It is amazing what you can grow successfully in a suburban garden in Melbourne despite the hot and dry weather we have had this summer stressing both plants and people.
The first stop is the tamarillo which was the feature in the winter blog. The final crop last winter was over 200 fruits from the one tree and this year the crop is going to be the a bit smaller but the fruit larger due to a heavy spring pruning as the fruit can become smaller the weaker the branches are and the further out the fruit are hanging.
The espaliered ‘Fuyu’ persimmon tree has held on to a good crop of fruit and at the end of summer they are about half size now. They really begin to swell in autumn before changing colour in May.
The Chinese date or Jujube trees are now starting to ripen the fruits. They will ripen towards the end of April. They produce red fruit with lime green flesh that are crisp but dry and taste like apples or can be dried when the flesh turns brown and soft when they taste like dried dates.
The macadamias have held on to a good number of nuts this year despite some trees having a light flowering and the dry weather. Four different varieties and bees provided the essential cross pollination which ensured good nut set despite the low number of flowers. The photo shows the nuts which are now about pea size and still swelling nicely.
The white sapotes have flowered and there appears to be a good fruit set this year. I appear to have solved my pollination problem as can be seen by the crop on the main fruiting variety ‘Vista’ which seems to like another fruiting variety ‘Pike’ to pollinate it rather than a standard pollinator like ‘Ortego’. The photo is of the laden ‘Vista’ which usually only produced 6 – 12 fruit each year.
The prize possession of all is the Large Leaf jaboticaba or Brazilian Tree Grape which is fruiting now for the third time this season! The Small Leaf form have only really started to crop this year with lighter crops of smaller fruit (after 10 years when the Large Leaf started after 3 – 4 years). Both these beauties produce several crops a year of grape sized black fruit on the trunk and they have white flesh which tastes like a combination of Grape, Lychee and Mangosteen. My secret to eating them is to pull them off and make a slit at the stem end and suck out both the flesh and seed and swallow whole as the skin is bitter. By far my favourite tree as it will be happy for life in a pot is so attractive in leaf, bark, unusual flowering and fruiting on stems and yummy fruit.
Gardenworld currently has good stocks of many sub-tropical and exotic fruit trees so come in and see what is available or speak to Dennis on Saturday’s for further information on which may be suitable for your garden.