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Selfsufficientme's Edible Backyard

Joined: 21/02/12 Updated: 07/11/13 Frost: Low
Location: Bellmere, QLD, Australia

About My Edible Backyard


Why Selfsufficientme Love's Edible Plants

I love edible plants and my property is blessed with many more fruit trees because of Daley's excellent online shop.

I'm a writer/blogger and founder of the blog Self Sufficient Me (just Google it) or go to www.selfsufficientme.com  

My children love fruit and because they can see it growing at home, they appreciate it even more. The other day my youngest came home and said his teacher had never heard of dragon fruit - she saw it in his lunch box and said "that's not fruit."  See, children can even help educate teachers in healthy eating sometimes ;)    

My soil type here in Bellmere is mainly heavy clay with a small amount of ok topsoil and being a subtropical climate just north of Brisbane we get our fair share of rain. Regardless, most plants grow very well (Avocados being the exception) - I'm working on it...

My orchard runs down a slight slope from east to west (ish) but I have also scattered fruit trees everywhere throughout my block replacing ornamentals with fruiting plants in some cases.  

The world is becoming more populated and this is placing increasing strains on food supplies particularly fresh fruit and vegetables. If you're not insuring yourself now by planting some fruit trees then be prepared to pay lots more for your fruit in the future.   

Growing my own fruit also gives me diversity and a chance to try fruits which otherwise are rarely seen on the supermarket shelves. A big property is not required for lots of fruit trees and I think that's pretty cool...


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Fruit Tree Forum Contributions

Selfsufficientme Forum Contributions
Which fruit trees can be grown in - db, in regards to pomegranate I have two trees but they're only a few years old. When I researched growing in clay soils (just as you are) pomegranates were flagged as able to withstand clay and so far mine are doing well. However, I stress buildi..2487 days 19hrs
Which fruit trees can be grown in - db, I lost 3 avos before I realised the clay was killing them especially Hass due to its long tap root. I solved my clay problem by building up the soil but first I dug down about a foot deep amd 1 metre wide loosend up the soil threw in some gypsu..2493 days 18hrs
Mango tree disease - Wow! This is a huge thread on mango tree issues (mostly issues) and it shows what a pain it is growing this fruit . When i lived in Darwin i saw people harvesting disease free mangoes from large trees growing carefree in the local parks - made me think gr..2532 days 17hrs
Shade tolerant fruit tree1 - Yes Gledy, it's a passion fruit vine on a cross-like trellis. I wanted a tree in this part of my yard but the soil gets water logged in summer mounding didn't help and everything kept dying so I came up with this idea and it worked. When my brother visi..2584 days 15hrs
Shade tolerant fruit tree1 - Hi, shade is a difficult problem most of us food gardeners face. Fruit trees will grow 'okish' in a semi-shaded place but they won't thrive and because of the energy needed to produce fruit, production is better in full sun. If your particular spot c..2588 days 20hrs

Mango - Glenn (Grafted) 10/10

Selfsufficientme's Edible Fruits
Update: 1862 days 10hrs

Comments: -

We have big troubles on our property (just north of Brisbane) with anthracnose and black spot so I've been diversifying with several different types of mango trees which have good rep for disease resistance - the Glen Mango is one of them (I now have three). Also, I'm keeping my Glen mango trees on the smaller side for management reasons which suits this type.

The fruit is wonderful and I love how I don't need to spray a fungicide every 5 minutes just to get fruit, in fact, I'm not spraying anything at all! They are also resilient trees able to withstand heavy clay and boggy ground through the wet season than dry as hell through the spring/early summer without requiring rushing to the plant with water non-stop.  

   

Fruiting Months January and February

Planted: 2009

Height 2 metres

Growing: In the Ground

Qty: 3

Fruit Harvest: 20 Fruit Per Year

First Fruited: 1 Years from purchase in pot

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Water Given in: Spring

Spring

Pollination: Self Pollination

Fertiliser or Organics Used: yes

When I Fertilise: Yearly

Organic Status:Organic


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Finger Lime - Red Cutting 8/10

Selfsufficientme's Edible Fruits
Update: 1863 days 7hrs

Comments: -

This tree is very hardy! My initial planting placed this tree down the back of our property in a treed area (being a rainforest plant). However, after the drought broke this spot become really boggy through our subtropical summer so after a few years of suffering I finally moved it to our orchard where it's happily growing now. 

It tends to have a bushy growth so after it established itself in the new spot I gave it a heavy prune to ensure it had a proper trunk and thinner canopy because if left to self-shape it would be a bugger to mow around or pick fruit due to its thorns.

The fruit is unique and rather than have a pulp (like most citrus) it has hundreds of small beads instead which ooze out like beaded toothpaste when the lime fruit is squeezed from one end. The taste is definitely lime and the lime beads are not just novel but work well in drinks or cooking.   

Planted: 2008

Height 2 metres

Growing: In the Ground

Qty: 1

Fruit Harvest: 1 kilograms per Year

First Fruited: 2 Years from purchase in pot

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Water Given in: Spring

Spring

Pollination: Self Pollination

Fertiliser or Organics Used: citrus

When I Fertilise: Spring

Pest Control: Native caterpillars/butterfly's will chew on leaves but don't usually do too much damage.    

Organic Status:Organic


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Acerola - Florida Sweet (Seedling) 7/10

Selfsufficientme's Edible Fruits
Update: 1866 days 8hrs

Comments: -

I prefer to call it the Barbados cherry and there's lots of good and some ordinary points about this large shrub.

Firstly the ordinary: The plant itself is rather fickle and prone to stem breakage at the base of the shrub which isn't too bad due to it's bushy growth but it can leave the plant vulnerable to disease and may look unsightly until it grows out naturally.    

The fruit isn't liked by everyone and some people can't stand the sour taste especially freshly picked.

In a fruit fly area it will get stung and whilst the larva may not develop in the fruit it still distorts growth.

Our large shrub/tree is showing signs of age at about 5-6 years but I'm not sure how long it lives - pruning does rejuvenate growth a little.

Now the good: We love the fruit freshly off the plant and there's usually lots of it with sometimes several flowerings a year. The flowers are small pretty pink things making it a nice addition to a garden or orchard.

An awesome jam or syrup (especially for ice-cream) can be made by simmering the fruit, straining, and adding a little sugar to taste to make a vibrant red topping - it tastes amazing!

It doesn't seem to be troubled by pests other than fruit fly and we don't lose too much fruit to birds or other animals really.

Growth is fast - particularly early on as it establishes which is good because it isn't long before the shrub will be fruiting.

I fertilise with a little citrus fertiliser in spring.       

Planted: 2008

Height 3 metres

Growing: In the Ground

Qty: 1

Fruit Harvest: 3 kilograms per Year

First Fruited: 2 Years from purchase in pot

Water Given in: Spring

Pollination: Self Pollination

Pest Control: No sprays


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Pitaya - Yellow Dragon Fruit (Cutting) 9/10

Selfsufficientme's Edible Fruits
Update: 1869 days 8hrs

Comments: -

Our yellow dragon fruit vines are flourishing! I think the fruit tastes like a mild melon with a flesh texture similar to a kiwi fruit (only white). Everyone I know who tastes this fruit for the first time loves it. I personally do not think dragon fruit is bland tasting (the yellow variety anyway).   

The yellow dragon fruit is smaller than the red variety but sweeter tasting - I think they are both good but I have had some red DF from the supermarket which were horrible. My own home-grown reds are great. Anyway, care needs to be taken when picking or handling the yellow DF as the fruit proudly displays many 1/2 inch - inch long thin thorns. A dust pan brush is the best way to remove the thorns from a ripe DF prior to picking.

The plant is also spikey (being a cactus) so I have grouped my pitayas in a separate garden with my other thorny edibles like raspberries and pineapples.

Growth was pretty fast reaching 2.5 metres in 2 years. I trained the plant up a post and then left it "droop" from the top. It was this "drooping" that resulted in small bend fractures which triggered the plants to start branching at the top and then flowering this season.

Flowering is spectacular! My wife first saw the flowers in the early morning when she opened the curtains and gasped at the display telling me to come quickly. The plants were 50 metres away but the flowers were easily visible at about 7-8 inches across. Normally, dragon fruit flower at night so catching the flowers in the morning before they closed was a great treat. The large flowers quickly die-off and the fruit forms from the base.

Naturally shed branches or cuttings root easily to make new plants and the plants survive on little water. In fact, I would be careful not to over-water this plant as it seems to enjoy "dryer feet".

Recommendation? Yes, the yellow dragon fruit is a top specimen to have in the garden. The fruit certainly looks more remarkable than it tastes but it's still great eating (especially chilled) and I'll definately be growing a couple more.  

Fruiting Months February, March, April, May

Planted: 2010

Height 2.5 metres

Growing: In the Ground

Qty: 3

Fruit Harvest: 4 kilograms per Year

First Fruited: 2 Years from purchase in pot

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Water Given in: Summer and Winter

Pollination: Self Pollination

Fertiliser or Organics Used: Some chook poo

When I Fertilise: Yearly

Pest Control:

Nothing seems to touch this plant. Can get a few minor rust spots through humid summers but recovers easily.

Organic Status:Organic


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Orange - Lanes Late (Grafted) 8/10

Selfsufficientme's Edible Fruits
Update: 2462 days 9hrs

Comments: -

I wanted to extend my orange season and I already had a Washington naval, which produced exceptional tasting and good sized fruit so I decided to give Lane's late a go and I wasn't disappointed.

The tree grew slow at the start but it has found its feet now and is doing well.

The fruit does mature slightly later than my other oranges, so it has helped to extend my orange season. Tastes great and juices well. Fruit set isn't prolific (unlike my Valencia) but I'm sure it will improve as the tree matures.

The tree itself is quite upright in growth and is just awesome in my backyard collection.

I live in a fruit fly prone area but the citrus are usually left alone and if stung the larva never develop - it also helps that the fruit ripening is through winter and the fruit fly numbers are lower.

I would definately recommend the Lane's late naval orange for the backyard.

 

Fruiting Months February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September

Planted: 2007

Height 3.5 metres

Growing: In the Ground

Qty: 1

Fruit Harvest: 30 Fruit Per Year

First Fruited: 2 Years from purchase in pot

Sun/Shade: Full Sun

Water Given in: Autumn

Pruned By: 10% in After Fruiting

Fertiliser or Organics Used: chicken and quail manure, some citrus commercial mix, some trace elements

When I Fertilise: Yearly

Pest Control:

This tree is largly pest free. Gets the occasional leaf miner, caterpilla, or aphid but nothing serious. If I ever do need to spray, I use a little white oil and sometimes pyrethrum but that's very rare.


Organic Status:Organic


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