Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fruit trees

Seeing how tiny my garden is you would think I would not be venturing into fruit trees, but things happen, you get a cutting, or you see something you really would like to try, and pretty soon you have  a collection of fruit trees.   Of course our very large tree is a lychee tree but we are on the fringes of lychee growing, and really I dont mind if we dont get fruit as the tree is too big to net, and if we get too much fruit we will have to put up with flying foxes (bats) which doesnt really appeal to me.   We do get birds with huge heavy beaks which seem to find the few fruit that does appear.
So onto the back vegetable garden....
 where I have pawpaw trees on either side - one male on the right and one female on the left. The female has been bearing nonstop for about 2 years, but now is getting quite high and I really must lop the top off it. Stay tuned for a post devoted to this process.

Here you can see how high they are, and how many I am going to lose when I lop the top off :(

When we first moved in I bought this little tree called a barbados cherry. Supposedly it is a small compact tree and the fruits are very high in vitamin c. Originally it was planted next to the herb spiral, then we erected a frame over the herb spiral to protect it from the heavy summer rains. This poor tree was merrily growing in the shade and had almost reached the arch when I decided to move it. It was growing just one branch up - seeking the light I think. The roots were entangled in the rocks from the spiral and I had to cut some off. I did prune it back, but maybe not enough as the leaves are still looking quite droopy. This is now in the back of the asparagus bed - I rmoved a pineapple plant to make room. I have decided pineapples are really too much trouble and take up too much room. We have a pineapple farm down the road and he has a little honesty stand where you can pick up delicious pineapples for 2.00 each.

Next in line along the back fence I have a pineapple guava which my neighbour gave me. I had it in a pot originally to keep it small but it grew right out the bottom of the pot and I thought - oh gosh - why not just plant it into the ground. So there it is..... in my line of fruit trees along the back of the vegetable garden! It is showing lots of lovely new growth since its move into the ground.

I also have my little lime tree in a pot in the front garden - will that be moved to the back line of fruit trees eventually or is it better to leave it in a pot out front? there are pros and cons. Citrus trees do not like inconsistent watering,and I must admit I am not very good at keeping the pot well watered. It might do better in the ground where the vegetables around them get watered and it can grow deep roots and maybe not need to be watered as much.

Then again I think it might have more bugs in the back than its present open position in the front.

This was the host plant for my lovely butterflies and the catterpillars managed to munch on quite a few leaves before they were moved to sacrificial kaffir lime leaves.It has developed some sort of curling leaf sydrome on the new leaves - would it be better off amongst the vegetables where there are lots of beneficial insects?

does anyone know what these curling leaves could be?  I cant see any insects.


  1. My hibiscus will wrinkle up if there are white mealy bugs. The FOC method I found quite effective is to discard affected branches/leaves ;-) Hope your papayas will ripe soon.

  2. You do have a lovely fruit collection. That looks like a great papaya harvest, though I'd certainly wait to lop that tree. I imagine it would be creepy to see those fruit bats hanging in your tree. Here, bats are a good sign, as they "supposedly" control the mosquito population, but I guess fruit bats don't eat mosquitoes, huh?

    I feel like such a Florida gardening fraud as I have very little fruit in my garden. I once grew the beautiful Barbados cherry, but our last winter did it in. I might try it again. It's so pretty covered in those pink blossoms. I do have a Cherry of the Rio Grande, which is a lovely little tree, but the birds take all the cherries. And of course, there are the bananas.

  3. Great pawpaw tree and pineaples for $2 - makes me miss North Qld. You are so lucky.
    With the citrus, if the leaves have tracks through them it might be citrus leaf miner but they can just do that with too little water - mine do the same.

  4. Stephanie,
    my first thought was to cut those leaves and stripped branches off, but then I saw little buds :) so I wasnt going to chance wrecking my harvest! I have some green papaya chutney and green papaya salad recipes lined up for the weekend.

  5. Floridagirl,
    I guess the bats are OK, but very messy and also a bit creepy. No the ones that eat mosquitoes are also the ones that carry the lissa virus so I dont want them around. Then the mosquitoes carry dengue - the joys of living in the tropics!
    Interesting that you grew a barbados cherry - did yours also grow just one branch or am I right to assume that was just because it didnt have much sun?

  6. Missy,
    Yes I think inconsistent watering is something most of my plants in pots suffer from. This is a great time for fruit - just wish I could find an accesible mango tree!

  7. I'm pretty sure that's not a pineapple guava... the pineapple guava has much smaller leaves that are bluish and waxy... but maybe they both share the same common name! I really like the idea of an honesty stand for pineapples, especially the fact that they can actually do that without stuff getting stolen!

  8. Rainforest Gardener,
    She said it was some type of guava - maybe I will have to ask her again. Oh there are lots of honesty stands around here - I suppose that is the advantage of living in a small country town - nobody is going to steal anything!

  9. I just found your blog, and oh, it makes me homesick! I am an Aussie living in the U.S. It's a long while since I lived in North Queensland but one day I will be back. Yay for you, following permaculture principles!

  10. Hi Hashi,
    love your blog, good to "meet" you!


I love interacting with all my readers, thank you for your comments. Have a great day!


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
e-mail me at