TRUE PLANT STORIES
Follow HGTV Garden Show Host, and long time nurseryman Gary Gragg around as he explores the world of plants and landscape design.
Gary Gragg's Botanical Videos
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MANGO
I found what I believe to be the largest, most consistently fruiting, mature, unprotected mango tree in the world, meaning the farthest from the equator and closest to the Arctic Circle based purely on degrees of latitude. This tree lies at 38 degrees north latitude. This mango tree has been happily growing in a Pittsburgh front yard on the north face of a two-story stucco faced home for the past eight years and started as a simple Philippine mango seedling. It’s proud owner is originally from India and didn’t think twice about planting a mango in front of his house like the trees he grew up with as a child in his home country. The tree is helped out by being in a beneficial climate zone with gentle sloping land that cold air drains away from and lies along a banana belt created by this upland topography and it’s proximity to the cold winter low temperature moderating effect of the large body of water that is the junction of the San Joaquin rivers and Sacramento rivers. Furthermore, the entire front yard is a massive heat sink in that it is completely paved in concrete that meets up to the concrete sidewalk which then meets up to the large asphalt road. All of this paving releases heat at night. This tree could not ask for a better micro climate. It is all of these things that are coming together to create the most perfect spot for this tree to thrive far far far away from its more tropical range. The owner mentioned to me that the tree only has about 30% of the fruit it originally had for this season as he has picked lots of the fruit as of the filming date of August 10, 2018. He furthermore explained that the tree never once suffered from cold damage and fruits reliably every year. This tree proves that it is very possible to not only grow mango trees in the San Francisco Bay area and Northern California in general, but to successfully fruit them every year, and with global warming knocking on our door and ratcheting up temperatures year by year, it seems feasible to consider commercial growing of this fruit in the most protected microclimates of the bay which have enjoy low-temperature protection but that also retain significant amounts of heat during the summer. Most frost free locations in the Bay Area are so becuase of proximity to the modertating effects of the Pacific Ocean and as such are also cool, San Francisco being the best example. Mangos rather, like Marylin Monroe, LIKE IT HOT. This then would favor the thermal cold air draining belts of the Bay Area further inland away from the direct ocean maritime air influence. Currently, it is impossible to procure fresh, local, organically grown mangoes in the San Francisco Bay Area.I believe this will change over the next 20 years. Mark my word. UPDATE 8/14/18- And as I further research Mango culture away from the equator, I see that in in the hills of Southern most Spain near Malaga at about 36-37 degrees north latitude (about the same as Santa Cruz and San Jose), mangos are grown on a commercial scale. This tells me that it is quite likely that a larger unprotected Mango lies further north than this Pittsburg tree either in Spain, Portugal, or possibly another Mediterranean country. I am of course most interested in what is happening in the US and particularly California. I would love to have anyone growing mangos further north in California send me pics or a video and if their tree is larger than this tree, is fruiting, is grown without winter protection, I will crown it "Northern Most Mango" (at least in the Western Hemisphere).
EATING NORTHERN CALIFORNIA GROWN MANGOS
Who knew you could ever chomp down on juicy delectable freshly grown LOCAL mangoes in the San Francisco Bay Area? The dream is real. Gary Gragg of Golden Gate Palms Nursery (www.goldengatepalms.com) shows us that not only can the dream be had, but even that tiny little mangoes can be enjoyed just as well as the large fatties. DELICIOUS!!!!
GRAFTED VERSES NON GRAFTED MANGOS
Gary Gragg of Golden Gate Palms Nursery (www.goldengatepalms.com) shows how very young grafted containerized nursery trees have the ability to fruit right away whereas seedling grown ungrafted plants are hardier and faster growing but take much longer to fruit. Like everything in life, it is a trade off. Also explained is how it is better for a younger plant to not carry fruit thereby diverting energy to growth.
MONSTER PINKERTON AVOCADO
My very first Pinkerton Avocado home grown in Lafayette, CA on a tree that struggled with the deer for many years. It finally grew above their reach and flushed out, flowered and heavily fruited yielding a batch of HUMONGOUS GINOURMOUS MONSTER avocados and Raea Gragg gets the first ceremonial taste of this incredible fruit. to order and avocado tree for your home, go to our website at www.goldengatepalms.com.
Gary Gragg of Golden Gate Palms Nursery demonstrates biological control of gophers that may be damaging your garden. Every time Gary encounters a gopher snake crossing a road or highway, he stops all traffic and saves the snake from certain doom, brings them home, and releases them where he's having his worst gopher problems in the garden.
SUPER AWESOME WELL GROWN AVOCADO NURSERY TREES
Golden Gate Palms high Quality well grown avocado trees are demonstrated by Gary Gragg where we grow them. Lots of sun and wind exposure and well spaced trees ensure a healthy, vigorous product compared to most other growers producing trees under shade or in tighter confine. These are the highest quality avocado trees available in the market and much more ready and able to thrive in the more climate challenged regions of Northern California.
Hotel California Byron Hot Springs
I was hired to relocate some palms from the Byron Hot Springs property elsewhere and, although I always heard about the haunted hotel out in Byron that some brave kids would occasionally go to for kicks just 10 miles from where I grew up in nearby Clayton, I never went myself until moving the palms recently. I became slightly obsessed with this place and learned all I could about it. As I researched its intriguing history I kept hearing the Eagles song "Hotel California" echo around in my mind. I have also been slightly obsessed with the Hotel California song since I was a child when it first came out, conjuring up images of what the Hotel California in the song must have been like. I then realized, at least for me, The Byron Hot Springs Hotel IS the Hotel California. I suddenly had a mission. Make a video out of it and show off all the wonderful imagery people have captured of the place and marry it to the song. I have taken liberties with imagery found on the internet and if you see imagery that you own and you want it removed from this video or if you would like to be credited, please let me know and I can edit it out and repost. Please realize though that the video is purely non profit and educational to show off this piece of Americana history. I hope you have enjoyed watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Monster Palm Rescue/Dirty Jobs Submittal
Mike, let's save a monster palm together. This is an excerpt from my near zero budget, semi cheesy, self directed and edited video documentary I made on my favorite species of tree, the Chilean Wine Palm. The whole 2 part 50 minute long video is on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/8924136 . I think it would make a good Dirty Job. My 4 kids and I have been huge fans from day 1 and it would be a tremendous honor to have you out (my wife doesn't like your show but the masses always win control of the remote). What's in it for you? An authentic Golden Gate Palms sweatshirt, teeshirt and visor- all in manly purple. And as a side bonus, this job is less than 30 minutes from your night stand- no nasty hotel beds with questionable stains. My fingers are crossed.
WHEN PLANTS ATTACK!
What happens when Gary get's a monster thorn stuck in his finger, has a camcorder handy, and get's strangely creative in the wee hours of the night in front of the computer? A KILLER VIDEO! See how far Stacy, the EMT, sticks her pliers into Gary's finger to extract the bloody monster thorn. You've never seen a plant attack like this before!
Growing Kentia Palms Outdoors in Northern California
Gary Gragg of Golden Gate Palms nursery shows off a Kentia Palm, Howea foresteriana, In Danville's Blackhawk California, a most unlikely location for this tree to thrive given its inland location far away from the frost protection of the warm San Francisco Bay. It's unique micro climate is discussed to explain how this plant is able to thrive in area where it would not be expected.