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KathK's Edible Backyard

Joined: 19/04/09 Updated: 10/03/18 Frost: Low
Location:

About My Edible Backyard


Why KathK Love's Edible Plants


I live on a 5 acre block of grey sand south of Perth.  I put horse manure and spoilt hay in old baths & cut down water tanks, chuck a handful of composting worms in, then leave them to do their thing. In a few months  I use the castings to make potting mix, and plant in the holes with new plants etc. Also grow veggies in raised baths, the tanks, & in the garden filled with the same mix. Also, I mulch everything I can find time to with tree mulch -the worms turn this into beautful castings. In the citrus orchard I grow comfrey as a ground cover to keep the soil cool & add nutrients when I mow it.

I grow lots of  hollyhocks, nasturtiums, dahlias, poppies (all self-sow for next year) & sunflowers to bring the bees in as I grow pumpkins each summer. 

I have 5 chooks at the moment-Hylines. I keep them till they finish laying-about 3-4 years- then kill & bury them under fruit trees for some slow release blood & bone, leave the ground for a few weeks over winter to rest, then buy more point of lay pullets.Have been doing this for years but had a bit of an 'incident' with the last despatching session-see photo below ! I empty the sawdust & shredded paper out of their shed every few months into the worm system & the girls do a great job cleaning up bugs & weeds. Also rotate them through the vegie/fruit yards so they get lots of greens plus grow lots of spinach for them to keep their eggs nice and yellow.

I have a 44 gallon drum of liquid fertilizer-horse poo, seaweed and comfrey leaves-makes a good brew. Have dozens of comfrey plants & constantly harvesting them to mulch around my plants.

 A lot of fruit trees, mainly citrus, are very slow to get going in this sand but once established do really well.

I had lots of espaliered stone fruit growing  but after initially good results they just struggled, got raided by parrots or got fruit fly so have decided to stick with what does well here with a lot less work.

Besides growing stuff to eat, I have planted many many trees & shrubs on our block & now have lots of birds, including blue wrens around. I love recycling &  growing plants in unusual containers.

I had four Khaki Campbell cross Appleyard ducks but a fox took a liking to them which was a real bummer as they cleaned up all the snails, made great fertilizer under my citrus trees, & greeted you like their best friend every morning plus three big eggs a day if I beat the crows. 

Have got lots of herbs on the go plus love trying to grow things from cuttings & seeds with mixed success. Love sharing my garden, plants and produce with friends & encouraging them to grow a few things to eat in their own space, & am always reading to learn more.

I find gardening is a hobby where you can connect  and share with people from all ages & backgrounds & learn from each other, & when you need 'time out'  you can disappear for an hour or two & just enjoy all the growth .

Am very fortunate to live in the country surrounded by trees, where I can grow tropical fruits like bananas as well as colder loving apples & quince, ten minutes from a great surf beach, & less than an hour by train to Kings Park in Perth city.

Comments

Charlesstillcantspell1 says... [3100 days 8hrs ago]
Great effort already. The joys and problems with more space. Might have to organise a trip down one day and bring my seed bank for some swapping :P.
KathK says... [3097 days 13hrs ago]
No worries Charles,you're more than welcome to come down .
John says... [3048 days 18hrs ago]
HI you have a really nice garden. My wife and I are starting from scratch on a 2.5 acrea block and hope it will look even half as nice as yours oneday. We have so many ideas but no clue on how to do things.
KathK says... [2868 days 15hrs ago]
Thanks John, all the best with your garden. The free Great Food Gardens are fantastic-can learn heaps-check the website for details-http://www.greatgardens.info/registrationgf.php
MaryT says... [2769 days 9hrs ago]
Your garden is an inspiration, Kath; thank you for sharing. Mine is a container garden in a car space; small but productive.

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Fruit Tree Forum Contributions

KathK Forum Contributions
Gardening in perth sands - I’ve spent the last 17 years transforming a 5 acre bush block in Karnup into a fruit producing spot but it's now time to downsize & I was dreading missing all my fruit trees I’ve been nurturing. But after reading this http://www.abc.net.au/news..158 days 21hrs
Fruit trees in perth wa - Anyone in the Rockingham/Mandurah area have a kaffir lime I could have a cutting from to try grafting onto one of my citrus trees please? Can swap for eggs...342 days 14hrs
Kiwiberrys in perth - Just wondering if anyone has had much success with kiwiberrys in Perth? thanks..342 days 14hrs
Apricots in perth - Hi there, I have Trevatt/Newcastle & Glengarry apricot trees & they've never really done well-think I've had one apricot! Has anyone in Perth had success with apricots & if so, what variety is it please? Am wondering if it's just not cold enough? Tha..1610 days 21hrs
Radium weed aka milkweed - Hi Julie, yep I have plenty thanks. A couple of months ago I was pulling it out! Did your neighbour's plum tree transplanted from here ever fruit?..1692 days 17hrs
Radium weed aka milkweed - Thanks for that info. He isn't intending to use bloodroot (hadn't heard of that so looked it up & it's a very different plant which as far as I can tell doesn't grow in Australia) He is using Euphorbia peplus (not Euphorbia peplis as that's complet..1693 days 21hrs
Radium weed aka milkweed - ps after doing more research & looking at dozens of photos I had a search around my property & found some!..1694 days 10hrs
Radium weed aka milkweed - A friend has some skin cancers & is searching for Radium Weed http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2009/05/milkweed-and-sk.html Have found places that sell the seeds & the plants -but of course, not to W.A. Does anybody (hopefully Perth/Mandurah area) h..1694 days 13hrs
Diy raised wicking garden bed old watertank - I have three tanks that I use for growing strawberries & vegies in & filled them with everything I could find,(leaves/lawn clippings/horse manure/small branches/prunings etc) saving the best compost for the top 30 cms. DEFINITELY put something on the top..1781 days 16hrs
Which peaches and nectarines should i plant - Get hold of a Daley's catalogue-free-see link on left, find the chill factor for your area from the local ag dept & away you go. I did this last year & espaliered my trees & they are now loaded-can't believe how well they've done in less than 18 month..2849 days 19hrs
Acerola fruit - Thanks for that Rich, there IS some green so fingers crossed-it's just that my pears, apples & stone fruit are already flowering-maybe it's still in shock from my pruning & will still shoot! I hope!!..2868 days 18hrs
Acerola fruit - Hi there, just wondering-I pruned my acerola-trying to espalier it- but the leaves all dropped off over winter-the branches are still 'bendy'-as opposed to 'dry & snappy'. Have I killed it or are they deciduous? Any tips? thanks in advance, Kath..2868 days 18hrs
Breadfruit in nebraska - Hi Jen, this is an Australiab=n gardening site-you'd be better off asking on a US forum. Good luck with your search...3046 days 9hrs
Limes not fruiting - I had trouble with my lime not fruiting a few years back then gave them a feed of trace elements & they loved it & rewarded me with fruit...3049 days 17hrs
Rock dust zeolite etc supplies in perth - I know what you're saying Charles, but it's a three generational family owned W.A. company, which would've started small & got to where it is now by hard work & good service-good on 'em I reckon...3049 days 17hrs

Fruit Tree Forum Likes

KathK has LIKED the following:
Apricots in perth - Newcastle early usually does well in Perth, as it requires less chill. I have one, but Roleystone is a lot cooler than where you are. It is next to another variety, but no idea what that one is. I believe someone has N.early in Kelmscott, which is war..Liked Answer 1608 days 21hrs
Apricots in perth - Hi Kath We have an old apricot tree, not sure of variety as it came with the house, but its very prolific - only time it doesn't fruit is when we prune too heavily and at the wrong time. ..Liked Answer 1608 days 21hrs

Rhubarb 9/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 128 days 18hrs

Comments: -

grow in ground 

Cook a heap at a time and then freeze it

Makes great jam on it's own or with tamarillos,great on muesli with Greek yoghurt, in crumble or on ice cream

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Fig White Adriatic (Grafted) 5/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 135 days 13hrs

Comments: - Never had much fruit from this-much more from an un-named variety I was given

Planted: 2005

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Fig Black Genoa 5/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 135 days 13hrs

Comments: - Never had much fruit from this-much more from an un-named variety I was given

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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2 of 3 people found this review useful

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Guava - Strawberry 3/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 135 days 13hrs

Planted: 2010

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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Comments

Brad1 says... [2863 days 13hrs ago]
Go chook!

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Guava-Indian 5/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 135 days 13hrs

Comments: - Birds love them !

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Medium Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Loquat

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 135 days 13hrs

Comments: -

Great shade for the chooks plus tasty fruit

Have to keep it pruned quite short as under chicken wire 

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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4 of 4 people found this review useful

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Mulberry - Black English

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 135 days 13hrs

Comments: - doing well, give it a radical chainsaw haircut each winter

Planted: 2008

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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3 of 7 people found this review useful

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Mulberry - White Shahtoot

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 135 days 13hrs

Comments: - from Daleys-doing well, give it a radical chainsaw haircut each winter

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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2 of 3 people found this review useful

Comments

Brad1 says... [2863 days 13hrs ago]
tasted fruit from this? I'm wondering about this tree - sweet I believe
KathK says... [2862 days 20hrs ago]
I only got a couple last season as it was it's first year and they were really sweet-is just starting to fruit now.

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Pomegranate - Wonderful 9/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 135 days 13hrs

Comments: -

Slow to start but having beautiful fruit now

Drops all it's leaves in winter

In chook yard

Planted: 2012

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Curry Tree 8/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 135 days 13hrs

Comments: -

Grows really quickly-prune it regularly

Have no idea why I grow it as can't stand the smell !

A few have self seeded so potting them up

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Mango - Bowen Seedling 2/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 303 days 14hrs

Comments: - Slow! very few fruit and they are small & drop off before ripe

Planted: 2008

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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Olive - Kalamata (Grafted)

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 303 days 14hrs

Planted: 2017

Growing: In a Pot

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Bananas 10/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 320 days 18hrs

Comments: - Have some Cavendish and an unknown thriving in the chook yard

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Orange - Washington Navel

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 320 days 22hrs

Comments: -

finally getting fruit (if I beat the parrots!)-beautiful juicy sweet oranges


2 of these

Growing: In the Ground

Qty: 2

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Passionfruit (Grafted)

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 322 days 11hrs

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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Comments

Brad2 says... [2639 days 9hrs ago]
did you try a sunshine special? they seem to do well in WA. my theory is these are a bit finicky. when one goes, it will go nuts. I just planted 2 (panama red and gold) up the same fence a sunshine special is on. will be interesting to see what happens
KathK says... [2554 days 16hrs ago]
Have put in three mor-two from seeds & one grafted-fingers crossed.
arcobelina says... [1704 days 21hrs ago]
you need two lambs fry. bury one under your passionfruit as you plant it. lambs fry water is brilliant for the passionfruit = lambs fry water is what you soak the lambs fry in before you peel it. dont waste the second lambs fry - re-learn the great taste of lambs fry and onions. feed the plant with liver water onece or twice a year and things will improve.

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Avocado - Hass (A) (Grafted) 10/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 322 days 11hrs

Comments: - Had a radical prune as was too tall & had been butchered by the horse. 

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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Grapefruit-Ruby

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 361 days 16hrs

Comments: - very thick skinned fruit. Supposed to be pink but apparently this happens in warmer climates. Skin is yellow-flesh 'pinkish' Has dozens of big plump fruit on it each year-shame we all hate grapefruit-planted it for my sister who moved a 5 hour drive away the year it started fruiting !!!

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Fig - Deciduous

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 370 days 14hrs

Comments: -

Unknown variety given to me by a friend years ago

Great tree-fruit good for both eating & jam

Prune each winter to keep fruit reachable & grow more trees from cuttings for friends

Pollination: Self Pollination


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Assorted herbs

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 370 days 14hrs

Comments: - A mix of annual and perennial herbs & vegies-grown in worm castings

Pollination: Self Pollination


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Sugarcane

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 391 days 19hrs

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Comments

Brad1 says... [2550 days 13hrs ago]
looks like lemon grass. not like any sugarcane I've seen?
KathK says... [2549 days 13hrs ago]

KathK says... [2549 days 13hrs ago]
Since this was taken it's grown to about 1.5m-I keep cutting the top off to get it to thicken up. This is when it was a baby.

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Grape - Flame Seedless

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 8hrs

Comments: - Growing along house verandah-have to fight the horse for the grapes !

Pollination: Self Pollination


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Grape-Italia

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 8hrs

Comments: - Growing along house verandah-have to fight the horse for the grapes !

Pollination: Self Pollination


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1 of 3 people found this review useful

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Olive-Correggiola 9/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 8hrs

Comments: - In horse yard-growing over trough to shade it in summer-lovely tree

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

When I Fertilise: Never

Organic Status:Organic


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Pawpaw 2/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: -

grown from seed 2009-slow growing

think we don't get enough warmth here-grew them in Darwin & they grew really fast

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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2 of 5 people found this review useful

Comments

Adrian1 says... [3080 days 16hrs ago]
What kind of paw paw are these?
KathK says... [3078 days 22hrs ago]
I don't know-I just bought half a pawpaw from the fruit shop, dried the seeds out & planted them. It was a orange oval shaped one.

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Orange - Lanes Late 8/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - finally getting fruit (if I beat the parrots!)

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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2 of 8 people found this review useful

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Apple-Pink Lady/Gala 5/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - double grafted-think the apples would like somewhere colder to live but still get small amount of fruit

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Medium Sun

Pollination: Cross Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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0 of 1 people found this review useful

Comments

Brad1 says... [2863 days 13hrs ago]
do they grow at similar rates?
KathK says... [2863 days 11hrs ago]
Pretty much but I cut them back so they're roughly the same so one doesn't take over the other.

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Apple-Granny Smith/Jonathon 5/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - Double grafted-think the apples would like somewhere colder to live but still get small amount of fruit

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Medium Sun

Pollination: Cross Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Apple-Anna

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - think the apples would like somewhere colder to live but still get small amount of fruit

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Medium Sun

Pollination: Cross Pollination

Cross Pollinator Variety: Dorsett Gold

Organic Status:Organic


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Apple -Golden Dorsett 5/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - think the apples would like somewhere colder to live but still get small amount of fruit

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Medium Sun

Pollination: Cross Pollination

Cross Pollinator Variety: Anna

Organic Status:Organic


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1 of 2 people found this review useful

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Tamarillos-red

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: -

Have red & yellow-they grow like crazy, produce lots of fruit for a couple of years then drop dead so try & have a new one on the go all the time. Lucky the fruit are delicious as the leaves smell disgusting!

Delicious on cereal, pavlovas and makes great jam with rhubarb

Pollination: Self Pollination


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7 of 7 people found this review useful

Comments

KathK says... [3074 days 10hrs ago]


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Tangelo - Minneola

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - Slow to get going but starting to produce, could do with more sun but running out of room

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Medium Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Tangelo - Seminole

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - Slow to get going but starting to produce, could do with more sun but running out of room

Planted: 2009

Sun/Shade: Medium Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Mandarin-Clementine 8/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - produces beautiful, easy to peel fruit, ripens after Imperial

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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2 of 3 people found this review useful

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Mandarin-Emperor 8/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - produces beautiful, easy to peel fruit, ripens after Clementine

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Mandarin - Imperial (Grafted) 8/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - produces beautiful, easy to peel fruit

Planted: 2008

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Lemon - Eureka

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - Prolific fruiter, had a radical prune as getting too tall

Pollination: Self Pollination


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1 of 1 people found this review useful

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Gooseberry-Cape

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: -

Self-seeds all over the place

Really amazing how nature gives them a insect protective covering-interesting to watch it dry out & become net-like with the yellow berry inside

Chooks love them

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Quince - Smyrna 9/10

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 9hrs

Comments: - Cut right back 2009, lost most of leaves winter 2010, then shot again-produced beautiful flowers & in 2017 enough quince to make quince paste

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination

Organic Status:Organic


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Comments

BJ11_old_address says... [2897 days 19hrs ago]
Kath, does your quince loose all its leaves in the warm Perth winter? I'm looking for something tough that will screen a window in summer but let light through in winter.
KathK says... [2896 days 22hrs ago]
Hi BJ-yes, it's pretty bare at the moment-I keep mine quite short so not sure how tall it would grow if left unchecked. I got mine from Tass 1 up the Swan Valley. Or what about a fig/mulberry? You can prune those really hard & they give great summer shade? Good luck with whatever you choose, Kath

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Feijoa

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 10hrs

Comments: - pineapple quava/feioja -would like to try it but got to beat the birds

Planted: 2008

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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0 of 2 people found this review useful

Comments

Ellen says... [3078 days 21hrs ago]
why do you trimmed it off ?
KathK says... [3078 days 8hrs ago]

KathK says... [3078 days 8hrs ago]
I cut it back so it would get nice & bushy -haven't grown it before so just experimenting.

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Lemon - Meyer

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 12hrs

Comments: - Has been my best producing tree-100s of lemons over the years

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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Lime - Tahitian

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 12hrs

Comments: - Got so big it split so attacked it with the chainsaw. Has  produced 100s of limes

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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Goji Berry

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 12hrs

Comments: - Loses it's leaves over winter-then reshoots in spring-has small but tasty fruit

Planted: 2009

Growing: In the Ground

Sun/Shade: Medium Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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2 of 2 people found this review useful

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Choko

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 12hrs

Comments: -

Grows each year like a weed, dies down for winter, cover with compost & it reshoots in spring.Have had literally 100s off this vine.

Fruiting Months April, May, June

Planted: 2007

Growing: In the Ground

Qty: 2

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Pollination: Self Pollination


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2 of 3 people found this review useful

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Blueberries

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 392 days 12hrs

Comments: - Really alkaline soil here so in pots-Nellie Kelly

Planted: 2009

Growing: In a Pot

Pollination: Cross Pollination


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Comfrey

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 2868 days 18hrs

Comments: - Great for mulching, compost & liquid fertilizer. Dies down in winter then reshoots twice as thickly each spring. Pull up a root, chop it up & plant-heaps more plants.


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4 of 5 people found this review useful

Comments

Jaahda says... [2575 days 19hrs ago]
unfortunately just lost the last of my confrey :-(

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Raspberry - Heritage

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 3078 days 22hrs

Planted: 2009

Pollination: Self Pollination


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0 of 1 people found this review useful

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Pepino - Kendall Gold

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 3078 days 22hrs

Comments: - Amazing-dozens of plants from the original & heavy bearing

Planted: 2009

Pollination: Self Pollination


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5 of 6 people found this review useful

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Boysenberry

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 3078 days 22hrs

Planted: 2009

Pollination: Cross Pollination


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0 of 2 people found this review useful

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Blackberry

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 3078 days 22hrs

Planted: 2009

Pollination: Cross Pollination


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1 of 1 people found this review useful

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Elderberry

KathK's Edible Fruits
Update: 3091 days 9hrs

Growing: In the Ground


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Comments

Jaahda says... [2575 days 19hrs ago]
I found that elders get serious die off when the temp hits >43C. Never got any berries either. Wouldn't mind a cutting ;-)

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