Edible landscaping

Grapevine, TX(Zone 8a)

I am looking to take out a small blackberry patch that isn't doing so well and doesn't look so go, and am looking for replacement suggestions. My wife would really like them to be replaced with something else that produces berries or fruit that are edible right off the vine, versus for making jelly, etc. Shrubs would be preferable, with some shade tolerance. Do any such plants exist, that would do well in north Texas?

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Blueberries if you have an acid soil. Shrub.
Chilean Guava is very tasty little berry. Shrub. hardy 10F
PassionFruit Maypop. Vine.
Pineapple Guava makes pineapple/strawberry tasting fruit. Shrub. Hardy 5-10F
Kiwi: Vine.
Serviceberry Alnifolia: can be pruned as shrub, like blueberry but doesnt need acid soil.
Goumi: Shrub with tons of red berries. Tastes like cantalope when very ripe.



Grapevine, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm really interested in the Chilean Guava. I read a few references to it doing best in cool areas. Have you had good luck in Texas?

I'm also liking the maypop and goumi ideas.

Thanks, jujube!

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

I have some here. You basically have to plant them in an area that doesnt get afternoon sun. Mine get morning sun and filtered afternoon sun.
Goumi and Maypop can take all the sun you give them.

Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

The first thing I wonder is, why the Blackberrys didn't do well?

Grapevine, TX(Zone 8a)

I think the main problem is they are not getting enough sun due to a fence and a shade tree. I'm going to try to remedy that as much as I can with a little pruning, and not plant so close to the fence. Mostly I'm hoping to get something a bit more ornamental. The bed is on the side of my house that I rarely go around to, but it is quite visible from my neighbors dining room window.

That side of the house also has a few indian hawthorne in full sun that I'm thinking may get replaced with some of the suggestions. I have very little full sun areas in my yard, and I really like the idea of ornamental and edible plants over there. :)

Goldthwaite, TX(Zone 8a)

My problem is the opposite: how to control a blackberry patch that is out of control!

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Of the ones I have mentioned, I think that Feijoa (Pineapple Guava) has the most to offer. I cant be grow as a shrub or small tree. It is very drought tolerant, the flowers are incredible and taste like popcorn cotton candy, it can be bought at local nurseries, it doesnt require heavy fertilization, adaptable, it has flaking bark like crape mytles and the fruit is fantastic. This bush should be a replacement for the invasive ligustrums and its growing popularity indicates that it will be widespread in Texas within 10 years. If you do try this plant, make sure to get two for better fruit production.
Mine took 11 degrees this winter without and problem. The fruit at the house this summer was like pineapple with strawberries mixed into it. So good.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Dennis, I'll take your blackberries! My DH has been wanting to start a blackberry patch. Let me know what we can work out. I'd be happy to send him to fetch them!

Grapevine, TX(Zone 8a)

Stephanie, are you going to be at the spring RU? I can dig them up and bring them. There are only two left, so probably not worth driving over from Forth Worth to pick up. :)

Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

jujubetexas, do you really think Pineapple Guava will be widespread in Texas in ten years? Considering we are years behind other states, I'm not so sure. They are hard to find in my area. DW, Maggi, is from Oregon. Years ago we went to Portland to see friends and family. When we went for a drive I yelled, stop the car. I pointed to two weeping Japanese Maples that were a ft in diameter. Maggi said, they were 8" in diameter when she was a little girl, walking to school. Then she said I keep telling you Texas is 20 years behind other states in the plant world. I now have to agree with her. There is a woman who has worked for a large nursery in Tyler who thinks there is only one Ginger that will grow in this part of Texas. She was shocked to here I have over a hundred planted in the ground. I do hope Pineapple Guavas do well here. I found one at a small nursery and planted on the south side of our house in 08 and it seems to be doing fine. Time will tell if the 9F freeze did any real damage. I would like to find another one and cant wait to taste the fruit and flowers.

Colleyville, TX(Zone 8a)

It sounds like a fantastic plant. Hmmm....maybe something needs to be replaced!

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

I do believe that it will take off because Home Depots and Lowes are starting to carry them. The company that Lowes orders from also has them in stock so all you have to do is make a request to the garden center manager and they will be there this spring. You will definitely find them in local nurseries. I would say they are in 4/10 of the nurseries in my area. They tend to sit on the shelves until they flower in spring and then they disappear overnight when people see the flowers. Many people complain that they dont get fruit but they only have one plant and it really needs two for good fruit production.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

I am really excited about Serviceberry/Juneberry. This is normally considered a Northern tree/shrub but I bout a few last year and they did great during the drought this summer. My only concern is if they will get the chill they require to fruit and flower in spring. I should know by March or April. Depending on the variety, you will get a tree or shrub. Either way, imagine a tree with very showy flowers in spring, delicious blueberry type fruit in early summer and firey red/orange leaves in autumn.

Another plant I am excited about is Emerald Carpet Raspberries. It is a ground cover that produces small raspberries. I have only had them for 6 months but they are looking good and growing nice. They are supposed to take sun or shade.

Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks jujubetexas, you are giving me some food for thought and snacking.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Dennis, I'm planning on being there, so if we can work out a trade that'll be great!

Grapevine, TX(Zone 8a)

Stephanie, I'll be sure to pot them up when I'm ready to redo the bed.

Jujube, keep us up to date about the raspberries. They are my favorite fruit, but I had read numerous times that they don't work in the south. If that variety works for you then I think I know what groundcover I would use for my other edibles. :)

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks, Dennis!

Arlington, TX

Pinapple Guava sounds very interesting. I am so new to this I didn't even realize blackberries did well here. Do the carpet raspberries have bad thorns?
Cheryl

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

You've made Pinapple Guava sound so good. I'll be on the lookout for some also. mmmmm

Arlington, TX

I wonder if they are hardy enough for this area. Maybe I am just being too careful after this last cold spell.
C

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

No thorns on the Carpet Raspberries.
The Pineapple Guava should go 5-10F.
That is pretty cold even for your area.

Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

It got down to 9F here and mine is doing just fine. Arlington is in the center of the Metroplex and is much more protected than say NW Fort Worth, you should be fine.

Arlington, TX

Hm now I will have to look for a couple. I would need to keep them from getting too big, do they take well to being pruned.
C

Grapevine, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm tentatively thinking of planting two pineapple guavas and a goumi along the west side of the house (I read somewhere that they can be espaliered), a few passion vines in the part that is shaded by a fence and the tree, and a chilean guava on less sunbaked east side of the house. Maybe some carpet raspberries for ground cover.

Any other suggestions for eat-off-the-plant fruits that do well in north Texas, don't need spraying, and don't get too huge?

Arlington, TX

Can pineapple guava take full sun?
C

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Goji Berries will grow there.

Pineapple Guava can take full sun.

Goumi grow in a way that is easy to espalier. Just let it grow for one season, choose 4 or 6 branches and snip the rest.

Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

I have had the Pineapple Guava since 08 but have not heard of the Chilean Guava. I have been trying to read up on it but keep getting a wide range of cold hardy listings. One person says nurserys in the Pacific north west tell people it will not grow there but lots of people do. I have people at nurserys tell me Gingers won't grow here and I have over a hundred. I am going to give this on a try, if I can find some. Does it take two to produce fruit? I don't guess that matters because I will probably want several anyway. Now going to go read up on Goumi.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Newtonsthirdlaw ~ in answer to your question, yes they can be pruned.

Quoting:
These trouble-free trees rarely exceed 18 feet in height. When lightly pruned they develop into graceful, small trees. They can be trimmed into bold, short hedges or tall, thick privacy screens.
from here. http://www.justfruitsandexotics.com/PineappleGuava.htm

They also have some interesting suggestions for edible landscape plants. http://www.justfruitsandexotics.com/FruitfulHedges.htm

Colleyville, TX(Zone 8a)

Love that website. Anyone up for a road trip?

Arlington, TX

Where would one get a couple pineapple guavas? Without driving to FL that is.
I grew kiwi in MI and wonder if it is the same vine.
C

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

jujube, where did you find the carpet reaspberries? I'd love to have some of those! If I can find them, I'm going to try growing some. Raspberries are probably my favorite fruit, well them and peaches, figs, strawberries, watermelon.....I guess I just love fruit :)

Crow

Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Now that I thank about it, I think I got my Pineapple Guava at Canton Trade Day. I will be looking for another as well as the Chilean Guava.

Arlington, TX

Might try mail order but who knows what they will be like.
C

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Bay Flora has the best Chilean Guavas online. Please try them in a pot the first year so you can find the spot that gives them shade in the afternoon during the summer. If you have a place that gives them morning/early afternoon sun only, that would be ideal. You only need one for fruit but I suspect two will give you more fruit due to cross polination. They are hardy from 10-14F.

Just call LOCALLY owned nurseries in your area and you will find Pineapple Guavas. You might have to call a few but you will find one. Four nurseries within 8 miles of my house have them. They are more prevelant in nurseries with hippies. Funny but true.

Carpet Raspberries will be shipped from BurntRidge Nursery around late Feb to early March. The fruit is much smaller than regular raspberry but the fact that it is an attractive edible groundcover makes up for that.

I dont want to get everyone worked up but there is an edilbe Crape Myrtle as well. It is an evergreen Crape with decent edible blue berries. It is called a Chilean Myrtle or Luma apiculata. The flowers look like popcorn and the berries follow. I think the cold hardiness is around 10-14F as well. When everyone elses Crapes are without leaves, yours will still be beautifully decked out. When you harvest the berries, all your neighbors will be jealous. I am ordering my first from Forest Farm this spring. They even have a golden variety that is a little more expensive if you really want to piss off the Jones. Enjoy.







This message was edited Jan 24, 2010 7:28 PM

Arlington, TX

If anyone in the Arlington area finds a nursery with pineapple guava give shoot me an email here. I am really wanting some home grown fruiting plants.
C

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

I'd love some too. If I find any I'll let y'all know. K

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Here is a goofy video about them. This guy has pruned them into a tree but they normally grow as a bush.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V6Bddo1UU8

Here is the same guy but he shows you the flowers and eats them. The flowers are really good. Sometime people say flowers are edible but there really isnt much to the taste but that isnt the case with pineapple guava. So yummy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A91zpSbNaKk&feature=PlayList&p=599BA795CC11FC2C&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Colleyville, TX(Zone 8a)

"Fricken" funny guy! I can see why the tree form would be easier to find the fruit.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

UPDATE!!!
I went out and checked my Chilean Guavas today and it appears that everything that was exposed to 14F a few weeks ago died if it was smaller than pencil caliper. Everything over pencil caliper survived. I would use 14F as a benchmark. These plants were not protected at all so I suspect we could have saved most of the plant by covering.

The Pineapple Guavas are still doing fine.



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