Tips

These fruits like it warm

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Sep Week3

September’s the month to plant fruits that come from warmer areas. This way the plants can make as much growth as possible before they have to cope with next winter. And, even if your garden is too cold for mangoes and paw paws, you might like to try some of the more adaptable varieties such as passionfruit, avocadoes, tamarillos and figs.

Passionfruit

Common black passionfruit is the hardiest and is often considered to have the best flavour of all. The tart-edged sweetness of the pulp and the crunchiness of the seeds make eating passionfruit a feast of both taste and texture.

Plant passionfruit into a well-drained, sunny spot with some provision for the plant to climb – against a fence or trellis would be ideal. Improve the soil beforehand by digging in mature compost or well-aged manure. In about a month’s time, as the vine starts to grow, feed with Thrive Citrus Food. Some patience may be required in the beginning because passionfruit vines tend to spend the first season growing and don’t crop very well until the second year.

Feed passionfruit at least twice a year with Yates Thrive Citrus Food. Mulch well and make sure the vine has plenty of water, especially during flowering and when fruit is young. Pruning may not be necessary but thinning out crowded foliage will let sun penetrate. Passionfruit vines are usually short lived, so plan on putting in a replacement every three or four years.

Avocadoes (pictured)

Avocadoes can be surprisingly tolerant to cold but they can’t stand wet feet. Always check that drainage is free and that water isn’t sitting around the roots. If necessary, plant the tree on top of a raised mound or, better still, grow it in a large pot. Be patient – it will be 3 -5 years before a grafted avocado starts to think about cropping.

Tamarillos

Tamarillos are Kiwi favourites. Also called ‘˜tree tomatoes’, they have orange-red, tart-flavoured fruit that dangle beneath the umbrella-shaped tree canopy when ripe. Although tamarillos don’t cope well with heavy frosts, if given a warm, sheltered spot they’ll grow quickly through the coming warm months and will be well established before next winter.

Figs

Although not really tropical, figs are regarded as exotic and, occasionally, difficult. They require plenty of sun, good drainage, and typical Mediterranean conditions (wettish winters and dry summers).

Feed figs in spring and early autumn (Thrive Citrus Food) and mulch over the root system in spring. Occasionally sprinkle the surrounding soil with lime or dolomite. Protect new growth from sap-sucking pests by using Yates Nature’s Way Insect Spray.


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