Nov 192013
 
feijoa sellowiana

by Avis Licht –

feijoa sellowiana


Pineapple Guava

Fruit that ripens in the Fall

 

The Pineapple Guava is one of my favorite plants.  It serves many purposes in the edible garden. It’s an easy care, evergreen shrub that has edible flowers, edible fruits and somehow, the deer DON’T eat it.  It almost sounds to good to be true.

Where I live, deer eat almost all our plants, so having one that does all these good things is a real treasure.

Climate:The Pineapple guava grows in Zones 8 – 10.  What this really means is that it likes some cool weather, can go down to 10 deg. F, likes rain in the 30″ – 40″ range, and doesn’t like super hot daytime weather – not so good in the desert.

Soil: It’s adaptable to a wide range of soils, including acidic soil, but prefers a humus rich soil that is well drained.  Adding compost and not manure works for this plant.

Water: This is considered a drought tolerant plant, meaning it survives with relatively little water, but needs adequate water for good fruit production. During dry spells you should give it additional water.  In real terms, this means observe your plant. No matter what the books say, you always need to observe your plants in your own garden setting to see how they are faring and what they need. Everyone’s garden is different from the norm that all these books talk about.  You’ll always want and need to adjust requirements to your own situation.

by Avis Licht – If you need some great information on starting your Spring Garden, have a look at my new ebook, called The Spring Garden Made Easy

See these pretty pink petals? They are edible. Just gently pull them off and leave the rest of the flower so that it turns into fruit. The petals are really delicious. Take my word for it.

Sun: Full sun is best – but it can tolerate partial shade

Wind:The Pineapple guava makes a good windbreak. It can take some salt air, but I wouldn’t put it on the dunes as a first line wind break.

Care:  What I really love about this plant is that it needs so little care.  It just grows happily on its own. You can prune it for shape or let it alone. If you prune it back hard, you will lose some fruit production.

Pests: Almost none. Well, I haven’t seen any.

Be sure to check out my store of favorite reliable tools and implements for the garden.

Fruit and flowers:  The flowers which bloom late Spring are edible. The thick petals are spicy and are eaten fresh. The petals may be plucked without interfering with fruit set. The fruit ripens in late Fall, which is a great boon, since almost everything else in the garden is gone.  The fruit in the picture below, came from my garden on November 19th. They taste fresh and tangy. We eat them by scooping out the fruit with a spoon.  Or you can  cook them in puddings, pastry fillings, fritters, dumplings, fruit-sponge-cake, pies or tarts.

Scoop the fruit of the pineapple guava

Scoop the fruit of the pineapple guava out of the skin.

Don’t forget to check out my ebook: The Spring Garden Made Easy. It’s only $4.99 and gives a mountain of information.

Jan 232012
 
Strawberries


by Avis Licht

Strawberries

You can have great fruit growing in a small garden.  Here are some of my favorite and easy to grow fruits. Each of them has their own particular needs, so be sure to look up which varieties are best for your climate.

Strawberries are at the top of my list. They can be grown in small areas, they can be planted in pots and they can be spread around the garden.  Commercially strawberries are one of the most heavily sprayed plants both with herbicides and pesticides.  It’s much better to grow your own.

How can a bamboo stick keep a large dog out of the strawberries

Can you have too many strawberry plants?

If you want a fruit tree for a small space, consider a genetic dwarf fruit tree.  They are bred to be smaller without pruning. You can have a full sized apple, cherry, nectarine and more that is only 6 ft tall.A small space is fine for an espalier fruit tree

An espaliered tree can be trained to grow against a wall or fence and take up very little room.  This requires some real attention and work to keep the tree properly pruned and still produce fruit. But once you learn how, it can be incredibly productive in a small space.

Citrus trees can be grown in large pots in a sunny spot near the house or on a deck. Choose naturally dwarf varieties so that they won’t outgrow their containers.

Mandarin orange in a container

It's easy to grow citrus in a pot

 

 

Citrus are wonderful for the edible landscape because they are evergreen, fragrant, produce fruit and look beautiful.  Another winner.

Whenever plants are put in pots, be sure they get enough fertilizer to keep them healthy, and regular water.  Pots can dry out quickly because  they are exposed to the sun and wind.

 

Surprisingly, fig trees can be happily grown in pots.  Normally a fig will grow quite big, but it can be tamed to fit your small garden in a pot and still be healthy and produce plenty of fruit.

Fig in a container

Figs thrive in planting containers

Dwarf blueberries  stay small in the ground and are good for container plantings.

These are a few of my favorite fruits for the small edible landscape.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

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