Sunday, January 18, 2009

Planting the jaboticaba

1. Use a can of spray paint to mark the diameter of your circle, I use a piece of string trimmer string tied to bamboo stake, then hold the string in the hand with the can of paint and walk the circle, spraying it.

2.Dig the outline of the circle, severing all grass roots.

3. Remove 1 foot wide sections of grass by digging in deep under the roots from all sides, use the spade to cut the strip into two feet sections, shake off soil and place in wheelbarrow.

4. Once all grass is removed, I dig straight down on the edge and pile the dirt up towards the center, this forms a small "dam" and a deep trench that will help to stop the grass invading.

5. Dig a hole about twice the size of the container, don't dig to deep, for sub-tropical fruit trees, you want the top inch or two to stick out.

6. Fill the hole with water.

7. Mix some mulch with soil, I'm using Eco friendly cypress mulch, bought on sale at $2.25 per bag. Fill in around the plant with the soil/mulch mixture, then tamp it down.
Water well, I use the shower setting and hold it quite close to fill all air pockets.

8. Tamp it down some more (note the two inches sticking out).

9. Place some soil on top of the tamped down mulch/soil, then water it in some more.

10. Use the remaining mulch and add more until the two inches that are sticking out is level with the surrounding soil/mulch, cover the rest of the heap with mulch. Make sure you leave at least a couple inches of soil around the trunk bare, don't let the mulch touch the trunk. I used two bags.

11. Water some more.

12. For the next month, water daily until established.

13. After a month or two, fertilize with appropriate fertilizer. I use a proprietary mix from Excalibur Rare Fruit Trees for sub-tropical fruit trees.


  1. Hi,
    Just letting you know there is no such ting as eco-friendly cypress mulch. The industry has no certification process and the claims on the package are completely false.

    Cypress mulch comes from clear cutting our country's wetlands. The cypress trees are then chipped whole for the sole purpose of making mulch. I recommend you visit for the truth.

  2. Thanks for the eye-opener. In my hasty to save a few bucks, I made the mistake to assume eco friendly means sustainable harvested. After visiting the link you gave I'm not so sure anymore. Anyway, Home Depot sells Eucalyptus mulch here, its $2.95 per 2cf, so a little more expensive than cypress mulch at $2.25. I have also been using pine bark nuggets to mulch some of my other fruit trees, its also a little more expensive at $2.77 per 2cf. I like the pine bark nuggets, it really looks nice. I've been contemplating my mulch options, I have to phone the Boynton Beach City and check if they have a mulching/composting operation.

  3. TBG:
    All the other options you mentioned are fine choices. I'm glad you took a moment out of your day to educate yourself. Obviously using yard waste either from your yard or from your local govt. is the best option. Eucalyptus is farmed, it is fast growing and makes for a decent mulch.

    If you belong to a gardening club or otherwise please be sure to let them know what is happened to Florida and other states due to the cypress mulch industry.

    happy gardening!!!!!

  4. I wish they would make a bugger effort to harvest and eradicate the Maleluca that is overtaking the Everglades and wetlands here in South Florida.

    I have also wondered about the Brazilian Pepper Tree ( ). Surely it could also be used as mulch ? Its one of the most aggressive invasive species known today.

  5. Hi again,
    As I understand it, there is one company that makes Maleluca mulch. I think it is costly to make as they have to "cook it" to kill all the seed pods. But there is someone that is doing it and it is supposed to make for good mulch.

    Also need to be careful, I know that tree is bad but if the market grows large it is possible that they can harm the hydrology of the swamps with large machinery when removing the invasives. Just a thought. I guess like everything there is no real simple answer to a complex problem like invasives.

    Ok signing off for real this time.