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Beginner Fruit: zone 9 berry/fruit bushes, any ideas?

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Assorted
Brownsville, TX

February 13, 2008
8:38 AM

Post #4532220

I live in zone 9 of texas. bad thing is acidic soil and acidic water, so blue berries are out.

I bought bush cherries and a barbodsa (SP?) bush.

I am trying to figure out a berry or fruit tree that produces a couple times a year.

more so a small tree or a bush, due to the fact that I have a half arce lot and i already have 30 trees planted. hehehehe

I got black berries... just need something else that is berry picken fun! :)

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2008
3:34 PM

Post #4532983

Blueberries like acid soil so they should love your conditions. I think they need some winter chill in order to fruit, but there are some varieties out there that need less chill than others (there was a thread last year in the California forum where some people in the LA/San Diego area were growing blueberries, and I'm sure their winters are warmer than yours).
Marylyn_TX
Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2008
3:49 PM

Post #4533066

Have you considered loquats (http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2321/) or kumquats (http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/59861/)? Lemons grow here in Houston; I'll bet they'd like it even better down there. :-) Grapefruit and tangerines also grow well in Texas.

Hopefully someone else will come along with some berry suggestions for you. :-) I don't have any, or know enough to give suggestions. I do have a friend here in Houston who grows very happy blueberries, so there is hope! :-)
Assorted
Brownsville, TX

February 13, 2008
7:28 PM

Post #4534028

I already have:

---------------------------------------
2 pecan trees
3 orange trees
2 grapefruit trees
2 satsuma madrin trees
1 logan tree
2 starfruit trees
3 bush cherries
1 baborsa bush
3 mango trees
2 apple trees
3 banana trees (will be in the next week)
several kiowa black berries
4 dragon fruit
1 white sabote
1 black sabote
1 alvacaldo (sp?) tree
3 mexican (key) limes
1 bear Lime

-------------------------------------------------

Only problem with loquats is they are big trees, i kind of running out of room for those types.

I might try to low chill types of blue berries.

I light also try jujube bush tree. (are they a bush / very small tree?)

Its been 5 months since i started working in the backyard.
maybe one of the members here will give me a few ideas, so in the future I will have no regrets :)

thanks

This message was edited Feb 13, 2008 1:31 PM
doccat5
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7b)

February 14, 2008
7:53 PM

Post #4538231

How about a pineapple pear tree, they only require 400 chill hours and are hardy in your area. They taste wonderful!!
glendalekid
Tuscaloosa, AL
(Zone 7b)

February 15, 2008
7:07 AM

Post #4540817

Sunshine Blue blueberry will grow in Zone 10. There are others that only require 150-200 chill hours.

Assorted
Brownsville, TX

February 21, 2008
5:11 AM

Post #4567370

I am going to try blueberries. and a gooseberry... and strawberries

Even though I told my spouse I was not going to make a garden, will I am, hehehe.

plus I saw a place that has a jubube (sp) that only grows up to 10by10, I am going to give that a shot too.

oh I bought a santa rosa plum from home depot for ten bucks, I love sales...
Pughbear7
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 6b)

May 26, 2008
11:57 PM

Post #5007235

Assorted: I know we are suposed to be able to answer most questions as a community, but I would also contact the local county extension service. Its free and they have all kinds of neat handouts for ideas.
Just a thought
Dave
philotea
Philadelphia, PA

August 27, 2008
6:38 PM

Post #5474885

I'm looking to move to San Antonio in the next couple of years - which of the "Assorted" fruit trees from Brownsville would you recommend? I'm not impressed with Texas peaches, but I would LOVE to have mangos and avocados if you can get decent fruit! How do the citrus do there?
NatureLover1950
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

August 27, 2008
8:38 PM

Post #5475348

doccat,
Can you give a little more info on the pineapple pear tree? I have one spot left in my orchard that I didn't know what I wanted to put in it. I'd like to run a search to see what kind of growing conditions it needs to see if I can grow it here in my zone 8b.
bettydee
La Grange, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 27, 2008
10:25 PM

Post #5475757

Assorted, when you planted, did you leave the recommended space for mature trees between planted items? Unless you planted dwarf or semi-dwarf, much of what you already have will get quite large pecan trees between 70' - 100', citrus trees up to 35', Logan up to 40', mango trees depending on variety up to 65', etc. Get my drift?

Since most fruiting trees and shrubs require full sun, you also have to take into account how much of the planting area will be shaded by these tall trees.

I sympathize with you about wanting some of everything. I solved part of my problem when I lived in San Jose, CA by buying dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit trees. Initially they are more expensive, but the rewards are greater in that they are easier to maintain at a smaller size. Harvesting the fruit is also easier. Unfortunately, here in Texas dwarf citrus trees are almost impossible to obtain. There are a few.

Since you have at most 200 chill hours, you need to stick to fruit trees and shrubs that require less that. Expect not to have fruit if on some years you get less than the 200 hours. Some fruit varieties are more forgiving than others in their chill hour requirements. Which apple varieties did you plant? There are very few low chill apple trees.

Philotea, Brownsville is a ways from San Antonio, with very different climate. What will grow and thrive in Brownsville, will not necessarily grow and/or thrive in San Antonio. San Antonio is spread out over a vast area both physically and geologically. Temperatures regularly get down to the low 30s and 20s with occasional drops down to the teens.

If you can provide warmer microclimates for citrus and mangos, you will probably be able to grow them in the ground, Planting dwarf citrus and some of the smaller or dwarf growing mangos would be easier to care for. It would allow you to cover the trees. Remember you can only purchase citrus trees from within Texas. Unfortunately, it limits the varieties of dwarf citus you can purchase. Avocados would be very iffy for San Antonio. Mature trees might be able to survive in San Antonio, but the fruit would not, at least not most winters. When you look at survival temperatures for plants, you are looking at temperature for healthy mature plants.
http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/avocado.html
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/patiocitrus/index.html
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/mango/mango.html?
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/fruit/avocado2.html
A & M Extension Service, now called AgriLife has an office for Bexar County,
http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/
You may wish to contact them for the information you seek. San Antonio is in an area that gets up to 600 chill hours on average. This has probably changed in the last few years. You may also wish to go to this site and imput "Home Fruit Production - " (without the apostrophes) followed by the name of the fruit you wish to look up.
http://versa.tamu.edu:8080/Phtm_cgi.exe?search
philotea
Philadelphia, PA

August 28, 2008
1:24 PM

Post #5477968

Thanks, bettydee! San Antonio is considerably cooler than I thought. I will research as you advise and choose carefully when the time comes.
bettydee
La Grange, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 28, 2008
7:02 PM

Post #5479316

You're welcome, philotea. Don't hesitate to contact A & M's AgriLife. They are an excellent source.
Texasescimo
Argyle, TX
(Zone 7b)

August 29, 2008
12:12 PM

Post #5482198

I probably would not plant any more trees. I am no expert, but I have planted at least 40 (really probably triple that as I learn a little more as I kill them, but currently have over 40 trees lol) trees over the last 5 years. It seems that each year I find new pest or diseases. I do not have many of the varieties that you have. I have killed a couple of orange, lime, lemon and banana trees and several blueberries, but have none of those varieties left alive. Certain trees are bad about getting borers, others might get plum curculio, most seem to get some type of fungus or blight. I keep trying to go organic, but with the different varieties it is hard (and expensive) as it seems that organic sprays or beneficial insects only attack certain insects that attack certain trees. The planning and planting is fun and gives you a good feeling, but then you really have to find out when and what types of sprays each tree needs. I did not do a garden this year as I wanted to concentrate on my fruit trees. I missed one very very important spray in the spring. They kept saying rain and with surround (organic clay spray) you have to respray after each rain, so I kept postponing due to the forecast. I lost all of my plums and peaches and most of my apples to the plum curculio. I did not cover up my almond trees with the late spring frost so I lost all of my almonds. I believe that I have some type of peach tree borer on several of my peach trees and have seen what I think is some type of red headed ash borer on my bur oak tree. I know that with the curculio we get two generations here where as they only get one generation up north. Last year I seemed to have lost most of my fruit to things like brown rot (most of my peaches, nectarines, and grapes) and my pear trees had fire blight. Some sprays cannot be applied or need a different concentration on different types of trees. I do not mean to scare you, as I am not the most organized person so if you keep records and listen to the advice and links from people like ecrane, Bettiedee, farmerdil and all of the other wonderful people on Daves, everything should be fine. Sorry for my overly long and wordy post. Take care,
Mike
bettydee
La Grange, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 29, 2008
4:01 PM

Post #5483119

Mike, I'm sorry about your loss of all those fruit trees. I've lost a few as I learned how to garden in Texas. Back in San Jose, CA, because we lived on a hillside, we didn't have to worry about much frost. Yet we received between 900 - 1100 chill hours so I could, if I had had the room, grown just about any fruit trees I'd wanted except that the soil was basic so no blueberries. I had a large number of fruit trees (and shrubs), but they were all semi-dwarf or dwarf trees. I pushed growing zones a bit, but mostly on ornamentals. I had a great variety of fruiting trees, shrubs and vines, but I did learn a very important lesson. Never plant more than you can take care of properly. It also helps to be patient and plant a few, get them established, shaped and growing properly before tackling another small bunch. It took me 22 years to get all the fruit trees in San Jose yard which was large by California standards. Then my DH decides he wants a ranch in Texas.

We moved out to a ranch 17 miles from town here in central Texas (zone 8b-9a) about 7 years ago. I had to learn to garden all over again. Basic knowledge stays more or less the same, but the conditions are so different that gardening is just not the same. One thing I have not done so far is push chill hour zones. Scroll down toward the bottom of the link to see a generalized chill hour zone map of Texas.
http://generalhorticulture.tamu.edu/lectsupl/Temp/temp.html

It helps to know something about chill hour effects on fruiting trees. For example almonds have low chill hour requirements so they break dormancy very early. San Jose used to be mostly fruit orchards. In fact much of the south bay used to be mostly orchards. They slowly disappeared as the Bay Area grew, but there are still large mature fruit trees here and there for reference as to what will grown there. Home gardens contain lots of fruit although now the trees are mostly semi-dwarf or dwarf because of the yard sizes. Almond trees are the first to bloom usually in early to mid-February. Think of what the temperatures are like at that time here in Texas. While the mature trees may be hardy into the upper 20s, the flowers and immature fruit will be lost to frost. Immature trees won't make it in Texas most years.

You are well out of the citrus growing belt of Texas. You can get around it by purchasing dwarf citrus trees and keeping them in pots. Although the selection is not great and they are difficult to find in Texas, dwarf citrus are not impossible to find. Dwarf is preferable over standard due to the ultimate size of standard citrus which can get up to 35' high. Even the standard Meyer Lemon will eventually get about 18' tall. Dwarf trees are easier to maintain in large 24 - 30' pots. If the pots are kept on dollies, the pots can be rolled into a garage or greenhouse for the winter.

I've already mentioned almonds and their difficulty. The plums have to be the Asian variety. You would need to get those varieties that have chill hour requirements about 100 - 150 hours less than the average number of chill hours for your area (Check with your extension service for a more accurate number.). The same holds tree for other fruit trees. If you go too low, the trees will break dormancy early and you'll lose the blooms or young fruit or both. That is if the tree will survive the lows you get. If the chill hour requirement matches the average number you typically get, there will be some years where you don't enough chill hours for the trees to break dormancy properly. Worst case scenario: the trees stress out, weaken, may be hit by pests and die. Usually you won't get fruit about 50% of the time. If the chill hour requirement is much higher, the trees will not break dormancy properly, they will have damaged flowers, bloom off season, sicken and die.

It's amazing how much agricultural information you can find on the web, please take advantage of it. You will find gardening much more satisfying when you get to see what you have planted thrive. Then again, we live in Texas and you have to roll with the punches. Even when you have done every thing right, Mother Nature will come along and hit you with a late frost, a drought, or too much rain (How I wish that were true this year.), hail the size of golfballs, etc. LOL By the way, blueberries need very acidic soil, between a pH of 4 - 4.5, and most Texas soils are alkaline to highly alkaline. You would have a better chance of growing them in a raised bed of acidic top soil. Since your water is probably neutral or slightly basic, you would need to monitor the soil pH and correct it periodically.

mocjack
Richmond, TX

October 31, 2008
1:00 AM

Post #5735080

I am growing Pineapple Guava and Gac here in the Richmond, Texas area. Going very well.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 2, 2009
7:47 PM

Post #6493976

ok, have u DONE a soil test? Texas is more prone to alkaline soil, 7.0 or more- same reason the alkaline water can kill you from just being in it that far south, re: school bus hit by coke truck, went into a big 'pond' of water, survivors had to get treatment to survive the poison in the alkaline water??? Blueberries have several strains that can handle S Tx heat, but u usually have to grow them in pots with soil that is adjusted to acid. Acid soils are found more often up around Portland, Ore for instance...

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 2, 2009
7:48 PM

Post #6493986

also, blackberries like alkaline soil, grow where the iron in the soil grows pine trees, real well
Mincey1
Loris, SC
(Zone 8b)

August 10, 2009
1:58 AM

Post #6928355

Hey, speaking of fruit trees , has any one ever planted a peach kernel and if so did it come up? My son wonted to try planting some to see if they would come up .
If any one has tryed it I sure would like some info, Thanks A lot
mincey1
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2009
2:09 AM

Post #6928381

Yes, they will definitely come up, I've done it before. Just stick them in a pot and wait! The only trouble is you can't guarantee that the fruit you get will taste as good as your original peach did since many peaches are hybrids and won't come true from seed. But as a little experiment in growing things you probably aren't too worried about that (and it may taste perfectly good, it's just not a guarantee)
Jim41
Delhi, LA

August 10, 2009
2:25 AM

Post #6928434

Mincey1, I had a friend that would take the pits to his grinder and grind the outside hull down real thin and then plant them. He said they came up faster that way. When he moved back to Wyoming he had peach trees growing everywhere.
Mincey1
Loris, SC
(Zone 8b)

August 12, 2009
1:30 AM

Post #6936606

Thanks ecrane3, also Jim41 for your replyes. Do one of you know how long it will take for one to come up ? also should I keep the soil damp while waiting for them to come up? How long should I grow them in pots befour I plant them? I would be greatful for any help you could give. Thanks minceyi
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 12, 2009
1:35 AM

Post #6936631

I don't remember exactly how long they took to come up, but I don't remember it being a really long time--if things take too long I usually start to wonder if they're going to come up at all and I don't remember having those thoughts about the peach (actually I think mine was a nectarine, but they're very closely related). As far as planting them, if you start them now I'd probably keep them in pots at least for the winter, but then in the spring if they're big enough you could probably plant them then. Or you could keep it in a pot for longer if you wanted to.
Jim41
Delhi, LA

August 12, 2009
1:37 AM

Post #6936642

I would imagine the soil needs to be moist. That's a hard seen your trying to sprout. How long will it take to come up, I don't know. Slow, that is the reason the guy ground the pod down, to speed sprout time. I always leave any plant like that in the pot long enough to let the roots get established. You can shock them if you transplant to quickly.
Mincey1
Loris, SC
(Zone 8b)

August 16, 2009
12:16 AM

Post #6950854

ecrane3 and Jim41 thanks so much for your help . Your input has been invaluble I was about to throw them away ,but my son wonted to plant them . I really hope for his sake they come up. I will let you know if it comes up.

Thanks again
mincey1
cspista
Tarpon Springs, FL

February 12, 2010
12:16 PM

Post #7553025

Hi, I like to have gooseberry too, I'm in Fl, zone 9, but I think gooseberries don't like low chilly hours.The Vernon Barnes and Son Nursery in Tennessee (phone No: 931 668 8576) have gooseberry for zone 5-9, the name : PIXWELL. The another nurserys saying Pixvell is for zone 4-8.???
Mojoquilter
Wichita, KS
(Zone 6a)

February 12, 2010
2:12 PM

Post #7553238

How about Sand Hill Plums or Chickasaw Plums as they are known in Texas? here in Ks we call them sand plums and they are delicious fresh, in jellies and recipes. They do grow in Texas. I see them out along the country roads here, growing just about anywhere and everywhere. They like sandy soils and I don't think they are too picky about where they grow. They are hardy enough to weather the hot Ks summers and freezing winters. the wildflower link below says they can grow to 36 feet tall but I've never seen any get that tall. Most always they are bushy rather than trees.

http://www.kansasforests.org/conservation/shrubs/sandhillplum.shtml
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PRAN3

This message was edited Feb 12, 2010 10:54 AM
cspista
Tarpon Springs, FL

February 13, 2010
12:06 AM

Post #7554661

I'm in Florida zone 9, and looking for berries too. I like to have a gooseberry plant, but I guess isn't OK for low chilling areas, like Florida zone 9. I find gooseberry for zone 5-9, name Pixwell in Vernon Barnes and Son Nursery Catalog,(Tennessee, phone:931 6688576). But the another nurserys saying Pixwell is for zone 4-8.?????
Zone13
Houston, TX

March 10, 2010
6:25 PM

Post #7619970

Brownsville is not Zone 9! Winter averages are warmer then Orlando and Tampa. Brownsville is a SOLID Zone 10a, with mostly 10b winters. Heating Degree Days are the highest in the U.s.a outside of S. Florida. Ficus, Royals, and FRUITING coconuts don't grow in San Antonio, or Houston. 70s & 80s are common in winter.
The problem with LA is numerous days in the 40s. It may not see frost, but coconuts fail.
Zone13
Houston, TX

March 10, 2010
6:31 PM

Post #7619984

Brownsville is further south then Ft.Lauderdale.
Zone13
Houston, TX

March 12, 2010
2:48 PM

Post #7624388

Gooseberries like cool (but above freezing) climates like S. Africa, New Zealand, and S. China.
LiseP
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2010
8:33 AM

Post #7625864

Mincey1, I've never done this, but here are directions:

http://www.michiganpeach.org/facts/pit.html

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