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BarbaraMildura1's Edible Backyard

Joined: 27/09/10 Updated: 03/10/10 Frost:

About My Edible Backyard

Why BarbaraMildura1 Love's Edible Plants

Annual rainfall minimal, probably below 100mm per annum. Mildura borders on temperate and arid. Scorching 45 degree C summers and down to minus 3 degrees C in winter with on average 5 frosty nights per year.

Soil is alkaline as this is a grape area. Red loam down to 30 cm with clay underneath.

I don't have a separate orchard but intermingle my fruit trees with garden, vegetables, and herbs. Try to parctise organic gardening utilising companion planting and crop rotation techniques.

My biggest challenge is to have a happy balanced garden with loads of butterflies, wasps, lizards, frogs, ladybirds, birds, etc. rushing about, without using pesticides that upset the balance. I also make my own compost so I suppose the challenge is to have a rich form to place on my garden that is also cheaper than the shops.

My personal reward is the main reason I grow my own fruit and vegetables. It is easy to buy from shops and quicker. But my garden is my soul, my therapy from a hard day at work, where I can dream and relax, where I can burn off frustrations and worries. I can chase white butterflies with my pink net, and laugh as I tumble over a huge cauliflower and look like a crazy person. My daughter just shakes her head.  When I go indoors late at night, I feel so relaxed and content. The cheapest form of therapy I know.


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Fruit Tree Forum Contributions

BarbaraMildura1 Forum Contributions
Paw paw root system - I would like to plant paw paws in pots. What depth and circumference would be best for them? Because they get tall I'm thinking a tall skinny pot would fall over...4983 days 15hrs
Looking for the key lime citrus aurantifolia - I have just purchased a citrus aurantifolia sublime tree from Bunnings. I am confused as to growing conditions. The sublime website says the lime tree is frost tolerant, yet all the other websites claim limes are frost tender. I am now stuck as to where t..5097 days 9hrs

Pepino - Kendall Gold (Cutting) 9/10

BarbaraMildura1's Edible Fruits
Update: 4977 days 20hrs

Comments: -

I bought the plant at bunnings as a 10 cm high cutting/seedling (unknown), in October 2009.  At first I had in growing in a 40 cm pot but it was not at it's best. It grew bushy and it was very difficult to reach under to water. Plus it was always drying out so had to be watered twice a day if not more. The leaves became all mottled, shrivelled looking, some yellow leaves, and they would drop off if I even looked at it.  It was trying to tell me something. Well it almost had a trip to the dirt bin. Seriously, it was a close call.

Decided to give it one more chance at life It was now mid July 2010 (winter). Had to decide on a position to suit little miss fussy as the Mildura summers reach 45 degrees C and winters get frosty with temps down to minus 3.  I chose a north facing wall with shade from the hot afternoon sun, and protection from winds. On frosty nights I have a shadecloth above which I can extend over the area.

So, dug a hole twice it's pot size, which by now was quite big, 80 cm wide x 80cm deep.  Filled the hole with compost, cow poo, a handful of blood and bone, and a sprinkle of sulphate of potash. Heavy handed I know but I had nothing to lose.  I put up a trellis behind it, 1 metre square to lift the branches up off the ground. This prevents soil borne bugs from moving home into your fruit tree and makes for easier watering. I then pruned it harshly, leaving only three main branches. These were tied to the trellis with soft pantihose. The three fruit were each tied up as well to support their weight. At time of transplanting there were about 15 liliac flower which I expected to drop off, but they did not.

I piled on an extra layer of compost and cow poo around the base of the plant as a mulch, making sure it did not touch the plant's stem.  I gave it a spray of copper oxychloride thinking maybe the leaves had a fungus or some tiny bug i could not see without a telescope. I also planted some coriander, marigolds, and fennel around it to help keep away white flies and other bugs. I put a yellow sticky trap along side it as an extra.  I am trying to do the organic thing in my garden as I cannot bear to harm the ladybirds and good fellers. I do water with seasol two weekly and will do so throughout spring to late summer, dropping off to three weekly in winter. I have heard that the pepino, flowers and fruits all year around, but I will keep this site updated with what happens to my bush.

When I did the pruning, I placed 2 x 10 cm cuttings in pots,(after dipping in root hormone powder), and 4 cuttings floating in water to grow roots. I will monitor which is the easiest and quickest way to propagate more pepino bushes.

It is now late september 2010 and I have just taken a photograph to show how this pepino has flourished. (now 2 months in ground). The leaves are larger, more green and smooth. The fruits have doubled in size,  plus there are more bigger flowers. The fruits even have liliac coloured streaks down them so they are on their way to be eaten. I have just checked for bugs but found none. The yellow sticky trap is full of carcases. Can't wait to taste the fruit.

2 October 2010: update:Found some snails nibbling on the leaves. Apparently this is a potential problem for pepinos. Spread some crushed eggshells around the base of the plant. White fly is another potential problem, but they seem to be stuck to the yellow sticky trap and not infesting my pepino.  I gave the bush a little shake to make the remaining family members take off, straight onto the trap. The fruit are becomming a little more yellow in colour, still no odour, very firm to touch, but measure 12 cm long, and 10 cm round. The cuttings floating in water now have small roots sprouting, whereas the ones in pots have different outcomes. One has died, the other just in limbo. Of course I can't see what is happening under the soil. Time will tell.




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