What did you all end up planting, and what survived the brutal winter followed by the brutal summer?
My pineapple guavas had a lot of leaf burn after the winter and did not end up flowering at all, but recovered nicely in the spring and looked quite nice all throughout the summer.
The goumi berry plants didn't seem to mind either the cold or heat much, and I got a decent crop of berries.
The ground raspberries that I planted last fall did well, but the extra few that I planted this spring bit the dust. The dinkum raspberry started to look crispy during the heat, but is putting on new leaves now and I think it will be fine.
The regent serviceberry was looking great until the summer kept on going and going, then it started looking a bit toasty, but I think it will be fine. Plus it sent out a bunch of suckers which seems like a good sign to me.
Chile petins pulled through without a problem.
I had a 100% fatality rate with chilean guavas. I'm tempted to try again, just because they sound so cool, but I don't have much hope. Maybe they will do well if they can ever live long enough to get establish. I also lost the goji berry in the heat, and the buffalo currant got really bad in the summer and may not pull through.
I'll be interested to hear what kind of results everyone else got. I have a few spots that have opened up after the fatalities due to this extreme summer and am considering another edible or two.
My pineapple guavas stayed green but had no blooms. The dinkum raspberry had some early fruit, started turning brown, but is looking nice and healthy again (in a pot). My chili petin is growing well and has little white flowers.
Salad Burnet or sallet Burnett appears to flourish in hot, dry clay. An herb that tastes like cucumbers to liven up your salad - all green or tuna or chicken or macaroni - but no burp factor. ;) Pretty plant, too!
The basil I've been growing from seed since we lived in Sicily 15 years ago did fine, the lemon basil and Thai basil did fine - no sign of the Cinnamon or Spicy Globe.
Oregano, parsley, sage and all the mints (potted) fried during the hot spell despite twice-daily watering.
The Concord grapes put on a second growth spurt and seemed confused, even trying to put on new clusters of fruit. They will probably cover the roof of the deck next year and the year after that, will crawl into the house to escape the crazy hot.
Lambkin melons have gone insane in two hale bale beds, but planted on the eastern side of the deck they got a major infestation of three colors of aphids and killing the aphids destroyed a lot of leaves.
One tiny slip peeled from a sprouting sweet potato has turned into a little jungle over the top of my compost pile. Prettier than bare compost. :)
I started planting edible plants about 4 years ago, and I seem to have a crazy addiction to get all that will grow here. I'd love to have fruit year around. Most of what I have now have only been planted about 2 years now.
I have a few things against me. Mostly, I have whatever is the opposite of a green thumb. This is added to Clay Soil (Gumbo) and water that are both very alkaline. I have no ďshadeĒ just open windswept pasture. I am in Zone 9a, SW of Houston. We get too cold for tropicals, not enough chill hours for lots of things, or our long Super Hot summers, just kill off plants left and right.
Some of these are at my house in large containers (with drip water system) in a line behind my back fence. Mostly the tropical-ish stuff, and blue and cane berries.
The trees are planted in two long lines with a shallow ditch between them. I flood the ditch and bail water to them. This summer it has been nearly every other day. Most of my trees that have been in the ground for 4 years, have roots to the ditch area, and don't need me to bail. Once I get this orchard established, I'll only need to flood the ditch in dry weather.
This summer had me flooding and bailing almost every other day, and I still had one inch wide cracks running between the trees. I have weed cloth circles around my trees with 3 to 4 inches of mulch. (Probably the only thing that saved them this year)
My pear trees seem to have handled this heat the best, especially the Asian pears. My European pears (Kieffer, Pineapple) are only 2 years in the ground, but they did each manage to flower and set a few fruit. I plucked them down to one each. My Asian pears are also only 2 years in the ground, and had a bumper crop. I culled the fruit twice on my 20th Century and the New Century.
* Of all my pears, I highly recommend the 20th Century Asian pear (aka Nijiseiki)
My Jujube trees, also had a great summer, despite only being in the ground 2 years, the Li made lots of fruit, I culled down to about 10. The Lang and Sugar Cane both were planted this Spring, and didnít miss a beat, they both made a handful of fruit, which I let them keep, but birds got all but one on each tree. Iím thinking about planting jujube in my pastures. I think once established, they would need no help from me. The fruit is like a very sweet apple taste.
* Li is self-fertile, has the biggest fruit, and the best fruit set.
My Feijoa did great, they are still small (18 inches or so) and were planted late Spring.
My Mulberry tree Loves it here. I also noticed a large wild one in my fence line, in the back pasture. Loaded with berries and birds.
My Peaches/Nectarines did quite well, most making fruit. They are early bearers and many have been in the ground for 4 years.
My plums both Japanese and European showed heat stress. A few made a couple fruit. *My Shiro and Beauty grew well and made tons of fruit, even with culling. These are the ones choose from if your only gonna have one plum.
Asian Persimmons really like it here too. * Choose fuyu if your to have just one.
Figs like it here too. They are making another round of fruit right now. Birds got the earlier round. They have only been in the ground 2 years.
I planted a Goldkist Apricot this Spring, and it has doubled in size, like we had perfect weather.
The same thing with my Che / Melon Berry, though quite small when planted this spring, it has doubled in size.
My Bananas, all planted this spring in 8 inch raised beds with drip irrigation, are doing great, though wind tattered.
None of my Apples seemed to grow very much, of course, still no fruit yet. At least they havenít died.
The two real cherry trees, compact stella and lapins, did OK, burnt leaves mostly, but hanging in.
The pomegranates died back during the winter, but they have loved this Summer; still too young for fruit.
The Loquat had lots of brown leaves, and is quite young. I thought Iíd lost it, but it is setting some new green leaves now.
My Spice Zee Nectaplum, too the Summer Hard, I planted it last Spring, and it showed heat stress that summer too. I though because it didnít have time to establish; but now I think it will be a chronic poor doer in the summer. It is sprouting new little red leave now, so I think it will be fine.
The other plum hybrids were planted this Spring. I got two types of 4N1 trees. One is doing OK. The other looks like it just couldnít establish, and has no leaves. They are on the same root stock. I am guardedly hopeful for next Spring.
Both pawpaws in the ground have died. I still have the seedling on the covered porch, only about 10 inches tall.
Hardy Kiwi, 5 types, all burnt up in the hot sun.
Chilian Guava, didnít even survive on the covered porch. Burnt up.
Grapes, Einset, grew great, the others did survived, and did OK, but didnít really grow in length much.
The blueberries, in the containers, both Southern High Bush and Rabbiteye, have done great this summer.
My Raspberries, Dinkum and Autumn Britten, are in containrers. They made fruit early, then tried to make some in the heat of summer, but the flowers/fruit burnt up. They are just now making new flower heads. Looks like Iíll get a fall crop.
Blackberry plants, in containers, did well, got a good crop of large berries on the Kiowa (Lots of Thorns), and the Thornless Wonder. I have a couple Prime Jim, but they didnít like the heat, and didnít produce this year.
The semi- tropical, ďpsudo-cherriesĒ, Barbados cherry, Cherry of the Rio Grande, and Surinam cherry, were planted in their containers this Spring. They are doing well, but will need to be protected each winter.
Wow, that is a lot. If you made it this far, thanks for the read.
Iím willing to answer any questions anyone my have about my trees/plants. Just remember, Iím no pro at this.
I have some room for a few more, as trees keep dieing and leaving their space open. If you have something that I donít have yet, that grows great here, Please let me know.
You are in a plains/grass area southwest of Houston, it doesn't normally support tree growth as well as grassland plants, the no protection from the winds, and salt in the ground. I'd say you are doing exceptionally well this summer all things considered...
Here is what I have so far. I am sure I missed quite a bit.
Pineapple Guava did great with low yields.
Jujube did wonderful with good yields as always.
Asian Pears did okay with some bark burn.
Asian Persimmons did wonderful but total fruit loss due to critters.
Mulberries did great as always.
Cornellian Cherry did wonderful with heat and drought. Total surprise.
Capulin Cherry did okay but leaf loss when it got to 112F. Hardy to 16F.
Anna Kiwi did great in pots but I had to move it to shade.
Kumquats did wonderful and are still fruiting and flowering.
Fantastic Avocado did okay. Hardy to 15F.
Serviceberry "Regent" did wonderful and fruited again.
Clove Currant did okay until the super heat started. All the ones in pots took the heat better.
Five Leaf Akebia all did okay as long as they are grown in the shade.
Chilean Guava died again. Sad.
Sea Berry made it through the summer but no real growth.
All citrus seemed to do okay.
Che fruit grafted on native Osage Orange had leaf burn but did okay.
Common Myrtle did wonderful. I hear the fruit kinda sucks.
Luma Apiculata eventually died from the heat and drought.
Champanel Grape did wonderful as always with no watering.
Pineapple Quince did incredible.
Cranberry Hibiscus did wonderful with little water.
Maypop Passionfruit vine is always a champ if not too aggressive.
Strawberry Guava fruited with little water. Hardy 22F
Surinam Cherry struggles in the ground but loves the heat in a pot. 22F
PawPaw just isnt worth the time or effort.
It's good to know what grows and does well here. I am trying to pick and choose edible landscaping for my new homestead. But I have only been at it for a few months, so have no information to share yet. I am having a bumper crop from several pecan trees now though. And I think the big black walnut tree will do the same. There are a lot of muscadine (sp?) grapes here, that I would think would have fruit by now? But I don't see any yet. Then again, I'm not sure when they are suppose to fruit here either. lol
Turns out my annual Kiwano Horned Melon did excellent again this year. It grew with very little water and covered an entire section of my fence. It is now pumping out new melons every day. Definitely a drought resistant vine. Plant it in the spring and by fall it will be huge and going into production.
I am really trying for raspberries next year. I have planted varieties that I have heard do well in the south, and will see if we have any winners. I have dinkum, autumn britten, heritage, and a variety I was given at the last RU.
The pecans need nitrogen now, ammonium nitrate 11-0-0 if you can get it, you will have a smaller crop nex year, the bumper part is in case the trees die- they are preparing to have babies take their place. Do you have the Red Devil lye cans buried at the tips of the branches-abt 3 or 4? the lye is made in Hannibal, Mo and is the only brand that works well. Also water in the nitrogen even tho it dissolves overnite, it insures the shallow roots get the benefits.
Kittriana, I have never heard about burying the Red Devil lye cans under the pecan trees before. I will look for some of it, if it will help make the trees more productive next year. Do you mean to actually bury the whole can, can and all, under the trees?
So, I have a few more spots to fill and I think I'm going to try Cornelian cherry based on jujube's success. I'm going with Pioneer and Yellow, from One Green World. I'm going to give Baby Shipova and Rabina Mt Ash from them, a try too.
I found a Regent Serviceberry at Edible Landscaping, I haven't decided on that one yet.
I am going to try Stark Bro's "Bubblegum Plum", it says zone 8, but with marketing like that, I've just got to try it. (It sure beats the original name "Toka")
Raintree has an interesting Europlum Combo I'm probably going to get.
I saw a 2N1 mini combo tree at Bay Laurel. It was Honey Babe Peach and Necta Zee Nectarine. Has anyone tasted either of these?
Yes, pop the top, and bury the cans, you will have to research the why because that is buried in the depths of antiquity in my head. Something in that lye is needed by the pecans-like plants like epsom salts type of thing. You really probably dont need but maybe 1 can if tween two trees, but bury them at the edge of the branches reach...next years pecans bloomed this past spring if I remember right, so they have fruit under the full pecans now waiting for nex year to mature. Good Luck
Here's a long term update on my edible plants after last year's severe heat and drought...
Probably my biggest success has been 3 Kiowa blackberries. Last year I got enough berries for 4 or 5 large cobblers, and the berries were large and sweet.
I've had good luck with goumi berries and its relative eleagnus ebbingei. They both pulled through the heat with very little problem, and my daughter especially loves picking the eleagnus berries as you have to get basically inside the shrub to find them. :) Agarita and native elderberry have also been a reliable producers, although I primarily leave the fruits for the birds as I have never tried making jam. My serviceberry survived the heat although it looked a bit fried, and produced fruit although I don't find it too good to eat right off the bush.
My pineapple guavas look good and have produce flowers (which are tasty in their own right) but have never produced fruit. Has anyone had luck getting these to produce? I have also never had any fruit set on my passiflora incarnata. Is there a trick to it?
My raspberries did surprisingly well. I never got more than a handful at a time, but they were quite tasty (especially the Dinkum variety).
I planted some native strawberries as groundcover and they are going gangbusters (luckily I have them in a bed where their spreading will be limited), although they didn't produce berries last year. I'm hoping for more success this year, now that they are established.
The chile petins did great, as usual.
Anyone else have any successes or failures to report?