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Fruits for SoCal????

Posted by mimulus z 10/24 SoCal (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 3, 03 at 17:03

Hello all,
I live near the beach in Los Angeles and have a hard time finding many fruits and edible plants that do well here - no real cold weather in the winter and lots of cool weather/fog in the summer. I have a Mexican Guava that has had only one fruit in over 2 years! I love berries and tropical fruits.
Any info appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fruits for SoCal????

RE: Fruits for SoCal????

I hear ya. If you're near the beach like me, you have to walk a fine line of something which doesn't need too much chilling (stands a zone 10 climate,) and also doesn't need too much heat.

I'm trying several figs, from Italian Everbearing (a turkey like fig,) to White Genoa (which is better for coastal situations they say,) and just reading as much info as I can to guesstimate what will work. I think brown turkey, black mission and some others would do well here too. I have several long lists of named cultivars from searching the websites and reading the fig forum. A number say "Kadota or White Kadota" does best where its very hot and dry, so I eliminated that one, which you'll find commonly in stores.

Loquats definitely grow near the beach! Delicious delicious fruit, just be ready to clean it up and make jams when its ready or you can attract animals like rats and such the neighbors don't appreciate. Pick a grafted variety for earliest production.

I'm trying Ollaie Blackberries (Its not exactly a blackberry, its a cross, but close enough.) It is suppose to sweeten in cooler coastal situations. But who knows. Its thorny too. The nursery was trying to sell me that any cane berry would do well in my situation, so I dunno.

You may grow citrus well... at least basic lemon and lime. I can't grow much else, not enough heat for good growth and production. Meyer lemons are very forgiving.

My pineapple guava is doing well, I love eating the flowers more than the fruit. :) Natal Plums are often used for decorative purposes but produce a delicious fruit. Passion Fruit (which I love,) also grow well here, although I sacrificed my plants in the past to butterfly larvae who love to eat the leaves! :) I'll have to find some balance in the future. But I loooooooove that sweet fragrant sweet tart burst of flavor.

In the past I've grown bananas here. They appreciate a more protected spot for the extra heat as well as reduced winds which can shred the leaves easily and lower growth/production. I loved "ice cream" and "mysore" and some other small fruited types. That was back when Richardson's Seaside Banana Farm existed and he had the most AMAZING selection you can dream of. AND he carried all the exotics good for coastal locations. I got a lot of trees and vines from him, he really knew where to get them from and sold much of the fruit too.

Also try driving around any older homes in your area, they are the ones who sometimes still have their fruit trees and such. Especially in LA. And see what is mature and looks healthy, many gardeners love talking about what works for them.

Oh and avocados and pomegranates also do very well on the coast. Plenty of those where I am producing happily.

If you get a chance to visit the Exotica Nursery in Vista, down here in San Diego, they have a LOT of plants to choose from, you can see the list on their website, and a lot of knowledge. They are great people! Good luck in searching...

RE: Fruits for SoCal????

  • Posted by EDLO z9/CA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 14, 03 at 9:34

Try Laguna Hills Nursery in Laguna Hills. Gary is a one of the best fruit nurserymen in that area. He carries many coastal adapated fruits. Also if you get into the area, Pacific Tree in Chula Vista is one of the top fruit nurseries in the state. Bill is considered the formost expert in southern California adapted varieties.

RE: Fruits for SoCal????

My suggestion to you only comes from what has grown well in zone 10 at my house for 100 years without water... I have a beautiful pomegranate that produces amazing fruit in droves and a fig tree that is doing just as well. I don't like figs myself, but these plants require no work to get fruit, besides dealing with the usual pests.

RE: Fruits for SoCal????

Well, I live near the beach in LA and have yard full of fruit trees. Most have been here as long as the house, 40 yrs or so. I barely care for them at all and they keep fruiting and fruiting. I just give them a little pruning and that's about it. I don't know the varieties, but here's what's growing: apricots, plums (my favorite), pomegranites, persimmons, pears (they have a problem with fire blight), loquats, apples, grapefruit, lemons, oranges & limes. There was a peach tree,but I had to cut it down. I have found the climate here to be perfect for growing almost anything. With the exception of fruits that require a very cold winter, I think you can grow almost anything here. The great thing about the coast area is that it doesn't get scorching hot in the summer and it does get quite cold in the winter so I think that helps with some trees that want a cool dormant period.

RE: Fruits for SoCal????

mimulus, do a Google search (it's also on the CRFG website) on low chill stone fruits for Orange County (authored by Gary of Laguna Hills Nursery), that's just a start. Check out Andrew Mariani's list (CRFG website again) on low chill fruit (stone). Then start reading the MCH on descriptions of whatever fruit you'd like to grow - much work has been done to enable you to have an edible paradise! Gary manages to get cherries to grow in Orange County (Lapins), there are apples from Bermuda and Israel (among others) that you can grow, low chill pears, and lots of subtropicals - just keep asking questions, join CRFG to save yourself from reinventing the wheel (much of the MCH is not carved in stone), research the net (Orange County Nursery, L.E.Cooke, Dave Wilson Nursery, Pacific Tree Farm, California Tropical Fruit Tree Nursery, & others you will find on the sources page on the CRFG website). I cannot recommend CRFG enough - I've learned so much through it!

I also want to mention a peach, 'Springtime,' that grows and fruits well in the beach area of Los Angeles (Culver City or El Segundo, I forget which exactly) but is not in commerce - however, you might get scion wood at the annual scion exchange that CRFG has each spring.

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