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Which fruit for the end of april/strart of may in zone 7

 
André Troylilas
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Location: North of France
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Hi,

my children love to roam around the garden and pick up some fruits, flowers or leaves. As it is quite sunny now, they feel like eating some fruits.
There are a few months without anything I'm afraid (but some plants are growing slowly from seeds in order to get some fruits during the winter in a few years).
We have eaten the last elaeagnus fruits almost a month ago, and there won't be anything for a few weeks.
I have two Lonicera caerulea 'kamtschatica' plants which are called "may berry" in France, but they will give me only a handful of berries at the very end of may.
So, I've got quite a big hole between the beginning of april, and the end of may.
Do you have any idea of what I could plant to have a few fruits in april?

Thanks.
 
Diane Colboch
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I am in zone 7, east TN. I don't know what your climate is like where you are but here I am harvesting honeyberries and strawberries now and have for several weeks.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Silverberry (Elaeagnus spp) is early and strawberry tree should ripen and bloom year-round (the fruit takes 12 months to mature)
At the end of May/start of june you have: Juneberry/Serviceberry, Strawberry, green unripe gooseberry,

Cant't really think of any fruits that ripen at last frost.
 
Nicole Alderman
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We're zone 7b/8a, and we picked our first salmonberry 4/29, and our first wild strawberry 5-7. These were picked in our warmest and sunniest microclimates, and they ripened weeks earlier than they did two years ago as we had such a warm winter this year. My mom's property is 30 minutes away and warmer than ours, but our strawberries ripened before hers because ours are in full sun and hers in mostly shady areas. She has honeyberries ripe right now, and those are really delicious (much better than salmonberries. I'm pretty sure salmonberries ripen first here because otherwise they wouldn't get eaten. BUT, their lack of amazing flavor never stopped my childhood self, or my toddler, from devouring any we could reach).

In summary, honeyberries and wild strawberries can be ripe this time of the year, and are really yummy. Salmonberries are also ripe, but aren't very flavorful (watery and a bit sour and slightly sweet), but they come in yellow and red/orange and are fun to pick and eat when your a kid or when there's nothing else ripe out there.
 
Diane Crother
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I would also suggest strawberries and possibly some other berries.
If blueberries grow where you live, I think the kids would enjoy picking them. I have been picking mine for a couple of weeks. Many of my blueberry plants are in large containers and they do really well and are super easy to grow.
Also, the boysenberries are just starting to get ripe here as well.
 
David Livingston
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Rhubarb was counted as a fruit in the UK kids enjoy picking it and you could make a nice crumble with a bit of ginger .

David
 
Shawn Jadrnicek
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I'm in zone 8a and we have mulberries ripe now and still have prickly pear fruit on the plants from last year.
 
André Troylilas
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Thanks all for your precious advice.
I already have honeyberries but the fruits won't ripen before the very end of may.
Strawberries are flowering, but no fruits for the time being.
I already have Silverberries (Elaeagnus x Ebbingei), but no more fruits for a few weeks.
I bought a strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) last winter, but have no fruits yet.
I don't have any serviceberry, except as a seedling (Amelanchier alnifolia and Amelanchier canadensis). I've never seen any serviceberry in nurseries around here.
I have a gooseberry plant, but have never tried it unripe. Will do.
As for the fruits that ripen during winter months, I was thinking of Diospyros kaki, Mespilus germanica and Sorbus domestica.
I have those three plants, but very young as I started them from seeds.
I also have salmonberries (Rubus spectabilis Pursh) that I started from seeds last year. I don't think it will give fruits this year.
I have blueberries, but I don't think I will get fruits before a few weeks.
I won't get any boysenberry before the end of june I'm afraid...
I do have rhubarb, but kids only like it in jams, go figure.
None of my mulberries have produced any fruit yet. I think it's at the end of july. I maybe should look for a extra hasty cultivar...
I have yet to find prickly pear cactus that would stand the weather oustide...

Anyway, thanks a lot for your suggestions!

 
David Livingston
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Have you tried forcing the rhubarb? it makes it sweeter and earlier
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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André Troylilas wrote:I already have Silverberries (Elaeagnus x Ebbingei), but no more fruits for a few weeks.

Do these get nearly full sun during the time they bloom and ripen? If not, planting them in the edge of the northern part of the understory of a larger fruit/nut tree [in a space which gets 'enough' light, but less of it] might delay these fruits by a week or two. Or it might possibly just dampen production. This is actually an experiment I'm looking to make with a few other early fruiting plants in the near future.
 
André Troylilas
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Thanks Kyrt, sun is quite a problem in this garden.
David Livingston wrote:Have you tried forcing the rhubarb? it makes it sweeter and earlier

Nice suggestion, David!
My goal was to do that this year with seedlings I made last year in september. Unfortunately, they don't grow enough for the time being. I may have chosen cultivars that aren't good for that.
 
Crt Jakhel
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Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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André Troylilas wrote: already have honeyberries but the fruits won't ripen before the very end of may.


Do you grow any named varieties of lonicera cerulea?

We're maybe a bit colder than you and there are fruits right now (since about a week ago) on various Russian-Polish varieties.

Unripe gooseberries can be quite good for cooking.

We usually have the first flush of Autumn Bliss raspberries during the last days of May... It does not sound early enough for you but 10 years ago it used to be second week of June so the trend seems to move in your favor
 
Jay Grace
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Mulberry, and goumi. ( elangus multiflora)
 
André Troylilas
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Crt Jakhel wrote:
André Troylilas wrote: already have honeyberries but the fruits won't ripen before the very end of may.


Do you grow any named varieties of lonicera cerulea?

We're maybe a bit colder than you and there are fruits right now (since about a week ago) on various Russian-Polish varieties.

No, I don't have any named variety of honeyberries... It's quite difficult to find some in France for the time being. If you ever have good nursery in mind, please let me know.
The problem may also be the sunshine duration (around 1200 hours/year), not only the temperatures.
 
David Livingston
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I would wait until the second year before trying to force the rhubarb it need to be a good size root
 
Olga Booker
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Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
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Hi Andre,

You can find Honey or May berries in France at the following sites:

http://www.planfor.fr/index.php?action=fiche_produit&nom=baie-de-mai&noprod=8016&partner_id=1

http://www.mesarbustes.fr/lonicera-caerulea-kamtschatica-baie-de-mai-chevrefeuille-bleu-comestible.html

http://www.pepiniere-villeroy.com/photo-Lonicera+caerulea+var.kamtschatica.html

http://www.clematite.net/accueil_plante.php?affiche=plante&id_plante=2536&PHPSESSID=3du5n6fe79brhq6bt3roelenn2

There are many more sites, these are just what first came to mind. I am sure they would grow in Northern France, they are doing very well here at 2500ft, they don't seem terribly fussy to me.

Good luck.
 
Francesco Delvillani
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Location: Italy
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I would say only Strawberries and Mayberry.....may some early Ribes..
 
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