Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tropical fruit in my food forest

When I first started my little garden the only plant in the back yard was our rather large lychee tree... and lots of grass.  Eventually my garden evolved, and I never thought that I would have the room for much fruit. I was thinking of fruit trees in their own little orchard. Not every fruit tree is as big as the lychee tree though, and slowly more and more fruit has been added, until I think I am heading towards having a food forest.
The idea of a food forest is to have layers, which works well in the tropics where most plants need shade from the direct hot sun.  I have quite a few pawpaw in the back veggie patch as they spring up on their own, and I let some of them grow to maturity.  They are the yellow pawpaw, and I have recently added a red papaya to add a bit of variety.  Then I have a lime mandarin and barbados cherry  in the middle veggie patch - they can both be kept small by pruning.   Most of the time I still keep up a small shadecloth but I think eventually I will no longer need it.  You can see the cherry creates quite an open canopy - perfect for dappled shade.



In two pots in the side garden I have a lime and a lemon tree.  I am monitoring to see if they get enough sunshine, but for now that is where they will stay.

I still wanted more fruit, and began to look at the side fence of the carport in a different light.  Full afternoon sun, but the ground was rocks, and I wasnt about to dig that up.  Now I have a row of pots along the fence and everything seems to be doing well in fruit salad alley.   A fig, a mulberry, a pawpaw, passionfruit vines, lime mandarin. Pots of strawberries attached to the fence are doing well - I have picked a few ripe juicy strawberries already.


 I will add some pineapples as I get tops to start them off (thanks for that suggestion Ros!) then over the weekend I purchased a dragonfruit at the markets, and have been toying with the idea of adding one of those to my garden.


I always thought they were too big, but tied to a pole I have seen them growing up away from little fingers that might get hurt from their prickles (they are a cactus).  I have a friend who has some little suckers and she said I could drop in and pick one up, so I picked up two and they have gone into the corner pots with the passionfruit and be supported on the fence posts.  They normally are freestanding attached to a support post, but we will see how mine go against the fence - they might set a new trend! Yuumy - it is one of my favourite tropical fruits.   Now I need to look for  a dwarf coconut..... 

14 comments:

  1. Such a pleasure, reading about your fruit orchard and the exotic trees there. I can hardly wait for fruits to ripen here.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed it Jean, I am sure it wont be long and you will be enjoying freshly picked fruit.

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  2. YES! It can be done! I have been worrying lately about growing my fruit & veg in a tiny garden, especially fruit trees Of course it's possible. You are doing it. I love fruit salad alley. Do you have any problem with tree roots or are most in pots?
    By the way - Good luck with finding a dwarf coconut....

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    1. Ros,
      With pruing and growing some in pots, I think we can grow more fruit in a asmall space than one would expect. The pawpaw roots are quite high, but I just work around them. I think fig roots could cause problems so that is why my fig is in a pot. I have seen a dwarf coconut in town and keep meeting to stop and chat to the owners and find out the details.

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  3. The plans for the trees are terrific. Strawberries will grow once here, then they never fruit again. Plenty have tried to do better, but failed. Probably you will succeed because of a slightly different climate. Dragonfruit do quite well grown over a carport. Very easy to grow.

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    1. Louise,
      Oh goshI hope that doesnt happen with my strawberries, although they dont really seem to have a season. I was pleased to hear that you grow dragonfruit against a structure as everyone here has them freestanding.

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  4. it's always astounding coming here and seeing the abundance and possibilities of a tropical garden. a fruit forest is a magnificant concept - well, it's a reality for you!
    the hot pink dragon fruit is also astounding. i've never seen anything like it.

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    1. e,
      I am looking forward to a time where I am eating lots of fruit, not just talking about it. The dragon fruit is quite my favourite.

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  5. What a fruit salad! I deal with such different conditions - next to no sun in my garden due to huge trees. And at my bush block where there is sun it get very dry during the growing season and I have not figured out how to keep things growing. I guess that is te real problem, I don't have a green thumb.

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    1. Joan,
      yes most fruiting trees need sunshine, so I hope the sunny spot in fruit salad alley will prove to work well. Oh believe me I have lots of plants die on me, I think I just live in a more forgiving climate.

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  6. Lovely photos ... I laughed when I read 'dwarf coconut'. Let me know when you find one :) ... Love all the exotic fruits you have growing.

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    1. frog,
      well they are available from Daleys but I am not about to pay 40.00 - 70.00 for one.

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  7. I think your fruit salad alley is a GREAT idea....my boy Brazen monkey and his crew is the main reason why I have no more fruit trees in my garden....I wasn't getting any with them around.
    As for a dwarf coconut, I saw this photo online of a dwarf coconut tree in Jamaica...I would love to have one like it.
    Sorry I couldn't post it here.

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    1. Virginia,
      Oh gosh yes Brazen would be visiting you all the time if you had a steady fruit supply. I did find some as you can see in the above comment, but maybe I can look around to sprout a coconut from someone elses tree. They dont seem to be a hybrid so that should work. .

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