Skip to main content
angoes from a mango tree in South Florida landscape

UF/IFAS Tropical Fruit Tuesdays sows what you need to grow, maintain tropical fruit trees

  • Tropical Fruit Tuesdays offer homeowners and commercial growers the latest information on what fruit trees to select, grow and manage in the Sunshine State’s tropical regions.
  • The virtual workshop, launched as a call to action after the onset of COVID-19, is led by tropical fruit experts at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Miami-Dade County.
  • Learn in less than an hour the key points, from planting to pruning, on a specific fruit or themed topic each month.
Image- lychees from a tree in Homestead

Lychees from a tree in a Homestead, FL landscape. Photo Courtesy of UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright

MIAMI-DADE, Fla. —  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 scheduled webinars 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 the 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.

-30-

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.
ifas.ufl.edu  @UF_IFAS