sweet and less fibre. I asked them why they are interested to plant this variety. The answer is that the price is very much higher than Indonesian mangoes like Harumanis or Mana Lagi. However, this Thailand variety need good pre-harvest treatment because it is sensitive to disease and insect attacks. One obvious disease I observe is anthracnose  which cause black spots on the fruits and the other is bruising due to mite attack.
Dragon fruits grown or reclaim soils with lightings installed

Well developed  four-year old dragon fruits plants

Me and Johnny at  one hectare wax apple plants

Ciku or sapota  roots infected by disease

Other plants I manage to observe was chiku or 'sawo' or sapota. This plants thrieve well on reclaim soil, however there are few root disease which attack the plants.The 'sawo' or chiku is very very sweet and flowering was tremendous. There are also 'anona' or custard apple, which is growing well.

There was also 'jambu air' or aqua. It is very crunchy,seedless and sweet. The trees had very intense canopy. I manage to advise so that to prune 'open-center' system in which the central leader is cut-off and let  the light pass through. It encourages ventilation and flowering.

My host Pak Harsono and wife after having dinner at Hotel Candi, Semarang. We had delicious dinner with fish and big prawns specially cooked for us. My wife Yati also with me.