Growing SubTropical and Temperate Fruits in
I have enjoyed gardening since I was a child.I always had few fruit trees in my back yard. A few years ago I thought I may have my own fruit garden as well as a kitchen garden.So I started working on it. I planted both temperate and subtropical fruit trees in my back yard. I am having good exprience. I faced many diffculties and challenges. Above all the joy I feel watching my trees growing is priceless. It is not only a good past time but it effects health too. I am thankful to my wife who is a good helping hand. I want to share my experience with others ie. the joy as well as the challenges of gardening in the desert. I grew up in south Asia where the climate is subtropical, and orchards of tropical fruits such as mango, guava, and banana are common. There are very few places on earth where you can grow tropical, desert, mediterranean and temperate fruits and Phoenix is one of them.
It is a fact that tropical plants do much better with organic fertilizer. I raise alpaca, mini horse, and chickens at my ranch and compost their manure. I use it for my plants.
We have about 350- 400 chill-hours in the valley which enable us to grow some temperate fruits. There are few days of mild frost in a typical year during our winter season. Dry weather has its own advantages and disadvantages.However it is managable in Arizona. Our plants are much less prone to diseases as compared to those in humid climates such as Florida both tropical and temperate fruit plants .
Sunburn is not uncommon especially for tropical plants. You can easily loose a fruit tree if you are not well informed regarding proper care especially when plants are young.
Winter is another challenge. In tropics with mild winter fruit trees continue to grow in winter. Here in the lower basin, our tropical plants cease to grow. Most tropical plants struggle to survive in winter, and frost damage usually occurs.
Big box garden stores and some nurseries are selling hundred of mango, avocado, banana and other tropical plants each year. Except for guava, there are very few big mature subtropical trees like lychee, mango and avocado which are fruiting in Phoenix.
If you are planning to grow subtropical fruits in your back yard be well informed. Discuss it with the people who are growing subtropical fruits in lower desert of southwest.It will be great help for you .You can get some of the tropical plants locally from regular nurseries .Specialized nurseries like Tropica Mango nursery in Phoenix have large selection of tropical plants. In addition, you can order these plants by mail from out of state nurseries in Florida, California, and Texas.
My plan is to continue to update the site by including new informations.With the passage of time when the plants are old enough I will be able to discuss my success and failures with you. All the suggestions and constructive criticism is welcomed.