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Lacking fruits in august-sept in subtropical climate: what can I plant?

 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Hello permies!

I cannot say I do not have fruits at all, especially since prickly pears started!
I mean I do not have a lot of very sweet fruits.
Now begin the "nearly shortage of fruits" until mangoes and kaki are ripe...

Mulberries, plums and apples are over. No guava, no pitanga, no chirimoya...
I have apples twice a year with my anna variety, but they were in June/july.
I will soon have figs, but I cannot eat a lot in a row...
I still have a few green papaya, and this is a "good" year for them as it is very dry and hot.
I also have bananas right now (but cannot be planned), avocados, and I still have a few oranges here and there, and lemons.

I just have sooooo much most of the year, that I would prefer to find some more fruit trees that bear in summer!
Any idea?
Thanks


PS: and those who think I am lucky must consider that I cannot grow peaches, apricots, cherries, black currents, blue berries, all those I now think about as wonderful exotic fruits!!!
 
Brenda Groth
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Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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my suggestion would be to do some "sherlock holmes" and scout the neighborhood and see what is growing nearby..in similar conditions to what you have in your property..and make sure the food you plant is a food you'll enjoy eating or that you can make big money off of ..otherwise you are wasting space.

I'd also check out the local farmers markets and see what is available locally..locally grown..and maybe try some of those plants..maybe ask the seller of the produce if they have plants for sale.

sometimes you can also use seeds from your fruits you get locally and grow from seed, or if you are lucky like me you can find some wild baby plants locally that are in a position where they won't survive..like too close to a road or other trees or in the line of an expressway going in, and move them to your property..
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Your suggestions are good though I cannot really apply them.
I am almost sure I must look for new crops.

I have already "sherlocked"! People here plant tropicals in a dry climate because they rely on pipe water.
My neighbour was gifted a breadfruit tree to plant between his stones...
(it is more suited for rainforest!)

When you say "and make sure the food you plant is a food you'll enjoy eating", how true!
I stopped planting eggplant for that reason...

What is funny, I order fruit-tree seeds without tasting the plant before!
And I regret I did not try before this tasty fruits looking like an artichoke, because chirimoya is a delight!
And I did not like much guava nor papaya... and now I do!
Taste seems to be able to get trained!

All plants were introduced by Europeans, the only local tree was the fig tree!
 
Jim Porter
Posts: 37
Location: USA, West central Florida
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Xisca,

You might also try planting some different varieties of some of the fruits you mention to extend your harvest; there are Early, Mid, and Late varieties of just about everything. That way, not all of one type of fruit is maturing all at the same time.

For what it's worth, here are some suggestions (from a local news article) for year-round specialty fruit:

atemoya/custard apple (late August through October)
avocado (late May through March)
banana (year-round)
calamondin (September through December)
lychee (June through early July)
mango (May through October)
papaya (year-round)
passion fruit (June through December)
persimmon (September through October)

Jim
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Yes, that's right and I will do this for mangos! Mine are late... and quite attacked by fungus and worms, but it is a tree good for dry places, and with so many varieties!

My persimon is also late, and the shop did not tell me the variety of the seedling I bought (here, the lack of name is frequent!)

I will do this also for papayas, as their medicinal properties are great as a food.
I have a few passion fruit seedlings in pots, from fresh seeds, and I have other seeds I bought and do not want to germinate...

I have a kumquat, and chirimoya is the best anona here. I prefered to drop the idea of atemoya and lychee for the need of water.

Also, for this purpose, any idea of berries to be eaten out of hand?

Here, as small fruits, we already have pomarosa, lili pili ... I have also found a crataegus acerollo, ziziphus jujuba. Actually, I do not know when they bear fruits!
Then strawberry guava, feijoa in autumn, pitanga in spring.
I have not seen any more fruits around at the moment in any garden, hence the idea to look for other exotics...
 
Jim Porter
Posts: 37
Location: USA, West central Florida
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:I prefered to drop the idea of atemoya and lychee for the need of water.

Some things that might help with that...

Hugelkultur, of course, if you have wood available.

Use your kitchen and shower greywater to water your trees. If necessary, capture using a bucket; no special greywater system needed.

Also, You could try planting trees in "water wise" containers. A friend of mine uses 55-gallon drums. He drills two 1-inch holes on the side of the barrel, opposite each other, about one foot up from the bottom of the barrel. Then he buries the barrel and plants the tree in the barrel. With the holes in the barrel being 1-foot up from the bottom, it gives the tree a resevoir at the bottom from which to draw some water during drier times.

Xisca Nicolas wrote:Also, for this purpose, any idea of berries to be eaten out of hand?

Ground cherry? Beautyberry?
 
chris cromeens
Posts: 61
Location: north texas 7b now 8a
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pears?
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Thanks for the ideas, and thus I can make you know about the kind of surprise you can get in a different place... !
look at the pics in my signature.
Pears, cherries and peaches just cannot grow here properly...
(they do in other parts of the island, but THEY do not have bananas there! And I DO! Choice...)
Raspberries grow but hardly even fruit, walnuts bear almost no fruits
(at my place, as they fruit well over 1000m high, same with chestnut).
Anna is the almost only good apple tree.

I prepare 1 hugelkultur terrace, because it was not finished, so it is empty and lack earth behind its wall.
It will be with avocado wood, and prickly pear's bits.
In other places, I cannot move the soil with trees already there around.
And everything must be done by hand.

Jim, even with the best savings I need to be very water wise.
I already have thirsty avocados!
I think i will look for early mango varieties, they are water wise.

Also, some trees cannot live with a reservoir, as most tropical trees need absolute draining soil.
People here with red clay have problems with fungus.

But I might try this trick for pitanga or pomarosa, as they love water and are small. Thanks!


Ground cherry? Beautyberry?


Have to look at the translation... :-/
 
Josh Jamison
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What is your zone?
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Jim Porter wrote:Ground cherry? Beautyberry?


So...
I have groundcherry, they fruit irregularly, I ate 1 this morning.

How interesting it was to discover the beautyberry!

Some people find it weedy, very weedy... I take care when introducing, and this one seems poisonous for cattle.
(any more experience with it?)
And will I have a lot to eat?
(I'm off sugar, so no jam)
Head in the sun and feet in water seems to be best for them:
->
"In my experience the best tasting ones are on plants growing on or near a riverbank that provides more sun than shade with a lot of leaf litter over the soil they're growing in. They're shorter but bushier and produce more berries."
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2657/

The repellent is VERY interesting though:
http://www.natureatcloserange.com/2009/09/american-beauty-berry.html
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Josh Jamison wrote:What is your zone?


Dry subtropical in the Canary
I guess zone 11
Ok, I will add it!

mini is 50°F / 10°C

Summer is dry and usually around 90°F, sometimes over 100°F...

I had the idea of ugni molinae, but I hesitate... It might do better in our warm but misty north.
(and still it is not easy to find precise fruit harvest period of any fruit!)
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:
How interesting it was to discover the beautyberry!

Some people find it weedy, very weedy... I take care when introducing, and this one seems poisonous for cattle.
(any more experience with it?)
And will I have a lot to eat?
(I'm off sugar, so no jam)


Beautyberries are mealy and pretty much tasteless -- hence the traditional method of making them into jelly. If the only recipes you can find for something are for jelly that's a pretty good indication they aren't very good! They are beautiful in the late summer and fall and very helpful to wildlife (they are native here) but I wouldn't plant them specifically for human food production.

How about an everbearing/day neutral strawberry? They won't be producing a lot in the fall, but you might get some. You also might be able to grow paw paws (Asimina triloba), but it's a temperate tree and requires some chilling hours that you may not get. They ripen in August here. Like any fruit variety, paw paws vary in taste but when they are good they are VERY good -- tastes like mushy banana and tangerine to me -- but if I could grow bananas and citrus I don't know that I would bother with paw paw!

Or muscadines. Again, chilling hours may be an issue for proper bearing. There are some ultra low chill varieties but I'm not aware of any NO chill ones.

Citrus?
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Yes, I have bought strawberries right now!
Need to have them off ground for lizards...
I will... !
Yes, I dropped paw paw as being more for temperate. They are fruiting now?
I do not know if I can grow pecan nut for example...
My neighbours tryed unsuccessfully goji berries.
(they have chilling requirement)

Let's say I have more or less south Florida climate, we have the same latitude.
500mm/year, quite dry.
Florida might be much more wet...

I did not know muscadine, is it possible to grow it from seed?
When are the earliest fruits?

It is from Florida, but looks less drought resistant than the common vine, doesn't it? Less fruits or same?
I have vine, but they grow wild, and feed the blackbirds.
I have mildew or oïdium I don't know, well, the plants get white with powder.

If muscadine is resistant and does not need too much water nor moist air... might be great!
More search... looks drough resistant when settled...
bu! "Muscadines are shallow rooted with most of the feeder roots in the top ½ inch of soil."
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:Yes, I dropped paw paw as being more for temperate. They are fruiting now?

I picked some wild a couple of weeks ago; last week I didn't see any. They don't last long.

Xisca Nicolas wrote:I did not know muscadine, is it possible to grow it from seed?
When are the earliest fruits?

It is from Florida, but looks less drought resistant than the common vine, doesn't it? Less fruits or same?
I have vine, but they grow wild, and feed the blackbirds.
I have mildew or oïdium I don't know, well, the plants get white with powder.

If muscadine is resistant and does not need too much water nor moist air... might be great!
More search... looks drough resistant when settled...
bu! "Muscadines are shallow rooted with most of the feeder roots in the top ½ inch of soil."


Muscadine is in the grape family, different genus, but a whole lot tougher than table or wine grapes and can handle sun, heat and humidity that grapes can't, and are more resistant to fungal diseases. It's native to the southeastern US, so humid subtropical is it's preferred habitat. They don't taste a whole lot like grapes; they are less sweet and much stronger tasting with tougher skins. Also healthier for you. I like the Fry cultivar. Harvest is generally in September. The leaves are edible too but you want to harvest those in the spring while they are still tender.

They are BIG vines and really need trellis training and annual pruning (like grapes) since they fruit on new wood. You'd typically buy cloned plants (via layering), but apparently they will propagate from seed quite well, although they won't be exactly true to type. I don't have room for behemoths like these; wish I did!

Scuppernongs are a kind of muscadine; supposedly closer to the wild versions. That makes me think they might be more hardy, but that's only a guess.

I don't know if that would be enough rain. Here's it's feast or famine on rainfall and the summers tend to be dry so our plants are native drought tolerant, but they may be making up for it at other times of the year. Our rainfall is about 3x yours.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Elderberries ripened for me this year in August and are still putting on fruit. Claim to grow in Zone 11.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Thanks Nicole & Tyler.
So I suppose I should try muscadine only if someone from a place with the minimum rain it can stand could send me seeds!
Less fungus is good for me for any plant (strange for a dry place!)

Tyler, I did not think about it, and I like the sambucus nigra, I used to have it, in a temperate moist place.
So I guessed you talked about another variety...
And I found s. mexicana and peruviana!
At least they are subtropical ones, though they still seem to like moist soil...

By the way, I did not think about it also because "sauco" exists in the Canary, but they grow in the wet laurisilva.
http://www.floradecanarias.com/sambucus_palmensis.html
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Sorry, I mean the North American native elderberry Sambucus canadensis http://www.floridata.com/ref/s/samb_can.cfm

 
Jeffrey Hodgins
Posts: 166
Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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Sorry if any of these were mentioned but in your climate I think the following species may fruit from August until december.

Pitahaya or Dragon fruit

Pinuela: its spelled with an accent on the n. A real acidy pineapple taste cook them lightly to reduce acid. You want the dryland var. from Yucatan's arid zone not the one from the moist forest to the south. The more drought tolerant var. bares it's fruit at the base in a soccer sized half ball not on a stick.

Bitter melons (endemic var. Yucatan) crack open like a flower and are sweet at this time of year I'm not sure if a regular bitter melon ever gets sweet. They look nice too the fruit is a bright orange inside making it visible for picking.

Pipixcos (pee pee sh kos)like Garden huckleberry or sun berry

Quilete in Kachikel (possibly misspelled) Guatamalan language it's a sulanum similar too Pipixcos

Natal plum is late too see my post on it.


 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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After enquiries on the web...

I like the elderberry, especially for eating flowers, so I will see if it is possible to get seeds and if I grant it some moist land...
great to know there are some tropical ones.

The piñuela is bromelia pinguin might be good for my dry parts out of pipes,
I just wander if it can change to winter rain, as they are from summer rain land.
http://www.backyardnature.net/chiapas/pinuela.htm

My climate is just a little too cold for regular pineapple though I try it. I cut an old bush that gave nothing and planted one I bought, but it looks ill, the leaves are yellow and spotted.

I could not find any pipixco, but quilete yes, and it is more used for its leaves.
solanum nigrescens
Sounds like a great green.

I have a little pitahaya, and I think they start bearing late, as I have never seen fruits when people have one!
I have also a little natal plum, I am sure it is a great little tree!
never tasted any of those...
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Incredible with the dry weather we have this year!
Mangoes 2 months before last year!

Of course, I just ate 2 of them, but with earliest varieties, I could eat them longer...

Some pitanga are ripening (they also bear in spring!)
And strawberry guava will be ripe soon. Also earlier than last year.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Please who knows those american berries?
It seems they fruit all summer...
They are lycium, cousin of the famous goji.
(Goji fails here for lack of cold...)

According to PFAF:

- L. carolinianum, grows in Florida, likes moist soil and quite warm weather, zone 8, and berries up to 12mm (that should be 1/2 inch!).
- L. torreyi grows in California and in dry soil. But no information on the berry.
- L. pallidum, 10mm, can grow with dry soil, but a zone 6... so I suppose it will not thrive here.

- L. Berlandieri
I have seeds from this one, but it is worse rated for edibility by pfaf. Is it because of its small size (5mm) or the taste?

I would but grateful for any personal review from people who tasted them.
 
Jeffrey Hodgins
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Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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I think Green Deen has a video about one of those species. eattheweeds.com
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Thanks, I know his site so I will check!
I am a greedy weed eater.....
 
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